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If you're looking for suitable books for your 9 - 10 year old, our extensive list of expert recommendations is sure to put you in the right direction. .
September 2019 Book of the Month | The Cloud Horse Chronicles is the new fantasy by the Costa award-winning and Children's Laureate, Chris Riddell. The first book in the series, Guardians of Magic follows the adventures of three ordinary children who have extraordinary gifts, and come together to defeat the enemies who threaten to use the power from the Forever Tree for their own dark magical agendas. Highly illustrated throughout in Chris’s unique style, you will feel like you can step into the world he’s imaginatively built with his page.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2019 | | Award winning Elizabeth Laird brilliantly brings to life thirteen year old Safiya’s new world as a refugee after her family flee from their comfortable home in Damascus because of the war in Syria. Safiya, her brother and father arrive in Jordan with nothing and must turn to relatives for help. Safiya has to adjust to living in a tent without running water. Suddenly, she is cleaning and washing and finding clever ways of making do on very little rather than going to school. But resourceful Safiya never gives up hope of going back to a better way for life or of finding her missing twin sister. A House without Walls is a vivid picture of a family facing an extreme experience with courage and imagination.
August 2019 Book of the Month | Jim Kay’s colour illustrations for the Harry Potter books are extraordinary, adding something new and exciting to stories that some readers will know practically by heart. In this the second of the series, he’s really into his stride, and there are wonderful full-page portraits – Dobby perched on Harry’s bed, scabby toes dangling; Draco Malfoy, all sneer and suspicion – as well as glorious double pages revealing Knockturn Alley, and the terrifying entrance to the Chamber of Secrets itself. His imagination is equal to J.K. Rowling’s vision and he brings her magical creatures to life, whether via a busy line of little goblins scampering across the bottom of the page, or a page of botanical notes on Mandrakes. A book for fans to treasure, and everyone to wonder at.
Shylo is the smallest rabbit in his family, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t strong, courageous and clever too. Indeed, he’s a key member of the Royal Rabbits whose duty it is to protect Queen and country from their warren under Buckingham Palace. When Shylo returns home for a visit, he finds that the peace of the countryside has been disrupted. A no-good rabbit called Harlequin has set up a commune and persuaded the other rabbits that together they’ll find the legendary Golden Carrot, though it will bring great risk to them and national security. He’s reckoned without little Shylo and his fellow rabbits-in-arms though … A perfect mix of excitement and charm, this story also neatly delivers messages about the importance of self-belief, generosity and true courage. There’s a wonderful cast of characters, it reads aloud beautifully and Kate Hindley’s delightful illustrations are full of life and energy.
September 2019 Book of the Month | From its dedication to Sir David Attenborough – ‘the most awesome human who has ever lived’ – this brilliant information book strikes exactly the right note, laying out the huge problems we and our planet are facing from plastic but at the same time showing us how we can change our behaviour to really make a difference, while still living a fun and happy life. Author, former McFly and Busted member Dougie Poynter makes sure the tone is friendly and accessible, while keeping a focus on the big issues, and what we need to do about them. He’s invited contributions from a range of scientist and campaigners, who all show that taking action is far more doable than we think. It makes for really lively, stimulating and inspiring reading, the kind of book we all need in our lives right now.
This is a return to the characters of Di Camillo’s Raymie Nightingale and Louisiana’s Way Home – though it is not necessary to have read either novel to appreciate this story. Precipitated by the death of her dog companion, Buddy, Beverly has no reason now to stay at home, so she leaves. She is 14 years old, but by a sequence of good luck, and a lift from a cousin, she ends up in Tamaray, bunking with a grandmother figure in a trailer park community and getting a job with a very disorganised café owner. This story could have been very bleak, but the wonderful characters DiCamillo draws, and the humour with which she tells this story make it very engaging. Obviously set in the US this gives the landscape an exotic feel, and the characters have a wonderfully transatlantic humour that can be appreciated anywhere. This is the story of Beverly’s survival, and the rebuilding of her grief battered resilient character – so she can eventually return to her hometown, her close friend and her less than satisfactory mother. An ultimately uplifting story of survival, acceptance and friendship in unlikely places.
