English reading guide

Click here to check if any of these books are available at your local library

Local publications:

Foundation Phase (Grades R, 1 – 3):

Picture books

  • Niki Daly: A song for Jamela
  • Niki Daly: Happy Birthday, Jamela!
  • Niki Daly: Jamela's dress
  • Niki Daly: Where’s Jamela?
  • Niki Daly: Yebo, Jamela!
  • Joan Rankin: First day
  • Lesley Beake / Karin Littlewood: Home now
  • Maryanne Bester: Mealies and beans
  • Maryanne Bester: The long trousers
  • Mari Grobler: Lulama's magic blanket
  • Mari Grobler: Musa's journey
  • Mari Grobler: Siyolo's jersey
  • Mari Grobler: Thandiwe's choice
  • Hartmann, Wendy: We're having a party
  • Hartmann, Wendy: In a house, in a house
  • Hartmann, Wendy: Just Sisi
  • Wendy Maartens: A star with stripes
  • Wendy Maartens: Lena’s bottle tree
  • Chris van Wyk: Ouma Ruby’s secret
  • Sindiwe Magona: The best meal ever
  • Gcina Mhlophe: The singing chameleon
  • Elinor Batezat Sisulu: The day Gogo went to vote
  • Pat Thomson / Niki Daly (ill.): The squeaky, creaky bed

Foundation/Intermediate Phase: Fiction

    Grades 2/3-4

    • Wendy Hartmann: Theo and the cat burglar
    • Wendy Hartmann: Theo and the circus act
    • Wendy Hartmann: Theo and the library cat
    • Robin Malan: Sonny Jim and his sister

    Grades 4-5

    • Helen Brain: Dear Miss Winfrey
    • Madiba magic
    • Adie Wagener: Sandile and the silver city
    • Jenny Robson: Balaclava Boy
    • Lesley Beake: Steven Pienaar

    Grades 5-6

    • M I Davids: Sedick's Kalk Bay stories
    • Marguerite Poland: Shadow of the wild hare
    • Georgiana King: Zolani goes to Yeoville
    • Gail Smith: Bongani's secret
    • Gail Smith: Three blind dates

Senior Phase (Grades 7 – 9)

  • Fiona MacGregor: Jesse's story
  • Dianne Case: 92 Queen’s Road
  • Russell H. Kaschula: The Tsitsa River and beyond
  • Lutz van Dijk: Themba: a boy called Hope
  • Lutz van Dijk: Crossing the line
  • Jenny Robson: Because pula means rain
  • Sir Percy Fitzpatrick: Jock of the Bushveld
  • Dianne Case & Yvonne Hart: Katie of Sky Road
  • Belinda Hollyer: Long walk to Lavender Street
  • Gillian d'Achada: Sharkey's son
  • Rekgetsi Chimeloane: Whose laetie are you?
  • Kasigo Lesego Molope: The mending season

FET Phase (Grades 10 – 12)

  • Pamela Jooste: Dance with a poor man's daughter
  • J.M. Coetzee: Disgrace
  • Michael Williams: Hijack City
  • Troy Blacklaws: Karoo boy
  • Gcina Mhlophe: Love child
  • Sol Plaatje: Mhudi
  • Sindiwe Magona: Mother to mother
  • Sindiwe Magona: Beauty's gift
  • Marguerite Poland: Shades
  • Patricia Pinnock: Skyline
  • Thembelani Ngenelwa: The day I died
  • Alexander McCall Smith: The Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
  • Kasigo Lesego Molope: Dancing in the dust
  • Elana Bregin: Shiva's dance
  • Pamela Jooste: Dance with a poor man's daughter

International publications:

Foundation Phase (Grades R, 1 – 3)

