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Our favourite poetry books (older children)

Let’s Celebrate! Festival poems from around the world

Check out our favourite poetry books for older children aged 9-12.

Poetry can be great to broaden reading horizons, as well as truly engaging for reluctant readers. Here are some poetry books your child is sure to love and want to read out loud. 

Check out our list for 5-8s

Check out our list for teens

  • Heartbeat

    Author: Sharon Creech

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Heartbeat

    Author: Sharon Creech

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 8+

    Annie loves drawing, running barefoot, her family, and possibly Max, her running partner. It’s an eventful time for the 12-y…

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  • Sensational!

    Author: Various Editor: Roger McGough Illustrator: Sara Fanelli

    Interest level: 7+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Sensational!

    Author: Various Editor: Roger McGough Illustrator: Sara Fanelli

    Interest level: 7+

    Reading age: 8+

    Every poem could inspire a child's writing, reading or thinking, and their teachers' too.

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  • Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

    Author: Maya Angelou Illustrator: Jean-Michel Basquiat Editor: Sara Jane Boyers

    Interest level: 7-12

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

    Author: Maya Angelou Illustrator: Jean-Michel Basquiat Editor: Sara Jane Boyers

    Interest level: 7-12

    Reading age: 9+

    Maya Angelou’s seminal poem Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, about the courage inside us all (whatever age our age), is matched for …

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  • Pumpkin Grumpkin

    Author: Various Editor: John Agard and Grace Nichols Illustrator: Satoshi Kitamura

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Pumpkin Grumpkin

    Author: Various Editor: John Agard and Grace Nichols Illustrator: Satoshi Kitamura

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    Amusing and bemusing poetry from around the globe. John Agard and Grace Nichols have assembled a bunch of silly poems in this new …

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  • A Little Aloud for Children

    Author: Angela Macmillan (Editor:) Foreword by Michael Morpurgo

    Interest level: 6+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • A Little Aloud for Children

    Author: Angela Macmillan (Editor:) Foreword by Michael Morpurgo

    Interest level: 6+

    Reading age: 9+

    Ideal for classroom use as well as bedtime reading, this is a delightfully varied and enjoyable collection.

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  • A Kid in my Class

    Author: Rachel Rooney Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 9+

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  • A Kid in my Class

    Author: Rachel Rooney Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 9+

    This brilliant and imaginatively illustrated book is the perfect addition to any classroom library; a book of clever poems picking…

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  • Red, Cherry Red

    Author: Jackie Kay

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Red, Cherry Red

    Author: Jackie Kay

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 11+

    Truthful, soulful and witty poems in this collection explore a theme of identity. Who are we? What reveals us? Is our identity bou…

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  • I am a Poetato

    Author: John Hegley

    Interest level: 7-12

    Reading age: 8

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  • I am a Poetato

    Author: John Hegley

    Interest level: 7-12

    Reading age: 8

    This collection of poetry is arranged in A to Z order. It includes funny, touching, fascinating and totally original poems from th…

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  • Can it be About Me?

    Author: Cheryl Moskowitz Illustrator: Ros Asquith

    Interest level: 6+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Can it be About Me?

    Author: Cheryl Moskowitz Illustrator: Ros Asquith

    Interest level: 6+

    Reading age: 8+

    Exploring life in and out of the classroom, the poems in this collection explore everything from spelling tests to best friends, t…

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  • My Mum’s Growing Down

    Author: Laura Dockrill Illustrator: David Tazzyman

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 7-11

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  • My Mum’s Growing Down

    Author: Laura Dockrill Illustrator: David Tazzyman

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 7-11

    What do you do if your mum loves nothing better than complaining in restaurants and calling museum guards fruit bats? What if she …

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  • What Are We Fighting For?

    Author: Brian Moses and Roger Stevens

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • What Are We Fighting For?

    Author: Brian Moses and Roger Stevens

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 9+

    Starting from 1914, this new collection of poems explores individual as well as universal experiences of life, love, death and ber…

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  • Chicken on the Roof

    Author: Matt Goodfellow Illustrator: Hannah Asen

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Chicken on the Roof

    Author: Matt Goodfellow Illustrator: Hannah Asen

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

    If you need an excuse to stay in bed or had one of those days when everything seems to go wrong, Matt Goodfellow knows exactly how…

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  • Poetry for a Change

    Author: Various

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9-12

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  • Poetry for a Change

    Author: Various

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9-12

    This is the first-ever official National Poetry Day anthology, and it's a truly brilliant book for children to get stuck into all …

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  • Green Glass Beads

    Author: Various Editor: Jacqueline Wilson

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Green Glass Beads

    Author: Various Editor: Jacqueline Wilson

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    An eclectic collection of poetry that mixes old and contemporary, funny and deadly serious poems

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