• @teacher_mr_r

Hidden Gems

Recently, one of the regulars at my #SundayMorningBookBlether chat suggested I ran some end of year awards. I loved the idea and said yes (although I didn't realise quite what an undertaking it would be at the time). The categories are linked to subjects that have been discussed in the book chat this year and one of my favourite categories was 'Hidden Gems' as I am always keen to champion fantastic books that don't always get the publicity they deserve.


So I asked for nominations for the category and was overwhelmed with the amount of responses and the diverse range of fabulous books that are not getting the profile they deserve. Here is the twitter feed if you want to take a look:


Or if you want to see the individual books I have organised them on a Wakelet as well:


The difficulty I have with all the nominations is that there are so many of them (over 50) and they are all deserving. I didn't want to discount any books because although I consider one or two of them popular on Twitter, the fantastic book community on Twitter is not a reflection of the general teaching world and what I may consider well known may in fact have very little traction in the real world.


I have divided the books into 2 categories: Middle Grade (including books suitable for approx. aged 7-11) and Young Adult (including books suitable for 11+ so this list has some upper KS2 books in it) to make the lists more manageable there are some books on the YA list that could easily fit in the MG list but are also appropriate for YA (otherwise i would have ended up with one very long list and one very short one as the majority of books nominated were suitable for Middle Grade). Apologies for any names misspelt or any books that are in the wrong category-some were borderline and the split was mainly to make the lists more manageable.


So here are the lists. I have tried to link in book reviews to as many as possible so that anyone interested in the books can learn a bit more.


Below the lists are the Google Forms for you to vote. This is such a difficult category to vote for as surely the more popular books will get more votes? (Which is sort of defeating the point of the category), so to be honest I'm more interest in helping these fabulous books get a higher profile so please share this post widely to help get the names out there. Also, perhaps you could buy one or two of the books you don't already have and then rave about them on social media-help create the book buzz these books deserve.


Middle Grade Hidden Gems


The Museum's Secret by Henry Chancellor

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Lena, The Sea and Me by Maria Parr

The Tigers in the Tower by Julia Golding

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Midsummer's Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

The Naming of Tishkin Silk by Glenda Millard

Grimm by Mike Nicholson

The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius

Oranges in No Man's Land by Elizabeth Laird

Wild Boy Rob Lloyd Jones

The Children of Swallow Fell by Julia Green

The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke

The Maker of Monsters by Lorraine Gregory

The Secret of Purple Lake by Yaba Badoe

The God of Small Boys by Joseph Lamb

Saturdays at the Imaginarium by Shauna Darling Robertson

The Key To Finding Jack By Ewa Jozefkowicz

Horse Boy by Tanya Landman

5 minute really true stories for Bedtime published by Britannica

Planet SOS by Marie G Rohde

It's a Great Big Colourful World by Tom Schamp

Real Life Disasters by Susan Martineau & Vicky Barker

Life of Riley: Beginners Lick by Simon James Green

When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kareen Getten

The Orphan's of St Halibuts by Sophie Wells

My Life as a Cat by Carlie Sorosiak

Cold Tom by Sally Prue

The School for Nobodies by Susie Bower

The Mask of Aribella by Anna Hoghton

The Garden of Lost Secrets by A.M. Howell

Where the World Turns Wild by Nicola Penfold

Orion Lost by Alistair Chisholm

The Risen Sea by Bren MacDibble

Elsetime by Eve McDonnell

The House of One Hundred Clocks by A.M. Howell

YA Hidden Gems


The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Sorrow Line by Niel Bushnell

Jessica's Ghost by Andrew Norris

Maus by Art Spiegelman

Unstoppable by Dan Freedman

Boy 87 by Ele Fountain

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff

Jack's Well by Alan McClure

Sisters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy

A Game of Fox and Squirels by Jenn Reese

Lampie by Annet Schaap

The Door that Led to Where by Sally Gardner

Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal

Becoming Dinah by Kit De Waal

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

The Great and Calamitous Take of Johann Thomas by Ian Thornton

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley




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