We mainly use Letters and Sounds to support our teaching of Phonics at Castlewood School.

 In Reception class we teach the children also using Jolly Phonics actions.

Our reading books are banded using a colour coded system to support the progression of reading skills particularly in Key Stage 1.

We use a range of books and resources to support this, including the Oxford Reading Tree scheme in Key Stage 1.

In Key Stage 2 we organise the fiction books in genres and use a colour coded system to support all readers. All pupils in Key Stage 2 are strongly encouraged to read a range of genres and authors. We also promote reading by inviting a number of authors to visit our school as well as encouraging pupils to write book reviews and listen to stories read by class teachers. Castlewood has even published its own book!

Key Stage 1 : English Workshop

This guide helps parents and carers understand how children progress in English in The National Curriculum. Also included are ideas for what you can do with your child to support the development of their speaking and listening, reading and writing at home and help them make progress. You will find this guide helpful when discussing your child’s progress with their teachers.

Within the National Curriculum, learning English is about learning to use language to express, explore and communicate our thoughts ideas and feelings with others. We do this through speaking, listening, reading and writing and getting better at English means making progress in each of these areas.

Children do not usually make progress at the same rate in speaking, listening, reading and writing. In their early years, for example, most children are better speakers and listeners than readers and writers. This is important as early skills with spoken language underpin the development of reading and writing. However, speaking, listening, reading and writing are closely interrelated. So, for example, effective speakers and writers take account of their listeners and readers because they are hoping to interest or influence them. Talking to your child is crucial in helping children to make progress in all aspects of English. Questioning, prompting, responding (whether the focus is on reading, writing, speaking or listening) are all important in helping your child to build on what they can already do. Here are a number of suggestions as to how you can help your child to make further progress at whatever stage of the curriculum they are working.

They all rely on talking with your child in a relaxed, informal way and making their language learning part of everyday life.

What you can do to help your child make progress

Speaking and listening

Ensure that: – they have plenty of opportunities for talk

                        – you listen to them with attention, and respond

                        – they hear and listen to sustained talk by others.

 Encourage them to speak at length, by:

                        – helping them take a long turn in a conversation

                        – prompting them to help them keep going

                        – asking them to tell you about some event in detail or explain to you how 

                           something works.

 Help them understand how speakers help listeners, by:

                         – using repetition and different voices for different characters when telling a story

                         – encouraging them to think about how to organise what they want to say

                         – changing their pace.

 Encourage them to notice and talk about:

                         – interesting/unusual words

                         – some of the different ways people speak.


 Ensure they have:

                         – access to books, magazines and newspapers from home, school

                            and library

                         – somewhere quiet to read

                         – time to read regularly

                         – opportunity to see you as a reader – reading, choosing books,

                            going to the library, talking about what you read.

 Read to them and take turns with them in reading a section each of the text, supporting and prompting their reading in positive ways.

 Talk with them about the books they read:

                         – their favourite part or character and your favourite part

                         – how the illustrations support the story

                         – their favourite author

                         – what makes a book different from (or similar to) others they have


Talk about the meaning of what they have read. Ask them, for example, to explain:

                         – how they know that X is the villain or Y the heroine

                         – why they like or dislike a particular character

                         – what will happen next

                         – and why they think so

                         – a character’s actions or motives


 Ensure they have:

                         – opportunities to write at home

                         – pencils, pens, crayons, but also card or folded paper to make


                         – opportunities to see you as a writer, for example, writing emails

                            or lists.

 Read and talk about their writing:

                         – ask them to read their writing aloud to you

                          – respond to the writing and praise what you like

                         – ask them to explain why they wrote particular sections as they


Help them with planning their writing:

                         – ask them to talk through their ideas with you before they write

                         – prompt them to include more detail, sequence things more clearly,

                            vary the pace.

 Help them to think about the person who will read their writing:

                         – do they want the reader to like the main character?

                         – should they include some clues about the ending?

                         – does the writing build up to a climax?

Working in English in Year 1

Speaking and listening

- talk about things they have done and imagined

 - remember the main ideas in things they have heard

- take turns when speaking in pairs or groups

 - change the way they speak in some situations, for example, talking to adults differently from friends or pretending to be other people.


- read a range of key words on sight and blend sounds to decode unfamiliar words

- recall basic information from texts read, for example, names of characters

- look for information in print and on a website and make simple inferences, for

   example, how a character is feeling

- express simple likes and dislikes in their reading.


- have a clear purpose for their writing, for example, to tell a story, recount a visit, give


- use some features of the style they choose to write in, for example, ‘once upon a time’

    in a story

- organise their ideas straightforwardly, for example, by grouping ideas together in

    sections or sequencing events

- write mainly simple sentences, marking where they begin and end with full stops and

    capital letters.

Working in English in Year 2

Speaking and listening

- start conversations and keep them going, building on what other people say

- contribute to a small group, recognising speakers’ main ideas

- adapt their speech and gesture to suit obviously different situations or create a role

- notice some differences in people’s spoken language.


- read aloud with fluency, expression and understanding

- use different ways to read unfamiliar words

- get the literal meaning from a text and make some straightforward inferences

- pick out the most obvious points from texts they read

- identify the main purpose of the text.


- write simple texts with a clear purpose using the main features of the type of writing they choose

- organise their ideas to help the reader, for example, by grouping ideas in sections, or signalling the beginning and ending of their writing

- use capital letters and full stops accurately to separate simple sentences

- attempt some more complex sentences using connectives, such as ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘so’

- start to enjoy writing independently and use it to support their learning in other subjects.


