The 50 Best Books for 9- and 10-Year-Olds

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As kids hit 9 and 10 they’re experiencing many physical, emotional, and mental changes. It’s an exciting time for them, and an exciting time in their reading life too. With increased attention spans and logical thinking skills, kids this age are able to read harder books for longer amounts of time.

Since children this age are also placing a greater value on independence, they may be more interested in choosing books for themselves. Let them read through this list of expert recommendations for the 50 best books for 9- and 10- year-olds and select one (or 10) books to read.

Of course, you know your child best. So if you see a book that would be a good fit with his or her interests, buy it or borrow it and give it to your child. The more books, the more reading!

You can download the entire printable list here.

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Fantasy books are best known for their magic, mythical creatures, and ability to keep kids turning the pages! In the titles below, kids can look forward to magicians, ghosts, robots, perilous quests, and feats of bravery.

9780060530921 The Graveyard Book https://www.harpercollins.com/9780060530921/the-graveyard-book by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean 9780142419670 A Tale Dark and Grimm http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/306780/a-tale-dark-and-grimm-by-adam-gidwitz-illustrated-by-hugh-dandrade/9780142419670/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Dan Santat 9780439813785 The Invention of Hugo Cabret https://store.scholastic.com/Books/Hardcover-Books/The-Invention-of-Hugo-Cabret by Brian Selznick 9780312367541 A Wrinkle in Time http://us.macmillan.com/books/9780312367541 by Madeleine L’Engle 9780142406632 Ranger’s Apprentice Series http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/DUD/rangers-apprentice/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by John Flanagan 9780439708180 https://i1.wp.com/assets.readbrightly.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/harry-potter.jpg Harry Potter Series http://harrypotter.scholastic.com/ by J.K. Rowling 9780399247941 Redwall Series http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/DUI/redwall/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Brian Jacques yes yes Classics and Award Winners


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These award winners all have one thing in common — they’re amazing, well-written books that will stay with readers long after the last page.

9780689710681 Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Mrs-Frisby-and-the-Rats-of-Nimh/Robert-C-OBrien/9780689710681 by Robert C. O’Brien, illustrated by Zena Bernstein 9780425287675 Matilda http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/319178/matilda-by-roald-dahl-illustrated-by-quentin-blake/9780425287675/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake 9780061974151 The Chronicles of Narnia Series http://harpercollinschildrens.com/feature/chroniclesofnarnia/books.html by C. S. Lewis 9780547251271 A Long Walk to Water http://www.hmhco.com/shop/books/A-Long-Walk-to-Water/9780547251271 by Linda Sue Park 9780061992254 The One and Only Ivan https://www.harpercollins.com/9780061992254/the-one-and-only-ivan by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Patricia Castelao 9780440414803 Holes http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/159528/holes-by-louis-sachar/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Louis Sachar 9780439120418 Esperanza Rising https://store.scholastic.com/Books/Paperback-Books/Esperanza-Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan 9780060560133 Walk Two Moons https://www.harpercollins.com/9780060560133/walk-two-moons by Sharon Creech 9780618724833 The Wednesday Wars http://www.hmhco.com/shop/books/The-Wednesday-Wars/9780618724833 by Gary D. Schmidt 9781536214345 Because of Winn-Dixie https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/653863/because-of-winn-dixie-anniversary-edition-by-kate-dicamillo/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Kate DiCamillo 9780439443838 Rules http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/rules#cart/cleanup by Cynthia Lord yes yes Graphic Novels


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Since we live in a visual culture, it makes sense that graphic novels, or stories told in sequential art, appeal so much to kids. In addition to their visual appeal, these graphic novels tell compelling stories in a variety of genres ranging from sci-fi to memoir to fantasy.

9780439846813 The Stonekeeper (Amulet Book #1) https://store.scholastic.com/Books/Paperback-Books/Amulet-1-The-Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi 9780525429678 Roller Girl http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/313687/roller-girl-by-victoria-jamieson/9780525429678/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Victoria Jamieson 9781596436954 Zita the Spacegirl http://us.macmillan.com/zitathespacegirl/benhatke by Ben Hatke 9781419712173 El Deafo http://www.abramsbooks.com/product/el-deafo_9781419712173/ by Cece Bell 9780545540612 Ghosts https://store.scholastic.com/Books/Paperbacks/Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier yes yes Realistic


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Realistic books, especially ones about other kids, invite children to put themselves into the story. This kind of identification helps kids build empathy and a greater awareness of themselves and others, and lets them know they are not alone.

