12 great books for 9-year-olds

Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories

Our pick of the top 12 contemporary books for nine year olds.

  • Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet

    Author: Zanib Mian Illustrator: Nasaya Mafaridik
    Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
    Interest age: 8-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Planet Omar has all of the everyday life family drama and silly humour of Tom Gates and Sam Wu, and it's wonderful to read a funny book for kids featuring a Muslim family.

  • The Incredible Ecosystems of Planet Earth

    Author: Rachel Ignotofsky
    Publisher: Wren & Rook
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    This huge world we live in, with its infinitely varied regions, countries and communities, is – so we learn in Rachel Ignotofsky’s amazing new book – actually an interconnected series ecosystems, working together to make the best of our planet’s limited resources.

  • Football School: Where Football Explains the World

    Author: Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton Illustrator: Spike Gerrell
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 7+
    Reading age: 7+

    This book is packed with true stories, real science and fascinating facts that all relate back to football. Funny, informative, and hugely entertaining, it is recommend for fans of non-fiction books.

  • Charlie Changes into a Chicken

    Author: Sam Copeland Illustrator: Sarah Horne
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 6+

    Something strange happens to Charlie at random times for no apparent reason: he changes into animals. This book cleverly portrays ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, and provides some sound advice throughout. Brilliant and positive. 

  • The Ice Bear Miracle

    Author: Cerrie Burnell
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    As a child, Marv Jackson survived a polar bear attack on a frozen river - and when he hears about ice skater Tuesday and Promise, her skating polar bear, he's sure he knows them both from somewhere. Full of magic and snowy mystery, Cerrie Burnell's beautiful story spins legend and real life into a fairy tale of family and belonging.

  • Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure

    Author: Alex T Smith
    Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
    Interest age: 7-9
    Reading age: 7+

    With the help of Colin (a spider), Mr Penguin battles ferocious beasts and makes his way into a hidden jungle underneath the museum with exciting (and often hilarious) results.

  • Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories

    Author: Amanda Li Illustrator: Amy Blackwell designed by Kim Hankinson and Jack Clucas
    Publisher: Buster Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    A fantastic and inspiring book, sharing the stories of normal kids from across the world and their amazing achievements. After the biographical information, there are interesting suggestions for activities based on that child’s message or passion.

  • Pony on the Twelfth Floor

    Author: Polly Faber Illustrator: Sarah Jennings
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 7-11
    Reading age: 7+

    This hilarious and heart-warming chapter book combines an entertaining plot and a diverse range of characters with delightfully funny black-and-white illustrations. The cheeky antics of the mischievous pony are great fun.

  • Cyborg Cat: Rise of the Parsons Road Gang

    Author: Ade Adepitan
    Publisher: Piccadilly Press
    Interest age: 8-11
    Reading age: 8+

    This first book by Paralympian and TV presenter Ade Adepitan offers a fascinating picture of his childhood. With a light touch and plenty of wit, he recalls the influences and events that helped to shape his life and career. Entertaining, accessible and inspiring.

  • Wildspark

    Author: Vashti Hardy
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    In a world where the spirits of dead people can be harnessed and given new life in mechanical animals, Prue takes on her late brother's apprenticeship in an effort to bring him back. A riotously enjoyable tale mixing fantasy, school stories, science fiction and big questions about life and death.

  • The Colours of History

    Author: Clive Gifford Illustrator: Marc-Etienne Peintre
    Publisher: QED Publishing
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Full of fascinating facts about colour, this book focuses on a topic that is not often covered in children’s books. It offers a wide range of opportunities and new ideas for parents and schools, working across the curriculum through art, history and beyond.

  • Real-Life Mysteries

    Author: Susan Martineau Illustrator: Vicky Barker
    Publisher: b small
    Interest age: 8-13
    Reading age: 9+

    An ideal book for anyone who’s been intrigued by stories about sightings of Bigfoot, UFOs, crop circles, ghosts etc. A chance to examine the evidence and maybe solve a mystery.