"I do believe that something magical can happen when you read a good book."

JK Rowling.

Hello and Welcome to our new readers this week!

Sunday sees the start of our unofficial Harry Potter celebratory month. The author JK Rowling turns 53 at the end of July, while Monday marks another anniversary in the series of Harry Potter books – the 20th anniversary of "The Chamber of Secrets".

When it comes to book recommendations the question we get asked the most is, what to read after Harry Potter? The series is a big milestone for many children, their very first chapter book boxset, tick. Because the stories are so vividly engaging and life-changing, many kids (and even parents) find themselves feeling bereft and lost in the worldwide library of fiction.

Let us help you with this literary conundrum.

Stories For Boys who Dare to be Different

Ben Brooks

A mum of 2 recommends the "amazing role models" for the boy who doesn't want to be a superhero (or a wizard), but has other blessings. Detailing the lives of 100 men past and present that broke the mould and achieved great things. A celebration of individual uniqueness that inspires confidence... no wonder it's a bestseller.

Amazing Women

Lucy Beevor and Sarah Green

Now for our little  ladies... You'll have to log onto the app to read the full review by another mum of 2. It's definitely inspired us to buy a copy! All nationalities, all career paths are touched on, with advice and recommendations.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan

"My daughter loves it more than Harry Potter," says our tipper. This series comes up a lot in post-HP reading lists. It's a smart move, the main male character (a half blood) is into wizardry and magic after all. While they're reading all 5 books in the series, you've got time to research what to read next. There's a film of this first book too, have you seen it? Can you recommend it?

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Lemony Snicket

"We watched the Netflix TV series first, several times over, then started dipping into the books," says this dad. "Stories are dark, the twisted plots aren't for all kids, a twisted Roald Dahl." 

Northern Lights

Philip Pullman

A modern classic, a worldwide award-winning fantasy, the first in a trilogy. "The esteemed author delivers literary knock outs! Our older kid is really getting into this, a Game of Thrones for tweens, set in a frozen land with a feisty female lead!" says this dad.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

A bit of a jump and definitely for above-average reading ages and maturer minds. This study of racism touches on rape, but above all, successfully preaches morals. First published in 1960, parts of modern society has moved along in terms of justice and freedom, but it remains a forever classic. "My boy said he'll never forget it," said this mum.

Politics for Beginners

Age 7+

From Hogwarts to Whitechapel. This starter guide to the complex world of political systems with bright illustrations is a game changer for kids. "More quality non-fiction from Usborne," says a mum of 2. Encourage debate, get the next generation off on the right foot.

The Explorer

Katherine Rundell

"A truly wonderful book that would make a great present for a child," suggests this mum. A tale of 3 kids in their struggle to survive. "Beautifully crafted and old-fashioned in the best possible way," she says.

The Goddess Girls

Joan Holub

Girls particularly might like this switch to a female lead character, also set in a school. Echo is a forest-mountain nymph and the new girl at Mount Olympus Academy, where everyone wonders if they’ll ever fit in. “The story has multiple layers and teaches a little Greek Mythology which my child loves,” says this dad. Social hierarchy with historical context – we’re sold!

Artemis Fowler

Eoin Colfer

"A 12-year-old criminal mastermind kidnaps a fairy for a large ransom of 24-carat gold with the help of his bodyguard and sister, to restore the Fowl family fortune," says this mum. Next level fiction, with 9 books in the series, get stuck in!

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