My feed

to access all these features

Parenting a preteen can be a minefield. Find support here.


Book recs for 11 yo

28 replies

MyFriendsCallMeOh · 16/02/2016 01:07

Dd1 loves reading but she's grown out of the kids section at our local bookstore and having spent some time looking at the teens section, there seems to be a huge amount of angsty stuff that she's not ready for. Does anyone have any recommendations of books or authors suitable for an advanced 11 yo reader?

OP posts:
Roygrace · 17/02/2016 06:47

My 10 year old has just finished the curious incident and is starting on twilight then game of thrones.

voodoolooloo · 17/02/2016 07:42

Game of thrones?! Bloody hell I found that hard going at my age!
Just turned 11 DD is alternating between Little Woman and Anne of Green Gables.
I'm in a similar position to you. She's read all the usual 'kids' books but isn't quite ready for the teen angst.
Hungry games wasn't too bad but she's seen the film and knew what was coming.

cdtaylornats · 17/02/2016 09:33

Has she read the Artemis Fowl books, or his Airman series.
The Dr. Doolitle books are fun

If she wants a bit more adult then the James Heriot books or Gerald Durrell "My Family and Other Animals"

The Hobbit is a good intro to Lord of the Rings

If she likes puns then Piers Anthony "A Spell for Chameleon"

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne · 18/02/2016 13:21

Have you read Game of Thrones Roy - there are lots of gang rapes and grusome murders and mutilations of children quite graphically described - its really, really not something I would want my 10 year old reading.

I know censoring books is controversial, but good readers generally visualise what they read and imagine what is happening next etc. Reading about that stuff will get under her skin and play on her mind more, perhaps, than even watching it on TV would... (unless of course she simply doesn't understand what she is reading, but there is a lot of brutal non consentual sex plus consentual incest and a lot of deliberate maiming and mutilation...)

I haven't watched the TV adaption of GOT but scenes from the books still play on my mind uncomfortably and I gave up before the final book because it was just too unpleasant - the pre teen and todder boys murdered and burned to death and hung from the battlements of a castle, the multiple young serving girls hung (to death) from a tree for having slept with soldiers from the opposing army, the serving girl gang raped to death in front of her father...

I'm only detailing all that because I assume you can't have read it yourself and are assuming it is a bit tamer!

redhat · 18/02/2016 13:28

I really wouldn't allow GOT Roy. It's way too graphic for a 10 year old. There are tons of things a 10/11 year old can enjoy

Secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flammel series
Mortal Engines series
Kane Chronicles/Percy jackson etc
Artemis Fowl
City of Ember series
Tripods series
The invention of Hugo Cabret
Weirdstone of brisingamen series
His dark materials series (northern lights etc - but these are quite sophisticated)
The Never-ending story
A letter for the king
The Divide series

DS1 never stops reading.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne · 18/02/2016 13:32

My 10 yo is enjoying Paul Shipton's 'The Pig Scrolls' atm having read Bug Muldoon in German at school, but I wouldn't say she's an especially advanced reader, don't know if that would be suitable or not. I think he is classed as a "young adult" author but his books are nothing like The Hunger Games etc - not angsty, no sex or graphically described violence, so in that way far tamer but still very entertaining.

What about things like Skellig by David Almond? It is quite a challenging read without such adult themes... although it depends what your child likes of course.

worriedmumred · 18/02/2016 18:50

My 11 yr old has just finished Jurassic park (my original copy) Grin

LadyIsabellaWrotham · 18/02/2016 18:56

I second all of redhat's suggestions, also the YA Terry Pratchetts (except I shall wear Midnight) and Fly By Night/Twilight Robbery.

randomsellotape · 18/02/2016 22:07

My DD liked Beswitched by Kate Saunders, about a girl off to boarding school in the 21st century who finds herself transported back to boarding school in 1935.

Roygrace · 19/02/2016 00:59

No I haven't read and just assumed it was ok.

Just changed my mind!!

Just started twilight. Is that ok?

redhat · 19/02/2016 08:14

I think Twilight is too old for a 10 year old but its not graphic in the way that GOT or (to a lesser extent) Hunger Games is.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne · 19/02/2016 09:59

I haven't read the Twighlight series (because romances don't appeal to me at all) but as far as I understand from other people and reviews they are probably more like the stuff our generation (OK mine, I'm quite old) were reading semi-secretly and giggling over at 11 or 12. Aren't they basically Mills and Boon but with vampires?

I think the problem is that the stuff our parents would have somewhat disapproved of but let us read (because they hadn't read it themselves or didn't want to censor) 30 years ago, is now the stuff parents are actively offering their kids to read, and there seems to be a lot more really brutal, graphic, violent non stuff out there.

Flowers in the Attic and Stephen King were probably the most unsuitable books being read by my peers when I was a young teen (and definitely not when I was 10) some of the books that are very popular with older teens now really, really aren't suitable for pre-teens no matter how advanced their reading ages!

