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11 Plus Reading List

Reading is one of the best ways to help children develop the skills needed for the 11 Plus. It can help your child to identify and understand various language devices that are tested in the 11 Plus English paper, such as figurative language (similes, metaphors etc.) as well as parts of speech (e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs). Whilst it is easy to fall into the trap of getting your child to complete what seems like (to you and them!) endless past papers and exam-style questions, it is also easy to neglect reading.

Of course, whilst exam paper practice is useful when it comes to familiarising children with what to expect on the day, they can also prove to be repetitive and stressful. Reading a wide variety of books has many benefits when it comes to helping children develop the necessary skills for the exams, such as increasing their vocabulary, improving their comprehension skills and developing their imagination.

Here are some suggestions of books your child could read to support their learning and preparation for the 11 Plus exams.

  • Animal Farm by George Orwell

  • Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden

  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

  • Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

  • The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Raúf

  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

  • Swallows and Amazons Series by Arthur Ransome

  • Wind on Fire Trilogy by William Nicholson

  • The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit

  • I am David by Anne Holm

  • Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

  • War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

  • Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

  • The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

  • Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

  • The Horrible Histories Series by Terry Deary

  • Noughts and Crosses Series by Malorie Blackman

  • Just William by Richmal Crompton

  • Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori

  • Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

  • Stig of the Dump by Clive King

  • The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

  • The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

  • Holes by Louis Sachar

  • Watership Down by Richard Adams

  • The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

  • White Fang by Jack London

  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

  • The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

  • Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton

  • Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

  • The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler by Gene Kemp

  • The Iron Man by Ted Hughes


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