The third book in Cressida Cowell’s new Wizards of Once series is full of magic – magical adventures and magical creatures, and it overflows with the magic of great storytelling. Our heroes, Wish the young Warrior girl and Xar the boy wizard, are continuing their dangerous quest to defeat the witches they accidentally freed in book one and which threaten both their worlds. They travel on a magic flying door, accompanied by their friends – sprites, a giant, snowcats, a werewolf and Bodkin, Wish’s young bodyguard – and come up against some awesome enemies. In hot pursuit are their parents, Xar’s father King Encanzo the enchanter and Wish’s mother, Warrior Queen Sychorax, both terrifying, both determined their children will do as they are told. Who will succeed? Can Wish and Xar change the course of history and write their own happy ending? We don’t know yet, but readers of all ages will be wishing with all their hearts that they can. Cressida Cowell’s invention and ambition for her characters is boundless, and this unputdownable story is as full of ideas and intelligence as it is of excitement.
A magical adventure to delight the imagination. The curl-up-on-the-sofa snuggle of a series from a uniquely talented author. Tilly Pages is a bookwanderer; she can travel inside books, and even talk to the characters she meets there. But Tilly's powers are put to the test when fairytales start leaking book magic and causing havoc . . . On a wintery visit to Paris, Tilly and her best friend Oskar bravely bookwander into the land of fairytales to find that characters are getting lost, stories are all mixed-up, and mysterious plot holes are opening without warning. Can Tilly work out who, or what, is behind the chaos so everyone gets their happily-ever-after? The second enthralling tale in the bestselling Pages & Co series.
The partnership of Mick Manning and Brita Granström has undoubtedly transformed the approach to non-fiction over the past 20 award-winning years and here they have illuminated that tricky curriculum requirement of studying Britain in the Stone Age with their trademark information picturebook style. This book actually is much more than that; it defines the start of history, which is from the point at which humans began to write and record and asks the reader to take a bold and imaginative journey through the millennia that came before. From the very formation of the Earth and Moon to the beginnings of life and the slow progression and development of our planet, through dinosaurs, extinction events and to the eventual appearance of man. The lively text does not talk down or patronise and is highly educative in the use of correct terminology for naming the epochs and creatures as they develop. The inclusive characters that accompany the reader on the journey help to ground us in the familiar and personify our curiosity. The images are striking and informative while being gently amusing. A very informative glossary and a Timeline Game to help test your understanding complete this valuable package. An exciting book which will be picked up for reading pleasure as well as being a real asset for the curriculum.
Roger Paxton is an ordinary kind of boy and a very reluctant hero – which is unfortunate as he’s tasked with saving the world from a massive goblin invasion. At least he’s got a good team on his side, including the marvellous and utterly fearless dwarf captain Mossbelly Macfearsome. This is a wonderfully raucous bit of fantasy adventure full of thrilling scenes, some irresistible characters, and very entertaining details (I love the fact that the goblins smell of burnt toast and fart into bottles to make their drinks fizzy). The story is set at Hallowe’en and this would make a terrific October read, but it would be fun to share at any time of the year. You could go on from this to Terry Pratchett, it’s that much fun.
Poems to help you change the world | Highlighted as a recommended read for National Poetry Day (3rd October), three of our best poets for children come together in this excellent new anthology with a challenge for their young audience: go out and help change the world. Alongside poems on the many threats to the environment and the natural world are poems that pose ‘tricky questions’ about how we choose to live. There are poems to make children laugh, to inspire them and inform them; above all here are poems that will provoke a reaction. It might be something practical, like deciding to change the contents of your lunchbox, or it might mean making a change to the way you understand the world. It ends with Liz Brownlee’s quiet but powerful poem ‘Snow’, a beautiful example of how the smallest things can effect change.
