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Karen Langtree's Recommended Reads

Here are our Patron of Reading, Karen Langtree's five must read books for children. How many have you read?


Jill Murphy: Five Minutes Peace

I love all the books about the Large family; a family of elephants who, in many ways, are just like us. This is my favourite because I love how poor Mrs. Large wants a bit of peace and quiet in the bath but ends up entertaining her children even in there! Poor old Mrs Large! I know how she feels!

Eva Ibbotson: The Beasts of Clawstone Castle

Eva Ibbotson has written many wonderful books, but I'm recommencing this one as it is based on a castle in Northumberland. It is a tale that sparkles with humour, about Madlyn and her brother Rollo who arrive at the crumbling castle owned by their uncle George. They decide that they need to take action to save the castle from ruin. With the help of a team of homeless ghosts they hatch a plan to get the money rolling in from tourists. But they have to also save the mysterious white beasts from a sinister scientist ....

Louis Sachar: There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom

Louis Sachar is really famous for 'Holes' (another brilliant read), but this book is funny and sad all at once. The story of Bradley, a bit of a misfit in school. Bradley tells lies and picks fights. No one likes him, except Carla. Carla tries to help Bradley believe in himself. This book helps you understand things from someone else's point of view, as well as making you laugh too.

Morris Gleitzman: Once, Then and Now

Okay, so I've cheated a bit here. This is actually 3 books. I've chosen them because they really inspired me. Written from the point of view of a Jewish boy called Felix they tell of his fight for survival through out the Second World War in Poland. I love reading about people's stories of hope from the war. You can learn so much about the time and about how people felt and survived.

Michelle Magorian: Goodnight Mister Tom

This has to be on my top ten books of all time list. After reading this book I went on read all Michelle's other books and I recommend them all. But this one leaves an impression on your soul that you will never forget. But it comes with a health warning: You will shed some tears (yes, even you boys!) Again, this is set during the Second World War, but this time it is about an evacuee called Willie, who goes (to escape the bombing in London) to live in the country, with an old man called Mister Tom. You will meet some memorable characters and be prepared for heart wrenching moments.