Helping at Home

How to help your child at home with Reading and Writing

This guide helps parents and carers understand how children progress in English at each National Curriculum level. Also included are ideas for what you can do with your child to support the development of their speaking and listening, reading and writing at home and help them make progress.

At all levels, learning English is about learning to use language to express, explore and communicate our thoughts ideas and feelings with others. We do this through speaking, listening, reading and writing and getting better at English means making progress in each of these areas.

Children do not usually make progress at the same rate in speaking, listening, reading and writing. In their early years, for example, most children are better speakers and listeners than readers and writers. This is important as early skills with spoken language underpin the development of reading and writing. However, speaking, listening, reading and writing are closely interrelated. So, for example, effective speakers and writers take account of their listeners and readers because they are hoping to interest or influence them. Talking to your child is crucial in helping children to make progress in all aspects of English. Questioning, prompting, responding (whether the focus is on reading, writing, speaking or listening) are all important in helping your child to build on what they can already do.

Here are a number of suggestions as to how you can help your child to make further progress at whatever level they are working.

They all rely on talking with your child in a relaxed, informal way and making their language learning part of everyday life.

What does your child need to help them make progress?

Speaking and listening

 Ensure that:

– They have plenty of opportunities for talk.

                        – You listen to them with attention, and respond.

                        – They hear and listen to sustained talk by others.

 Encourage them to speak at length, by:

                        – Helping them take a long turn in a conversation.

                        – Prompting them to help them keep going.

                        – Asking them to tell you about some event in detail or explain to you how 

                           something works.

 Help them understand how speakers help listeners, by:

                         – Using repetition and different voices for different characters when    

                            telling a story.

                         – Encouraging them to think about how to organise what they want to say.

                         – Changing their pace.

 Encourage them to notice and talk about:

                         – Interesting/unusual words.

                         – Some of the different ways people speak.


Ensure they have:

                                 – Access to books, magazines and newspapers from home, school and library.

                                 – Somewhere quiet to read.

                                 – Time to read regularly.

                                 – Opportunity to see you as a reader – reading, choosing books, going to the library, talking about what you read.

 Read to them and take turns with them in reading a section each of the text, supporting and prompting their reading in positive ways.

Talk with them about the books they read:

                                 – Their favourite part or character and your favourite part.

                                 – How the illustrations support the story.

                                 – Their favourite author.

                                     – What makes a book different from (or similar to) others they have read.

 Talk about the meaning of what they have read. Ask them, for example, to explain:

                                 – How they know that X is the villain or Y the heroine.

                                 – Why they like or dislike a particular character.

                                 – What will happen next?

                                 – A character’s actions or motives.


 Ensure they have:

                                  – Opportunities to write at home.

                                  – Pencils, pens, crayons, but also card or folded paper to make booklets.

                                  – Opportunities to see you as a writer, for example, writing emails or lists.

 Read and talk about their writing:

                                  – Ask them to read their writing aloud to you.

                                  – Respond to the writing and praise what you like.

                                  – Ask them to explain why they wrote the particular sections they did.

Help them with planning their writing:

                                 – Ask them to talk through their ideas with you before they write.

                                 – Prompt them to include more detail, sequence clearly and vary the pace.

Help them to think about the person who will read their writing:

                                 – Do they want the reader to like the main character?

                                 – Should they include some clues about the ending?

                                 – Does the writing build up to a climax?


What you can do at home to help your child make progress

Speaking and listening

Talk with them about their ideas for example: when painting or modelling, ask them to retell simple stories in their own words. EE

Encourage their play in different roles listen together to stories on CDs, radio or television.

Encourage them to develop their ideas by taking longer turns, adding detail and thinking about how ideas connect play listening and guessing games where they have to listen and ask questions, for example, ‘I spy’, ‘20 questions’


Read books together, reading a section in turn, and talk about:

– What happened?

– How do the pictures support the story?

– Which parts did they like best?

Encourage them to choose books independently.

Encourage them to decode unfamiliar words independently, but prompt them if they lose the gist of what they’re reading.

Engage with what they read by asking them to:

– Predict what will happen next in a story

– Describe their response when they know what does happen

– Explain why a character behaves as they do

– Point to particular parts of a text that they like

– Talk about what a text suggests or implies.

 Encourage them to read a range of texts, for example, fiction and information books, comics and poems.


 Encourage writing in play and what they do, for example, lists for shopping, record the results for their favourite sports team engage with their writing through:

– Saying what you liked in it

– Asking where their ideas have come from

– Asking them to show you where a sentence begins and ends help them to organise and sequence their writing by asking them to talk about their ideas or to draw a sequence of simple pictures to show how the main events in a story might be organised.

Talk with them about how they might improve or rephrase sections, for example, by including more descriptive detail or using connectives (such as ‘and’, ‘but’) to combine sentences.

Why learn to read words on sight?

Researcher shows that learning just 13 of the most frequently used words will enable children to read 25% of any text. Learning 100 high frequency words gives a beginner reader access to 50% of virtually any text, whether a children's book or a newspaper report. When you couple sight recognition of common and tricky words with knowledge of phonics, that's when a child's reading can really take off…

Decodable words

Tricky words

































Decodable words

Tricky words

























Decodable words

Tricky words





















Decodable words

Tricky Words

























English - Links

Links to websites to help with English at home

Dear Parents

We have put together a list of some of the websites that we think might help you and your child if they wish to practise outside of school.  Have a look and see if there are any games or activities that they would enjoy. 

