Top 10 Best Animal Books for 11-year-olds

From heart-pounding adventures to poignant tales of courage and friendship, join your favourite animals in these exciting, moving, inspiring and funny books! Look no further for the very best animal books for 11-year-olds.

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1. Black Beauty

Anna Sewell

Black Beauty is a handsome, sweet-natured animal with a strong and courageous spirit. He lives an idyllic life in fresh green pastures with his mother, Duchess, and their kindly master. But when his owners are forced to sell him, Black Beauty goes from a tranquil life of comfort to one of hard labour and cruelty. Can he survive in the hands of men who treat animals so heartlessly? This treasured classic will captivate animal-lovers.

2. The Great Elephant Chase

Gillian Cross

The sinister, steely-eyed Hannibal Jackson will do anything to capture - and maybe even kill - a giant Indian elephant named Khush, but Tad and Cissie will do anything to protect it. They must outrun and outsmart their cunning pursuer on a wild journey across America - but how do you hide an elephant on the run?! Kids will love this thrilling and hilarious adventure.

3. Echo Come Home

Megan Rix

11-year-old Jake is starting at a new school - and he's dreading it. No-one understands how difficult he finds it to make friends. But then he meets Echo, a stray puppy, training to be a hearing dog. Jake's confidence grows and grows with Echo by his side. But then something awful happens and Jake and Echo are separated. Echo is determined to find his way home, but he has a long and dangerous road ahead. Will the pair ever be reunited? This moving story will appeal to puppy-lovers.

4. Wed Wabbit

Lissa Evans

You're nearly eleven and you're called Fidge. You've been thrust into a bizarre world where you have three companions: two seriously weird ones, and your awful cousin, Graham. You must solve a series of nearly impossible clues and deal with a cruel-hearted dictator, as well as 3000 Wimbley Woos. And everything in this strange situation - everything - is your fault. This unique and fantastically funny adventure story will have kids laughing their socks off.

5. Children's Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Encyclopedia

Douglas Palmer

Discover which animals were the first to walk on land, which dinosaur had a 24ft-long neck, and lots, lots more in this striking new encyclopedia about the most amazing creatures to have roamed the Earth. Focus pages look at dinosaur behaviour and explain why they are now extinct. This comprehensive exploration of the world of dinosaurs contains more than 1000 illustrations, and will teach young dinosaur fans everything they could ever wish to know about these extraordinary beasts.

6. Watership Down

Richard Adams

This wonderful classic, set in the stunning English countryside, is a thrilling tale of courage, adventure and survival. It follows a band of rabbits, fleeing the destruction of their home by a developer. A pair of strong-hearted brothers must try to lead the group to the safe haven of Sandleford Warren, evading danger at every turn, hoping that at the end of their journey, they'll find their mysterious promised land.

7. Horrible Science: Nasty Nature

Nick Arnold

Discover the deadliest and most disgusting beasts in this repulsive read! Find out how vampire bats slurp blood, what a singing gorilla sounds like, how to dodge a man-eating tiger, which Japanese fish dish can kill you, and so much more. With a bold, funky look, this book will inspire a love of nature in kids - no matter how nasty it is!

8. Dolphin Song

Lauren St John

An unsuspecting Martine is enjoying a cold but tranquil walk when she discovers a stranded dolphin. She uses her gift of healing to help it back to the ocean, but this is only the latest in a series of unexplained dolphin and whale beachings - and it's the start of an adrenaline-pumping adventure for Martine. Infused with a hint of magic, this enchanting novel is full of atmosphere and charm.

9. War Horse

Michael Morpurgo

In this gripping tale, a horse named Joey witnesses the deadly reality of battle from both sides of the trenches in the First World War. He will come to understand the chaotic power of war, and the boundless beauty of peace. His owner, Albert, is determined to bring his beloved horse home safely. This engrossing story is a favourite with kids, parents and teachers alike, and has been adapted for film and stage.

10. The Jungle Book

Rudyard Kipling

This much-loved adventure story was published in 1894, and has enthralled generations of children ever since. It stars man cub Mowgli as he's raised by wolves in the Indian jungle and meets amazing creatures, such as Baloo the 'sleepy brown bear', the python Kaa, black panther Bagheera and terrifying tiger Shere Khan. Discover the excitement of this captivating tale and be whisked away to the lush (but perilous) Indian jungle.

