The best middle reader books of 2019

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 middle reader books of the year, voted for by Readings' staff, and displayed in no particular order.

(You can find all our best picks for books, music & DVDs of 2019 here.)


How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days by Fiona Hardy

After a year of preparation, Hayley finally has everything she needs and only twelve days to film and edit her much-anticipated movie with her friends. But before she can even get started, sabotage is afoot. This hilarious, heartwarming story about friendship, family and fake blood makes for an absolutely perfect summer holiday read. For ages 10+.


Sick Bay by Nova Weetman

Two girls find themselves confined in the sick bay at school – Riley reluctantly and Meg by choice. Over time a friendship develops as the two girls learn about each other and, more importantly, about themselves. This emotionally intelligent novel will resonate powerfully with the hearts and minds of its readers. For ages 10+.


Goblins by Philip Reeve

After proving himself too smart (by reading books instead of wiping his bum on them!), Skarper finds himself hurled out of his goblin tower and on an unlikely quest with an even more unlikely party. This delightfully funny, irreverent and surprisingly poetic book celebrates the ultimate underdog … goblins! Perfect for all kids with a good heart aged 9+.


The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

Vita and her new friends (a pickpocket and two circus kids) are determined to pull off a daring heist to win her grandfather his crumbling old castle back after a local gangster cheats him out of it. Set in Prohibition era New York, this exciting and twisty tale will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. For ages 9+.


Pie In The Sky by Remy Lai

Jingwen is new to Australia, he can’t speak English and misses his dad badly. To fight off the loneliness, he turns to secret cake baking with his little brother. A clever, partly graphic book full of profound moments balanced by hilarious ones that will inspire empathy for recent immigrants and a keen interest in baking! For ages 9+.


The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble

With global food shortages causing a world-wide famine, Ella and Emery live in desperate times. When things get really bad, the two siblings and their dogs set off alone through the wild lands to find their mum. A great introduction to dystopian climate fiction with a strong emphasis on hope and kindness. For ages 10+.


As Happy as Here by Jane Godwin

Three very different teenage girls witness a crime from the shared confines of their hospital ward. As they reluctantly work together to solve the mystery they have become embroiled in, they learn about identity, class, fairness, justice and kindness. A beautiful book, deeply empathetic to young people and at times an intense and thrilling read. For ages 11+.


Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Raina wakes up one night with a stomach ache. At first she thinks it’s a stomach bug, but when it persists her mum takes her to a therapist who helps Raina overcome her gut problems. An inspiring and funny graphic novel from someone who is deservedly one of the bestselling authors in the US. For ages 7+.


Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Aven, a new girl in town who was born without arms, and Connor, a boy with Tourette syndrome who is one of Aven’s new classmates, team up for an investigation after they uncover a mysterious secret at the local theme park, which is also Aven’s new home! This is a great mystery novel for readers aged 8+.


Young Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe

Young Dark Emu shows how for millennia, despite being primarily recorded as solely hunter gatherers, Australia’s First Peoples made ingenious agricultural use of their Country. This book will give children a thirst for greater understanding of Indigenous culture and knowledge, and I can’t think of a better reason to buy a book. For ages 9+.

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Young Dark Emu: A Truer History

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History

Bruce Pascoe

$24.99Buy now

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