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50 Best Books for 9-Year-Olds: 2024 Picks

Updated
Our must-read list for 9-year-old boys and girls.

Choosing books for a nine-year-old can be challenging since they are moving away from most picture books and becoming interested in chapter books. However, many chapter books might be too advanced for them, causing children to lose interest or become frustrated.

That’s why I put together a list of 50 of the best books for 9-year-olds. As a parent, writer, and bookworm, I’m incredibly passionate about encouraging children to read.

Whether your child wants a long chapter book, an easy picture book, a funny story, or something educational, I have plenty of recommendations. So no matter what your child is into, I’m sure you’ll find a book for them to cruise through!


The Best Books for 9-Year-Olds of 2024

This age group should now be able to read fluently, but finding books for them can be challenging. Every child deserves to read books they love, so I’ve compiled a list of 50 amazing books for nine-year-olds.

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer

A Time Travelling Drama

Most nine-year-olds are up for a good adventure, making this sci-fi story a phenomenal choice. Friends Otto and Sheed prepare to kick back as school winds down for their summer, but things take a wild turn.

The two boys are thrust into a time-travel adventure when an eccentric man with a camera literally freezes time. Can they race to save their town before it’s too late? This story will keep your kids turning the pages.

Product Specs

Author Lamar Giles & Dapo Adeola
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 304 pages
Publisher Versify
Publication Date April 2, 2019
ISBN 978-1328460837

User Experience

I'm thrilled with this book that my ten-year-old son enjoyed so much. It's a fantastic, twisty-turny adventure featuring two smart cousins who save their town from various oddities. The story dives deep into the internal life of one of the boys, Otto, which makes it even more engaging. I appreciated the thought-provoking themes and the book's ability to hold both my child's and my attention. The unexpected revelations and well-developed characters make this a must-read for kids who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy adventures.

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire

Inspire Future Writers

This is the first in a trilogy about a Chinese-Caucasian girl who loves reading — and loves writing even more! The books follow Cilla’s adventures and sensitivities of being a mixed-race girl. They also explore her initial struggles with reading, as well as some healthy friend drama.

Cilla Lee is excellent for readers who still enjoy seeing pictures in their chapter books. The books are heavily illustrated and feature a readable font, ideal for readers still finding their footing. I chose this one for kids navigating identity and cultural complexities.

Product Specs

Author Susan tan & Dana Wulfekotte
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 272 pages
Publisher Square Fish
Publication Date March 28, 2017
ISBN 978-1250144003

Personal Perspective

When I first read this trilogy, I was captivated by the story of a Chinese-Caucasian girl who has a passion for reading and writing. As I followed Cilla's adventures, I appreciated the exploration of her mixed-race experiences, challenges with reading, and relatable friend drama. This series is perfect for young readers who enjoy illustrations in their chapter books, as it features a lot of visuals and a readable font. It's a great choice for kids who are navigating their own identity and cultural complexities, providing them with a character they can relate to and learn from.

Power Forward

Best for Sporty Kids

Does your child play basketball? Handing a sporty kid a book about sports may be an easy way to inspire them to read. This series focuses on Pakistani-American Zayd Saleem, who dreams of becoming a basketball legend.

Although Zayd is scrawny and his parents think practicing violin is more important than playing ball, he doesn’t let anything deter him. This pick is amazing for kids passionate about chasing dreams or just wanting to read about another kid doing so.

Product Specs

Author Hena Khan & Sally Wern Comport
Reading Age 7-11 years
Grade Level 2nd – 6th grade
Length 144 pages
Publisher Salaam Reads
Publication Date January 1, 2018
ISBN 978-1534411982

Community Feedback

Love this engaging book series about Zayd Saleem, a 4th-grade Pakistani-American boy with a passion for basketball. I found the cultural references and relatable character struggles to be both entertaining and educational. The books provide valuable life lessons for young readers, making them a delightful and wholesome read for all.

Stella Díaz Has Something To Say

Conquer Your Fears

Stella Diaz moved to the US as a baby, and everyone in her family is bilingual. However, Stella is shy about speaking English because she sometimes mixes her English and Spanish words in class. But things start to improve when Stella joins an ESL class at school.

This book is perfect for kids who want to learn Spanish since the text is interspersed with Spanish words. Cautious kids will also see themselves in Stella; her story will inspire them to speak up because their voices matter too.

Product Specs

Author Angela Dominguez
Reading Age 6-9 years
Grade Level 1st – 4th grade
Length 224 pages
Publisher Square Fish
Publication Date January 16, 2018
ISBN 978-1250294104

First-Hand Impression

I've enjoyed reading this book with my daughter, as it presents relatable themes that many children face, such as language insecurities and dealing with bullies. The story follows Stella, a shy girl who gains confidence in her language abilities with the help of her family and friends. As a bonus, the author includes Spanish terms and sketches throughout the text, which aid in comprehension for young or English-learner readers. While some may argue that the book presents too many problems for the young protagonist, I believe it offers valuable lessons in overcoming challenges. Additionally, the book's connection to marine life adds an interesting touch, making it an engaging read for children.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Discover the Wizarding World

Your child is finally at an age where they are ready for the wonderful world of Harry Potter. This magical series inspired an entire generation of children to read.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone tells the story of an 11-year-old orphan boy who learns he’s a wizard. He’s whisked away to a hidden world of magic, where he’s a living legend due to his tragic past. With his friends, he must solve a mystery within the walls of his new school.

The Harry Potter series grows slightly darker with every book, but this one is charming and tame enough for 9-year-olds who want to explore magical worlds.

Product Specs

Author J.K. Rowling
Reading Age 8+ years
Grade Level 3rd grade +
Length 309 pages
Publisher Scholastic
Publication Date June 26, 1997
ISBN 978-1338878929

User Experience

Excellent introduction to the magical world of Harry Potter for young readers! I recently got these books for my child and they were instantly captivated by the story of an 11-year-old orphan boy who discovers he's a wizard. As he's taken to a hidden world of magic, he becomes a living legend and, along with his new friends, must solve a mystery within the walls of his new school. The series does grow slightly darker with each book, but this first one is charming and tame enough for 9-year-olds who are eager to explore enchanting realms. The captivating plot and engaging characters have sparked a newfound love for reading in my child, and I couldn't be happier with the impact these books have made.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Simply Beautiful

This book is not only well written, but it’s also beautifully designed too. Diversity in books is very important, and this fantasy is interwoven with Chinese folklore.

It tells the story of Minli, who resolves to find the Old Man on the Moon in a quest to change her family’s fortune. On her way, she meets a dragon who accompanies her on her mission.

It’s a warm-hearted tale of friendship, imagination, and determination that will introduce many children to a new kind of story.

