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50 Best Books for 11-Year-Olds: 2024 Picks

Updated
50 entertaining and engaging books for 11-year-olds.

Where do you even begin choosing the best books for 11-year-olds? And how can you be sure that you choose something age-appropriate, especially since tweens’ identities are growing and kids are becoming more curious?

Enetertaining a pre-teen can be challenging, but that’s where we come in. We’ve done the hard work and research for you so that you can choose books without any fuss. We’ll let you know the basic plot of each book, the themes, and why we have chosen it for an 11-year-old.

Whether your child is a fan of fantasy, contemporary, graphic novels, or something else, there’s a book on this list for everyone’s tastes.


The Best Books for 11-Year-Olds of 2024

Based on my reading experience and other trusted parent’s book reviews, this is my list of 50 amazing books. Intended to be read by children around this age group, all of these are superb for your 11-year-old’s bookshelf.

Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows

Mystical and Diverse

Comparable to the Percy Jackson series, this wonderful story is a must-read.

It follows a young boy named Charlie Hernandez, who loves his Latin American culture and heritage. Although he enjoys the folklore, he doesn’t believe his culture’s magical tales are true until he begins to experience them first-hand.

He finds himself right in the middle of a mystical war between light and dark. With the help of his crush and his grandmother’s stories, he has to save his parents, himself, and the world.

Product Specs

Author Ryan Calejo
Reading Age 10-14 years
Grade Level 5th – 9th grade
Length 352 pages
Publisher Aladdin
Publication Date October 23, 2018
ISBN 978-1534426597

User Experience

Best book for those seeking a thrilling adventure steeped in Hispanic mythology. As I delved into the story, I found myself engrossed in the vivid portrayal of Miami and its streets, as well as the exciting journey of Charlie and Violet trying to save both worlds. The narrative is accessible for middle grade readers but keeps even advanced readers engaged. From learning about various mythological creatures to experiencing a rich cultural immersion, this book offers a fresh and unique perspective that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Nowhere Boy

Heartwarming and Serious

Here’s another diverse story that’s highly revered. It tells the tale of a 14-year-old boy named Ahmed, who is stuck as a Syrian refugee in Belgium. Lost, alone, and with no one who can help, Ahmed loses hope that life will get better.

He then meets Max, a homesick American boy. With an exciting discovery, their lives intertwine. Together they face the world and learn what it means to be brave.

It’s a beautifully written story that will restore some of your faith in humanity.

Product Specs

Author Katherine Marsh
Reading Age 10-14 years
Grade Level 5th – 9th grade
Length 384 pages
Publisher Square Fish
Publication Date August 7, 2018
ISBN 978-1250211453

Personal Perspective

This captivating book dives into the world of two young boys - Max, a 13-year-old American adjusting to life in Brussels, and Ahmed, a 14-year-old Syrian refugee who has lost his entire family. Set against the backdrop of the 2015 refugee crisis and terror attacks in Europe, their lives intersect when Ahmed takes refuge in Max's family's townhouse. The engaging narrative alternates between their perspectives, drawing readers into their thrilling adventure as they navigate prejudices and fears to support each other. The story not only highlights the challenges refugees face, but also showcases the power of friendship and empathy. By cleverly weaving in historical parallels with World War II, this book offers valuable insights into modern-day fears and the importance of embracing our shared humanity.

Front Desk

Unique

Diverse literature for 11-year-olds is on a serious roll! This is a must read that will warm your soul.

Mia Tang is not like other girls. For one, she lives in a motel and manages its front desk. Also, her parents hide immigrants in the hotel and her family could be in big trouble if they’re ever caught.

Mia wants to be a writer, but her mother won’t allow it. This is Mia’s story of her secret life. Your child will learn about immigration while being encouraged to follow their dreams.

Product Specs

Author Kelly Yang
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 320 pages
Publisher Scholastic Press
Publication Date May 29, 2018
ISBN 978-1338157826

Community Feedback

This captivating novel, largely based on the author's own experiences, tells the story of Mia Tang, a 10-year-old Chinese immigrant helping her parents run a small motel in California. As Mia navigates the challenges of poverty, mistreatment as an immigrant, and the greed of the motel's owner, she discovers the power of the written word in changing her life and those around her. As a non-native English speaker, Mia's struggles with language truly resonated with me, reminding me of my own experiences with students from diverse backgrounds. This heartwarming and inspiring story not only offers a glimpse into the lives of immigrants, but also highlights the importance of perseverance and the impact of using one's voice for good.

The Ruins of Gorlan

A Fantastic Story

The Rangers have a frightening reputation for practicing dark magic and Will has always feared them. When he turns 15, he is chosen to become their apprentice.

He learns that despite the stories, the Rangers actually protect the kingdom. They need his help in a looming battle between good and evil.

Your child will learn many a life lesson, like facing your fears and not judging books by their covers. If they enjoy this book, they’ll be thrilled to discover 16 in the series!

Product Specs

Author John Flanagan
Reading Age 10-14 years
Grade Level 5th-9th grade
Length 288 pages
Publisher Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date November 1, 2004
ISBN 978-0142406632

First-Hand Impression

My experience reading this enthralling series has been nothing short of delightful. The diverse and likeable characters, with their unique characteristics and mannerisms, kept me engaged and invested in their stories. I appreciated the strong and talented portrayal of female characters like Alyss and Cassandra, as well as the accurate depiction of the Middle Ages-inspired setting. The author skillfully balances youthful and mature perspectives, providing insightful lessons for both young and adult readers. This imaginative world is filled with action, adventure, and valuable life lessons, making it an enjoyable read for all ages.
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The War That Saved My Life

A World War Two Story

This moving story reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list and won the Newbery Honor.

Set during World War II, 10-year-old Ada is housebound and has never experienced the outside world. She’s not allowed to because her mother is too ashamed of her misshapen foot. When her brother is deployed in the war, Ada seizes the moment and sneaks out to join him.

She’s taken in by a woman who has no choice but to care for her. Ada’s life takes on a new route as she learns about war and the world. This book gives your child a look into different family dynamics, disability, and history.

Product Specs

Author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Reading Age 9-12 years
Grade Level 4th – 7th grade
Length 352 pages
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date January 8, 2015
ISBN 978-0147510488

User Experience

My experience with this book was truly captivating and heartwarming. Set during WWII in England, it follows the story of a young girl named Ada and her brother Jamie, as they escape their abusive mother and embark on a journey to the countryside. The story is told from Ada's perspective, which adds a unique child's-eye view to the historical events. I found myself deeply invested in the characters' growth and the relationships they form, especially with their new guardian, Susan. This novel is a perfect blend of adventure, emotion, and history that keeps you engaged throughout, making it a must-read for both young readers and adults alike.

Welcome To Dead House

The First Goosebumps Book

R. L. Stine’s genre-defining spooky stories for children have stood the test of time. They’re fun, easy to read, and will give your 11-year-old the perfect dose of the chills.

This book is the first in the Goosebumps series. If your child is looking for something outside of stereotypical kid’s stories (and if they have a taste for scary stories), you can’t go wrong with these. They’re harmless fun, and there are dozens in the series!

