A Jubilympic Reading List

Calling all librarians, teachers and parents – is there a child in Britain not doing Jubilee/Olympics as their ‘topic’ in school this term? Both mine certainly are. There are some great non-fiction titles related to both these topics, but what if you are looking for fabulous ‘Jubilympic’ fiction for your little readers to get their teeth into?

Never fear – I’m here to help! I’ve compiled a list of fab ‘Jubilympic’ fiction titles for kiddiwinkles of all ages. And I have included my new novel ‘Pop!’ but only cos it’s about a boy with Olympic swimming dreams so it totally fits. Well, the Queen’s not in it. Perhaps she should be but I fear it’s too late to shoe-horn her in now! So, anyway, here we are – my ‘Jubilympic Reading List’ – for the nation’s children to enjoy! Happy Reading!

Oh, and thank you so much to everyone who helped me find all these brilliant book; I can’t claim to have read them all! Do feel free to drop me a line through the website if you think of any more and I’ll add them! Ta very much! Enjoy!


Jubilee Books

Picture books

The Queen’s Knickers- Nicholas Allen

A humorous story about a little girl who wonders what knickers the Queen will be wearing when she visits the school. As enjoyed by the Queen herself at a Norfolk nursery, this is an affectionate, charming classic that every child should share. And it’s available with a sparkly new cover for 2012!

Peppa Pig meets the Queen

Join your favourite slightly bossy little pig, as Peppa meets the Queen. A perfect storybook to share with your little piggies at home in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee!

Katie in London James Mayhew

When Katie and her cousin Jack visit London with Grandma, they don’t think there’s much to see and do. At Trafalgar Square they meet a talking stone lion, and he takes them on a wonderful tour of the city taking in such sights as The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye!


5 – 9 years

The Queen’s Birthday Hat – Margaret Ryan

The Queen doesn’t want any fancy slippers or fancy necklaces for her birthday. What she’d really like is a new garden hat. The royal hatters make four special hats, but the Queen doesn’t like any of them. Then she spies the perfect garden hat on the donkey’s head.

The Queen’s Day off Sheila – May Bird

The Queen looks in her diary – and discovers she has nothing at all to do. She decides to take a day off from her busy duties and have lots of fun instead!

Horrid Henry Meets the Queen – Francesca Simon

A royal riot of a read starring tiny terror Horrid Henry. You might think that when the Queen pays a posh visit to Henry’s school, he would – just for once – manage to behave. How very wrong you would be…


Elizabeth the Jubilee Fairy – Daisy Meadows

Elizabeth the Jubilee Fairy makes sure that all jubilee celebrations are fun and magical! But when mean Jack Frost steals Elizabeth’s Diamond Sceptre, King Oberon and Queen Titania’s 1100th jubilee is sure to be a disaster. Can Kirsty and Rachel help Elizabeth find the sceptre so the royal couple can celebrate in style…?


The Queens’ Nose – Dick King Smith

Harmony’s uncle sends her on a treasure trail – which ends in finding a 50p piece. But the coin is a magic one, and when you rub the queen’s nose, your wishes will come true.

The BFG – Roald Dahl

I had to mention this one cos when the children of Britain are threatened by huge kiddy-munching giants, it’s down to a small girl called Sophie, the Big Friendly Giant, and Her Majesty the Queen to save them.


Ages 10 +

Two weeks with the Queen – Morris Gleitzman

When Luke gets cancer it seems to Colin that it is just another way of his little brother trying to get attention. But when Colin is sent to England he hatches a plot that will really make his mum and dad sit up and take notice. If he can just get to the Queen to ask if he can borrow the best doctor in the country then all will be we


Titus Rules – Dick King-Smith

Tells the humorous (and fictional) story of one of Queen Elizabeth II’s corgis, Titus, and his adventures while living in the palace.



Adult titles but which might be suitable for older readers


The Queen and I Sue Townsend

When a Republican party wins the General Election, their first act in power is to strip the royal family of their assets and titles and send them to live on a housing estate in the Midlands.

Exchanging Buckingham Palace for a two-bedroomed semi in Hell Close (as the locals dub it), caviar for boiled eggs, servants for a social worker named Trish, the Queen and her family learn what it means to be poor among the great unwashed. But is their breeding sufficient to allow them to rise above their changed circumstance or deep down are they really just like everyone else?

The Uncommon Reader – Allan Bennett

A humorous novella. When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library, she feels duty bound to borrow a book and discovers the pleasures of the written word.

The Autobiography of the Queen – Emma Tennant.

Faced with the loss of her beloved home, Balmoral, Queen Elizabeth II escapes alone to the Caribbean.

Death at Buckingham Palace : Her Majesty Investigates -C. C. Benison.

A novel in which — yes — Queen Elizabeth II plays detective! (Don’t you wonder if the queen reads these books?) Also Death at Sandringham Palace and Death at Balmoral!





Picture books

G is for Gold Medal – an Olympic Alphabet – Brad Herzog

Learn the meaning behind the five interlocking rings featured on the Olympic flag. Cheer on American Jim Thorpe as he won the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, only to lose his medals later. Read how the man dubbed as the “world’s laziest high jumper” won the gold in 1968 and later had a jump named after him. All these moments and more are brought to life in G is for Gold Medal.

The Fairyland Olympics Meg Clibbon

Visually appealing to children with its delightful illustrations, this book is full of witty descriptions of Olympic events as performed by fairies. The centerfold depicts a complete fairy stadium with lots of detail to study, and kids are encouraged to use ideas from the book to stage their own backyard track-and-field events. A recipe for a healthy energy drink is provided for such an occasion, along with pull-out medals and trophies for award ceremonies at the end of the games.


Barbar’s Celestville Games Laurent de Brunhoff

Babar and his family are thrilled that Celesteville is hosting the Games! This is their chance to see the best athletes from all over the world compete and to meet new people from other countries. Everyone is wide-eyed as gymnasts fly through the air, divers make a splash, and cyclists race to the finish line! A grand tale about sportsmanship, love, and diversity.

P K and TK and the Special Olympics –Richard Hurley

While searching for a family of their own, P.K. and T.K. come across a broken-down school bus filled with children. The children are trying to make it to the Special Olympics on time so they can compete in the games! But with the bus breaking down, they need a small miracle in order to get achieve their dreams of being Olympic athletes. Determined to help, P.K. and T.K. devise a way to use their magical powers to help the children get to the Special Olympics. Will P.K. and T.K. get the children to the Olympics on time? A warm, heart-touching story about children helping other children achieve their dreams.


The Smurf Olympics – Peyo

Hefty Smurf loves to play sports, but he can’t get the other Smurfs to play with him. His solution – create the “Smurf Olympics”! The Smurfs divide themselves into two teams, all competing for the grand prize: a kiss from the Smurfette. But when one Smurf is turned down by both teams, he decides to compete on his own, throwing the entire games into chaos. Can one Smurf take on the entire Smurf Village? And can the two Smurf teams stop cheating long enough for the games to take place?



5 – 8 years


Olympic Adventure –Roderick Hunt

Another Biff Chip and Kipper Magic Key adventure from the Oxford Reading Tree series. The children find themselves transported to ancient Greece to the original Olympics.

Asterix goes to the Olympics – Rene Goskinny

Asterix, Obelix, and their friends have entered the famous Olympic games in Athens. They’re determined to taste victory, but the Gauls face formidable competition from both Greeks and Romans. Will it be a Gold Medal for Asterix? Or will he suffer the agony of defeat?

Ray’s Olympics – Libby Gleeson

Ray lied to the school bullies, and now he has to find a way into the Olympics before the Leary boys make mincemeat out of him.

