Many parents ask when they should start to prepare their child for the 11+. The answer rests with inspiring them to read as early as possible. The benefits of reading in extending a child’s knowledge and understanding of vocabulary are certainly proven. A wide vocabulary and accurate spelling are essential for the 11+ Verbal Reasoning papers.

Why not set your child a goal to read a book a week over the fast-approaching summer holiday period? It can be fun to visit the library together to allow your child to choose appropriate books which interest them. Including non-fiction books in their reading will extend their vocabulary further.

If you are looking for some inspiration, you will find a few suggested books below. Reading ages vary significantly however, so these are for guidance only. Listening to your child read, sharing the reading with them so they combine listening skills with reading, as well as discussing the meaning of words and their comprehension of the story as you go along, will allow you to evaluate if you are pitching their book choices at the right level. Your child’s school can also give you guidance on books to read, but remember that children learn at different speeds so try not to make comparisons.

Above all it is important to remember that reading should be fun so try not to turn it into a chore. Books should be easily accessible around the home, in the kitchen, bedroom, living room and if your child is finding reading a particular book difficult, change it, so they are not put off. Reading little and often can be the most effective way to see results. Include reading within the daily routine, for example just before bed, so it becomes ‘the norm’ to have their head in a book.

7-9 The Man Who Planted TreesFinn Family MoomintrollCharlotte’s Web

Cock-a Doodle-Doo-Mudpuddle Farm

Mr Majeika


The Dancing Bear

Ballet Shoes

The Sheep Pig

Jean GionoTove Jansson.E.B. White

Michael Morpurgo

Humphrey Carpenter

Roald Dahl

Michael Morpurgo

Noel Streatfield

Dick King Smith





The Phantom TollboothMistress Masham’s ReposeThe Borrowers

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Emil and the Detectives

The Star of Kazan.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid


Norton JusterT.H. WhiteMary Norton

C.S. Lewis

Erich Kastner

Eva Ibbotson

Jeff Kinney

11-13 Wolf BrotherThe Tales of Beedle the BardA Hundred Million Francs

Minnow on the Say

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Alice in Wonderland

Marley and Me

The Wind in the Willows


Michelle PaverJ.K. RowlingPaul Berna

Philippa Pearce

John Boyne

Lewis Carroll

John Grogan

Kenneth Graeme