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Good Books for 10 Year Olds

Updated on September 10, 2014

How to Choose the Best Books for 10 Year Olds

There are lots of fantastic books for 10 year olds. 10 year olds are likely to have moved onto chapter books which means there is a wide range of books of all types of genres to choose from. So how do you go about choosing the best book for a 10 year old? Having worked in a library with children for a few years and having children of my own means I have a few ideas of how to choose the right book.

1). Get your child to help you choose. Go to the library, bookstore or even look online with your 10 year old so they can help choose a book they would like to read. Why not show your child the list below and see if they would enjoy any of them.

2.) Get recommendations. Ask friends, family and others with children the books their children have enjoyed. If you go to the library, ask the librarian for suggestions. Also don't forget your child's teacher is often a good source. Look online and read reviews to get ideas of books your child may enjoy.

3.) Try a book out. Don't feel that because you have started to read a book, you have to finish it. Choose a wide selection of books to borrow from the library or friends and ask your child to start reading them to see if they like them. If they don't like them, they can move onto another choice.

There are lots of suggestions of great books suitable for 10 year olds in the article. I hope to have covered popular titles such as Harry Potter, classic books, science fiction, fantasy and mystery. There are lists of some of the best books for 10 year old girls and the best books for 10 year old boys. Like 10 year old readers the books do vary in terms of level of reading but they are all aimed at children at the age of 10. Also don't forget to check out non fiction books, I haven't mentioned them in the article as they are so wide ranging but a quick search on amazon should give you some ideas.

Read on for some suggestions of good books for 10 year olds.

Popular Books for 10 Year Olds

Some books become very popular reads with many 10 year olds. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney is one well known book that falls into this category as well as the books below. Parents may not be so keen on some of the choices but kids love to read them and enjoyment of reading is the most important thing.

To check out some current popular books for 10 year olds it's also worth check out the New York Times Bestseller Lists for Middle Grade. The list is updated every week.

Dork Diaries 3 1/2: How to Dork Your Diary
Dork Diaries 3 1/2: How to Dork Your Diary

This is one series that might not be so popular with parents but 10 year old girls will love to read it and that's the most important thing!

Nikki Maxwell has been writing in a diary since the start of the school year, and she usually takes it everywhere she goes. So she can't believe it when one morning she can't find her diary! The hunt is on, and while she looks, pursuing various theories about where it could be, Nikki can't help putting together a list of important diary-keeping lessons to remember in case of missing diary emergencies like this one.

 
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Who hasn't heard of Harry Potter and for good reason? 10 years old is a good age to introduce children to the Harry Potter series.

 
Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life
Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life

A New York Times Bestseller by James Patterson.

It's Rafe Khatchadorian's first day at Hills Village Middle School, and it's shaping up to be the worst year ever. He has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix, but luckily he's got an ace plan for the best year ever--if only he can pull it off.

 

Top Picks for 10 Year Olds in 2014

There are new books being published all the time and it can be difficult to keep up with the current most popular books. As well as the bestseller lists at the New York Times, it's worth checking out amazon bestseller lists and editors picks to see which books are currently popular.

Other websites to check out include the publishers weekly which has bestsellers lists for kids fiction. If you're in the UK, check out the Sunday Times bestseller lists.

Wonder
Wonder

At the time of writing, this book is on the New York Times Bestseller list for September 2014. It was also been chosen as one of amazon's best middle grade books for 2012.

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity 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.

 
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

This is a mix between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a Night at the Museum.

Kyle Keeley is a fan of all types of games especially video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.

Kyle wins a spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the others must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route.

At the time of writing, this book is on the New York Times Bestseller list for middle grade in September 2014. This book was also chosen to be one of amazon's best books of 2013 in the age 9 to 12 category.

 

Star Wars : Jedi Academy

Star Wars: Jedi Academy, Return of the Padawan (Book 2)
Star Wars: Jedi Academy, Return of the Padawan (Book 2)

This is the second in the series of the Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown and is currently in the New York Times Bestseller list for September 2014.

