There is no denying that the vocabulary section in the 11+ is demanding, but if prepared for carefully and over enough time, the verbal reasoning test can be an ‘easy win’ set of marks. We’ve compiled a list of books that we’d recommend your child reading throughout Years 4/5. When your child reaches a new word, encourage them to underline it and copy it in their word bank / journal. If they prefer reading from a Kindle, there is a feature where the E-book will provide a definition of the word once it’s selected.
Your child might not click with each of these, but their vocabulary range will certainly increase and so will their awareness of sentence structures.
1. The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
2. Famous Five by Enid Blyton
3. The Railway Children by Edith Nesbitt
4. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis
6. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
7. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
8. Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
9. Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery
10. Little Women by L M Alcott
This is obviously just a short collection and if your child is a reluctant reader, poetry may be a better starting point. Some of the best children’s poetry anthologies are from some time ago and it’s worth looking in second-hand bookshops (online and on the high street).
Here are a few current ones we’d recommend:
1. Collected Poems for Children: Macmillan Classics Edition by Charles Causley
2. 101 Poems for Children Chosen by Carol Ann Duffy: A Laureate's Choice
3. A Million Brilliant Poems (Part One) by Roger Stevens
4. 100 Best Poems for Children by Roger McGough and Shelia Moxley
5. A Poem for Every Day of the Year by Allie Esiri
We hope this helps. Even if you’re not thinking about 11+ preparation, the above list will provide a fantastic set of books for your child to enjoy throughout the year. Happy reading!