Five Books Every Primary Student Must Read This Summer

As children transition into being fully independent readers, chapter books provide the perfect avenue for them to experience stories that are slightly more nuanced and complex but just as much fun and captivating. Often written in series format, chapter books are a great way of building and encouraging a love for reading among children aged seven to eleven years. Here are some of our favourite new releases that are sure to add an element of adventure to the long summer ahead: 

Flying Lessons and Other Stories by various authors 

Featuring stories by the likes of Sherman Alexie, Jacqueline Woodson, Kwame Alexander, Walter Dean Myers and Meg Medina, this anthology is a celebration in diversity, both in terms of characters and themes. The ten distinct stories cover a range of scenarios, from dealing with family fiascos to chasing basketball dreams. Each story is both enjoyable and meaningful in its own right. Edited by Ellen Oh, the collection works to open up the reader to a world of possibility, at the same time inspiring hope, joy and empathy in young minds. 


A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

Nicknamed Bat, Bixby Alexander Tam finds life to be full of surprises, both pleasant and not-so-good. This endearing story about Bat’s desire to adopt a baby skunk as a pet will both enthral and amuse young middle grade readers. Written by acclaimed children’s author Elana Arnold and illustrated by Charles Sontoso, A Boy Called Bat will particularly appeal to children who love animals. it is the first in a heartfelt series featuring a protagonist who is on the autism spectrum. 

Dog Man by Dan Pilkey

The first of a series of bestselling children’s graphic novels, Dog Man is all about a crime-biting canine superhero who is part-dog and part-man. the attractive comic-book format and hilarious story will keep readers hooked from start to finish. Dan Pilkey is the renowned creator of the hugely successful Captain Underpants series and Dog Man will be particularly appreciated by young readers who enjoy superhero and animal themed tales. 


Matylda, Bright And Tender by Holly M. McGhee

Fourth graders Sussy and Guy are best friends who adopt a spotted lizard and name her Matylda. The beloved pet soon serves to help Matylda through the grief of losing Guy to a terrible accident. Dealing with darker themes than most stories in the genre, Matylda Bright and Tender is a courageous debut novel that will keep young readers engaged with its nuanced exploration of young friendship. 

The Thing with Fangs –  A Third Grade Disaster by J. G Kemp

The first in a series of enthralling science fiction for children aged six to nine, this is the story of Brandon Black and his super powered quantum colouring book. Full of quirky characters and vivid descriptions, this book is the ideal combination of funny, fast paced and imaginative -sure to engage newly independent readers. The suspenseful ending will leave children eager for the next book in the series.