Book Reviews For Category: Ages 9-12

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

Jorie and the Magic Stones

Children's Book - Jorie and the Magic Stones

Published: 2015
Theme: Fantasy, Inner Strengths
Best for: 9 to 11

“Many times we carry our magic within us, an inner magic that takes many forms, such as love, friendship, courage, and tolerance.” . In this lovely children’s book, fantasy has been crafted to suit younger children, without the violence and scare factors.

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

Jasmine Toguchi – Mochi Queen

Children's Book - Jasmine Toguchi

Published: 2107
Theme: Japanese Culture
Best for: 5 to 10

“I just had to be able to help make mochi! I need to think of a way to convince my parents. Good think I had the perfect thinking spot…” Breaking the gender barrier- again, and this time, against the cultural grain.

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

Smarty Marty Steps Up Her Game

Children's book - Smarty Marty Steps up her game

Published: 2017
Theme: Baseball and Gender-equality
Best for: 9 to 12

“If she didn’t try announcing the game, she knew she’d regret it… Everyone wanted to be the announcer. It was one of the most important jobs in baseball.” Gender equality knows no bounds, and Amy G calls on her real-life experience to prove it.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

The Serpent Slayer

Children's book - Serpent Slayer

Published: 2000
Theme: Women Heroines
Best for: 5 to 10

“In the dark time of the year, when the days are short and a cold wind blows from the north, a serpent came to live in an old cave on the mountain of Yung Ling…” From time to time, it’s great to read about a young girl who takes on the challenge of slaying the perennial serpent. This children’s book is a lovely collection of such stories.

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

Flying Lessons and Other Stories

Children's Book - Flying Lessons

Published: 2017
Theme: Multicultural Stories
Best for: 9 – 12

“You plead with the guys standing on the sidelines. “You gotta let me play, man. I can ball. I swear.” But these outbursts of self-promotion will fall on deaf ears.” This collection of short stories is part of the mission for, where every child can see themselves in the pages of a book. A great mission…

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

Third Grade Angels

Children's Book - Third Grade Angels

Published: 2012
Theme: Genuine Kindness
Best for: Third Grade

“I couldn’t believe myself. All of a sudden it was like there was no door between my brain and my mouth. As for Gerald Willis, he was a fifth-grader, a troublemaker, and a bully.” In this well-written children’s book, we find out that being kind is a 24/7 occupation, not reserved for winning points.

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


Children's book - mudshark

Published: 2009
Theme: Humor
Best for: 8 to 10

“I think,” Clyde said to his friends, “that bird is special. He has powers. Maybe…he’s psychic.” By the end of the day the word was all over school. Need some humor to lighten the day? Here’s a quick and lighthearted read…

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

Brian’s Return

Children's book - Brian's return

Published: 1999
Theme: Finding oneself
Best for: boys 11 and up

“It was so beautiful it took his breath and he stood, his arms full of wood, staring at the sky until the sun, the star, and the light were gone, wanting it all to mean more.” A worthy sequel to the best-seller Hatchet, we find out how challenging it is to adapt to civilization that has lost its soul.

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

The Losers Club

Children's book - Loser's Club

Published: 2017
Theme: Being oneself
Best for: 5th grade and up

“Some people had comfort food, but Alec has comfort books–stories so familiar that they made reading feel like coasting downhill on a bike, or water-skiing on a smooth lake…” This is a fabulous children’s book about fitting in, without losing ones own sense of self, and a little bit about coming of age…

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

The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole

Children's Book - Pet Black Hole

Published: 2017
Theme: Holding Loss
Best for: 9 and up

” I closed my eyes, feeling a point of infinite love and infinite grief, and comfort in knowing, for the first time, that I have infinite space inside for both.” This well-written and creative book takes on the grieving process with skill and courage, and shows the beauty of a life can include both joy and sorrow.

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

Ban This Book

Children's book - Ban This Book

Published: 2017
Theme: Speaking up
Best for: 8 and up

“All through math I sucked on my braids and imagined all the awful things that would happen if I was caught with all those books in my locker. Every parent…would like up to sue me.” This is a not-to-be-missed book about helping children understand how to speak up against injustices, small and large.

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

Just Dance

Just Dance - Children's Book

Published: 2017
Theme: Content with Life
Best for: 7 to 9

“I remembered a large, fancy poster with a picture of my mother and James, looking happy and famous. How could she leave that behind to live on a farm in the middle of the prairie?” The magic of Patricia MacLachlan comes through again, this time with a young girl wondering how one can give up fame and still be happy!

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

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

Children's book - Curious world of Calpurnia tate

Published: 2017
Theme: Girls and Science
Best for: 9 to 12

” ‘That’s all it took for you to cave in? You’re some kind of lousy negotiator. That’s what we get for sending a dumb girl to do a man’s job. …’ It was so unfair I could have smacked him.” This sequel continues to explore the theme of loving science and holding to one’s own truth…

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

Frightful’s Mountain

Children's Book - Frightful's Mountain

Published: 1999
Theme: The Natural World
Best for: 9 and up

“Frightful awoke as the morning sun brought color to the ops of the trees. Still ravenously hunger, and growing weak from lack of food, she left the pine and circled above an alfalfa field.” This children’s book is written so deftly that we feel like we are hearing about the habits of a dear friend, rather than some dry science about falcons…

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

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street

Children's book - Vanderbeekers

Published: 2017
Theme: Kindness
Best for: 8 and up

“The five kids started exchanging ideas for winning over the man on the third floor. Operation Beiderman had officially begun.” Each of the five siblings in this story have to dig deep to find out how to be kind to someone they don’t know…

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

Sir Cumference – Math Adventures

Children's Math Books

Published: 2002-2017
Theme: Math
Best for: 4th to 8th grade

Each illustrated children’s book in this large collection focuses on one math principal, develops it, ends with a witty comment, and helps illustrate and explain something mathematically important…

