Reading Books- Ages 10+

Learn, Read

Below is a list of books that suit Year 5 and Year 6 students. I’m sure you’ll be able to add to the list- and we’d love you to! But be sure to have a look through and see if there’s some classics you think your child would love- or even a book by a new author that sounds entertaining, adventurous or just plain fun! Enjoy- and, as always, happy reading!

A Banner Bold

Nadia Wheatley

Something is happening. I can hear bullets going off, and people are running down towards the Eureka field . . . In 1854 Rosa Aarons and her family travel from London to the goldfield at Ballarat. She makes new friends, learns to ride a horse, and helps her family get by. Soon Rosa becomes caught up in one of the most dramatic events in Australian history: the Eureka Stockade. As the battle between the miners and the soldiers rages around her, Rosa’s main concern is the safety of her beloved Papa.


Phil Cummings

If you’ve got a member of the family who’s certainly no angel, Phil Cumming’s funny and engaging first novel is for you.Shane isn’t dreaming and, whatever the doctor and his parents think, he’s not going crazy. His brother David is back – and, like any older brother, he’s a bit of a pain.But Shane can’t wait to talk to him and to have the family together for what almost turns out to be one last time!

Crow Country

Kate Constable

Beginning and ending, always the same, always now. The game, the story, the riddle, hiding and seeking. Crow comes from this place; this place comes from Crow. And Crow has work for you.’ Sadie isn’t thrilled when her mother drags her from the city to live in the country town of Boort, in rural Victoria. But soon she starts making connections – connections with the country, with the past, with two boys, Lachie and Walter, and, most surprisingly, with the ever-present crows.When Sadie is tumbled back in time to view a terrible crime, she is pulled into a strange mystery. Can Sadie, Walter and Lachie figure out a way to right old wrongs, or will they be condemned to repeat them?

Danny Allen was Here

Phil Cummings

He looked in all directions at everything he could see. The moonlight on the roof and the white chimney; the silhouette of the rooftops across the road; Mark Thompson’s rooftop. Even the white gravel road was glowing. It didn’t look hard and full of stones. It looked like a fluffy blanket. Danny didn’t want to get off the bridge. He lay down on his back as if it were a hammock. He kept a firm grip on the rope and stared up at the stars. This was a magical world. This was Danny Allen’s place.” Danny Allen lives in Mundowie with his family and his dog, Tippy. For such a small town, there’s always lots of things to do: tobogganing on the sand dunes near the haunted house; building tree houses in the back yard; and trying to kick a football over the roof of the Mundowie Institute Hall. If only the man from the bank would stop bothering his parents, life would be perfect.


Gary Paulsen

This award-winning contemporary classic is the survival story with which all others are compared—and a page-turning, heart-stopping adventure.Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present—and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent’s divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair—it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

Kensuke’s Kingdom

Michael Morpurgo

When Michael’s parents lose their jobs, they buy a boat and decide to sail around the world with their son and their beloved dog. It’s an ideal trip – until Michael is swept overboard. He’s washed up on an island, where he struggles to survive. Then he discovers that he’s not alone. His fellow-castaway, Kensuke, keeps his distance at first. But when Michael’s life is threatened, he slowly lets the boy into his world.

Midnight Fox

Betsy Cromer Byars

While visiting his uncle’s farm, Tom discovers a black fox’s den, and after watching it all summer, comes to like animals for the first time

Misery Guts

Morris Gleitzman

‘I’m only going to say this once more,’ said Dad, ‘so listen very carefully. We are not ever, under any circumstance, going to Australia.’ What does a kid do when his Mum and Dad are misery guts? Move them to a tropical Paradise, decides Keith. That’ll cheer them up. It’s a brilliant plan–if he can pull it off.

My Friend, the Enemy

Jenny Blackman

It is 1915 and Australia is involved in the Great War. Young Australian men are dying in the trenches of Europe. The village of Wirreebilla in the Adelaide Hills seems peaceful and far away . . . but is it really so peaceful? German settlers are being treated increasingly as aliens by Wirreebilla locals, and old friends become the new enemy. When Emma Sheldrake experiences this hatred first-hand, she begins to understand how difficult wartime can be for everyone.

