“The more you read, the more things you’ll know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”– Dr. Seuss

I love this saying and the message it conveys hence have this quote up in my sons’ room right above where they keep their not-so-organised stack of books. When you instill in a child, the love of reading, you are giving them the best gift that will come in handy everytime the social stimulus is a bit too much for them to handle, everytime they need to relax, every time they are in situation which makes them homebound and also when they want to have a relationship with someone without being judged – Books indeed offer that companionship.

Let your kids’ imagination run wild, let them explore the magical world of Hogwarts, whisk them away to Middle Earth, take them to Wonderland down the rabbit hole, to the icy snow covered lands of Narnia, or let them see & feel the emotions & resilience of a young girl in hiding for 2 years during WWII.

Growing up in the 80s & 90s, we didn’t have as much screens/video games like the kids of today. With playing outside, the other thing that occupied most of my time was reading. And boy am happy that I did. When I moved to London, to see so many places & monuments I had read about in books, in reality was surreal, as if I already knew this place. The same with many places I travelled later on & still want to travel to, one of them being Bergen in Oslo & Alice Springs in Australia- I recently read a series which transported me to these places for a few days, made me smell, hear, see them virtually & instilled in me a longing to see them in real. One day I will InshAllah.

The point is if you hear your kids saying they are bored during a school break and you can’t take them out, it doesn’t mean you make a dash for the TV/Video games/Ipads. Make them read a book instead of watching a movie on the same. Let them imagine a world themselves rather than someone imagining it for them. Let them learn new words, new ways of thinking, a newer & slower pace of life without rushing to after school activities, birthday parties, constant pick ups/drop offs – just like back in our days.

Following is a list of books to read before you leave primary school (aimed at kids aged between 8 to 11) as recommended by my son’s school. A few of the popular classics are available as free downloads on Amazon’s Kindle Store and if you prefer paper books then your local library is another great budget freindly option. Or you can start a book club with other school mums or freinds so you don’t have to spend a fortune on this hobby. 

1              Matilda, by Roald Dahl

2              Kenzuke’s Kingdom, by Michael Morpurgo

3              The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander

4              Phoenix, by S F Said

5              Charlotte’s Web, by E B White

6              Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

7              The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, by CS Lewis

8              Stig of the Dump, by Clive King

9              Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer

10           Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney

11           Five Children and It, by E Nesbit

12           Beetle Boy, by M G Leonard

13           Clockwork, by Phillip Pullman

14           The Secret Garden, By Frances Hodgson Burnett

15           Wonder, by R J Palacio

16           The Borrowers, by Mary Norton

17           The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore,by William Joyce

18           Skellig, by David Almond

19           A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snickett

20           The Girl of Ink and Stars, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

21           Holes, by Louis Sachar

22           Demon Dentist, by David Walliams

23           Goodnight Mr Tom, by Michelle Magorian

24           Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai

25           The Suitcase Kid, by Jacqueline Wilson

26           The Boy in the Stripes Pyjamas, by John Boyne

27           Firegirl, by Tony Abbott

28           The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, by Christopher Edge

29           Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan

30           Coraline, by Neil Gaiman

31           Journey to the River Sea, by Eva Ibbotson

32           Five on a Treasure Island, by Enid Blyton

33           Time Travelling with a Hamster, by Ross Welford

34           Room 13, by Robert Swindells

35           A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness

36           Millions, by Frank Cottrell Boyce

37           Street Child, by Berlie Doherty

38           Cogheart, by Peter Bunzl

39           Cloud Busting, by Malorie Blackman

40           Trash, by Andy Mulligan

41           Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J K Rowling

42           The Imaginary, by A F Harrold

43           Once, by Morris Gleitzmann

44           Groosham Grange, by Anthony Horowitz

45           The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynne Reid Banks

46           The Nowhere Emporium, by Ross Mackenzie

47           Oranges in No Man’s Land, by Elizabeth Laird

48           Roof Toppers, by Katherine Rundell

49           George’s Secret to the Universe, by Lucy Hawking

50           Shadow Forest, by Matt Haig

51           The Diamond of Drury Lane, by Julia Golding

52           The London Eye Mystery, by Siobhan Dowd

53           The Silly Book of Side-splitting Stuff, by Andy Seed

54           Dream Snatcher, by Abi Elphinstone

55           Animal Farm, by George Orwell

56           Flour Babies, by Anne Fine

57           The Worst Children’s Jobs in History, by Sir Tony Robinson

58           The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents,by Terry Pratchett

59           The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken

60           The Queen’s Nose, by Dick King-Smith

61           Who Let the Gods Out? By Maz Evans

62           The Hobbit, by J R R Tolkien

63           Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell

64           The Demon Headmaster, by Gillian Cross

65           Lion Boy, by Zizou Corder

66           The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame

67           The Wind Swinger, by William Nicholson

68           When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, by Judith Kerr

69           How to Train Your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell

70           A Library of Lemons, by Jo Cotterill

71           Bubble Boy, by Stewart Foster

72           Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

73           The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair, by Lara Williamson

74           Pax, by Sara Pennypacker

75           My Brother is a Superhero, by David Solomans

76           The Brilliant World of Tom Gates, by Liz Pichon

77           Black Powder, by Ally Sherrick

78           Sweet Pizza, by G R Gemin

79           Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome

80           Strange Star, by Emma Carroll

81           A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park

82           Sad Book, by Michael Rosen

83           The Arrival, by Shaun Tan

84           Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild

85           Watership Down, by Richard Adams

86           Swimming to the Moon, by Jane Elson

87           Carrie’s War, by Nina Bawden

88           Peter Pan, by J M Barrie

89           The Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank

90           Winter Magic, by various authors

91           What to do when you worry too much, by Dawn Huebner

92           The Secret of Nightingale Wood, by Lucy Strange

93           The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick

94           There May Be a Castle, by Piers Torday

95           Skulduggery Pleasant, by Derek Landy

96           Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones

97           101 Poems for Children, by Carol Ann Duffy

98           The Goldfish Boy, by Lisa Thompson

99         The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo

100         The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L Frank, Baum

On that note (rather list), ta da! Happy Reading Everyone.