Top-rated books on Barnes & Noble's list of bestsellers for children between 9 and 12 years old include the Harry Potter series, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, "Holes," "Bridge to Terabithia" and "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane." Popular authors include Suzanne Collins, Ridley Pearson and Kate DiCamillo.
Based on a 2013 survey, NPR recommended 100 must-read books for kids aged 9 to 14, including "The House on Mango Street," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Watership Down," "Because of Winn-Dixie" and "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl." BookTrust offers its own selection of books for 9-to-11-year-olds, listing "Skellig," "Matilda," "Private Peaceful," "The Little Prince" and "The Story of Tracy Beaker" among the best of the last 100 years. Both lists feature themes popular with children and preteens, such as fitting in, overcoming prejudice, coming of age, fantasy and science fiction adventures, survival and animal tales.
As preteens begin to experience more peer pressure, they tend to build stronger, but more complicated, relationships with their friends and often face more personal challenges, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children in the 9-to-12 age range benefit from reading books that help them develop a sense of responsibility, right and wrong, and independence.