The BBC Bitesize website has lots of useful information on all the curriculum subjects – it is well worth exploring.

Games for building sentences

Activities for phonics (phases 2 – 5)

Woodlands School :games and activities related to spelling, sentence and grammar.

BBC Schools:  activities related to spelling, phonics, sentences and grammar.

Suggested Reading List





Alexander, Jenny

The Rugged Off-Roader (Car-Mad Jack series)


Jack Davy is mad about cars and loves to imagine driving them and having adventures. An off-roader is ready for anything: rocky rivers, muddy tracks, windswept dunes … but can it handle a very annoying sister?

Barlow, Steve

Danger on the Ice (Action Dogs series)


The world is in deadly danger and only one team of heroes can save it - six daredevil dogs who fight crime with their bare paws. Evil kitty crime lord Katmanchew has forced Antarctica into a meltdown. Can the Action Dogs save the day?

Barlow, Steve

IHero Decide Your Destiny: Tomb Runner


You are a treasure hunter hired to find the hidden tomb of Genghis Khan. Will you travel to Mongolia and help to discover the tomb and its riches? Or will you choose another path? You are the hero of this book and only you can decide your destiny.

Lindsay, C.B.

Who Ate All the Pies?


Grandma loves making custard pies and Cuthbert loves eating them. So why has she started feeding him turnip stew instead? And where have all the pies gone?

Rayner, Shoo

Axel Storm: Polar Peril


Axel Storm is helping his uncle study glaciers in the frozen Arctic Circle but there’s danger around every corner in this icy world.

Strong, Jeremy

Cartoon Kid: Emergency!


Casper and his friends have a not-so-well-kept secret … they’re all superheroes! When the playground is invaded by cows and the school lunch trolley is raided by packed-lunch robbers, it’s up to Casper to save the day.


Boyce, Frank Cottrell

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again


When the Tooting family find an abandoned engine and fit it to their camper van, they have no idea of the adventure that lies ahead. But there are sinister forces at work too. When it comes to a car like Chitty, everyone wants a piece of her.

Burchett, Jan

Desert Danger (Wild Rescue series)


Ben and Zoe travel to the Kalahari Desert, where a frantic lioness is keeping local people from their well. It seems her cub has fallen down the well, and it's up to the children to rescue it. But with thirst-baiting heat and deadly creatures at every turn, as well as a powerful sandstorm, will they manage to return the cub to its pride before it's too late?

McGowan, Anthony

Shark Adventure


Recruited by Tracks Animal Protection Agency, Amazon and Frazer are on a remote Polynesian island saving rare leatherback turtles. But an international animal smuggler wants the valuable turtles for himself and, when a typhoon strikes, the friends face an even greater danger. Swept away into shark-infested waters, how will they save the turtles – and themselves?

McKenzie, Sophie

Time Train to the Blitz


A mysterious train appears and Joe and Scarlett are transported back in time to World War II where they’re given a mission: to save a young boy’s life. But with bombs falling on London, this turns out to be not so easy.

Moss, Helen

The Mystery of the WhistlingCaves (AdventureIsland series)


When Scott and Jack Carter are sent to stay with their great aunt for the summer, they steal themselves for the most boring holiday ever. But then they meet Emily Wild and her dog Drift and suddenly there’s a mystery to solve. Priceless treasures have been stolen from the local castle. Can the team solve the mystery in time to catch the thief?

Smailes, Gary

Marathon (Battle Books: fight your own battle series)


The ancient city of Athens is under threat and you are a warrior with one last chance to prove your loyalty to the city you love. As commander of the Hoplite army, it’s up to you to fight your own battle and decide whether Athens is saved or not.


Bateman, Colin

Tusk (SOS adventure series)


Michael and Katya are travelling undercover, trekking across the unpredictable African savannah. Threatened by dangerous animals and ivory poachers and with no phones or internet, they must survive on their wits.

Grylls, Bear

Tracks of the Tiger (Mission: Survival series)


When Beck Granger and his friend Peter are stranded in the Indonesian jungle, in the middle of a violent volcano eruption, they know that only the sharpest survival skills will get them to safety. With predators and treacherous terrain around every corner, is Beck up to the greatest survival challenge of his life?

Ibbotson, Eva

Journey to the RiverSea


Orphaned Maia is sent to live with her distant relatives a thousand miles up the Amazon. She imagines a loving family and great adventures but instead finds spiteful cousins who refuse to go outdoors. But then she meets a mysterious boy who lives alone on the wild river shores and begins a remarkable journey into a strange new world.

Mayo, Simon



Itch has an unusual hobby – collecting elements of the periodic table. It turns out to be a very risky hobby too when he discovers a new element and has to go on the run from some very serious enemies who want to steal it.

Mitchelhill, Barbara

Run Rabbit Run


When Lizzie and Freddies’ dad refuses to fight in the Second World War, the police come after him. Desperate to stay together, the family go on the run - but will they ever find a safe place to be together?

Smith, Roland



Marty and Grace are on their way to the South Pacific with their Uncle Wolfe, on an expedition to catch a giant squid. But somebody on the boat is determined to sabotage the mission. Can Marty and Grace get to the bottom of the mystery - or will they all end up at the bottom of the sea?