This is a very visual book with lots of illustrations which makes it perfect for reluctant readers. The story is told in various formats from comic books to diary entries, letters and observations. Many kids will love the format and the story too. It's funny and tells the story of Roan Novachez who is back for a second year at Jedi Academy - a typical middle school with a Star Wars twist.

 

How to Encourage 10 Year Olds To Read

Many 10 year olds may be reluctant to read. If you have a reluctant reader here are some ideas to encourage them.

Don't limit what they can read - Many kids may not want to sit down and read a chapter book but they may be keen to read a non fiction book, a comic or a magazine. Whatever they are reading will help improve the concentration and vocabulary so don't feel that they have to read certain novels. Non fiction books can mean they are analyzing and comparing stats or learning about the world around them so they are developing their literacy in another way.

PIck books which are part of a series - If a child starts reading a book which is the first in the series and enjoys it they are more likely to read more and more of the same series. Once that's completed they will be keen to look for another series which fills the void.

Be a good role model- Kids copy their parents even at age 10. So if they see you always reading and see that you enjoy it, they are more likely to read themselves.

Read to them- 10 is not too old to share a book together. Offer to read to them before bed. If they enjoy the story they will be more likely to pick the book up and read it on their own.

Books that Parents May Remember

Sometimes it's great for parents to give their 10 year olds the books they enjoyed as children. If you can remember the books you enjoyed at age 10, it's likely that your children will still enjoy the stories as much.

Roald Dahl and CS Lewis are all authors parents of 10 year olds may have enjoyed themselves.

Book series such as Goosebumps were also popular.

The great thing about these books is that they have stood the test of time so you know that 10 year olds will enjoy them as much today as their parents did.

James and the Giant Peach
James and the Giant Peach

I remember reading Roald Dahl when I was 10 and he is still one of my favorite authors ever. James and the Giant Peach is just one Roald Dahl book, but 10 year olds will probably enjoy many others including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The Twits to name but a few.

 

Best Books for 10 Year Old Girls

Here are a list of books that may particularly appeal to 10 year old girls, although there is nothing to stop 10 year old boys reading them too!

For more ideas check out this list of books for 10 year olds which have great girl role models put together by the search function on common sense medial.

Slumber Party Wars
Slumber Party Wars

When twelve-year-old, Nicole, is forced to go to a new school, nothing goes right. She swallows her contacts, throws up on the boy she likes, and looks like a dork in front of Sara, the girl she wants to be friends with most. Nicole faces one horrible (but funny!) problem after another.

Then, right when Nicole is finally making friends and fitting in at her new school, a mean trick is played on a girl in her class-starting the Slumber Party Wars.

 
Double Act
Double Act

Ten-year-old twins Ruby and Garnet take turns narrating, and although their voices aren't especially different, they are meant to be opposites. Ruby is outgoing, Garnet shy; Ruby leads, Garnet follows. Their mother has died long ago, and now their father has a girlfriend, whom they immediately reject. 10 year old girls will love reading their story which cover serious issues and funny moments.

 
The Diary of Melanie Martin: or How I Survived Matt the Brat, Michelangelo, and the Leaning Tower of Pizza (Melanie Martin Novels)
The Diary of Melanie Martin: or How I Survived Matt the Brat, Michelangelo, and the Leaning Tower of Pizza (Melanie Martin Novels)

Ten-year-old Melanie Martin and her family are going to Italy for spring break. Her diary begins shortly before their European adventures start, and continues as they travel across Italy and back home again.

This book is very funny and encourages 10 year olds to travel in their imaginations!

 

Best Books for 10 Year Old Boys

Here are some great options of books for 10 year old boys, although girls will probably love them too. There are some great fantasy and science fiction choices that boys will love.

Here is a list of books for 10 year olds which have boys as great role models by common sense meda.

