Preparing for the 11+ Exam – Reading List.


Many of our pupil’s parents ask us how their child can improve their general English skills for the 11+ Exam. Our answer 90% of the time is ‘though reading.’

But how does that help?

Reading helps to develop children’s core vocabulary. They learn new words in a context – allowing them to access and retain the meaning more comprehensively.  It helps children to identify literary devices including: similes, metaphors, personification, adverbs, and adjectives. In addition, it enables access to sophisticated language, grammar, and spelling.

Here, at Smart 11+ we celebrate the art and gift of reading. In summary, to help pupils become exposed to literature.

With this in mind, reading should be fun! It should not be a chore or another piece of undesirable homework. Children should read active and engaging texts that both intrigue and challenge them. As well as choosing the right book, try to make reading accessible. Go to the library with your child and give them their own library card or get them a kindle. Try to make reading a part of the daily routine, e.g. a chapter before bed. Listening to them read or asking about what they have decided to read will help you to track their development and ability.

We have composed below a list of key texts that merge the development of literary skills with an interesting and engaging plot. These are designed for a range of ages, ability levels, and genres. So don’t think they have to read everything at once. Some of these texts are classics. Some are designed more for boys than girls. But have a little explore and find the book that sparks their love of reading.

Overall, we do recommend between 40 to 50 minutes of reading every day. If they have a little look at the options below and find one that tickles their fancy.

Good Luck!

Reading List:

Animal Farm by George Orwell



Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle


Narnia by C S Lewis


Charlotte’s Web by E.B Whit


Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift



Holes by Louis Sachar


Lord of the Flies by William Golding


The Butterfly Lion and Warhorse by Michael Morpurgo


Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkein



What Katy Did Next by Susan Coolidge


A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket