16 Good Books For 9 to 12-Year-Old Girls And Boys

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If you’re a reader, you probably remember the first book you ever read and fell in love with. You fondly think back to the time your parents or perhaps your teacher gifted you a book.

Although you didn’t know it back then, that very gift was about to become the beginning of a lifelong journey.

We all have such precious memories attached to reading. Growing up, we would immerse ourselves in a world of fairy tales, dragons, kings, princesses, and unknown lands. Those stories hold deep meaning for us even now and are portals we still escape to.

Similarly, when kids are given books to read, they carry the learnings and morals of those stories with them forever. It’s a habit that helps them relax and destress and allows them to explore different cultures, traditions, languages, and thoughts.

While reading is a necessary trait taught so young kids can put words and sentences together, the advantages of reading as a leisure activity are immensely profoundly rooted.

If you’re a parent who wants to open a fresh universe of imagination of magic for your child, introduce them to books. When started at a young age, these books can not just be their companions but also help their brain development.

Are you looking for some good books for 9-year-olds to 12-year-olds? We’re here to help you in that quest, for we have curated the perfect list of books that your kids are sure to love and adore.

Interesting Books For Kids Between The Ages of 9 to 12

Here are some good books for 9-year-olds to 12-year-olds that you can consider gifting to your child:

1. The Percy Jackson Series (Rick Riordan)

The Harry Potter Series
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Think of a series where Greek Gods are re-imagined and created as characters in the modern world. Sounds exciting. Your kid will think so, too, when they read the many books in this universe created by Rick Riordan.

The main character, Percy Jackson, has his world turned upside down when he comes to know that he’s the son of a Greek god. He gets sent to Camp Half-Blood, which is a summer camp designed for demigods. The journey follows is filled with magic, mysteries, friendship, and fascinating action and revelations.

2. The Harry Potter Series (J. K. Rowling)

The Harry Potter Series
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Who hasn’t heard of the Harry Potter series, right? This series, written by J. K. Rowling, has taken the world by storm since its release.

Adapted into successful movies and generating multiple areas of merchandise that sell like hotcakes, these books are sure to hook your child from the first page.

The story centers around Harry Potter, an orphan who has to endure living with his awful aunt, uncle, and cousin.

His life changes from the moment he learns that he’s a wizard. On his 11th birthday, he receives a letter saying he has been accepted into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Read the series with your child and explore all of Harry’s adventures at school with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, and more.

3. Wonder (R. J. Palacio)

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Written in a delicate, kind, humorous, and wonderful way by Rick Riordan, Wonder teaches kids that it’s great to be different and that you should love yourself no matter your appearance. It’s an impactful lesson for kids who might struggle to accept themselves.

The book tells the story of August Pullman, or Auggie, a talented and marvelous child with a facial deformity. As he is about to enter 5th grade, he’s scared about how others will perceive him in school. This is an uplifting story about courage, acceptance, hope, family, and the power of self-belief.

4. Other Words for Home (Jasmine Warga)

Other Words for Home
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Jasmine Warga’s Other Words for Home is a novel about family, creating a new identity, discovering yourself, and how a home is often more than just a place. Jude, the main character, is forced to leave her father and brother behind and leave for America with her pregnant mother.

While in the United States, she experienced a culture shock in many ways. Speaking about the issues that immigrants often go through, this story deals with the feeling of displacement with a sense of honesty that will make kids think and hope for a better tomorrow.

5. Amina’s Voice (Hena Khan)

Amina’s Voice
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Amina is a sweet child attempting to navigate the middle school maze while trying to keep the spotlight away from her. However, as situations change and friendship dynamics evolve, Amina finds herself in unchartered territory.

Through a soft-spoken and determined protagonist, Hena Khan manages to create a story for kids of all ages that is sure to tug at their heartstrings.

6. Melissa (Alex Gino)

Melissa (Alex Gino)
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Why are we born a certain way? What if we wish to become someone else that makes us feel more like ourselves? These are some questions raised and answered in Alex Gino’s heart-warming novel Melissa.