Animal Stories





Birney, Betty G.

My Great Big Birthday Bash! (Humphrey’s Tiny Tales series)


Meet Humphrey, the classroom hamster at Longfellow School, who goes home with a different child every weekend. Luckily, his cage has a lock-that-doesn’t-lock, so Humphrey manages to get out for some big adventures.

Davies, Katie

The Great Dog Disaster


Can Suzanne and Anna get Beatrice the giant Newfoundland to behave like a proper dog at their doggie boot camp or will Suzanne’s dad send Beatrice away?

Fine, Anne

The Diary of a Killer Cat


The very funny diary of Tuffy the cat, told in his own words. Poor Ellie is horrified when her cat Tuffy drags a dead bird into the house, then a mouse. But Tuffy can't understand what all the fuss is about …

Gray, Kes

Daisy and the Trouble with Kittens


Daisy’s going on holiday to Spain. She's never seen a palm tree before, or eaten octopus, or played zombie mermaids, or made so many new friends. The trouble is, five of them are small and cute and furry …

McKay, Hilary

Lulu and the Hedgehog in the Rain


When Lulu rescues a hedgehog in a storm, she knows she can’t keep it as a pet. Hedgehogs are wild animals that want to roam free but can Lulu find a way to keep the hedgehog safe?

Newbery, Linda

Ice Cat (Cat Tales series)


When Tom make a cat of ice and snow, it comes to life at night: roaming the streets and prowling through his dreams. What can it be looking for?

Smith, Alex T.

Claude in the Country


Meet Claude – no ordinary dog! A quiet walk in the country turns into anything but when Claude ends up mucking out pigs, feeding chickens and lassoing a fearsome bull.


Birney, Bettty G.

Mysteries According to Humphrey


Humphrey, the classroom hamster, is worried when the class teacher doesn’t turn up for school one day. He has his paws full as he tries to solve the mystery of her disappearance while also helping his pupil friends with their problems.

Burchett, J. & Vogler, S.

Safari Survival (Wild Rescue series)


Ben and Zoe travel the world working for top secret organisation Wild, saving animals in danger. At a game reserve in Kenya’s vast savannah, some tourists are paying big money to illegally hunt elephants. The latest visitor has his sights set on a baby elephant and its mother. Can Ben and Zoe get to the elephant in time to save it …?

Funnell, Pippa

Stripy the Zebra Foal (Tilly’s Pony Tails series)


When Tilly wins a horse safari trip to Africa, she thinks she's found her perfect holiday. And when she helps rescue abandoned zebra foal, Stripy, she knows that it's a trip she'll remember forever.

Gardner, Sally

Shadows Under the Sea


On an island in the Philippines, Joe and his family are trying to protect endangered seahorses – but the fragile coral reef is threatened by a criminal gang. Joe has the chance to expose them, but will he risk his own life to do it?

Murphy, Jill

Dear Hound


Alfie the deerhound is lost, hungry and scared and his boy, Charlie, can’t find him anywhere. Will Alfie ever find his way back to Charlie and his big squashy beanbag in the kitchen?

Wilson, Anna

Smug Pug


Welcome to the Pooch Parlour, where dogs get glammed up and mysteries get solved. Smug the pug is a clever dog who has invented a brilliant machine to help things run smoothly in the busy salon. Pippa Peppercorn thinks it’s a great idea, but Dash the dachshund has his suspicions about this so-called doggy genius …


Angus, Sam

Soldier Dog


It’s the First World War and, despite being too young, Stanley enlists in the army to get away from his terrible home life. As the fighting escalates and Stanley experiences the horrors of war, he comes to realise that the loyalty of his dog is the one thing he can rely on. But his father hasn't given up on him, and extraordinary circumstances will bring them together once more ...

Hunter, Erin

Seekers: The Quest Begins (Seekers series)


Guided only by the Pathway Star, three bear cubs are left alone to survive in the wild. Faced with killer whales, territorial bears, starvation and the worst danger of all – humans – will the cubs ever get to a safe haven?

Ibbotson, Eva

One Dog and His Boy


Hal’s parents refuse to let him have a dog – until they discover the Easy Pets Dog Agency. Hal is overjoyed, until he realises that the puppy he’s chosen is only for the weekend. On the run with the rest of the Easy Pets animals, can Hal and Fleck find a way to be together?

Lewis, Gill

White Dolphin


When they first meet, Kara and Felix can’t stand each other. But on discovering an injured dolphin on the beach, they know that they must work together to save it. Can they also find out the truth behind the disappearance of Kara’s mother and protect the nearby reef? Or will powerful forces silence them? With the odds stacked against them, how can Kara and Felix make their voices heard?

Morpurgo, Michael

Running Wild


For Will and his mother, going to Indonesia on holiday is a chance to put things behind them and have some fun. But then the elephant Will is riding on the beach starts acting strangely and that’s when the tsunami comes crashing in. The elephant begins to run into the jungle and keeps on running …

St. John, Lauren

The Elephant’s Tale


When a sinister stranger threatens Martine’s home and animals at Sawubona Game Reserve, she’s determined to try everything in her power to save them. She and her friend Ben risk their lives travelling to the Namibian desert, where they uncover a plot so terrible it threatens every animal in Africa.

Tulloch, Jonathan

Mr McCool


Mr McCool is a polar bear on a mission: to escape the zoo and travel back to the Arctic. With a human boy and a furry sidekick for company, he sets sail. But the water holds secrets and hidden dangers. Will the group ever reach the dancing lights of the northern sky?

Fantasy stories





Chapman, Linda

The Fog Boggarts (Sophie and the Shadow Woods series)


As the new Guardian, Sophie must protect the world from the nasty boggles, sprites and trolls that live in the creepy Shadow Woods behind her house. But Sophie is about to face the most dangerous kind of shadow creature yet … the fiendish Fog Boggarts.

D’Lacey, Chris

Gruffen (Dragons of Wayward Crescent series)


When Lucy Pennykettle suspects there’s a monster in her bedroom, her mum knows exactly what to do: she makes a guard dragon to look after Lucy. But the dragon soon realises there’s a mystery behind the monster …

Ibbotson, Eva

Let Sleeping Sea-Monsters Lie … and other cautionary tales


Are you brave enough to find out what happens when a spoilt girl is spiteful to a giant hungry worm? Do you dare to discover why should you never, ever steal milk from a Frid? Find out, in this collection of fantastical tales from an award-winning author.

McCombie, Karen

The Curse of the Jelly Babies (You, Me and Thing series)


At the bottom of Ruby’s garden lives a thing – a strange, small something. It’s a hard secret to keep - what with all the curses and jelly babies and stuff - and one little thing can create a whole heap of trouble and mixed-up magic.

Symes, Ruth

Bella Donna: Cat Magic


Bella Donna’s favourite cat has gone missing and she’s tried every magic spell she can think of to find her. There’s only one explanation – someone must have put a spell on her. But who, and why?


Ibbotson, Eva

The Ogre of Oglefort


The annual Summer Meeting of Unusual Creatures is usually a gentle affair. But this year is different. This year the Summer Task is to rescue a princess held prisoner by the gruesome, flesh-eating Ogre of Oglefort. Can Ivo, an unmagical boy, and his friends rescue the princess and return home alive?

Melling, David

Shadow Goblins (Goblins series)


The land of the goblins is hidden, but not so far away. If you look carefully, you might just find it …

Mould, Chris

Fangs ‘n’ Fire: ten dragon tales


A collection of traditional and original dragon stories from this award-winning author and illustrator.

Tan, Shaun

The Lost Thing


In this award-winning picture book for older readers, a boy discovers a bizarre-looking creature whilst out collecting bottle-tops at the beach. Having guessed that it’s lost he tries to find out where it belongs, but encounters only indifference from the adult world which is too busy to even notice its presence.

Umansky, Kaye

The Dreadful Dragon


Ronald is the youngest wizard in the Wizards’ Clubhouse but his magic is terrible and all the other wizards laugh at him. Then he has an idea: he’ll conjure up an amazing pet to impress them and what could be more impressive than a dragon ...?

Zucker, Jonny

Eddie and Fenda (Monster Swap series)


Eddie and Fenda are on an exchange visit in each other’s homes but this is no ordinary swap - Eddie is a human child and Fenda is a monster.


Flavin, Teresa

The Blackhope Enigma


Mysteriously transported inside an ancient painting, can Sunni overcome its dangers and evade her ruthless pursuers to rescue her brother and find their way home?

Hare, Lucinda

The Dragon Whisperer


Quenelda has always had a magical bond with dragons, and her greatest wish is to fly one and fight alongside her father in the war against the hobgoblins. Root, on the other hand, wishes only to avoid the fearsome creatures, so the role of Quenelda's esquire is the last thing he needs. But an unexpected friendship is forged, and when Dragons Dome is besieged by a deadly plot, this unlikely duo must find a way to defeat the dark forces.

Lisle, Rebecca

The Spin


A chance meeting with an escaped convict turns Stormy’s life upside down. Sent up to the Academy, he uncovers a web of lies, deceit and neglect, at the centre of which lies the mysterious thirteenth horse. Can Stormy save Thirteen, defeat the dark forces at work in the Academy and prove himself worthy as a sky-rider?

Peters, Andrew



Ark lives in a breathtaking world: a sky-high kingdom carved out of the giant branches of a vast canopy of trees, its cities held together with rope, scaffolding and millions of nails, hidden by leaves the size of a fully grown human. But Ark is plunged into terrible danger after he overhears plans of an evil plot by a sinister superpower. Now he must race from the highest tree-tops to the darkest, deepest roots of Ravenwood to save his home and his people.

Reeve, Philip



The squabbling goblins who live in the great towers of Clovenstone spend their time fighting and looting. Only clever young Skarper understands that dark magic is rising again. From the lands of men come fortune-seekers and soon trolls, giants, goblins and all will be swept into the conflict.

Schlitz, Laura Amy

Fire Spell


It is Clara Wintermute’s birthday and a puppet master and his two orphan helpers have come to stage a show in the vast, lonely Wintermute house. But that night, Clara disappears. Trapped by magic, and caught up in a deadly dispute between the puppeteer and a powerful witch, who can break the spell and free Clara?

Horror and Ghost Stories





Bradman, Tony

The Ghost Teacher


Class Three is the worst behaved class at Sunny Bank Primary. So bad, in fact, that their teacher can take it no more. But then Miss Shade, the ghost teacher, pays them a visit …

Cross, Gillian

The Monster Snowman


With eyes made from light bulbs, a nose from a broken bottle and teeth from bits of glass, Jack and his friends have built the best monster snowman ever – they’ve even given it a phone. But later that night, Jack gets a weird text. Who wants Jack to come out to play …?

