Book Reviews For Category: Ages 9-12

Children’s books which are generally suitable for children age nine to twelve

The Lacemaker and the Princess

Children's Book - Lacemaker and the Princess

Published: 2007
Theme: Historical Fiction; French Revolution
Best for: 11 and up

“I know how to make needle lace and sew and hem and build a fire and tend it and clean the ashes out. I can make tea and toast and cook a chicken if I have to. I can empty chamber post and scrub floors…” This very well-written historical fiction about the French Revolution is based on a true incident…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Inspiring for Girls, Waldorf-Aligned

The Night Diary

Children's Book - Night Diary

Published: 2018
Theme: Historical Fiction, India’s Partition
Best for: 11 and up

“We would go somewhere fresh and new where people were happy. All kinds of people practicing all kinds of religions..[where] nobody would mind that you were Muslim and Papa was Hindu….” This is a no-holds-barred experience of the tragedy that ensued from the Partition in 1947 into India and Pakistan. For 11 and up.

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Historical Fiction

Be a Perfect Person In Just Three Days

Children's book - Be a Perfect Person

Published: 1982
Theme: Self-acceptance
Best for: 8 to 11

“Milo wondered how in the world wearing a stalk of broccoli around his neck could possibly help make him perfect…” This children’s book is perfect medicine for any young person thinking they need to be perfect! Silly but convincing…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary

The Jamie Drake Equation

Children's Book: Jamie Drake Equation

Published: 2017
Theme: Light-weight Science Fiction
Best for: 9 and up

“I’ve got a doctorate in astrophysics and a black belt in karate,” the woman replies, poking me hard in the chest with her telescope. “So sit down before I knock your block off.” This book does a great job of making both space and science fiction, very readable and enjoyable.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary

Ellie Engineer: The Next Level

Children's book - Ellie Engineer

Published: 2018
Theme: Breaking Stereotypes
Best for: 8 to 11

“Ellie hated it when her friends got in trouble in front of her, especially when she had something to do with it. She thought about what her dad said – that engineering was supposed to help people- and her stomach went squiggly.” . Let’s hear it for books that let girls be engineers, boys like dolls, and old people doing more than just drinking tea…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

Totally Joe

children's book- Totally Joe

Published: 2005
Theme: Gay Teens
Best for: 9 and up

“I took one of the pins Aunt Pam had given me and put it on my shirt. It said Celebrate Diversity. Then I took it off, thinking I’d give it to Addie, because it’s one she’d really like, and I put on another one: Being Who You Are Isn’t A Choice.” A superbly written, sensitive and humorous children’s book dealing with being gay as a teen.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary

Dragons in a Bag

Children's book - Dragons in a bag

Published: 2018
Theme: Magical Fantasy
Best for: 8 to 12

“Something must have hatched inside that box! And the mysterious creatures must be strong enough to have rocked the box as they were being born. Yet they’re small enough to fit inside the empty mint tin.” A delightful and lightweight fantasy with witches, time travel, and baby dragons, set in Brooklyn.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary

Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment

max einstein

Published: 2018
Theme: Saving the World
Best for: 8 to 11

“Max didn’t have a mother or father to tell her when it was time to wake up, go to bed, do her homework, eat her vegetables, turn off the TV, or hurry because she’d miss the subway. Max was completely on her own.” An odd and quirky book that tries to have children solve the mess of the world, with a bit of adventure thrown in.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

Finding Langston

Children's book - Finding Langston

Published: 2018
Theme: Healing through books
Best for: 9 and up

“It’s better to read in the library. Sitting at my favorite table… reading and listening to the sound of other folks turning pages makes me feel I’m in a house full of company I don’t have to talk to.” A beautiful and lyrical small book set in 1946, exploring the loneliness that comes from being uprooted from South to North.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

The Eleventh Trade

Children's book - Eleventh Trade

Published: 2018
Theme: Refugees, Compassion
Best for: 9 and up

“The middle school cafeteria always makes me wish for the school in Istanbul. We often shared meals there, seated on the ground, with little to give. But most important, it was quiet.” It is time, past time, to bring our children into the conversation about religious tolerance, and immigration. This book is a start.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

Nowhere Boy

nowhere boy

Published: 2018
Theme: Moral Courage; Refugees
Best for: 10 and up

“Ahmed–he had a name, Max reminded himself–was just a boy, a boy who liked soccer and comic book heroes. He had lost his parents, he was alone, and he seemed far more frightened than dangerous.” All I can say is – read this to crack open your heart with compassion for the plight of refugees.

