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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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The Coolest Reads for a Hot Summer

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We’ve put together a list of the best reads for your kids this summer. From Tolkien to Peppa Pig, and everything in-between!

We made it everyone!

We’re at the end of another year, and not just any old year. 2020 is a year we’ll never forget – even if we’d like to!

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Though we can’t forget it, we may be able to escape it for a while. In books we have the opportunity to live in other cities, countries, times and even worlds.

When your kids pick up a good book they can spend an afternoon exploring an ancient city, or flying through space to far off and fantastic worlds.

You never know what you’ll find in a book unless you start reading. To help, we’ve put together a list of some of what we think are the best kids reads for these summer holidays.

You can find many of them at the Archdiocese of Sydney’s own Mustard Seed Bookshop and others at many good book retailers. Click on their names to find out where you can get them!

Young Reads

10 great books to be enjoyed by even the youngest readers – or those not even reading yet!

  1. Saintly Rhymes for Modern Times
    This wonderful book is filled with colourful illustrations and catchy rhymes to teach kids that everyone is called to be a saint.
  2. Saint Mary Mackillop: Friend of Jesus
    This delightfully illustrated book is perfect for children under 10 who want to learn about Australia’s first saint. Mary Mackillop was always looking for ways to help people and the example she set for us all is worth learning early.
  3. All Aboard Noah’s Ark – Tiny Board Book
    Something for the really young ones, this brilliant little book shows the animals coming two by two on to Noah’s ark. This book is a wonderful way to share the beloved bible story.
  4. Peppa’s Night Before Christmas
    This timeless Christmas classic has been updated for Peppa Pig in a brand new, fully rhyming story! It’s the most magical night of the year… Christmas Eve! Maybe Peppa and George will meet a special visitor.
  5. Bluey! Verandah Santa
    It’s Christmas Eve and Bluey, Bingo and Muffin decide to play a game called Verandah Santa! What will Santa bring them? A gorgeous hardback book for kids of all ages.
  6. The Christmas Tales of Peter Rabbit
    ‘Rabbits are always very uppity during the Christmas season, and Peter Rabbit was no exception.’ It is almost Christmas and Peter Rabbit cannot contain his excitement. After he upsets yet another bowl of mincemeat, Mrs Rabbit sends Peter on an errand. He bumps into his cousin, Benjamin Bunny, and a feathered friend who makes an alarming announcement which throws Benjamin and Peter together in a race against time and the scary McGregors. And so, our Christmas Tale begins…
  7. Spot’s Christmas
    It’s Christmas! Spot decorates the tree and wraps presents. Then he hangs up his stocking and waits for Father Christmas.
  8. Let’s Celebrate Mass Today
    Previously featured in the Connect Newsletter, this wonderful book was written by a local Sydney Mum on a mission to help children understand and participate in Mass. The wonderful story and artwork helps children understand the importance and beauty of the Mass in a way they can easily relate to.

    Check out the Brother Francis colouring book from the Mustard Seed bookshop!
  9. You are Special – Board Book 
    You are Special is a beautiful story that reminds us that we are precious to God just the way we are. It is through spending daily time with Him that we begin to see ourselves through His eyes. This bestseller has sold millions of copies and is now available as a condensed board book for younger children.
  10. Brother Francis Colouring and Activity Book
    To young to read? Not a problem. This fantastic activity book from the very popular Brother Francis collection can help children begin to learn about our faith even before they can understand the words. For kids a little too small to read, it’s the perfect Christmas book!

Teen Reads

Five top reads for teens and tweens to enjoy these holidays!

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia 
    Having enchanted millions of readers, this C.S Lewis classic is sure to be a hit with your young reader. With the full seven stories in one book, it is packed with hours of entertainment and wonder with a beautiful Christian message.

  2. Will Wilder 2: The Lost Staff of Wonders In this widely acclaimed novel our hero Will Wilder is accused of stealing the storied Staff of Moses – responsible for summoning the plagues of ancient Egypt. To prove his innocence and find the real culprit, Will embarks on a challenging journey and wild ride that your kids are sure to love.
  3. The Screw Tape Letters
    Another C.S. Lewis classic, this brilliant and quirky story is a collection of letters from the veteran demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood advising him on how best to tempt and mislead humans. This very funny book is easy to read and helps readers identify the devil at work in our lives and how to beat him.
  4. Teresa of Calcutta: Missionary, Mother, Mystic.
    This stirring biography follows St. Teresa’s life from Macedonia to the cloister in India, to the streets of Calcutta and worldwide fame. This book is sure to inspire readers through the love of God that propelled her incredible life.
  5. My Dear Young Friend
    Written by our very own Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, My Dear Young Friend is a collection of letters written to the youth of Sydney adressing the questions young people have asked him over the years. As the Archbishop says of his book, “Read and re-read the ones that grab you; give the ones that bore you a miss. Above all, though, attend to the ones that get you wondering. Ponder, puzzle, wrestle with them. These are matters worth struggling with, laughing and crying over…”


These classic books are sure to spark a love of reading in any teen reader. Enjoyed for generations, they may be on your school reading list – but they’re worth a second read!

  1. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy
    R.R Tolkein’s timeless classic series is sure to be a favourite for any young reader. The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King have been entertaining readers (and movie fans) for generations, delivering to young readers a message of hope, faith, cameraderie, courage and so much more.
  2. 1984
    This exciting novel paints the picture of a dark, dystopian future of thought police and newspeak. Spies are everywhere, even the kids will dob you in, and the penalties are severe. Parents are warned this book contains mature themes and is recommended for older teens.
  3. Meditations
    What could we possibly learn from a second century Roman Emperor? Turns out, a whole lot. This collection of thoughts and ideas holds timeless wisdom and is sure to spark curiosity and further reading.

    Meditations was written in the 2nd Century by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird
    Another you might remember reading in high school. This classic novel tells the story of a journey for justice in America’s deep South in the 1930s. The book explores the issues of race and class in the South with compassion and humour, in a thought provoking and unforgettable story.
  5. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
    Now a household name and hero of the screen, big and small, with spinoffs and alternate tellings, Sherlock Holmes came from humble beginnings. Meet the original Sherlock Holmes through the eyes of his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, explore London and solve crimes in this thrilling classic.


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