Graves, Ed

Rat Panic (Creepy Creatures series)


Jamie, Harry and Milly have been thrown into a stinking sewer where King Rat is waiting for them. There’s no way out and now a filthy torrent of water is rushing through the tunnels. Can they claw their way out of trouble or will they soon be rat food?

Wallace, Karen

Ghost Mouse


When the new owners of Honeycombe Cottage move in, the mice that live there are not happy. Determined to scare them away, the mice have one thing that might just do it … they’re ghost mice.

Wallace, Karen

Star Spooks (The Ghosts of Creakie Hall series)


Hollywood has come to Creakie Hall and everyone wants a slice of the action. But is Chubby Cellophane really a world-famous director or is he a fake? Once again, the family ghosts must come to the rescue with some out-of-this-world special effects.


Bass, Guy

The Ghost of Grotteskew (Stitch Head series)


Having escaped the clutches of a creepy circus master and a dastardly pirate, Stitch Head – a mad professor’s forgotten creation – is now on the run from a ghost. A villainous spirit is haunting the corridors of Castle Grotteskew and he’s after two things: Stitch Head’s heart and his soul.

Grimstone, David

Undead Ed and the Demon Freakshow


Ed Bagley has been run over by a truck, transformed into a zombie and attacked by his evil left arm. And as if Ed doesn’t have enough problems, he’s now being hunted by a demented clown.

Johnson, Paul

The Vampire Blog


There was nothing strange or special about Marcus until he turned 13 and found out that he was half-vampire. Now everything’s changing: he’s growing fangs and getting cravings for his best friend’s blood and things are about to get extremely dangerous.

Mould, Chris

Dust ‘n’ Bones: Ten Ghost Stories


A collection of creepy tales, both old and new, to send shivers down your spine.

Sedgwick, Marcus

Ghosts and Gadgets


The ghostly wailings from the lost South Wing of the castle can no longer be ignored. Lord Valevine is preoccupied developing his gold detecting gadget, so it’s up to Solstice and Edgar to go ghost-hunting and pit their wits agains the obnoxious Captain Spookini.


Fine, Anne

The Devil Walks


Since the day he was born, Daniel has been hidden away from the outside world. Torn from his home one day, he finally begins to piece together the chilling legacy of vicious cruelty and fiendish spite that has gripped his family for years, in this creepy Gothic tale.

Higgins, F. E.

The Lunatic’s Curse (Tales from the SinisterCity series)


When Ambrose Grammaticus, famous inventor and master engineer, viciously attacks his own son, Rex, he’s incarcerated in the isolated Droprock asylum. Rex knows his evil stepmother is behind his father's 'madness', but how can he prove it? Only the asylum holds the answers ...

Hutchison, Barry

Doc Mortis (Invisible Fiends series)


Kyle wakes up in hospital but something isn’t right. The surfaces aren’t clean, the instruments are not used for healing and it’s about to get much, much worse. The doctor is ready to see him now …

Jones, Gareth P.

Constable & Toop


Haunted houses are losing their ghosts, a Black Rot is infecting homes and a demon hound is roaming the streets of London. In the land of the dead, can Sam Toop help the spirits make sense of the terrible events?

Priestley, Chris

Tales of Terror from the Black Ship


The Old Inn clings to a clifftop above a storm-lashed sea. Ethan and Cathy are alone, waiting for their father, when a visitor comes begging for shelter and sits out the storm telling terrifying tales to pass the time. But whatever horror the visitor conjures with his stories is nothing compared to the heart-stopping revelation that comes with the dawn.

Richards, Justin

The Parliament of Blood


London, 1886: an Egyptian mummy awakens in the BritishMuseum. The Lord of the Undead has risen to lead his vampire army to victory over the British Empire. Only streetwise Eddie and his friends know the terrifying truth. But when no-one believes them they must act on their own to stop the vampires ruling from their Parliament of Blood.







The No 1 Car Spotter and the Car Thieves


Oluwalase Babatunde Benson, otherwise known as No.1, is the number one car spotter in the village. One day he sees a car being stolen from outside Mama Coca-Cola’s chop-house and soon more and more cars start disappearing. With the local police at a loss, can No. 1 solve the case?

Broad, Michael

Agent Amelia: Golden Case Files


From The Case of the Ghost Diamond to The Case of the Zombie Cows, Agent Amelia saves the world!

Davies, Katie

The Great Cat Conspiracy


Anna and Tom’s new cat has disappeared and they’re convinced he’s been kidnapped. But can they find out who’s behind the Great Cat Conspiracy?

Mitchelhill, Barbara

Under Cover (Damian Drooth Supersleuth series)


When kids’ bikes go missing at the GreenParkHolidayVillage, Damian Drooth is soon on the case, using his amazing brain power and cunning plans to track down the thief.

Ryan, Margaret

The Mystery of Miss King (Weird Street series)


Just how weird can the people in Weir Street be? Was that a foot in the garden shed at number 57? What was a skull doing on the TV? And why have all those holes suddenly appeared in the front lawn?


Beck, Ian

The Haunting of Charity Delafield


Growing up in a lonely mansion with her fiercely strict father, Charity Delafield is forbidden to set foot beyond the tall iron gates. All her life she has been haunted by a dream of a strange hidden room, deep within the house. One wintry day, she makes a breathtaking discovery and begins to unravel the story that has been kept from her for so long.

