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Books for reluctant readers (older children)

Wonder Boy

There's a book out there for every child, even the most reluctant of readers. Try a few of the books below to see if they click with your child and help them love reading.

There's fiction, non-fiction, rhyme and laugh-out-loud moments! Let us know which one works for your 9-12 year old.

See our list for 5-8s

See our list for teens

  • Danger is Everywhere

    Author: David O'Doherty Illustrator: Chris Judge

    Interest level: 7+

    Reading age: 7+

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  • Danger is Everywhere

    Author: David O'Doherty Illustrator: Chris Judge

    Interest level: 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 Dang…

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  • Peace Maker

    Author: Malorie Blackman Illustrator: Matthew Griffin

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Peace Maker

    Author: Malorie Blackman Illustrator: Matthew Griffin

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 8+

    In Michela's world, aggression is forbidden - but sometimes fighting is the only way to keep the peace. This is a well-paced and i…

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  • Flesh and Blood

    Author: Chris Priestley

    Interest level: 10-13

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Flesh and Blood

    Author: Chris Priestley

    Interest level: 10-13

    Reading age: 8+

    Bill thinks his wish for a brother has come true when his family takes in a boy injured during a World War Two air raid - but is h…

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  • Blue Moon Day

    Author: Anne Fine

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Blue Moon Day

    Author: Anne Fine

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 8+

    Covering an interesting and varied mix of situations, these enjoyable school stories are a satisfying read, with particular appeal…

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  • Going Batty

    Author: John Agard Illustrator: Michael Broad

    Interest level: 8-12

    Reading age: 7+

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  • Going Batty

    Author: John Agard Illustrator: Michael Broad

    Interest level: 8-12

    Reading age: 7+

    Dyslexia-friendly, super-readable, illustrated story about a girl whose school project (and a hidden colony in the attic) makes he…

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  • Smart About Sharks

    Author: Owen Davey

    Interest level: 4-12

    Reading age: 7+

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  • Smart About Sharks

    Author: Owen Davey

    Interest level: 4-12

    Reading age: 7+

    Presenting an ever-popular topic, this fantastic, high quality illustrated book is fascinating and attractive.

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  • Mind Writer

    Author: Steve Cole Illustrator: Nelson Evergreen

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Mind Writer

    Author: Steve Cole Illustrator: Nelson Evergreen

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 8+

    Luke has a secret, a hidden skill: he can read minds. But when Luke meets Samira, he can't read her mind at all. A gripping thrill…

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  • An Eagle in the Snow

    Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • An Eagle in the Snow

    Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    Stuck on a train, a boy listens to a stranger’s story about one moment that could have stopped World War II. A thought-provoking s…

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  • Hilda and the Troll

    Author: Luke Pearson

    Interest level: 6+

    Reading age: 7+

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  • Hilda and the Troll

    Author: Luke Pearson

    Interest level: 6+

    Reading age: 7+

    Blue-haired explorer Hilda has an uncanny ability to find weird and wonderful adventures and befriend peculiar creatures.

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  • The Funny Life of Pets

    Author: James Campbell Illustrator: Rob Jones

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • The Funny Life of Pets

    Author: James Campbell Illustrator: Rob Jones

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

    Is it fiction or non-fiction? You decide! This highly interactive book mixes together real and made-up facts about pets, with hila…

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  • Mega Robo Bros

    Author: Neill Cameron

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Mega Robo Bros

    Author: Neill Cameron

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 9+

    Brothers always find something to fight about. Alex and Freddy are no different - even though they're also the most powerful robot…

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  • My Magical Life

    Author: Zach King Illustrator: Beverly Acre

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 7-9

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  • My Magical Life

    Author: Zach King Illustrator: Beverly Acre

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 7-9

    Eleven-year-old Zach King comes from a magical family, but has yet to unlock his own powers. Fast-paced and funny, this chapt…

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  • Wonder Boy

    Author: Nicole Burstein

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Wonder Boy

    Author: Nicole Burstein

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    Joseph 'Wilco' Wilkes is the biggest loser at the posh private school he attends on a scholarship. However, his life is about to g…

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