Let your kid read this inspiring book about acceptance and the beauty of loving yourself. The readers get introduced to Melissa, a trans girl who knows exactly who she is and wishes everyone to know the same. However, the world only sees her outside appearance, which is that of a boy named George.

7. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

The Little Prince
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Translated from French and written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the story of The Little Prince is inspired by the author’s own life. As kids read the book, they discover the prince, a small planet traveling from one place to another in search of knowledge and wisdom.

8. The One and Only Ivan (Katherine Applegate)

The One and Only Ivan
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If your child is fond of animals, they will absolutely adore Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan, which explores the nuances of friendship, kindness, compassion, and empathy.

The tale is about Ivan, a gorilla accustomed to visitors ogling at him. Although he does miss the time when he was free, he has accepted his life. However, things change when a baby elephant named Ruby joins his world, and what follows is a lovely tale of friendship and understanding.

9. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Jessica Townsend)

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Omens, secret lands, and a world of magic; what’s not to love, right? The Trials of Morrigan Crow is the first book in Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor series. It narrates the story of the protagonist, Morrigan Crow, who is blamed for everything that goes wrong in her town.

Follow Morrigan as she uncovers truths, secrets, and much more. She is said to be cursed, which will be broken when she dies on her 11th birthday. However, that is exactly when a man named Jupiter North appears and takes her away to Nevermoor.

10. Aru Shah and the End of Time (Roshani Chokshi)

Aru Shah and the End of Time
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Aru Shah and the End of Time is the first installment in Roshani Chokshi’s entertaining Pandava series. When Aru Shah, a young girl of 12, gets trapped because of her elaborate lies, she is forced to do something that causes havoc.

Unknowingly, she ends up awakening forces of evil. She then journeys through realms, meeting individuals she thought only existed in myths. Get this for your child and watch them devour the story.

11. Furthermore (Tahereh Mafi)

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Tahereh Mafi is a queen with words and language, and she spills her magic all over Furthermore. She crafts the story around Alice Alexis Queens meadow, who doesn’t possess any magic even though most people in her world do.

Alice feels lost ever since her father disappeared, and she believes her mother doesn’t love her. Amidst these circumstances, she goes on a quest to the dangerous and magical land of Furthermore with an unknown companion, Oliver. Read the book to discover about their adventures.

12. Coraline (Neil Gaiman)

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Neil Gaiman is known for his unique brand of writing, and with Coraline, he has created a quirky and unique piece of children’s fiction. It’s about a little girl named Coraline whose family moves into a new home.

Soon enough, she discovers that there is a door to a new world that resembles her home in most ways but is actually quite dangerous. With the dark forces trying to lure her in, will Coraline be able to escape?

13. Matilda (Roald Dahl)

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Roald Dahl’s stories are so precious that every child must read them at least once, and the same is the case with the classic Matilda. It is about an exceptionally talented and intelligent girl whose parents are neither loving nor supportive.

Although Matilda is loved by her peers, she isn’t encouraged by her own mother and father. Children learn about the importance of self-reliance, courage, determination, and positivity through Matilda’s story.

14. Inside Out and Back Again (Thanhha Lai)

Inside Out and Back Again
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Thanhha Lai’s Inside Out and Back Again is about a girl named Hà who has been in Vietnam since she can remember. Suddenly, she is displaced due to the Vietnam War, causing her family to move to the United States. The novel is about the trials and wins she faces throughout her journey.

15. Charlotte’s Web (E. B. White)

Charlotte's Web
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E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web needs no introduction since it has a sparkling place in the best literature for children. It explores the bond between Charlotte, a spider, and Wilbur, a pig. The story will make your child smile, laugh, and also think.

16. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series (Jeff Kinney)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series
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Published back in 2007, Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is popular with kids all over the world. It introduces the readers to Greg Heffley, and we follow him on his journey through middle school as he grapples with school, friendships, family, and fitting in.

