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Best Books for 9-11 Year-Olds, Part 2

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.


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Amazon Says: In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, wer more...
Amazon Says: In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are being such as ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other.The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal and is a Hugo Award Winner for Best Novel.Supports the Common Core State Standards less...
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Amazon Says: Joey Pigza can't sit still. He can't pay attention, he can't follow the rules, and he can't help it -- especially when his meds aren't working. Joey's had problems ever since more...
Amazon Says: Joey Pigza can't sit still. He can't pay attention, he can't follow the rules, and he can't help it -- especially when his meds aren't working. Joey's had problems ever since he was born, problems just like his dad and grandma have. And whether he's wreaking havoc on a class trip or swallowing his house key, Joey's problems are getting worse. In fact, his behavior is so off the wall that his teachers are threatening to send him to the special-ed center downtown.Joey knows he's really a good kid, but no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, something always seems to go wrong. Will he ever get anything right? less...
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Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
Amazon Says: There's just no stopping little Willy. Determined to keep their farm going -- and to give his ailing grandfather a reason to live -- the ten-year-old boy hitches his dog, Sear more...
Amazon Says: There's just no stopping little Willy. Determined to keep their farm going -- and to give his ailing grandfather a reason to live -- the ten-year-old boy hitches his dog, Searchlight, to the plow and harvests the whole potato crop.Now little Willy needs five hundred dollars to pay off ten years' back taxes, or the farm will be taken away from them. Dauntless as ever, he stakes everything on one wild hope: that he and Searchlight can outrun the best dogsled racers in the country -- including the legendary Indian, Stone Fox. But the huge mountain man is every bit as intent on winning the big prize money as little Willy is. And he and his five beautiful Samoyeds haven't lost a race yet....Based on a Rocky Mountain legend, John Reynolds Gardiner's story -- like its hero, little Willy -- has all the ingredients of a winner, right down to the unforeseen drama at the finish line. less...
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A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Amazon Says: In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblin more...
Amazon Says: In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches. Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.     less...
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Amazon Says: "The well-known author retells 24 black American folk tales in sure storytelling voice: animal tales, supernatural tales, fanciful and cautionary tales, and slave tales of fre more...
Amazon Says: "The well-known author retells 24 black American folk tales in sure storytelling voice: animal tales, supernatural tales, fanciful and cautionary tales, and slave tales of freedom. All are beautifully readable. With the added attraction of 40 wonderfully expressive paintings by the Dillons, this collection should be snapped up."--(starred) School Library Journal.  This book has been selected as a Common Core State Standards text Exemplar (Grade 6-8, Stories) in Appendix B. From the Trade Paperback edition. less...
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Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Amazon Says: Zita’s life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of  an eye.  When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stra more...
Amazon Says: Zita’s life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of  an eye.  When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don’t even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita’s quest.  Zita the Spacegirl is a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption from Flight veteran Ben Hatke. It also has more whimsical, eye-catching, Miyazaki-esque monsters than you can shake a stick at. less...
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The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
Amazon Says: Award-winning, nationally bestselling author Kevin Henkes introduces second-grader Billy Miller in this fast-paced and funny story about friendship, sibling rivalry, and eleme more...
Amazon Says: Award-winning, nationally bestselling author Kevin Henkes introduces second-grader Billy Miller in this fast-paced and funny story about friendship, sibling rivalry, and elementary school. The Year of Billy Miller was named a 2014 Newbery Honor book by the American Library Association. The Year of Billy Miller includes black-and-white art by Kevin Henkes and is perfect for fans of the Ramona books; Frindle, by Andrew Clements; and the Clementine series.When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad. Newbery Honor author and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes delivers a short, satisfying, laugh-out-loud-funny school and family story that features a diorama homework assignment, a school poetry slam, cancelled sleepovers, and epic sibling temper tantrums. This is a perfect short novel for the early elementary grades. less...
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Amazon Says: Critically acclaimed nonfiction author Deborah Hopkinson pieces together the story of the TITANIC and that fateful April night, drawing on the voices of survivors and archival more...
Amazon Says: Critically acclaimed nonfiction author Deborah Hopkinson pieces together the story of the TITANIC and that fateful April night, drawing on the voices of survivors and archival photographs. Scheduled to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the TITANIC, a topic that continues to haunt and thrill readers to this day, this book by critically acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson weaves together the voices and stories of real TITANIC survivors and witnesses to the disaster -- from the stewardess Violet Jessop to Captain Arthur Rostron of the CARPATHIA, who came to the rescue of the sinking ship. Packed with heartstopping action, devastating drama, fascinating historical details, loads of archival photographs on almost every page, and quotes from primary sources, this gripping story, which follows the TITANIC and its passengers from the ship's celebrated launch at Belfast to her cataclysmic icy end, is sure to thrill and move readers. less...
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Amazon Says: Are zombies real? Scientists know this for sure: dead people do not come back to live and start walking around, looking for trouble. But there are things that can take over th more...
Amazon Says: Are zombies real? Scientists know this for sure: dead people do not come back to live and start walking around, looking for trouble. But there are things that can take over the bodies and brains of innocent creatures, turning them into senseless slaves. Meet nature's zombie makers--including a fly-enslaving fungus, a suicide worm, and a cockroach-taming wasp--and their victims. less...
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Amazon Says: It has been fifty years—and millions of readers—since the world was first introduced to Milo and his adventures in the Lands Beyond with Tock, the Humbug, and the captive more...
