Your Kid’s Next Read: recommended reading lists for kids 10+, 12+, YA for tweens

Reading lists for kids 10+
Posted on August 24, 2016

In 2016, I started a Facebook group called ‘Your Kid’s Next Read‘. I’m happy to say that the group has already grown into a thriving and enthusiastic community of more than 500 members! [edit: 14.2K members in 2020 and growing]

I’m lucky enough to have the fabulous Megan Daley, a terrific teacher/librarian, as my co-moderator for the group and last week she posted the first half of a Master List of books that come up over and over again as recommendations in the group.

Megan’s list covers age groups from pre-school to 8+ years, boys and girls.

Our Master List was compiled by trawling through the posts in the Facebook group, pulling out the titles that are consistently recommended. Megan has added her own recommendations to her list as well, making it a terrific resource if you’re looking for the next read for a younger child.

Now it’s my turn.

Oh, and you might need a coffee for this post… it’s not a short one, but is designed to remain an ongoing resource for the group. (If you haven’t already joined us, come on over!)

Reads for kids, 10+

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis

How To Train Your Dragon (series) by Cressida Cowell

A Series of Unfortunate Events (series) by Lemony Snicket

Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series) by Jeff Kinney

Countdown to Danger (series) by Jack Heath

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

The Boy who Swam with Piranhas by David Almond

Once, Then, Now and After, all by Morris Gleitzman,

Ranger’s Apprentice (series) by John Flanagan

The Mapmaker Chronicles (series) by A.L.Tait

Percy Jackson (series) by Rick O’Riordan

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis

Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling

Milly-Molly-Mandy (series) by Joyce Lankester Brisley

Best Friends Bakery (series) by Linda Chapman

The Little House On The Prairie (series) by Laura Ingalls Wilder,

Violet Mackerel (series) by Anna Branford (Ill Sarah Davis)

The Naming of Tishkin Silk by Glenda Millard

Olive of Groves by Katrina Nannestad (Ill. Lucia Masciullo)

Friday Barnes (series) by R. A. Spratt

Netball Gems (series) by Bernadette Hellard

Our Australian Girl (series) – varied authors

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

Magisterium (series) by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Violet Ink by Rebecca Westacott

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

I am Juliet by Jackie French

The Ratcatcher’s Daughter by Pamela Rushby

The Family With Two Front Doors by Anna Ciddor

Cicada Summer by Kate Constable

The Wishbird by Gabrielle Wang

Authors consistently recommended: Belinda Murrell, Kate Forsyth, Emily Rodda, Jackie French, Paul Jennings, David Walliams, Roald Dahl, Andy Griffiths

I would add:

Dark Lord: The Teenage Years (series) by Jamie Thomson

Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke

House of Secrets (series) by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini

Brotherband (series) by John Flanagan

Do You Dare? (series) – assorted titles, assorted authors

Trixie Belden (series) – assorted authors (note that both my boys have read and enjoyed several books in this series)

The Secrets We Keep by Nova Weetman

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Callie’s Castle by Ruth Park (hard to find…)

Withering-by-Sea by Judith Rossell

Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr

Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children by Jen Storer


Reads for kids, 12+

Ranger’s Apprentice (series) by John Flanagan

Chronicles of Narnia (series) by C.S.Lewis,

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Mac Slater Cool Hunter by Tristan Bancks

Two Wolves by Tristan Bancks,

Boy X by Dan Smith,

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

The Dark is Rising (series) by Susan Cooper

Ugly by Robert Hoge

The History Keepers by Damien Dibben

Itch (series) by Simon Mayo

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Genius Wars (series) by Catherine Jinks

The Phoenix Files by Chris Morphew

Space Demons (series) by Gillian Rubenstein

Reads for girls, 12+

Silver Brumby (series) by Elyne Mitchell

The Other Side of Summer by Emily Gale

You Don’t Know Me by Sophia Bennett

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Mr12 read this and enjoyed it)

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

Magisterium (series) by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

The Ascendence Trilogy (series) by Jennifer A Nielson

Fablehaven (series) by Brandon Mull

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Once, Then, After, and Now  by Morris Gleitzman

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

My Life As An Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg

Authors consistently recommended: Meg McKinlay, C.S. Lewis, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Tristan Bancks, Emily Rodda, J.K. Rowling, Anthony Horowitz

I would add:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Journey To The Centre Of The Earth by Jules Verne

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Inkheart (series) by Cornelius Funke

Tomorrow, When The War Began (series) by John Marsden

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Word Hunters (series) by Nick Earls

White Fang/The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Stonebird by Mike Revell

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Playing Beattie Bow by Ruth Park

Old Kingdom Chronicles (series) by Garth Nix

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

*All of these have been read and loved by Mr12 – you’ll find his book reviews here.


YA for tweens 

*This section incorporates the gnarly and recurring question of YA suitable for advanced younger readers but parents should consider an individual child’s sensitivities and abilities with regards to each book.

The Maze Runner (series) by James Dashner

Gone (series) by Michael Grant

Laurinda by Alice Pung

Spark (series) by Rachael Craw

Picture me Gone by Meg Rossof

Illuminae (series) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins

Throne of Glass (series) by Sarah J. Maas [NB: YA content escalates as series progresses]

The Books Of Pellinor (series) by Alison Croggon

Eragon (series) by Christopher Paolini

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

Every Breath (series) by Ellie Marney

Authors consistently recommended: John Green, John Marsden, Jane Austen, Anthony Horowitz


EDIT (2018): You’ll find some new ADDITIONS to this list here:

Your Kid’s Next Read: Recommended reads for kids 10+, 12+, 14+ (2018 edition)

A L Tait The Fire StarAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of two epic middle-grade adventure series, The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher, and a new ‘almost history’ detective series called the Maven & Reeve Mysteries (you’ll find book #1 THE FIRE STAR here).

 You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

NB: This post incorporates affiliate links – you’ll find all the details on my Contact page.


  1. Kathryn Hall

    Fantastic list. Thank you.

    I do wonder why there are separate lists for the boys and girls though. I think the boys of that age could gain a great deal out of reading books like Heidi, or Black Beauty for example.
    The naming of ‘Tishkin Silk’ is still one of my boys favourite books from when he was that age, and my girl loves the Percy Jackson series.
    I think its really important that they read from as many different POV’s as possible.

    • Allison Tait

      Hi Kathryn, I agree – my boys read widely across ‘girl’ books as well as boy books. I’ve simply created the lists as recommended by members of the group, and to make things as easy to find as possible. A

  2. Maria Parenti-Baldey

    Awesome list. Thank you for taking the time, you and Megan Daley, in doing this. It would be great if every school library got this list.

  3. Tereza

    Thank you for that great list I’m sure so many other parents like me will greatly appreciated .

    • Allison Tait

      Thanks Tereza! So glad you found it useful.

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