Six for Sunday: Favourite Books of 2019

Favourite Children’s Books of 2019

#SixforSunday is hosted by Steph at A Little But A Lot. Every week there is a bookish-themed prompt to inspire 6 choices.

This month focuses on Getting to know you and this week the prompt is Best Books of 2019.

Oh this was too hard to narrow down to 6, so I have decided to cheat massively.

I’m not sure I’ve not forgotten some but fingers crossed!

Illustrated Books

Illustrated books are a staple in my house thanks to the girls especially as Littlefae is not really ready to give up illustrations. A particular trend we’ve enjoyed in 2019 is more complicated Lower Middle grade being illustrated and even with Frostheart Middle grade adventures being illustrated too, fingers crossed for more in 2020.

Favourite illustrated Children’s Books of 2019

Planet Omar– Zanib Mian & Nasaya Mafaridik
Amelia Fang & the Lost Yeti Treasure – Laura Ellen Anderson
Isadora Moon has a Sleepover– Harriet Muncaster
Milton the Mighty– Emma Read & Alex G Griffiths
Skeleton Keys: The Unimaginary Friend– Gus Bass & Peter Williamson
The Dragon in the Library– Louie Stowell & Davide Ortu
Magical Kingdom of Birds The Snow Goose– Anne Booth & Rosie Butcher
Mr Penguin & the Catastrophic Cruise– Alex T Smith
Frostheart– Jamie Littler
The Night’s Realm- Nick Ward

Contemporary Fantasy

Call it contemporary fantasy or magical realism, either way magical twists on our mundane world has made a huge impact on my reading this year.

Favourite Contemporary Fantasy Children’s Books of 2019

The Midnight Hour– Benjamin Read & Laura Trinder
Lightning Chase Me Home– Amber Lee Dodd
The Lost Tide Warriors– Catherine Doyle
The Land Of Roar– Jenny MacLachlan illustrations by Ben Mantle
Bloom– Nicola Skinner
A Pocketful Of Stars– Aisha Busby
And Then I Turned Into A Mermaid– Laura Kirkpatrick
The International Yeti Collective– Paul Mason & Katy Riddell
The Ghouls of Howlfair– Nick Tomlinson

(Also not pictured Shadows of Winterspell Amy Wilson & The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods Samuel J Halpin)


Possibly my favourite genre, going from strength to strength I had to divide this into two groups for the graphics!

Favourite Fantasy Children’s Books of 2019- Girls with Magic

A Pinch of Magic– Michelle Harrison
The Last SpellBreather– Julie Pike
Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day– Dominique Valente
Under Earth– Ellen Renner
The Girl Who Speaks Bear– Sophie Anderson
The extremely inconvenient adventures of Bronte Mettlestone– Jaclyn Moriarty

Favourite Fantasy Children’s Books of 2019- Quests and questions

The Star Spun Web– Sinéad O’Hart
Wildspark– Vashti Hardy
The Butterfly Circus– Francesca Armour-Chelu
Rumblestar– Abi Elphinstone
The Maker Of Monsters– Lorraine Gregory
The Pearl in the Ice– Catharine Constable


YA Dystopian has had a lapse after a huge success of the 00s and early 10s, the whole only this one person can save the post apocalyptic world from the bad Dictator guys trilogy thing has been shown to be pretty tired.

But, in Middle Grade ( and one teen) there has been a clever and quiet re-examination of the genre- flipping the focus away from grandstanding epic save the world, to smaller character driven exploration of life as a regular person who takes a risk with many gently nudging the contemporary through the lens of survival post-ecological disaster and migration

Favourite Children’s Books of 2019 - Dystopian

Scavengers– Darren Simpson
The Middler– Kirsty Applebaum
Where the river runs gold– Sita Brahmachari
The House of Light– Julia Green
The Switching Hour– Damaris Young
Jelly– Clare Rees

Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction is stronger than ever with Emma Carroll the Queen of Childrens Historical Fiction (and apparently soon for adults too) was joined by some amazing historical stories this year.

