Compiled by Lyn Hagin Meade

On any weeknight, the plates still cluttering the kitchen table, our family is transported off to distant worlds, wide adventures and given conundrums to solve. As dinner is digested and a cup of steaming herbal tea sipped, the six of us are enraptured with the story.

We don’t have the time for a book club – and honestly, there isn’t much enthusiasm to join one – except from me. The kids often read books one after another and chat about them informally and they often get me involved too – I love kids literature.

Still, I wanted the kids to have a shared experience of a story beyond our walls. So, I searched for books that I could read out loud. Here are some of our best ideas

Here are some ideas for great Family Reading Club (for 6+ age group)

Poppy Pendle by Natasha Lowe 2014 Paula Wiseman Books

We loved this book. It was a wonderful read of a plucky girl subdued by circumstance and what other people thought was best for her and the unwitting consequences of her resulting sadness. Poppy is a young witch who loves to bake and so she runs away to become a baker. But when witches turn bad….they do startling things. This book comes with sweet recipes which we tried and ate for desert while we read!

The Mapmakers Race by Erilys Hunter and Kirsten Slade 2018 Gecko Press

A non-stop wild west adventure, with a famiy of four kids and a mother who accidentally gets left behind. But the family’s only chance to stay together and have a future is to win a path finder race over the mountains. It will be long and difficult, with 2 donkeys, a 4 year old little brother and a new friend. The kids pleaded for extra chapters each night!

The Woollstonecraft detective agency: the case of the missing moonstone by Jordan Statford 2016  Yearling

Although this book had a long start, if you bare with it, its just the thing for kids who enjoy historical fiction, with girl power and friends rivalry thrown in. It sure to start a few discussions and debates.

Half Magic by Edward Eager (reprint 2016) Houghton Mifflin

I can’t say who enjoyed this more – the grown-ups or the children! The children find a coin on the street, which they discover is magic and they each take turns wishing – except only half the wish comes true. Set against the 1940s/50s background, the family has a harassed working mother and a childhood different from children today. The adventures are funny and the ending, which is sweet and romantic is a perfect ending to a classic story.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweller by E. L. Konigsburg 2015 Pushkin Children’s Books

For children familiar with museums, this gem of a book tells the old fashioned story of a brother and sister who decide to run away opting for a museum in New York, complete with historic bed and mod cons to hide away in. That’s when the story starts to get interesting!

Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden 2016 Puffin

When the evenings start to get cold and dark, kids who like a little scary mystery will enjoy this dark read, with soul sucking shadows and creepy bookshops and mysterious mansions – which we could easily imagine in our own neighbourhood! Our daughter had the best author visit with Dave Rudden and all the kids found him to be a great story teller.

The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels 2016 Tundra Books

This book was picked up because of its alluring cover – a collection of cats sailing away like the tail of a kite led by a woman in a voluminous skirt. The cats all have names and characters and Miss Petitfour is eccentric in a Mary Poppins kind of way. A short but satisfying read.

Coming Next

Our Next Read will be The Storm Keepers Island by Catherine Doyle 2018 Bloomsbury

A west of Ireland adventure story about family – read along with us!