BookTrust is dedicated to getting children reading because they know that children who read are happier, healthier, and more creative. Here are their top books for children for spring 2020

In The Key of Code


by Aimee Lucido

This verse novel brilliantly combines poetry, music and coding with a coming-of-age story. A celebration of girls in STEM and comradeship. Even as Emmy, Abigail and those around them juggle friendships and struggle to find their place, they ultimately empower each other to stand up and conquer their fears. Whether you’re a coder or not, a musician or not, this book will leave your heart singing and mind thinking in code.

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant

by Nizrana Farook

An exotic setting and hypnotic storytelling make Chaya’s story impossible to put down. The young characters all have their flaws but are all driven by an underlying desire for a better, fairer way of living. With themes of morality, friendship, teamwork and loyalty, this book will have wide appeal to middle grade readers as it incorporates tension and jeopardy in a gripping coming-of-age adventure.



by Jamie Littler

Accompanied by vivid illustrations this inventive story conjures up a world populated by yetis and monsters that live under the snow. Jamie Littler’s first novel (he is well known for his illustration of books such as You Can’t Make Me Go To Witch School! and Hamish and the Neverpeople) is a frosty delight, depicting a fantasy world with brilliant and well-realised characters and a page-turning adventure.

Greta and the Giants

by Zoë Tucker

In a world where the climate crisis is always at the forefront of the converstion, this tale aims to inspire a whole generation of passionate climate change activists by educating children on how to get more involved in campaigning and making sustainable changes. Inspired by the life of Greta Thunberg, this story is a beautiful and inspiring tale of hope, positivity and friendship.

Africa, Amazing Africa: Country by Country 


by Atinuke

This beautifully produced atlas of Africa is a fantastic book for any classroom or home library. The text is kept young, accessible and inviting, with the author telling us what an adventure it’s been to create this delightful volume. The immersive text captures Africa’s unique mix of the modern and the traditional, and explores the vast continents geography, its peoples, its animals, its history, its resources and its cultural diversity.

Sofia Valdez, Future Prez

by Andrea Beaty 

Sofia Valdez isn’t just a do-gooder: she’s a do-better, visiting people in her community who can’t get out much, or just stopping for a chat. Andrea Beaty’s brilliant rhyming text tells Sofia’s story of phlight and justice flawlessly, and David Roberts’ characters and imagery will charm and immerse all readers into a big world being changed by a small girl.

Plastic Sucks! You Can Make a Difference


by Dougie Poynter 

Plastic is one of the problems of our age, but what can we do about  reducing how much we use? What are the different plastics  currently in use, and how did plastic ever get to be so popular,  anyway? Presented in a funky lime green, black-and-white palette with cool design  throughout, this brilliantly useful and upbeat book about the problems  we face and what can be done is a real tonic. 

Mr Penguin and the Catastrophic Cruise

by Alex T Smith 

As Mr Penguin boards a luxury cruise ship. He’s looking forward to a rest after some busy adventuring. What’s more, fish finger sandwiches are apparently available twenty-four hours a day. But despite the glamorous film stars and party atmosphere, Mr Penguin can’t help but feel that something fishy is happening on-board. The third in Alex T Smith’s brilliant Mr Penguin series is as full  of brilliant illustration, cosy details and delightful puns as the others. If you havent already read the other books in the series you can still dive straight into this instalment of the crime mystery series as a helpful charachter guide is provided. 

Level Up! Block and Roll


by Tom Nicoll 

Funny, fast-paced and ideal for those who enjoy gaming, this accessible science fiction adventure series is perfect to entice children to read. The black and white, graphic-style illustrations set the scene perfectly, while short chapters or “levels” separate the story into manageable sections for independent young readers.

The Boy Who Loved Everyone

by Jane Porter 

A touching tale with a theme of emotional honesty and intelligence. Protagonist Dimitri tells everyone, from his friends at nursery to the big tree in the playground that he loves them. But since no one says it back Dimitri starts to worry – until he finds out there are lots of different ways love can spread through the world. The Boy Who Loved Everyone teaches children that the way others react and feel may not be the same as they might do, but that there are as many ways of expressing love as there are people. Shearring’s diverse illustrations are a real joy, especially the lovely nursery teacher.

Further reading: Nine of our favourite children’s books