September 2019 Book of the Month | Amara knows exactly what she wants for her 12th birthday: to visit her father’s family in New York. She understands it will be very different to Beavertown, Oregon, the small town she’s grown up in, but can’t wait to explore the big city and get to know her family properly. The trip is eye-opening in lots of ways as she learns more about her father and his childhood, about her family, and even her own history. Renée Watson shows us that families are complicated, that it’s never too late to change or make amends, and that we can all carry on learning even as we grow up. Quiet, though full of drama, and skilfully told, this is a touching and thought-provoking story with well-drawn, engaging characters; a book that will make a real impact on its reader.
Yanka is that much-loved staple of the fairy tale: an orphan. She’s grown up with her foster-mother Mamochka who found her in the wild as a baby, and mostly feels at home and happy in their village, though she’s conscious that she’s much bigger and stronger than the other children. All that changes after an accident when Yanka wakes up to find she has the legs of a bear. She also has, less alarmingly, the ability to understand animals, including her pet weasel the charismatic Mousetrap. Remembering a story about a family turned into bears, she sets off with Mousetrap to find out who she really is. Yanka’s adventures are full of danger, enchantment and stories within stories. Perhaps best of all is her meeting with the extraordinary House with Chicken Legs, which becomes a friend and helps in her quest. Like the best fairy stories, her tale takes readers into a fantastical world while at the same time telling them truths about the characters and themselves, in this case the importance of love, loyalty and learning to accept who you are. It’s beautifully told, feels both original and traditional, and sparkles with its magic. One to recommend to fans of Catherine Doyle’s equally magical and captivating Storm Keeper books.
Uncle Gobb is back for a third utterly ridiculous, absolutely hilarious and totally originally told adventure. Michael Rosen and Neal Layton use a brilliant integration of words and pictures to tell this meandering and many-layered story which engages readers with the complexity and creativity of storytelling.
Christina is sent to stay with her terrifying uncle and her cousins at Flambards, a rambling house in the country where riding and hunting are the most prized activities. Everything about the countryside - and her relatives - is new to Christina but she soon finds she loves riding. And, in different ways, she begins to love her cousins. The first volume in a hugely romantic trilogy.
A new book from Hilary McKay is always a joy – and this one does not disappoint. A newly blended family move into an ivy covered, slightly eerie house that has room for them all. They work to find a way to make their new family grouping compatible. Abi struggles to get used to her two new brothers, Max and young Louis. She resents that she has to share her father Theo, and her Granny Grace’s letters from Jamaica. The new family all spend time and energy making the house their own, but mysterious things happen as they settle in. Abi seems to be able to fall right into the books she reads until she actually experiences salt spray and the green flash of parrots in the room with her. Similarly, Louis summons a visitor, but as Louis’s visitor becomes more and more frightening, he has to work with Abi and Max to send his visitor back from where it had magically sprung up. This is a totally engaging read, full of green magic, imagination and family dynamics that feel authentic and realistic. The theme of cooperation and support running through are uplifting, though not necessarily easily achieved. Highly recommended.
The tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800’s constitute the greatest amassed from oral tradition in the western world and no classroom study of traditional tales would be considered without them. Many are set in the animal kingdom, like the ones translated here by Carnegie medal winning author and poet Kevin Crossley Holland. Some like The Bremen Town Musicians are extremely well known but others are much less so. The authors reveal in the afterword that they have particularly tried to keep the flavour of the different voices telling the tales and they have succeeded brilliantly. They are short, pithy, often funny and perfect for reading aloud. The animals exhibit human traits such as arrogance, greed, cunning, and less often kindness and will provide plenty of food for thought and discussion. I was particularly taken with a tale new to me, The Fox and the Cat, where an arrogant fox boasts that he has 100 tricks. The cat modestly replies that he has but one: ‘When the hounds are after me, I can leap into a tree and save myself,’ which he then does. The fox is killed by the dogs! This beautiful hardback edition, with lively pen and ink drawings from the award-winning Susan Varley, will survive many years of classroom use.
