Here is a reading list by Katherine Wilson of Enchanted Hour Stories to help children make sense of their current circumstances. What is it like to live alone or within one family/ small friendship group while isolated from the world? Here are some books to enjoy together and some to read alone. It isn’t a complete list. Feel free to contact Enchanted Hour Stories on Instagram with your own suggestions.
Lizzie Nonsense – Jan Ormerod. A little girl living in the Australian outback during Victorian time ‘pretends’. Lots to talk about! ( Reception, Year 1 and Year 2)
The Lighthouse – Sophie Blackhall. The exquisitely illustrated story of a lighthouse and its inhabitants. A Caldecott Medal winner. (Years 1, 2 and 3).
Katie Morag stories – Mairi Hedderwick- island life, its challenges and joys. (Reception to Year 3)
Little House in the Big Woods – Laura Ingalls Wilder. Two little girls live and play in a log cabin in Wisconsin.
Years 3 and 4 (read aloud) 5 and 6 to read to themselves.
Kensuke’s Kingdom – Michael Morpurgo. A modern classic about a shipwrecked boy who finds an old man living alone on a tropical island. (Years 4, 5 and 6)
Robinson Crusoe (Graffex) – Daniel Defoe, Oenko Geneva and Ian Graham. A graphic novel version of the most famous castaway of them all. (Years 4,5,6 and 7)
Holes – Louis Sachar. A modern classic about incarceration in a juvenile detention centre and subsequent escape. Plenty of laughs! (Years 5, 6 and 7)
The Exiles – Hilary McKay. A funny story about four bookish girls exiled to their grandmother’s house for the summer – no books allowed – they are forced to engage with the world outside! It’s a neat counterpoint to our current predicament. (Years 5, 6, 7, 8)
The Long Winter – Laura Ingalls Wilder. A compelling account of a family trapped by arctic weather in their house for eight months. Food, fuel and lamp oil run out leading to price hikes and hoarding. (Spoiler alert: everyone lives to tell the tale.) ( Years 5, 6, 7, 8)
Hatchet – Gary Paulson. A boy survives a plane crash and learns to live in the Canadian Wilderness with just a hatchet for company. (Years 6, 7 and 8)
The Cay – Theodore Taylor. An American classic about a young boy and a man marooned on a sand bar during World War II. Altruism is taken to its limit. (Years 6, 7 and 8)
Walkabout – James Vance Marshall. Two white children lost in the Australian desert are befriended by an Australian aborigine with life changing results. (Years 7 and above)
Among the Hidden – Margaret Haddix. The youngest of three children has to remain hidden indoors. It is set in a dystopian future that allows only two children per family.
The Diary of Ann Frank – needs no introduction and is available additionally in graphic format. (Years 6 and above)
And lastly for adults – a cheeky recommendation – ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover – isolation of a different sort.
Picture by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash.