Great Books Guide: For 10 to 11 year olds

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone

Here's a round-up of new children's books from the last year (2020), which we think any child aged 10 to 11 years will love.

With everything from touching family dramas to thrilling adventures, and fantastic non-fiction alongside stories to make you giggle, there are loads of wonderful titles to enjoy.

Discover the full Great Books Guide

  • Pie in the Sky

    Author: Remy Lai
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Illustrated throughout, this heartfelt story contains so much: a family coping with bereavement, the alienation of moving somewhere new, and what it’s like when you can’t speak the language of the people around you. Lovely and heartfelt.

  • Patina

    Author: Jason Reynolds
    Publisher: Knights Of
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 9+

    Elite runner Patina is a girl with a lot on her plate and she takes her responsibilities very seriously. The dialogue is crisp, the characters are believable, and it's a beautiful, flawless reading experience that will hook reluctant readers (especially those into sports).

  • Some Places More Than Others

    Author: Renée Watson
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 9+

    Amara desperately wants a trip to New York for her birthday, to meet her dad’s family and see where he grew up and she can’t understand why her parents are reticent about the trip. Until she discovers her dad hasn’t spoken to his dad, Grandpa Earl, for twelve years – not since the day she was born. What could make them so mad at each other?

    For Amara, this m…

  • Max Kowalski Didn’t Mean It

    Author: Susie Day
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    When Max meets Tal and his two dads, he learns that there are lots of different ways to be a man, and that his own dad’s expectations of him at such a young age aren't fair. An utterly remarkable book about families, being a boy and coping with loss. 

  • The Girl Who Speaks Bear

    Author: Sophie Anderson
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Found in a bear cave when she was a baby and raised by her foster mother, Yanka has always wondered who she really is. Readers will be gripped by her quest to find out in this marvellous tale inspired by Russian folklore.

  • Boy Giant

    Author: Sir Michael Morpurgo
    Publisher: Harper Collins
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Under the masterful pen of Sir Michael Morpurgo, this is an easy and uncomplicated read, and the young reader certainly doesn’t need to know anything about, let alone have read, the original Gulliver’s Travels.

  • The Somerset Tsunami

    Author: Emma Carroll
    Publisher: Faber & Faber
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    This is another glorious example of historical fiction from Emma Carroll: a feisty, female-led adventure based on the real-life events of witch trials and floods in 17th-century Somerset, which also encourages girls to have faith in themselves.

  • The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone

    Author: Jaclyn Moriarty
    Publisher: Guppy Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    A wild quest sends Bronte through a magical, whimsical world. Slowly, she discovers how high the stakes are. This book really has everything: skillfully-spun plot, humour and charm, unforgettable characters and poetry in its language.

  • Hidden Planet

    Author: Ben Rothery
    Publisher: Ladybird Books
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    A self-confessed wildlife obsessive, Rothery’s book isn’t just a collection of his gorgeous illustration but rather a study of the hidden connections between species. Fascinating and beautiful.

  • The Fowl Twins

    Author: Eoin Colfer
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    The Fowl twins are completely unlike each other, but they make the perfect team when the evil ACRONYM attacks them. Readers will find a well-developed fantasy world with a plot that is full of clever, satisfying twists and turns. 

  • Orion Lost

    Author: Alastair Chisholm
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    When her spaceship is attacked and all adults incapacitated, 13 year old Beth is appointed new Captain of the Orion. It's a role she's always dreamed of, but meteor storms and ruthless space pirates await... A thrilling futuristic journey full of twists and turns, perfect for older readers.

  • Nothing Ever Happens Here

    Author: Sarah Hagger-Holt
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 10-14
    Reading age: 9+

    Nothing ever happens in Littlehaven... at least, that is, until Izzy's Dad comes out as trans. A gentle, timely and warm story about identity, friendship and standing up for what's right.

  • Music is My Life

    Author: Myles Tanzer Illustrator: Ali Mac
    Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
    Interest age: 10-14
    Reading age: 10+

    An illustrated guide to finding the soundtrack to the good, bad or sad times in your life.

  • You Must Be Layla

    Author: Yassmin Abdel-Magied
    Publisher: Penguin
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 9+

    Layla's first week at her new school isn't going well - she's the only child there to wear a Muslim headscarf, and she's already been suspended for fighting back against a bully. Can Layla win the robotics competition and prove what she's made of? This laugh out loud story is about making friends, finding your way in the world, and is a great introduction to…

  • Clean Getaway

    Author: Nic Stone
    Publisher: Knights Of
    Interest age: 10-14
    Reading age: 9+

    One day, Scoob's Grandma turns up at his house and invites him on a road trip - retracing the steps of a trip she took with his late grandpa. This is a satisfying, timeless read about a family’s history which intersects with the American civil rights movement, and reminds readers of the impact of racism and intolerance.

  • Crater Lake

    Author: Jennifer Killick
    Publisher: Firefly Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Lance and his friends aren't looking forward to the school trip to Crater Lake - for one thing, school bully Trent hasn't forgiven Lance for the incident at the start of Year Six. For another, they've just seen a man covered in blood at the side of the road warning them to run. And there's definitely something weird about their teachers... Spooky, thrilling …

  • The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates

    Author: Jenny Pearson Illustrator: Rob Biddulph
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Do miracles really happen? Freddie Yates isn’t convinced. Until the summer he goes on an unexpected journey with his two best friends.

  • TrooFriend

    Author: Kirsty Applebaum
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    When Sarah's mum buys her a TrooFriend android, she's not impressed at first - but could there be any truth to the rumours that the robots have feelings? A fascinating exploration of artificial intelligence and what makes us human.

  • Mic Drop: A High Rise Mystery

    Author: Sharna Jackson
    Publisher: Knights Of
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    The second in Sharna Jackson’s High Rise Mystery books sees Nik and Norva return with another crime to solve on their home turf. 

  • Hello, Universe

    Author: Erin Entrada Kelly
    Publisher: Piccadilly
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Virgil, or 'Turtle' for his shyness, has a crush on Valencia - the trouble is, she doesn't know he exists. After a run-in with the school bully leaves Virgil trapped in an old well, it's up to Virgil's friends to rescue him before it's too late.