Book Reviews For Category: Ages 9-12

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

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day

Children's book - Ms Bixby's Last Day

Published: 2016
Theme: Nurturing Relationships
Best for: 9 to 12

“There are six kinds of teachers in the world. I know because we classified them once during indoor recess…The last kind we simply call the Good Ones…the ones who you don’t want to disappoint.” A beautiful, heart-warming story of three middle-school boys and their relationship to one very extraordinary teacher, who is about to leave them.

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

I Dissent – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Illustrated Children's Book - I Dissent

Published: 2016
Theme: Biography, Equality
Best for: 6 and up

“Boys were expected to grow up, go out in the world, and do big things. Girls? Girls were expected to find husbands.” This very appealing illustrated children’s book is perfect because it can spark important family conversations about justice…

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

The Poet’s Dog

Children's Book - Poet's Dog

Published: 2016
Theme: Children, Poets, and Dogs
Best for: 7 to 10

“I’m a dog. I should tell you that right away. But I grew up with words. A poet named Sylvan found me at the shelter and took me home. He laid down a red rug for me by the fire…” Prepare to have your heart strings plucked by master storyteller MacLachlan, as a dog and two children comfort each other.

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

His Majesty, Queen Hatshepsut

Historical Fiction Children's Book

Published: 1987
Theme: Historical Fiction
Best for: 9 – 12

“The title ‘Joint Reign’ is a foolishment and emphasizes what I have always contended: that men are more fortunate than women. Joint reign! It is I who inspects, examines, weighs and wrings her brain …” Coming on the heels of an historic election, it is interesting to go back in history and understand more about the obstacles women faced hundreds of years ago.

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

Sita’s Ramayana

Sita's Ramayana for Children

Published: 2011
Theme: Graphic Novel- Ramayana
Best for: 9 and up

“War, in some ways, is merciful to men. It makes them heroes if they are the victors. If they are vanquished, they do not live to see their homes taken, their wives widowed. But if you are a woman, you must live through defeat…” No matter how you categorize this children’s book, it is a wonderful addition to the re-telling of the Ramayana, from Sita’s point of view.

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

The Best Man

Children's Book - The Best Man

Published: 2016
Theme: Middle-school life
Best for: 11 and up

“We all need goals,” he said. “Here’s one: Stay away from people who don’t know who they are but want you to be just like them. People who’ll want to label you. People who’ll try to write their fears on your face.” This terrific, humorous middle-school story covers bullying, teachers, cliques, change, parental divorce, and gender identity, just to name a few…

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

Talking Leaves

Historical Fiction Children's Book - Talking Leaves

Published: 2016
Theme: Historical Fiction Biography
Best for: 9 to 12

“He passes the hammer to me, and I heft it in my hands. It fits my palm perfectly, and it feels good…It seems to be speaking to me, begging to be used, ready to be of service.” So many themes in one book – father/son, developing a written language, Native American struggle. Yet it all holds together beautifully.

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

Red – The True Story of Red Riding Hood

Children's Book - Red

Published: 2016
Theme: Coming of Age Fairytale
Best for: 9 to 12 girls

“The first time I tried my hand at magic, I grew roses out of my nose. This was not my intention… Magic is unpredictable, finicky, and dangerous, especially in the wrong hands.” This children’s book is best thought of as a modern-day Grimm’s fairytale. It has all the elements of Grimm stories, including the grim part…

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

A Week Without Tuesday

Children's Book - A Week Without Tuesday

Published: 2016
Theme: Imagination
Best for: 8 to 10

“Inside the world of humans is the world of imagination, and the only way you can get there is through the door of your mind.” In this very imaginative children’s book, the second in a series, we journey with the main character, a young girl, into the world where stories live…

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

Finding Serendipity

Children's Book- Finding Serendipity

Published: 2013
Theme: Power of Imagination
Best for: 8 to 12

“The power of the imagination is a magnificent thing. Here, whatever you can imagine, you can make real.” If you ever wished to have a children’s book which is fun yet compelling page-turner, this is good place to start…

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

A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic

Children's Book - Tale of Highly Unusual Magic

Published: 2015
Theme: Mystery
Best for: Girls 9 – 12

“Leila breathed in the heavy scent of masala, nicked with the sharp undercurrent of gobi and war my oily parathas. She knew most of the dishes on her plate, and was determined to try everything…” The best part of this children’s book is the ending, where the resolution unfolds so skillfully, that only then did I realize the mystery … .

