Big Kids: The Ultimate Summer Reading List

This Glorious Mess

Mamamia Podcasts

Big Kids: The Ultimate Summer Reading List

Welcome to This Glorious Mess Big Kids. A twice-weekly look at parenting as it really is - confusing, exhausting, inspiring, funny, and full of surprises. So many surprises!

Are you trying to find a good book for your kids this summer? 

Maybe you’ve got a keen reader who reads just about everything? Or a kid who never picks up a book?

Today Holly and Andrew are joined by Allison Tait, bestselling author and podcaster to share her summer read recommendations for kids of all ages, interests and levels.

Plus this week's parenting mentor's question, what to do when your kid is starting at a new school? 


You can hear more of Allison on her podcast, Your Kids Next Read and join the Your Kids Next Read Facebook community here.



Picture books

Searching for Cicadas by Lesley Gibbes, illustrated by Lesley Watson 4+ (read together or 7+ read alone)

Somebody’s Land by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing. Illustrated by David Hardy (read together or 7+ read alone)

Book of Curious Birds by Jennifer Cossins

The Encyclopedia of Peculiar Pairs by Sami Bayly

Junior fiction (Ages 5 - 8) 

School of Monsters by Sally Rippin (series) (5+)

What Zola Did by Melina Marchetta (seres) (6+)

Sporty Kids  and Besties by Felice Arena and illustrated by Tom Jellett  (6+)

The First Scientists by Corey Tutt, illustrated by Blak Douglas

Junior Fiction (Ages 8 - 10) 

Click and Clash graphic novel series by Kayla Miller 

The Book Of Australian Trees by Inga Simpson and illustrated by Alicia Rogerson

The Australia Survival Guide by George Ivanoff

Junior Fiction (Ages 9 -13)

Graphic novels

Sisters, Ghosts, Babysitters Club by Raina Telgeimeir

Pie In The Sky, Pawcasso, Fly on the Wall by Remy Lai

Verse novels

The Little Wave by Pip Harry

Mina And The Whole Wide World by Sherryl Clark, art by Briony Stewart

Strong storylines

Kensy and Max series by Jacqueline Harvey

Missing And The Book of Chance by Sue Whiting

Twitch by M. G. Leonard

The Fire Star by A. L. Tait


Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat by Monica McInerney

Eliza Vanda’s Button Box by Emily Rodda

Elsewhere Girls by Emly Gale and Nova Weetman

Funny Kid series by Matt Stanton

The Right Way To Rock by Nat Amoore

Pippa’s Island by Belinda Murrell.


Your Wild Journal by Brooke Davis

Young Adult 

Illuminae (series) and Aurora Cycle (series) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Ghost Bird by Lisa Fuller

Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina 

Dark Rise by C. S. Pacat

Terciel and Elinor by Garth Nix

The Boy From The Mish by Gary Lonesborough 

You Were Made For Me and What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillame

Can’t Say It Went To Plan by Gabrielle Tozer

Social Queue by Kay Kerr 

How To Repaint a Life by Steven Herrick 

The F Team by Rawah Arja 


Feedback? We’re listening! Call the pod phone on 02 8999 9386 or email us at [email protected]


Hosts: Holly Wainwright & Andrew Daddo

Guest: Allison Tait

Audio Production: Rhiannon Mooney

Producer: Mikayla Floriano 

Mamamia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land we have recorded this podcast on, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Just by reading our articles or listening to our podcasts, you’re helping to fund girls in schools in some of the most disadvantaged countries in the world - through our partnership with Room to Read. We’re currently funding 300 girls in school every day and we aim to get to 1,000. Find out more at 

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