Product Specs

Author R.L. Stine
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 160 pages
Publisher Scholastic Paperbacks
Publication Date July 1, 1992
ISBN 978-0545158886

Personal Perspective

My experience with this Goosebumps book brought back memories of my love for horror. As an adult, I found it entertaining and it kept me engaged throughout the story. Reading a chapter or two a night with my child has become a bonding experience that we both enjoy. The author does a fantastic job with the characters and creepy scenes, making this book a great introduction to the Goosebumps series.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street

Charming Characters

The Vanderbeekers have always lived in their family home, and they have no intention of leaving. When their unpleasant landlord blindsides them by not renewing their lease, they decide to fight for what’s theirs.

Five siblings use wit, charm, and cunning determination to prove that 141st Street is where they belong. But they only have 11 days to convince their landlord that they should stay. This book is a delightful, feel-good read for kids who want a contemporary novel that feels like a classic.

Product Specs

Author Karina Yan Glaser
Reading Age 7-11 years
Grade Level 2nd – 6th grade
Length 320 pages
Publisher Clarion Books
Publication Date October 3, 2017
ISBN 978-1328499219

Community Feedback

This heartwarming book tells the story of the Vanderbeekers, who fight to stay in their beloved family home after their landlord decides not to renew their lease. I found myself rooting for the five resourceful siblings as they used their wit, charm, and determination to prove that they belong on 141st Street. This charming, feel-good read is perfect for kids who enjoy contemporary novels with a classic touch.

Winterhouse

A Hotel Filled With Secrets

This enchanting urban fantasy plunges us into the world of Elizabeth Somers, an orphan. Her mean aunt and uncle ship her off to the spooky Winterhouse Hotel against her will.

But when she arrives there, she discovers she likes it. Charmed by it, she stumbles upon a magical book of puzzles that open up a mystery surrounding the hotel. She learns that she’s the only person who can break an old curse.

First, she has to solve a mystery and sacrifice what she holds most dear. This is sure to stimulate your child’s imagination. I think the mystery and adventure are exciting enough to delight any pre-teen!

Product Specs

Author Ben Guterson & Chloe Bristol
Reading Age 9-12 years
Grade Level 4th – 7th grade
Length 400 pages
Publisher Square Fish
Publication Date October 30, 2018
ISBN 978-1250294197

First-Hand Impression

My experience with this book was a mix of excitement and slight disappointment. The beautiful cover and intriguing synopsis drew me in, and I found the characters to be well-developed and engaging, particularly the relatable heroine Elizabeth. However, the pacing of the story felt slow and at times, I felt like nothing much was happening until the end. Nonetheless, the book's charm lies in its mysterious atmosphere, word puzzles, and the adventures of Elizabeth and Freddy in the enchanting Winterhouse Hotel. Reading this book with my 10-year-old goddaughter, we both appreciated the author's skill in telling a captivating story, and we look forward to reading the rest of the series. Despite its slow pace, this book still offers an enjoyable and intriguing winter mystery for young readers and adults alike.

The Crossover

Beautifully Written

The Crossover has many honors, including the Newbery Award. It’s realistic and moving, and I recommend it for adults too.

Josh and his twin brother are skilled on the basketball court. But Josh has a passion for music too. He tells us about life on and off the courts, brotherhood, and family.

Did I mention the entire story is told in verse? Not only will your 11-year-old enjoy the poetry, but they’ll also learn about some serious themes, including death, family, and playing by the rules.

Product Specs

Author Kwame Alexander & Dawud Anyabwile
Reading Age 9-12 years
Grade Level 4th – 7th grade
Length 256 pages
Publisher Clarion Books
Publication Date March 18, 2014
ISBN 978-0544935204

User Experience

Best book I've read lately, "The Crossover" by Kwame Alexander, had me instantly hooked with its creative language and relatable characters. As a basketball enthusiast, I loved how the story revolves around 12-year-old twin brothers, Josh and J.B., who navigate through life and the sport together. The fast-paced free verse and hip-hop poetry kept me entertained, while the Basketball Rules of life sprinkled throughout the book provided valuable life lessons.

The First Rule of Punk

A Rocking Read

Malu, 12 years old, is half Mexican and half punk-rocker. She’s not afraid to express herself, but her school (and mother) don’t approve. She chooses to follow her father’s advice: be yourself.

She rallies up some misfits, and together, they start a band to fight against an anti-punk regime. Your 11-year-old will be inspired by Malu’s independence (and could learn about music, too!).

Product Specs

Author Celia C. Pérez
Reading Age 9-12 years
Grade Level 4th – 7th grade
Length 336 pages
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date August 22, 2017
ISBN 978-0425290422

Personal Perspective

I recently read "The First Rule of Punk," and I must say, this book captivated my attention from the start. The story follows Malú, a strong and relatable protagonist, as she navigates her way through a new school while embracing her Latino heritage and love for punk music. The book perfectly blends cultural elements with the ups and downs of middle school life. My 10-year-old niece also read it and she absolutely adored it, even dressing up as Malú for a school event.

Out of My Mind

Learn About Cerebral Palsy

This book is so good that it spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list.

Melody is an 11-year-old with cerebral palsy. She can’t walk, talk, write or do any of the things typical children can. She has a gift, though: she can’t forget anything.

She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but because of her disability, no one knows. She’s determined to show them what she’s truly capable of.

This book is important for children; it explores disability while inspiring children to treat others respectfully, even if they are different from us.

Product Specs

Author Sharon M. Draper
Reading Age 9-14 years
Grade Level 4th – 9th grade
Length 320 pages
Publisher Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date March 9, 2010
ISBN 978-1416971719

Community Feedback

Best book I've read in a while, it follows the journey of an 11-year-old girl named Melody with cerebral palsy. This gifted girl can't forget anything and is the smartest kid in her school, yet her disability prevents others from realizing her true potential. Throughout the story, the book emphasizes the importance of treating everyone with respect, regardless of their differences. Not only will this book educate children about disabilities, but it also inspires them to be more compassionate and understanding towards others.

Ghost Boys

Extremely Important

Don’t let this book’s sad theme deter you. It’s a must-read in today’s world.

It’s told through the eyes of a 12-year-old ghost, Jerome. He was shot and killed by a police officer after his toy gun was mistaken for a real one. As a ghost, he witnesses what his death has done to his family and community.

He meets another ghost named Emmet, a boy who died under similar circumstances at a different time. Emmet helps Jerome come to terms with what happened.

Now, more than ever, stories like this are important. It covers uncomfortable themes in a way that’s suitable for children. Its impact will give them a better understanding of discrimination and the cruelty that comes with it.

Product Specs

Author Jewell Parker Rhodes
Reading Age 10-14 years
Grade Level 5th – 9th grade
Length 240 pages
Publisher Little, Brown
Publication Date April 17, 2018
ISBN 978-0316262262

First-Hand Impression

Great read for understanding today's important issues, this book is told through the perspective of a 12-year-old ghost named Jerome who was tragically killed due to a toy gun misunderstanding. As a ghost, he sees the effects of his death on his family and community, and meets another ghost named Emmet who helps him cope with the situation. This book tackles uncomfortable themes in a child-friendly manner, providing young readers with valuable insights into discrimination and its consequences. Its impact will certainly leave a lasting impression and open up important discussions.

Greetings from Witness Protection!

Creative Espionage

Here’s a fiction story that is unlike any other. Nicki Demere, an orphan, is invited to join a family (mom, dad, and son) who are hiding from the country’s most infamous criminals. They’re looking for a family with one child, so adding Nicki is the perfect cover.

Join Nikki as she adjusts to her new life and identity, and uncovers some secrets in her own past. This exciting espionage story is gripping and will teach your child about family values in an unconventional format.

Product Specs

Author Jake Burt
Reading Age 9-14 years
Grade Level 4th – 9th grade
Length 384 pages
Publisher Square Fish
Publication Date October 3, 2017
ISBN 978-1250179043

User Experience

I recently read this book recommended by my 11-year-old daughter and found it to be an enjoyable and easy read during my vacation. The captivating story and plot make it suitable for both younger and older readers, as evidenced by a 72-year-old grandmother who shared her love for the book after reading it. Written by the talented Jake Burt, this book offers an engaging experience for readers from various age groups, including middle schoolers who can relate to the 13-year-old protagonist and adults who appreciate the well-crafted writing.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Imaginative & Endearing

Taking a break from stories about people, let’s turn our attention to animals. This sweet story won a Newbery Medal and is in league with “The Wind in the Willows” and “The Cricket in Times Square.”

Mrs. Frisby is a widowed mouse with four small children. She has to move her family for their own safety, but her youngest son is too ill to go anywhere. Enter the rats of NIMH, brilliant creatures who offer a clever solution to her problem.

If your child loves animals, I think they’ll adore this book.

Product Specs

Author Robert C. O’Brien
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 240 pages
Publisher Aladdin
Publication Date January 1, 1971
ISBN 978-0689710681

Personal Perspective

My experience with this Newbery Medal-winning book has been delightful, as it reminded me of classics such as "The Wind in the Willows" and "The Cricket in Times Square." The story follows Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four children, as she faces challenges moving her family to safety due to her youngest son's illness. The intelligent rats of NIMH play a crucial role in providing a creative solution, making this book a captivating read for any child with a love for animals.

Song for a Whale

Melodious and Brave

This is a sweet story that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

Iris is a tech whiz, but people think she’s stupid because she’s deaf. She relates to a whale named Blue 55, who can’t communicate with other whales. She makes it her mission to find a way to sing to him, but he is 3000 miles away.

Sign language interpreter Lynne Kelly wrote this inventive story. Once again, the emphasis on diversity will fascinate and educate your child. They’ll love the whale and the element of adventure.

Product Specs

Author Lynne Kelly
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 304 pages
Publisher Yearling
Publication Date February 5, 2019
ISBN 978-1524770266

Community Feedback

From the moment I picked up this novel, I was captivated by the beautiful and moving story of Iris, a deaf girl who finds a connection with a unique whale named Blue 55. This book provided an insightful glimpse into Deaf culture while also highlighting the importance of communication and understanding. The captivating tale of Iris's personal journey to help Blue 55 truly resonated with me, and I believe readers of all ages can appreciate the heartfelt message within these pages.

See You in the Cosmos

A Stellar Read

Alex is space-obsessed and dreams of nothing more than to follow in Carl Sagan’s footsteps. He sets out to document a story that he will then launch into space so that if extraterrestrial life finds it, they’ll understand life on Earth.

He meets a number of good hearts on the way and learns valuable lessons about life, family, and humanity. This work of art will inspire your children to dream more and teach them that life here on Earth is beautiful.

Product Specs

Author Jack Cheng
Reading Age 10-13 years
Grade Level 5th – 8th grade
Length 320 pages
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date February 28, 2017
ISBN 978-0399186387

First-Hand Impression

I'm thrilled with this engaging book that follows the story of 11-year-old Alex, who dreams of launching his rocket into space and sending his podcast to aliens. The story is unique, heartfelt, and full of emotion, making me laugh out loud at times. It's not just a book for kids; readers of all ages can find joy and inspiration from Alex's journey. The blend of science, adventure, and relatable characters creates an unforgettable experience that leaves you wanting more.

Captain Superlative

A Super Book

The middle school has a superhero running rampant in its halls and Janey is eager to uncover who’s behind the mask. In doing so, she not only befriends Captain Superlative, she becomes her sidekick too.

Together they fight off bullies and protect the school. When Janey discovers what’s at stake, she learns the true meaning of bravery and friendship.

Kids can learn lessons, including standing up for the underdog and for heroes too. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Product Specs

Author J.S. Puller
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 256 pages
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date May 8, 2018
ISBN 978-1368005630

User Experience

I recently read Captain Superlative, a heartfelt book that reminded me of my own middle school experiences. This thought-provoking story follows Janey, a girl who prefers to stay invisible, as she encounters Captain Superlative - a fearless seventh-grader in a superhero costume who inspires change in their school. Janey is initially reluctant to join Captain Superlative's campaign of kindness, but eventually finds the courage to step out of her comfort zone and make a difference. The relationship between Janey and her father, as well as the acts of kindness performed throughout the story, left me feeling inspired and uplifted. However, I couldn't help but feel frustrated with the lack of teacher intervention when it came to the school's bullying situation.

Princess Academy

A Princess Story With a Twist

If your young one loves stories about princesses, this Newbery Honor winner stands out for its quirks.

Miri lives in a simple village until the King deems it the home of the next princess. In a year, the prince will choose his new bride: one of the village girls. Now Miri has a chance to become what she’s always dreamed of.

First, she’ll have to attend the princess academy and face the brutal competition it brings. She’s determined to succeed, but if she does, she’ll have to leave her home behind.

Product Specs

Author Shannon Hale
Reading Age 9-14 years
Grade Level 4th – 9th grade
Length 336 pages
Publisher Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date July 1, 2005
ISBN 978-1619636132

Personal Perspective

Great read for both girls and boys, Princess Academy by Shannon Hale offers a refreshing twist on the typical princess story. Set in the unique world of Mount Eskel, the book centers around Miri, a relatable character who is attending a princess academy to prepare for a possible royal future. The story promotes the importance of education, teamwork, and loyalty, while also breaking down stereotypes. Although it's not a traditional fairy tale, it's a well-written and enjoyable read that can capture the imagination of readers young and old.

The Giver

One of the Best

I read this as an adult and it immediately became one of my favorite books. This Newbery Award winner tells a unique story that will stay with you for a long time.

Jonas lives in Utopia, or so he is forced to believe: everyone’s the same, everyone’s happy, and the world lives in peace. When he’s given a unique title in his community, he learns the truth about the dark side of humanity. Through his journey, he learns the true meaning of happiness and freedom.

This enthralling tale will show your child that not all that glitters is gold. It’s an important story for all ages.

Product Specs

Author Lois Lowry
Reading Age 10-17 years
Grade Level 5th – 12th grade
Length 240 pages
Publisher Clarion Books
Publication Date April 26, 1993
ISBN 978-0544336261

Community Feedback

My experience with this Newbery Award-winning book has been nothing short of amazing. The captivating story revolves around a character living in a seemingly perfect world, only to discover the hidden dark side of humanity. As an adult reader, I found the book's exploration of happiness and freedom to be thought-provoking and valuable for readers of all ages. This thoughtfully written tale serves as a reminder that appearances can be deceiving, and true happiness often lies beneath the surface.

The Terrible Two

Funny and Entertaining

Every now and then, we need to allow children to indulge in silliness for the sake of it. This is a great example of how books are fun.

Miles is the best prankster in his hometown, so when he reluctantly moves to a new home, he has to prove himself. Only, there’s already a capable prankster there, and a war between the two breaks out to see who is best.

They then realize that two pranksters are better than one. Joining forces, they plan to unleash the biggest, craziest prank the world has ever seen.

Product Specs

Author Mac Barnett, Jory John & Kevin Cornell
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 240 pages
Publisher Harry N. Abrams
Publication Date January 13, 2015
ISBN 978-1419727375

First-Hand Impression

This book is perfect for kids who enjoy a bit of silliness and pranks. I personally found it entertaining as it follows the story of the best prankster in his hometown, who has to prove himself in a new place. The twist comes when he meets another skilled prankster, leading to a prank war between them. Eventually, they learn that working together can create even better results, and they plan the most epic prank ever. This lighthearted and humorous story teaches the value of teamwork while keeping young readers engaged and giggling throughout.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

One for Star Wars Fans

Tommy (a sixth grader) launches an investigation into his classmate’s mysterious Yoda finger puppet. His peer, Dwight, is the opposite of Yoda, but when he voices Yoda, he is suddenly wise, prophetic, and a genius.

This is a funny and exciting book that many 11-year-olds will enjoy, whether they’re Star Wars fans or not. If they are Star Wars fans, you’ll get bonus points.

Product Specs

Author Tom Angleberger
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 192 pages
Publisher Harry N. Abrams
Publication Date March 1, 2010
ISBN 978-1419715174

User Experience

This book series captivated my 9-year-old, who isn't typically an avid reader, and even prompted him to create a collection of origami. The story revolves around Dwight, a quirky kid who gives advice through his origami Yoda finger puppet, sparking curiosity among his friends about the finger puppet's possible special powers. With a mix of humor, life lessons, and relatable middle school experiences, this series offers a fun and engaging read for both kids and adults, regardless of their familiarity with Star Wars.

Awkward

Surviving Middle School

I guarantee that your 11-year-old will find this graphic novel relatable.

On Peppi’s first day at her new school, she embarrasses herself in front of the school’s mean kids. In her attempt to rectify the mess, she ends up competing with the one (good) person who has noticed her.

I love the illustrations, and I think kids will enjoy the story of awkwardness, friendship, and competition.

Product Specs

Author Svetlana Chmakova
Reading Age 10-14 years
Grade Level 5th – 9th grade
Length 224 pages
Publisher JY
Publication Date July 21, 2015
ISBN 978-0316381307

Personal Perspective

As a fan of graphic novels, I found this book to be a delightful and heartwarming read. The story follows Poppi, a young girl navigating life at her new school, and touches on relatable experiences such as bullying, rivalry, and personal growth. The author's attention to detail and artistic style appealed to my creative side, and even inspired my daughter to start writing her own comics. The book's engaging narrative and colorful illustrations make it a fantastic read for both kids and adults. It's a charming story that reminded me of valuable life lessons learned during my own middle school years, and I'm sure many readers will see themselves in the characters as they embark on their own journey of self-discovery.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

Cool Illustrations

When Rafe enters middle school, he comes up with a plan for the best year ever: break every rule. Soon his game catches up with him, and Rafe learns that winning isn’t everything and that some rules aren’t meant to be broken.

This book has cool illustrations and is a great choice for teaching your child about consequences.

Product Specs

Author James Patterson, Chris Tebbetts, and Laura Park
Reading Age 9-13 years
Grade Level 4th – 8th grade
Length 336 pages
Publisher jimmy patterson
Publication Date January 1, 2011
ISBN 978-0316101691

Community Feedback

I've recently purchased this book for my young family members who are transitioning into middle school, and I must say, it has been quite engaging for them. As an age-appropriate book, it combines humor and satire to depict the realities of middle school life, making it relatable for young readers. The story revolves around the main character, Rafe, and his not-so-wise decision to break every rule in the school's conduct book. Although I personally found Rafe's character to be unlikable due to his lack of interest in having a successful school year or making friends, the young readers in my family seemed to enjoy the book and even requested more books from the series.

The Bridge Home

Sad but Uplifting

Readers may have had their hearts broken by this story, but they still find it an uplifting and important book, especially for children. The story follows four children who have fled their homes to escape their past.

But when they face illness, monsoon season, and losing their safe haven, they have to decide whether to seek the help of adults or continue their life of precarious freedom. If you want to share messages of bravery, disability awareness, and found family with your child, then this is the one to choose.

Product Specs

Author Padma Venkatraman
Reading Age 9-12 years
Grade Level 4th – 7th grade
Length 208 pages
Publisher Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication Date February 5, 2019
ISBN 978-1524738136

First-Hand Impression

Great read for both children and adults, this book offers an emotional yet inspiring journey of four young characters escaping their past and seeking freedom. Personally, I found the themes of courage, disability awareness, and found-family truly heartwarming and essential for young readers. The challenges they face, such as illness and monsoon season, bring out their determination and resilience. This book serves as a fantastic choice for those who wish to impart valuable life lessons to their children.

Speechless

Memorable and Humorous

When his cousin dies, Jimmy’s mother asks him to speak at the funeral. As a 13-year-old with a pocketful of bad memories about his cousin Patrick, Jimmy isn’t sure what to say.

I appreciate the author’s boldness with this book that deals with grief, humor and what it’s like to be a 13-year-old boy. It’s both sensitive and bold, creating a one-of-a-kind middle-grade book.

Product Specs

Author Adam P. Schmitt
Reading Age 9-13 years
Grade Level 4th – 8th grade
Length 304 pages
Publisher Candlewick
Publication Date January 1, 2018
ISBN 978-1536219012

User Experience

Excellent read that delves into the complexities of family dynamics and mental health. This realistic fiction novel follows a 13-year-old boy trying to write a eulogy for his cousin, revealing the intricate layers of their relationship. The story is both humorous and thought-provoking, allowing readers to empathize with the characters and their struggles. The author's writing style sheds light on the challenges of understanding and misunderstanding those around us, while also emphasizing the importance of not interfering in situations where it may not be helpful. This book is a raw and authentic portrayal of the inner lives of middle school students, and it resonates with readers on a deeper level.

Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal

As the 2019 Newbery Medal Winner, you know this one will be good. If you think back to your experience as a sixth grader, you’ll remember how awkward it can be. And this book captures just that through the eyes of Merci Suárez.

She’s a bit of an outsider in her fancy private school since she and her brother are scholarship students. They don’t have the same luxuries as other kids, and they have to earn their tuition through community service. In this funny and wise story, the author delves into the realities of being a middle schooler and what it means to find connection.

Product Specs

Author Meg Medina
Reading Age 9-13 years
Grade Level 4th – 8th grade
Length 368 pages
Publisher Candlewick
Publication Date September 1, 2018
ISBN 978-1536212587

Personal Perspective

This Newbery Medal-winning book brilliantly captures the awkwardness of being a sixth grader, as seen through the eyes of Merci Suárez, who feels like an outsider at her fancy private school. Alongside her brother, they navigate the challenges of being scholarship students, lacking the same luxuries as their peers and having to earn their tuition through community service. The author skillfully weaves a funny and wise story that delves into the realities of middle school life and the importance of finding connections. In just a few pages, readers will find themselves immersed in Merci's world, reminiscing about their own experiences and rooting for her every step of the way.

Wolf Hollow

Top Choice for Teachers

Touching on similar themes as To Kill a Mockingbird, this is a great one for teachers to introduce to their classrooms. Kids can take away so much from studying this story which has won multiple awards.

Annabelle has lived a peaceful life until Betty Glengarry joins her class. She’s a mean bully who targets a World War One veteran named Toby. Can Annabelle stick up for Toby, even without the backing of her peers? I would choose this one if you want to teach children about justice, judging others, and history.

Product Specs

Author Lauren Wolk
Reading Age 10-12 years
Grade Level 5th – 7th grade
Length 320 pages
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date May 3, 2016
ISBN 978-1101994849

Community Feedback

I'm absolutely thrilled with this book! The moment I picked it up, I couldn't wait to continue reading, as it captivated me with its beautifully descriptive language and engaging storyline. This book does have a dark side, but it's not evil - just sad and thought-provoking. The characters and their relationships are so well-written that I felt like I was right there with them, experiencing their world firsthand. While the story may not be suitable for all younger readers, it certainly grabbed my attention and kept me hooked until the very end. The twists, turns, and hints throughout the book made for an incredible reading experience, and the ending left me both amazed and eager for more.

The Night Diary

A Young Girl's Search for Home

Told entirely through letters from a daughter to her late mother, The Night Diary captures Nisha’s story. After the British separate India into two countries (India and Pakistan), she and her family must flee to find somewhere safer.

This book is highly emotional and heartwrenching, but it’s absolutely stunning, beautifully written, and a very important story about the importance of family. While it’s aimed at pre-teens, I think older readers and adults will enjoy it, too.

Product Specs

Author Veera Hiranandani
Reading Age 10-12 years
Grade Level 5th – 7th grade
Length 288 pages
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date March 6, 2018
ISBN 978-0735228528

First-Hand Impression

This captivating book, The Night Diary, is told through a series of heartfelt letters from a daughter, Nisha, to her late mother. As the story unfolds, we follow Nisha and her family on their emotional journey after the British separate India into two countries, India and Pakistan, forcing them to flee for safety. This compelling story is not only beautifully written but also holds a significant message about the importance of family. Though aimed at pre-teens, I found myself, as an adult, thoroughly immersed in the narrative, appreciating its depth and poignancy. The Night Diary is an emotional and heart-wrenching tale that transcends age barriers and touches the hearts of readers from all walks of life. It is a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit during times of adversity and the unbreakable bonds of family.

The Hatmakers

Discover Your Magic

This delightful fantasy follows Cordelia, whose family tree is full of magical hatmakers. When her father gets lost at sea, Cordelia goes on a mission to find him, but it all becomes complicated by a looming war. Cordelia has to find out who is behind the threats and why.

Featuring illustrations, fantastic world-building, and gorgeous writing, this is a magical book that I think most 11-year-olds will love, even if they’re not big into fantasy.

Product Specs

Author Tamzin Merchant & Paola Escobar
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 384 pages
Publisher Norton Young Readers
Publication Date January 7, 2021
ISBN 978-1324020035

User Experience

These Hatmakers and Mapmakers books are absolutely magical and perfect for my third grader and me. I found myself immersed in the enchanting world created by Tamzin Merchant and couldn't put them down. Cordelia Hatmaker is a kind and brave heroine that I'm glad my children get to know. The exciting plot, lovable characters, and captivating writing left me eagerly awaiting more in the series.

The Science of Breakable Things

Discovering Miracles (Through Science)

Natalie’s mother is depressed, and so she enters an egg drop competition in hopes of winning prize money and flying her mother to see the Cobalt Blue Orchids, flowers that manage to survive despite the odds. Through the journey, Natalie starts opening up to her friends about her mother’s depression and soon realizes that a problem shared is a problem halved.

This fantastic coming-of-age book highlights a mother-daughter relationship and how parents can also struggle. Not only that, but it’s a sensitive exploration of Korean heritage and mental illness.

Product Specs

Author Tae Keller
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 320 pages
Publisher Yearling
Publication Date March 6, 2018
ISBN 978-1524715694

Personal Perspective

This coming-of-age book brilliantly portrays a mother-daughter relationship, shedding light on the struggles parents can face. The story follows Natalie as she enters an egg drop competition to help her depressed mother, eventually learning the value of sharing problems with friends. Additionally, the book offers a sensitive exploration of Korean heritage and mental health, making it an insightful and engaging read.

The Juneteenth Story

Celebrating the End of Slavery

This short and illustrated book is a fantastic resource for teaching children about Juneteenth: the end of slavery in the US. On June 19, 1865, enslaved people in Texas learned about their freedom. To this day, this is a very important date that is widely celebrated across the US.

Teach young ones all about it in this accessible and wonderfully-illustrated picture book.

Product Specs

Author Alliah L. Agostini & Sawyer Cloud
Reading Age 5-12 years
Grade Level Kindergarten – 7th grade
Length 32 pages
Publisher becker&mayer! kids
Publication Date May 3, 2022
ISBN 978-0760381991

Community Feedback

My experience with this book has been quite enlightening, as it provides a comprehensive overview of history leading up to the 13th Amendment and National Freedom Day. However, I must admit that I found the inclusion of imagery and references to the BLM organization quite concerning, as it has been linked to protests that turned violent and caused damage to small businesses. On the other hand, as an Afro-Latinx individual who takes pride in her heritage, I appreciate the book's focus on the resilience of Black and brown ancestors. The beautiful illustrations and rich content make this an excellent addition to any library and classroom, and the timelines in the back help summarize and organize the information.

The Boy on the Wooden Box

A Holocause Memoir

Written by one of the youngest Holocaust survivors, Leon Leyson accounts his life from when he was 10 years old, as he went through a series of horrors. He witnessed the Nazis invade Poland and was forced to flee with his family. Through a miraculous series of events and a wonderful man named Oskar, Leon and his entire family were saved.

If your child is interested in history, particularly World War Two, then I think they’ll find this memoir especially moving.

Product Specs

Author Leon Leyson and Marilyn J. Harran Elisabeth B. Leyson
Reading Age 9-14 years
Grade Level 4th – 9th grade
Length 256 pages
Publisher Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date August 27, 2013
ISBN 978-1442497825

First-Hand Impression

After reading "The Boy on the Wooden Box" by Leon Leyson, I found this memoir to be a powerful and touching account of a young boy's experiences during the Holocaust. Leon's story of survival, with the help of Oskar Schindler, is both heart-wrenching and inspiring. This book is perfect for people interested in personal WWII stories and serves as an important reminder of the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

The Firefly Summer

An Unforgettable Summer Vacation

Enjoy this vibrant setting that reflects the coziness and excitement of summer camp in this amazing middle-grade debut. It follows Ryanna, who receives a letter from her grandparents inviting her to stay with them for the summer. She hasn’t spoken to them since her mother died, but this is the perfect opportunity to learn more about her mother, especially since she has so many relatives on that side of the family!

