Explore a curated list of top children's books suitable for middle schoolers and 9-12-year-olds. I will recommend the children's literature ages 9-12 in this article, which is based on my in-depth study and extensive research in this field.
Over the years as a leading authority on literary expertise, I've created numerous articles on the topics of Parenting and Children's Reads, many of which can be found on this site. I'm also a regular contributor to other websites and publications.
I have received many requests to recommend some of the must-read children's literature for young readers and middle schoolers. In response, I'm pleased to offer my expert recommendations in this article.
Some unforgettable reads for middle schoolers and the 9-12 age range include here: Kay's Marvellous Medicine, The Great Dream Robbery, The Primrose Railway Children, Pony, Daughter of the Deep, and Frostheart, Unlocking the Universe, Becoming, To the Lighthouse, The Catcher in the Rye.
These aren't the only children's literature curated for the tween and preteen audience on this topic. Below, you'll find 10 stories designed for readers in the middle school age group with detailed descriptions of each of these outstanding resources, helping you make well-informed decisions for young minds in the middle school grades.
These resources can help parents, educators, and young readers discover engaging and popular books for middle schoolers and 9-12-year-olds.
So, when I suggest this children's literature is perfectly suited for the middle school and preteen years, it's because I've read a lot and want to share the best ones with you. I'm all about making your reading experience awesome. Trust in a guide deeply immersed in the literary books and stories. I love books just like you do!
1. Kay's Marvellous Medicine by Adam Kay & Henry Paker
The brand-new, hilarious book from bestselling, record-breaking author Adam Kay.
The olden days were pretty fun if you liked wearing chainmail or chopping people's heads off but there was one TINY LITTLE problem back then . . . doctors didn't have the slightest clue about how our bodies worked.
It's time to find out why Ancient Egyptians thought the brain was just a useless load of old stuffing that might as well be chucked in the bin, why teachers forced their pupils to smoke cigarettes, why hairdressers would cut off their customers' legs, and why people used to get paid for farting. (Unfortunately, that's no longer a thing - sorry.)
You'll get answers to questions like:
- Why did patients gargle with wee?
- How did a doctor save people's lives using a washing machine, a can of beans, and some old sausages?
- What was the great stink? (No, it's not what doctors call your bum.)
If you're sure you're ready, then pop a peg on your nose (there was a lot of stinky pus back then), pull on your wellies (there was a lot of poo there too), and wash your hands (because they certainly didn't) and explore this gross and gruesome history of the human body!
2. The Great Dream Robbery by Greg James, Chris Smith & Amy Nguyen
Radio 1 broadcasters and bestselling authors of KID NORMAL - Greg James and Chris Smith - are back with a mind-bending adventure you won't want to wake up from . . .
Have you ever had a really strange dream? Maya Clayton definitely has. Last night she dreamt that her dad, the brilliant but slightly odd Professor Dexter, had been trapped in a nightmare by his evil boss Lilith Delamere!
But it's not just a dream - it's real and Maya and her new friends the Dream Bandits must rescue the Professor before it's too late! All they need is a bit of courage and a LOT of imagination.
3. The Primrose Railway Children by Jacqueline Wilson & Rachael Dean
Phoebe Robinson loves making up stories - just like her wonderful, imaginative Dad.
When he mysteriously disappears, Phoebe, Perry, Becks, and their mum must leave everything behind and move to a small cottage in the middle of nowhere.
Struggling to feel at home and missing her Dad terribly, Phoebe's only distraction is her guinea pig, Daisy. Until the family discovers the thrilling steam trains at the railway station and suddenly, every day is filled with adventure.
But Phoebe still can't help wondering, what is Mum hiding, and more worryingly is Dad okay?
4. Pony by R. J. Palacio
But when a pony shows up at his door, Silas knows what he has to do. He will set out on a perilous journey across a vast American landscape to find his father—a journey that will ultimately connect him with his past and future, and the unfathomable mysteries of the world around him.
R. J. Palacio spins a harrowing yet distinctly beautiful tale about the power of love and the ties that bind us across distance and time.
For readers who love the poignant depth of War Horse and the singular voice of True Grit, this is one of those rare books for readers of all ages with the makings of a modern classic.
5. The Christmasaurus and the Naughty List by Tom Fletcher & Shane Devries
The Christmasaurus is back! Get ready for the magical NEW festive adventure from bestselling author, Tom Fletcher!
You know about the Naughty and Nice List, right? Santa's top-secret tracker that he ALWAYS checks twice? Well, this year, the Christmasaurus is on a mission to track down children who have found themselves on the Naughty List to help them put wrongs to rights, naughty to nice!
This is a story about mischievous kids learning the error of their ways, but it's also about sharing the true spirit of Christmas and realizing that sometimes things aren't quite as they first appear...
6. Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan
Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world.
