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Books for a picky 11 year old girl

(24 Posts)
clemetteattlee Mon 04-Apr-16 08:05:44

Any recommendations would be gratefully received!
I am struggling to find books for my daughter who loves to read but has very narrow tastes.
At 11 she likes books set in the present day which are about groups of friends winning against the odds (football teams, dancers, pop stars etc) She also likes the Geek Girl series and things like Nancy Drew. She has dipped into the First Class Murder series but isn't hooked.
What she doesn't like: anything magical/dystopian, anything about death or family breakdown, anything historical.
She is getting too mature for the children's section at the library but the YA section is full of the above or books about older teenagers in relationships which I'm not sure she's ready for yet.
So I'm a bit stuck and need help if anyone can offer it?
Thanks in advance.

MattDillonsPants Mon 04-Apr-16 10:16:55

There is a big old hole in the market in my opinion for girls of this age. I have a DD of 11 who is also not ready for teen romance and probably wouldn't want it even if she was!

She has always loved Enid Blyton...maybe your DD might enjoy Malory Towers and all that? They're all about close groups of friends aren't they? No romance either!

I wonder why there's such a gap? We need good, wholesome stories for girls who're not into magic, vampires or that sort of stuff.

There's always E Nesbit mind you... Loads of hers are just lovely but some of them are a bit weird. Noel Streatfield might be better....Ballet Shoes for Anna...

And what about When Marnie was's a bit on the ghosty side but it's very well written.

clemetteattlee Mon 04-Apr-16 15:11:00

Thank you - I think you're so right about the gap in the market.
She has read Mallory Towers and enjoyed it. She started Ballet Shoes but didn't engage with it at all. She doesn't reject all classics - she enjoyed Little House on the Prairie and Little Women and Anne of Green Gables but does prefer contemporary fiction.
And of course she is prone to the lure of YouTube so I'm pretty keen to find something to fire her up!

clemetteattlee Mon 04-Apr-16 15:12:11

I don't know the Marnie book but will definitely give that a go.

NinjaHippy Mon 04-Apr-16 17:04:52

My daughter likes the Hetty Feather books, Opal Plumstead, and other Jacqueline Wilson books, the Hunger Games, Scandalous Sisterhood, and the Wind Singer series.

madamehooch Mon 04-Apr-16 20:26:56

Try her on the Secret Hen House Theatre by Helen Peters

clemetteattlee Mon 04-Apr-16 21:01:35

Lol NinjaHippy that is pretty much a list of books she has rejected for the reasons listed above (although she did enjoy the Scandalous Sisterhood.)

clemetteattlee Mon 04-Apr-16 21:02:23

Madamehooch that does look promising. Thank you.

MattDillonsPants Tue 05-Apr-16 00:06:09

Ooh and Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse...that's good.

squidgyapple Tue 05-Apr-16 12:40:14

Has she tried any Ali Sparkes? May dd who is quite a fussy reader likes these - Carjacked, Destination Earth, Frozen in Time - some are a bit sci-fi, but not heavily so and they are quite funny in places.

FATEdestiny Tue 05-Apr-16 12:47:17

My 11 yo DD is enjoying the Dork Diaries series

clemetteattlee Wed 06-Apr-16 14:10:20

Thanks all - I have requested these from the library and hope I spark her interest again.

schmalex Thu 07-Apr-16 06:48:41

Has she read books by Cathy Cassidy?

Saffy's Angel, etc by Hilary McKay also might fit the bill.

Sadik Sat 09-Apr-16 16:28:04

I know they're not exactly modern day (written in the 1970s), but might she like the Gemma series by Noel Streatfield (about a girl who has been a child star & ends up living with a 'normal' family in London, then over the course of the series becomes a pop star).

thanksamillion Sat 09-Apr-16 16:44:50

My 11yo is currently enjoying the Princess Diaries but I think they veer into teen romance. I'm looking at the Trebizon boarding school series that I read and like but I think I was about 13 so need to check them out.

TheDropBear Sun 10-Apr-16 19:37:18

I started reading princess diaries at 11, wasn't even into teen romance stuff but got hooked on Meg Cabot thanks to them. Thanksamillion when she's done with that series I recommend the mediator series, it's the same author and my favourite of her young adult stuff. Just not the last book in either series. New books got released this year but they're adult books set several years on.

That is quite a hard list, most of the stuff for her age group seems to be dystopian right now. Would she like spy stuff? Maybe the Alex Rider series? (Stormbreaker, Point Blanc etc). She might like Carl Hiaasen (Hoot, Scat, Chomp) his books definitely have a beating the odds theme. Maybe Holes by Louis Sachar, that was really popular. Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson? It's set in the early 19th century but it doesn't feel that historical.

MattDillonsPants Mon 11-Apr-16 00:25:20

Oh and what about the wonderful Judy Bloome? If she's not interested in the themes of Are you There God it's me Margaret, she wrote other great books such as Flubber. And there's the wonderful book The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine. Anne Fine's books are great.

clemetteattlee Tue 12-Apr-16 09:38:51

Wow- thanks for more replies!

As for the suggestions above she has read (and loves) Cathy Cassidy and all the Judy Blumes (haven't dug out my copy of Forever for her though!) I think she has read Princess Diaries but possibly a few years ago (is it suitable for younger??)

Trebizon was my obsession at her age so I might try that.
They are doing Holes as SATs preparation and she is enjoying that too.

Off to add Hilary McKay and the Gemma series to her library list!

Thanks again xx

emmaMBC Tue 19-Apr-16 11:15:43

Dreaming the Bear by Mimi Thebo who is a fantastic writer.

Cowgirl is a brilliant one set in Wales.

I'd second the earlier suggestion for Secret Hen House Theatre, really well written feel good novel. There's a follow-up to it too. Farm Beneath the Water which is equally as brilliant. Same characters in a race against time to stop their town being flooded to build a reservoir for the ruthless water company. Brilliant!

chillycurtains Tue 19-Apr-16 11:20:45

Try Linda Chapman as an author. She has a bakery series which is about a girl and her friends. The bakery bit is because her mum owns a bakery.

Also try Karen McCombie. She has loads published at the moment and many are aimed roughly at 11yr olds.

chillycurtains Tue 19-Apr-16 11:22:16

Best Friends Bakery by Linda Chapman. I remembered the title!!

chillycurtains Tue 19-Apr-16 11:23:15

101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith and the sequel Starlight Barking are good classics for her age too. Fantastic writing too.

Enb76 Tue 19-Apr-16 11:34:00

Alan Garner's Owl Service, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen,
Paul Gallico's Jenny, The Snow Goose,
Richard Church's The Cave (if you can find it)
Buster Lloyd -Jones The Animals Came in One by One
Also, she's 11 - that's around the age I started in on Agatha Christie, Terry Pratchett, etc... if she's a reasonable reader then there's nothing now that she can't read, it's a question of peaking her interest and that may no longer be children's books. I'd second the Carl Hiaasen, he's a good writer and funny. Be aware that he writes for adults too and though most of them would be fine for an 11 year old not all of them are.

LauraChant Tue 19-Apr-16 11:43:11

I used to like the Sadlers Wells series by Lorna Hill - Veronica at The Wells etc

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