Holmwood House Summer Book Club

Posted: 12th July 2023

Summer Book Club

Holmwood House School is delighted to introduce our Summer Book Club. Each week one of our teachers will suggest a book that they have enjoyed reading, either themselves or with their class and we will also make some further age-specific suggested reading.

Benefits of Children Reading over the Summer Holidays

As the summer holidays begin, children everywhere embark on a journey of exploration, fun, and relaxation. While the allure of outdoor activities and digital distractions may be strong, parents and teachers know the benefits of encouraging children to read during the summer break: it fosters a love for literature but also delivers a plethora of benefits that enhance children’s cognitive, emotional, and social development, as well as preventing the “Summer Slide”. Reading regularly helps prevent children’s academic skills decline and keeps them mentally active, ensuring they retain and sharpen their knowledge and skills.

Activities to Encourage your Child to Read

1. Complete a Summer Book Club Reward Chart
2. Play Reading Bingo
3. Keep a Reading Log
4. Challenge: How many different reading places can you find? Make a photo album of all the different places
5. Take part in book related Arts And Crafts Activities
6. Write a Book Review
7. Create a Book Bucket List
8. Take the Vocabulary Challenge – Find 3 new or favourite words (older children per chapter, younger ones per book)
9. Make a quiz about your book – parents challenge your child or children challenge your parents – who will get the highest score?
10. Read Out Loud Together – no matter how old you are!

Weekly Suggested Reading Lists

Each week one of our teachers will suggest a book they have enjoyed either themselves or with their class and we will suggest some further age-specific reading.

Week 8
For the final week of our Summer Book Club Mrs Boddice has recommended the wonderful “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae. We hope you have enjoyed some of our recommendations this summer.

Age 3+ “Super Duper You” by Sophie Henn and There’s an Alien in My Lunchbox! by Tessa Gearing

Age 5-7 The Day of the Quit by Drew Daywalt and Can You See The Stars Tonight by Anna Terreros-Martin

Age 7-9 Cliffhanger by Jacqueline Wilson and Mysteries at Sea: Peril on the Atlantic by A.M. Howell

Age 9-11 The Sports Timeline Wellbook by Christopher Lloyd and The Piano at the Station by Helen Rutter

Age 13+ Bite Risk by S.J. Wills and Anne Frank: The Diary of A Young Girl

Week 7
This week Mr Poulson recommends “A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snicket. He suggests that if you like reading Roald Dahl and the Mr Gum books you should give this series a try. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent, charming and resourceful children. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky. In The Bad Beginning, the first book in the series, the siblings encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune and cold porridge for breakfast!

Age 3+ One Little Word by Joesph Coelho and Allison Colpoys and “The Invisible String” by Patrice Karst

Age 5-7 Mr Wolf’s Pancakes by Jan Fearnley and Deep by Stephen Hogtun

Age 7-9 The Invisible Dog by Dick King-Smith and Einstein the Penguin by Iona Rangeley

Age 9-11 The Viewer by Gary Crew and A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan

Age 13+ What Walks These Halls by Amy Clarkin and The Thing About Lemons by Tasha Harrison

Week 6
This week Miss Shipley has recommended The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  She says “I absolutely loved reading The Hunger Games as you are immersed into another world full of fear, hope, love, death, and life. The story line gripped me and I found myself turning through the pages so quickly to find out what would happen next. Tributes from twelve districts are put into an arena to fight to their deaths for a televised competition created by The Capitol. The book is part of a trilogy which have now been turned into four movies! If you are a fan of dystopian fiction – this is certainly a book to try.”  Suitable for Year 6 upwards.

Age 3+ Geoffrey Gets the Jitters by Nadia Shireen and “What Happened to you?” by James Catchpole

Age 5-7 Beaver Towers by Nigel Hinton and Everything Under the Sun by  Molly Oldfield

Age 7-9 The Firework Maker’s Daughter by Philip Pullman and The Wonder Brothers by Frank Cotrell-Boyce

Age 9-11 Granny by Anthony Horowitz and Nowhere Island by Tania Unsworth

Age 13+ Noughts and Cross by Malorie Blackman and Biology The Whole Story by Lindsay Turnbull

 Week 5
This week Mr White has recommended Legacy by James Kerr.  He says “I see huge value in the skills that sport, in particular rugby can teach us. I feel these are so applicable to our everyday life, team work, character, and humility all so important in sport and life. These are skills and traits I endeavour to instil in the children and continue to work on myself. The New Zealand All Blacks decided to change the culture within their team, focussing on the traits above, and became the most successful sporting team in the world. Following their victory in the World Cup, and every match they play, it is the players themselves who ‘sweep the sheds’.” This book is suitable for aged 13+

Age 3+ I Love My Bike by Simon Mole and Into the Wild by Thomas Docherty

Age 5-7 Unusual Day by Sandi Toksvig

Age 7-9 – The Falcon’s Malteser by Anthony Horowitz and The Borrowers by Mary Norton

Age 9-11 Cogheart by Peter Bunzl and Hacker by Malorie Blackman

Age 13+ The Thing About Lemons by Tasha Harrison and The Silent Striker by Pete Kalu

Week 4 
This week Mrs Baker recommends Swop! by Hilary McKay, as she and Year 4 have really enjoyed reading it together! She says it’s a charming, surreal, funny but mainly bonkers story. Emily loves swaps – she even swaps her granny for a donkey, a tune she whistles for a violin and she swaps….oh but if I tell you anymore about this surreal story I will spoil it!