The fourth book in the bestselling series that teaches you amazing facts about the world through football. This book is packed with awesome true stories, real science and fascinating facts and will make you laugh loads - and it's all about football! Discover when robots play football, where the highest ever football match took place, how referees keep time in matches and what llamas and professional footballers have in common. With hilarious illustrations throughout and laugh-out-loud gags, this is the perfect book for football-mad children everywhere.
Every young person will have heard of Greta Thunberg, the schoolgirl whose strikes for the climate have developed into a world-wide movement and put young peoples’ voices at the heart of the efforts to protect our planet. This book tells Greta’s story, explaining how a wary, quiet girl from Sweden has found the courage and determination to stand up for what she knows is crucial to the future of every one of us. It’s an inspiring story, and unique to Greta, but it also demonstrates how together we can all make a difference, and work towards the future we want. In addition to Greta’s story, there’s a chapter explaining the science of global warming, notes on what we can do as individuals and suggestions for further reading. This could be the most important book your children will read all year.
Eleven-year-old Darwen Arkwright's ordinary life changed forever when he was given a magical mirror, a portal to the wonderful world of Silbrica. Darwen defeated the terrible monsters released from the mirror once. Now, an even more terrifying beast has escaped through the mirror. Darwen and his friends, Rik and Alexandra, must journey to Costa Rica to save the world from a giant tentacled creature that leaves destruction in its wake. This time, old allies can't be trusted, and the danger runs deeper than Darwen could have ever imagined. The problem with doors is that they open both ways. There are monsters inside, and some of them are trying to get out ...
Who needs gritty, dark psychological thriller when you can curl up in your armchair with your furry companions and read a cosy murder mystery especially one where a feisty Scottish wildcat pits his superior feline wits against a delightfully wicked murderer in the rugged heart of the Scottish Highlands?
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | September 2019 Book of the Month | Short and, in Barrington Stoke style, accessible to all readers, Tin Boy is a powerful and inspiring story, and one that will get children thinking about the world and their place in it. The hero Tono lives in the Indonesian province of Bangka Belitung and, though he’s only a boy, goes to work to each day, swimming down to mine tin by hand from deep under sea. It’s dangerous work and caught in an accident, he’s lucky to survive. That luck, together with something he finds on the seabed, changes his life. It’s a gripping story, that both vividly describes Tono’s life and plays with the idea of superheroes in a way that will resonate with all readers. Readers who enjoy Tono’s story should also look out for Kick by Mitch Johnson.
September 2019 Debut of the Month | Ten-year-old Frank loves code and numbers; they’re a way to make sense of the world, as well as providing secret languages to share with his friends and his mum. Frank’s five-year-old brother Max is autistic and for him the world is often a scary place, when anything unexpected, too loud or too bright can cause him to have a meltdown. The story is narrated by Frank and every reader will understand his frustration at the unfairness of life. We know that he loves Max, but we know too how hard Max makes life for all the family. Frank is then faced with something even more terrible when tragedy strikes. With the help of those around him we watch Frank find a way to make sense of what has happened and the bravery to cope with the different world. Katya Balen has worked with neuro-divergent children and there’s a powerful sense of truth and understanding in her beautifully told story. If they like Wonder by R. J. Palacio they'll love The Space We're In.
Every Harry Potter fan worth their salt will know their wingardium leviosa from their expelliamus, but this handsome book takes a really close look at the myriad different spells cast and warded off in the books, using stills and images from the Warner Brothers films as illustration. There are quotes and anecdotes from the actors too together with behind-the-scenes information on how the spells were created on screen. It all makes for fascinating stuff, and added extras include stickers, pull out posters and, best of all, a set of special Patronus cards for characters including Harry, Ron and Hermione. Guaranteed to keep Harry Potter fans spellbound for hours!