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary

A Whale in Paris

Children's Book- Whale in Paris

Published: 2018
Theme: Optimism
Best for: 10 and up

“No one knew where the Mona Lisa was hiding. Chantal made a fist. How she hated the war. It had scared all the art way from the city.” A truly uplifting story about hope even during the direst of times, this will make your heart smile.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

The Lost Books

The Lost Books - Children's BOok

Published: 2018
Theme: Fantasy Adventure with Books
Best for: 10 and up

He’d been trained as a solider, after all. He knew how to fight. The same rules applied, if you thought about it, to books and to swords. For one thing, you didn’t run away from a challenge. You met it head-on. This is a non-stop, action packed books about libraries and librarians, and if you thing that’s an oxymoron, you’ll need to read this yourself…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

Mio, My Son

Children's Book - Mio, My Son

Published in English: 2003
Theme: Courage and Loyalty
Best for: 8 to 10

“Do the stars care if you play for them?” I wondered. I asked Nonno and he said he believed they did. So we sat around the fire, took out our flutes and played a little song for the stars.” This is a classic fantasy children’s book, one that easily transcends time and place.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Wild Book

Children's Book - The wild book

Published 2017
Theme: Books and Readers
Best for: 9 and up

“Books are the external memory of mankind–a warehouse of memories.” Translated from Spanish, this excellent children’s book leads us into the investigation of the value and power of books and how to befriend them.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

The Griffin’s Feather

Children's book - The Griffin's Feather

Published: 2018
Theme: Protection of Endangered Species
Best for: 9 to 12

“This story is for all who have the courage to protect instead of dominate, to save instead of plunder, and to preserve instead of destroy.” A sequel to Dragon Rider, this action-packed adventure with fantasy animals, is all about protecting all living beings.

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

The Boy Who Saved Baseball

Children's book: Boy who saved Baseball

Published: 2003
Theme: Valuing Community
Best for: 9 and up

“Tee ball is killing baseball… They’re killing the ability of kids to learn the most important part of the game- to follow a ball with their eyes. And to swing and hit a moving target..” This is a lovely children’s book for kids who love their hometown baseball, played on their own local field, worth more than money can buy…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis - Children's book

Published: 2014
Theme: Resilience and family
Best for: ages 10 and up

“We don’t look much like brother and sister. Sometimes I reckon that might even be part of the problem. Maybe if we looked a little bit like each other, it might help” This book is transformative; we start out in despair, and end up in acceptance and love.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary

Have Sword, Will Travel

Children's Book - Have Sword, Will travel

Published: 2017
Theme: Knights
Best for: 9 and up

“They may be young, but Sir Odo found me and awoke me. The mighty quest is his,” said Biter the sword. “By the same token, your daughter is small but seems valiant and my knight must have a squire.” A great fantasy adventure about two young children and their enchanted sword on a quest…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

Heartseeker

Children's book - Heartseeker

Published: 2018
Theme: Truth and Lies
Best for: 11 and up

A lie is just a wall round the truth. Could be that it’s built strong like a wall, or it could be built out of something that’ll collapse. But no matter what it’s made of, the truth is always going to want to get out. A compelling and dramatic children’s book about truth and lies. Who do you trust?