Taking place during one summer, kids will love diving into this mysterious and immersive book that explores Ryanna’s past, present, and future.

Product Specs

Author Morgan Matson
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 400 pages
Publisher Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date May 2, 2023
ISBN 978-1534493353

User Experience

Best summer read I've experienced in a while, "The Firefly Summer" captures the essence of mystery, friendship, and nature. I personally connected with Ryanna's journey to learn more about her mom while uncovering her family's secrets and trying to save their beloved camp. The abundance of puns, jokes, and the scent of pine trees truly transported me to those cherished summer memories. I found the plot unique and engaging, though keeping track of all the characters was a bit challenging at times.

Running Out of Time

A Gripping Thriller

At this age, 11-year-olds might be looking for more action-packed books. In that case, I recommend this book about Jessie, who embarks on a dangerous mission to save the children of Clifton who are dying of diphtheria. Working against the clock and uncovering secrets her mother kept from her, can Jessie save the children — and herself — before it’s too late?

Product Specs

Author Margaret Peterson Haddix
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 192 pages
Publisher Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date October 1, 1995
ISBN 978-0689812361

Personal Perspective

This captivating book follows the journey of Jessie, a young girl living in what she believes to be an 1840s village in Indiana. When a diphtheria outbreak threatens the lives of the children in her community, Jessie must venture into the "real world" of 1996 to seek help. As she navigates modern life, she discovers that her village is actually a tourist attraction, leaving her grappling with the reality of her situation. The book is filled with adventure, mystery, and intrigue, keeping me eager to uncover Jessie's fate. While the ending may be a bit tidy, the overall story is original and engaging, making it a fantastic read for both young and adult readers alike.

The Takeout

Food, Family and Magic

Mila hasn’t settled into her new home, but she does feel at peace when she’s at her dad’s Filipino-Indian food truck. But when a celebrity chef opens a restaurant nearby and steals her dad’s recipe, it’s Mila’s time to shine! With the help of her friend Ajay, they investigate the new restaurant and even turn to a little folk magic in order to fix the mess.

While this book is exciting and gripping, it’s also a fantastic exploration of culture, being true to yourself, and how far we go to fit in.

Product Specs

Author Tracy Badua
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 240 pages
Publisher Clarion Books
Publication Date May 9, 2023
ISBN 978-0358671732

Community Feedback

I've recently read this delightful book involving Mila and her family's Filipino-Indian fusion food truck, The Banana Leaf. When a new celebrity chef restaurant opens nearby and suspiciously features the same dishes as The Banana Leaf, Mila embarks on a mission to expose the truth and save her family's business. Along the way, she learns to embrace her cultural identity and even dabbles in some Filipino folk magic. The writing is engaging, and the descriptions of the mouthwatering dishes left me craving some fusion cuisine. This story is a heartwarming and empowering exploration of family, friendship, and cultural pride that I truly enjoyed.

Pebble and Wren

Magical Graphic Novel

Graphic novels are great for 11-year-olds who aren’t super keen on chapter books or kids who want a break from more complex stories. This graphic novel follows Wren and her monster companion, Pebble. She teaches Pebble about life on earth as a human in this funny and adorable story of an unlikely friendship.

Product Specs

Author Chris Hallbeck
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 240 pages
Publisher Clarion Books
Publication Date April 11, 2023
ISBN 978-0358541288

First-Hand Impression

My experience with this book has been nothing but delightful. As a fan of Chris's cartoons, I was thrilled to dive into the whimsical world of Pebble and Wren. This charming story follows the adventures of a human child and a monster, teaching each other about the world and even some basic science concepts. The art style is unique, and the characters are endearing, making it enjoyable for readers of all ages. My kids also loved this book, laughing and sharing their favorite parts with each other.

Alone

What It's Like To Be Alone

This is one for readers who have ever felt alone. When 12-year-old Maddie wakes up from a sleepover with her friends, she finds that she’s completely alone in her desolate town. Everyone has left, and she can’t get in contact with her friends or family.

With only her dog, George, and a collection of books, Maddie learns how to survive on her own. After months of surviving nature’s ways and wild animals, Maddie realizes that her biggest enemy is loneliness. Will she be able to survive?

Told through verse, this is a stunning book that follows a dimensional main character. You’ll never be bored through this thrilling story of survival.

Product Specs

Author Megan E. Freeman
Reading Age 10-18 years
Grade Level 5th – 12th grade
Length 416 pages
Publisher Aladdin
Publication Date January 12, 2021
ISBN 978-1534467576

User Experience

My experience reading this book was truly captivating, as I followed 12-year-old Maddie's journey of survival in her desolate town. With only her dog, George, and a collection of books, I felt the raw emotion as Maddie faced nature's challenges and wild animals, ultimately discovering that her greatest enemy was loneliness. The use of verse to tell this thrilling story made for an engaging and thought-provoking read, reminding me of the importance of human connection.

The Benefits of Being an Octopus

Explore Classism and Privelege

This heartbreaking but poignant story follows Zoey, who finally has a stable enough home, living in her mom’s boyfriend’s trailer. When she gets roped into the school debate club, she starts to realize that life isn’t always fair. Will she be able to speak up about the cultural and classist divides that she faces?

Be aware that this isn’t a happy book; it deals with many heavy topics, including gun violence. But it’s an important book that many teachers and educators deem necessary for kids today.

Product Specs

Author Ann Braden
Reading Age 10-14 years
Grade Level 5th – 9th grade
Length 312 pages
Publisher Sky Pony
Publication Date September 4, 2018
ISBN 978-1510757677

Personal Perspective

I recently read this heartbreaking yet poignant story about Zoey, a young girl living in her mom's boyfriend's trailer, who finds herself joining the school debate club. Through her experiences, she begins to understand the harsh realities of life, including cultural and classist divides. This book delves into heavy topics like gun violence, so be prepared for an emotional read. I appreciate its significance, as many teachers and educators believe it's an essential book for today's youth. In the end, this story truly left a lasting impact on me.

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916

A Gripping Graphic Novel

If your child wants to know more about historical events but finds complex chapter books overwhelming, I recommend the I Survived Graphic Novels series. It depicts real-life events in a graphic novel that’s gripping and thrilling for young readers.

This particular one in the series follows the shark attacks of 1916 along the Jersey Shore. Chet Roscow has heard all about them, but he experiences it firsthand when he comes face to face with a hungry shark in the creek!

Product Specs

Author Lauren Tasrhis & Haus Studio
Reading Age 7-12 years
Grade Level 2nd – 7th grade
Length 160 pages
Publisher Graphix
Publication Date June 2, 2020
ISBN 978-1338120943

Community Feedback

My experience with this graphic novel has been quite enjoyable, especially appreciating the high-quality illustrations that seemed to leap off the pages. The captivating storyline, based on historical events and told through a child's perspective, appealed to both my 8-year-old grandson and my 9-year-old dyslexic granddaughter, who found the speech bubbles and all-capital-letter text easy to read independently. While the small font size made it slightly challenging for me to read aloud, the engaging content and unique presentation style make this an excellent choice for young readers.