9780689818769 Frindle http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Frindle/Andrew-Clements/9780689818769 by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Brian Selznick 9780060292874 Love That Dog https://www.harpercollins.com/9780060292874/love-that-dog by Sharon Creech 9780066236223 So B. It https://www.harpercollins.com/9780066236223/so-b-it by Sarah Weeks 9781416971702 Out of My Mind http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Out-of-My-Mind/Sharon-M-Draper/9781416971719 by Sharon M. Draper 9780440420477 The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/13803/the-penderwicks-by-jeanne-birdsall/9780440420477/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Jeanne Birdsall 9780375869020 Wonder http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/208913/wonder-by-r-j-palacio/9780375869020/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by R. J. Palacio 9781416925088 Hatchet http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Hatchet/Gary-Paulsen/9781416925088 by Gary Paulsen 9780142426050 Three Times Lucky http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/308889/three-times-lucky-by-sheila-turnage/9780142426050/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Sheila Turnage 9780312643003 Rain Reign http://us.macmillan.com/rainreign/annmmartin by Ann M. Martin 9780440416791 Harriet the Spy http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/50095/harriet-the-spy-by-louise-fitzhugh/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Louise Fitzhugh yes yes Humor


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Funny stories entice kids to read, even the most reluctant of readers. Because who doesn’t like to laugh?! (Besides Voldemort.)

9780316276917 Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/james-patterson/middle-school-the-worst-years-of-my-life/9780316276917/ by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts 9781493527489 https://i1.wp.com/assets.readbrightly.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/6th-grade-ninja.jpg Diary of a Sixth Grade Ninja https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17447071-diary-of-a-sixth-grade-ninja by Marcus Emerson 9780142408810 Tales of Fourth-Grade Nothing http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/286551/tales-of-a-fourth-grade-nothing-by-judy-blume/9780142408810/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Judy Blume 9780062283597 Big Nate Series https://www.harpercollins.com/search-results/?series=big-nate&order=relevance by Lincoln Peirce 9780064407663 A Series of Unfortunate Events Series https://www.harpercollins.com/9780064407663/a-series-of-unfortunate-events-1-the-bad-beginning by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Brett Helquist 9780810993136 Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series http://www.abramsbooks.com/product/diary-of-a-wimpy-kid-diary-of-a-wimpy-kid-1_9780810993136/ by Jeff Kinney 9780380731480 Wayside School Series https://www.goodreads.com/series/67972-wayside-school by Louis Sachar

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/book/sideways-stories-wayside-school

yes yes Historical Fiction


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Reading a story set in a historical period helps bring those events and times to life. Not only do kids learn more about the history, they see it through the eyes of a beloved character, which gives it a special kind of resonance.

9780385382946 The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963 http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/35779/the-watsons-go-to-birmingham–1963-by-christopher-paul-curtis/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Christopher Paul Curtis 9780061962783 Inside Out and Back Again https://www.harpercollins.com/9780061962783/inside-out-and-back-again by Thanhha Lai 9780147510488 The War that Saved My Life http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/314816/the-war-that-saved-my-life-by-kimberly-brubaker-bradley/9780147510488/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley 9780060760885 One Crazy Summer https://www.harpercollins.com/9780060760885/one-crazy-summer by Rita Williams-Garcia 9780547577098 Number the Stars http://www.hmhco.com/shop/books/Number-the-Stars/9780547577098 by Lois Lowry yes yes Nonfiction


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With engaging writing about fascinating topics, these nonfiction books and memoirs will grow kids’ knowledge and expand their horizons.

9780147510426 The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Readers Edition) http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/314792/the-boy-who-harnessed-the-wind-by-william-kamkwamba-illustrated-by-anna-hymas/9780147510426/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, illustrated by Anna Hymas 9780399252518 Brown Girl Dreaming http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/304851/brown-girl-dreaming-by-jacqueline-woodson/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Jacqueline Woodson 9780670910571 Science Verse http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/291290/science-verse-by-jon-scieszka-illustrated-by-lane-smith/?ref=PRH06C9ECE222&aid=randohouseinc22957-20&linkid=PRH06C9ECE222 by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith 9781416950462 Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Moonshot/Brian-Floca/9781416950462 by Brian Floca 9780761386339 Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature’s Undead https://www.lernerbooks.com/products/t/12455/9780761386339/zombie-makers by Rebecca L. Johnson

Learn more about the experts behind this reading list.

Get the printable version of the list.

Explore our 50 Best series to get great recommendations for other ages.

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