This age group wants to read grown-up chapter books but still need illustrations to help them understand what is happening in the book. In the past two years, NZ and Australian publishers have taken up the challenge and produced some fantastic books for 6-9 year olds. Here's some that this age group will thoroughly enjoy reading these holidays:
Dinosaur Rescue series by Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Donovan Bixley (Scholastic)
Young Arg finds it difficult to fit into his tribe of dimwitted Neanderthals. They don't understand his need to wear clothes and talk full sentences. Luckily he finds a friend in a talking T-rex called Skeet. The two of them have many adventures - saving the tribe, dinosaur species and getting out of tricky situations. Told with lots of humour, sprinkling of dinosaur facts and illustrated with Donovan's wacky illustrations. For boys who've finished the Captain Underpant series and wanting more (especially little dinosaur afficianados).
Book 1 - T-Wreck-Asaurus - meet the family, Arg and Skeet - and have an adventure
Book 2 - Stego-Snottysaurus - Arg has to find a way to save the dinosaurs from a deadly flu
Book 3 - Velocitychy-Raptor - A baby velociraptor needs saving from a hungry quetzalcoatlus
Book 4 - Diplo-dizzdocus - Arg and Skeet need to save the dizzy diplo-dizzdocus
Book 5 - Spino-Rottysaurus - The dracoraxes will become extinct unless Arg saves them
Book 6 - Dako-Snappysaurus - On Arg's first hunting trip things go horribly wrong...
Book 7 - Scuto-Stickysaurus - Arg gets himself into a very sticky situation that could end badly
Retail price $12.00, Target Age 8-10 years
Littlest Angel series by Elizabeth Pulford, illustrated by Aki Fukuoka (Scholastic)
Little Lily joins the Angel Academy. In order to progress through the ranks she has to do good deeds, help the team win sports, and keep herself out of mischief. A perfect series for little girls who loved reading the Fairy series and want more of the same. Each book is produced in pretty colours, sprinkled with glitter and illustrated with Aki Fukuoka's cute drawings. Can be read to, with or by 6-8 year old readers.
Book 1: Lily gets her wings - in order to join the academy she must earn her wings first
Book 2: Lily has a secret - Can Lily keep the kitten secret while earning her silver slippers?
Book 3: Lily goes skitter skating - Will Lily's team beat the All Saints Angel team in snow sports?
Book 4: Lily chases lost dreams - Lily wants to earn her silver star but has twin troubles
Book 5: Lily lands in bubble trouble - Lily longs to be part of Mother Angel's birthday celebrations
Book 6: Lily gets in a pink pickle - Lily finds herself in a spot of trouble
Retail price $12.00, Target Age 6-9 years
Saffron Series by Victoria Azaro (Penguin)
Young Saffron travels the world with her family. She tries to help her mother and father but manages to make a mess of things. Saffron thinks she knows how to do everything and speak any language - only that is not quite true...
Book 1: Saffron
Book 2: Saffron I have everything under control
Book 3: Saffron So Quite Excellent
Retail price $14.99, Target Age 6-9 years
Other series to look at for this age group are:
Ophelia Wild Secret Spy by Elena de Roo, Book 1 out and more to come (Walker)
Violet Mackerel series by Anna Branford, illustrated by Sarah Davies (Walker)
Book 1: Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot
Book 2: Violet Mackerel's Remarkable Recovery
Book 3: Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat
Book 4: Violet Mackerel's Personal Space
Diary of a Bat and Diary of a Pukeko by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Dave Gunson (Scholastic)
Literacy Mysteries series by Hazel Edwards e-books
Book 1: Artnapping
Book 2: False Bottom
Book 3: Fleeced
Book 4: Game Play
Book 5: The Ideas Pirates
Book 6: Winning a Giraffe called Geoffrey
Book 7: Birds on the Brain
Book 8: Mindspaces
Book 9: Zoo Poo Clues
Nit Boy series by Tristan Bancks
Enjoy your reading!