Embracing independence...

This list of must-have books is for little readers who are just starting their independent reading journey and can read a text with minimal assistance. Age range varies here as reading progression happens at various ages and stages. These books are generally aimed at little readers from 6 – 8 but are suitable for readers outside of this category.

Publishers do tend to make decisions about covers which affects parent and educator perceptions of ‘what is a book for a boy and what is a book for a girl’. I would urge you to consider these books for all readers rather than limit your young reader to books which have been given a ‘gender’ and do take the time to read Jacqueline Harvey’s thoughts on this here. Obviously your child will have particular interests and obsessions (my ten year old will only read horse books at the moment for goodness sake!) but it’s important to read widely and across text types.

I have previously written a three-part series of posts about newly-independent readers which you can find here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

See also my 'Best Books for Middle Primary'.


by Patrick Guest, Jonathan Bentley (Illustrator)

'Naughty Dragons Make Trouble!'

by Natalie Jane Prior, Simon Howe (Illustrator)

'What Zola Did series'

by Melina Marchetta, Deb Hudson

‘Searching for Cicadas’

(and others in the Nature Storybooks series)

by Claire Saxby & Graham Byrne

'Trouble in the Surf'

by Stephanie Owen Reeder. Illustrated by Briony Stewart


'Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush' (SERIES)

by Zanni Louise

stardust-school-of-dance (1)

'Stardust School of Dance' (SERIES)

by Zanni Louise

'Did You Take the B From My _ook'

by Matt Stanton and Beck Stanton (and others in the 'Books that Drive Kids Crazy' series)

billie b mystery spooky house

'Billie B Mysteries' (series)

by Sally Rippin

'The Adventures of Anders'

by Gregory Mackay (and other 'Anders' books)


'Ginger Green, Playdate Queen' (series)

by Kim Kane. Illustrated by Jon Davis


'Ginger Green' (series)

by Kim Kane. Illustrated by Jon Davis


'Lola’s Toy Box' (series)

by Danny Parker. Illustrated by Guy Shield

'Flying High'

by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. Illustrated by Craig Smith (and 'Going Bush with Grandpa' - currently out of print. Check your local/school library)

One Rule for Jack

'One Rule for Jack'

by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. Illustrated by Craig Smith

'The Memory Shed' 

by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina.  Illustrated by Craig Smith


'Mates: Great Australian Yarns' (series)

Various authors


*Out of print. Please check your local/school library.