Product Specs

Author Grace Lin
Reading Age 9 – 12 years
Grade Level 4th – 7th grade
Length 278 pages
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date June 1, 2009
ISBN 978-0316038638

Personal Perspective

I've recently read this captivating book and was truly enchanted by the magical world it created. The story follows a brave and imaginative young girl, Minli, on her quest to change her family's fortune. Along the way, she encounters various intriguing characters, and the intertwining of traditional Chinese tales adds depth and wonder to the narrative. Although the book started off a bit slow, I found myself eagerly anticipating how everything would come together in the end, making it a delightful and memorable reading experience.

Wish

So Good It Hurts

Wish is a powerful story that may cause a few tears, but don’t let that put you off. Stories like this are important. They bring your child’s sense of compassion and emotional awareness to the forefront.

Charlie is a little girl who comes from a broken home. She expends almost all her energy wishing for the one thing she wants most in the world, but soon learns that what she wants and needs are two different things.

It’s a heart-warming, touching, and bittersweet book that gives us an inside look into the story of found family.

Product Specs

Author Barbara O’Connor
Reading Age 8 – 12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 278 pages
Publisher Square Fish
Publication Date August 30, 2016
ISBN 978-1250144058

Community Feedback

Definitely a heartwarming and emotional read, this book explores the journey of a young girl named Charlie who comes from a broken home. As I read, I found myself deeply invested in Charlie's story, as she constantly wishes for the one thing she wants most in the world. This book masterfully teaches the important lesson of understanding the difference between wants and needs. Through its bittersweet narrative, it also highlights the beauty of found family and personal growth.

Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja

Seeing (Ninja) Stars

When I was a kid, I adored first-person stories. I’ll eat my socks if your 9-year-old doesn’t love this one.

Meet Chase Cooper, a 6th grader who also happens to be a ninja. He chronicles his adventures as a warning to other kids not to become ninjas. But before he can save the world, he has to survive his first day at a new school.

What’s not to love? This story is the ideal blend between old tropes and modern spins. It’s a highly entertaining read that’s part of a 12-part series.

Product Specs

Author Marcus Emerson, Sal Hunter & Noah Child
Reading Age 9 – 12 years
Grade Level 4th – 7th grade
Length 103 pages
Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date October 25, 2012
ISBN 978-1493527489

First-Hand Impression

I'm impressed with this middle-grade book, as it offers a fun and engaging reading experience for young readers transitioning from chapter books. The protagonist, Chase, is relatable, and the story provides valuable underlying themes like friendship and honesty. Although there were a few parts that slowed the flow down, the overall enjoyment was not significantly affected. The book's content may not be perfect from a parental perspective, but it remains an exciting and entertaining read for children, especially those with an interest in ninjas.

Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero

Inspiring Tale About Love and Loss

Ten-year-old Isaiah’s dad died last year, and he’s trying to help his little sister maintain a sense of normalcy. His mom is grieving and depressed, but with the help of his friends and community, Isaiah tries to find his feet again.

This book is excellent for kids who enjoy poetry. Isaiah finds meaning in his father’s poetry, cultivating his love for the craft. Although the story is sometimes emotional, this book is a well-written portal to discussing tough topics like death and grief. It also highlights the value of community, warm sibling relationships, and wholesome male role models.

Product Specs

Author Kelly J. Baptist
Reading Age 8 – 10 years
Grade Level 3rd – 5th grade
Length 208 pages
Publisher Yearling
Publication Date August 18, 2020
ISBN 978-0593121399

User Experience

When I first read this book, I was touched by the story of ten-year-old Isaiah navigating through his father's death and trying to create normalcy for his younger sister. As a fan of poetry, I appreciated how Isaiah found solace in his father's poems and developed his own passion for writing. This emotionally charged book serves as an excellent medium for discussing heavy topics like death and grief with children. Additionally, the story emphasizes the importance of community, nurturing sibling relationships, and positive male role models, making it a truly enriching read.

Wonder

Every Child Should Read It

With millions of copies sold and a number one spot on the New York Times Best Sellers list, Wonder has inspired many people to be better.

It’s the story of Auggie, a boy with Treacher Collins syndrome, who tries his best to fit in despite his classmate’s bullying. Before long, his family and classmates come to see him in a different light. It’s definitely a book that warms the soul.

It wins points for diversity and shows different perspectives. I honestly believe everyone should read this book, whether you’re nine or 109! What struck me the most was that though most people who read it won’t have a facial difference, many readers will be able to relate to Auggie.

Product Specs

Author Kelly J. Baptist
Reading Age 8+ years
Grade Level 3rd grade +
Length 320 pages
Publisher Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date February 14, 2012
ISBN 978-0375869020

Personal Perspective

I'm thrilled to share my thoughts on this captivating book, "Wonder." The story follows August Pullman, a young boy with facial deformities, as he navigates the challenges of starting fifth grade at a new school. The characters are relatable and the emotions feel genuine, making it hard to put the book down. Through heartwarming moments and valuable life lessons about acceptance and empathy, this book left a lasting impact on me and I believe it will do the same for many others.

The Land of Stories

Tried and Tested

I had to include this six-book set because my nine-year-old nephew specifically requested them. As a beginner bookworm, he read one and desperately wants the rest. I think that says enough.

It’s a simple fantasy in which twins Alex and Connor are pulled into a magical world where all the mystical creatures and happenings they’ve read about are real. It’s reminiscent of the Neverending Story, the Pagemaster, and even the Chronicles of Narnia.

Product Specs

Author Chris Colfer & Brandon Dorman
Reading Age 8 – 12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 2,896 pages (across six books)
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date October 16, 2018
ISBN 978-0316480840

Community Feedback

I recently purchased this book series for my kids and they absolutely love it! The engaging stories have sparked their interest in reading, and even my 9-year-old finished all six books in just two months. When the set arrived, I was pleased to see that the packaging was well-done, with no scratches or damaged books. My niece, who also enjoys reading, has been enjoying the series as well.

Some Places More Than Others

Finding Your Roots

A family tree project in school leads Amara to ask her dad questions about his estranged family. After much persuasion, he caves and allows her to come with him to New York City to see his side of the family. Family secrets are revealed in time for a warm reunion.

This is a heartwarming gem of a book, and Renee Watson is one of our favorite children’s and teen writers. If your kid is eager to visit the Big Apple, start with this book! It’s packed with historical and touristy details about the city.

Product Specs

Author Renée Watson
Reading Age 8 – 12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 224 pages
Publisher Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Publication Date September 3, 2019
ISBN 978-1681191102

First-Hand Impression

When I dove into this heartwarming book, I was instantly absorbed in Amara's journey to learn about her dad's estranged family. As they travel to New York City together, family secrets unravel, leading to a warm reunion. Not only did this engaging story tug at my heartstrings, but it also provided a wealth of historical and touristy details about the Big Apple that would surely excite any young reader.

Any Day With You

Sweet Great-Grandparent Story

Kaia is sad to hear that her Tatang (great-grandfather) has decided to move back to the Philippines. She and her friends decide to submit a film they’re making about Filipino folktales this summer to a contest. She hopes that if they win, Tatang will stay.

This sweet book set on the beachy West Coast is full of warm family and friendship moments. It’s also packed with Filipino folklore and American history. Any Day With You makes for a perfect family read-aloud.

Product Specs

Author Mae Respicio
Reading Age 8 – 12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 224 pages
Publisher Wendy Lamb Books
Publication Date May 5, 2020
ISBN 978-0525707578

User Experience

Bought this book for my daughter and we both fell in love with the story. The heartwarming family relationships, particularly between Kaia and her great-grandfather Tatang, make it a memorable read. The incorporation of Asian-American and Filipino-American heritage through folklore, tradition, and language adds a fascinating layer to the plot. Not only is this a great middle-grade read, but it also teaches valuable lessons on following one's passion and the importance of family.

Wishtree

Thought Provoking Tale About Community

Katherine Applegate (author of Animorphs) has been a staple in children’s fiction for decades, and Wishtree doesn’t disappoint. The story is told from the perspective of a 200-year-old oak tree, Red, who only wants the best for his neighborhood. People use Red as a wishtree, you see, so he takes their dreams seriously.

Although this book is for children, its tone is much more serious than many other children’s books. It’s a good place to start if your child is ready for thought-provoking narratives.

Product Specs

Author Katherine Applegate
Reading Age 9 – 14 years
Grade Level 4th – 9th grade
Length 224 pages
Publisher Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date September 26, 2017
ISBN 978-1250043221

Personal Perspective

This 200-year-old oak tree, Red, tells the story in Katherine Applegate's Wishtree, a children's book that doesn't disappoint. As a wishtree, Red takes people's dreams seriously and wants the best for the neighborhood. The tone of this book is more serious than many other children's books, making it an excellent choice for kids ready for thought-provoking narratives.

The Bad Beginning

A Series of Unfortunate Events

When I think of being nine, I think of this book. Reading this book with my own mother is one of my core memories. As part of a 13-book series, this is an incredible start to a thrilling series about three orphans who go to live with their weird distant relative, Count Olaf.

What I love most about this book, despite the absurd and exciting plots, is the prose. Lemony Snicket has such a distinct narrative voice. He uses beautiful phrases and explains language to readers, educating them on syntax, idioms, and less common words.

Product Specs

Author Lemony Snicket
Reading Age 8 – 12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 142 pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication Date August 25, 1999
ISBN 978-0061146305

Community Feedback

My fondest childhood memories include reading this book with my mom when I was nine years old. This incredible start to a 13-book series follows the thrilling adventures of three orphans who end up living with their peculiar distant relative, Count Olaf. One aspect that truly stands out in this book is Lemony Snicket's unique narrative voice, which combines absurd and exciting plots with beautiful prose. He effortlessly educates young readers on syntax, idioms, and less common words, making the reading experience both enjoyable and informative.

Refugee

Culturally Significant

If your child is already accustomed to books and enjoys a thrilling story that pulls on the heartstrings, introduce them to Refugee.

You meet three refugees. Josef is a Jewish boy in Nazi Germany, escaping the Holocaust with his family; Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994, bound for America after her family flees riots and political unrest. Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015 who becomes a refugee after his homeland is wartorn.

Although they each come from different corners of the world, their stories are connected. It’s a beautifully woven story of both suffering and hope. It’s educational too, and will give your child a better understanding of the global political climate.

Product Specs

Author Alan Gratz
Reading Age 9+ years
Grade Level 4th grade+
Length 352 pages
Publisher Scholastic Press
Publication Date July 25, 2017
ISBN 978-0545880831

First-Hand Impression

This book had me hooked from the start, as I shared the reading journey with my son. The action-packed storylines and intertwined timelines kept us both engaged and led to great family discussions. It was a touching and heartfelt story that taught us about the challenges refugees from different eras face. While some parts were emotional, it sparked important conversations and made us appreciate our own freedom.

Warriors: The New Prophecy

Cool Cats

In league with Watership Down and Tailchaser’s Song, this is the charming story of a clan of cats. A dark prophecy looms over their heads, bringing a mysterious danger that threatens their peace.

Six cats step up and resolve to protect their forest. They’re led on a magical, exciting adventure that puts their entire home at stake. This story appeals to many personalities, including cat lovers, fantasy geeks, and adventure fanatics.

Product Specs

Author Erin Hunter & Dave Stevenson
Reading Age 8 – 12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 352 pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication Date May 10, 2005
ISBN 978-0062367020

User Experience

These books have quickly become a favorite among kids, including my daughter who couldn't put them down and read each one in just a day. The storyline is engaging, and my grandson also enjoys this series. While the condition of the books in my order was fair, with some minor dents on the edges of the case, the books themselves were in great condition. This particular arc may not be everyone's favorite due to some opinions on sloppy writing, but overall, it adds to the excitement of owning the entire collection. These books provide a truly nostalgic experience for fans of the Warriors series.

The Last Kids on Earth

Lighthearted and Fun

Is your child looking for laughs? I’ve found the right book for them.

Jack and his friends live in a treehouse. They’re the last remaining humans after the Monster Apocalypse, and for them, life is like a video game. They battle monsters and run from zombies, all while running the world.

Jeff Kinney, the author of the acclaimed Diary of a Wimpy Kid, praised this book series, describing it as “terrifyingly fun”. It’s an excellent adventure that will give your kid lots of giggles along the way.

Product Specs

Author Max Brallier & Douglas Holgate
Reading Age 8 – 12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 240 pages
Publisher Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date October 13, 2015
ISBN 978-0670016617

Personal Perspective

When my daughters and I started reading this book series together, we were all captivated by the engaging storyline and couldn't help but read several chapters each night. My son also enjoyed the books after watching the Netflix show, appreciating the "big boy" chapter book format with illustrations and diagrams to keep him entertained. These books have proven to be a great way to get children excited about reading, appealing to both boys and girls in the 8-12 age range with humor and relatable characters.

Keeper of the Lost Cities

Telepaths Living Among Humans

This collection of five books is highly acclaimed and could become the next best thing. Fans of Harry Potter or superheroes are sure to enjoy it.

Sophie is telepathic, and it’s up to her to save a world she never knew she was a part of. She’s led on a journey to a mystical world, where she learns her power is not the only thing that makes her different. Can she figure out why she was hidden with humans before it’s too late?

Product Specs

Author Shannon Messenger
Reading Age 8 – 12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 512 pages
Publisher Aladdin
Publication Date October 2, 2012
ISBN 978-1442445949

Community Feedback

I've been reading the Keeper of the Lost Cities series and found myself engaged with the characters and their unique abilities. The telepathic conversations are well-written and add depth to the story. However, I feel like there's too much repetitive description and a lack of victory for the characters, which can make it frustrating to read at times.

Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great

Sweet and Charming

For fans of Judy Blume, I think kids will enjoy this sweet story of  Shiela. She isn’t the most confident; in fact, she has quite a lot of fears (spiders, swimming, and most of all, dogs). One summer, her family decides to vacation in the country where Shiela will have to face all of these fears.

