Good Books for Children (9-12)

View all Best Recommendations for Kids book lists; This list was last updated on 2/19/2012
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release date: Jul 01, 2003
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The Watsons Go to Birmingham -1963
A wonderful middle-grade novel narrated by Kenny, 9, about his middle-class black family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. When Kenny's 13-year-old brother, Byron, gets to be too much trouble, they head South to Birmingham to visit Grandma, the one person who can shape him up. And they happen to be in Birmingham when Grandma's church is blown up.


From the Hardcover edition.
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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit's friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.

Elizabeth George Speare won the 1959 Newbery Medal for this portrayal of a heroine whom readers will admire for her unwavering sense of truth as well as her infinite capacity to love.

release date: Jan 01, 2006
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The Trumpet of the Swan
Contains E. B. White's classic stories Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan.

release date: Jan 01, 2008
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My Father's Dragon
This anthology is a thorough introduction to classic literature for those who have not yet experienced these literary masterworks. For those who have known and loved these works in the past, this is an invitation to reunite with old friends in a fresh new format. From Shakespeare's finesse to Oscar Wilde's wit, this unique collection brings together works as diverse and influential as The Pilgrim's Progress and Othello. As an anthology that invites readers to immerse themselves in the masterpieces of the literary giants, it is must-have addition to any library.
release date: Jan 01, 1998
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Mr. Popper's Penguins
The unexpected delivery of a large crate containing an Antarctic penguin changes the life and fortunes of Mr. Popper, a house painter obsessed by dreams of the Polar regions.
release date: Oct 09, 2001
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A Light in the Attic Book and CD

Last night while I lay thinking here
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:

Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?...

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic is now available in a special edition containing the classic hardcover book and a CD of highlights from his Grammy Award-winning album.

Here in the attic of Shel Silverstein you will find Backward Bill, Sour Face Ann, the Meehoo with an Exactlywatt, and the Polar Bear in the Frigidaire. You will talk with Broiled Face, and find out what happens when Somebody steals your knees, you get caught by the Quick-Digesting Gink, a Mountain snores, and They Put a Brassiere on the Camel.

From the creator of the beloved poetry collections Where the Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up, here is another wondrous book of poems and drawings.

release date: Jan 01, 2007
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Harriet the Spy
Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she's written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together?
release date: Jan 01, 1980
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Sideways Stories from Wayside School
There'd been a terrible mistake. Wayside School was supposed to be built with thirty classrooms all next to each other in a row. Instead, they built the classrooms one on top of the other...thirty stories tall! (The builder said he was very sorry.)
release date: Oct 01, 1995
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Dance at Grandpa's

The Little House books tell the story of a little pioneer girl and her family as they traveled by covered wagon across the Midwest. Laura Ingalls Wilder's classic books, illustrated with Garth Williams' timeless artwork, have been cherished by millions of readers ever since they were first published over sixty years ago.

release date: Dec 01, 1996
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Great Gilly Hopkins
Gilly Hopkins is a tough operator - she's super-cool and super-intelligent. And Gilly's not going to be 'had' by anyone: teacher, social worker or foster parent. All she wants is a reunion with her beautiful, long-lost mother. But just when it appears her dream might come true, things no longer seem quite so clear cut.
release date: Jan 01, 2000
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Anne of Green Gables
"She'll have to go back." Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert had decided to adopt an orphan. They wanted a nice sturdy boy to help Matthew with the farm chores. The orphanage sent a girl instead - a mischievous, talkative redhead who the Cuthberts thought would be no use at all. But as soon as Anne arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever. And the longer Anne stayed, the harder it was for anyone to imagine Green Gables without her.
release date: Jan 01, 1996
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Tuck Everlasting
Doomed to - or blessed with - eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten year old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks kidnap her and explain why living forever at one age is less than a blessing that it might seem. 'Intense and powerful, exciting and poignant, Tuck Everlasting will last forever - in the reader's imagination.' Amazon.com
release date: Oct 25, 2011
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The Phantom Tollbooth
It has been fifty years—and millions of readers—since the world was first introduced to Milo and his adventures in the Lands Beyond with Tock, the Humbug, and the captive princesses Rhyme and Reason.
Now we have a remarkable 50th anniversary edition to honor this universally adored and deeply influential novel.  This special edition will include:

   • Gorgeous packaging that features the classic original art stamped and debossed on the case with a transparent acetate jacket.
   • Brief essays from esteemed authors, educators, and artists, including Philip Pullman, Suzanne Collins, Jeanne Birdsall, Mo Willems, and several others.
   • Photos of the author and illustrator at the time of writing and today on the two-color endpapers.
   • The 35th anniversary essay by Maurice Sendak.
   • The complete text of the book.

