10 Books (and Series) My Kids Love (Ages 9, 11)

My kids really love to read.  My daughter in particular is a voracious reader. She reads any spare moment she has. My son likes to read too and always gets his breakfast and settles in for 45 minutes to an hour with a good book. I thought I’d share some of the books and series the kids have really loved this year.

Actually this first recommendation came first from my son (11), who insisted that DD read it:  Olive’s Ocean. (affiliate link) After DD finished, she put it on my (growing!) stack of books and said that I just had to read it too.  They both found it very touching.    This is the amazon blurb:  Weeks after a tragic accident, all that is left are eerie connections between the two girls, former classmates who both kept the same secret without knowing it. Now, even while on vacation at the ocean, Martha can’t stop thinking about Olive.


Both kids also read The Giver (affiliate link) this year and really loved it. My friend who teaches middle school said it is often on their class reading list. Amazon’s description is: The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.


High on their list and highly recommended by all the kids was Crispin: The Cross of Lead. (affiliate link)  Since we were studying the Middle Ages it probably made it even more compelling for the kids, but they really loved it and insisted that we immediately get the second book in the series! It is *really* compelling and definitely gave the kids a glimpse at how hard (and scary) it was to be a serf in the middle ages!


DD’s friend recommended A Single Shard. (affiliate link) She read it a couple of months ago and really enjoyed it. It is  set in 12th century Korea.  From Amazon: Tree-ear, a 13-year-old orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated — until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself.


Another homeschooling family recommended the Ranger’s Apprentice Series. Guardians of G’Hoole is Book 1). (affiliate link)   DD absolutely *loves* that series. I started reading it as well and am enjoying it.  It is about an orphan boy who becomes an apprentice to the Ranger. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people.


My daughter is crazy about animals.  She *LOVES* the Guardians of Ga’hoole series (affiliate link)  which was recommended by another homeschooling family.  In the first book, The Capture, Soren (the main character/owl) is pushed from his family’s nest by his older brother, he is rescued from certain death on the forest floor by agents from a mysterious school for orphaned owls, St. Aggie’s. When Soren arrives at St. Aggie’s, he suspects there is more to the school than meets the eye. He and his new friend, the clever and scrappy Gylfie, find out that St. Aggie’s is actually a training camp where the school’s leader can groom young owls to help achieve her goal.


My son is in the middle of the Ember series.  The City of Ember is the First Book of Ember)  (affiliate link)     The series starts with a group of people who live in a city located below ground: The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city.

My son and I both loved the first two book. The third book slows down a lot (it’s a prequel and it was hard to figure out how it fit into the series until most of the way through the book), but the fourth book is gripping again! The City of Ember is now a movie too, though we didn’t realize that until recently.


LD also really loved the book, It’s Like This, Cat about a boy who lives in New York City. (affiliate link)


Another book the kids read ad loved this year was Island of the Blue Dolphins. (affiliate link)  It was about a girl who gets stranded on an island and has to survive on her own.


DD really loved this sweet book called The Children of Noisy Village. (affiliate link) It’s about six children who live on three adjacent farms in the countryside.


Both DD and LD couldn’t put down the entire Percy Jackson series.  DD is now reading the entire series from start to finish again. It starts with the The Lightning Thief.  (affiliate link) She was inspired to read a lot of Greek mythology books as well.  She has a particular favorite that we wound up buying, but I can’t find it at the moment.


The Boxcar Children  (affiliate link) mysteries have also been extremely popular in our house this year!!  We keep requesting more and more of the books from this series from our local library!


One other book that the kids definitely loved was another book by Avi (who wrote Crispin, above) called  Poppy  (affiliate link) about a small mouse who ventures out into Dimwood Forest.  Both kids loved it and we didn’t realize there were more books in the series. We’ll definitely get those out of the library sometime this summer!


Since it’s summer time, I thought I’d also add that the kids have really been enjoying The Dangerous Book for Boys and  The Daring Book for Girls. (affiliate links) They actually get together (one with each book) and talk about some of the things in the books together! According to Amazon, the Dangerous Book for Boys covers essential boyhood skills such as building tree houses*, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age old question of what the big deal with girls is.  The Daring Book for Girls  includes female heroes in history, secret note-passing skills, science projects, friendship bracelets, double dutch, cats cradle, the perfect cartwheel or the eternal mystery of what boys are thinking.

DangerousBook-DaringBookWarriors-1P.S.  DD is now 10 and I thought I would add in another series she *adores* at the moment!!! She has read through set after set of the Warrior series.  (affiliate link) The series starts with Warriors: The Prophesies Begin. (affiliate link) DD loved this series so much she convinced ED (8) to read it as well. Recently the girls have gone outside and decorated the driveway with complex maps and have played their own version of “Warriors” and the cat clans.  (I wish I had taken a picture of the driveway!!) Here is the description from Amazon:

Rusty, a young “kittypet” (house cat), yearns for adventure. When he’s offered the chance to join the ThunderClan, one of the gangs of feral cats in the area, he doesn’t hesitate. Renamed Firepaw, he becomes an apprentice and begins to train as a warrior. After rescuing Yellowfang, ex-medicine cat for the ShadowClan who has fled for her life, Firepaw and the other ThunderClan members find themselves in the middle of a turf war against the rival gang, led by the nefarious Brokenstar.

These are sold in boxed sets which makes them cheaper in the long run. That’s what we’ve been purchasing. This is the first boxed set of Warriors  (affiliate link):

Warriors-Boxed Set

Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

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Happy Reading!! Do you have any great book recommendations?  Let us know over at our  Homeschool Den Facebook Page! We’re always looking for new books and series!

2 Responses

  1. Anne says:

    My 9 yo loves all the Poppy books by Avi. She has also loved the Dark is Rising Series, the Wingfeather Saga series, Wonderstruck, the Invention of Hugo Cabret, and Percy Jackson series as well. My 11 yo has loved the League of Very Nearly Honorable Pirates series–funny and adventurous. I am going to wait until 8th grade for The Giver, but it is one of my very favorites. I love the other 3 books that complete the series. One of my other favorites for middle school girls is The Friendship Doll and second favorite is Flipped (7th or 8th grade). One new book that I came upon this year that I really love is Paper Things–it tackles homelessness in a way that is helpful. The characters are flawed, but both adults and the teenager + 10 yo realize what they know and don’t know–and come to admit their mistakes. There is a beautiful scene of reconciliation at the end of the book. Thanks for posting your list. I’m always looking for solid book suggestions for my house of voracious readers!!

    • homeschooldenadmin says:

      These are such great suggestions, Anne! I am in the process of ordering new books for this year and will look into the ones you mentioned. Thanks bunches! ~Liesl

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