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Looking for books for an 11 year old Girl reading 9-12th grade level

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Showing 1-25 of 236 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 19, 2010 10:59:44 AM PDT
Looking for book suggestions for my daughter who is reading at a 9-12th grade reading level. She is not girly, and loves adventure, animals, and fantasy stories. I need the content to be age appropriate (minimal language and no sexual situations/tension).

Has already read:
Harry Potter Series
Percy Jackson Series
Eragon Series
Warriors Series
Seekers Series
Ga'Hoole Series
Many Classics including Robinson Crusoe, Gullivers Travels, etc...
Lemony Snickets Series
Twilight - I allowed her to read the first book only

She would not finish Little House series, so nothing girly please :)

Posted on Jun 19, 2010 11:33:31 AM PDT
LeAnn Douhan says:
i love the kane series they are awesome. its not girly. its action packed, and is like the percy jackson series. first book is called The Red Pyremid.

Posted on Jun 19, 2010 12:32:23 PM PDT
MarkP says:
How about The Giver and two sequels, Artemis Fowl and sequels, Maniac Magee, and of course, A Wrinkle in Time and sequels (although the fourth book Many Waters should be screened first).

Posted on Jun 19, 2010 1:31:17 PM PDT
Wayward says:
Shannon Hale Goose Girl, Princess Academy (They sound girly. They aren't. She really needs to give the first chapter a try!)
Magyk series
Nobody's Princess

Posted on Jun 19, 2010 3:52:08 PM PDT
Thank you for all your suggestions
The Kane Series by Rick Riordan looks good. We have read all of Percy Jackson, so we know what to expect, even in another venue by this author.
The Giver - this looks interesting, but I would want to preview it first. I am not sure if she is ready for the content the reviews have stated.
The Septimus Heap Series looks interesting. I will check that one out too.
Nobody's Princess - I will have to have her read the reviews to see if she is interested.
Runemarks looks interesting, we have not read anything about Norse Mythology before.

Keep the suggestions coming - summer is just starting!!! :)

Posted on Jun 19, 2010 4:44:28 PM PDT
M. Emrich says:
The Witches Boy- Michael Gruber

Posted on Jun 19, 2010 6:02:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2010 6:03:38 PM PDT
Naomi Novik's Temeraire Vol 1-3 Box Set With Bonus Poster series would be lots of fun for her I think (lots better than Eragon), though it may have a bit too much in the way of historical attitudes - of women, of the Chinese and so on but I doubt an 11 year old will pay attention to those parts when there are fabulous dragons to think about. :) The series is basically the Napoleonic wars with dragons.
Leviathan would also be a good pick. It's a YA novel about a girl who really wants to join the air corp but only boys are allowed so she pretends to be one. It was tons of fun.
The Dark Is Rising (Boxed Set): The Dark Is Rising, Greenwitch, Over Sea, Under Stone, Silver on the Tree, The Grey King are also great books.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2010 7:23:13 PM PDT
LuvKidsBooks says:
Try The Minution Chronicles - Saving Zinitheron. It is a space adventure story, no language or other inappropriate situations. One of the main characters is a twelve year old girl. I think she would enjoy it!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2010 7:33:31 PM PDT
S. Cervantes says:
Try previous years Newbery Award winning authors:
Sharon Creech ("Love that Dog" is my favorite, deep, but sad)
Susan Cooper (the Dark is Rising series, my girls loved it)
Lois Lowry (yes, The Giver, but also Number the Stars, and others)
Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux)
Louis Sachar (Holes, Wayside School Series)

One of my favorite overlooked books (too hard for most kids) is The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster.
My girls loved The Mennyms series, by Sylvia Waugh
Of course, there's also The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (I read it at her age, but my kids couldn't get into it!)

Posted on Jun 19, 2010 8:01:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2010 8:09:49 PM PDT
You mentioned classics, so I suppose she must have read Treasure Island. If not, it's a must. Also, The Jungle Book (Unabridged Classics) is not a little kids' book--it's dark and brilliant, a great read.

