A Susie Day Reading Guide

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LH Johnson

Staff Writer

LH reads, writes and researches children’s books. She's also a librarian, blogger, and makes pretty amazing chocolate brownies. Cake and books, what’s not to love?

who is Susie Day?

Susie Day is an author of children’s and young adult literature, based in the United Kingdom. Here’s her author website and Twitter.

Why should I read Susie Day’s books?

Think of the most content moment in your life. Now double that and add cake. That’s a Susie Day book. She writes children’s and young adult books that feel like they’ve been around forever. I always think of her as a contemporary Enid Blyton without the problematic bits.

In addition to that, she depicts a diverse, representative and honest world without ever being ‘I am depicting a diverse, representative and honest world ask me how’.  Susie Day is one of those authors that I turn to whenever I want reminding about how good the world can be.

So here’s my guide on where to begin:

Children’s books

Pea's Book of Best Friends by Susie DayPea’s Book of Best Friends

This is the first of the ‘Pea Llewellyn’ books, and it’s a fiercely lovely piece of middle grade fiction. I’d recommend it to anybody, anytime, anywhere.

Pea’s single mum has become a bestselling author and and her family has to relocate to London. And in this brave new world, Pea needs to make a new best friend…somehow.

There are four books in the series altogether, and Pea’s family makes cameo appearances in several other books by Day.

The Secrets of Sam and Sam 

This is the first of the ‘Secrets’ books. We’ve got to know Sam and Sam, and their two mothers, as Pea’s neighbors, and here they get their own book.

Sam and Sam are twins, one boy and one girl, and things in their life are getting a bit complicated. Everybody’s keeping secrets and secrets have a way of being told…

The Secrets of Billie Bright The Secrets of Billie Bright by Susie Day

Billie’s family is busy, loud and loving, and even though her mum isn’t around, life is still pretty good. But Billie’s about to start secondary school and deal with some pretty difficult situations…

Susie Day writes books that reflect the world and The Secrets of Billie Bright is no exception. It’s full of a quiet richness and a calm concern to represent the world as it is. Families exist in all shapes, sizes and colours. People love each other. People make mistakes. Have I mentioned how good Susie Day is?

The Secrets of the Superglue Sisters

This is the final book from the Secrets series and it’s a gem. Georgie and Jem aren’t just best friends at school, they’re now new sister after their parents have got together. This book features blended families, friendship woes, and, as ever with Susie Day, a total sense of understanding how hard it can be to figure out your place in the world.

Young Adult Books

My Invisible Boyfriend by Susie DayMy Invisible Boyfriend 

Sitting somewhere on the lower edge of YA, My Invisible Boyfriend is pretty much what it says on the tin. Heidi’s made a fake boyfriend, with a pretty convincing online profile. The problem is that it’s too convincing. Soon Heidi’s friends start to email him about their real-world issues – and their issues with Heidi…As if all of this wasn’t too much to deal with, somebody emails Heidi and tells her that they know the truth about her boyfriend…

serafina67 *urgently requires life*

Serafina’s life isn’t going quite as it should. Her parents are divorced, she’s recovering from a mysterious ‘incident’, whilst also struggling with her own popularity. Life as a teenager isn’t easy, and this blog-book documents all of that. It’s written in Serafina’s particular style which isn’t easy to come to terms with but is very distinctly ‘early internet’ speak. This is a story for everyone who’s ever shared too much on LiveJournal…

The Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell JonesThe Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones

You’ll be figuring out that Susie Day’s pretty good at writing about identity crises and this is no exception. On her thirteenth birthday, Bluebell Jones makes a wish to be a cool and confident teenager. Out of nowhere, arrives Red – the one year older version of Bluebell. She’s only visible to Blue and is here to help her avoid the pitfalls and embarrassments of teenage life. But nothing’s ever that simple, and Red isn’t telling Blue everything…

short stories

Mystery and Mayhem

This is a compilation I’d reccomend to anybody. It’s a collection of crime short stories from twelve of the best UK-based authors of children’s and young adult literature. Susie Day’s contribution ‘Emily and the Detectives’ sits gloriously alongside contributions from Frances Hardinge, Robin Stevens and many more.

Love Hurts 

Susie Day’s contribution to this rich and lovely collection of love stories is a delight. It’s called ‘Tumbling’ and is the story of how two Sherlock fangirls meet up for their first offline date.  As with everything Day touches, it’s kind, genuine, representative and lovely. Just – utterly – lovely.

Want more reading guides? How about a guide to the work of Amy Tan…?