Book Reviews For Category: Ages 9-12

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

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies

Children's book - Girl who drew butterfles

Published: 2018
Theme: Biography; Science
Best for: 9 and up

“At the age of thirteen, Maria had watched, waited, and witnessed with her own eyes. And she had created a record of study, just as scholars did at universities.” This is a visually beautifully and factually rich children’s book about an important young woman who pursued art and science on her own.

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


Children's Book - Spark

Published: 2019
Theme: Speaking Up
Best for: 9 to 12

“Different isn’t wrong,” Pixit said with such utter certainty that Mina couldn’t help but believe him…Mina said, “I just need to find a different way, a way that works for me.” To get to the point, this is a must-read, about the power of children to change the world, finding their own voice along the way. Very inspiring fantasy that’s not so fantastical in the end!

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

One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street

Children's Book - Amazing Morning on Orange Street

Published: 2011
Theme: Friends
Best for: 8 to 11

“Ms. Snoops’s memory, whispered the angel, was like the lacy antimacassars on the organ and green striped sofa’s arms. Ms. Snoops’s memory had little holes in it, here and there…” A simple and easy to read story about friendships, generations, and healing the past.

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

Knights vs. Dinosaurs

children's book: Knights and Dinosaurs

Published: 2018
Theme: Knights
Best for: ages 9 and up

“Mel wavered. She was feeling beaten. The flying lizards were too large. Too fast. Too attentive. It was hopeless. But I mustn’t give up, she thought.” A very fun and entertaining book great for all genders and middle-school age kids.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

Children's Book

Published 1972
Theme: WWII refugee
Best for: 9 and up

“Next morning before school Anna ran into Papa’s room to see him. The desk was tidy. The bed was neatly made. Papa had gone.” Neither overly melodramatic nor depressing, this is an excellent look at the life of a WWII Jewish refugee family…

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

Searching for Lottie

Search for Lottie - Children's book

Published: 2019
Theme: Holocaust and Family Memories
Best for: 9 and up

“When Charlie asked how many of the people in the photo album had survived the Holocaust, Mom simply looked away.” A down-to-earth children’s book about the importance of sharing and remembering the past.

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

Daughters of Steel

Children's book - Daughters of Steel

Published: 2018
Theme: Fantasy; Courage
Best for: Girls age 11 and up

“I’ve been looking for a way to find out more about my powers, about my destiny. This is the sign I’ve been waiting for, I’m sure of it. This is where I need to go.” She pointed at her rough drawing of the shrine…” A sequel to Sisters of Glass, and every bit as dramatic and compelling. Fantasy genre.

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls


Children's Book - Skellig

Published: 2000
Theme: Power of Love
Best for: 9 to 12

“I put my hand beneath his should to steady him. I felt something there, something held in my his jacket. I reached across his back and felt something beneath his other shoulder as well. Like thin arms, folded up.” Children have the ability to see the miraculous, and to hope… and this book brings it home in a well-told story.

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

My Name is Mina

Children's book - My name is Mina

Published: 2011
Theme: Children’s Creativity
Best for: 9 to 12

“My name is Mina and I love the night. Anything seems possible at night when the rest of the world has gone to sleep.” The best thing to say about this children’s book is …read it. It will uplift your spirit and inspire creative teaching.

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

Pay Attention, Carter Jones

Pay Attention Carter Jones - Children's book

Published: 2019
Theme: Fathers and Sons
Best for: 9 and up

“I decided to revolt. I mean, wiping up dog vomit, nearly drowning in an Australian tropical thunderstorm, drinking tea with mild and sugar, and I haven’t even told you about the forty-five minutes of Mr. Barkus’s word problems.” A great coming- of-age book, as well as dealing with family drama, with lots of humor.

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

Finding Orion

Children's book - Finding Orion

Published: 2019
Theme: Father and Son reconciliation
Best for: 9 to 12

“It’s hard, sometimes, reconciling the difference between what you really feel about something and what you think you’re supposed to feel.” A slow-starter with a very unconventional ending worth staying with.

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

Beavers – Superpower Field Guide

Beavers - Children's book

Published: 2018
Theme: Beavers (Natural History)
Best for: 6 and up

“This is a beaver. Just an ordinary beaver. But even ordinary beavers are extraordinary. In fact, even ordinary beavers are superheroes.” A great way to present facts of natural history to young readers; enjoyable yet fact-filled.

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

Tree Castle Island

Children's book- Tree Castle Island

Published: 2002
Theme: Nature Adventure and Adoption
Best for: 9 to 12

“I felt unbound. I was free as the wind. And I wasn’t in just any old canoe, but one I had made myself. She floated, she sped, she was unreal.” A great book by a classic children’s book author, about adoption, and self-sufficiency in nature.

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

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
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