Book recommendations

Top picks of 2023 for Key Stage 2

Take a look at a handful of our favourite books of 2023 for Key Stage 2.

The Girl Who Became A Fish by Polly Ho-Yen and Sojung Kim-McCarthy (Knights Of Media, 2023) – suitable for lower KS2

Have you ever feared something so deeply and wondered how to overcome it? Dive into this heart-warming book, exploring themes of change and tackling fear. Ita is terrified of water, but one day when the enchanted river turns her into a fish, she is forced to face up to her fears. A lovely book to add to your class collection!

The Indestructible Tom Crean by Jennifer Thermes (Hachette Children’s Group, 2023) – suitable for lower KS2

A lovely picture book that reveals the incredible true stories of Crean’s adventures to Antarctica. Dazzling mapwork and vivid illustrations bring the formidable landscape to life. Written in the present tense the book uses short, high-impact sentences to create the drama that unfolds on the expedition.

The House Trap by Emma Reads (Chicken House Ltd, 2023) – suitable for upper KS2

Prepare to be on the edge of your seat throughout this spooky story … It all begins with a little girl disappearing into the forbidden woods. Did she go inside? Is she still inside? Is she coming back outside? The questions are endless. Courageously, her brother follows her, only to realise they have now both got themselves trapped! Will they make it out?

The Final Year by Matt Goodfellow (Otter-Barry Books Ltd, 2023) – suitable for upper KS2

If you haven’t yet managed to get your hands on a copy of this, then put it on your Christmas list! Matt used to be a teacher and he captures the essence of Year 6 perfectly. Written in verse, this story of the everyday life of a Year 6 boy is a rollercoaster of emotions and is guaranteed to hook in even the most reluctant Year 6 reader. Trigger warning – this book is not suitable for every child in Year 6 so is not a read-aloud book.

Like a Curse by Elle McNicoll (Knights Of Media, 2023) – suitable for upper KS2

Elle McNicoll is an amazing new voice in Middle-Grade children’s books. As a neurodivergent writer, she writes with insight and authenticity about the array of characters that inhabit Ramya’s world. Like the author, Ramya has dyspraxia but must learn to control her magical powers whilst dealing with her neurodivergence. And it is a serious matter because the magical creatures and hidden folk are under threat from a siren who can charm and control everyone! This sequel to Like a Charm brims with humour, excitement and magic – a perfect set of books for children who want an immersive magical read!