• Countryside Alliance Team

Top Books for Children

Here is a small selection of our favourite children’s books. These books are aimed at the 7 – 13 year olds- read them aloud to your younger children and we guarantee you will enjoy the tale just as much


Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome


The book I remember most from childhood, I wanted to be them on their escapist adventures with their boats and picnics and summer in beautiful Cumbria – Miranda Hart

We would be remiss to leave out Swallows and Amazons which we think is the absolute countryside children’s classic.  This classic story of the Walker children who set sail on The Swallow and head for Wild Cat Island.  They camp under open skies, swim in clear water and go fishing for their dinner.  Their idyll is disturbed by the Blackett sisters who crew The Amazon.  We think overall the book holds within it the glory of what childhood is supposed to be and is a gentle adventure for a young reader – albeit quite a long one at 500 pages!

Perhaps children might be inspired to build their own Swallow in the garden and go on their own imaginary trip.  We’d love to see pictures. 


Born to Run by Michael Morpurgo


An engaging tear-jerking story of a little boy who rescues a sack of greyhound puppies in the canal.  He pleads to be allowed to keep one but nothing will convince them.  After crying himself to sleep he is awoken by the lick of a greyhound puppy and so begins the story of his life with Best Mate!  Lots of twists and turns, kidnapping, greyhound racing and written with classic Morpurgo brilliance.  We loved this one- its spellbinding.


The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett


This delightful children's classic, first published in 1911, is one of the most delightful and enduring stories of children's literature. An enchanting combination of magic and some pretty important learning experiences for both children and adults alike. Not surprising this wonderful work is on the "100 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once" list.



Charlottes Web by E B White


Not just a book for children, Charlotte’s Web is the unlikely friendship between a spider and a pig. It is tender and teaches the values of constancy and integrity in a light, beautiful prose. A classic and a masterpiece.


The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame


“The most popular children's book ever written” Kenneth Grahame began to tell the tale of the river bank on the night of his son's fourth birthday, but what started out as a short bedtime story soon grew into one of the most enjoyable series of adventures ever to be told in children's literature.


The Racehorse that Wouldn’t Gallop by Claire Balding


Funny, heart-warming and feminist- perfect for any child, regardless of gender. Clare Balding is as hilarious as you would expect which means adults will also enjoy the adventures of Charlie Bass, a horse-mad ten-year-old who dreams of owning her own pony. So when she accidentally manages to buy a racehorse, Charlie is thrilled. The horse she buys, Noble Warrior, looks the part: strong, fit and healthy. There's just one problem - he won't gallop.


We hope you enjoy these fantastic reads as much as we did!

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