Bestselling children's books for July

The Unity children’s bestseller chart for the month of July

What’s the best way to get adults reading? Get them reading when they’re children – and there’s no better place to start than the Unity Children’s Bestseller Chart.

These lists of the bestselling children’s books at Unity Wellington and Little Unity in Auckland cover the four weeks to August 2 2019.


1  Lizard’s Tale by Weng Wai Chan (Text Publishing, $21) 9-13 years

An Auckland author debuts with a story of World War II, the tropics and a mysterious teak box. 

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi by Toby Morris with Ross Calman, Mark Derby, and Piripi Walker (Lift Education, $20) graphic non-fiction ages 8+

Running out of ways to say Toby Morris rulz.

3  No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg (Penguin, $8) all ages

But we’ll still give ‘em detentions for going on climate marches, just see if we won’t.

4  World’s Worst Teachers by David Walliams and Tony Ross (Harper Collins, $27) 7-12 years

See above.

5  Kid-Friendly Auckland by Ceana Priest (Outdoor KidNZ, $20) all ages

More than 70 walks and parks and outside-y places the kids’ll be right into. Bring gumboots.

6  Maui & Other Legends: 8 Classic Tales of Aotearoa by Peter Gossage (Penguin, $40) all ages

Start with Gossage, level up to Pūrākau.

7  Noisy Book by Soledad Bravi (Gecko Press, $25) 0-3 years

Review: the other day my four-year-old ‘read’ this to my two-month-old and bought me a sweet sweet 40 minutes. Five stars.

8  All is Lost by James Russell (Dragon Brothers Books, $22) 7-11 years

The author, an Auckland dad, thoughtfully splices in the odd hit of digital content, which motivates screen-keen kids to keep reading. Ha!

9  The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell (Bloomsbury UK, $17) 9-13 years

“Purring mafiosi, breathtaking feats of nerve and a crackling sense of atmosphere” – the Guardian.

10 Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan (Scholastic, $19) 12+

The best book in the world


1  Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan (Scholastic, $19) 12+

2  World’s Worst Teachers by David Walliams (HarperCollins, $27) 4-9 years

3  Press Here by Herve Tullet (Penguin, $13) 3+

Finger painting minus the mess. Clever and delightful.

4  All is Lost by James Russell (Dragon Brothers Books, $22) 7-11 years

5  An Unfamiliar Place (Dragon Brothers Books, $22) 7-11 years

Book three in the Dragon Defenders series – the one before All is Lost. Read an extract here. 

6  Mahiara by Sally Sutton (Walker Books, $20) 2-5 years

The te reo version of Roadworks, the best picture book of 2009 and still an absolute winner. 

7  All About Kate by Josie Laird (Swooping Kereru, $30) YA/Teen

“It’s about a young woman who hates her body so much that it drives her to do things she otherwise would never consider. It is also about family and belonging” – the author, on

8  Abigail & the Birth of the Sun by Matthew Cunningham & Sarah Wilkins (Picture Puffin, $20) 3-6 years

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It’s not just boys who are into space. 

9  Bullseye Bella by James T Guthrie (Scholastic, $18) 9-12 years

It’s not just boys who are into sports. 

10  The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell (Bloomsbury, $17) 9-12 years

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