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Best Books for 9-11 Year-Olds, Part 3

It’s not fair! You never let me do anything!

Sound familiar?

If so, you probably have a 9-11 year-old living in your house. This stage is a time of transitions and learning, of trying out those wings and testing boundaries. Great books can expand your tween’s way of thinking, transporting your budding boy to an alternate universe, or introducing your growing girl to characters who have the same questions and issues she may face. You may not be her BFF, but your child will appreciate you being available to answer questions about the changes this age will bring.

And remember, your Richland Library staff is always happy to help from volunteer opportunities, book clubs or more books in that series he loves, we’re here to help you and your family.


Amazon Says: Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain more...
Amazon Says: Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service. less...
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Amazon Says: Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kep beds, and s more...
Amazon Says: Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kep beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches. Here, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone, and this beautifully written novel is her story. It is a romantic adventure filled with drama and heartache, for not only was mere subsistence on so desolate a spot a near miracle, but Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that had killed her younger brother, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply. More than this, it is an adventure of the spirit that will haunt the reader long after the book has been put down. Karana's quiet courage, her Indian self-reliance and acceptance of fate, transform what to many would have been a devastating ordeal into an uplifting experience. From loneliness and terror come strength and serenity in this Newbery Medal-winning classic. less...
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Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Amazon Says: The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that has captivated over 1 million readers now also includes the bestselling short story The Julian Chapter. I won't describ more...
Amazon Says: The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that has captivated over 1 million readers now also includes the bestselling short story The Julian Chapter. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. "Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder less...
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The Flint Heart by Katherine Paterson
Amazon Says: A robust and wildly entertaining fairy tale, freely abridged from Eden Phillpotts's 1910 fantasy and wryly retold by Katherine and John Paterson. An ambitious Stone more...
Amazon Says: A robust and wildly entertaining fairy tale, freely abridged from Eden Phillpotts's 1910 fantasy and wryly retold by Katherine and John Paterson. An ambitious Stone Age man demands a talisman that will harden his heart, allowing him to take control of his tribe. Against his better judgment, the tribe's magic man creates the Flint Heart, but the cruelty of it causes the destruction of the tribe. Thousands of years later, the talisman reemerges to corrupt a kindly farmer, an innocent fairy creature, and a familial badger. Can Charles and his sister Unity, who have consulted with fairies such as the mysterious Zagabog, wisest creature in the universe, find a way to rescue humans, fairies, and animals alike from the dark influence of the Flint Heart? This humorous, hearty, utterly delightful fairy tale is the sort for an entire family to savor together or an adventurous youngster to devour. less...
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Amazon Says: This Newbery Honor Winner and National Book Award Finalist is an unforgettable modern classic and features the debut of the larger-than-life Grandma Dowdel   W more...
Amazon Says: This Newbery Honor Winner and National Book Award Finalist is an unforgettable modern classic and features the debut of the larger-than-life Grandma Dowdel   What happens when Joey and his sister, Mary Alice—two city slickers from Chicago—make their annual summer visits to Grandma Dowdel's seemingly sleepy Illinois town? August 1929: They see their first corpse, and he isn't resting easy. August 1930: The Cowgill boys terrorize the town, and Grandma fights back. August 1931: Joey and Mary Alice help Grandma trespass, poach, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry—all in one day.   And there's more, as Joey and Mary Alice make seven summer trips to Grandma's—each one funnier than the year before—in self-contained chapters that readers can enjoy as short stories or take together for a rip-roaringly good novel. In the tradition of American humorists from Mark Twain to Flannery O'Connor, popular author Richard Peck has created a memorable world filled with characters who, like Grandma herself, are larger than life and twice as entertaining.      Newbery Honor Winner National Book Award Finalist ALA Best Book for Young Adults ALA Notable Book New York Times Best Seller   “A rollicking celebration of an eccentric grandmother and childhood memories.”—School Library Journal (starred review)   “A novel that skillfully captures the nuances of small-town life […] Remarkable and fine.”—Kirkus (starred review)   “Fresh, warm and anything but ordinary.”—Publishers Weekly less...
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Amazon Says: Play with your words! A brand new poetic form that turns word puzzles into poetry.  Part anagram, part rebus, part riddle--these poems capture a scene from a child's daily li more...
Amazon Says: Play with your words! A brand new poetic form that turns word puzzles into poetry.  Part anagram, part rebus, part riddle--these poems capture a scene from a child's daily life and present a puzzle to solve. Sometimes sweet and sometimes funny, but always clever, these poems are fun to read and even more fun for kids to write. Bob Raczka is a fresh, new voice in children's poetry who knows that fun and games can turn a poetry lesson into lemonade! less...
