recommended reading for ages 9-12


Parents lose boy overseas

Tim Golden | 1994
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Peter makes the most of a tough situation.


Affirmation empowers

Jennifer Minicus | 2007
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
A young elf proves that compassion is stronger than any weapon.


Banished to Siberia

Jennifer Minicus | 2003
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Two young children set out to find their exiled parents.


Cat helps boy overcome dyslexia

Jennifer Minicus | 2006
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Abby and Ben love the misfit animals in their grandfather's barn.


Fighting the war at home

Jennifer Minicus | 2014
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
Young Ike dreams of joining the army.


Never trust a dictator

Jennifer Minicus | 2005
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Not even a "benevolent" one.


Authors are noticing Reading Matters

Jennifer Minicus | 2014
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Writer honors our request for a sequel.


A perfect book for boys who love sports but may not like to read

Jennifer Minicus | 2014
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
"The Captain" tells his story.


Baby gryphon hatches from blue stone

Jennifer Minicus | 2014
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
A simple fantasy story.


An audition for life

Tim Golden | 2002
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Children travel to a fantasy island to develop life skills.


Optimism and humor

Tim Golden | 2000
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
A fixture on school reading lists.


Beloved author continues to enchant young readers

Jane Fagan | 2014
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
Imaginative characters never go out of style.


Blood is thicker than water

Jennifer Minicus | 2014
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Ariana is proud of her Afghan heritage.


Master of disguises

Jennifer Minicus | 2014
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
Max's reputation for solving mysteries grows.


Witness to murder

Jennifer Minicus | 2013
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
Can twelve-year-old Smith uncover the murderers' motives before becoming the next victim?


Exiles from Troy discover the New World

Jennifer Minicus | 2012
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
Mystery, humor and an endearing young sleuth.


Can a twelve year old save the day?

Jennifer Minicus | 2007
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
The real hero of fairy tales


There's no friend like a sister

Tim Golden | 2007
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
Another story about the four Conroy girls.


The grass is always greener on the other side of the moat

Jennifer Minicus | 2013
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
A royal family learns the meaning of service.


Not exactly kissing cousins

Jane Fagan | 2014
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Kieran would rather not share his home with his unusual cousin.

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Reading Matters is MercatorNet’s blog about children’s literature. Our goal is to enable parents and educators to find quality books for young people. For an explanation of our evaluation system, click here. We welcome reader input and new reviewers. We love comments on the book reviews. Write to us at jennifer.minicus@mercatornet.com.


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 our picks for
2-7 years 13-16 years
7-10 years 15-18 years
9-12 years 18 and over
11-14 years all ages

 our standards
highly recommended: you must read this!
recommended: age-appropriate and entertaining
acceptable: not outstanding but not problematic
some reservations: contains potentially problematic scenes or concepts
not recommended: not appropriate for intended readers


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