Books to get your child reading

By Drum Digital
29 March 2014

Wondering what to read to your child? Here's a list featuring a range of books, from classics to the latest bestsellers, in English and Afrikaans.

Grades 1-3

  • Mejuffrou Muis series – Elle van Lieshout and Erik van Os

  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle – Beverly Cleary

    The quiet hotel where Ralph the mouse lives is anything but exciting. But everything changes when inquisitive Keith holidays at the hotel with his parents.

  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters – Lenore Look

    Alvin and his father go camping because his dad wants to teach him to love nature and Alvin learns to be brave despite his fears.

  • Willow – Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan

    Miss Hawthorn has her hands full with creative Willow – a learner whose creativity and kind-heartedness changes her teacher and the class.

  • Snoring Beauty – Bruce Hale

    A funny fairytale with a twist. Princess Marge becomes a snorting dragon and has to stay like that until an unusual hero comes to her rescue.

  • Speurder Kwaaikofski series – Jürgen Banscherus

    Detective Kwaaikofski, a schoolboy who’s always chewing Carpenter chewing gum, wears a cap and solves simple mysteries, such as who’s stealing the tuck shop’s chewing gum.

Grades 4-6

  • Thrillers series – François Bloemhof

    This series of creepy stories is the Afrikaans alternative to RL Stine’s Goosebumps series so popular with teenagers.

  • Swart Kat series – Chris Sasner

    The TV programme Die Swart Kat of the ’80s captured the imaginations of boys (and girls). Now the books are being republished to encourage a new generation of boys and girls to put on their black capes and masks and fight for justice. If your children enjoy reading books Mom and Dad have read, introduce them to the Uile-SaartjieMaasdorp- andKeurboslaan series. These classic children’s books have been republished in new formats in the past few years.

  • Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt

  • Anna Atoom en die Seerower se Dolk – Elizabeth Wasserman

    Anna Atoom lives on the island MonPetit and her pets are sea snails and a robot dog. Her mom is a scientist at the best weather station in the world and her dad lives on a space station full of animals.

  • When you reach me – Rebecca Stead

    A 12-year-old girl in New York tries to make sense of a series of strange notes she receives from an unknown sender.

  • Speurder Annika series– Elmarie Botes

  • Gedaantes en Geraamtes series – Louise Prinsloo

    These omnibuses contain toe-curling ghost stories.

 Grades 7-9

  • Nova series by Fanie Viljoen

  • Perfek – Jaco Jacobs

    Natasja is perfect. Jak realises this the moment she walks into the classroom. But he’s just an ordinary guy. How can he get the attention of the prettiest girl at school? His best friend, Julia, has a plan.

  • The Beautiful Stories of Life: Six Greek Myths, Retold – Cynthia Ryland

    Classical Greek myths such as Pandora and Orpheus are retold in an easy-to-read way. Outstanding illustrations round off the stories.

  • Northward to the moon – Polly Horvarth

    Jane and her family go camping after her stepfather loses his job. Then they end up in the American desert after receiving a bag of money that might be stolen.

  • Serendipity Market – Penny Blubaugh

    When the world fall off its axis storytellers from all over the world must gather and share folk tales to restore the balance.

Grades 10-12

  • Permanente Ink – Carina Diedericks-Hugo

    The Romeo-and-Juliet murderer only harasses teenagers. All the victims are found the same way: corpses lying next to each other, fingers intertwined.

  • Die Onbekendes – François Bloemhof

    This psychological thriller is brilliantly written. The tension builds up from the first chapter and the story carries you away.

  • Spud series – John van de Ruit

    A truly South African story about John Milton, or Spud, who’s trying to find his feet at an exclusive school in KwaZulu-Natal. His loony parents, adventurous friends and an attractive girl ensure he has many adventures.

  • Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins

    Katniss Everdeen has to battle for survival in a futuristic world. The first film version of this popular series was released last year. This is the sort of book that’s difficult to put down.

  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

    The book is set in the fictitious town of Molching during Nazi rule in Germany. The chief narrator is Death, and he provides an unusual perspective of the story of Liesel Meminger and her love of books.

- Shané Barnard

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