Class Act

A Heartfelt Story of Race

The next installment in the New Kid series is here, and this time we’re following 8th grader, Drew Ellis. As a young Black boy, he knows he will have to work twice as hard to get the same opportunities as his white peers.

But as friendships split and opportunities are missed, can Drew fix what’s broken while being able to accept who he truly is? Find out in this heartfelt and honest graphic novel.

Product Specs

Author Jerry Craft
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 256 pages
Publisher Quill Tree Books
Publication Date October 6, 2020
ISBN 978-0062885500

First-Hand Impression

As a frequent book buyer, I found this middle-grade graphic novel to be a hit with my son, who thoroughly enjoyed the comic book style and engaging storyline. The beautiful illustrations not only captivated my 7-year-old, but also inspired him to draw more, as he quickly read through the entire book. This thought-provoking story, which centers around the challenges faced by a less privileged student attending an elite school, sparked deep conversations among my students when I used it as a read-aloud in my fifth-grade class. My daughter and I also enjoyed reading this book together, appreciating its powerful message and relatable characters.

King and the Dragonflies

Explores Grief and Sexuality

If you feel your 11-year-old is ready for a complex story about grief, life, race, and sexuality — this is one to choose. This lyrical and beautifully-written book is filled with raw emotion on every page, and I think it brings hope to queer children of color.

After Khalid unexpectedly dies, his brother wishes he could speak to his best friend, Sandy. But Khalid had previously warned Kingston to stay away from Sandy, as he might be gay. When Sandy disappears, King searches for him.

When he finds Sandy, they escape from his abusive father and create their own paradise, where King must go on a journey of self-discovery and grieving his brother.

Product Specs

Author Kacen Callender
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 288 pages
Publisher Scholastic Press
Publication Date February 4, 2020
ISBN 978-1338129342

User Experience

My experience reading this book was truly emotional and eye-opening, as it delves into complex themes of grief, race, and sexuality. I appreciated the lyrical writing style and raw emotion on each page, which made it accessible for my 11-year-old to grasp these important topics. This poignant story follows the protagonist, King, on his journey of self-discovery and healing, offering hope and understanding to young readers who may be facing similar struggles.

Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys

A Pediatrician's Guide to Puberty

There are many helpful books about puberty for girls, but it’s hard to find a good one for young guys. This one is written by Dr. Cara Natterson, a pediatrician who has also written books for young girls. This illustrated book contains information on emotional and physical changes, healthy eating, hygiene and more.

Product Specs

Author Cara Natterson & Micah Player
Reading Age 9-12 years
Grade Level 4th – 7th grade
Length 112 pages
Publisher American Girl
Publication Date August 8, 2017
ISBN 978-1683370260

Personal Perspective

I'm impressed with how this book offers valuable and age-appropriate information for pre-teens and early teens. Personally, I found the animated images and easy-to-understand language to be particularly helpful in engaging my child. It has made discussing body changes with my son more comfortable and natural. The book's readability level and content is well-suited for 10-12-year-olds, fostering important conversations about their bodies and development.

The Canyon's Edge

Lost in the Desert

This novel-in-verse is well-suited for kids who enjoy a fast-paced and thrilling adventure that’s still packed with emotion. Nora and her father go on a desert adventure, hoping it will bring them peace and closure after a family tragedy. But when a flash flood sweeps away her father and their supplies, Nora is suddenly alone in the desert.

Facing scorpions, snakes, dehydration, and her own demons, can Nora survive, find her father, and uncover the peace she so desperately needed? Find out in this one-of-a-kind tale.

Product Specs

Author Dusti Bowling
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 336 pages
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date September 8, 2020
ISBN 978-0316494670

Community Feedback

This novel-in-verse is perfect for young readers seeking an exciting yet emotional adventure. I was captivated by Nora and her father's desert journey to find peace after a family tragedy. However, when a flash flood leaves Nora stranded, facing scorpions, snakes, and dehydration, her resilience and determination are truly inspiring. This unique tale kept me on the edge of my seat, eager to discover if Nora could survive, reunite with her father, and ultimately find the peace they both desperately needed.

The Trials of Morrigan Crow

Discover the Magical City of Nevermoor

Bold, funny, exciting, and magical: the first book in the Nevermoor series is an 11-year-old’s dream! When Morrigan is born on an unlucky day, she is given a curse that means she will die at midnight on her 11th birthday.

But she gets a second chance when a man whisks her away to Nevermoor: a secret and magical place. There, she has the opportunity to join the Wundrous Society, but she must pass four dangerous trials. If she can succeed, she can stay in Nevermoor’s safety forever.

But if she fails, she will have to return home, where her curse will come true.

Product Specs

Author Jessica Townsend
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 512 pages
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date October 12, 2017
ISBN 978-0275956288

First-Hand Impression

My experience with the first book in the Nevermoor series was nothing short of enchanting. As an 11-year-old protagonist, Morrigan's adventures in the magical world of Nevermoor kept me captivated with its blend of excitement and humor. The story's premise of overcoming a curse through four dangerous trials added a thrilling element to the narrative.

The Secret of the Old Clock

A Nancy Drew Mystery

Now is a great time to introduce your child to Nancy Drew: a teenage detective who unsolves many exciting mysteries. In the first book of the series, she is on the search for a missing will after the Topham family inherits a man’s massive fortune instead of his own family.

As a kid, I loved Nancy Drew books and enjoyed the many different stories in the series. Nancy Drew is a compelling character to follow, and the format allows children to solve the mystery alongside her.

If your child enjoys this one, there are 175 books in the series!

Product Specs

Author Carolyne Keene
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 192 pages
Publisher Grosset & Dunlap
Publication Date January 1, 1930
ISBN 978-0448095011

User Experience

My experience with these Nancy Drew books has been nothing short of amazing since I was a kid. The first book in the series introduces a teenage detective who embarks on thrilling adventures to solve mysteries, such as searching for a missing will. Nancy is a captivating character, and the format encourages young readers to solve the mysteries alongside her. I found these books to be engaging and entertaining, and with 175 books in the series, there's always a new adventure awaiting. Reading these books has been a delightful journey, and I'm sure your child will love them too.

A Wrinkle in Time

When a Stranger Appears...

One gloomy night, Meg, her brother, and mother head downstairs for a midnight snack when they stumble upon a bizarre stranger in their home. He tells them about a tesseract: a wrinkle in time. If your child enjoys fantasy stories that touch on themes of time travel and space, then this might become one of their new favorite reads.

It’s the first in the Time Quintet series, a collection of five exciting books that have earned many awards between them, including the 1963 Newbery Medal.

Product Specs

Author Madeleine L’Engle
Reading Age 9-14 years
Grade Level 4th – 9th grade
Length 256 pages
Publisher Square Fish
Publication Date January 1, 1962
ISBN 978-0312367541

Personal Perspective

Got this sci-fi fantasy novel, "A Wrinkle in Time," and was absolutely captivated by the story of Meg Murry and her quest to find her missing father. The blend of science fiction and fantasy elements, woven with religious symbolism, created an engaging and imaginative world. The characters, particularly Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin, were well-developed and relatable.

Anne of Green Gables

Meet the Echanting Anne

Anne has been one of the most beloved children’s characters since 1908. Although over a century has passed since her debut, she’s still as feisty and enchanting now as she was then.

The story begins with Anne’s arrival at a farm called Green Gables. As an 11-year-old orphan, Anne has come to live with the Cuthberts, who asked for a boy orphan, but instead got Anne: a girl with a grand imagination and a desperation to be loved.

Product Specs

Author L.M. Montgomery
Reading Age 8+ years
Grade Level 3rd grade and up
Length 464 pages
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date January 1, 1908
ISBN 978-0147514004

Community Feedback

I'm absolutely delighted with my copy of "Anne of Green Gables." This heartwarming tale of a young orphan girl with a vivid imagination truly captivated me from the start. Anne's journey from a neglected child to a beloved member of her community touched my heart, as her adventures and misadventures brought joy and life lessons to those around her. The quality of this edition is fantastic, with a beautiful cover design and easy-to-read text. As an adult reader, I found this timeless classic to be a charming and uplifting read, making me wish I had discovered it in my own childhood.

The Little Prince

A Worldwide Treasure

Few books have stood the test of time in the same way as The Little Prince. Published originally in 1943, this book proves to be a cozy comfort for readers of all ages.

This book is about a pilot stranded in the desert when he meets a small boy who asks him to draw a sheep. He begins to draw, and the story begins, teaching readers the secret of what really matters. Complete with beautiful artwork, this book might make you cry, but it will also speak to you in ways that not many books can.

Product Specs

Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Reading Age 10+ years
Grade Level 5th grade and up
Length 96 pages
Publisher Clarion Books
Publication Date April 6, 1943
ISBN 978-0152023980

First-Hand Impression

When I first picked up this book, I didn't expect to discover such wisdom within its pages. The story follows a young prince exploring different planets, where he encounters various characters and learns valuable lessons about friendship, love, and appreciating what makes someone special. Every time I read it, I uncover new thoughts and feelings, and I can't help but smile when looking at the night sky, thinking of the little prince's home among the stars. This charming, insightful, and heartwarming tale is truly a timeless classic that I believe everyone should experience at least once in their life.

The Westing Game

Mysterious, Clever, and Filled With Puzzles

I’ve found a fantastic book for kids on the hunt for a more complex read that demands their undivided attention. Sixteen people are invited to the reading of a rich man’s will. All of these people have the chance to inherit Samuel W. Westing’s multi-million fortune, but first, they must take on his final game.

Battling blizzards, bombings, and burglaries, this fun book is full of puzzles, wordplay, and much more. Get ready for a funny and engaging story that’s great for independent reading or as a family read-aloud.

Product Specs

Author Ellen Raskin
Reading Age 8-13 years
Grade Level 3rd – 8th grade
Length 192 pages
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date June 1, 1978
ISBN 978-0142401200

User Experience

For kids seeking a challenging and engaging read, this book is perfect! It follows sixteen individuals invited to a rich man's will reading, where they must participate in his final game to inherit his fortune. The story is packed with excitement from battling blizzards and bombings to solving puzzles and mastering wordplay. This entertaining book is excellent for independent reading or sharing as a family read-aloud.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Opens Up Important Conversations

Personal Perspective

Best book I've read in a while, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, truly captures the harsh realities of Southern white society's unjust treatment of black people during the Depression era. The strong and relatable characters in this story make it even more engaging, teaching valuable lessons about taking a stand against injustice and staying true to oneself. I could feel the emotions of the characters and found myself rooting for them throughout the book. This powerful and thought-provoking story is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the complexities of race, family, and identity during a difficult time in American history.

Last but not least, I have this powerful conversation starter if you want to talk to your child about racism, justice, and friendship. This classic novel follows Cassie, who is part of the Logan family, as they work to save their farm and independence in the face of racial injustice.

Set during The Great Depression, children will learn about racism, the Jim Crow Act, and speaking out for what’s right. Told through the perspective of the outspoken Cassie, this is an engaging book for children. I’ve also heard it’s fantastic on audiobook, so if your child prefers that, this is a good download!

Product Specs

Author Mildred D. Taylor
Reading Age 10-14 years
Grade Level 5th – 9th grade
Length 288 pages
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date June 1, 1990
ISBN 978-0142401125

How To Choose Books for 11-Year-Olds

If your child is an avid reader, by age 11, they’ll have literacy skills that resemble adults’ (1). This doesn’t mean that adult (or even young adult) literature is suitable for them, though. Give them stories they’ll understand (and enjoy) by following the milestones for their age (2).

Remember that every child is different and learns at a different pace. So while many children are reading for knowledge or are able to summarize a text, it’s okay if your child isn’t quite there yet.

Reading for Knowledge

By this age, children no longer need overly simplified texts. They read to expand their knowledge and are ready to delve into longer, more serious, or complex stories.

Intention

Eleven-year-olds can read purposefully for pleasure, education, or other reasons.

Reasoning

Your child should be able to follow a story and retell or summarize the events in order. They’ll understand the meaning of stories and be able to express what they’ve read.

Exploration

Eleven-year-olds are ready to explore different genres. They can also understand stories with more depth and interpret what they’ve read as they relate to it. Try to widen their knowledge by introducing them to different styles.



FAQs

What Reading Level is an 11-Year-Old?

An 11-year-old typically reads at a 5th or 6th-grade level, enjoying more complex texts with advanced vocabulary and deeper themes. Individual reading levels can vary widely.

How Long Should an 11-Year-Old Read Per Day?

Encourage an 11-year-old to read for 30 minutes to an hour each day. This habit supports their educational development, vocabulary growth, and enjoyment of reading.

How Many Books Should an 11-Year-Old Read In a Year?

The number of books an 11-year-old reads in a year can vary greatly depending on their reading speed, the length of the books, and their personal interests. Encouraging regular reading is more important than setting a specific target number.

Should Parents Let Children Choose the Books They Read?

Allowing children to choose their books helps foster a love of reading and a sense of autonomy. Guide them towards appropriate options, but let them explore topics and genres that interest them.

Who Reads More: Boys or Girls?

Studies have found that girls generally read more frequently than boys, but interests and habits can vary widely among individuals. Encouraging reading in all children, regardless of gender, is crucial.

Review Methodology

At Mom Loves Best, we prioritize providing you with a thorough analysis and assessment of the best books for 11-year-olds, using our extensive experience and hands-on research. Our team of professionals carefully compares and ranks each book based on criteria such as age-appropriateness, engaging storylines, character development, and educational value. We evaluate products from a user’s perspective, taking into account quantitative data and first-hand evidence, ensuring that our recommendations meet high-performance standards. By identifying key decision-making factors, we help you make informed choices, highlighting the unique aspects that set each book apart from its competitors. Rest assured, our reviews are based on facts, and our goal is to guide you in selecting the perfect book for your child’s reading journey.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a Scottish freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. She is a mum to a young boy, and believes that it truly takes a village. When she’s not parenting, writing about parenting, or working, she can be found reading, working on her novel, taking photos, playing board games or wandering through the countryside with her family.