A perfect gift for longstanding fans and lucky new readers, the 50th anniversary edition of The Phantom Tollbooth is a book to cherish.
release date: Jan 01, 2004
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The Chronicles of Narnia

An impressive hardcover volume containing all seven books of in the classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, graced by black-and-white chapter opening illustrations and featuring an essay by C. S. Lewis on writing.

Fantastic creatures, heroic deeds, epic battles in the war between good and evil, and unforgettable adventures come together in this world where magic meets reality, which has been enchanting readers of all ages for over sixty years. The Chronicles of Narnia has transcended the fantasy genre to become a part of the canon of classic literature.

This edition presents all seven books—The Magician's Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; and The Last Battle—unabridged. The books appear according to C. S. Lewis's preferred order and each chapter features a chapter opening illustration by the original artist, Pauline Baynes.

This volume also contains C. S. Lewis's essay "On Three Ways of Writing for Children."

release date: Jan 01, 1992
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The Trumpet of the Swan
FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Louis, a voiceless Trumpeter swan, finds himself far from his wilderness home when he decides to communicate by learning to play a stolen trumpet.
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Ramona the Pest
2 hours, 27 minutes
2 cassettes
Performance by Stockard Channing

Ramona's big day has finally arrived!  This is the day she starts kindergarten.  But, she certainly proves she can be the peskiest kindergartener ever.  When things get out of hand it's almost enough to make her the world's first kindergarten drop-out!
release date: Jan 01, 1998
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It's Not the End of the World
2 hours, 33 minutes
2 cassettes
Performance by the author

Peter's trials and tribulations with his little brother are "a particularly fun listen for parents and kids at bedtime." -AudioFile
release date: Jan 01, 2004
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Matilda
Poor, misunderstood Matilda fights back against an unappreciative world through a hidden talent: Matilda is the world's greatest practical joker! Little effort is needed to put one over on her obnoxious parents, but can shy little Matilda handle the formidable headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and win the respect of every kid in school? Yes!

release date: Apr 01, 2008
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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.

None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale -- the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating -- has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year's pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.

release date: Jan 01, 1990
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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
They are not like other rats. They work at night, in secret...Time is running out for Mrs Frisby. She must move her family of mice before the farmer destroys their home. But her youngest son, Timothy, is too ill to survive the move. Help comes in the unexpected form of a group of mysterious, super-intelligent rats. But the rats are in danger too, and little by little Mrs Frisby discovers their extraordinary past.
release date: Jan 01, 1994
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Number the Stars
3 CDs. 3.5 hours. 10 yeard old Annemarie Johansen can recall a time when there were no German soldiers in Denmark.
release date: Jun 01, 2008
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Stone Fox
FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. In spite of tremendous odds, a 10-year-old boy and his dog are determined to win a dogsled race and the $500 prize.
release date: Jun 01, 1978
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release date: Jan 01, 1998
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Little House in the Big Woods

The book that started it all! Little House in the Big Woods is the first book in Laura Ingalls Wilder's treasured Little House series, which was based on her life growing up as an American pioneer. This edition features Garth Williams' interior art in vibrant full color.

Told from four-year-old Laura's point of view, this story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack.

Pioneer life is sometimes hard for the family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her family celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa's fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep.

And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier history and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

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James and the Giant Peach
Roald Dahl's children's classic will be rediscovered with wonder and delight in this handsome gift edition with all-new black-and-white illustrations by Caldecott Honor Book artist Lane Smith (who also designed the characters for the Disney animated film).  How James escapes from his miserable life with two nasty aunts and becomes a hero to his new insect family, including Miss Spider, the Old-Green-Grasshopper, the Centipede (with his 21 pairs of gorgeous boots), is Dahl-icious fantasy at its best"This newly-illustrated edition of an avowed children's favorite has all the makings of a classic match-up: Milne had Shepard, Carroll had Tenniel, and now Dahl has Smith...author and illustrator were made for each other, and it's of little consequence that it took almost 35 years for them to meet" --Kirkus.  


From the Hardcover Library Binding edition.
release date: Jan 01, 2001
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The Giver
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
release date: Jan 01, 1982
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Bfg

"Well, first of all, " said the BFG, "human beans is not really believing in giants, is they? Human beans is not thinking we exist."

Sophie discovers that giants not only exist, but that there are a great many of them who like to guzzle and swallomp nice little chiddlers. But not the Big Friendly Giant. He and Sophie cook up an ingenious plot to free the world of troggle-humping -- forever.

Performed by Natasha Richardson
release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Maniac Magee
Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee might have lived a normal life if a freak accident hadn't made him an orphan. After living with his unhappy and uptight aunt and uncle for eight years, he decides to run--and not just run away, but run. This is where the myth of Maniac Magee begins, as he changes the lives of a racially divided small town with his amazing and legendary feats.
release date: Feb 08, 2010
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Island of the Blue Dolphins
In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind.

This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.
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