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25 Best Books for 9-11 year-olds


The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

There are wolves outside the walls of Willoughby Chase, but for cousins Bonnie and Sylvia, the real danger lies inside.

Reading age: 9 | Interest level: 9+


Skellig by David Almond

Hodder Children's Books

Exploring a ramshackle garage with his new-found friend, Mina, Michael discovers a strange, magical creature.

Reading age: 11 | Interest level: 10+


Carrie's War by Nina Bawden


During World War II, Carrie and her younger brother Nick are evacuated to Wales and billeted with the fierce old Mr Evans and his mousy sister, Louise.

Reading age: 10 | Interest level: 9+


Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer


Twelve-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl hatches an ingenious plot to steal all the gold in fairy land.

Reading age: 10 | Interest level: 8+



Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Macmillan Children’s books

One night, a bag containing £229,370 falls from the sky and flattens the hermitage. Damian is convinced it is a gift from God.

Reading age: 9 | Interest level: 9+


The Witches by Roald Dahl


Real witches disguise themselves as lovely ladies, when secretly they want to squish and squelch all the wretched children they despise.

Reading age: 10 | Interest level: 10+


Matilda by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake


This modern fairy-tale with a brilliantly inspiring young heroine is one of Roald Dahl's best loved stories.

Reading age: 8 | Interest level: 7+


Flour Babies by Anne Fine


As part of a Child Development project, each boy in Class 4C is given a 'flour baby', a sack of flour which must be looked after for three weeks, ensuring it does not get lost or dirty.

Reading age: 9 | Interest level: 9+


 Once by Morris Gleitzman


Morris Gleitzman brings heart and humour to the difficult subject of the Holocaust in this ground-breaking children's book.

Reading age: 9 | Interest level: 10+


 The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé          


Resourceful junior reporter Tintin embarks on a series of exciting international adventures, accompanied by his faithful dog Snowy, in this favourite series.

Reading age: 9 | Interest level: 7+


Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

Macmillan Children's Books

Orphan Maia is thrilled to learn she is to live with relatives in South America and cannot wait to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the Amazon.

Reading age: 10 | Interest level: 9+


Stig of the Dump by Clive King


Exploring an old chalk pit, Barney meets a strange boy who wears a rabbit skin and speaks in grunts.

Reading age: 8 | Interest level 8+


 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis

HarperCollins Children's

When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy - step through a wardrobe door in the strange country house where they are staying, they find themselves in the land of Narnia.

Reading age: 9 | Interest level 9+


Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian


Willie Beech, a lonely and deprived child, is evacuated to a tiny English village just before the Second World War, and finds himself living with reclusive widower Thomas Oakley.

Reading age: 10 | Interest level: 9+


Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

Harper Collins Children's Books

Set during World War I, Private Peaceful charts eight hours in the life of Tommo, a young soldier at the Front.

Reading age: 10 | Interest level: 9+


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Walker Books Ltd

Connor's mum has cancer and life is changing. There is the nightmare, then there is school, where people avoid him, or persecute him. And then there is the immense, mythic Monster.

Reading age: 10 | Interest level: 11+


 The Borrowers by Mary Norton


The Borrowers are tiny people who live in the secret places of old houses - behind the mantelpiece, inside the harpsichord, under the kitchen clock.

Reading age: 9 | Interest level: 9+


Truckers by Terry Pratchett

Corgi Children's

The first title in the Bromeliad trilogy, this is an enchanting fantasy from favourite author Terry Pratchett.

Reading age: 10 | Interest level: 9+


Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Red Fox

It's the summer holidays, and the Walker children are excited to set sail on their boat Swallow and camp on Wild Cat Island.

Reading age: 9 | Interest level: 8+


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J K Rowling

Bloomsbury Children's Books

After the misery of life with his ghastly aunt and uncle, Harry Potter is delighted to have the chance to embark on an exciting new life at the Hogwart's School of Wizardry and Witchcraft.

Reading age: 10 | Interest level: 8+


 Holes by Louis Sachar


Stanley Yelnats' family has a history of bad luck, so he is not entirely surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to the Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre.

Reading age: 10 | Interest level: 10+


The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery


An air pilot makes a forced landing deep in the Sahara Desert. There, he makes a mysterious Little Prince, who tells him a series of wise and enchanting stories.

Reading age: 8 | Interest level: 8+


Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Orion Children's Books

First published in the 1930s, this classic story of three very different girls who work hard to master their talents has captivated children's imaginations for decades.

Reading age: 9 | Interest level: 8+


The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

HarperCollins Children's

Full of magic, humour and adventure, it continues to offer plenty to entertain and engage today's young readers who are discovering it for the first time.

Reading age: 10 | Interest level: 8+

The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson


Tracy lives in a children's home but constantly hopes that her absent, glamorous Mum will come and take her away.

Reading age: 8 | Interest level: 8+

Our recommendations for more able readers



Watership Down by Richard Adams


 Fiver, the rabbit is sure that something terrible is about to the burrow where he lives - but no one will listen to him, what will he do?



The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

David Fickling Books

Bruno is looking around his new home at 'Out-With' when he meets Shmuel, who lives on the other side of a fence, but there is more to it than meets the eye! 



The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


In Panem,  its Capitol rules twelve Districts, enslaving the people as workers and controlling them through hunger.



The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


After his family are unfortunately killed, Bod is brought up in a graveyard by ghosts.



The Owl Service by Alan Garner

HarperCollins Children's Books

When Alison comes across an old dinner service in the loft, it starts a strange chain of events that look like they will effect everyone's lives.


Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin

Egmont is about Toby, who is saved from an African ship as a small child, and Aaron, the illegitimate son of the heir to a huge estate.



The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Red Fox

This is a funny novel and was also the winner of the inaugural Booktrust Teenage Prize.



Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

Walker Books

 Alex Rider, a 14 year old boy, finds his life in turmoil on finding that his late uncle wasn't a popular, kind hearted banker, but actually a field agent for MI6.



The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean

Oxford University Press

Haoyou feels useless when the man responsible for the death of his father's attempts to marry his mother. Trying to support her himself, the young boy joins a travelling circus.



Northern Lights by Philip Pullman


This is another incredible book in Philip Pullman's multi-award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy.



Witch Child by Celia Rees

Bloomsbury Children's Book

This book is about Mary the granddaughter of a witch and he exciting adventures.



The Fellowship of The Ring by J R R Tolkien


This is the first part of J R R Tolkien's masterpiece The Lord of the Rings, this story is about a young hobbit Frodo Baggins, who goes on many exciting adventures.