Might she like science fiction? Isaac Asimov wrote several little novels that are suitable for this age: The Stars, Like Dust, The Currents of Space, and Pebble in the Sky, written in the 1950s, are as tame as the later Potter books. They're smart, fast-paced and exciting. If they have a fault it is that, like much science fiction, they are entirely plot-driven, not character-driven. Ender's Game is similar (rated PG for a little violence; book 2 of that series is great but PG-13 at least).

In fantasy, someone I know recommends The Earthsea Trilogy.

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths is great for any age (and entirely clean, in spite of the source material!), as are Great Swedish Fairy Tales (I gave those a 5-star review).

Update: I can second The Phantom Tollbooth; it's chock full of wordplay. The Hobbit, of course, goes without saying.

Posted on Jun 19, 2010 9:52:50 PM PDT
J.E. Johnson says:
Oooh, I wouldn't recommend Earthsea for her age (there is some sexual tension/content in the later books) - maybe when she is in junior high (I loved the Earthsea Cycle, but it is for the more mature audience I think). If you don't mind her reading some romance (without sex) you could try Sherwood Smith. She is one of my favorites and I highly enjoyed Crown Duel (Crown Duel / Court Duel) and The Trouble with Kings. I haven't made it to her other books yet, but I'm on my way ;). If she is looking for a more epic fantasy that's similar to Lord of the Rings, I would try C.S. Marks' Elfhunter: A Tale Of Alterra, The World That Is. Good luck!
-J.E. Johnson
The Legend of Oescienne: The Finding (Volume 1)
The Legend of Oescienne: The Beginning (Volume 2)

Posted on Jun 20, 2010 1:44:26 AM PDT
C. Clinton says:
I had similar issues with my daughter at age 9, I had to keep taking books away from her. Plus, she could read a Harry Potter length book in 4-5 days; or 3-4 regular novels a week. It felt like a full-time job finding reading material for her.

At that age, she (& I) LOVED Tamora Pierce's books-I'd hold off on the Alanna series for a while & start her with the Protector of the Small quartet,First Test (Protector of the Small) or the Circle of MagicSandry's Book (Circle of Magic, Book 1) (No. 2) books. Her Immortals books have wonderful animal interactions, but a bit of romantic tension in book 4. Female leads, but not at all girly. If you read some of the editorial reviews here on Amazon (for book 2 of the protector series) it says the main character-Kel-has a "very frank" talk about sex with her mother. It is a talk, not detailed, where Kel tells her mother she may/may not like a boy, they talk about feelings & priorities & she decides that she's in no way ready for that relationship. It is one of my favorite parts of the books, (as a parent of a girl), that Kel looks realistically at romance/sex without any details, and has bigger plans for her life. Don't let those reviews scare you away--these are truly wonderful books with a great message for girls.
My daughter also loved the Belgariad & Mallorean series by David Eddings. Again--adventures & journeys, magic & some humor. Stay away from other stuff by Eddings, though-the romance/sex level jumps up fast. (found that out the hard way in a library visit)

If she's ready for something a bit different, Diana Wynn Jones' Chrestomanci seriesThe Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume 1: Charmed Life / The Lives of Christopher Chant, Dark Lord of Derkholm Dark Lord of Derkholm& Year of the Griffon are super--especially if your girl likes the kind of humor that was throughout Harry Potter. Really, most anything by Jones is very good.

In another year, she might try Garth Nix's Abhorsen Sabriel (Abhorsen)trilogy--darker, in terms of the tone & scariness, but excellent. A very real, imaginative world with magic & music & an enchanted cat.
There is also Nix's "keys to the kingdom" series - the 7th book finally is out!! (yay) It is a different sort of adventure story.

Anything by Gail Carson Levine (like Ella Enchanted, the Two Princesses of Balmarre) is good.
Also might try:
Guardian of Honor - the Summoning Series-5 books (Robin D. Owens)
So You Want to Be a Wizard - Diane Duane (5 or 6 book series)
Abarat -Clive Barker-very original & stunning artwork.
We loved Phillip Pullman's Golden Compass/Subtle Knife/Amber Spyglass series, but I know some people are uncomfortable with the premise of it. We read it out loud together so we could discuss it. It is beautifully written & a pleasure to read aloud, and full of themes & discussion points.

