The Top 10 Classic Books To Read To Your Class

Picked by Teachers

We’ve compiled the perfect list of books for teachers who love to read to their class. These amazing page turners are entertaining and can be enjoyed by children of all abilities. The titles are perfect for use educationally, which means you can use them in your lesson plan to build on knowledge in key areas such as English and PSHE and have focused activities to boost a child’s understanding.

Without further ado here is our spellbinding, page turning, epic list of classic teacher books.


Happy reading!


The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

1. The Explorer By Katherine Rundell

Fred has always dreamed of becoming an explorer.

As his plane crashes into Amazon jungle canopy, Fred is suddenly left without a choice.

He and the three other children may be alive, but the jungle is a vast, untamed place. With no hope of rescue, the chance of getting home feels impossibly small. Except, it seems, someone has been there before them...

Award-winning author Katherine Rundell famously ate a tarantula while researching this brilliant book – and you can read our interview with her here. Suitable for KS2 (if they have strong stomachs!)

Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

2. Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

Lying awake at night, Tom hears the old grandfather clock downstairs strike . . . eleven . . . twelve . . . thirteen . . . Thirteen!?

When Tom gets up to investigate, he discovers a magical garden. A garden that everyone told him doesn't exist.

A garden that only he can enter . . .

This magical read by Phillipa Pearce is a true children’s classic – and winner of the Carnegie Medal. Suitable for KS2

Goldfishboy by Lisa Thompson

3. Goldfishboy by Lisa Thompson

Twelve-year old Matthew is trapped in his house by OCD. To pass the time, he watches the comings and goings of the folks of Chestnut Close, making notes as they bustle about his quiet cul-de-sac. Quiet, that is, until the day a neighbourhood toddler goes missing, and Matthew, from his goldfish bowl window, was the last person to see him alive…

Suddenly, Matthew is in the centre of a mystery, but can he step outside of his home and his comfort zone if it means saving a life?

This best-selling story of mystery and emotion is a real page-turner from Lisa Thompson. Suitable for KS2

The Borrowers by Mary Nortons

4. The Borrowers by Mary Nortons

Underneath the kitchen floor is a tiny, secret world…

Homily and Pod Clock and their daughter Arietty are Borrowers – a tiny family who get by ‘borrowing’ their possessions from the ‘human beans’. Girls aren’t supposed to go Borrowing, but Arietty wants to go and explore. When Pod finally agrees, and Arietty is seen by a human boy, adventures await…

Exciting, mysterious and richly drawn, Mary Norton’s masterpiece has a well-deserved reputation as a 20th century classic, but can still delight a 21st century audience. Suitable for Upper KS1/Lower KS2 as a class book.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjams by John Boyne

5. The Boy in the Striped Pyjams by John Boyne

…Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel’s hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go.

When 9-year-old Bruno’s father gets a promotion, he and his sister Gretel must move from their Berlin home to a new life in the country – and Bruno is none too happy about it. But Bruno’s dad is a Commandant in the German Army, and the Auschwitz countryside Bruno finds himself in is full of barbed wire and tall, metal fences. On the other side of that fence, Bruno meets a small boy. He’s horribly skinny, covered in bruises, and wearing striped pyjamas…

John Boyne’s modern fable is as heart-wrenching as it is surprising. Suitable for older KS2 children and above.

The Wolves of Wiloughby Chase by Joan Aiken

6. The Wolves of Wiloughby Chase by Joan Aiken

There are wolves outside the walls of Willoughby Chase…

Follow cousins Bonnie and Sylvia as they use their wits to try and escape their cruel governess, Miss Slighcarp. She’s working with a network of criminals and snitches, and she has a terrible plan. For Bonnie and Sylvia, is the real danger outside the walls… or behind them?

Joan Aiken’s classic won the Lewis Carroll prize, and is suitable for KS2

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

7. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

August “Auggie” Pullman’s facial disfigurement meant he had been home-schooled all his life – but now his parents have enrolled him in Beecher Middle School, and things are about to change. Auggie tries to blend in, but the children and parents at Beecher can’t get past his face to get to know the boy inside. Will Auggie overcome life out in the world? He’s got his family and makes a few friends, but will Julian’s merciless teasing send him home, or will he be a wonder after all?

This upbeat, humorous book is written with tremendous warmth. Suitable for KS2.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

8. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

In the chaos of WW1, a young farm horse is sold to the Army and thrust into war on the Western Front. Joey is brave, and his courage touches the soldiers around him – but will he ever be reunited with Albert, the boy he left behind?

..The bedlam of battle had begun. All around me men cried and fell to the ground, and horses reared and screamed in an agony of fear and pain. The shells whined and roared overhead, and every explosion seemed like an earthquake to us.

This beautiful book by Michael Morpurgo has been made into a stunning theatre adaptation and a major motion picture. Suitable for KS2.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

9. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance was there.

When Charlie Bucket finds a Golden Ticket and wins a trip around Mr Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, he knows his life is going to change. But as Charlie and Grandpa Joe make their way through the magical and mysterious factory filled with Oompa-Loompas, hot ice-creams and everything besides, they learn what happens to people who suddenly get everything they ever wanted… and live happily ever after.

This classic by Roald Dahl needs no introduction. Suitable for Upper KS1 and KS2 alike.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

When Harry Potter gets a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, his life under the stairs at the Dursley’s house is over, and new adventure begins. Harry must find his place in his new school, and unlock the secrets of his past to forge a new future in the world of magic. With new friends Ron and Hermione, follow Harry as he masters Quidditch, protect the Philosopher’s Stone, and confronts his past… and begins an adventure beyond any other…

JK Rowling’s epic adventure is a staple in any classroom. Suitable from year 2 onwards.

You can find all these great books in our Teacher’s Classics pack, now only £62 here.

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1 comment

  • Thanks for the list, those are fantastic books. We have them in our school library and they are all very popular. Our students from Y3 -y6 enjoy reading them thoroughly.

    Nunu Salim

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