Ana's parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago, and the only family she's got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP. Ana's freshman year culminates with the class's weekend trial at sea, the details of which have been kept secret.
She only hopes she has what it'll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives.
But wait, there's more. The professor accompanying them informs Ana that their rival school, Land Institute, and Harding-Pencroft have been fighting a cold war for a hundred and fifty years. Now that the Cold War has been turned up to a full boil, the freshman is in danger of becoming fish food.
In a race against deadly enemies, Ana will make amazing friends and astounding discoveries about her heritage as she puts her leadership skills to the test for the first time.
7. Frostheart: Rise of the World Eater by Jamie Littler
After escaping the towering city of Aurora and fighting for the safety of Solstice--the secret sanctuary of misunderstood Song Weavers--Ash has the battle of a lifetime ahead of him. A battle for his freedom.
For the freedom of Song Weavers in every Stronghold. And even for the leviathans, the giant beasts that lurk under the snow, but who may be just as poorly understood as the Song Weavers who can communicate with them.
But a battle is the last thing Ash wants ever since he's come face to face with the person he has been tirelessly searching for his mother.
And yet the two of them are up against a common enemy, the largest, most ferocious ancient leviathan called the Devourer, known by local legend as the World Eater for the way it consumes anything and everything in its path.
In a fight that will take the pathfinders, yeti, Song Weavers, and even Leviathans working together, how can Ash get them all on the same side when he and his mother can't even agree on how to defeat this beast?
If Ash and his ragtag crew of friends aboard the Frostheart can't stop the Devourer, Ash's family reunion will be short-lived.
8. Unlocking the Universe by Stephen & Lucy Hawking
Although the introduction of "Unlocking the Universe", is positioned as a "popularization model of advanced theoretical physics", for most adults (such as me) and children, opening this book really requires courage.
But as an ordinary child who is interested in time and space, "Unlocking the Universe" is really friendly. In fact, as an adult, I can also get the knowledge I want to know from it. . If you are like me, then my choice is "recommended".
We all know that Hawking's "Unlocking the Universe" is generally incomprehensible, but this children's version of "Unlocking the Universe", in which he collaborated with his daughter Lucy and more than a dozen of the world's top scientists, is much more friendly, not only contains many Reflections on the universe, time, also adds genetics, parallel universes, and new articles on black holes.
In addition to maintaining a consistent scientific nature, a lot of philosophical thinking has also been added.
9. The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks by Katie Kirby
Lottie Brooks is 11 ¾ and her life is already officially over - not only is she about to start high school without any friends or glamorous swooshy hair, she's just discovered she's too flat-chested to wear A BRA!
She might as well give up now and go into hibernation with her hamsters Sir Barnaby Squeakington and Fuzzball the Third.
Lottie navigates the many perils of growing up in this fantastically funny new illustrated series for a 9-12 audience, filled with friendship, embarrassing moments, and plenty of lols.
Hilarious, relatable, and full of heart, for fans of funny and chaotic family stories.
10. Becoming: Adapted for Younger Readers by Michelle Obama
I have been thinking about this book a lot over the past year, especially the time before the author graduated from law school to the White House. It was very moving.
First, Michelle never thought that she would give up her career as a lawyer before she met Obama. If she hadn't met him, she might have been a successful female partner who achieved a class transition step by step.
It can be said that Obama's words and actions influenced her, made her think about what she and others were going through, and ultimately changed the trajectory of her life and career. Michelle spent a whole year looking for a job in her last year at the law firm, and some of her inner thoughts are very real and sincere.
The second is Obama, the Obama in Michelle's writing/or eyes, even if he didn't become president, in the end, the young man who "walks around in peace and detachment, but never far from a stronger sense of responsibility" is really charming.
As the president of magna cum laude and HLR, he was originally a SCOTUS clerk, but obviously, his firm self-confidence and political enthusiasm led him to another path: he declined many job offers after graduation, wrote a book, and then I went directly to the nonprofit law firm.
It seems that the two of them have lived in a small apartment that Michelle rented (?) for many years. Michelle said that Obama often escaped into a small room and read a lot of books day and night. Book.
The third is when Obama worked in the community and participated in local elections. According to Michelle, he has failed many times, and not many people know him outside that small place. Before the last election, Michelle said that he couldn't be so poor anymore.
If he couldn't make a name for himself this time, he would go to work for the foundation. What he did was still meaningful, and at least he could earn some money. Obama said yes. Fortunately, this time it did not fail, and then it started to take off. These conversations, these struggles, are all too real.
The CEO of Goldman Sachs said in his speech that he likes to read biographies the most because the most attractive thing about biographies is that the characters in the book at the beginning of his life, that is, in the first fifty pages, would not know that he/she will be in the first 50 pages. It was successful at three hundred pages.