Reading Lists for 8-13 Year Olds

The following is a list compiled by our tutors of books that they feel are the most appropriate for children ages 8-9, 10-11, and 12-13. We feel that these books make good use of language at the right level for children of these ages. Too much contemporary fiction aimed at children does not use language in a way that heightens the learner's reading level effectively. These titles are also based on what we enjoyed reading as children and what we believe to be most beneficial for language development. 

Children aged 8-9

Anotsu, Jim. The Sword of Herobrine

Cooke, Tasmin. The Scarlet Files: Cat Burglar

Dahl, Roald. Fantastic Mr Fox

Dahl, Roald. Matilda

Davey, Owen. Smart About Sharks

Gleitzman, Morris. Give Peas a Chance

Jenkins, Emily. Toys Go Out

White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web

White, E.B. Stuart Little

King-Smith, Dick. The Invisible Dog

Levine, Ellen. If you Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King

Mass, Wendy. The Candymakers

Morpurgo, Michael. The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

Nannestad, Katrina. Red Dirt Diary

National Geographic, Weird but True Series

Ryan, Pam Munoz. Esperanza Rising

Kipling, Rudyard. The Jungle Book

Jones, Terry. Fairy Tales

De Saint-Exupery, Antoine. The Little Prince

Children aged 10-11

Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars

Spinelli, Jerry. Maniac Magee

Cottrell-Boyce, Frank. Desirable

Bawden, Nina. The Peppermint Pig

Edge, Christopher. The Many Worlds of Albie Bright

Millwood Hargrave, Kiran. The Girl of Ink and Stars

Aesop, Aesop’s Fables (Penguin)

Morpurgo, Sir Michael. Private Peaceful

King, Clive. Stig of the Dump

Ransome, Arthur. Swallows and Amazons

Aiken, Joan. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

Children aged 12-13

Ballard, J.G. Empire of the Sun (1984)

Frank, Anne. The Diary of a Young Girl (1952)

Holm, Anne. I am David (1963)

Magorian, Michelle. Goodnight Mister Tom (1984)

White, T.H. The Once and Future King (1958)

Sachar, Louis. Holes (1998)

Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (2003)

Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker (2001)

London, Jack. Call of the Wild (1903)

Hearn, Lian. Across the Nightingale Floor (2003)

Jacques, Martin. Martin the Warrior (1993)

Pullman, Phillip. Northern Lights (1995)

Tolkien, J.R. The Hobbit (1937)

If you feel that we have missed out on some classics, please drop us a line at and we will gladly add it to our list.