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

A Dragon’s Guide to Making Your Human Smarter

Children's book - Dragon's Guide to Making your Human Smarter

Published: 2016
Theme: Self-confidence, Dragons
Best for: 8 to 12

“It was Vasilisa’s doll that did all the cleaning, dusting and laundry at night while Vasilisa slept in her room here. A couple of times, I tried to stay up long enough to catch the doll at it…” Dolls that clean houses, a dragon that lives in the basement, and a school for humans and magicals… a perfect recipe for delight.

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

Ghost Hawk

Historical Fiction Children's Book: Ghost Hawk

Published: 2013
Theme: Injustice
Best for: 11 and up

“To make a tomahawk for your son, you needed the stone blade, and the wooden shaft, and time. In my father’s day, there was still time…” I couldn’t put this historical fiction book down. From start to sad ending, the trauma of the battle for land in early America is a compelling read…

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

Smith of Wootton Major

Children's book- Smith of Wootton Major

Published: 1967
Theme: Faery
Best for: 7 – 10

“There was a village once, not very long ago for those with long memories, not very far away for those with long legs. Wootton Major it was called because it was larger than Wootton Minor…” A truly magical yet profound tale of the skeptic world and those who ‘do believe in fairies’…

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

Tales from the Perilous Realm

Tolkien Children's Book- Tales from the Perilous Realm

Published: 2008
Theme: Tolkien Fantasy
Best for: 7 and up

“Faerie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold…” This collection of shorter stories by Tolkien has something for all ages, including adults who love Tolkien’s fantasy worlds.

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

Roverandom

Children's Book - Roverandom

Published: 1998
Theme: Fantasy
Best for 8 and up

“Not every old man with ragged trousers is a bad old man: … a few, a very few, are wizards prowling round on a holiday looking for something to do. This one was a wizard, the one that now walked into the story.” Early on, Tolkien crafted several short novellas out of stories that he made up for his own children, and Roverandom is one of them.

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

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

Jeremy Fink- Children's Book

Published: 2011
Theme: Meaning of Life
Best for: 11 to 13

“After five years, he has sent me a message with one instruction, to open this box on my thirteenth birthday. Somehow, no matter how impossible it might seem, I am going to do exactly that.” If you want an uplifting, somewhat philosophical children’s book, for a child who is wondering about the meaning of life, this is it…

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

Saving the Griffin

Children's Book - Saving the Griffin

Published: 2007
Theme: Imagination
Best for: 9-11

“With a pleased yowl, the griffin chased after the ball again, catching it a few feet from Kate and Michael. Then it came forward and laid the ball at Kate’s feet like a cat presenting a dead mouse..” There’s a real gentleness about this children’s book that actually doesn’t need additional drama or hype…

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

Wonder

Children's Book: Wonder

Published: 2012
Theme: Accepting Differences
Best for: 11 and up

“I’m kind of used to how I look by now. I know how to pretend I don’t see the faces people make. We’ve all gotten pretty good at that sort of thing: me, Mom and Dad, Via. Actually, I take that back: Via’s not so good at it.” Let’s get right to the heart of the matter: this is a stunning, daring, heart-opening children’s book.

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

Will Sparrow’s Road

Will Sparrow's Road - Historical Fiction Children's Book

Published: 2012
Theme: Coming of Age
Best for: 11 and up

“Will Sparrow was a liar and a thief, and hungry, so when he saw the chance to steal a cold rabbit pie from the inn’s kitchen and blame it on the dog, he took it – both the chance and the pie…” First and foremost, this is a beautifully written piece of children’s historical fiction literature. The fact that the story and characters are interesting as well is icing on the cake..