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May B. by Caroline Starr Rose
Amazon Says: I've known it since last night: It's been too long to expect them to return. Something's happened. "If May is a brave, stubborn fighter, the short, free-verse lines are one more...
Amazon Says: I've known it since last night: It's been too long to expect them to return. Something's happened. "If May is a brave, stubborn fighter, the short, free-verse lines are one-two punches in this Laura Ingalls Wilder-inspired ode to the human spirit," raved Kirkus Reviews in a starred review. May is helping out on a neighbor's Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it's hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May's memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she's determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose's fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love. less...
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The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan
Amazon Says: A breathtaking illustrated novel from Pura Belpre Award winner, Pam Ryan, and MacArthur fellow and three-time Caldecott Honoree, Peter Sis! From the time he is a young boy, N more...
Amazon Says: A breathtaking illustrated novel from Pura Belpre Award winner, Pam Ryan, and MacArthur fellow and three-time Caldecott Honoree, Peter Sis! From the time he is a young boy, Neftalí hears the call of a mysterious voice. Even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself, Neftalí knows he cannot ignore the call. Under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, he listens and he follows. . . Combining elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and sensorial, transporting illustrations, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination. less...
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Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Amazon Says: From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force. Playing with the form he created in his more...
Amazon Says: From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force. Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey. Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary. less...
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Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli
Amazon Says: Welcome to Hokey Pokey. A place and a time, when childhood is at its best: games to play, bikes to ride, experiences to be had. There are no adults in Hokey Pokey, just kids, more...
Amazon Says: Welcome to Hokey Pokey. A place and a time, when childhood is at its best: games to play, bikes to ride, experiences to be had. There are no adults in Hokey Pokey, just kids, and the laws governing Hokey Pokey are simple and finite. But when one of the biggest kids, Jack, has his beloved bike stolen—and by a girl, no less—his entire world, and the world of Hokey Pokey, turns to chaos. Without his bike, Jack feels like everything has started to go wrong. He feels different, not like himself, and he knows something is about to change. And even more troubling he alone hears a faint train whistle. But that's impossible: every kid knows there no trains in Hokey Pokey, only tracks. Master storyteller Jerry Spinelli has written a dizzingly inventive fable of growing up and letting go, of leaving childhood and its imagination play behind for the more dazzling adventures of adolescence, and of learning to accept not only the sunny part of day, but the unwelcome arrival of night, as well.   less...
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Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Amazon Says: The instant New York Times bestseller from the author of the Newbery Medal book When You Reach Me: a story about spies, games, and friendship. Seventh grader Georges moves int more...
Amazon Says: The instant New York Times bestseller from the author of the Newbery Medal book When You Reach Me: a story about spies, games, and friendship. Seventh grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets Safer, a twelve-year-old self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: what is a lie, and what is a game? How far is too far to go for your only friend? Like the dazzling When You Reach Me, Liar & Spy will keep readers guessing until the end. Praise for Liar & Spy   • Guardian Prize for Children's Fiction (UK)    • Texas’ 2014-2015 Bluebonnet Master List    • A Junior Library Guild Selection     • A New York Times Bestseller    • An Indie Bestseller    • Kirkus Reviews starred review    • Publishers Weekly starred review    • The Horn Book starred review    • School Library Journal starred review    • The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books starred review    • Autumn 2012 Kids’ Indie Next List    • Nominated for the Best Fiction for Young Adults 2013    • Kirkus Reviews Best of Children’s Books 2012 List    • Publishers Weekly Best of Children’s Fiction 2012    • School Library Journal Best of Children’s Fiction 2012 List    • The Horn Book’s Best of 2012 List    • Barnes & Noble Best Books of 2012 for Kids List    • Amazon’s Best of the Year, Middle Grade (#3)    • A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2012    • Holiday gift guides: Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times    • NPR Outstanding “Backseat” Reads for Ages 9-14, NPR’s Backseat Book Club    • One of The Atlantic Wire’s 25 favorite middle grade and young adult book covers of 2012    • The Wall Street Journal’s Best Children’s Books of 2012    • The Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2012    • The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 2012 Blue Ribbons List From the Hardcover edition. less...
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A Faraway Island by Annika Thor
Amazon Says: Two Jewish sisters leave Austria during WWII/Holocaust and find refuge in Sweden. It's the summer of 1939. Two Jewish sisters from Vienna—12-year-old Stephie Steiner and 8- more...