Favourite Historical fiction Children’s Books of 2019

The Garden Of Lost Secrets– AM Howell
The Golden Butterfly– Sharon Gosling
The Way of the Waves– Dr Janina Ramirez
Anna at War– Helen Peters
The Somerset Tsunami- Emma Carroll
The Boy Who Flew- Fleur Hitchcock

Also not pictured The Steam Whistle Theatre Company – Vivian French


Another genre I love has had some brilliantly creative twists this year from the 21st Century Famous Five feel of Clifftoppers, to the inner city drama of High Rise Mystery and film noir inspirations of Potkin & Stubbs.

Favourite Mystery Children’s Books of 2019

Clifftoppers: The Arrowhead Moor Adventure & Clifftoppers: The Fire Bay Adventure– Fleur Hitchcock
High-Rise Mystery– Sharna Jackson
A Girl called Justice– Elly Griffiths
Top Marks for Murder- Robin Stevens
Potkin and Stubbs & Potkin & Stubbs- The Haunting of Peligan City– Sophie Green
The Bad Luck Lighthouse– Nicki Thornton


I’m not the biggest Contemporary fan but I have to say in 2019 I was blown away by a few beautiful stories particularly these 4.

There are a few crossovers here- Clifftoppers, High Rise Mystery and AGGGTM could all interchange between here and Mystery so I split them up for these purposes.

Favourite contemporary Children’s Books of 2019

We won an Island– Charlotte Lo
Check Mates– Stewart Foster
A Good Girls Guide to Murder– Holly Jackson
Summer of No Regrets– Kate Mallinder

Not pictured, The Paper & Hearts Society Lucy Powrie

Historical Fantasy

Blending two popular genres we saw some more fantasy set in historical situations from the Cold War gulags, Victorian rich & poverty and then slippy trippy timey wimey wanderings, these are historical stories with a dash of wonder and sometimes fantasy stories with a dash of history.

For a history fan, that’s a sweet spot to explore.

Favourite historical fantasy Children’s Books of 2019

The Longest Night Of Charlie Noon– Christopher Edge
The Magic Place– Chris Wormwell
The Velvet Fox– Catherine Fisher
Nevertell– Katherine Orton.

Well did you read any of these last year?

What do you think?

21 thoughts on “Six for Sunday: Favourite Books of 2019

  1. I love the way you cheat! 😂 So many fantastic books on here – many I’ve read, many on my TBR and a few I’m sure I’ll be getting. Thanks for linking your reviews – I’m looking forward to catching up on some of your reviews which I haven’t read – before I knew about this wonderful world of middle-grade bloggers!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like your stylish cheating too! Completely agree about the importance of illustrated lower MG fiction, it’s so important for many children’s enjoyment of a book, particularly when they might be reading in their second language. I love your description of contemporary fantasy, I haven’t seen that before…I might need to magpie it for some displays at school😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant list! Don’t think I could manage with a shortlist of six either. Two books you mentioned – A Pinch of magic and The Girl who speaks Bear made it as my top ten reads of the year. The Midnight Hour was good, but a tad too quirky. The ending is a chilling cliffhanger, and I’m sure we’ll read the sequel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes A Pinch of Magic went straight into favourites of all time and The Girl Who Speaks Bear is just outstandingly beautiful, I love mythology so to see such a story so joyfully exploring and weaving further mythology and folklore was an exquisite experience!


  4. Hi Lilyfae, So pleased you picked The International Yeti Collective as one of your fantasy books of 2019 it really means a lot. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the sequel due out later this year–we’ll keep you posted. I hope this finds you and the family well, All the best, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Paul you’ve just sent me over the moon with confirmation of the sequel, the International Yeti Collective is a story that just sang to something deep in my soul, certainly one of my favourite fantasy books (and not just of 2019) and I’m delighted to hear there is more to come 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh heck, I never would’ve been able to narrow this down, either. But I always love the books you choose. 😀

    The Night’s Realm looks really interesting, and I absolutely LOVE that cover. I still need to read The Switching Hour! I keep forgetting about it lol. I’m gonna have to check a lot of these out. They all look so good. Woe to my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, this was the only way I was going to manage this- I thought about doing it awards style like best dragon book, funniest book and then I couldn’t choose so this was my only option!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, so many books, and so many gorgeous covers! You’ve just made me want to read every book on your list that I haven’t (which is most of them, lol!) I love your choice of just ‘six’ books…. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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