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Meet our Book Doctors... Katie & Kevin Tsang, authors of the Dragon Realm series

In our Book Doctor feature, we welcome a guest to prescribe just the right read for any mood or occasion.

Katie & Kevin Tsang, authors of the bestselling Dragon Realm series, have joined us to prescribe some fantastic books for children.

My twin granddaughters, age 3, love picture books and being read to. What books do you suggest for the transition of getting them to read for themselves beyond just saying words they remember from a book? – Elizabeth

Reading aloud is a wonderful family tradition – and one that you can keep even as children grow older. Katie's mum still read out loud to her before bed until she was in her early teens, and we still love to read out loud to each other before bed. Not only is reading aloud together special bonding time, it can be a great way to give young readers a 'starter' push – you can start out reading a familiar book, and then they can try to read the rest themselves. Three is still very young to be reading independently, so keep reading them picture books! In our house we love reading rhyming picture books by classic children's authors like Dr Seuss and Julia Donaldson but we're also big fans of Lu Fraser and Chris Haughton. And as your granddaughters get a bit older, some great 'first' chapter books are Claude by Alex T. Smith, Rabbit & Bear written by Julian Gough and illustrated by Jim Field, Amelia Fang by Laura Ellen Andersen, and our own Sam Wu is Not Afraid series.

Rabbit & Bear by Julian Gough

As a mum of a wonderful autistic 10-year-old daughter, I am looking for recommendations of books that represent girls with autism to help her understand autism. Are there any books you would recommend? – Sarah

We recommend anything by Elle McNicoll. Elle is neurodivergent, and autistic herself, so her books are informed by her own experience which make them authentic. She writes with humour and charm and across a variety of genres. Her books are wonderful for anyone, but especially relatable for neurodivergent authors.

A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll

I am wondering about how to encourage Year 9 boys in a very diverse school to keep reading? I am trying to broaden their horizons from Diary of a Wimpy Kid and help them find more books that they can see themselves in. What kinds of authors would you recommend? – Henrietta

We are living in a fantastic time for diverse adventure stories! We recommend Amari and the Night Brothers by BB Alston, The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton, and our own Dragon Realm series.

Amari and the Night Brothers by BB Alston

I love reading, but have recently been lacking motivation and patience to read. The problem used to be that I didn't have any books to read but now I have books I can read, but it seems I don't want to read for some reason. Any ideas why or any tips to help me rediscover my joy for reading? – Jessa, aged 14

Rereading old favourites is a great way to reignite a love for reading. Or try buddy reading with a friend – this is a fun way to engage in a story.

Book Doctor

I am asking this question on behalf of a lovely 10-year-old girl. She would like to know which books/authors you would recommend, who write about science fiction or space? She has a dream to become an astronaut and would love to read more sci-fi books but is only aware of Tim Peake. – Kiah

We would love to recommend our series Space Busters about a young girl who gets sucked into her favourite space-set TV show and they need her help to save the universe! It is a wild and whacky adventure but full of real space facts as well.

Space Blasters: Suzie saves the universe by Katie and Kevin Tsang

My 10-year-old daughter, Grace, loves crime novels! She has read ALL the Famous Fives, all the Robin Stevens mysteries, some Nancy Drew, and all the other usual suspects. Recently, in desperation, I've let her read Murder on the Orient Express (she loved it!), and she's currently working her way through Sherlock Holmes. My question is this: what's left? Are there more crime stories suitable for a 10-year-old? Thank you! – Lynda

There are so many excellent crime novels for children out right now! We love all of the ones you mentioned, but we'd also like to suggest The Adventures on Trains series by MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman, The Sinclair's Mysteries by Katherine Woodfine, and High-Rise Mysteries by Sharna Jackson.

High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson

I am a mum of a 6 and 8 year old, and a full time teacher of 7-year olds. I love promoting reading with my own children and my children in class. However, I don't seem to manage to be able to find time for book loving moments to read. How do I achieve a balance that allows me precious moments to indulge and get lost in a good book? – Jane

We really relate to this question! We also love to read but sometimes struggle to find the time. We try to read for just ten minutes before bed, it helps us have a moment of calm after a long day, helps us sleep better, and means we are sneaking in some more reading time! Audiobooks are also a great way to read more while still doing other things (commuting, cooking, etc).

Book Doctor
A Dragon Realm Adventure by Katie & Kevin Tsang

About A Dragon Realm Adventure by Katie & Kevin Tsang

An exclusive £1/€1.50 book for World Book Day 2023.

Twelve-year-old Billy Chan and his friends each share a bond with a dragon. When new dragons fall from the sky into the Human Realm, the group join forces to reunite them with their lost egg. But the Dragon Realm is filled with dangerous golden elixir, magical creatures and threats lurking round every corner. Can our heroes accomplish their mission, or will they fall at the last hurdle?

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