Part of the Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing series, it’s a bit confusing that Fudge and his brother aren’t in this book. But it’s still a worthwhile read that gives an insightful look into what it’s like to be a young girl with anxiety.

Product Specs

Author Judy Blume
Reading Age 8 – 12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 176 pages
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date January 1, 1972
ISBN 978-0142408797

First-Hand Impression

I'm delighted to share my experience with this sweet story that I believe Judy Blume fans will appreciate. The protagonist, Sheila, is a relatable character who struggles with confidence and has multiple fears, such as spiders, swimming, and especially dogs. During a family vacation in the country, she is faced with confronting these fears head-on. Although it's part of the Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing series, the absence of Fudge and his brother might be slightly confusing to some readers. Regardless, this book offers an insightful look into the life of a young girl dealing with anxiety and is definitely worth a read.

Legend of the Star Runner

Boredom Buster

Do you remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? This one is similar, except it involves a fresh storytelling method in which your child needs to solve a mystery at the end of every chapter.

Timmi follows clues in his family’s secret legacy to save a dear friend. Attempting to find a legendary pirate ship, he triggers an ancient, dark power. It stands in the way of his mission.

The story is excellent, beautifully illustrated, and the mysteries will leave your child feeling like a professional sleuth. How fun!

Product Specs

Author J. I. Wagner
Reading Age 8 – 12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 160 pages
Publisher freshabooks
Publication Date May 22, 2018
ISBN 978-3963267772

User Experience

As a fan of interactive storytelling, I found this Choose Your Own Adventure book to be a delightful and engaging experience for kids. The unique aspect of solving a mystery at the end of each chapter kept my child hooked and feeling like a true detective. While on a quest to find a legendary pirate ship, the protagonist encounters an ancient, dark power that adds an exciting twist to the story. With captivating illustrations and well-crafted mysteries, this book is sure to entertain and challenge young readers.

The Lightning Thief

Mythology and Coming-of-Age Unite

Many parents will have read this as a child, and you can finally introduce it to your child. This exciting mythological book is about young Percy Jackson, a good boy who has trouble focusing. When bizarre things happen at boarding school, his mother finally decides it’s time to introduce him to his heritage.

She sends him away to Camp Half Blood, where he learns he is a demigod. In this epic adventure, Percy and his friends must visit the Underworld and put a stop to a deadly war between the gods.

Product Specs

Author Rick Riordan
Reading Age 9+ years
Grade Level 4th grade and up
Length 416 pages
Publisher Disney Hyperion
Publication Date July 28, 2005
ISBN 978-0786838653

Personal Perspective

For someone who initially didn't understand the hype around this story, I'm glad I gave it a second chance. This book offers a great blend of adventure, friendship, and Greek mythology, making it an engaging read for young adults. The characters are relatable and the storyline is easy to follow, even for those who may not be familiar with the myths. I particularly enjoyed the unique twist on the summer camp experience, with the addition of mythical creatures and magical powers.

Greenwild

A Magical World Behind a Door

For fans of fantasy, botany, and exciting adventures, I introduce you to Greenwild. This is the breathtaking story of Daisy Thistletown, who is searching for her missing mother when she comes across a mysterious door that leads her to another world: Greenwild.

Readers are blown away by this incredible book that is praised for its delicate and gorgeous worldbuilding. If you want to share important messages with your child about loving the environment and vulnerable creatures, then this might be just the book to choose.

Product Specs

Author Pari Thomson
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 384 pages
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date June 6, 2023
ISBN 978-0374391379

Community Feedback

I'm thrilled to share my experience with this captivating book, Greenwild, which combines fantasy, botany, and an exciting adventure. The story follows Daisy Thistletown as she searches for her missing mother and discovers a mysterious door leading to another world. The intricate and beautiful worldbuilding in this book left a lasting impression on me, truly immersing me in Daisy's journey. Furthermore, Greenwild conveys important messages about environmental conservation and empathy towards vulnerable creatures, making it an ideal choice for fostering awareness in young readers.

Swim Team

Dive Right In

Dive headfirst into this inspiring tale about Bree, a girl forced to take a swimming elective even though she’s scared of the sport. With some help from a neighbor and a lot of hard work, can Bree help her team towards a state championship?

I love that this is in a graphic novel form, giving your child a break from dense chapter books. It’s also a fantastic book about important social issues and the history of Black folk’s relationship with water.

Product Specs

Author Johnnie Christmas
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 256 pages
Publisher HarperAlley
Publication Date May 17, 2022
ISBN 978-0063056763

First-Hand Impression

Excellent! This book brilliantly captures the positive swim culture and provides valuable lessons for young readers. My daughter, an avid swimmer, found it to be an accurate portrayal of her experiences on a swim team and enjoyed the comic-style format. The engaging storyline of Bree overcoming obstacles and learning to swim resonated with both my children, who have since read the book multiple times.

From the Desk of Zoe Washington

Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

This book may have a gorgeous cover, but the content shares the important message that you shouldn’t judge a book by the way it looks. When Zoe turns 12, she receives a letter from her father, a man she has never met.

She discovers he’s spent years in prison for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. Zoe becomes preoccupied with her father’s conviction as she learns more about the criminal justice system and inequality.

This is a fantastic story to introduce your child to the ins and outs of the justice system while also providing a wholesome story about a young girl with a passion for baking.

Product Specs

Author Janae Marks
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 320 pages
Publisher Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date January 5, 2021
ISBN 978-0062875860

User Experience

This captivating book not only boasts an appealing cover but also conveys the vital message that appearances can be deceiving. As Zoe turns 12, she receives a letter from her estranged father, who has been imprisoned for a crime he insists he didn't commit. Delving into her father's conviction, Zoe gains insights into the criminal justice system and societal inequalities. This remarkable story offers a valuable introduction to the justice system while simultaneously providing an engaging tale about a young girl's passion for baking.

New Kid

A Graphic Novel About Being the New Kid

Being the new kid is hard. Trust me, I’ve been there! But books like this can make children feel less alone.

Jordan Banks starts a new private school that focuses on academics rather than his passion: art. But the worst part is that he is one of the only kids of color in his grade, making him feel left out. In this graphic novel, can Jordan figure out how to find his place in school culture while being true to his identity?

Product Specs

Author Jerry Craft
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 256 pages
Publisher Quill Tree Books
Publication Date February 5, 2019
ISBN 978-0062691194

Personal Perspective

These graphic novels are a fantastic read for both kids and adults! I found the storyline engaging and appreciated the focus on the experiences of a mixed-race lead character as they navigate life at a prestigious private school. The artwork may not have been my favorite, but the story's exploration of heavy themes like race, class, and privilege in a light and fun tone kept me hooked. It's refreshing to see a book that balances important issues and representation with humor and relatable characters.

Restart

A Messy Past, A Fresh Start

Chase doesn’t remember falling off a roof, hitting his head, or anything else about his life except his name. When he returns to school, some children are excited to see him, and others are afraid. While battling with his extreme memory loss, Chase begins to question what happened in his past and how he will navigate his future.

Nine-year-olds will enjoy the unusual premise as well as the twists and turns this book takes. I love that it also opens up important conversations about bullying, empathy, and friendship.

Product Specs

Author Gordon Korman
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 256 pages
Publisher Scholastic Press
Publication Date May 30, 2017
ISBN 978-1338053807

Community Feedback

Great read for my tween! I recently picked up this book for my 12-year-old, and it quickly became a favorite in our household. The story revolves around a young boy named Chase who loses his memory and has to figure out his place in the world. It was fascinating to watch him navigate through the challenges of memory loss and rediscover his past. This book sparked some important discussions about bullying, empathy, and friendship. With its unique premise and engaging plot twists, it's an excellent choice for any middle schooler looking to get lost in a captivating story.

Coraline

Whimsical and Spooky

If your child won’t have nightmares after reading horror stories, here’s one written for children. Young Coraline explores her new home and discovers a locked door that leads to a strange world. At first, this world seems better than her own, but soon she discovers a mother and father that want Coraline to stay.

Other children are trapped here, and Coraline is the only person who can rescue them and return to her old life. While this is aimed at children eight and up, it’s also a delightful autumnal read for grown-ups.

Product Specs

Author Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean
Reading Age 8+ years
Grade Level 3rd grade and up
Length 208 pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication Date July 2, 2002
ISBN 978-0380807345

First-Hand Impression

These Coraline books by Neil Gaiman are the perfect blend of spooky, suspenseful, and child-friendly. As an adult, I found the story captivating and well-written, while still being a great option for my 9-year-old daughter who craves something scary. We were both impressed by the unique and intriguing characters, including the creepy singing rats and the mysterious cat. Reading this book together provided a magical experience and sparked my daughter's interest in reading. It's the type of story that we plan to revisit, especially around Halloween time, and we highly recommend it to others looking for an engaging and slightly eerie read.

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Full of Twists and Turns

Interactive puzzles, fantastic characters, and mysteries to solve: what more can you ask from a book? This action-packed book begins with a strange ad in the newspaper, prompting children to enroll in a bunch of weird, mind-bending tests.

Only four children will succeed and must go undercover on a secret mission at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. Can they pass the most important test, which puts their strong friendship at the stake?

If your child enjoys this story, there are four books in the series and a bonus book full of puzzles and enigmas.

Product Specs

Author Trenton Lee Stewart & Carson Ellis
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 512 pages
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date March 7, 2007
ISBN 978-0316003957

User Experience

My experience with this action-packed book was nothing short of amazing. The intriguing storyline, which starts with a peculiar newspaper ad and leads to a series of mind-bending tests, had me hooked from the beginning. As I followed the journey of the four children who succeeded in going undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, I found myself invested in their strong friendship and eager to see if they could overcome the ultimate challenge. The fantastic characters and interactive puzzles made this book even more enjoyable for me. Plus, knowing that there are four more books in the series and a bonus book filled with puzzles and enigmas only adds to the excitement!

Smile

A Dental Drama

Having braces isn’t easy. Based on the author’s true story of having braces, Raina has a bad fall after Girl Scouts and injures her front teeth. The graphic novel followers her dramatic story of having braces, headgear, surgery, and retainers.

Ringing true to the realities of being a tweenager, this book is a must-have for young girls who are dealing with their own dramas. Whether that’s with boys, friends, or even an earthquake, this book shows what it’s like to finally discover who you are and what it means to really smile.

Product Specs

Author Raina Telgemeier
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 224 pages
Publisher Graphix
Publication Date July 12, 2009
ISBN 978-1338740264

Personal Perspective

Definitely a captivating and relatable comic, this book delves into real-world experiences and the challenges of growing up. I appreciated the art style and the author's ability to share her own childhood mishaps, which inspired me to reflect on my own life stories. While some may find the depiction of blood a bit unsettling, I believe it adds to the authenticity of the story and showcases the protagonist's perseverance through her dental struggles.

Sunny Side Up

An Unexpected Summer Vacation

To her surprise, Sunny has been sent off to spend summer vacation with her grandfather in Florida. It’s not at all like the movies: instead of spending all day at Disney World, she is surrounded by old people. Fun.

But then she meets Buzz, who is obsessed with comic books and fun adventures like battling alligators or disappearing neighbors. But will Sunny figure out why she was sent to Florida in the first place?

In this sweet yet serious graphic novel, you’ll go through an emotional journey through themes of humor, secrecy and addiction.

Product Specs

Author Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 224 pages
Publisher Graphix
Publication Date August 25, 2015
ISBN 978-0545741668

Community Feedback

I'm impressed with how this graphic novel managed to blend humor, secrecy, and addiction into a captivating story. My summer vacation reading took an emotional turn as I followed Sunny's journey with her grandfather in Florida, surrounded by elderly folks instead of theme parks. I found myself rooting for Sunny and her new friend Buzz as they embarked on comic book-inspired adventures, like battling alligators and solving the mystery of disappearing neighbors. This book masterfully captured the complexity of emotions and personal growth that happens when we least expect it, leaving a lasting impression on me.

Matilda

The Story of a Clever and Magical Child

This Roald Dahl book is a classic for a reason. It was one of my favorite stories growing up. It follows Matilda, a five-year-old who is an absolute genius. When she starts school, she has to face treacherous characters and adventures, such as Miss Trunchbull, the hammer-throwing unempathetic principal.

I think most nine-year-olds will get a kick out of this wonderful and heartwarming story that follows a girl with a feisty attitude for revenge, as well as kindness.

Product Specs

Author Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake
Reading Age 7-12 years
Grade Level 2nd – 7th grade
Length 240 pages
Publisher Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication Date October 1, 1988
ISBN 978-0142410370

First-Hand Impression

Got this book after watching the movie and I must say, Roald Dahl doesn't disappoint! I remember reading this with my boys when they were young, and now my son enjoys it after discovering the musical on Netflix. Matilda is such a brilliant character who stays strong despite her family not acknowledging her talents. The friendship she develops with her teacher, Miss Honey, is heartwarming. Despite a few outdated words, this story is a must-read for both kids and adults alike.

Frindle

Funny From Beginning To End

Nick Allen is a bit of a troublemaker at school, but when he invents the word “frindle” (meaning pen), it catches on and soon becomes a nationwide word. This silly book will have you laughing from start to finish and may even cause a few tears toward the end.

This book highlights the power of words, which is important when cultivating a young bookworm. The moral is to be careful what you say because, soon enough, words spread.

Product Specs

Author Andrew Clements & Brian Selznick
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 128 pages
Publisher Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date September 1, 1996
ISBN 978-0689818769

User Experience

After reading this engaging book, I found it to be a wonderful and quick read that both kids and adults can enjoy. The story follows a creative and smart protagonist named Nick, who invents a new word "frindle" for a pen, sparking a nationwide phenomenon. Throughout the book, important messages about the power of words and creativity are conveyed, while also highlighting the positive impact a teacher-student relationship can have.

