The Ultimate Your Kid’s Next Read Best Books of 2021 Holiday Reading List

Posted on December 20, 2021

As all the ‘best books of 2021’ lists begin to storm the internet and various other media channels, I decided that it was time the Your Kid’s Next Read community got in on the action.

So I challenged our members to help me create The Ultimate Your Kid’s Next Read Best Books of 2021 Holiday Reading List by nominating their favourite read of 2021. It resulted in a terribly unwieldy hashtag (#UYKNRBBO2021HRL anyone?) but a fabulous reading list for kids of all ages.

The beauty of a community like Your Kid’s Next Read is that our lists tend to combine brand-new published-this-year bestsellers with new-to-me-this-year old favourites.

So, without further ado, I bring you the best reads of 2021, according to the 21,000+ members of the Your Kid’s Next Read group. Where a reading age has also been nominated, I’ve put it in brackets. Click the book title to find out more about the book or to purchase from Booktopia*.


Top 5 Books for Kids (2021)

There were five books that were nominated multiple times and in multiple ways. These were the top five reads of 2021, as nominated by Your Kid’s Next Read members. 


top books of 2021 your kid's next readWe are Wolves by Katrina Nannestad (11+)

Are you there, Buddha? by Pip Harry (11+)

Dragon Skin by Karen Foxlee (11+)

My Brother Ben by Peter Carnavas (9+)

Eliza Vanda’s Button Box by Emily Rodda (8+)




Other YKNR favourite 2021 reads (picture books to YA)


top books 2021 your kid's next readCoco and the Bee by Laura Bunting (PB)

The Elephant by Peter Carnavas (PB)

Day Break by Amy McQuire and Matt Chun (PB)

A Pair of Pears and an Orange by Anna McGregor (PB)


top books 2021 Your Kid's Next ReadSing Me The Summer by Jane Godwin and Alison Lester (PB)

Tomorrow is A Brand-New Day by Davina Bell and Alison Colpoys (PB)

All Of The Factors Of Why I Love Tractors by Davina Bell and Jenny Lovlie (PB)


top books 2021 your kid's next readThe Story Orchestra series by Jessica Courtney-Tickle and Katy Flint (5+)

Rabbit and Bear series by Julian Gough (5+)

Tiger Warrior series by M. Chan (5+)

Dragon Girls (series) by Maddy Mara


top books of 2021 Your Kid's Next ReadWolf Girl by Anh Do (6+)

Dory Fantasmagory by by Abby Hanlon (6+)

Kid Normal series by Greg Smith, Chris Smith and Erica Salcedo (8+)

Shockingly Good Stories by R. A. Spratt


top books 2021 emily roddaAugie and Me by R. J. Palaccio

His Name Was Walter by Emily Rodda (8+)

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

The School Between Winter and Fairyland by Heather Fawcett (9+)


top books 2021 your kid's next readA Wolf For A Spell by Karah Sutton

When This Bell Rings by Allison Rushby (9+)

The Little Wave by Pip Harry (10+)

400 Minutes of Danger by Jack Heath (10+)


top books 2021 your kid's next readAussie STEM stars series (assorted authors)

Elsewhere Girls by Emily Gale and Nova Weetman (10+)

The Ballad of Melodie Rose by Kate Gordon

The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst by Jaclyn Moriarty (10+)


top books 2021 your kid's next readRabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief by Katrina Nannestad

Tiger Daughter by Rebecca Lim (10+)

The Edge of Thirteen by Nova Weetman (10+)

Land Of Stories (series) by Chris Colfer (10+)


top books 2021 your kid's next readThe Right Way To Rock by Nat Amoore

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce (11+)

The Wolf’s Howl by A. L. Tait (11+)

Rainfish by Andrew Paterson (11+)


top books 2021 your kid's next readThe Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wegelius (11+)

The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Field

When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, Iman Geddy


top books 2021 your kid's next readPony by R. J. Palaccio

The Book of Chance by Sue Whiting

The Republic Of Birds by Jessica Miller

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston


top books 2021 your kid's next readPercy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

Anything But Fine by Tobias Madden (nominated for 11+ but note this is a YA novel)

The Boy From The Mish by Gary Lonesborough (YA)

Henry Hamlet’s Heart by Rhiannon Wilde (YA)

Charlie Tangaroa and the Creature From The Sea by T.K. Roxborough


Allison Tait podcastAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, and tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast!


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