School’s out! But just because those crumb-smeared textbooks are having a six-week break festering at the bottom of your little darling’s rucksack, doesn’t mean that summer should be a word-free zone. Our pick of the best holiday reads for kids, from little ones to teens, means those expanding brains will be stimulated without them suspecting a thing.
Sure, there’s ice cream to be scoffed, pools to be swum in and parks to be zoomed around – not to mention the dreaded X Box demanding attention – but summer’s also a great time to get stuck into a book. The beauty of reading is that it can be done come rain or shine, it’s the perfect wind-down after a busy day of fun and, best of all, while they’re curled up with a book, you might even get a few minutes to yourself. These are the books to chuck in the Trunki if you’re going away… or sneakily leave by their bed if you’re staying put.
Best for... Teens with a dark sense of humourThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Here’s a young adult book that you might want to steal from your teenager when they’ve finished with it – the dark story about Faith, whose father has died in mysterious circumstances and left behind a strange tree with weird and wicked powers, won the Costa Book of the Year 2015 thanks to its huge crossover appeal.
Best for... Little ones who love a giggle
Dave’s Cave by Frann Preston Gannon
This hilarious picture book aimed at pre-schoolers is about a Neanderthal on the hunt for a new home. The caveman-style language and quirky, bold illustrations will have your little one hooting with laughter – while you might just find it surprisingly profound.
Best for... Young sci-fi fans with big questionsSputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Prez’s foster family think their new houseguest, Sputnik, is just a dog. Prez suspects otherwise – and he’s right. It turns out that Sputnik has come to earth to write a guidebook – and soon Prez is part of the adventure. Touching stuff that will spark the imaginations of primary age kids.
Best for... BGT fans with a healthy sense of silliness
The World of David Walliams: Super-Tastic Box Set by David Walliams
If your kids get the giggles whenever they see David Walliams on Britain’s Got Talent, they’ll love his latest compendium of children’s books. Hilarious stories like Awful Auntie and Mr Stink have rapidly become modern classics, and now you can get them all in one place. It might be too big to squeeze into your suitcase, but it would make a great pressie for kids with summer birthdays – or just when they deserve a treat.
Best for... Aspiring globetrotters
My Travel Journal – Lonely Planet Kids
You can’t get them to read a book? Well, how about they write one instead? If you’re going away over the holidays, why not encourage the kids to write a travel journal instead of just Snapchatting pictures of their pizza to their mates? It’s a good way to keep them quiet on long journeys, and a great memento for them to look back on in years to come.
Best for... Social media addicts
Caspar Lee – Caspar Lee & Emily Riordan Lee
If you can’t get your teens and tweens off YouTube, chances are they’re a fan of Caspar Lee. The 22-year-old is a huge star of the vlogging world – but it turns out even YouTubers see the merit in printed products too – with the help of his mum, who just happens to be an author already, he’s written his autobiography. Yes, at the age of 22.
Best for... Gaming nuts
The official Minecraft Survivors’ Book of Secrets
If your kid lives and breathes Minecraft, so much so that it’s hard to get them to do anything else, we have the solution… kind of. OK, so it’s feeding their obsession but at least it’s a book and won’t turn their eyes square. Literary classic? Perhaps not, but this stylishly designed guide to the game is full of tips and tricks, making it a must-have for the Minecraft maniac in your life.
Best for... Young romantics
Little girls are obsessed with weddings – and millions of them are obsessed with Jacqueline Wilson too. The legendary children’s author’s latest novel is about a nine-year-old girl who’s always been desperate to be a bridesmaid – and if she can’t be one for her own parents, she’s prepared to take matters into her own hands. It’s as funny, sweet and heart-warming as you’d hope for from Jacqueline.
Pick up a new novel for adults or kids instore and online at Asda