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Next stage classics for 10 year old DD

53 replies

OlivesTree · 16/08/2021 14:54

Ten year old DD is an avid reader. Has read all of the classic children’s books that I can think of e.g. the penguin books list of must read children’s books.

She really loves the classic stories like the Swallows and Amazons series, Anne of Green Gables, A little Princess, etc. so I am looking for suggestions for where she should go next.

I think she is still a bit young for Bronte, Austen etc. but I’m not sure what we should be looking at to fill the gap until she is mature enough for those titles.

I’d be grateful for suggestions that are appropriate for a strong (old fashioned!) reader of her age or any more obscure children’s classics that we may have overlooked.

She does also enjoy modern stories, but we have no trouble filling her reading list with those. 🙂


OP posts:
ChessieFL · 16/08/2021 16:32

My DD is 11 and has just been reading What Katy Did and the sequels, I think 10 is a perfect age to read them particularly the later ones where the children in the books are a bit older.

ChessieFL · 16/08/2021 16:33

If she liked Goodnight Mr Tom, try Back Home by the same author. She’s written a few others as well which are also good.

LeafyGreen333 · 16/08/2021 16:34


Thank you for the suggestions everyone! There’s quite a few that are new to me that I will definitely look into.

She has read -
the Dark Materials trilogy,
The Hobbit & FOTR
Everything on your list *@UserStillatLarge* apart from three, including the Dark is Rising books, so will definitely check out those.
Little House on Prairie Series
Railway Children & 5 Children, but not the other E Nesbitt's, so will add those to the list.
Also Little Women but I didn’t know there were more in the series!

*@LeafyGreen333 & @ChessieFL* I
We haven’t read Just William & What Katy did, but thought they were for younger readers?

*@viques* She loves history, so we will look into those. Thanks.

*@PhantomErik* these sound right up her street!

Goodnight Mr Tom is one of my all time favourites. Reading that together was a special moment.

Definitely not ready for anything sexual, she is actually only nine, but approaching 10, just with a higher reading level.

Thanks again everyone. This is just what I was looking for.

Regarding the Just William books - they are based on the adventures of a young boy (he is supposed to be around 11) but the language and the humour is quite complex. I'm sure I was a pre-teen when I first read them but I revisited them again and again through my teenage years. Just pure joy to read!
BlueChampagne · 16/08/2021 16:38

A Little White Horse
Children of the New Forest

Seeline · 16/08/2021 16:40

The Little White Horse
A Traveller in Time

DoraChance · 16/08/2021 16:46

A Stitch in Time

DoraChance · 16/08/2021 16:48

And also Hilary McKay - The Skylarks War and The Swallows' Flight are fabulous. Written recently but with that classic feel.

CaptainCallisto · 16/08/2021 16:51

The Gauntlet by Ronald Welch

It is a brilliant book. It was written in the 50's and is about a boy who ends up in medieval Wales. It massively spurred on my love of history!

CaptainCallisto · 16/08/2021 16:53

Not a classic (though definitely a modern classic) but Witch Child & Sorceress by Celia Rees are fabulous historical novels which 10 year old DS1 (also an avid reader) has just loved

OlivesTree · 16/08/2021 17:00

Thank you @LeafyGreen333 & @ChessieFL Katy & William are on the list!

I know this sounds like a really obvious place to start, but we have only recently started using the library. We were a bit rubbish in the past at getting things back on time and finding the right books, but on rediscovering since lockdown it has been amazing. They seem to have had a huge influx of new books that haven’t been borrowed yet as they’ve been closed. She’s has been flying through some fantastic new titles. I will now be able to arm her with a great list of classics to source on her next visit. Smile

OP posts:
TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross · 16/08/2021 17:03

The Little White Horse is my absolute favourite.

The William stories are wonderful and really quite sophisticated in their writing and their humour.

Look for The Good Master and the sequel The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy. Set in Hungary during WW2 - something a bit different.

Has she read My Friend Flicka?

The Children of Green Knowe is the first in a great series.

What about Macolm Saville's Lone Pine adventures, set in Shropshire? And I LOVED Monica Edwards pony stories, set in Hastings and Rye, beginning with Wish For a Pony.

SallyMcNally · 16/08/2021 17:23

Eva Ibbotson has some lovely books for this age range

Some of the romance ones are perhaps aimed more at the 11-14 rather than 9-11 bracket but they are perfect age appropriate if she likes a historical romance. I read The Secrets of platform 13 as a child and it always stayed with me although I didn't know the author. Then a friend lent me some of her other books and I went back a read the whole catalogue. Really well written books that should be better known than they are.

I'd also second Noel Streatfields Ballet shoes etc. I really loved those at that age.

AnotherAardvark · 16/08/2021 17:36

I don’t think anyone’s yet mentioned Dodie Smith? I loved both 101 Dalmatians (quite different from the Disney version) and I Capture the Castle, and she wrote several others too.

UserStillatLarge · 16/08/2021 18:14

Not sure they count as classics but Diana Wynne Jones was one of my favourite authors when I was around your daugher's age.

HotSauceCommittee · 16/08/2021 18:47

The Greek myths by Ann Turnbull:
Don't let the cheap price belie the absolute beauty of the book and it's beautiful illustrations.
What about the real Grimms Fairy Tales?

bonbonours · 16/08/2021 18:50

My dd loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books at that age. I'm about to read goodnight mr Tom with my just turned 11 year old. Has she read the railway children? Christmas Carol or Oliver?

bonbonours · 16/08/2021 18:52

Also not a classic exactly but When Hitler stole pink rabbit by Judith Kerr is great. Mine loved it at that age.

lots33 · 16/08/2021 18:58

Tim kennemore ( who is a woman) wrote a number of great books in the early 80s - the fortunate few and changing times among them. Not in print but available second hand.

Lois Duncan supernatural books.

Lois Lowry, The Giver

Elizabeth Laird - Kiss the Dust and Red Sky in the Morning

Judith Kerr - When Hitler stole pink rabbit.

Anne frank?

parietal · 16/08/2021 19:00

Has anyone said the Borrowers? there are lots in that series

Also Inkheart & sequels

and Podkin-one-ear and sequels

Bergmum · 16/08/2021 19:13

There are prequels to Anne of Green Gables as well as sequels.

Little Lord Fauntleroy was a favourite of mine and I absolutely loved all the Noel Streatfield books in particular ballet shoes and white boots.

Another one I enjoyed was The greatest store in the world

JenniferAllisonPhillipaSue · 16/08/2021 19:40

I think that was the age where I started reading historical novels (Victoria Holt, Jean Plaidy). Does anybody read those any more?

EnidSpyton · 16/08/2021 20:11

The Mennyms books by Sylvia Waugh are wonderful - it always makes me sad that hardly anyone has heard of them! They came out in the 90s and were my favourites as a child. They're about a family of rag dolls (human-sized) who have to live hidden away from the world - they explore what it is to be different, to be isolated, etc., but there's also much joy and beauty in them. One of the most poignant threads in the books is the story of the teenage daughter, who knows she can never grow up - there's so much to enjoy and I can't recommend them highly enough. Lovely writing and sophisticated storytelling but nothing inappropriate for a 9/10 year old.

Lots of people have mentioned Elizabeth Goudge - another writer who's not read much now, but The Little White Horse is wonderful for your dd's age group.

Noel Streatfeild's books are wonderful - away from the Shoes series, I really love The Painted Garden.

E Nesbit wrote much more than Five Children and It and The Railway Children - there's some great books in her back catalogue such as the Treasure Seekers stories and The Enchanted Castle.

Others from my own childhood I can think of are Moondial by Helen Cresswell, Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe by Penelope Lively, The Summer of Lily and Esme by John Quinn, A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L'Engle...

More modern books to try are Peter Bunzl's steampunk Cogheart series and anything by Lauren Wolk, whose books are so well written. Emma Carroll's historical fiction is also fantastic - Letters to the Lighthouse, Strange Star, etc. Geraldine McCaughrean is wonderful, too - Where the World Ends and The Middle of Nowhere are her most recent novels, and they're brilliant. Anthea Simmons' Lightning Mary, about Mary Anning, is also very good.

I'm a secondary school English teacher, so I'm giving you recommendations around the level of a Year 7 aged reader - it sounds like your dd is quite advanced, so all of these should be fine.

Hope some of those appeal!


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timtam23 · 07/09/2021 00:03

Vary late to this - but I would suggest Alison Uttley - A Traveller in Time and also The Country Child. A modern series of books which reads as more old-fashioned is the Clockwork Sparrow series (Sinclair's Mysteries) by Katherine Woodfine

QueenHofScotland · 07/09/2021 00:07

Have not read the replies - DD loved the chronicles of narnia.

Not sure if you would consider them to be classics but she is also just making her way through the original babysitters club books too. These are easy readers

QueenHofScotland · 07/09/2021 00:09

And a modern one that we LOVED - The Boy at the Back of the Class

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