Takeoff! 2019

20 of the best new books for your school library collection for years 3 and 4.

The books on the Takeoff! list are selected annually by librarians from the Schools Library Service and primary schools, and is a list of recommended fiction to buy for your school library.

For fiction for upper KS2, take a look at our latest Must Read booklist.

The list represents a selection of the best new fiction first published in paperback within the last year, and aims to cover as diverse a range of subjects, genres, authors and interests as possible.

Posters and bookmarks will be sent to subscribing primary schools.

Please contact the library for more information on the Takeoff! list or to request additional posters or bookmarks (subject to availability)


View the list of 20 books

Adepitan, Ade

Ade’s amazing Ade-ventures

When you are in a wheelchair, it’s hard to fit in with the other kids, but Ade finds the Parsons Road Gang are completely different….

Agard, John

Shona, word detective

Don’t be bamboozled or bumbazed – just because lots of words are mysteriously going extinct, doesn’t mean that Shona can’t track them down and save them…

Barker, Claire

Picklewitch and Jack

Picklewitch is, quite literally, out of her tree. She has a nose for naughtiness, a taste for trouble and a weakness for cake. And unluckily for brainbox Jack – winner of the ‘Most Sensible Boy in School’ for the third year running – she’s about to choose him as her new best friend…

Blackman, Malorie

A dangerous game

Also Ellie and the Cat / Grandpa Bert and the Ghost Snatchers

Butler, Steven

The Nothing to See Here Hotel

Welcome to The Nothing to See Here Hotel! A hotel for magical creatures, where weird is normal for Frankie Banister and his parents who run it.

Colfer, Eoin

Mariella Queen of the skies

Mariella loves nothing more than inventing but bedtime keeps getting in the way of all her brilliant ideas! So when Mum and Dad won’t take no for an answer there’s only one thing for it… Mariella has to build a rocket-powered flying suit to zap her round the world faster than the setting sun!

Corderoy, Tracey

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Aliens are Coming!

Things are HOTTING UP! Someone is CHEATING in the SANDCASTLE competition! There’s something FISHY about the new CAFE! But it’s the ALIEN INVASION that REALLY makes Shifty and Sam lose their COOL! Anyone for an ICED bun?!

De Saulles, Tony

Bee Boy: Attack of the zombees

A strange sickness bug is causing havoc at school.  Mel and his bees think they know why when they discover a factory in the woods – with beekeepers in metal suits and… zombees!

Fine, Anne

Back on Weird Street

Asim, Laila and Tom like nothing more than spooking each other with tales of the unexpected. This summer they’re back with three more stories to chill you to the bone. Can your dreams really grant you fortunes and riches? What lurks in the shadows of Number 17? And is Grandma’s house really haunted, or is it all just a fun imaginary game?

French, Vivian; Paul, Korky

The fiendish revenge of Leroy Jones

Leroy Jones is a very ordinary boy blessed with a truly ridiculous name – one that he is determined to keep hidden from everyone. But when he is paired with the bossy Amy Strundle for a project, she’s set to be a thorn in his side and wants everyone to know his secret. Can Leroy find a way to get his revenge and is it really a dish best served cold?

Hemming, Alice

Arlo, Mrs Ogg and the dinosaur zoo

Things aren’t looking good for 4X. With another teacher running away screaming (literally), Arlo wonders how long the new supply teacher will survive. When Mrs Ogg takes 4X to the zoo, Arlo realises it’s down to him to keep everyone in line, but what she fails to mention is that this is no ordinary zoo…

Kent, Gabrielle

Knights and bikes

Welcome to the sleepy island of Penfurzy, where nothing exciting ever really happens. OR DOES IT? Adventure awaits Demelza and her new best friend in the whole world, Nessa, as they explore the island and uncover the mysteries of the Penfurzy Knights.

Lawrence, Patrice

Toad Attack

Toads are everywhere – munching through gardens, causing chaos in the city – where did they come from?  Leo and Rosa are determined to find out!

McCall Smith, Alexander

Hari and his electric feet

Hari spends most of his time earning money with his sister, making sweets, delivering lunches, but what he really loves to do is dance.. . Is there a way to do what he loves and earn money as well?

Love, Jessica

Julian is a Mermaid

Julian is dazzled by the women he sees on the train home dressed as mermaids   and all he can think about is making his own fabulous mermaid costume.

Milway, Alex

Hotel Flamingo

Anna has her work cut out to get hotel Flamingo back to its former glory, and make it welcoming to all animals, great and small.

Pitzorno, Bianca

Lavinia and the magic ring

What would you wish for is a fairy stepped out of a taxi and gave you a magic ring?  As you know, and as Lavinia finds out, having your wishes come true can lead to mayhem!

Strong, Jeremy

Big trouble for Nellie Choc-Ice

Another story about Nellie, the great penguin explorer.  Nellie has to save the day when the submarine she is travelling in is hi-jacked in New York!

Todd Taylor, Sarah

Max the theatre cat: the disappearing diva

Madame Emerald, the famous singer, is behaving strangely – hiding in her dressing room and refusing to sing in public.  Max, who is a curious cat, tries to figure out why….

Cross, Gillian

Jason Banks and the Pumpkin of Doom

Jason Banks is a bully. No one likes him and even the teachers are scared of him! It’s time that someone taught Jason a lesson and he might just have met his match in the strange pumpkin that keeps appearing on his doorstep. Will Jason ever learn the error of his ways?


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