Seeline · 19/02/2016 10:06

My 11yo read the Dark Materials trilogy and really enjoyed those. She is going to try the first of the Sally Lockhart books by the same author.
She is reading Malory Blackman - Noughts and Crosses at the moment and loving that.
She read Skellig for school so I think because she 'had' to read it didn't enjoy it that much.
It is hard finding stuff suitable for the good readers of that age group I think - loads of stuff more aimed for the boys, but the girls stuff seems to have more adult themes. That said she read the Alex Rider stuff, and some of the Young James Bond, but didn't really get into them.
She has read some of the 'classics' - Ballet Shoes, Secret Garden etc which I think quite well as the vocab is more advanced than modern books, but they can be quite heavy going.

redhat · 19/02/2016 10:10

His Dark Materials is IMO the best in its genre. It is just a fantastic series for adults and older children (plus younger children (DS2 - 8 loved the first two books) but on a different level where they probably don't read as much into it). However be aware that it is very anti organised religion and this might offend some.

tumpymummy · 24/02/2016 11:41

I cant believe my mother let me read Flowers in the Attic! she obviously didn't realise what it was about!

My daughter (now 11) read the St Clare's series last summer by Enid Blyton. She hasn't engaged with any other Enid Blyton, (which is a shame as I still have the complete famous Five series!) but enjoyed this.
Will def. look at the Beswitched suggestion above, thankyou!

Geek Girl was also a book my reluctant reader liked!

The Now, Then, Gone series were popular with both my kids (boy and girl) around Year 6.

It's really hard picking books that aren't too babyish, but not ready for books like Twilight yet.

NellyTheElephant · 25/02/2016 22:10

I agree with all redhat's suggestions (my 11 yr old DD has read all those except Mortal Engines and Hugo Cabet, which I am now off to look up) but I would absolutely veto GOT at this stage (even though I read many inappropriate books aged 11, I would definitely not volunteer that to my 11 yr old DD). I think that Twilight probably fine though, (I have them and on reflection might give those to my DD - they really are v innocent!) also my DD read Hunger Games last year at aged 10 (which I had pre read myself and actually really enjoyed) and they remain her absolute favourite set of books EVER (with much weeping and puffy eyes re Prim). I'm just trawling through the rather unpleasant Bunker Diaries at the moment as DD is desperate to read it but her school library won't let her have it (as too young). I'm as yet undecided as to whether I will capitulate. Another book denied to DD in the library, but which she loved was the Knife of Never Letting Go (not my cup of tea, but she enjoyed it), and she has just bought (with birthday book tokens) 'Slated' and 'Divergent' (... dystopian future theme anyone....??), which is why I quite like the idea of her reading the Twilight books - teen angst and romance seem positively old fashioned (even with vampires) in comparison to that pile of junk.

NellyTheElephant · 25/02/2016 22:11

Oh, and she also loved 'Flame in the Mist' (by Kit Grindstaff)

pixZie78 · 26/02/2016 10:00

Meg Rossoff, David Almond, Rebecca Stead, John Green?
They all have age appropriate books, some maybe not so much.. great authors.
Loved 'Wonder' - anyone know of any others like this?

redhat · 26/02/2016 10:05

I'd be a little bit careful with the Gone series. They're quite gruesome and violent. They're in the same vein as Hunger Games and Maze Runner.

I find violence towards children more upsetting than violence towards adults and have therefore put these series aside for a year or so for DS1 (we have all of them in the house but he's not quite ready even though he would gobble them up).

bigbadbarry · 26/02/2016 10:06

I wouldn't allow game of thrones. But I am ridiculously overprotective because I also wouldn't allow twilight.
My DD, also 11, loves Percy Jackson, Divergent, Hunger Games, just read and enjoyed the Lie Tree. Still loves Harry Potter and the northern lights. Loved loved loved the stravaganza series and the cat Royal books, and recently enjoyed the dark is rising.

redhat · 26/02/2016 10:08

pix There's another in the Wonder Series - Auggie and Me

tumpymummy · 26/02/2016 13:54

Loved loved loved the stravaganza series and the cat Royal books, and recently enjoyed the dark is rising.

Brilliant, thankyou. Have never heard of these and just looked them up. Look perfect for my daughter who has just discovered she loves history (mainly due to a fantastic history teacher at her new school). We have also been enjoying the Dickens series on television as a family so am going to look out for these books for her. Thanks!

bigbadbarry · 26/02/2016 14:36

The summer before she started high school they (the school) sent a list of recommended reading - they didn't expect them to read them all but wanted them to read at least one and write a review. Both Cat Royal and Stravaganza were in that list. (My daughter being my daughter, she read the lot apart from Watership Down. Which I agree is a tough read for an 11 year old.)

annandale · 26/02/2016 14:41

Ursula le guin? Worth a try.

Walkingonsunshine00 · 28/02/2016 16:01

Dd loved the babysitter club, Malory towers, st Claire's etc at that age

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.