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Summer Reading: Six Fun Books for Newly Independent Readers

Every year since the Mini Reviewers have been old enough, we have taken part in the Summer Reading Challenge at our local library and this year is no exception. Although we regularly visit the library, the Summer Reading Challenge is something the Mini Reviewers really look forward to and so they were quick to sign up and start reading even before the school term had officially finished!

This year the theme of the challenge is Mischief Makers and features Dennis the Menace and all his friends from the Beano. Both Izzie (6) and Theo (4) are taking part in the main challenge but there is also a mini challenge for those under 4 so even Poppy (2) can get involved and collect some stickers too. You can find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge as well as some great competitions here.

Six Fun Books for Newly Independent Readers

As well as borrowing books from the library, I have also been building quite a stash of books for Izzie over the past few months for us to read together over the summer. Her independent reading has come on so much recently and I wanted to ensure she had a good variety of books to keep up her enthusiasm and build her confidence during the school holidays. We probably won't get through them all but we will certainly give it a good try. So if you are looking for some summer reading inspiration for your new readers take a peek at what's on our bookshelf. All these books along with lots more first chapter books can be purchased here.

The Worst Witch Strikes Again by Jill Murphy

Having read the first Worst Witch book earlier in the year, Izzie was keen to read the rest of the series and so when I came across the whole Worst Witch collection at a great price, it simply fell into my online shopping basket! You can read our thoughts on the original book here.

The second book is all about the Summer Term at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. Mildred Hubble is still as accident prone as ever but now she's got to contend with a new girl too! We can't wait to find out what Mildred gets up to!

Dotty the Detective: The Birthday Surprise by Clara Vulliamy

Izzie borrowed Dotty the Detective from the library as her first reading challenge book and finished it within 2 days! The Dotty the Detective series was recommended to us by fellow book blogger, Catherine from Story Snug. This book is the fifth in the series and it is the first Dotty book that Izzie has read but we don't think it matters that she hasn't read them in order.

Izzie explained to me that she enjoyed this story because it was written a bit like a diary and that it was exciting because there was a mystery to solve! The blurb certainly makes the story sound exciting:
Dot and her teacher Mr D are both super excited about their birthdays. Dot's mum is planning a special party for her, and the class has made a surprise present for Mr D. But then the gift is stolen. Who could have taken it? It's up to the Join the Dots Detectives to find out!
The rest of the Dotty the Detective collection may well go on Izzie's Birthday list! 

Bad Nana: Older not Wiser by Sophy Henn

This is a newly released book and one we are extremely excited about. Written and illustrated by Sophy Henn, Bad Nana, sounds absolutely hilarious:
Hello! My name is Jeanie and I am 7 3/4. One of my grandma's is called Bad Nana. I am not completely sure why, but it might be because things sort of happen when she's around. Things that often end up in BIG TROUBLE.My dad sayd she should know better. But I'm really glad she doesn't.
We have read many of Sophy's picture books and just love her quirky style of illustration. Bad Nana is illustrated throughout making it great for newly independent readers. Izzie won herself a signed hardback copy of the book by drawing a picture of Bad Nana. You too can draw along with Sophy here.

Claude Going For Gold by Alex T.Smith

This is Izzie's second book for the library's Summer Reading Challenge. In all honesty I think she picked it up because it has an amazing shiny gold cover and is illustrated throughout! However, it is an ideal book for new readers and so it is perfect for her. Although Claude is a new character to us, it would appear he has been on at least ten adventures already!
Izzie is only a few pages in but seems to be hooked by the humour already and has been giggling away to herself, which can only be a good sign!

Marge in Charge written by Isla Fisher and illustrated by Eglantine Ceulemans

This book has been on our wish list for a very long time and there is now a sequel too. The story is about a rainbow haired babysitter called Marge who by the sounds of things is mischievous and likes rule bending and mess! Perhaps not every parent's dream but it should make for a fun read!

Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella by Cerrie Burnell and illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson

Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella was another recommendation from the lovely Catherine from Story Snug. Not only does the story sound great but we just love the style of the illustrations. Here's the blurb:
When every single cat in the City of Clouds goes missing. Harper is determined to find her beloved Midnight and all the other pets. Harper can't believe her luck when she discovers a magic flying umbrella, and with the help of all her friends she sets off on a rescue adventure. But they are up against the powerful Wild Conductor... Will they manage to bring the cats home? 

Have your little (and not so little) ones signed up for the Summer Reading Challenge
yet and if so, what are they reading? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

Until next time... HAPPY READING!

Kate & the Mini Reviewers xx

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  1. My 8 year old loves Dotty Detective! We always join the summer reading challenge #readwithme

  2. Great choices! We've read all of these except Bad Nana and Marge - I almost picked Marge up the other day but was very restrained. We have so many other books to read first!!


  3. We have loved the Reading Challenge in the past and I think it's such a great initiative #KCACOLS

  4. Lovely books - I especially like the look of Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella. We're going to be signing up later this week for the challenge. :D We didn't do it last year, but I did get to present the local authority's prize for it last year which was really lovely.

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time. :)

  5. These look fun reads. Son2 is doing the Summer Reading Challenge. He was very pleased with the theme #readwithme

  6. Definitely want to read Claude and Harper! I'll need to check out that deal on The Works.

  7. I've not heard these books before but great to know! I have a daughter who is at the age who loves reading books like these #KCACOLS

  8. Ah yes, we're doing the reading challenge too and got an exciting reward today, in fact! I won't spoil it by telling you what it was but it's filled an hour or 2 here and brought back playground memories for me! #kcacols

  9. I didn't even know Isla Fisher wrote books! Great comprehensive list and some of these will be on the summer reading for us now too! #KCACOLS

  10. We are signed up to the reading challenge too, even my 3yo is doing the mini pre schoolers one. It's such a fab idea to keep children engaged with reading over the summer. Love the sound of Bad Nana, I'll have to look out for that one.

  11. I used to love The Worst Witch books! Going to have to get my stepdaughter reading some of these #KCACOLS