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12 great books for 10-year-olds

The House With Chicken Legs

12 fantastic modern-day reads for 10 year olds.

  • Podkin One Ear

    Author: Kieran Larwood Illustrator: David Wyatt
    Publisher: Faber and Faber
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 10+

    A mysterious storyteller rolls in from the snow one night and enchants a warren of young rabbits with the tale of Podkin One Ear: the son of a chieftain who went on to become a legend. A family read that already feels like a classic.

  • The Boy at the Back of the Class

    Author: Onjali Q Raúf
    Publisher: Orion Children's Books
    Interest age: 7-11
    Reading age: 10+

    This is the story about how four classmates have a massive impact on the life of Ahmet, a boy that comes to their school as a refugee from Syria. An inspiring and sweet tale that should help children be the best they can be and realise the power of kindness.

  • The Clockwork Crow

    Author: Catherine Fisher
    Publisher: Firefly
    Interest age: 10-12
    Reading age: 10-12

    Orphan Seren Rhys has been sent to live with her mysterious Godfather after living for 12 years in an orphanage. The possibility of her first happy family Christmas seems like it might finally be within her reach.

    On her solo journey to Wales, Seren is given a mysterious package to look after by a stranger and ends up feeling obliged to take it with her. But…

  • The House With Chicken Legs

    Author: Sophie Anderson
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 10-13
    Reading age: 9+

    A story of death, magic and the afterlife told by Marinka, who is desperate not to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and wants to find her own destiny. Loosely based on the Slavic myth of Baba Yaga, this story is delightfully macabre and utterly engrossing.

  • Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

    Author: Jessica Townsend
    Publisher: Orion Children's Books
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 10+

    Born on Eventide, Morrigan Crow is a 'cursed child', blamed for every misfortune and destined to die on her eleventh birthday. But just before midnight strikes, the mysterious Jupiter North appears, offering Morrigan another choice: journey with him to Nevermore. In this magical world, she moves into Jupiter's awesome, ever-changing hotel and enters the tria…

  • Survivors

    Author: David Long Illustrator: Kerry Hyndman
    Publisher: Faber and Faber
    Interest age: 7+
    Reading age: 7+

    An anthology to inspire and help children understand how far self-belief and guts took adventurers from the past - and to wonder how far these qualities could take them too. Includes stunning illustrations.

  • The Wizards of Once

    Author: Cressida Cowell
    Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Wish is a girl from a warrior tribe and Xar is a boy from a wizard tribe, living in a world loosely based on Ancient Britain at the beginning of the Iron Age, but where magic is real. A fabulously imaginative, funny and unpredictable adventure. 

  • No Ballet Shoes in Syria

    Author: Catherine Bruton
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 8+

    Aya is a Syrian asylum seeker, looking after her mother and baby brother in the cold, unfamiliar city of Manchester – but she is also a talented ballet dancer. Children who love stories of performance and friendship will enjoy this book. 

  • Runaway Robot

    Author: Frank Cottrell-Boyce Illustrator: Steven Lenton
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Interest age: 8-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Alfie has one hand; Eric has one leg. Can a small boy and a giant, police car-crushing robot ever be friends? And do bad things in your past have to destroy your future? Hilarious, complex and hugely satisfying.

  • The Lost Diary of Sami Star

    Author: Karen McCombie
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 8-12
    Reading age: 8+

    Hannah’s parents seem to have forgotten her, preoccupied by current quarrels with her older sister. School isn’t much better – Hannah’s noticing a rift with her two so-called best friends, who seem wholly concerned with boys and whether other people are wearing the 'right' jeans. Then she finds a journal in the park. Hannah is fascinated by its creator, Sami…

  • Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties

    Author: Humza Ashad and Henry White Illustrator: Aleksei Bitskoff
    Publisher: Puffin Books
    Interest age: 10-13
    Reading age: 10+

    Humza Khan is an 11-year-old who devotes most of his energy into trying to be a cool rapper, AKA Little Badman. A perfect read for Tom Gates fans: prepare for big belly laughs and great advice on how to be yourself.

  • Danger is Everywhere

    Author: David O'Doherty Illustrator: Chris Judge
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 7+
    Reading age: 7+

    Just like this book says, danger is everywhere. Don't worry, though, because Docter Noel Zone (yes, Docter) is an experienced Dangerologist and is here to help you in this fun and very funny book.