Well, thats all for tonight. Good luck!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2010 3:41:24 AM PDT
Boric says:
For adventurous and not girlie, try:

Helen Lowe's "Thornspell"--it's Sleeping Beauty but from the perspective of the prince, so the focus is swashbuckling and adventurous

Neil Gaiman's The Graveyeard Book, which is both adventurous and fun but a little bit scary, too--it shouldn't be too much though if she's read Snicket, Potter etc

Suzanne collins' The Hunger Games--there's definitely romance but once again, if you were ok with twilight you /she will be fine with this book.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2010 4:15:25 AM PDT
I would recommend Carina by Patricia Kilson - it's the true story of a 14 year old girl who lived on a sailboat for three years. I was 14 when we moved on board and I'm the author.

Posted on Jun 20, 2010 4:22:19 AM PDT
He who reads says:
I think there are many books by Theodore Taylor that are fascinating. Many are for children but I find myself immersed in their story and I am a workld-wise sophisticated 66 year old. He does not condescend at all.
The Cay = a 4 million copy best seller won many awards. I think it is his best.

Posted on Jun 20, 2010 5:53:30 AM PDT
Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine both have clean, cute books suitable for her age, but they may be a bit girly. Nevertheless, I enjoyed them when I was her age, as well as many of the books on her list! Give them a try!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2010 9:10:03 AM PDT
K. McNamara says:
Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes mystery series
Hilari Bell's Farsala Trilogy (Fall of a Kingdom, Rise of A Hero, Forging the Sword)
Gerald Morris's The Squire's Tale
Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series (The Wee Free Men)
Patricia Wrede - Mairelon the Magician and Magician's Ward
Wrede & Stevermer's Sorcery and Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot.
The Hobbit
Vivian Vande Velde - Heir Apparent
Esther Friesner - Temping Fate

Posted on Jun 20, 2010 10:30:25 AM PDT
Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I will look into them all and she will have a great summer reading list!

Posted on Jun 20, 2010 10:38:34 AM PDT
Sarah Prineas' The Magic Thief series
The Magic Thief

Posted on Jun 20, 2010 2:44:07 PM PDT
Hi Tamara, my name is Gigi and i have just self published my first book of the TALON series, called: TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. it is available here by
Talon, come fly with me
It is a story about a ten-year-old handicapped girl, her rejection and denail by the local Indians where her missionary parents had to move from Australia to Peru into a remote village near the great Andes. But when she, with a great patience and a sense of adventure, befriends a pair of condors and rescues their egg and TALON hatches, everything is changing. It is her hearwarming story of adventure, courage, hope and love.
I believe you willl enjoy that great book greatly.

Posted on Jun 21, 2010 11:29:36 AM PDT
M. S. Lowe says:
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander are classics, and suit your requirements "not girly, and loves adventure, animals, and fantasy stories" exactly.

Posted on Jun 21, 2010 12:34:42 PM PDT
How about:

The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
The Narnia Books
Wyndano's Cloak

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2010 7:55:55 AM PDT
Twinkletoes says:
Try this new author, Chris Paling. His book 'The Adventures of Rumble,Tumble and Titch-Uncertain Times' contains really cute koala bear characters. The story is great and it ends with a twist. What is great is that the book is 'clean', no violence, sex or other nasties---------makes a change these days.

Posted on Jun 22, 2010 7:57:31 AM PDT
L. Kennedy says:
Lots of great ideas here for a girl who sounds much like me when I was her age! (I'm 51.) I also fell deeply in love with Sherlock Holmes around then. And TH White's King Arthur retelling, The Once and Future King; also Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Oh! Harriet the Spy! It's about a girl but is not at all girly, and it is just one of the best books ever about being a slightly bookish, quiet, "outsider" girl. All of the author's books are wonderful, but this is the best. It might feel a little "young" for her at first, but it deepens into a very moving story about growing up and changing relationships with people you love.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2010 8:48:02 AM PDT
Terrence says:
Two suggestions: The Journal of Curious Letters (The 13th Reality) and Billy: Messenger of Powers. They're both in the vein of HP, Percy Jackson, etc. Really fun reads.
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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
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Initial post:  Jun 19, 2010
Latest post:  Jun 13, 2014

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