The Lemonade War

Classic Sibling Rivalry

What will happen when two siblings — with different strengths — come together to have a lemonade stand battle? Evan is good at talking to people and charming grownups, whereas his little sister, Jessie, is good with numbers.

Things get tense as they both try to sell the most lemonade within five days. Readers will be rooting for them both, especially as they try to end an ongoing fight. If your little one likes this book, there are more in the series to enjoy!

Product Specs

Author Jacqueline Davies
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 192 pages
Publisher Clarion Books
Publication Date April 23, 2007
ISBN 978-0547237657

Personal Perspective

This engaging children's book focuses on the Lemonade War series, which follows the adventures of siblings Evan and Jessie as they compete in a lemonade stand sales competition. Throughout the story, the characters face moral dilemmas, learn valuable lessons about economics, and develop personal growth. However, the story does feature a single-parent family, which may not resonate with all readers.

Because of Winn-Dixie

Girl Meets Dog

If your nine-year-old is trying to convince you to get a dog, you may want to skip this one because the wholesome relationship will have you running to your nearest rescue center.

Opal goes to the supermarket for groceries and returns with a dog: Winn-Dixie. It’s because of this dog that Opal is finally able to make friends and ask her father about her mother, who left when she was three. Kate DiCamillo captures what it means to have a canine friend in this heartwarming story about companionship.

Product Specs

Author Kate DiCamillo
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 192 pages
Publisher Candlewick
Publication Date March 1, 2000
ISBN 978-1536214352

Community Feedback

In my experience, this heartwarming book truly captures the essence of a special bond between a young girl and her canine companion. As a reader, I was drawn into the story of Opal and her newfound furry friend, Winn-Dixie, who not only helps her make friends but also encourages her to open up to her father about her mother's absence. The author, Kate DiCamillo, masterfully portrays the importance of companionship and the impact it can have on a child's life. I found myself emotionally invested in the characters and their journey, and even felt a strong urge to adopt a dog of my own after reading this touching tale. The writing is easily accessible for young readers, yet still engaging for those who are older.

When You Reach Me

Mind-Bending Mystery

Sixth grader, Miranda, begins recieving mysterious notes that give her instructions for a secret mission. She would ignore the messages, but whoever is sending them seems to be able to predict the future. When a message comes through telling her that someone is going to die, can Miranda help before it’s too late?

Children who are fans of mysteries, time travel, friendship and a page-turning story will devour this one. Keep in mind that this can be a bit of a confusing book at first, but if your child has a good imagination, I think they’ll fall in love.

Product Specs

Author Rebecca Stead
Reading Age 9-12 years
Grade Level 4th – 7th grade
Length 240 pages
Publisher Yearling
Publication Date July 14, 2009
ISBN 978-0375850868

First-Hand Impression

I'm absolutely thrilled with this book, as it follows the intriguing story of Miranda, a sixth-grader who receives mysterious notes that instruct her on a secret mission. The suspense builds as the sender appears to predict the future, even warning of an impending death. This captivating tale is perfect for children who love mysteries, time travel, and heartwarming friendships. I must admit, the story can be a bit confusing initially, but with a vivid imagination, young readers will surely fall in love with it. This page-turner is a fantastic read for kids with a taste for adventure and a flair for unraveling puzzles.

The BFG

The Classic Story of a Friendly Giant

If your child hasn’t yet met the BFG, now is the time to introduce them! To remind you, the BFG stands for “the big friendly giant”. Unlike other giants, he is kind and thoughtful. When young Sophie is stolen by him in the middle of the night, she is relieved that she hasn’t been taken by a flesh-eating giant like the Bloodbottler.

Together, Sophie and the BFG set out on a mission to stop the nasty giants from carrying on their crimes. I love this heartwarming, pleasant tale for children and adults to read.

Product Specs

Author Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 224 pages
Publisher Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication Date November 1, 1982
ISBN 978-0142410387

User Experience

In my experience, this book is a delightful read for both children and adults alike. I found the story to be engaging, with its clever plot and well-developed characters like the BFG and Sophie, who work together to overcome challenges. The whimsical language and charming illustrations by Quentin Blake add to the overall enjoyment of this entertaining and heartwarming tale.

Ella Enchanted

Can Ella Break the Curse?

When Ella is born, a fairy curses her with the “gift” of obedience. In a retelling of Cinderella, Ella is left with her awful stepmother and stepsisters after her parents die. Becaues of the curse, she is supposed to do everything she is told, but Ella is feisty enough to do everything she can to be free from her curse.

An absolute essential for any young girl’s bookshelf, this story challenges traditional feminine stereotypes and uses humor to create an exciting story from beginning to end.

Product Specs

Author Gail Carson Levine
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 240 pages
Publisher Quill Tree Books
Publication Date April 25, 1997
ISBN 978-0064407052

Personal Perspective

I'm thrilled to share my thoughts on this enchanting retelling of Cinderella, where Ella is cursed with obedience from birth. The story uniquely challenges traditional feminine stereotypes, making it a fresh and empowering read for young girls. As a reader, I especially enjoyed the humor that was woven throughout the tale, keeping me engaged from beginning to end. Ella's feisty personality and determination to break free from her curse made her an inspiring and relatable protagonist.

Save Me a Seat

A Beautiful Story of Friendship

Joe and Ravi are outsiders. Joe’s lonely after his best friend moved away, and Ravi has just moved to America from India and is struggling to fit in. Though they have nothing in common, they are both bullied by the same enemy.

Told over the course of one week, this fast-paced story is a great one for children who have ever felt like an outsider. With a fantastic lesson about getting an attitude check and being sensitive to others, it’s a great one to share with your nine-year-old.

Product Specs

Author Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 256 pages
Publisher Scholastic Inc.
Publication Date May 10, 2016
ISBN 978-0545846615

Community Feedback

In my experience, this fast-paced children's story focuses on Joe and Ravi, two outsiders who find themselves dealing with the same bully over a week. As someone who has felt like an outsider, I found this book relatable and engaging. The story highlights the importance of attitude checks and being sensitive to others, making it a valuable read for any nine-year-old. The characters' backgrounds, Joe's loneliness and Ravi's struggle to fit in after moving from India, add depth to the book. Throughout the story, I appreciated the message of finding common ground despite our differences, as well as standing up to bullies.

The Phantom Tollbooth

Clever, Witty and Magical

Milo is bored to death when a mysterious tollbooth appears in his room. He travels through and ends up in a different kind of world. Fans of fantasy and magic will enjoy this wild yet delightful story.

Readers love it for its absurdity and clever humor. If your child loves making people laugh, this book might just help them covet an even wittier sense of humor.