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

Listening for Lions

Historical Fiction for Children: Listening for Lions

Published: 2005
Theme: Power of Kindness
Best for: 11 and up

“Africa was hurrying by as if someone were turning the pages of a book too quickly. I was miserable at what I was leaving behind. Even the railway itself has a sad story…I felt my own future would be no better.” This historical fiction for children is full of unexpected turns, and dramatic turnabouts, from living in Africa to exile to England.

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

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail

Children's Book - Mouse with Question Mark Tail

Published: 2013
Theme: Pluck
Best for: 8 to 10

“Every time a human walks out of a room, something with more feet walks in. Mice, of course, who are only a whisker away. It’s true of the room where you are sitting. It’s truer still of Buckingham Palace.” This lovely tongue-in-cheek children’s book will definitely bring smiles to readers, especially those who can grasp some of the satire.

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

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics

Children's Book: Mr. Lemoncello's library olympics

Published: 2016
Theme: Freedom of Literary Speech
Best for: 8 and up

“The hover ladders were floating platforms with handrails, book baskets, and ski-boot safety locks that allowed you to float up and retrieve any book simply by entering the book’s call number into a keypad.” The reason I found this particular children’s book compelling is that it offers a very strong message about the importance of books, libraries, and freedom of press.

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

The Dragon of Lonely Island

Children's Book - Dragon of Lonely Island

Published: 1998
Theme: Gentleness and Bravery
Best for: 6 to 10

“‘A tridrake,’ the dragon repeated. ‘A three-headed dragon.’ Only then did the children notice that the dragon had two other necks, branching off on either side of the first neck, and two other heads… both sound asleep.” This book reads like an old fashioned tale, as each head of the dragon tells of an earlier encounter with a child who trusted and helped the dragon.

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

The Master Puppeteer

Children's Book - Master Puppeteer

Published: 1975
Theme: Loyalties
Best for: 6th grade

“Of all the stupid things he had ever done, this was the worst by any measure. He had completely humiliated his kind father in front of Yoshida – the man upon whom all their livelihood depended.” This compelling children’s book has so much going for it that the best advice is to read it. In fact, that’s what the sixth grade class does in our Waldorf school, and I hope parents read along.

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

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Children's Book

Published: 2015
Theme: Raising Chickens
Best for: 9 and up

“Mom says she has no intention of ever being a farmer, even though she knows how to drive a tractor and prune grapes.. But if I’m going to live on a farm, I guess I might as well be a farmer…”This is a totally lovable book, and a very likable heroine, who is trying her best to learn all about chickens, one chicken at a time.

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

Will in Scarlet

Children's Book: Will in Scarlett

Published: 2013
Theme: Robin Hood
Best for: 10 and up

“Killing wolves is supposed to teach me to be a great lord of men? Aren’t there any books on the subject?” This children’s book is full of action. While it’s not written as a historical fiction, it gives a good view of the class disparity, and why one would rob the rich and give to the poor.

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary, Historical Fiction

Crenshaw

Children's Book - Crenshaw

Published: 2015
Theme: Homelessness
Best for: 9 and up

“Robin asked what is a keepsake. My mom said it’s an object you treasure. Then she said things don’t really matter, as long as we have each other.”The most interesting part of this children’s book is that it allows us to see that perhaps homeless people are just the same as you and me, but having a very difficult financial time.

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

All The Answers

Children's Book - All The Answers

Published: 2015
Theme: Overcoming Worry
Best for: 9 and up

“The pencil didn’t look magic. It looked the opposite of magic. It was the kind of pencil a parent might bring home from some boring financial-planning convention.” This very clever and heart-warming children’s book offers a novel approach to knowing the future… a pencil which can answer any factual question.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary

Backyard Witch: Sadie’s Story

Children's Book - Sadie's Story

Published: 2015
Theme: Self-confidence
Best for: girls 8 to 10

“Sadie imagined Jess and Maya calling from the road and asking what she was up to. ‘Oh Nothing much. Just doing magic with a friend. Nobody you know.'” With a little imagination, and the help from the Backyard Witch, “a most magical and mysterious visitor, who always appears just when you need her,” Sadie’s summer, and her own sense of self-worth is transformed.

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