Cheshire, Simon

The Secret of the Skull (Saxby Smart Private Detective series)


What strange and sinister secret is lurking at the home of Saxby’s classmate? Who is the shadowy person in need of Saxby’s help? And why is the school’s most notorious bully suddenly being nice to everyone? Saxby reveals the clues - can you solve the mysteries?

Cope, Andrew

Training School (Spy Pups series)


Spud and Star, the Spy Pups, are in New York training with the FBI. But a rogue secret agent has spotted the pups' amazing skills and, unless Spud and Star carry out a dastardly crime for him, he'll make sure they never see their mum again.

Gardner, Sally

Operation Bunny


When Emily Vole inherits an abandoned shop, she discovers a magical world she never knew existed. Operation Bunny is the first case for the Fairy Detective Agency and, with the help of a talking cat called Fidget and a grumpy fairy detective called Buster, it’s up to Emily to solve the mystery.

Gray, Jennifer

Atticus Claw Breaks the Law


Meet Atticus Grammaticus Cattypus Claw, the world’s greatest cat burglar, hired by Jimmy Magpie to steal all the jewels in Littleton-on-Sea. Will he pull off the heist or is a life of crime really the life for him?


Child, Lauren

Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes


What would you do if you were a 13 year old kid and a secret agency asked you to become their ace code-cracker, working undercover to bust some of the baddest guys in the business? Lucky for Ruby Redfort, she’s not your average kid. She’s super smart, always cool and she can keep her mouth shut… can’t she?

Evans, Lissa

Small Change for Stuart


Stuart Horten is on a quest to find his great-uncle’s lost magic tricks workshop – There are clues to follow and puzzles to solve, but what starts as fun ends up as danger, and Stuart begins to realize that he can’t finish the task by himself.

Horowitz, Anthony

The Falcon’s Malteser


When Johnny Naples entrusts Tim Diamond with a valuable package, he’s making a big mistake, for Tim is probably the worst detective in the entire world. The next day, Johnny’s dead, Tim gets the blame, his wise-cracking younger brother Nick gets the package – and every crook in town is out to get them.

Newbery, Linda



When Tizzie comes to live at Roven Mere, a mysterious house deep in the countryside, she’s curious to meet the owner and his daughter. But they are nowhere to be seen and the house seems like a museum. As she explores the rooms and passageways, Tizzie makes a startling discovery about why she’s been brought to Roven Mere …

St. John, Lauren

Dead Man’s Cove


Orphaned Laura is sent to live with her uncle in Cornwall, convinced that a life of adventure is hers at last. But everywhere she turns she’s confronted with mysteries. Is Tariq, the shopkeeper’s silent son, a friend or an enemy? Why does her uncle seem intent on erasing his own past? And why is everyone so afraid of Dead Man’s Cove?

Updale, Eleanor

Johnny Swanson


Johnny Swanson is in shock. His friend Dr. Langdon has disappeared without a trace and that’s not all – he appears to have been murdered. But things are about to become much, much worse. A suspect has been arrested … and it’s Johnny’s mother.

Science Fiction





Barlow, Steve

Earth Attack (IHero:decide your destiny series)


As Tyranno prepares to unleash his alien armies on Earth, only one person stands in his way – you! Your quest is to defeat Tyranno and save the planet but it will take all your skill to make the right choices.

Bartram, Simon

The Heartless Robots (Bob & Barry’s Lunar Adventures series)


When Bob’s amazing Robot wins first prize in a competition and goes into mass-production, it looks like he’s going to spread order and good tea-making skills across the galaxy. What could possibly go wrong …?

Bradman, Tom & Tony

Crash Course (SpaceSchool series)


Luke is bored with life on the spaceship Buzz Aldrin. But all that is set to change when he accidentally loads a dangerous virus onto the ship’s mainframe, sending it hurtling unstoppably towards a radioactive moon. Now Luke and his friends must stop the ship from crashing in a furious race against time.

Broad, Michael

Attack of the Ninja Kittens! (Space Mutts series)


Meet the Spacemutts: the best interplanetary canine defence force in the universe, sworn to protect us from invasion by evil cosmic cats. Let the battle commence …

Higson, Charlie



Oscar didn’t mean to break the rules by playing on his dad’s ancient laptop. And he certainly didn’t mean to create Monstroso, a real live warrior who leaps out of the computer. Oscar is about to get into more trouble than any boy’s ever been in before …


Asquith, Ros

Letters from an Alien Schoolboy


Earthlings are so ugly, with only one head and just two squinty little eyeballs. They can’t zoom or even fly, and as for the smell … Flowkwee is helping his dad study earthlings by disguising himself as a schoolboy. Can he keep his true identity secret and save the earth from disaster?

Bass, Guy

Alien Invasion


Every time Hex tries to do anything it goes wrong. He can't shoot a ray gun, he can't fly a spaceship and he couldn't spot an earthling, even if it jumped up and bit him on the probe. When Hex discovers his long lost father is living on Planet Earth, he can't believe his luck - until he discovers Earth is about to be invaded! Is there anything Hex can do to stop the invasion and save his dad?

Brown, Eric

Space Ace


Billy dreams of flying in space, so he can’t wait to take a trip around the Earth with his granddad. But then the ship’s computer takes over and they zoom off on a tour of the solar system! Will they ever make it home?

DK Readers

Star Wars: Jedi Adventures


Follow Jedi Ahsoka, Anakin and Luminara Unduli on their adventures in the dangerous Clone Wars.

