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Easton’s favourite books (great for ages 6 to 12)

Manfish a story of Jacques Cousteau

Easton (aged 9) has always, since the time he could speak, been obsessed with nature and animals and especially sea life.  One of his first words was ‘dolphin’ and by the time we was three, he knew the names of all the different whales and sharks! As a result, some of his favourite books are ones about the sea.

While he now mostly reads chapter books, both for school reading and for pleasure, I still catch him reading some of his favourite picture books, especially the books about sea creatures and animals.  I thought I would split up his list of favourites into two groups: picture books and chapter books.

Here are some of his favourite picture books:

1. Manfish : This sweet and beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Jacques Cousteau from the time he was a young boy up through his adult life and film-making career.  Easton wants to be a marine biologist when he’s bigger, and I think he really relates to the young boy in this book.

2. Zoo-ology : I have now bought three different copies of this book because it’s one of the most read books in our house (I often find it under the covers in their bed!), and I keep replacing the book due to broken bindings or torn pages. The book features more than 300 animals, each page featuring a different type: feathered, nocturnal, large, small, underground, etc.

the red sea sharks

3. The Red Sea Sharks (The Adventures of Tintin) : Easton loves all the Tintin books, but told me this one is his favourite.

4. Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea : This fact-filled book takes you down from the surface to the very bottom of the sea, showing you all the crazy sea creatures who live in each ‘layer’ of the sea.

5. Maps : I’ve written about this book before here. It is still probably my boys’ current favourite book!

6. Stuck : Another Oliver Jeffers favourite. My boys think it’s hilarious to see all the things that Floyd gets stuck up in the tree in the effort to get his kite down.

7. Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals : Easton is fascinated by extinct animals and by the thought that some of the animals on our planet will one day also become extinct. This is another great animal picture book that shows extinct animals and gives a brief description of each.

the terrible thing that happened to barnaby bracket

And here are some of his favourite chapter books:

1. The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket : I haven’t read this book, but Easton told me it’s very funny and it’s about a boy who floats and can’t control his floating, even when he wishes he could be normal and please his parents.

2 & 3. The BFG and James and the Giant Peach : Both by Roald Dahl, both brilliant and imaginative. What I love about the Roald Dahl books is that there is a teensy element of something slightly scary. I remember reading The BFG and The Witches when I was little, and being slightly scared but also totally intrigued.

4. You’re a Bad Man, Mr. Gum! : Again, I haven’t read this or any of the other Mr. Gum books , but Easton really likes them. I think it’s another funny, silly read.

5. The Harry Potter books: My mum reads these to my boys when she comes to visit. So far she’s read the first three books, and they have loved them. Quin (aged 7) can get slightly scared at times, but Easton can’t get enough.

6. Where the Red Fern Grows: I selfishly read this to the boys last summer because I wanted to re-read the story I loved as a child. It was one of my favourites! I will encourage Easton to read it again on his own, because it’s just one of those magical books, and probably best read on a sofa all alone, where tears can fall freely.

7. Tom’s Midnight Garden : I bought this book after receiving several reader recommendations to do so. We’ve only just started reading it, but Easton wanted to include it in his list and I have a strong feeling he won’t regret doing so.

Easton isn’t the most enthusiastic reader, especially when it comes to chapter books without pictures… but we’re getting there. He seems to be especially drawn to simple or silly stories, mostly featuring boys as the main character. If you have other book suggestions to share for this age group, please do so below.

x Courtney

p.s. You can see previous posts in this series here:


Comments (17)

July 1, 2014

I would recommend the How to Train your Dragon series. I’ve recently read the first one to my 6 year old son, but I think it would suit this whole age range. He really enjoyed it and I enjoyed reading it too – they are funny & silly, and I found it really fun to read. If you’ve seen the film, the book is quite a bit different, and there are lots in the series, so really worth trying.

July 1, 2014

I should also have said that though they are chapter books, they are also illustrated so they really hold your child’s attention, my son spent ages looking at the drawings (usually mid story so I’d have to wait to carry on!).

Courtney in London
July 2, 2014

Thanks for this tip. We’ll definitely check out the How to Train Your Dragon series. Sounds perfect!