Amazon Says: Two Jewish sisters leave Austria during WWII/Holocaust and find refuge in Sweden. It's the summer of 1939. Two Jewish sisters from Vienna—12-year-old Stephie Steiner and 8-year-old Nellie—are sent to Sweden to escape the Nazis. They expect to stay there six months, until their parents can flee to Amsterdam; then all four will go to America. But as the world war intensifies, the girls remain, each with her own host family, on a rugged island off the western coast of Sweden. Nellie quickly settles in to her new surroundings. She’s happy with her foster family and soon favors the Swedish language over her native German. Not so for Stephie, who finds it hard to adapt; she feels stranded at the end of the world, with a foster mother who’s as cold and unforgiving as the island itself. Her main worry, though, is her parents—and whether she will ever see them again. From the Hardcover edition. less...
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Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
Amazon Says: Newbery honor winner, New York Times bestseller, Edgar Award Finalist, and E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor book. A hilarious Southern debut with the kind of charact more...
Amazon Says: Newbery honor winner, New York Times bestseller, Edgar Award Finalist, and E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor book. A hilarious Southern debut with the kind of characters you meet once in a lifetime Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she's been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her "upstream mother," she's found a home with the Colonel--a café owner with a forgotten past of his own--and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known. Full of wisdom, humor, and grit, this timeless yarn will melt the heart of even the sternest Yankee. less...
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The Frog Scientist by Pamela S. Turner
Amazon Says: The critically acclaimed Scientist in the Field book about how one boy’s interest in backyard science inspired a career in scientific discovery. When Tyrone Hayes was growin more...
Amazon Says: The critically acclaimed Scientist in the Field book about how one boy’s interest in backyard science inspired a career in scientific discovery. When Tyrone Hayes was growing up in South Carolina, he didn’t worry about pesticides. He just liked to collect frogs. Tyrone’s interest in science led him to Harvard University, and though he struggled at first, he found his calling in the research lab of an amphibian scientist. Meanwhile, scientists discovered that all around the globe, frogs were dying. The decline has many causes, including habitat loss and disease. Tyrone discovered that the most commonly used pesticide in the United States, atrazine, may also play a role. Tyrone tested atrazine on frogs in his lab at Berkeley. He found that the chemical caused some of the male frogs to develop into bizarre half-male, half-female frogs. What was going on? That’s what Tyrone wants to find out. less...
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One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Amazon Says: In this Newbery Honor novel, New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mot more...
Amazon Says: In this Newbery Honor novel, New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them.Eleven-year-old Delphine is like a mother to her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. She's had to be, ever since their mother, Cecile, left them seven years ago for a radical new life in California. When they arrive from Brooklyn to spend the summer with her, Cecile is nothing like they imagined. While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, their mother sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.This moving, funny novel won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction and the Coretta Scott King Award and was a National Book Award Finalist.Readers who enjoy Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go to Birmingham will find much to love in One Crazy Summer. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern's story continues in P.S. Be Eleven.Supports the Common Core State Standards less...
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Amazon Says: The gripping story of a boy, a dog and a hurricane Saint is a boy with confidence as big as his name is long. A budding musician, he earns money playing clarinet for the New more...
Amazon Says: The gripping story of a boy, a dog and a hurricane Saint is a boy with confidence as big as his name is long. A budding musician, he earns money playing clarinet for the New Orleans tourists. His best friend is a stray dog named Shadow, and it's because of Shadow that Saint's still in town when Hurricane Katrina hits. Saint's not worried about the hurricane at first--he plans to live to be a hundred just to defy his palm-reader friend Jupi, who told him he had a short life line. But now the city has been ordered to evacuate and Saint won't leave without Shadow. His search brings him to his elderly neighbor's home and the three of them flee to her attic when the waters rise. But when Miz Moran's medication runs out, it's up to Saint to save her life--and his beloved Shadow's. less...
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Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin
Amazon Says: One of Horn Book’s Best Fiction Books of 2011  Sasha Zaichik has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six:The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade St more...
Amazon Says: One of Horn Book’s Best Fiction Books of 2011  Sasha Zaichik has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six:The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism.A Young Pioneer is a reliable comrade and always acts according to conscience.A Young Pioneer has a right to criticize shortcomings.But now that it is finally time to join the Young Pioneers, the day Sasha has awaited for so long, everything seems to go awry. He breaks a classmate's glasses with a snowball. He accidentally damages a bust of Stalin in the school hallway.  And worst of all, his father, the best Communist he knows, was arrested just last night.  This moving story of a ten-year-old boy's world shattering is masterful in its simplicity, powerful in its message, and heartbreaking in its plausibility. less...
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