This summer’s best poolside reads for every age…


Summertime by Jane Foster, Templar Publishing

This beautiful board book from acclaimed artist Jane Foster, is the perfect introduction to all the things we associate with summertime. From sand castles to ice cream, buckets and spades to swimming pools, the vibrant artwork makes this the perfect gift for holidays or a summer baby.

Jane is a joy to work with and her early concept board books appeal to children and adults alike. Her work is bold, colourful and cheerful – filled with endearing characters and retro-inspired designs. This will make the perfect gift for the summer holidays.

-Isobel Boston, Editor, Templar Publishing

The Boy Who Grew Dragons by Andy Shepherd, Piccadilly Press

This is the first book in a sparky and utterly enchanting new series for 7-9 year olds, read it this summer ahead of the publication of the second book in the series, The Boy Who Lived With Dragons.

When Tomas discovers a strange old tree at the bottom of his grandad’s garden, he doesn’t think much of it. But he takes the funny fruit from the tree back into the house – and gets the shock and delight of his life when a tiny dragon hatches! The tree is a dragonfruit tree, and Tomas has got his very own dragon, Flicker …

I absolutely love this book. It’s a beautifully simple idea that is satisfying in so many ways. A secret dragon pet creates hilarity and tension, but at the heart of this story is Tomas’s relationship with his grandfather. Sara Ogilvie’s gorgeous illustrations bring it all to life perfectly. This will definitely leave you wanting more – and desperate for your own dragon!

-Talya Baker, Desk Editor, Bonnier Zaffre

My Awesome Holiday Colouring BagIgloobooks

The perfect solution for keeping children entertained on holiday.

My Awesome Holiday Colouring Bag is perfect for those long car trips, fun by the pool and much more!

-Nick Oliver, Junior Editor, Igloobooks

Young adult

In Search Of Us by Ava Dellaira, Hot Key Books

Told in two perspectives, Marilyn’s in the late 90s, and Angie’s today, In Search Of Us is a sweeping inter-generational story about mothers and daughters, love and loss, holding on and letting go.

The buzzing heat of atmospheric Los Angeles is a warming backdrop to Angie, travelling to the city in search of her mother’s past and her own roots – it gives me tingles as much as the love that she allows herself to find there.

-Jenny Jacoby, Editor, Bonnier Zaffre

Toxic by Nicci Cloke, Hot Key Books

A dark and intriguing read from a Carnegie-nominated author, set on a lad’s holiday on the Greek Island of Crete…

Hope’s ex-boyfriend isn’t going to ruin her holiday of a life-time. But when she’s woken up on the beach at 9am by two strangers, she can’t remember anything about the previous night… what on earth happened? And how will it affect them all?

Nicci Cloke writes so compulsively I find it hard to put down anything that she writes. Toxic illustrated the highs and the lows of a group of teens as they go on holiday together searching for sun, sand… and all the rest. As events take a darker turn Nicci portrays brilliantly what it means to be a true friend – whether your friend is male or female. A summertime read with an edge that will have you looking at your own friendships again, whatever age you are… 

-Emma Matthewson, Publishing Director – Children’s Fiction, Bonnier Zaffre 

The Island by M.A. Bennett, Hot Key Books

Seven students. One plane crash. No rules.

A contemporary twist on the classic Lord of the Flies, M.A. Bennett’s second novel explores the themes of bullying, abuse of power, revenge, group dynamics, teamwork and the struggles faced by adolescents in a way that will also appeal to readers outside of the young adult market.

Link never wants to see his bullies again, so when he finds himself marooned with them, it’s his worst nightmare come true. But this is a new world for them all, and no one’s place in it is certain. As the power struggles play out, how will Link fare? Let the battle commence.

A group of teenagers are stranded on a deserted island and become increasingly savage as the fripperies of modern-day living are stripped away. A clever, hugely inventive reworking of Lord of the Flies with lots of nice parallel detail for those inclined to spot them. I loved this latest book by M.A. Bennett as it’s a race-through read with a twist in its tail that will have you thinking about the book long after you have finished reading.

-Emma Matthewson, Publishing Director- Children’s Fiction, Publishing Director


Villa of Secrets by Patricia Wilson, Zaffre

If you love The Island and Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop, then you will love this. From the author of Island of Secrets, it’s the perfect poolside read.

Rebecca Neumanner’s marriage is on the brink of collapse, as her desire to be a mother becomes an obsession. Then she receives news from her estranged family in Rhodes. 

Called back to the beautiful Greek island of her birth, she realises how little she knows of the grandmother she has eluded for over a decade. Bubba has never spoken of the Nazi occupation during her youth, but there have always been whispers. What desperate measures did she take that terrible day in 1944 when her family was ripped apart? Can the rumour she had blood on her own hands really be true? But Bubba intends to take her secrets to the grave. 

However, as Rebecca arrives on Rhodes, bringing the promise of new life, this broken family must come together. The time has come to tell the truth about the darkest of days…

This book is the perfect holiday read! Patricia Wilson describes the sights, sounds and smells – not to mention the people – of Rhodes so beautifully, you really feel like you’re there! Based on the true history of Rhodes during WWII, we follow young Pandora Cohen as she becomes a freedom fighter, risking everything to save her island and her family.

-Sarah Bauer, Editor, Bonnier Zaffre

Wilde About The Girl by Louise Pentland, Zaffre 

The highly anticipated sequel to Louise Pentland’s bestselling fiction debut Wilde Like MeThis summer, sit poolside and catch up with Robin Wilde in this hilarious, heart-breaking, uplifting and unforgettable novel.

Life is about to throw quite the curve ball at Robin Wilde, and she’ll need to make some pretty brave choices if she’s going to stop everything she cares about falling apart . . . 

I love Robin Wilde, and want her to be my new best friend. This book will strike a chord with every woman – or person – who has ever felt like they’re not enough, or questioned what they’re doing. It will also make you laugh, cry and fall in love with Robin and her family!

-Sarah Bauer, Editor, Bonnier Zaffre

Tweet us @bonnierbooks_uk if you read any of our poolside recommendations!