July 1, 2014

More brilliant book recommendations, thank you! You’ve inspired me to start reading Harry Potter to my 7year old. He has now heard every single Roald Dahl book & we’re abit stuck for new books. I was wondering about Harry Potter, although even I feel it gets abit dark further along the series. He’ll hopefully love it though. Try the David Walliams books – Mr Stink, Billionaire Boy, Gangsta Granny (made into TV prog at Christmas just gone). Lots of people rate Horrid Henry books for boys of this age, but we just don’t seem to get on with them.

Courtney in London
July 2, 2014

Thanks Nicola! Love these suggestions. x

July 1, 2014

I would add the diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the Tom Gates books. Neither are literary classics but are so engaging they will get every non reader into reading. Probably for ages 7-9.
Some lovely innocent sounding books here. I have found boys over 9 usually just want to read The Hunger Games or Alex Rider series types. For a literary classic I would add Tom Sawyer, my 11 year old is currently loving this.

July 1, 2014

I should have said that the Tom Gates and Diary of a Wimpy Kid are equally loved by girls and boys and the latter is second only in sales to Harry Potter. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid films are very funny, even for adults

Courtney in London
July 2, 2014

Just bought Diary of a Wimpy Kid! Thanks for the recommendation!

July 1, 2014

Thank you so much for your book lists – I’ve bought many of the Reccomended books for my small ones ( 4 and under ) and as presents for older nephews and nieces – it’s just too hard otherwise to guess in bookshops ….we have the zoology book and it’s a huge hit – Tom ( just 4 ) loves pointing out the different types of animals that I will admit many I’d never heard of before – beautifully done … Anyway thank you for this list , those posted already and the others to come !

July 1, 2014

So glad you decided to read Tom’s Midnight Garden it truly is a magical adventure! Xx

July 2, 2014

Hi have loved this series and have added many books to my wish list until after our summer holidays. It feels like it gets trickier as boys get older to find engaging books for them.
A couple of favourites in our house at present are A Zeal of Zebras. It’s an alphabet of collective nouns and so much fun to read (a galaxy of starfish, a caravan of camels etc). There is also A Compendium of Collective Nouns that might be better for older kids.
Another is D’aulaires Book of Greek Myths with so many hero tales. My 7 year old loves this.
Finally have you come across Wonder yet? I would say for 10years and beyond. I read it and couldn’t put it down with many happy tears shed at the end. It’s about a normal boy with disfigured face and the challenges he faces at school – but he does come out somewhat of hero at the end.

July 2, 2014

I really LOVE this series!

Isobel loves the Ottoline series. Chapter book with some quirky, Gothesque illustrations. She also started reading the book Jedi Academy and both she and Oliver love it. Kind of cartoonish in some spots and cheeky.

My kids also love the Harry Potter books. We are only on #2, but fun… And Roald Dahl for Izzy too. I’ve heard the Underlander series and the Evertaster series are good, but I have no idea what they are like. Been meaning to check them out for Izzy!

Michaela Heller
July 2, 2014

thanks for sharing those book lists! They are quite inspiring and they perfectly fit our books taste!
Since my 10 yo loves Mr.Gum (his favorite series) and can’t get enough of Harry Potter (has read 1-4 so far) I thought Easton might like some of his other favorites too:

* “Awful End” by Philip Ardagh (its a series of i don’t know how many books)
* “The Giggler Treatment” by Roddy Doyle – He loved it when he read it 2 years ago…
* “Artemis Fowl” by Eoin Colfer (also a series)
* “Greg’s Diary 1-8” ?(i don’t like those books but those boys who don’t read a lot even read those books so they were a big hit at school…)
oh and
* “The Grunts in Trouble” and “The Grunts all at Sea” by Philip Ardagh (we seem to have a favorite over here)
* “The Spiderwick Chronicles” by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

May be there´s one or two Easton likes too 😉

Courtney in London
July 4, 2014

Thanks for these suggestions. Super helpful! I will definitely check out the Philip Ardagh books. They sound great. x

July 3, 2014

Have you read any of the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan? Starting with The Lightning Thief.

Courtney in London
July 4, 2014

No, we haven’t! Thanks for the tip. x

June 27, 2015

Thank you for these book lists! I follow your Instagram and remember you posting books a while back, so I came here to find them. Success!

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