  • AIOVX 8 years +
    8 years +
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    All the animals in HORRIBLE SCIENCE: NASTY NATURE are the deadliest, most disgusting and nastiest things that nature has to offer! So only read on if you're ready to find out: how vampire bats slurp blood, what a singing gorilla sounds like, how to dodge a man-eating tiger and which Japanese fish dish can kill you. Redesigned in a bold, funky new look for the next generation of HORRIBLE SCIENCE fans.
  • JBO2 9 years +
    9 years +
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    The Jungle Book is a classic children's book that older generations will love to share with young readers.

    In it, Rudyard Kipling weaves an extraordinary tale of one child's friendship with the animals in the Indian jungle.

    The characters of Baloo the bear, Bhageera the panther and evil tiger, Shere Khan, roar off the page and will captivate the hearts and minds of young readers from 9+.
  • WHQ2 9 years +
    9 years +
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    In War Horse, award-winning children's author Michael Morpurgo allows readers to understand the horror of the First World War by recounting the experiences of a farm horse who is commandeered to join the front line.

    The unbeatable storytelling skills of Michael Morpurgo make War Horse a stunning, unputdownable tale that won't fail to move all readers from 9+. As Steven Spielberg's epic film version gained a whole new audience for this stunning piece of literature, there's never been a better time to read the book.
  • 6BLB 9 years +
    9 years +
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    Fans of Watership Down and Charlotte's Web will love this classic tale of a spirited horse, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.

    A handsome, sweet-tempered animal with a strong spirit, Black Beauty lives a life of luxury in the fresh green meadows with his beloved mother, Duchess, and their kind master. But when his owners are forced to sell him, Black Beauty goes from a life of comfort and kindness to one of hard labour and cruelty. Can Black Beauty survive in the hands of men who treat animals so cruelly?

    Winner of multiple awards and professional accolades, Black Beauty is a must-have title for every bookshelf for children aged nine and up.
  • AKHVO 9 years +
    9 years +
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    A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for over forty years, Richard Adams' spellbinding classic Watership Down is one of the best-loved novels of all time.

    Set in the beautiful English countryside of the Berkshire Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage, and survival follows a band of very special rabbits fleeing the destruction of their home by a developer. Led by a stout-hearted pair of brothers, they leave the safety of Sandleford Warren in search of a safe haven and a mysterious promised land, skirting danger at every turn.
  • AMJYL 9 years +
    9 years +
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    A giant Indian elephant. A wild journey across America. An enemy who will never stop. Tad and Cissie are on the run with Khush the elephant. Clammy-fingered, steely-eyed Hannibal Jackson will do anything to capture the animal. Maybe even kill ...Staying ahead means being faster and smarter - but how do you hide an elephant? Especially one with a mind of its own...
  • AKSGY 8 years +
    8 years +
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    Which were the first animals to walk on land? Which dinosaur had a 24ft long neck? This is a stunning new encyclopedia about the most amazing animals ever to have roamed the Earth. Including special features on the world in which the dinosaurs lived whilst also tracing the relationships between these creatures. Focus pages look at dinosaur behaviour and explain why they are now extinct. A comprehensive look at the world of dinosaurs with more than 1,000 superb illustrations, this title will teach you everything you need to know about dinosaurs and the world in which they lived in.
  • AQPGP 11 years +
    11 years +
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    'I wish I had a dog...It could be a big dog or a little one. It could be any colour or breed. Just most of all I'd like a hearing dog.' Eleven-year-old Jake is dreading his new school. No one understands how hard it is for him to make friends. But then Jake meets Echo. Echo is a stray puppy, training to be a hearing dog. With Echo by his side, Jake's confidence grows. But then something terrible happens and Jake and Echo are separated. Determined to find his way back to Jake, Echo sets out on the difficult journey home. With a long road ahead and danger all around, have Jake and Echo lost each other forever?
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    You're called Fidge and you're nearly eleven. You've been hurled into a strange world. You have three companions: two are unbelievably weird and the third is your awful cousin Graham. You have to solve a series of nearly impossible clues. You need to deal with a cruel dictator and three thousand Wimbley Woos (yes, you read that sentence correctly). And the whole situation - the whole, entire thing - is your fault. Wed Wabbit is an adventure story about friendship, danger and the terror of never being able to get back home again. And it's funny. It's seriously funny.
  • DPH2 9 years +
    9 years +
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    Martine is enjoying a cold but beautiful walk when she finds a stranded dolphin. She uses her gift of healing to help it back to the ocean, but it's only the latest in a series of inexplicable beachings of dolphins and whales, and the start of a brand new action-packed adventure for Martine. A real-life adventure with a hint of magic. Dolphin Song is told in a fresh, original voice and is filled with lots of atmosphere and charm.