Top 10 Best Books for 11-year-olds

As kids get older, they're able to grapple with more difficult topics in books, both in fiction and non-fiction - but still get to have lots of fun, too! We have a range of different books for 11-year-olds, from enthralling stories and poignant tales, to fascinating books on coding, science, history and more.

1. A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness

This award-winning novel features an ancient monster, made up of leaves and branches, who visits 13-year-old Conor O'Malley each night at 12.07am. The monster offers to tell Conor three stories - if Conor will tell his own story afterwards. We learn that Conor's mother has cancer, Conor is bullied at school, and that he has strained relationships with his father and grandmother - but the monster has come to heal him. Friendship, love and overcoming loss are central to this poignant tale.

2. Computer Coding Collection

Carol Vorderman

This three-book collection from DK and Carol Vorderman gives kids the chance to get ahead with their programming skills in an accessible and exciting way! Supporting the National Curriculum, it explains the concept of coding and how to use it to make animations and games using the programming languages Scratch and Python. Includes a central text as well as two books focusing specifically on games and projects.

3. Holes

Louis Sachar

This brilliant book follows Stanley Yelnats, a 14-year-old boy who's sent to a juvenile detention camp. He can't believe that all he and the other boys have to do all day is dig holes - how boring! But it's not long before Stanley realises he must uncover the grave truth. Kids will have a HOLE lot of fun (sorry) reading this wonderful tale!

4. What's Happening to Me? (Boys/Girls)

Alex Frith & Susan Meredith

With separate books for boys and girls, these insightful books tell children approaching puberty all about the physiological and emotional changes they can expect in an engaging, reassuring manner. Fun and witty illustrations make this a funny and accessible guide to the changes every child will face as they grow up.

5. My Vlog Log

Frankie L. Jones

This book is a must-have for any aspiring vlogger, whether you're a beauty expert, a gaming guru or a comic genius! This book contains heaps of hints, tips and ideas, and plenty of pages to plan and organise your way to vlogging success. It also contains loads of information on famous faces like Zoella, Superwoman and PewDiePie, as well as quizzes, quotes and inspiration.

6. Tudors and Stuarts

Fiona Pratchett

This Usborne book would make a wonderful addition to any young historian's bookshelf. From bloody battles to perilous plots, brutal beheadings to the putrid plague, life in Britain under the Tudors and Stuarts could be highly exciting - or just plain awful! Discover more with this book of fascinating facts, illustrations, paintings, maps and more.

7. Lorien Legacies Series

Pittacus Lore

The adrenaline-pumping series of the Lorien Legacies stars 15-year-old John Smith, an unusual teenager who's constantly on the move, and will be hunted down if he delays too long. However, when he ends up in Paradise, Ohio, he decides it's finally time to settle down and make friends. But before long, his secret is revealed: that he was once one of nine. Three have perished - and John is next.

8. Noughts and Crosses

Malorie Blackman

The first book in a powerful trilogy, Noughts and Crosses turns social history upside-down with striking effect. Callum is white, and a mere Nought; Sephy is black, a privileged Cross and the daughter of a politician. As they grow up together, their friendship blossoms into love, but can their deep bond endure prejudice, heartbreak, loss and division? A subversive, exhilarating story, filled with unpredictable twists and turns and riddled with gripping subplots.

9. The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, this captivating story follows Liesel, avid young book-lover and determined book thief at a time when thousands of books were being destroyed. When Liesel has to help hide a Jewish boy in the basement, the power of words and books to enrich the soul is explored by both youngsters as they try to evade danger and even death. This spellbinding yet shocking story is a must for any young book-lover.

10. Bullies, Cyberbullies and Frenemies

Michelle Elliott

This heartening self-help book will benefit any child struggling with bullying or anyone who simply wants to know more about it. It answers many compelling questions, such as: Can you do anything to stop being bullied? How can you learn to make friends and respect yourself? This essential guide is hugely encouraging and informative for any child, and will help them develop their self-esteem and overcome bullies of all kinds.

  • NUX2 12 years +
    12 years +
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    Malorie Blackman's bestselling dystopian novel Noughts & Crosses launches a superb young adult fiction trilogy.

    Callum, a lowly Nought, and Sephy, a Cross and the daughter of a powerful politician, are childhood friends who eventually fall in love. Increasing animosity between the two families leads Callum and Sephy to see each other in secret. But for how long? Written alternately in the voices of Sephy and Callum, this is a powerful and perfectly paced novel with a provocative plot line to keep readers on tenterhooks.

