Great Books for Children aged 8 -12

There are many brilliant things about being an English teacher.

One of the very best has to be sharing a love of words, of books, of language.

I'm a voracious reader, and that's very much something I like to share with my students.

I currently teach two classes for English, focusing on readers in KS2.  Recently they have asked me for some suggestions on what to read next, so I made them some bookmarks full of quality reads!  In the real world I trimmed these and laminated, and gave each child a copy to have with them next time they are stuck for a read.  I thought I'd share them here in case they were of use to someone else with a bunch of bookworms!

Mrs R’s Challenge List (c. 8-10)
How many have you read?  How many can you read?
Carrie’s War – Bawden
How to Train Your Dragon – Cowell
The Tales of Despereaux - DiCamillo
Artemis Fowl – Colfer
The Borrowers – Mary Norton
The Demon Headmaster – Cross
Matilda – Dahl
A Bear Called Paddington – Bond
Swallows and Amazons – Ransome
Flour Babies – Fine
My Naughty Little Sister – Edwards
Finn Family Moomintroll – Jansson
The Adventures of Tintin – Hergé
The Queen’s Nose – King-Smith
Holes – Louis Sachar
Stig of the Dump – King
Pippi Longstocking – Lindgren
Mister Magnolia – Blake
Goodnight Mr Tom – Magorian
Little House in the Big Woods - Wilder

Mrs R’s Challenge List (c. 10-12)
How many have you read?  How many can you read?
Skellig – Almond
Wolf Brother – Paver
Millions – Frank Cotrell Boyce
Keeper – Peet
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Aiken
Eating Things on Sticks – Fine
The Witches – Dahl
Sparks – Kennen
Once – Gleitzman
Friendly Matches – Ahlberg
Journey to the River Sea – Ibbotson
Charlotte’s Web – White
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - Lewis
The Arrival – Tan
Private Peaceful – Morpurgo
The Hobbit – Tolkien
Truckers – Pratchett
The Little Prince – de Saint-Exupery
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone - Rowling
Ribblestrop - Mulligan

Note: these are not meant to be exhaustive, but are more a stepping stone in a readers' journey.  I'd say most of the titles could be enjoyed by both age groups, but a few of the books on the older list might be a little too advanced in theme and approach for younger children.

I'll be making new 'challenge lists' (my classes are competitive and love anything competitive!) next term.  Which books would you add?
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  1. This is so helpful. With a ten year old nephew who is a voracious reader I am super-keen to find out what I can get him for Christmas! Thanks!


Thank you for your comment - I do read them all but it may take me a little while (a couple of days) to respond during busy times. I love reading what you have to say!

Have a wonderful day!