Ure, Jean

Bug Eyed Monsters


Nobody knows where the rumour came from but, the more Harry and his friends think about it, the weirder Mr Snitcher looks. Is he really an alien? And what about the rest of the teachers?


Hawking, Lucy & Stephen

George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt


George’s friend Annie needs help fast. There’s trouble with the robot her scientist father has sent to Mars and she’s discovered something strange on the super-computer. Is it a message from an alien? Could there really be life out there?

Jones, Gareth P.

Space Crime Conspiracy


In a galaxy far, far away, the intergalactic crime of the century taken place. President Vorlugenar has been murdered and the prime suspect is Stanley Bound, a young boy from London. Arrested and whisked away to the other side of the universe, can Stanley prove his innocence?

Norriss, Andrew

Aquila 2


Tom and Geoff still can’t believe what they found on their school trip: the lifepod from an alien starship that crashed to earth 6000 years ago. It still works and it can fly them anywhere … but it’s the getting back that’s tricky.

Sparkes, Ali

Frozen in Time


Freddy and Polly, frozen by cryonic suspension by their father in 1956, are woken up by Ben and Rachel in 2009. Can they adapt to life in the twenty-first century and will they find out what happened to their father and why he left them frozen in time?

Taylor, A. G.

Meteorite Strike


A meteorite has struck earth without warning, unleashing a deadly alien virus. A group of children develop strange side-effects: superhuman powers that make them a target for HIDRA, a rogue agency determined to turn them into lab rats. They’re in deadly danger but, if they can work together, they might just stand a chance …

Walden, Mark



In a future world dominated by machines, Sam miraculously survives when his mother and sister are turned into automatons. Rescued by a group of rebels, Sam joins the fight to take back the earth.






Brown, Judy

Super Soccer Boy and the Raging Robots


There’s a tournament at Wembley and Harry Gribble, also know as Super Soccer Boy, can’t wait. But when his footballing idol is sent off for the first time and the other players start behaving weirdly, Harry is sure something odd is going on …

Chapman, Linda

Amber Skate Star (SkatingSchool series)


After a bad fall on the ice, Issy is too scared to skate. With the help of her friend Sophy, can she find the courage to get back on the ice and win the amazing amber skates?

McKain, Kelly

Daisy and Dancer (Pony CampDiaries series)


At Sunnyside Stables, each girl gets her own pony to look after and ride for a week. Daisy is thrilled to be given a pony called Dancer but, struggling to ride him, can she and her team-mates come up with a riding display in time for the final performance?

Palmer, Tom

The Real Thing (FootballAcademy series)


Tomasz loves playing for United but he isn’t so keen on Ryan, the team captain and bully. When the club goes to play in Poland, will Tomasz and Ryan tackle their differences or will Ryan’s bullying foul their chances of success?

Smiley, Sophie

Snow Goalie


Charlie and her brothers are in the final of the local five-a-side tournament and need to practise hard. But then it snows heavily and younger brother Bobby is marooned in the snow. Can Charlie rescue him and reunite the team?


Cattell, Bob

Big City Butter-Finger


Riccardo is visiting London for the first time to sing in the London Caribbean Festival while his friends in the Calypso Cricket Club are playing their biggest cricket match ever in Trinidad. With the spotlight on them all, how will they cope, and will Riccardo finally find his long-lost father in London?

Gibbons, Alan

The Number 7 Shirt


When Jimmy gets into the football academy, it’s a dream come true - but he still has a lot to learn. Can he win through with the help of his football heroes?

Palmer, Tom



Steven’s mad about Rugby League and his dad watches him play every week. But one day his mum announces that they’re moving down south with her new partner … to the land of Rugby Union. When the Union team wants him and the League scouts come calling, Steven faces the hardest choice of his life.

Pielichaty, Helena

Do Goalkeepers Wear Tiaras?


Nine-year-old Megan Fawcett loves football and is desperate to be on her school team. She tries everything to get the coach to notice her, even wearing a tiara, but nothing works. Then she has a brainwave – she’ll set up her own team, an all-girls team. Now all she needs is a pitch, a coach … and ten other players.

Zucker, Jonny

Speed Machine


Karting means everything to Danny and one day he hopes he’ll even be a Formula One champion. He’s getting ready for the race of his life but someone is willing to go to any lengths to sabotage his chances in the race.


Ashley, Bernard



Makis and his mother escape to London after a devastating earthquake in Greece. Faced with antagonism from the local population, can Makis’s football prowess help him to fit in and build a new life for his family?

Brooke, Lauren

Heart of Gold (Chestnut Hill series)


Chestnut Hill is a school for girls who love riding. When a new horse is injured at the school, Honey devotes herself to looking after it but her friends don’t understand why the horse is so important to her. Will Honey find a way to share her secret?

Freedman, Dan

Man of the Match (Jamie Johnson series)


Jamie Johnson is fast becoming the most popular player in the country. He’s playing the best football of his career for his beloved Hawkstone. But life at the top of the league isn’t as easy as it seems. After Hawkstone sign a new winger, Jamie suddenly has a serious rival on the team. And when he finds himself sent on loan to tiny local club, Jamie wonders if it’s all over …

Palmer, Tom

Own Goal


Meet Danny Harte – football fan and crime detective. Danny loves his local team so when everyone starts following an Italian club, Danny is angry. He decides to investigate the popularity of the new team, starting with its billionaire owner – and that’s when the danger really kicks off …

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