A high-stakes quest. A magical kingdom. A boy in possession of a coveted power. This mythology-rich novel for 10+ year-olds has all the ingredients of an epic adventure. Ankido is a twelve-year-old British-Iraqi boy with a passion for words. So much so, his beloved grandmother calls him her “Word Boy”. One morning, his grandmother announces the terrible news that Ankido’s father, an eminent archaeologist, has gone missing on a field trip in Iraq. When she leaves to search for his dad, she entrusts him with a special book: “The cover was made of fine, gold-inlaid leather. The title read, The Land of Mesopo. Ankido wondered why it was so special but thought it best not to ask.” Left with his aunt and uncle, Ankido is destined to be sent to boarding school, but not before he’s forced to burn Grandmother’s special book when his aunt tries to take it from him. He knows the book is special - “When I started reading it, it felt so real. Almost as if it was calling me to step inside “ – and indeed it does turn out to be special. Rather than end up at boarding school, he finds himself in the Library of Nineveh after being pursued by “a creature of the dark” who “feeds on words. And she knows that you can make your own words.” Ankido’s quest to find his father, and to save the fantastical word-world of Mesopo as the Kingdom’s newfound Tale Smith is sharply evoked, and packed with heart-pounding peril, mysterious atmosphere and intriguing characters, among them scribes, princes and magicians. Joanne Owen, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
FloodWorld is a gripping, action-packed story for 10+ readers. Kara and Joe spend their days navigating the perilous waterways of a sunken city, scratching out a living in the ruins. But when they come into possession of a mysterious map, they find themselves in a world of trouble. Suddenly everyone's after them: gangsters, cops and ruthless Mariner pirates in their hi-tech submarines. The two children must find a way to fight back before Floodworld's walls come tumbling down... With cover illustration by Manuel Sumberac.
This exhilarating sequel to Monsters in the Mirror follows 11-year-old Darwen’s second fantastical quest. In possession of a magical mirror that acts as a powerful portal to the breath-taking realm of Silbrica, Darwen previously defeated a host of monsters that came through the mirror. He must now journey to spectacular Costa Rica to battle a terrifying tentacled beast. The stakes are high, the action is perfectly paced, and the friendship between Darwen and his companions is authentic and engaging. Alongside these essential ingredients of Middle Grade adventure, the evocation of nature and landscape is wonderful – the “rainbow-coloured waterfall, which strobed first turquoise, then emerald green, then a yellow bright as liquid gold”; trees sprouting “slim, silvery leaves that rustled like foil in the breeze”. Moreover, not only is this a gripping adventure, but it’s visually pleasing too - invitingly-designed and further enlivened by Manuel Šumberac’s atmospheric illustrations.
Enter the thousand worlds of Amy Wilson in her captivating novel, Shadows of Winterspell, sparkling with frost and magic. Stella has been living behind the magic of the forest for most of her life. Lonely, she enrolls at the local school, and as she begins to make friends, she discovers that she is even more different than she thought. But as autumn turns to magical winter, Stella realizes that uncovering her own family secret is the only way to release the forest from the grip of a dark and old magic. A seasonal magical adventure from the critically-acclaimed Amy Wilson, author of A Girl Called Owl.
Everyone smells! The sense of smell plays a crucial part in survival, communication, and taste, and is the basis of a multi-billion-dollar industry. But, despite all this, it's the sense we often know least about. This hilarious and fact-packed book puts that right. Find out everything you could ever want to know about stinks, whiffs and pongs, from the fruit so pungent it's banned from public transport to the top-secret military programme developing the stinkiest stink bomb.
Written for and about “the swift and sweet ones/who hurdled history and opened a world of possible”, for those who “survived America by any means necessary. And the ones who didn’t,” this is an inspiring ode to the author’s forebears and to the world-changing feats of unforgettable Black American figures. Author Kwame Alexander’s initial inspiration for this book came in the year his second daughter was born, the same year Barack Obama became the first African American president of the USA. As a result, Alexander wanted his daughters “to know how we got to this historic moment”, which is exactly what this stirring book does. The chained slaves who kept faith, the elite Olympians, the innovative musicians, the seminal scientists, the courageous activists - people from all walks of life are celebrated in Alexander’s poetically poised words, and gloriously illustrated by Kadir Nelson, with much for young children to ponder and ask questions about. As well as being a wonderful way for parents to explore Black American history with their little ones on a one-to-one basis, this will also work well with older children in a classroom context. Indeed, this is one of those rare and wonderful picture books that defies age boundaries - a radiant, resonant unforgettable tour de force, as befits its theme.