Product Specs

Author Norton Juster & Jules Feiffer
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 272 pages
Publisher Bullseye Books
Publication Date January 1, 1961
ISBN 978-0394820378

First-Hand Impression

My initial experience with this book was during my childhood, and it had a profound impact on me, igniting my love for language. Over the years, I have revisited it and discovered more nuanced meanings each time. The book's brilliant combination of cleverness, vividness, and poignancy delivers important messages in a joyous, colorful manner. It not only appeals to both children and adults but also challenges the reader's ideas about the English language. The book's tight binding, crisp print, and easy-to-read typeface make it a staple in children's literature and a treasure to be shared across generations.

The School for Good and Evil

Heros Vs Villains

If your nine-year-old is a fan of Disney characters, fairy tales, and exciting stories, this series will be right up their street. The first in this six-part series follows best friends, Sophie and Agatha, who are about to start the School for Good and Evil. There, they will be trained as heroes or villains.

Sophie is ready to be trained as a hero, and Agatha is excited for the School of Evil, but they find their fates reversed. Sophie ends up at the School of Evil, and Agatha starts her hero training. How did this mistake happen?

Find out in this one-of-a-kind fairy tale retelling!

Product Specs

Author Soman Chainani
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 544 pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication Date May 14, 2013
ISBN 978-0062104908

User Experience

This captivating book series is perfect for any nine-year-old who loves Disney characters, fairy tales, and thrilling adventures. I was drawn into the story of best friends Sophie and Agatha as they embark on their journey at the School for Good and Evil, only to discover their fates have been unexpectedly switched. The unique twist on classic fairy tale elements kept me engaged and eagerly turning the pages to uncover how this mix-up occurred.

Pax

A Boy and His Fox

Emotion, friendship, and adventures: that’s what fills the marvelous pages of this book. Complete with Jon Klassen’s lovely illustrations, this book follows Pax and Peter, who have been inseparable since Peter rescued Pax when he was just a baby fox.

But when Peter is forced to leave Pax’s side, he does everything he can to reunite with his furry friend. Told through a dual narrative, this is a heartwarming and heart-wrenching tale of friendship that I think most nine-year-olds (and parents) will adore.

Product Specs

Author Sara Pennypacker & Jon Klassen
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 304 pages
Publisher Balzer + Bray
Publication Date February 2, 2016
ISBN 978-0062377029

Personal Perspective

Definitely a captivating and thought-provoking story, "Pax" explores themes of loss, self-reliance, and hope through the perspectives of both Peter and his fox, Pax. I found it to be a bit darker than some children's books, but it led to some great discussions with my 8-year-old. The book does have some challenging vocabulary, but it provides a learning opportunity for both kids and adults. While there may be some sensitive themes, the underlying message of hope and healing makes it a worthwhile read for families who are comfortable with exploring heavier topics together.

The Chocolate Touch

How Much Chocolate Is Too Much?

In this retelling of the legend of King Midas, a young boy loves chocolate so much that everything he eats turns into the tasty treat! Published in 1952, this has been a classic for decades. I appreciate that it teaches a moral lesson that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. If you’re looking for a fun and engaging book that touches on themes of greed, this is a fantastic choice.

Product Specs

Author Patrick Skene Catling
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 128 pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication Date January 1, 1952
ISBN 978-0688161330

Community Feedback

I recently read this imaginative children's book, which carries an important moral about not being greedy and loving others. As a teacher, I found it engaging and perfect for a 3rd grade audience, with its timeless quality and variety of new vocabulary. The story follows John Midas, a candy-loving boy who discovers a coin that grants him a chocolate touch. Throughout his journey, John learns valuable lessons about the consequences of being greedy and wanting too much of a good thing, making it an ideal educational tool for young readers.

Leeva at Last

What Are People For?

What are people for?: a strange question, I know. But that’s what this book is about. After a conversation with her awful parents, Leeva is trying to figure out what people’s purpose are.

Be aware that Leeva is neglected by her parents, but if your child can handle Matilda or A Series of Unfortunate Events, they can handle this. Leeva embarks on her adventure with the help of a timid boy, librarians, and a lonely badger, hoping to change her community for the better.

Product Specs

Author Sara Pennypacker & Matthew Cordell
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 320 pages
Publisher Balzer + Bray
Publication Date March 7, 2023
ISBN 978-0063114425

First-Hand Impression

I recently read "Leeva at Last" and found it to be a charming, quirky, and heartwarming story. The protagonist, Leeva, is a bright and curious girl who overcomes her emotionally neglectful parents by discovering the world of books and friendship at the library. The story is filled with humor and a touch of absurdity, making it an enjoyable read for a younger audience. The illustrations by Cordell Matthew add an extra layer of delight to this whimsical tale, making it a memorable addition to any young reader's bookshelf.

Finally Seen

What Makes You Feel Seen?

I absolutely love middle-grade literature for the way it diversifies and shares essential messages, and this title is no different. This is an exciting and page-turning story about a young girl who moves from China to the US to live with her family after being separated for five years.

Many children will relate to Lina Gao, who finds school difficult, is nervous about speaking English, and compares herself to her confident little sis. Even if your child has not experienced these challenges, sharing this story is valuable for teaching empathy and inclusion.

Product Specs

Author Kelly Yang
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 304 pages
Publisher Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date February 28, 2023
ISBN 978-1534488335

User Experience

Got this middle-grade book and it's packed with a diverse, essential message. As I read, I was drawn into the exciting story of a young girl moving from China to the US, struggling with school and speaking English, while feeling overshadowed by her little sister. This relatable tale easily resonates with kids, even if they haven't faced similar challenges themselves. Reading this book promotes empathy and inclusion, making it a valuable addition to any child's collection.

Love That Dog

A Poetic Novel

Whether your child loves poetry or hates it, this book is for them. Told in poems, this book is about Jack who despises poetry. His teacher, Miss Stretchberry, keeps assigning poetry to the class, so Jack has no choice but to engage.

But the more he writes, the more he realizes that poetry might not be so bad after all. I love this story for teaching kids a new format and reminding them that they can learn new things, even if they don’t love it at first.

Product Specs

Author Sharon Creech
Reading Age 9-12 years
Grade Level 4th – 7th grade
Length 128 pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication Date January 1, 2001
ISBN 978-0064409599

Personal Perspective

I've recently read this heartfelt book that captivated both my son and me with its unique blend of poetry and storytelling. The main character, Jack, initially believes that poetry is for girls, but as he learns from different poets throughout the school year, he discovers how to express his feelings about his beloved dog Sky. This book beautifully demonstrates the power of poetry to help us understand and share our emotions, making it a perfect choice for children and adults alike.

Into the wild

Warrior Cats To the Rescue

If your child is a fan of cats and fantasy, then you can’t get a more apt book than Into the Wild. Part of a six-book series, the beginning story follows a housecat called Rusty, who must do what he can to protect the ThunderClan cats.

While far-fetched and a bit ridiculous, this is just the kind of novel a 4th grader needs to fall in love with reading. What is especially great about the books is that although the characters are cats, they are well-developed and fun to follow.

