These aren't top 10 lists; they're what you might call springboards, put together by our editorial staff if you need ideas in one area or another. In some cases, they overlap somewhat with the Genre categories, but the difference is that we've hand-picked up to a dozen books in each case which have something in common, but which also represent a spread of types. The lists don't pretend to be exhaustive; in fact, we won't usually pick more than one by a single author, unless that author has several different series each offering an outstanding example. Naturally, books from one list may appear on another.
Unless indicated otherwise, none of the books we recommend will fall below "Some Care Needed" in the Attitude category, but obviously you need to be sure of the suitability of any book before recommending it on. We may also include books, typically well-known ones or classics, for which we don't yet have a review.
- Absolute Classics - Books which were first published 100 years ago or more and are still in print today.
- For Older Boys - These books should appeal to boys of 12 and over.
- For Older Girls - These books should appeal to girls of 12 and over.
- For Younger Boys - These books should appeal to boys of 12 and under.
- For Younger Girls - These books should appeal to girls of 12 and under. They're not just girly books; there are adventure books and historical ones, showing different aspects of what it is to be a girl.
- Modern Classics - Books which were first published 50 years ago or more and are still in print today.
- On The High Seas - The seafaring story has a long tradition in books for young people (and older people too).
- Smarties Prize Winners - These books have all won the Smarties Prize in various categories. Note that you will still want to check our review notes on the books as not all of them may not be suitable throughout.
- Time-Travel Stories - Time-travel is a popular story device, especially in youth lit. It gives the author the ability to explore historical (or potential future) events from the point of view of a modern point-of-view character, allowing young readers to identify more easily without sacrificing the authenticity of the historical characters.
- Victoriana - The Victorian era exerts an undeniable pull on fiction authors, especially those who write for children and young people. These stories are either set (and possibly written) in the 19th century or are set in some sort of Victorian milieu in a parallel world or era.