Here’s another inspiring, information-packed picture book in what’s becoming something of a series (see also Great Women Who Made History and Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World). It tells the stories of pioneering women who achieved amazing things, often in the face of prejudice or downright hostility from society. There are familiar names – Rosalind Franklin is included – plus lots that are lesser known, but just as fascinating: balloonist Sophie Blanchard for example, and Sarah Breedlove, beauty entrepreneur. Their stories are told through lively, engaging text and pictures, it’s a treat to read. Kate Pankhurst is something of a fantastically great woman herself, and there’s lots for all readers to marvel at and enjoy in this book.
Rediscover the magical secrets at King's Cross station in a 25th anniversary illustrated edition of Eva Ibbotson's classic, The Secret of Platform 13. Under Platform 13 at King's Cross Station there is a secret door that leads to a magical island . . . It appears only once every nine years. And when it opens, four mysterious figures step into the streets of London. A wizard, an ogre, a fey and a young hag have come to find the prince of their kingdom, stolen as a baby nine years before. But the prince has become a horrible rich boy called Raymond Trottle, who doesn't understand magic and is determined not to be rescued. The Secret of Platform 13 is an exciting magical adventure from Eva Ibbotson, the award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea, in a special edition illustrated by Beatriz Castro.
First published in 1977, this cult classic has been reissued for a new generation of ghost-hunters. This book is for anyone who has shivered at shadowy figures in the dark, heard strange sounds in the night or felt the presence of a mysterious `something' from the unknown. Ghost stories are as old as recorded history and exist all over the world; described in this book are haunting spirits, screaming skulls, phantom ships, demon dogs, white ladies, gallows ghosts and many more.
A brief guide capturing the courage and creativity of the exceptional African American author, poet, playwright, and civil rights activist. Maya Angelou used her tremendous writing talent to get her voice, and the voice of millions of other African Americans, listened too as she supported many important causes including the Civil Rights Movement.
An inspiring introduction to the life of one of the UKs greatest scientist, Stephen Hawking. When he was still a young man, Hawking was diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease which he knew would disable him and shorten his life. He was determined to achieve all he could despite this and he did. His research into black holes and the theory of the Big Bang was ground breaking and of the greatest importance to all subsequent scientific study.
Exquisitely gorgeous illustrations accompany a well known fairy tale with a difference, an edge. Tiny Owl Publishing have a series of books called ‘One Story, Many Voices’, where authors and illustrators explore well known fairy tales from different perspectives. Here, the Twelve Dancing Princesses from the Brothers Grimm are transformed into The Secret of the Tattered Shoes by Jackie Morris. I opened the package containing the book and exclaimed in delight. The illustrations by Ehsan Abdollahi carry the story perfectly, the gold glistens, the pears call to be picked, the background as stunning as the puppet-like characters. The story by award-winning Jackie Morris sits boldly on the page, simple, evocative, familiar yet different. The love that Jackie Morris holds for nature shines through, while the ending made me smile, it suits, it feels, well, just so right. The Secret of the Tattered Shoes conjures the traditional fairy tale yet awakens new feelings and thoughts. I absolutely adored this rich and vibrant tale, both for the new interpretation, and the illustrations which adorn it.
Fact and fiction make equally good choices as part of a growing reading repertoire.
Whether it’s taking off on a high fantasy where new worlds open up endless possibilities or giving serious consideration of important ecological issues in a light hearted perspective, reading at this stage grows opinions and ideas.
Click here to read some helpful tips from top childrens' publisher Egmont.
You could also check out our latest highlights such as 'new voices', which showcases some of the brightest new talent from Walker Books, or our 'prizewinners' section where we can help you and your child discover authors currently in contention for and/or winners of the most prestigious awards.