Cows in Action – The Moo-lympic Games- Steve Cole

BEEFING UP THE OLYMPICS! Join Professor McMoo and his team on their exciting visit to ancient Greece. Genius cow Professor McMoo and his trusty sidekicks, Pat and Bo, are star agents of the C.I.A. – short for COWS IN ACTION! They travel through time, fighting evil bulls from the future and keeping history on the right track . . .

When Pat and Bo are cow-napped and taken to ancient Greece, McMoo discovers two ultra strong ter-moo-nators planning the biggest time crime ever. Battling evil ox athletes, strange cow-gods and deadly dung beetles, the C.I.A. must take part in the craziest Olympics in history – and if they can’t win, evil cattle will take over the world!

Dinosaur Olympics – Jeanne Willis

Darwin, the young stegosaurus, and his family are throwing a great party, when it is gate-crashed by T Rex Flint Beastwood and his scary gang. Will war break out between the dinosaurs or can Boris, the Mayor, bring peace with the brilliant idea of … the Olympic Games? Find out in Dinosaur Olympics, the first in a brilliantly funny new series from Jeanne Willis and Arthur Robins. With a cast of fantastically funny dinosaur characters, madcap adventures galore and a dino-mayor who will look very familiar to grown ups, Dinosaur Olympics is set to be a smash hit!

Steve Voakes – Hooey Higgins goes for Gold

Like cheese? Like champions? Like to see the Cheese of Champions? Read this book and you … might!


Olympia the games fairy – Daisy Meadows

Kirsty and Rachel are on an exciting day out to watch a triathlon – a three-part race where the athletes have to swim, cycle and run. But when the competitors start swimming round in circles, it’s clear that all is not well. Olympia the Games Fairy appears and explains that Jack Frost has stolen the three magical items which she needs to make sure the Fairyland Games, which are also on at the moment, run smoothly. Without them, both the human and fairyland games are doomed to chaos!


Sam and Ruby’s Olympic adventure – Tony Bradman

Ruby and Sam are given an ultimatum by their teacher: either they present a project on the Olympic Games or will not be allowed to go on their school trip. Creating a time machine, using Sam’s spare wheelchair, they travel from the beginning of the Olympics in Athens to the Beijing Olympics of 2008. Exciting story which presents the history of the Olympic Games in a fun format.


Danny Baker’s Silly Olympics: The Wibbly Wobbly Jelly Belly Flop and Four Other Brilliantly Bonkers Stories! Steve Hartley

A bumper bind-up of the first two hilarious DANNY BAKER stories (THE WORLD’S BIGGEST BOGEY and THE WORLD’S AWESOMEST AIR-BARF) plus a sensational new story THE SILLY OLYMPICS! (100% Unofficial!). Cheer Danny and his friends on as they bravely attempt to break the World Record for Jelly Belly Flopping, Custard Pie Flinging and Picking Up Baked Beans While Wearing Boxing Gloves! The competition is tough, but Danny is determined to hop, skip and boing his way to a gold medal (and a new World Record!).



Age 9 +

Running in her Shadow – Robert Rigby

A gifted track and field athlete, Megan Morgan has all the makings of an [Olympic] superstar. Whether sprinting, jumping or hurdling, her body moves like quicksilver and her sporting dreams look set to become reality. Backing Megan all the way is her determined mother. A promising athlete in her youth, she will not rest until her daughter competes for Team GB. But where is the line between love and obsession? And how much pressure can Megan withstand?

Pop! Catherine Bruton

Jimmy Wigmore’s dream is to swim for Great Britain at the Olympics. Or is that his dad’s dream? His best mate Elfie reckons Jimmy’s got chlorine on the brain and she comes up with a way better plan to rescue them from their tragically messed up lives – they’ll enter a TV Talent contest! It doesn’t matter that Jimmy can’t sing and that they have to lie about their ages – and loads of other stuff too – or that Jimmy’s dad is totally going to kill him if he messes up his chance to get into the Olympic target squad, when Elfie comes up with a plan there’s no stopping her. And maybe there is more to life than swimming after all. Maybe…Funny and heart-warming. Perfect for fans of Frank Cottrell Boyce.