Amazon Says: It has been fifty years—and millions of readers—since the world was first introduced to Milo and his adventures in the Lands Beyond with Tock, the Humbug, and the captive princesses Rhyme and Reason. Now we have a remarkable 50th anniversary edition to honor this universally adored and deeply influential novel.  This special edition will include:    • Gorgeous packaging that features the classic original art stamped and debossed on the case with a transparent acetate jacket.    • Brief essays from esteemed authors, educators, and artists, including Philip Pullman, Suzanne Collins, Jeanne Birdsall, Mo Willems, and several others.    • Photos of the author and illustrator at the time of writing and today on the two-color endpapers.    • The 35th anniversary essay by Maurice Sendak.    • The complete text of the book. A perfect gift for longstanding fans and lucky new readers, the 50th anniversary edition of The Phantom Tollbooth is a book to cherish. less...
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The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
Amazon Says: The winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, from Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata. There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck—which i more...
Amazon Says: The winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, from Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata. There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck—which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family. Summer knows that kouun means “good luck” in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan—right before harvest season. Summer and her little brother, Jaz, are left in the care of their grandparents, who come out of retirement in order to harvest wheat and help pay the bills. The thing about Obaachan and Jiichan is that they are old-fashioned and demanding, and between helping Obaachan cook for the workers, covering for her when her back pain worsens, and worrying about her lonely little brother, Summer just barely has time to notice the attentions of their boss’s cute son. But notice she does, and what begins as a welcome distraction from the hard work soon turns into a mess of its own. Having thoroughly disappointed her grandmother, Summer figures the bad luck must be finished—but then it gets worse. And when that happens, Summer has to figure out how to change it herself, even if it means further displeasing Obaachan. Because it might be the only way to save her family. Cynthia Kadohata’s ode to the breadbasket of America has received six starred reviews and was selected as a National Book Award Finalist. less...
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Amazon Says: Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away...so she decided not to run FROM somewhere, but TO somewhere. And so, after some careful plan more...
Amazon Says: Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away...so she decided not to run FROM somewhere, but TO somewhere. And so, after some careful planning, she and her younger brother, Jamie, escaped -- right into a mystery that made headlines! less...
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Amazon Says: Inside Out and Back Again is a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award! Inspired by the author's childhood experience of fleei more...
Amazon Says: Inside Out and Back Again is a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award! Inspired by the author's childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama, this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child's-eye view of family and immigration.For all the ten years of her life, Hà has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food . . . and the strength of her very own family. This moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it "enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny." An author's note explains how and why Thanhha Lai translated her personal experiences into Hà's story.Supports the Common Core State Standards less...
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Drita, My Homegirl by Jenny Lombard
Amazon Says: Drita and her family come to New York as refugees from war-torn Kosovo. Even though she barely speaks English, Drita can’t wait to start school and make a new best friend. B more...
Amazon Says: Drita and her family come to New York as refugees from war-torn Kosovo. Even though she barely speaks English, Drita can’t wait to start school and make a new best friend. But her new classmates don’t make it easy, teasing her about virtually everything.The worst is Maxie, a tough African-American girl whose sassy attitude hides a painful secret. When Maxie takes things too far, their teacher assigns Maxie a paper on Drita and her journey to America from Kosovo. Suddenly, Maxie realizes she and Drita have more in common than she thought. And when Drita’s mother gets sick, there’s only one person who can help—Drita’s new homegirl. A sensitively written story of two worlds coming together, Drita, My Homegirl touchingly explores the effects of war on a family and how friendship sometimes appears in the unlikeliest places. less...
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Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Amazon Says: "Did Mama sing every day?" Caleb asks his sister Anna."Every-single-day," she answers. "Papa sang, too."This Newbery Medal–winning book is the first of five books in Patrici more...
Amazon Says: "Did Mama sing every day?" Caleb asks his sister Anna."Every-single-day," she answers. "Papa sang, too."This Newbery Medal–winning book is the first of five books in Patricia MacLachlan's chapter book series about the Witting family. Set in the late nineteenth century and told from young Anna's point of view, Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of how Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton comes from Maine to the prairie to answer Papa's advertisement for a wife and mother. Before Sarah arrives, Anna and her younger brother Caleb wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she sing? Will she stay?This children's literature classic is perfect for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books, historical fiction, and timeless stories using rich and beautiful language. Sarah, Plain and Tall gently explores themes of abandonment, loss and love.Supports the Common Core State Standards less...
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Amazon Says: "We are the ship; all else the sea."-Rube Foster, founder of the Negro National League The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined own more...
Amazon Says: "We are the ship; all else the sea."-Rube Foster, founder of the Negro National League The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of fortunes won and lost; of triumphs and defeats on and off the field. It is a perfect mirror for the social and political history of black America in the first half of the twentieth century. But most of all, the story of the Negro Leagues is about hundreds of unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and low pay to do the one thing they loved more than anything else in the world: play ball. Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through its decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. The voice is so authentic, you will feel as if you are sitting on dusty bleachers listening intently to the memories of a man who has known the great ballplayers of that time and shared their experiences. But what makes this book so outstanding are the dozens of full-page and double-page oil paintings-breathtaking in their perspectives, rich in emotion, and created with understanding and affection for these lost heroes of our national game. We Are the Ship is a tour de force for baseball lovers of all ages. less...
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Rascal by Sterling North
Amazon Says: The author recalls his carefree life in a small midwestern town at the close of World War I, and his adventures with his pet raccoon, Rascal. more...
Amazon Says: The author recalls his carefree life in a small midwestern town at the close of World War I, and his adventures with his pet raccoon, Rascal. less...
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The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Amazon Says: This is the classic story--read and loved by children all over the world--of Pod, Homily, and their daughter, Arrietty, who live under the kitchen floor in a quiet, half-empty more...
Amazon Says: This is the classic story--read and loved by children all over the world--of Pod, Homily, and their daughter, Arrietty, who live under the kitchen floor in a quiet, half-empty house and get their livelihood by borrowing from the “human beans.” “Delectable fantasy.”--Booklist less...
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