16 Great new books for the School Holidays

It is SO good to finally be on holidays and while screens are the usual (and lazy) go-to for chill out time with my girls (actually all of us), I will inevitably beg them to turn them off and put their noses into a book. So hard to lead by example on that one given so much of my work is on the phone when I am on the go. But! Holidays are a great time for all of us to slow down and have a read and I was stoked when author Allison Tait said she’d help me out with a list of new books that would suit girls aged 8-10. Here’s a great resource for all of you with kids saying “I’m bored” over the next two weeks! Thanks Al, and enjoy this great list below!


School holidays are perfect for reading. Long, long days, not too much to do, mum to annoy (oh wait…). But finding the right book to fend off the school holiday boredom is sometimes not easy.

I’ve put together a list of great new books (out since January 2018) for Beth – hence the 10+ and 8+ age groups to suit her girls – that I hope will help you too.

Books for readers aged 10+

Kensy and Max: Breaking News by Jacqueline Harvey

Fom the pen of hugely popular Australian author Jacqueline Harvey comes a brand-new adventure series, featuring boy/girl twins. Kids are loving it! You can buy it online here.

Pippa’s Island: Camp Castaway (book 4) by Belinda Murrell

The latest in this popular series sees Pippa heading off to school camp. You can buy it online here.

Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman

The first book in the Elementals series is the latest offering from the international bestselling co-author of the YA series The Illuminae Files. Adventure and magic. You can buy it online here.

Quark’s Academy by Catherine Pelosi

A page-turner combining kids, science and adventure from a debut author. You can buy it online here.

Missing by Sue Whiting

A confronting mystery from an award-winning author, this is the story of what happens when Mackenzie de Luca’s mother goes missing. You can buy it online here.

Shout Out To The Girls (Penguin Random House)

If your girls loved ‘Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls’, this all-Aussie version will really hit the spot! You can buy it online here.

Friday Barnes: Never Fear by R. A. Spratt (book 8)

The last book in the Friday Barnes series is a good reason to discover the series all over again! Meet the young detective with the irritatingly high IQ! You can buy it online here.

The Book Of Answers (Ateban Cipher #2) by A.L. Tait

All of the secrets of the book are revealed in this sequel to The Book Of Secrets! High intrigue, danger and fast-paced action. You can buy it online here.

Books for readers aged 8+

A boat of stars (edited by Margaret Connolly and Natalie Jane Prior)

A beautiful anthology of new Australian poetry for primary schoolers. Language, rhythm and rhyme from some of our country’s finest writers and illustrators. You can buy it online here.

Olga: We’re Out Of Here by Elise Gravel

The second book in the funny series about Olga, an amazing child scientist. You can buy it online here.

A boy called Bat by Elana K. Arnold (ill Charles Santoso)

A beautiful story about first friendship, starring a boy on the autism spectrum. You can buy it online here.

Mr Bambuckles Remarkables Fight Back by Tim Harris

Book 2 in the breakout humour children’s series of 2017. Kids will love reading more of Mr Bambuckle and his remarkables. You can buy it online here.

Ninja Kid by Anh Do (ill by Jeremy Ley)

In book one (‘Nerd To Ninja’) of this new series, Anh Do brings us another hilarious and lovable character. You can buy it online here.

Surf Riders Club: Bronte’s Big Sister Problem by Mary Van Reyk

The Surf Riders Club is all about friendship and catching waves. In book two, Bronte has a problem with her big sister, but her best friends are there to help. You can buy it online here.

The Night Gardner by Terry Fan and Eric Fan

This beautiful picture book features extraordinary illustrations and a spare, sweet story about a mysterious night gardener bringing colour and joy to one boy’s town. You can buy it online here.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click to buy the item, I earn a little commission but you don’t pay any extra.


  1. My 10 year old loved ice wolves. I find it so hard finding good books for my 2 (10 and 13). They are both very good readers but not interested in the romance / boy-girl angst that starts creeping into so many books from these ages onwards. Good to have some different ldeas. Thank you!

    • Check out Your Kid’s Next Read on Facebook (co-run by Allison Tait). I’ve found so many great books/series for my avid readers from the recommendations of this group.

  2. I highly recommend the Friday Barnes series. My daughter read the entire series in 4 weeks and she is a reluctant 10 year old reader.

  3. My boys (6 and 8) are loving Enid Blyton “The Faraway Tree”. Warms my old fashioned heart.


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