Rush for Gold – Mystery at the Olympics. John Feinstein

Bestselling sportswriter and Edgar Award winner John Feinstein is back with another sports mystery featuring Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson—this one set at the summer Olympics in London. In this book, Susan Carol isn’t a reporter—she’s an Olympian, competing as a swimmer at her first Olympic games. Stevie is both proud and envious of her athletic prowess. And he’s worried by the agents and sponsors and media all wanting to get up close and personal with Susan Carol. But the more disturbing question becomes—how far might they go to ensure that America’s newest Olympic darling wins gold?


Parallel Lines Robert Rigby

Blessed with twin talents, Sam Warder appears to have it all. A lightning-fast scrum-half on the rugby pitch, he also performs feats of strength and agility on the parallel bars. But the London 2012 Games are approaching and Sam is at a crossroads. Flying in the face of peer pressure, he chooses Gymnastics as his sport. And then the threatening text messages begin…Can Sam hold fast to his Olympic odyssey in a school where rugby is a religion?

Olympic Mind Games- Robert Ronnson

In 2012 – Britain is gripped by Olympic Games fever, the world has a climate crisis, and his twin sister is an Olympic swimming sensation, but 13-year-old Jack Donovan has something much more worrying on his mind. A sinister face from Jack’s nightmare has appeared as a game icon on his computer and he is convinced a superior intelligence is responsible. The supposedly simple computer game becomes hypnotic and draws him in, totally. Someone or something is playing mind games…Hiding out in the safest place in the UK – London’s Olympic Village – Jack is fighting a force committed to global destruction.


Deep Waters Robert Rigby

Lucy Chambers lives to swim. Tipped as a future Paralympian, she has watched the Aquatics Centre rise up near her London home and hopes to make a real splash there in 2012. But the ripples of Lucy’s success have reached her mother, Sarah, who rejected her soon after she was born. Both mother and daughter share a passion for swimming – but is now the right time to start sharing in each other’s lives? For Lucy, the waters have never been deeper…


The Champion Maker – Kevin Joseph

In an unprecedented quest for Olympic gold in both the 100 and 1500 meters, a troubled track coach and his young protege uncover a shocking conspiracy. With its blend of cutting-edge science, legal intrigue and conspiracy elements, this timely thriller will delight fans of suspense and sports fiction alike.


Wheels on Fire Robert Rigby

Rory Temu is unstoppable on his battered BMX. Weaving and dodging though the Edinburgh streets, there’s no obstacle he won’t tackle. Such brilliance on a bike could take Rory far – maybe even to Olympic heights, so his teacher believes. But a gang on the streets has been watching too – and the members have their own plans for Rory’s talents. Rory has a gift and he knows it, but can he keep his balance over such rough terrain?


Olympic Poems


Olympic Poems – 100% unofficial- Roger Stevens

A brilliant, funny, inspiring collection of poems about sport and sporting events of every kind from PE lessons to sports day to the final of the men’s 100m race.

. There are poems about winning, and about taking part; poems about having all the right kit, but no talent; poems that show that it if you are at school being the best egg and spoon racer really is as important to your mum and dad as being an Olympic athlete; poems about being a team player and poems about being an individual hero. In fact, this book is packed with sporting gems of all kinds.


When Granny won Olympic Gold Graham Denton

Following the same successful formula as The Secret Life of Pants, Let’s Recycle Grandad, and My Cat is in Love with the Goldfish, When Granny Won Olympic Gold is a lively collection of poetry for 8-12 year olds. It includes plenty of humorous rhymes along with some moving and thought-provoking poems, and features all kinds of writing styles – from haiku to limericks. The collection is publishing at a perfect time to build on the increased interest in all things Olympic in the lead-up to 2012 London Olympics. A collection of medal-winning sports poems that children will love.








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