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

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth

Children's Book- Sputnik's Guide

Published: 2017
Theme: Values, Humor, Science
Best for: 9 and up

“Now that I have proved that Earth does exist,” said Sputnik, “I have to prove that it should exist. Every planet has to have a reason…Useless planets are being shrunk all over the sky…” This book has a wonderful mix of good science, deep thought (Why are we here?) and sensitivity to the difficulty of aging…

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

The Many Worlds of Albie Bright

Children's Book - Many Worlds of Albie Bright

Published: 2016
Theme: Science and Heart
Best for: 9 and up

“You’d think that going to your mum’s funeral on Tuesday would get you the rest of the week off, but not according to my dad. “We need to get back to normal,” he says when I try to protest.” This children’s book is a terrific merging of heart and mind, sincere feelings and contemporary science…

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

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre

Children's Book - Lost Kingdom of Bamarra

Published: 2017
Theme: Resisting Prejudice
Best for: 10 and up

“I’d been taught that our Bamarre were lucky to be ruled by us. Otherwise they would have been conquered by others, who would have killed them all. With us, they were safe and had duties and food.” A great and timely fantasy children’s book exploring the injustice of nations dominating nations, and the ill consequences of prejudice…

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

Kensuke’s Kingdom

Children's Book - Kensuke's Kingdom

Published: 2003
Theme: Survival
Best for: 9 and up

“Until now, except for occasional gut-wrenching pangs of homesickness and loneliness, I had by and large managed to keep my spirits up. But not anymore. My beacon stayed obstinately damp.” I was immediately struck with the clarity, simplicity, and beauty of the writing, and wondered how the tale would unfold…

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

Odd and the Frost Giants

Children's book- Odd and the Frost Giants

Published: 2009
Theme: Norse Myth
Best for: 9 to 10

“He clambered onto the bear’s back, holding his crutch with his left hand and clutching the bear’s fur with his right. The bear stood up slowly, making sure the boy was on, then set off at a fast lope…” It’s wonderful to see contemporary authors make good use of imagination and the wealth of possibilities from the Norse stories…

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

Genevieve’s War

Children's Book - Genevieve's War

Published: 2017
Theme: WWII Resistance and Courage
Best for: 9 to 12

“A few days later, I was one my way to meet Katrin for school when the German office cornered me at the end of the path. “Where’s the dog, Fraulein?” Meme and I should have decided to what to say to him…” It seems important for children to know that resistance is not just for history, or adults, but is something that even young people can participate in.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Historical Fiction

The Little Bookroom

Children's Book - Little Bookroom

Published: 1955, republished 1960
Theme: Fairy and Other Tales
Best for: 7 to 12

“The Goldfish stopped jumping, because his joy had been damped by doubt. “How can the world be more than I can see?’ he asked the Ship. ‘If I am really in the world, I ought to be able to see it all…'” Each tale in this children’s book is a literary work, complete with sometimes difficult language, almost always a moral, and something to think about…

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

Book Scavenger

Book Scavenger - Children's book

Published: 2015
Theme: Puzzles and Books
Best for: 10 to 13

“Garrison Griswold here to welcome you to the wonderful world of Book Scavenger. We are a community of book lovers, puzzle lovers, and treasure hunters. Are you, too?” This is a very well-written children’s book, which combines literary information, puzzles, and a bit of a mystery to solve…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary

Heroes and Villains

Children's book - Heroes and Villains

Published: 2016
Theme: Heroes and Villains
Best for: boys age 10 and up

“My name is Danny Daley, but no one calls me “Danny” anymore. These days, I’m know as “Stink.’ Before you laugh, let me tell you how I got that nickname, because it’s not what you might think.” Three cheers for a children’s book series called Guys Read, a fabulous way to grab the attention of middle-school boys.

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

Kepler’s Dream

Kepler's Dream - Children's book

Published: 2012
Theme: Healing Relationships
Best for: 10 and up

“I felt like I was speaking a part in some out-of-date play. Who in the world calls their grandmother “Grandmother?” But “Grandma” didn’t seem to fit.” This children’s book is about relationships – between parents, children, grandparents, and friends, showing the way that misunderstandings can create distance, and communication can create love and warmth.

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

The Fourteenth Goldfish

Children's Book - Fourteenth Goldfish

Published: 2014
Theme: Be yourself
Best for: 10 – 12

“Sometimes I wonder if I was born into the wrong family. Being onstage makes me nervous, and I’m not a fan of working backstage either.” There are two themes interwoven here: responsible science, and finding your own way…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary


Children's Book - Posted

Published: 2017
Theme: Words as Weapons
Best for: 10 and up

“It was that moment. That terrible, blood-freezing, ashy-mouthed moment when you suddenly realize that sixty eyeballs are fixed on you, deciding what to do about you, where you fit in.” Bullies, abusive words, cliques, middle school – a realistic look at what our children may face, unless we change our cultural norms and say no to bullying.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary

The Lost Island

Children's Book - The Lost Island

Published: 2006
Theme: Adventure
Best for: 11 and up

“This adventure really began on early spring morning when I was fourteen years old. I remember it all so clearly, from the moment I stepped out into the still dark yard and went to unlock the stable door.” Written like a page out of the Celtic past, the adventures of two young lads searching for their dad on a lost island is exquisitely crafted…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned


Children's Book - Threads

Published: 2016
Theme: Child Labor, Doing Good
Best for: 12 and up

“The sounds of the sewing machines that masked the constant grumbling of my belly would surely mask the sound of ripping paper. The guard now had his head tilted back, his eyes shut…” This recently-published children’s book takes on child labor directly and dramatically, and how one person can make a difference for others.

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