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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. Collins School Dictionary

Collins Dictionaries

This dictionary will help your 11-year-olds expand their vocabulary and support their secondary school English studies. It's designed in an easy-to-follow format and will be a handy tool for homework and revision help. Created in collaboration with teachers, this dictionary holds all the words students need for their Key Stage 3 and GCSE years. 

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. I am Malala

Malala Yousafzai

The eye-opening story of Malala Yousafzai is a must-read for everyone. When Malala was just ten years old her region was taken over by the Taliban and life for her and those around her changed dramatically. The girls in her area were denied schooling but Malala was determined to get her education at all costs, even after she was shot and nearly killed on her way home from school. Now she is an inspiring activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner who shares her story to raise awareness about the girls around the world who are denied the right to education. 

5. A Wrinkle in Time

Madeleine L'Engle

If your children enjoyed the film version of A Wrinkle in Time, they're sure to love the book it was based on. Misfits, Meg and Charles, are the stars of this exciting sci-fi adventure. When Meg, Charles and their friend Calvin discover a gap in time... things are never going to be quite the same again...

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. Wonder

R.J. Palacio

Wonder is recommended reading for every 11-year-old. The story follows August, a boy just about to start middle school after years of being home-schooled by him mum. August's facial disfigurement doesn't make starting school easy but as he encounters bullies and difficulties at his new school so his resilience and bravery grows. This moving story will have you crying and laughing as you follow along with August's amazing journey. 

8. Alex Rider: Stormbreaker

Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider thought he was a normal teenager until he makes a shocking discovery about his uncle who has recently died in a car crash. His uncle, it turns out, was a spy and after his passing Alex is recruited into MI6 to start his own life of spying. This is a fast-paced action series that is sure to grab the attention of any 11-year-old!

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.

Children's books for ages 10-11

  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • Collins School Dictionary
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • Tudors and Stuarts by Fiona Pratchett
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • Alex Rider: Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Bullies, Cyberbulies and Frenemies by Michelle Elliott