Book Reviews For Category: Ages 9-12

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

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


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


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


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

Half Upon A Time

Children's Book: Half Upon A Time

Published: 2010
Theme: Fairy Tale adventure
Best for: 9 to 11

“It’s a Story Book. It’s actually pretty rare… My grandfather got this one when he rescued an old woman who used to ride a giant goose… The book writes down any stories you tell it…” First, the recommendation and review by a fifth-grade reader that led me to this children’s book: “I liked how funny May was.”

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

Escape from Baxter’s Barn

Children's Book - Escape from Baxter's Barn

Published: 2015
Theme: Value of Community
Best for: 9 and 10

“Burdock knew perfectly well he was strictly a barn cat. A barn cat, not a house cat, not even a sometimes-allowed-in-the-house barn cat. But Burdock loved warmth more than just about anything…” The banding together of the animals for a common cause – to save themselves from an impending fire- is the heart of this newly published children’s book.

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

Truckers – Bromeliad Trilogy 1

Bromeliad Trilogy Book 1

Published: 1998
Theme: Science Fiction
Best for: 11 and up

“Be quiet! You know the words of Arnold Bros. (est. 1905)! Everything Under One Roof. Everything! Therefore, there can be no Outside. Therefore you’re from some other part of the Store. Corsetry. Or Young Fashions…” The first children’s book in The Bromeliad Trilogy is filled with humor, puns, social commentary, and a clever plot. I admit to laughing out loud …

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

The Thief Lord

Children's Book - The Thief Lord

Published: 2000
Theme: Adventure and Fantasy
Best for: 9 and up

“A water rat scuttled away as the children felt their way along the narrow passage. It led to a canal, like so many of Venice’s alleys and passages…Someone had painted “Vietato Ingresso” in clumsy letters on the door- No entry.” Once again, I am dazzled by Cornelia Funke and her masterful way of putting characters and plot together that is memorable and exciting…

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

Ms. Rapscott’s Girls

Ms. Rapscott's Girls - Children's Book

Published: 2015
Theme: Resilience
Best for: Girls 9 and up

“This semester you will be taking a very difficult course… You will be learning all about How to Find Your Way…You will be graded on the following: pluck, enthusiasm, spirit of adventure, brilliance, and self-reliance.” The moment I saw the motto of “The Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents” I knew I’d love this children’s book. Quoting Amelia Earhart, “Adventure is worthwhile in itself,”…

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

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet

Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet- Children's Book

Published: 1954
Theme: Space Travel
Best for: boys 8 and up

“Wanted: A small space ship about eight feet long, built by a boy, or by two boys, between the ages of eight and eleven…An adventure and chance to do a good deed await the boys who build the best space ship.” In this delightful early science fiction children’s book, we are introduced to space travel, impossible in 1954, and of course, becoming quite possible only a decade later…

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

Appleblossom the Possum

Children's Book: Appleblossom the Possum

Published: 2015
Theme: Family
Best for: 7 to 9

“Appleblossom’s brothers and sisters move closer to one another as Mother Possum continues: “The first kind of monster is made of metal. They have wheels and bright eyes when they are out after dark. These eyes are blinding.” I liked the possum point of view in this recently published children’s book, that is sprinkled with enticing pencil sketches throughout…

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

The Legend of Hong Kil Dong

Children's Book - The Legend of Hong Kil Dong

Published: 2006
Theme: Historical Fiction Hero
Best for: 7 and up

“Once there was a boy who could not claim his Father. Kil Dong, as he was called, was the second son of a wealthy and powerful advisor to the king, Minister Hong. But Kil Dong’s mother was not the noble wife of the minister…” This historical fiction, beautifully illustrated ‘graphic’ novel, set in 16th century Korea, tells of the Korean Robin Hood…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup

Children's Book - Granny Torrelli

Published: 2003
Theme: Best Friends
Best for: 4th grade and up

“I did a play all by my stupid self and I was a blind woman, but it is hard to be a blind woman all by yourself, with no one to talk to but your own stupid self. It doesn’t make a very good play.” Creech’s books often address topics that no one wants to write about for children, and she does it with compassion, and in this case, a great deal of humor…

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

Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Catcher

Children's Book: Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher

Published: 1991
Theme: Deep friendship
Best for: 8 and up

“The egg shook in his hands. The dancing colors froze in place. He heard a scratching sound. Suddenly a single, sharp claw pierced the shell. The tiny talon sparkled like a jewel in the moonlight…” This particular children’s book on the theme of raising a dragon has a lovely simplicity and innocence about it…

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

Dragons at Crumbling Castle

Children's Book - Dragons a Crumbling Castle

Published: 2014
Theme: Parody
Best for: 7 and up

“To the Carpet people, the Carpet was bigger than a forest,… full of cities, towns, small villages, castles, and all sorts of tiny animals in the really thick parts that weren’t swept often…In the village of the Fallen Matchstick, the Carpet-dwellers were preparing to leave.” Here’s a glorious children’s book to discover…short stories written by renowned author Terry Pratchett when he was a teenager!

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Read-Aloud
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 your Local Bookstores
Social Media Sites
Follow Me on Pinterest
Literature for Kids