    Suitable for those aged 12 and over, Noughts and Crosses was chosen as a World Book Night book in 2013.

    This children's book has been hand-picked for you by Red House.
  • Carol Vorderman's Computer Coding Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9780241288603
    CVCC 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £9.99
    • RRP £38.97
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    • Just £3.33 per book
    Computer coding is a hugely important skill that children will learn all about at school. This three-book collection from DK and Carol Vorderman gives them the chance to get ahead and hone their programming skills in a fun and exciting way.

    Supporting the National Curriculum, Computer Coding for Kids is a how-to guide that explains - in an accessible and visual style - the concept of coding and how to use it to make games and animations using the programming languages Scratch and Python.

    Focusing on Scratch, the Games and Projects book will help kids aged 11 and over enhance and improve their coding skills. The Games book helps them build platform games, fiendish puzzles and racing challenges, while the Projects book focuses on mind-bending animations including a snowflake simulator and spiralizer.
  • HOZ2 11 years +
    Louis Sachar
    11 years +
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    Award-winning author Louis Sachar is a terrific storyteller who always has an original and interesting perspective.

    Holes tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, whose family has a history of bad luck. Stanley's not too surprised when he's sent to a juvenile detention centre in Texas for a crime he didn't commit, but even he can't believe that all he and the other boys have to do is dig holes all day.

    Before long, Stanley realises that what he must actually uncover is the truth... Readers from 11+ who love a good story will find this totally unputdownable.
  • AOLSL 7 years +
    7 years +
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    From battles and beheadings, to plots and plague, this book tells the story of life in Britain under the Tudors and Stuarts. Full of intriguing facts, illustrations, detailed reconstructions, paintings and maps.
  • AQBTN 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £5.99
    Are there practical things you can do to stop being bullied - at home, at school and online? What are frenemies and how can you deal with them? How can you learn to make friends and respect yourself? If you're a bully, how can you change your behaviour? This essential guide will tell you what bullying is, where it happens and what you can do about it. There are tips on how to assert yourself and develop your self-esteem.
  • ARWSK 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £7.69
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    Are you a beauty blogger, a gaming guru or a king of comedy? This is the must-have book for any aspiring vlogger. Featuring top tips, hacks and ideas with plenty of pages for you to plan your path to vlogging stardom! There's loads of information about top vloggers including Zoella, Alfie, Superwoman and PewDiePie plus quizzes, quotes to colour and ideas for vlogs to film. Plan it! Log it! Vlog it!
  • MZK2 11 years +
    11 years +
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    Now a major motion picture starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, The Book Thief is a moving and breathtaking novel that young readers and adults will both be sure to devour.

    Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, the country holds its breath, waiting on the brink of war. Young Liesel's life is changed forever as she stands by her brother's grave and picks up The Gravedigger's Handbook from the snow, committing her first act of book thievery and changing her life forever... So follows her love affair with books in an increasingly dangerous time. When her foster family hide a Jewish boy in their basement her world is both opened up and shut down, but the power of words and the ability for books to feed the soul is explored and enjoyed by both youngsters.

    Superbly crafted and incredibly moving, children aged 11+ simply must read this award-winning tale which has proved to be one of the most enduring and respected of recent times.
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    The fast-paced adventure is full of sci-fi action and packed with emotion. Centred on 'Number four' - John Smith - this thrilling story tells of a teenager with a very average name who leads a far from average life.

    Moving from town to town, John was once one of nine, but now three have been killed and he soon finds that he can neither run, nor hide his secret forever! Readers of 11 and over will be gripped by this action-packed book that inspired the sequel The Power of Six.
  • MCX2 11 years +
    11 years +
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    The winner of both the Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Medal in 2012, Chaos Walking author Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about the difficult subject of terminal illness and coming to terms with loss.

    Based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, this is an unforgettable read. 'The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do...' is how the book begins, but it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. This monster is something different - something ancient and something wild.

    Now an acclaimed film starring Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson, A Monster Calls is a heartbreakingly beautiful read.
  • MEB2 8 years +
    8 years +
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    What's Happening to Me? (Boys) is a helpful and sensitive guide to growing up and gives straightforward information on the physical changes and emotional upheaval that your young son can expect as he heads towards puberty.

    Tricky topics are demystified and What's Happening to Me? is a reassuring and entertaining read for children aged from 8 and over.