Age 3+ Somebody Swallowed Stanley by Sarah Roberts and the Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Age 5-7 – The Lost Homework by Richard O’Neill and The Hodgeheg by Dick King Smith

Age 7-9 – The Great Elephant Chase by Gillian Cross and and Charlotte’s Web by E.B White

Age 9-11 –  Time Travelling With a Hamster by Ross Welford and The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

Age 13+The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas and Shakespeare by Bill Byson

Week 3
The week Mr Cook recommends “Norwegian Wood: The pocket guide to chopping, stacking and drying wood the Scandinavian way” by Lars Mytting to anyone who loves wood as much as him! It is a book that is part guide to the best practice on every aspect of working with this renewable energy source and part an insight into human nature.  It is an easy read that is packed with useful information and facts and will make you feel even better about wood once you have read it!

Age 3+  Perfect Presents by Anke and The Worrysuarus by Rachel Bright

Age 5-7  Don’t Look in this Book by Samuel Langley-Swain and Clarice Bean That’s Me by Lauren Child

Age 7-9  Operation Gadgetman! By Malorie Blackman and The One Hundred Mile Dog by Jeremy Strong

Age 9-11  The Nowhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie and Wonder by R.J Palacio

Age 13+ Every Line of You by Naomi Gibson and Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Week 2 
This week Mrs Watson has recommended “Smart” by Kim Slater. Smart is an unusual “whodunnit”, if you like murder mysteries I strongly recommend you try this book. It is a very thought-provoking page turner, with some surprising twists along the way– you will find out what that means when you read it! It is suitable for Year 6 and above.

Age 3+ Perfect Presents by Anke Kuhl and The Zebra’s Great Escape by Katherine Rundell

Age 5-7  Salty Dogs by Matty Long and The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson

Age 7-9  The Monster Spotter’s Handbook by Matt Cherry and Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll

Age 9-11  Absolutely Everything by Christopher Lloyd and The Highland Falcon Thief by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman

Age 13+ Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and Life Skills for Teens by Karen Harris

Week 1
Miss Ashton has chosen to recommend “The Diary of a Killer Cat” by Anne Fine. Her Year 2 class have really enjoyed reading this hilarious book together – it made them laugh out loud. It is told by Tuffy the cat who is highly exasperated by his family particularly soft-hearted Ellie wh tries to get her beloved pet to change his wild ways, before he ends up in even deeper trouble?

Age 3+ Poppy Pickle by Emma Yarlett and I Am Hungry by Michael Rosen

Age 5-7 Bug Belly Froggy Rescue by Paul Morton and Adventure Mice: Otter Chaos by Philip Reeve

Age 7-9 The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan and Peanut Jones and the Twelve Portals by Rob Biddulph

Age 9-11 Nightfall in New York by Katherine Woodfine and The Lost Whale by Hannah Gold

Age 13+ The Secrets Act by Alison Weatherby and What If?: Serious Scientific Answer to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

About Holmwood House

Holmwood House School and Nursery is a leading co-educational independent school and nursery for children aged 6 months to 16 years, set in 25 acres of beautiful grounds in Lexden, Colchester. The school aims to spark curiosity and ignite wonder in each and every child, allowing them to develop individuality, confidence and tenacity to reach their true potential and achieve personal success.  We believe that our literature rich curriculum that blends excitement and challenge is integral to developing motivated, confident and engaged children who have a growing curiosity and understanding of the world around them.

Book a Visit

Please click here to find out more about visiting Holmwood House or to book a visit please email our Admissions Registrar at or phone 01206 673750

Further Suggestions

Essex Library Summer Reading Challenge

‘Ready, Set, Read’ is the sport and games theme for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. It starts on Saturday 15 July 2023 and will end on Saturday 2 September 2023.

Robin Stevens Summer Reading Challenge

Detective, are you ready for a challenge? Get involved with the Robin Stevens Summer Reading Challenge by printing the sheet below, and using it to track how many Murder Most Unladylike books you read over the summer.

Book Trust

Find the perfect book, their Bookfinder can help you discover the very best children’s books – simply pick an age range and some themes and explore our recommendations.


Find suggested reading for children of all ages, including new releases and classics




Categories: News Category 1


Holmwood House Nursery

151 Coach Road, Great Horkesley,
Essex CO6 4DX
T: (01206) 273 827


Holmwood House School

Chitts Hill, Lexden,
Essex CO3 9ST
T: (01206) 574305