Picture books

  • Jeannie Baker: Belonging
  • Jeannie Baker: Window
  • Bernard Ashley: Double the love
  • Trish Cooke: Full, full, full of love
  • Sam McBratney: Guess how much I love you
  • Eileen Browne: Handa's hen
  • Jane Yolen: How do dinosaurs eat their food?
  • Jane Yolen: How do dinosaurs go to school?
  • Jane Yolen: How do dinosaurs learn colours and numbers?
  • Jane Yolen: How do dinosaurs say good night?
  • Lauren Child: I am absolutely too small for school
  • Lauren Child: But excuse me, that is my book
  • Lauren Child: I am not sleepy and will not go to bed
  • Lauren Child: I will not ever never eat a tomato
  • Lauren Child: We can honestly look after your dog
  • Mo Willems: Knuffle Bunny
  • Mo Willems: Knuffle Bunny too
  • Ian Falconer: Olivia
  • Ian Falconer: Olivia saves the circus
  • Ian Falconer: Olivia helps with Christmas
  • Bob Graham: Let's get a pup!
  • Bob Graham: How to heal a broken wing
  • Emily Gravett: Little Mouse's big book of fears
  • Emily Gravett: Meerkat mail
  • Emily Gravett: Wolves
  • Mary Hoffman: Princess Grace
  • Rob Scotton: Russell the sheep
  • Rob Scotton: Russell and the lost treasure
  • Patricia Polacco: Thank you, Mr Falker
  • Alice McLerran: The mountain that loved a bird
  • Eric Carle: The very hungry caterpillar
  • Graham Base: The waterhole
  • Julia Jarman: Class Two at the zoo
  • Nancy Coffelt: Fred stays with me
  • Michelle Knudsen: Library lion
  • Anthony Browne: Little Beauty
  • Carl Norac: My grandpa is a champion
  • Joyce Carol Thomas: The blacker the berry
  • Norton Juster: The hello, goodbye window
  • Jessica Swain: The hound from the pound
  • Jerry Pinkney: The lion and the mouse

Intermediate Phase (Grades 4 – 6): Fiction

Grades 3 - 4

  • Anna Hibiscus: Atinuke
  • Sara Pennypacker: Clementine
  • Sara Pennypacker: Clementine's letter
  • Sara Pennypacker: The talented Clementine
  • Kes Gray: Daisy and the trouble with zoos
  • Kes Gray: Daisy and the trouble with kittens
  • Christobel Mattingley: First friend
  • Brian Selznick: Hugo Cabret
  • Karen McCombie: My big (strange) happy family!
  • Gwyneth Rees: Something secret
  • Julia Green: Sephy's story
  • Julia Lawrinson: The girl who fell into a book
  • Kate DiCamillo: The magician's elephant
  • Dick King-Smith: The twin giants
  • Allan Ahlberg: The man who wore all his clothes
  • Allan Ahlberg: The woman who won things
  • Allan Ahlberg: The cat who got carried away
  • Allan Ahlberg: The children who smelled a rat

Grades 4-5

  • Alan Fraser: 13 pairs of blue suède shoes
  • Kate DiCamillo: Because of Winn-Dixie
  • Lauren Child: Clarice Bean spells trouble
  • Martha Freeman: Fourth Grade Weirdo
  • Jacqueline Wilson: Lizzie Zipmouth
  • Jacqueline Wilson: Candyfloss
  • Jacqueline Wilson: Cookie
  • Andrew Clements: No talking
  • Chris Riddell: Ottoline and the yellow cat
  • Lauren Child: Utterly me, Clarice Bean
  • Sharon Creech: Hate that cat

Grades 5-6

  • Adeline Yen Mah: Chinese Cinderella
  • Judy Blume: Double Fudge
  • Rodman Philbrick: Freak the mighty
  • Sharon Creech: Granny Torrelli makes soup
  • David Almond: My dad's a birdman
  • Elizabeth Laird: Oranges in no man's land
  • Esmé Raji Codell: Sahara Special
  • Bali Rai: Soccer Squad series
  • Eion Colfer: The legend of Spud Murphy
  • Michael Morpurgo: The Mozart question
  • Jacqueline Wilson: The worry website
  • Julie Anne Peters: How do you spell g-e-e-k?
  • Cathy Cassidy: Love, peace and chocolate
  • Hilary McKay: Practically perfect
  • John Boyne: The dare
  • Sally Nicholls: Ways to live forever

Senior Phase (Grades 7 – 9): Fiction

Grades 6 - 7

  • Michelle Paver: Wolf Brother
  • Tom Palmer: Foul play
  • Siobhan Dowd: The London Eye mystery
  • Jacqueline Wilson: The suitcase kid
  • Jacqueline Wilson: Clean break
  • Jacqueline Wilson: My secret diary:dating, dancing, dreams and dilemmas
  • Gary Paulsen: How Angel Peterson got his name
  • Cathy Cassidy: Lucky Star
  • Cathy Cassidy: Ginger snaps
  • Elizabeth Laird: The garbage king
  • Robert Muchamore: The recruit
  • Cornelia Funke: The Thief Lord
  • Catherine MacPhail: Worse than boys
  • Gennifer Choldenko: Al Capone does my shirts
  • Nora Raleigh Baskin: Anything but typical
  • Deborah Ellis: Beyond the barricade
  • Deborah Ellis: The prison runner
  • Na'ima B. Robert: From Somalia with love
  • Sandra Glover: Message from Mia
  • Bil Wright: When the black girl sings
  • Gillian Cross: Where I belong

Grades 8 - 9

  • Shelley Pearsal: All of the above
  • Robert Swindells: Branded
  • Allan Stratton: Chanda’s secrets
  • Jacqueline Wilson: Dustbin baby
  • Carl Hiaasen: Hoot
  • Kevin Brooks: Martyn Pig
  • Jonathan Kebbe: Noodle Head
  • Joshua Mowll: Operation Red Jericho
  • Jerry Spinelli: Stargirl
  • Carolyn Mackler: The earth, my butt and other big round things
  • Narinder Dhami: Bang, bang, you're dead!
  • Na'ima B. Robert: Boy vs girl
  • Peter Abrahams: Behind the curtain
  • Peter Abrahams: Down the rabbit hole
  • Sonya Sones: One of those hideous books where the mother dies
  • Cathy Cassidy: Sundae girl
  • Cathy Cassidy: Cherry Crush
  • Neil Gaiman: The graveyard book
  • Catherine Ryan Hyde: The year of my miraculous reappearance
  • Anne Fine: Flour Babies
  • David Almond: Jackdaw summer

FET Phase (Grades 10 – 12): Fiction

  • Cunxin Li: Mao’s last dancer
  • Kevin Brooks: Martyn Pig
  • Kevin Brooks: Black Rabbit summer
  • Julia Bell: Massive
  • Julia Bell: Dirty work
  • Sonya Sones: One of those hideous books where the mother dies
  • Catherine Hyde: Pay it forward
  • Vikas Swarup: Q & A
  • Louis Sachar: Small steps
  • Markus Zusak: The book thief
  • Mark Haddon: The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
  • Freedom Writers & Erin Gruwell: The Freedom Writers' Diary
  • Ann Brashares: The sisterhood of the travelling pants
  • Jenny Downham: Before I die
  • Suzanne Phillips: Burn
  • Suzanne Phillips: Chloe Doe
  • Hanna Jansen: Over a thousand hills I walked with you
  • Donna Tartt: The secret history
  • B.R. Collins: The traitor game
  • Joe Simpson: Touching the void
  • Elizabeth Scott: Love you, hate you, miss you
  • Allison van Diepen: Snitch
  • Stephenie Meyer: The short second life of Bree Tanner: an Eclipse novella

Non-Fiction:

Foundation Phase:

  • Peter Riley: Bang!:sound and how we hear things
  • Julie Haydon: Grow your own lettuce
  • Helen Lanz: Jamela's dress
  • Claire Llewellyn: Making with paper
  • Jim Pipe: Racing cars
  • Frances Ridley: Supercars

Grade 3 - 7

  • Joe Rhatigan: 40 cool publishing projects for kids
  • Trevor Day: Body bugs!: the uninvited guests on your body
  • P Price: Cool scrapbooks
  • Elizabeth Harris: Snook Crime scene: science fair projects
  • Alan Buckingham: Digital photography
  • Rachel Lynette: Electrical experiments: electricity and circuits
  • Trevor Cook: Experiments with forces
  • Guinness world records
  • David West: Helicopter
  • M Hughes: How to make pop-up cards
  • A Grant: Kids kitchen
  • Amy Pinchuk: Make cool gadgets for your room
  • Claire Oliver: Mind-boggling science
  • Geoff Tiballs: Ripley's believe it or not!:prepare to be shocked!
  • Cheryl Jakab and David Keystone: Signals and codes
  • Wow!: the visual encyclopedia of everything

Grade 8 - 12

  • Meg Swaine: Career building through interactive online games
  • Alex Goetchius: Career building through social networking
  • Susan Ireland: Complete idiot's guide to cool jobs for teens
  • Kate Havelin: Dating: "What is a healthy relationship?"
  • Rosie Wilson: Fashion industry
  • Lisa Thompson: Focusing on fitness: have you got what it takes to be a personal trainer?
  • Chris Woodford and Jon Woodcock: Gadget book and how really cool stuff works
  • Bafikile Gwiji: Infinite career options
  • V Van der Merwe: Learn to cook
  • Izabella Little: Life talk for a daughter: advice on 60 issues from passion to success
  • Izabella Little and Patrick Wilson: Life talk for a son: 60 issues and how to deal with them
  • L Eichner: Scrapbooking - cream of the crop
  • Margaret McAlpine: So you want to work in film and TV?
  • Margaret McAlpine: So you want to work in music and dance?
  • Sean Covey: The 6 most important decisions you'll ever make: a guide for teens
  • Sean Covey: The 7 habits of highly effective teens
  • P Korn: Woodworking basics

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