If you want more fantasty choices keep on reading below too.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3)

Percy Jackson is a New Yorker who has been kicked out of several schools. He has ADHD and an abusive stepfather so many problems to cope with. However, when he is 12 he discovers he is a demi-God who the son of one of the Greek Gods from Mount Olympus and a mortal. Percy then must go on a quest to retrieve Zeus' stolen thunderbolt to prevent a world war between the Gods.

 
Beast Quest #1: Ferno the Fire Dragon
Beast Quest #1: Ferno the Fire Dragon

The Beast Quest stories are simple stories which are particularly great for 10 year old boys who are reluctant readers.

It tells the story of 12 year old Tom who is sent on a quest to confront the beasts who are destroying the Kingdom. The hero has to unlock the collars of the beast to make them become friendly again.

 
Lunch Money (Rise and Shine)
Lunch Money (Rise and Shine)

Greg Kenton is in the sixth grade, but is planning a business empire. He's been raking leaves, shoveling snow, doing extra chores for cash. His first ever bank deposit was $3,200, However, his attempts at selling candy and toys were shut down by the principal. But, he has a new idea miniature comic books, hand-drawn, mass-produced and sold for a quarter each. It's a good idea, but problems soon crop up:

Firstly his long-time rival, Maura Shaw steps in with a plan of her own

 

Fantasy Books for 10 Year Olds

There are hundreds of fantasy books appropriate for this age group.

I have suggested some below but for more ideas check out this list at common sense media.. I love the common sense media website as you can search for books by age and by genre. So as well as looking for books suitable for 10 year olds in the fantasy and magic category you could refine your search to other genres including categories such as sport and martial arts, science and nature, superheros, and great role models. There are numerous categories to choose from.

Artemis Fowl (new cover)
Artemis Fowl (new cover)

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is the most ingenious criminal mastermind in history. He hatches a cunning plot to steal a pot of gold from the fairies. He knows that the only way to separate the little people from their stash is to kidnap one of them and wait for the ransom to arrive. But when the time comes to put his plan into action, he doesn't count on the appearance of the extrasmall, pointy-eared Captain Holly Short and Commander Root, an elf who will stop at nothing to get her back.

 
The Magician's Elephant
The Magician's Elephant

The Magician's Elephant tells the tale of Peter Augustus Duchene, a ten-year-old orphan who receives an unbelievable piece of information from the local fortuneteller. Peter learns that his fate is tied to an elephant that has inexplicably fallen from the sky when a magician's trick goes terribly wrong. Why did it happen? And, how can an elephant possibly change the course of Peter's life?

 
Redwall
Redwall

Magical, mystical, and the stuff of legends, this stunning tale of good battling with--and ultimately triumphing over--evil takes the reader on a roller-coaster adventure that barely draws breath from the first page to the very last. Brian Jacques is a true master of his craft.

 

Award Winning Books for 10 Year Olds

The book featured below has won awards and has excellent reviews.

If you're looking for something a little bit special, check out some ideas below.

For more suggestions check out award winning books on The Barnes and Noble website.

Bridge to Terabithia
Bridge to Terabithia

Jess Aarons wants to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade.He's been practicing all summer. Then a tomboy named Leslie Burke moves into the farmhouse next door and also turns out to be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. After getting over being beaten by a girl, Jess begins to think Leslie might be okay.

Despite their differences, it's clear that Jess and Leslie are soul mates. They create a secret kingdom in the woods named Terabithia, where the only way to get into the castle is by swinging out over a gully on an enchanted rope. Here they reign as king and queen, fighting off imaginary giants and the walking dead, sharing stories and dreams, and plotting against the schoolmates who tease them. Jess and Leslie find solace in the sanctuary of Terabithia until a tragedy strikes and the two are separated forever.

Won the Newberry medal

 

Mystery Books for 10 Year Olds

There are lots of great mystery books suitable for 10 Year olds who won't be able to stop reading to find out why, who and how? Many mystery books for this age group tend to come in series of books. Series are great for reluctant readers as if they like the first book they tend to be more likely to read the rest in the series without any encouragement.

Ideas include the following series.

Mayflower Treasure Hunt - The A to Z mysteries cover mysteries beginning from A and ending with Z.