New Gold Mountain

Christopher Cheng

Shu Cheong works on the goldfields at Lambing Flat. Life is tough, and there are many white settlers who are anything but friendly. It is 1860, and the white miners’ behaviour towards the Chinese is becoming more and more violent. Shu Cheong witnesses increasing hatred and brutality towards his people . . . But he also learns the value of true friendship.

Onion Tears

Diana Kidd

Nam-Huong is miserable living in a new country without her beloved family. Then why can’t she cry? Vietnamese Nam-Huong wants to adjust to her new life in Australia, but she can’t. She misses her parents and her beloved grandfather too much, and she is haunted by her experiences as a refugee. When her clasmates try to make friends she rejects them, so they begin to tease and torment her. Soon, she doesn’t talk at all. But with the help of her foster mother and her teacher, Nam-Huong slowly begin to trust and love again.

Spilled Water

Sally Grindley

When her husband dies, Lu Si-yan’s mother is encouraged to sell her young daughter into domestic service. Lu Si-yan is just eleven when sold by her uncle. Nearly two years will pass before she can get back home to her mother and brother. In this powerful and compelling novel Sally Grindley portrays the life of a young girl in China, a young girl whose life is said to be like ‘spilled water’. With a brilliant first-person narrative and a powerful description of time and place, this novel is gripping, heart-wrenching and utterly mesmerising.

That Boy, Jack

Janeen Brian

Best friends Jack and Gilbert made a pact when they were younger – promising to work together in the copper mines, just like their fathers and other Cornish immigrants. But now Jack is turning twelve, and the thought of working underground fills him with panic. When Gilbert is forced to leave school and earn a wage, Jack wants to keep his word to his friend – but that means facing his fear. And all the while his heart is telling him to follow another path. That boy, Jack must find the courage to choose.

The Bombing of Darwin

Alan R. Tucker

More bombs exploded and within seconds several ships were on fire. Japanese planes flew so close to me that I could not only see the red circles painted under their wings, but I could see the pilots’ faces. It only took a moment. It was a moment that Tom would always remember-that morning of 19 February 1942, when everything changed . . . changed from peace to war.

The Burnt Stick

Anthony Hill

When John Jagamarra was five, he was taken away from his mother and his home in an Australian aboriginal camp. John was half-white, and the law said he had to be educated in a mission school. But John never forgot his real home — or his mother, who darkened his skin with a burnt stick. A poignant tale of painful separation, abiding love, and enduring memory.

The Cay

Dora Taylor

Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curacao. War has always been a game to him and he’s eager to witness it first hand – until the freighter he and his mother are travelling on to the USA is torpedoed. Philip wakes to find himself adrift on a small raft in the middle of the ocean with an old West Indian man. Together they become marooned on a tiny deserted island. This moving story tells of their struggle to survive and is also a fascinating study of the relationship between a young white American boy influenced by his mother’s prejudices, and a black man upon whom Philip’s life depends.

The Chocolate Flier

Margaret Beames

Tells of the blockade of Berlin after World War Two, the massive airlift by the Allied Forces, and the US Airforce pilot who became a hero to the children of Berlin

The Fat and Juicy Place

At the back of Jack′s school there′s a special place. Not even his Mum or Gran or Splinter or Fleabag or his little sister, Pest Susie, know about all the things that happen there. His mate, Lizard, is the only one he can tell. When Jack meets the mysterious Birdman, he finds out secrets about the past. There′s one secret that he can′t tell anyone – not even Lizard. What happened at the Fat and Juicy Place? Why does Jack need to go there? Only that old fella Birdman has the answers.

The Golden Door

Emily Rodda

The start of a stirring fantasy trilogy from Emily Rodda, the internationally bestselling author of Dragons of Deltora! The walled city of Weld is under attck from ferocious flying creatures that raid in the night, bringing death and destruction. The Warden calls for Volunteers to find and destroy the Enemy sending invaders, and the heroes of Weld answer the call one by one, never to return. Rye is oficially too young to go, but his brothers are among the lost and he must find them. What terrors await him beyond the Wall?

