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Best Books for 12-14 year olds

Looking for JJ

In 2015, we put together a list of the 100 best books for children from the last 100 years.

The books below are ones suitable for children and teens aged 12-14.

Interested in seeing all 100 books across the different age groups?

See our best books for other age groups

  • How I Live Now

    Author: Meg Rosoff

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • How I Live Now

    Author: Meg Rosoff

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    Fifteen-year-old New Yorker Daisy is sent to England to spend a summer with her unconventional cousins

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  • Looking for JJ

    Author: Anne Cassidy

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Looking for JJ

    Author: Anne Cassidy

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    When a 10-year-old girl kills her best friend, she is convicted of manslaughter and locked away. Seven years later she is released…

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  • I Capture the Castle

    Author: Dodie Smith

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • I Capture the Castle

    Author: Dodie Smith

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    17-year-old Cassandra lives an eccentric existence with her bohemian family in a crumbling castle in the English countryside, in t…

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  • Mortal Engines

    Author: Philip Reeve

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Mortal Engines

    Author: Philip Reeve

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

    London is on the move again: the traction city trawls the world on wheels, capturing and eating smaller towns.

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  • Northern Lights

    Author: Philip Pullman

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Northern Lights

    Author: Philip Pullman

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    This extraordinary fantasy is the first book in Philip Pullman's multi-award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy

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  • Coram Boy

    Author: Jamila Gavin

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Coram Boy

    Author: Jamila Gavin

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Coram Boy is the story of Toby, saved from an African ship as a child, and Aaron, the illegitimate son of the heir to a great esta…

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  • Noughts and Crosses

    Author: Malorie Blackman

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Noughts and Crosses

    Author: Malorie Blackman

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Callum is a Nought but his best friend Sephy is a Cross - the daughter of one of the most influential politicians in the country.

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  • The Graveyard Book

    Author: Neil Gaiman Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • The Graveyard Book

    Author: Neil Gaiman Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

    After his family are killed, Bod is brought up in a graveyard by ghosts.

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  • The Hunger Games

    Author: Suzanne Colins

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • The Hunger Games

    Author: Suzanne Colins

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    Welcome to Panem: its Capitol repressively rules twelve satellite Districts, enslaving the populations as workers and controlling …

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  • Revolver

    Author: Marcus Sedgwick

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Revolver

    Author: Marcus Sedgwick

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 11+

    'They say dead men tell no tales, but they're wrong. Even the dead tell stories.'

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  • The Kite Rider

    Author: Geraldine McCaughrean

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • The Kite Rider

    Author: Geraldine McCaughrean

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

    Haoyou feels powerless when the man responsible for his father's death demands to marry his mother. Determined to support her hims…

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  • Stormbreaker

    Author: Anthony Horowitz

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Stormbreaker

    Author: Anthony Horowitz

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

    Fourteen-year-old Alex Rider finds his life turned upside down on discovering that his late uncle wasn't a mild-mannered banker, b…

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  • Junk

    Author: Melvin Burgess

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

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  • Junk

    Author: Melvin Burgess

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

    Tar loves Gemma, but Gemma doesn't want to be tied down to anyone or anything. Gemma wants to fly - but she can't fly forever...

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  • Maggot Moon

    Author: Sally Gardner

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Maggot Moon

    Author: Sally Gardner

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 11+

    Combining conspiracy theory and dystopia, this hugely original novel is set in an alternate 1950s in which Britain is dominated by…

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  • The Owl Service

    Author: Alan Garner

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • The Owl Service

    Author: Alan Garner

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    When Alison finds a curious dinner service in the attic, the discovery sets off a strange chain of events that look set to affect …

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  • Watership Down

    Author: Richard Adams

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Watership Down

    Author: Richard Adams

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 11+

    Young rabbit Fiver is convinced that a great evil is about to befall the warren where he lives - but no one will listen to him.

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  • Forever

    Author: Judy Blume

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Forever

    Author: Judy Blume

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    Seventeen-year-old Katherine meets Michael at a party. The two of them like each other immediately, and soon fall in love - but ar…

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  • The Ruby in the Smoke

    Author: Philip Pullman

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • The Ruby in the Smoke

    Author: Philip Pullman

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Determined to discover the truth about her father's tragic death, Sally Lockhart is plunged into a dangerous and terrifying advent…

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