Nancy Drew - the female detective that 10 year old girls in particular will identify with.

The Hardy Boys Mystery books

And The Maze of Bones featured below

The Maze of Bones (39 Clues, No. 1)
The Maze of Bones (39 Clues, No. 1)

Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her decendants an impossible decision: "You have a choice - one million dollars or a clue."

Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world's most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what's important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.

 

Classic Books for 10 Year Olds

Choose from timeless books that have entranced children of generations before. There have been a couple of classic books already featured in the article but there are plenty more. Ideas include Guilliver's Travels, Pippi Longstocking and The Hobbit.

The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden

This timeless classic is a poignant tale of Mary, a lonely orphaned girl sent to a Yorkshire mansion at the edge of a vast lonely moor. At first, she is frightened by this gloomy place until she meets a local boy, Dickon, who's earned the trust of the moor's wild animals, the invalid Colin, an unhappy boy terrified of life, and a mysterious, abandoned garden...

 

Comments on the Good Books for 10 Year Olds

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    • LSJ-88 profile image

      LSJ-88 3 years ago

      You have some nice choices here. Many of the books you have listed were adored by my 14 year old students.

    • pjsart profile image

      pjsart 4 years ago

      Great information on your lens, thanks. As a children's author I am interested in learning more about the interests of different ages. Seraphina seems to be a much touted as a book for tweens and teens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      All awesome

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      All awesome

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      You should add the sisters Grimm. Great mystery books!:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome books I have only read seven or so of them! Thanks for making this article!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've just read the 7 Skulduggery Pleasant Books by Derek Landy. They are wicked. They are very addictive and well worth reading

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am also 10 and need some more books to read please send some good Jacquline Wilson books if u know any.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Im also 10 i love to read Ive read a lot of books i and need a lot more books if you know any Jacquline Wilson books please post them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I loved the Secret Garden and I just wanted to say that there was a similar book I would say 10 year olds would enjoy called The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i like them

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      got them for free

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm 10. I have recently finished reading a series of unfortunte events. Yes, morbid I know. I have also finished reading a book called fearless yesterday,so I need some books to read, and this list was very helpful.

    • ricber profile image

      ricber 4 years ago

      I really got into this The Best Books for 10 Year Olds article. I found it to be interesting and loaded with unique points of interest. I like to read material that makes me think. Thank you for writing this great content.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome books!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Well you can always read books online.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Good books but expensive.................

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice books Mite buy dawk later on etc

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice and cool books i say

    • profile image

      AlexBPearl 5 years ago

      Nice lens. My children's book is raising money for homeless kids in the UK. Please take a look: www.squidoo.com/raising-money-for-homeless-kidsAvail @Amazon worldwide & all good bookshops.Best, AP

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I didn't know half the books!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      So cool this is da best site eva to find books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      like so funny i love to read but these are all to young

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I love diary of a wimpy kid their so great

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I read a lot of books so I asked my teacher which to read. Sh etold me to search the web so I searched. Here, Im surprised that this site is so AWESOME!!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Good books!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      thanks for the ideas

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm a 5th grade Reading teacher and I use your site for book referrals. May you please(if it's not too much to ask) include books for other genres?Thank you and more power!:-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      all great book read um all in 2.5 days

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very good ideas!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Read most of them lol

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Diary of a Wimpy Kid series should also be added to this list. Dork Diaries also. My boys (ages 8 and 10) blew through the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series in a matter of weeks, and they aren't what you would call avid readers :)

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Good selection here. My grandson is now 10 years old, so it is helpful to know which books are in his age-range.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I looked up science fiction for a 10 year old and found a list of mostly the fantasy genre. Teachers hand out reading assignments with specific ideas of each genre and in their interpretation fantasy means dragons and unicorns and science fiction means aliens and spaceships.

    • profile image

      Kirock 7 years ago

      Your lens is doing so great, mine (http://www.squidoo.com/books-for-girls) isnt. can you maybe stop my it and leave a comment on how to do better, please?