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12

How Oscar Indigo Broke the Universe

Children's Book - How Oscar Indigo Broke the Universe

Published: 2017
Theme: Integrity, Time-travel
Best for: 8 and up

“Try keeping your eyes on the ball when you swing,” suggested Miss Ellington. She had a habit of sneaking up on him and giving him batting tips.” This children’s book has a little bit of everything, including profound lessons and lightheartedness.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

The Parker Inheritance

Parker Inheritance - Children's Book

Published: 2018
Theme: Overcoming Discrimination
Best for: 9 and up

“It wasn’t surprising that Siobhan Washington became a librarian. She grew up surrounded by books, spending just as much time in her school library as she did on the tennis courts. ” This authentic peek back in time to the struggles of African-Americans to be accepted is well-done, written in the form of a puzzle-solving adventure.

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Historical Fiction

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Children's Book - Percy Jackson

Published: 2005
Themes: Mythology, Courage, Loyalty
Best for: 10 and up

“The next few days I settled into a routine that felt almost normal, if you don’t count the fact that I was getting lessons from satyrs, nymphs, and a centaur.” This wildly popular children’s book series, based on Greek mythology is non-stop action, not for the faint of heart…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary

Aru Shah and The End of Time

Children's Book: Aru Shah

Published: 2018
Theme: Indian Mythology, Courage
Best for: 9 to 11

People are a lot like magical pockets. They’re far bigger on the inside than they appear on the outside. And it was like that with Aru. She found a place deep within her that had been hidden until now… The first in a series on Indian mythology, similar to Percy Jackson, but much funnier and much lighter, and much more girl-friendly…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

Naming Maya

Children's Book - Naming Maya

Published: 2004
Theme: Indian culture, Dealing with Divorce
Best for: Girls 10 and up

“Lakshmi Auntie drops Sumai off with us a couple of days later, and scurries a protesting Ashwin away for a haircut…The day promises to turn from plain hot to furnace hot.” In this multicultural children’s book set in India, a young girl grapples with the divorce of her parents, and memory loss of a family friend.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

Sky Dancer

Children's book - Sky Dancer

Published: 2017
Theme: Wildlife
Best for: 10 and up

“I’m a coward. There, I’ve said said it now. I’m a coward. It’s true. Dad never actually said it out loud but it was always in his eyes.” This is a wonderful children’s book, that combines growing up with standing up for your own values.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

The Orphan Band of Springdale

Children's book - orphan band

Published: 2018
Theme: Courage, Overcoming Differences
Best for: 11 and up

“Her father had a phrase for the way the sun catches things out against the darkness of a coming storm: the clear light of trouble, he called it.” This excellent historical fiction is a timely addition to educating children about the dangers of xenophobism…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

The Not-So-Boring Letters of Private Nobody

Historical Fiction - Private Nobody

Published: 2018
Theme: Unglorious War
Best for: 11-13

“He wasn’t sure why Ella had lied about texting her mom. All he knew was that she wasn’t the girl he’d thought she was. She was the girl who did magic tricks and listened to Mozart.” Great historical fiction children’s book, featuring two very likeable 7th graders, who end up liking each other…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Historical Fiction

Book Uncle and Me

Children's book - Book Uncle and Me

Published: 2016
Theme: Community Activism
Best for: 7 to 9

“I know, I know. I’m giving away the ending. But here’s the thing. The point of a story is not the ending. The point is, What does it mean?” It’s time to educate the young people about the power of community activism, in a gentle way. This book does that…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Inspiring for Girls, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Stick Cats – Cats in the City

Children's book - Stick Cats: Cats in the City

Published: 2017
Theme: Cats and Kindness
Best for: 7 and up

“Edith sat back on her hind legs and licked her front left paw as she continued to speak. She stopped to examine the placement of each strand of fur every now and then.” A hilarious and profound look at cats, personalities, patience, and courage.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned
Share this
Free Subscription to Book Reviews
Your email address will not be shared with anyone else. New book reviews are sent once a month.
Click Here to Subscribe

Click to view our newsletter archives.
Support Your Local Bookstores
Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org
Social Media Sites
Follow Me on Pinterest
Literature for Kids
Advertisement