Also Read: 20 Best Chapter Books for Kids

Why Reading is Beneficial For Kids

Reading transports kids from one world to another. However, it isn’t just the fun factor that makes it delightful. Listed below are some of the reasons why reading is beneficial for kids:

1. Helps With Cognitive Development

Helps With Cognitive Development

Reading helps in the cognitive development of children. It aids them in understanding and perceiving everything around them in a better manner. By reading more and more, they can evaluate everyday situations by applying reasoning and intelligence, which in turn helps with processing information and language development.

Everything kids see, hear, and read begins to make more sense to them as they become readers. It enables them to remember better while polishing their decision-making and problem-solving skills.

2. Improves Vocabulary And Language

When a child is exposed to books from a tender age, it stimulates the part of their brain that helps in understanding the meaning of language, thereby improving their language skills, social skills, and literacy skills. By reading more books, they learn new words every day, expanding their vocabulary and enabling them to become better communicators.

Books improve a child’s grammar as well. Although they might be used to hearing a particular language at home every day, reading makes them aware of different languages worldwide, getting them interested in learning about them.

3. Ignites Curiosity And Creativity

As kids read, they get to imagine different worlds, visualize characters and places, and guess what is about to happen in the upcoming chapters. This helps cultivate their imagination and learn about other places, periods, events, and people.

Through the development of imagination, the birth of creativity takes place, and they get to apply this creativity in their daily lives. They also become curious about the world, encouraging them to read about various countries, traditions, cultures, and communities.

4. Increases Compassion And Empathy

Increases Compassion And Empathy

Books are filled with characters who are placed in eclectic situations. Kids read about their struggles, hardships, triumphs, and hurdles. This allows them to know about other human issues, causing them to become more compassionate and empathetic.

Reading is known to make people identify better with a person’s situation, increasing their emotional maturity. If a child reads from a young age, they inevitably empathize more with the people around them and are kinder towards them.

5. Boosts Concentration And Discipline

Children often struggle with staying still, leading parents to worry about their short attention span. However, the more they start to read, the more peaceful they become. It helps them develop a proper routine, enabling them to concentrate better and transform into disciplined beings.

As a parent, you will see a stark change in their behavior once you get them to resort to books. This will inevitably help them with their education, too.

6. Reduces Exposure to Technology

Reduces Exposure to Technology

Kids these days are exposed to technology since their birth. They learn to operate mobile phones and other devices before they even learn to talk. In order to divert their attention from smartphones and reduce their screen time, it is wise to introduce them to books as early as possible.

When they have books to escape into, they are sure to keep their devices away, giving their parents some much-needed relief from worrying about their dependence on technology. After all, what’s better than holding a book and smelling its pages, right? Nothing in a smart device can ever compete with it.

7. Enhances The Parent-Child Bond

Parents may only sometimes spend quality time with their children due to work and other responsibilities. However, reading to your child becomes a part of your routine and lets you spend a certain amount of time with them daily, allowing your bond with your child to bloom.

When kids have a shared activity with their parents, it makes them feel loved, safe and reassured. It also helps with their development and positive growth.

8. Builds Self-Confidence And Independence

Not every child is the same. While some may feel underconfident at times, others might experience loneliness from time to time. Books come to the rescue in such situations. They act as a child’s constant companions, never letting them feel isolated or alone.

Once kids read about other characters and feel motivated by their triumphs, it instills confidence in them. They begin to believe in themselves and become more resilient and perseverant.

9. Prepares Them For Academic Success

Prepares Them For Academic Success

Reading from an early stage helps a child succeed academically. As they become better with words, it increases their chances of winning debate competitions, spelling bees, and acing every language and grammar test. This sets them on a path that leads to a truly bright future.

Read More: Holiday Christmas Book Countdown 2019


Every child deserves to lose themselves in the world of stories and never-ending fierce imagination. Taking on the hobby of reading from a young age benefits them throughout their early stages of development.

As a parent, it’s a wonderful responsibility to take on and engage in some quality bonding time with your child as you read to them. Go through our list of selected books and let us know if you find names that your child loves or ones that you would pick for your kids.

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