The lion, the witch and the wardrobe

Clive Staples Lewis

Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

The Thief Lord

Cornelia Funke

The enchanting international bestseller is about two orphaned brothers, Prosper and Bo, who have run away to Venice, where crumbling canals and misty alleyways shelter a secret community of street urchins. Leader of this motley crew of lost children is a clever, charming boy with a dark history of his own: He calls himself the Thief Lord. Propser and Bo relish their new “family” and life of petty crime. But their cruel aunt and a bumbling detective are on their trail. And posing an even greater threat to the boys’ freedom is something from a forgotten past: a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.

The Truth about Verity Sparks

Susan Green

Verity Sparks is good at finding lost things, but will she be able to uncover the truth about her own past? Verity Sparks is a thirteen-year-old orphan working as a milliner in Victorian London. But Verity is no ordinary girl – she has an almost perfect memory and possesses the talent of Teleagtivism. She can easily find things that are lost! When Verity is wrongly accused of theft and dismissed from her job, she goes to live with the Plushes – a slightly Bohemian family who run a Confidential Inquiry Agency. Verity helps them solve cases and slowly becomes one of the family. But patches of the truth about her past begin to surface, along with the special talent that Professor Plush is helping her explore.

The Year My Life Broke

John Marsden

You move into the most boring street in the most boring town in Australia. Tarrawagga is a hole. Its only ambition is to be a crater, and it has every chance of getting there. The last thing you expect is to have action all around you, dangerous strangers in the backyard and bullets flying past your ears. At your new school, everyone thinks you’re the biggest loser in Grade 6. Little do they know. When they realise the truth, teachers and students alike are in for the shock of their lives. Funny, gripping and full of surprises, The Year My Life Broke could be the most real book you read this year. Warning: This book is not a fantasy. It contains no superheroes, wizards, dragons, time travel, aliens or magic.

Toro! Toro!

Michael Morpurgo

Discover the beautiful stories of Michael Morpurgo, author of Warhorse and the nation’s favourite storyteller Best-selling author Michael Morpurgo turns his storytelling skills to the drama and tragedy of the Spanish Civil War, illustrated by Michael Foreman. TORO,TORO is the story of a young boy growing up in Andalucia, Spain, on a farm rearing bulls for the bull ring. Antonito hand rears a little black calf and they become firm friends, but the boy doesn’t yet understand the fate of the black bulls – the corrida and death. Later, when he learns of the horrors of the bull fight, he frees Paco, the black bull, and rides with him into the hills.There they witness the bombing of their village (it’s the year 1936, and the Spanish Civil War has started) and Antonito cannot go back – his family and the farm are destroyed, and Paco has run off, wild with fright. He decides to stay in the hills, where he meets up with the Resistance fighters. During the War, Antonito hears stories round the campfire of the wonderful black bull, who becomes a symbol of freedom for them all. Could this really be Paco? But no-one has ever seen him. After the war, when Antonito is working as a muleteer in the mountains, he falls asleep and dreams of Paco. In the morning, he wakes to see hoof prints on the ground beside him…

Two Hands Together

Diana Kidd

When the Rileys move in next door, Lily and Ella become the best of friends. But Lily can’t understand why her Dad doesn’t like the Rileys. Why doesn’t he want them to go over there? Why is he being so horrible and mean? Does something big have to happen to change his mind?

Worry Warts

Morris Gleitzman

Dear Mum and Dad, This is just to let you know that I took the torch, the hammer, the gardening trowel, the plastic strainer, the chocolate biscuits and the stuff that’s missing from the bathroom. So it’s OK, you haven’t been burgled. Please don’t worry, things are looking better than I thought opal-wise. Love, Keith What does a kid do when his Mum and Dad are worry warts? Make them rich, decides Keith. Very, very rich. It’s a brilliant plan – if it works.

 (Please make sure you check the book is suitable for your child’s own personal reading and comprehension levels before purchasing. Kids in Adelaide aim to provide you with as much guidance as we can, but we cannot accept responsibility if the book has concepts that do not suit your own child. Any feedback is welcome.)

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