Product Specs

Author Erin Hunter
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 320 pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication Date January 9, 2003
ISBN 978-0062366962

Community Feedback

I'm thrilled to have rediscovered this captivating book, which was a childhood favorite for both my 7-year-old daughter and my sister. This story about friendship, trust, and adventure among a group of warrior cats has managed to stand the test of time, evoking a sense of nostalgia as I dove back into the world of Thunderclan and Shadowclan. Despite some occasional silliness in the dialogue, I found myself fully immersed and emotionally invested in the characters and their journeys.

Inkheart

One for the Book Lovers

Get lost in this book about a magical book. If your child has ever imagined the stories they read about coming to life, I think they will devour this.

One night, Meggie and her father are reading a book called Inkheart when the evil ruler escapes from the pages and appears in their home. Suddenly, Meggie is reeled into a magical adventure, and only she can stop the nightmare from spiraling.

This is a great one for indepdent readers, but it’s an epic one to read aloud together. Plus, there are two more books in the series and even a film adaptation!

Product Specs

Author Cornelia Funke
Reading Age 9-12 years
Grade Level 4th – 7th grade
Length 576 pages
Publisher Scholastic Paperbacks
Publication Date September 23, 2003
ISBN 978-0439709101

First-Hand Impression

Bought this book about a magical adventure and my child was instantly hooked. One night, while reading Inkheart together, we were both captivated by the story of Meggie and her father as the evil ruler escapes from the pages into their home. The excitement continued as Meggie found herself in a unique position to stop the nightmare from spiraling out of control. This captivating book is perfect for independent readers, but also makes for an epic read-aloud experience, with two more books in the series and a film adaptation to enjoy afterward.

Tuesdays at the Castle

A Princess Story With a Twist

Princess Celie loves Tuesdays. On this particular day, the castle grows a new room or wing, making it a very exciting occasion! Being the only person in the castle who cares about the layout, it’s up to Celie to save the day when the Queen and King are ambushed. Can she protect the castle with her knowledge of its magic, nooks, and crannies?

If your child loves this story, there are a total of five books in the series to whizz through.

Product Specs

Author Jessica Day George
Reading Age 8-12 years
Grade Level 3rd – 7th grade
Length 256 pages
Publisher Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date October 25, 2011
ISBN 978-1681192185

User Experience

I'm delighted with this magical and captivating story set in Castle Glower. The book follows Princess Celie, her siblings, and their loving, sentient castle as they face challenges and adventures. Reading this book with my daughter, we found some parts slow, but once the story picked up, we couldn't put it down. The characters are well-written and relatable, and the plot is filled with humor and excitement, making it enjoyable for readers of all ages.

Where's Waldo?

A Classic Seek & Find Book

Personal Perspective

In my experience, this Waldo book provides an engaging and challenging twist on the classic eye spy game, perfect for both kids and family activities. The riddle-type questions help children develop their focus and attention spans while offering a nostalgic experience for adults. Although some may find it too easy, it remains a fun and interactive picture book with built-in visual adventures for all ages to enjoy.

If you’ve tried everything possible to get your nine-year-old interested in books and nothing seems to work, give this a go. Where’s Waldo is a classic (and challenging) search-and-find book. On each spread, you must find Waldo and a variety of other items or people, such as a besotted skier or a knight in armor on the beach.

This fantastically-illustrated book is guaranteed to keep your child engaged for quiet time, road trips, or at a restaurant while waiting for their food. And you never know, in time, they might be more keen to pick up another type of story.

Product Specs

Author Martin Handford
Reading Age 5+ years
Grade Level Kindergarten and up
Length 32 pages
Publisher Candlewick
Publication Date January 1, 1987
ISBN 978-0763645250

Why Your 9-Year-Old Should Read More

Reading develops language, comprehension, critical cognitive skills, and communication. It enables our imagination and emotional awareness. Books are educational and can introduce your child to new facts and worlds they wouldn’t otherwise discover.

Reading also significantly improves your child’s academic performance and impacts their studies more than any other factor.

How To Choose Books for 9-Year-Olds

Reading is a developmental process with critical milestones along the way. By the age of nine, your child should be able to read:

Short Novels

Nine-year-olds can comprehend stories that lack pictures and are more detailed in plot. Ensure you choose tween-friendly books that don’t involve mature themes, swearing and inappropriate content. All of the books on my list are specifically aimed at kids around the age of nine.

Silently

Your child should be able to grasp words without reading out loud. This allows them to read independently in front of others, during class reading time, and on road trips (as long as they don’t get car sick). However, many children prefer reading out loud, which should also be encouraged!

Analytically

They should understand that not everything they read can be interpreted literally and should seek deeper meanings in their stories. That’s why I love stories with more profound moral messages.

Comprehensively

Your child should be able to recall, summarize and retell what they’ve read in their own words and using their own understanding. They should also fully comprehend story elements like location, time, conflict, and resolution (1).

References

They should be able to use dictionaries and other references when encountering words or concepts they don’t understand. Even if they don’t have access to a dictionary, they should be able to use context clues to grasp some idea of a certain word or phrase.



FAQs

What Books Should a 9-Year-Old Boy Be Reading?

A nine-year-old boy might enjoy adventure stories, mysteries, humorous books, and non-fiction on topics like animals, science, or sports. Series like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “Captain Underpants,” or “The 39 Clues” are often popular.

How Many Books Should a 9-Year-Old Read Over the Summer?

The number of books a nine-year-old reads over the summer can vary. Some summer reading programs suggest 8-12 books as a goal, but the key is consistent reading and choosing books they enjoy.

What Reading Level is a 9-Year-Old?

A nine-year-old typically reads at a third or fourth-grade level, enjoying chapter books with more complex stories and characters. Reading levels can vary widely based on individual development and experience.

How Long is a 9-Year-Old’s Attention Span?

A nine-year-old’s attention span for focused tasks like reading can range from 20-30 minutes, sometimes longer if they’re highly engaged. Break tasks into manageable segments and provide breaks as needed.

How Long Should a Book For 9-Year-Olds Be?

Books for nine-year-olds vary in length, but many are between 100-200 pages. Chapter books at this age offer more complex narratives while still being manageable for young readers.

How Do I Get My 9-Year-Old to Like Reading?

Encourage a nine-year-old to enjoy reading by providing books that match their interests, setting aside regular reading time, reading together, and discussing books in a fun and engaging way.

Review Methodology

At Mom Loves Best, we meticulously analyze and assess the top books for 9-year-olds using a hands-on approach and data-driven criteria. Our experienced team of professionals evaluates each book based on its content, age-appropriateness, and educational value, ensuring that our recommendations cater to a 7th/8th grade reading level. We compare and rank books by their performance, providing quantitative measurements and first-hand evidence to help you make informed decisions. Our thorough reviews highlight the key factors that set each book apart, such as engaging storylines, relatable characters, and the positive impact on young readers’ imaginations. Trust us to deliver well-researched results, backed by our commitment to offering the best reading choices for your child.

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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.