Books for Eleven- to Fourteen-Year-Olds


Easy Books

Armstrong, William Howard (1972) Sounder. New York: Harper Colling. The heartbreaking story of an African boy in the nineteenth century American South.

Barry, Dave and Pearson, Ridley (2010) Science Fair. New York: Disney Editions. The President of Kprshtskan wants to take over America and is planning to do it at a school science fair. Other recommended books by Dave Barry: Peter and the Sword of Mercy

Cleary, Beverly (1983) Dear Mr. Henshaw. New York: HarperCollins. Leigh is only a kid, but he has many problems to deal with. Writing to his favourite author provides some surprising answers. Other recommended books by the same author: The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Colfer, Eoin (2007) Half Moon Investigations. New York: Hyperion Books. Fletcher, though young, has always had a knack for sniffing out mysteries. Who knew he would find so much trouble?

Hinton, S. E. (1989) Rumble Fish. New York: Random House Children’s Books. Originally published in 1967. The world falls apart for a tough teen after an explosive chain of events. Other recommended books by the same author: The Outsiders; Tex; That Was Then, This is Now

Horowitz, Anthony (2004) Falcons Malteser. New York: Penguin Young Reader Group. An untalented detective is given a package worth three million pounds. The heat is on.  What should he do? Other recommended books by the same author: Three of Diamonds, Public Enemy Number Two

Patneaude, David (2003) Haunting At Home Plate. Parke Ridge: Albert Whitman. Nelson just wants to play baseball, but when mysterious messages start appearing in the dirt at home plate, the game changes. Other recommended books by the same author: Thin Wood Walls

Books for Readers

Bauer, Joan (2005) Backwater. New York: Speak. Ivy’s calling is to be a historian. While researching the family history, she meets her dysfunctional aunt and learns about herself. Other recommended books by the same author: Close to Famous, Stand Tall

Bell, William (1999) Forbidden City: A Novel. Toronto: Doubleday Canada. Alex, a seventeen-year-old Canadian, finds himself in the middle of the Tiananmen Square protest. Can he escape? Other recommended books by the same author: Stones

Castelucci, Cecil and Rugg, Jim (2008) Plain Janes. New York: DC Comics. A story of four unpopular girls named Jane who create a secret art gang to paint the town. Other recommended books by the same author: Rose Sees Red

Colfer, Eoin (2009) Airman. New York: Hyperion. Conor has been thrown in jail after intervening in a conspiracy to kill the King. The only way to escape: fly! Other recommended books by the same author: Artemis Fowl, And Another Thing

Cooper, Susan (2007) The Grey King. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. With a final battle coming, Will sets out to find help with only a riddle. Can he conquer the Grey King? Other recommended books by the same author: This is one book in a series of three.

Deem, James (2008) Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. Nonfiction. Mummified remains in glaciers are the focus. Fascinating illustrations and text about the most famous discoveries of all time. Other recommended books by the same author: Bodies From the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii

Gaiman, Neil (2010) The Graveyard Book. New York: HarperCollins. When a baby wanders into a graveyard, it is up to the ghosts to raise and protect him. Other books recommended by the author: Coraline

Gilbert Murdock, Catherine (2011) Dairy Queen. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Trying to find out who she is and how to be heard is fifteen-year-old DJ’s struggle. Other recommended books by the same author: Princess Ben, The Off Season

Hale Shannon & Dean (2008) Rapunzel’s Revenge. New York: Bloomsbury USA. In a twisted take on this fairy tale, Rapunzel turns out to be a feisty heroine ready for adventure! Other recommended books by the same author: Princess Academy

Holm, Anne (2003) I Am David. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. After spending his entire twelve years of life in a prison camp, David escapes. Witness his extraordinary journey.

Horowitz, Anthony (2007) Ark Angel. New York: Penguin Young Reader Group. Alex Rider is a kid spy and is needed when the son of one of the world’s richest men has been kidnapped! Other recommended books by the same author: Snakehead, Eagle Strike

Hughes, Monica (2009) Golden Aquarians. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishers. Walt is pitted against his technology-obsessed father in a race against death. Other recommended books by the same author: The Promise, Hunter in the Dark, Invitation to the Game

Johnston, Julie (2003) Hero of Lesser Causes. Toronto: Tundra. World War II is over and Keely can conquer anything until her brother is stricken with polio. Can she save him? Other recommended books by the same author: Suzanna’s Quills

Kadohata, Cynthia (2006) Kira Kira. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Katie’s sister Lynn has a special way of seeing the world. Can Katie continue this optimism when her sister gets ill? Other recommended books by the same author: Million Shades of Gray, Weedflower

Konigsburg, E.L. (2005) Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. After being rescued from camp, Margaret Rose is shocked to find out the magnificent towers made by her uncles may be demolished! Other recommended books by the same author: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The View from Saturday

Korman, Gordon (2008) Schooled. Toronto: Scholastic Canada. Cap has been home-schooled his entire life.  When he is forced to attend school, he has some interesting experiences. Other recommended books by the same author: Framed, Zoo Break

Landry, Derek (2008) Skulduggery Pleasant. Toronto: HarperCollins Canada. Skulduggery, an undead wizard who resembles a skeleton, befriends Stephanie and helps battle the nasty villains in her newly inherited house. Other recommended books by the same author: This is the first book in a series of six.

Lowry, Lois (2007) A Summer to Die. New York: Random House Children’s Books. Meg and her sister don’t get along. Is it too late to show her how she feels when her sister becomes sick?

Metselaar, Menno (2009) Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures from the Archives of the Anne Frank House. Flash Point. Nonfiction. The story of Anne Frank is told with never-before-seen snapshots and photos of the diary.

Moore, Alan (1995), Watchmen. New York: DC Comics. Graphic Novel.  Follow the fall of superheroes as they are stalked by an assassin. Other recommended books by the same author: V for Vendetta

Mortenson, Greg (2009) Three Cups of Tea: Young Readers Edition. New York: Penguin Young Reader Group. Nonfiction. The true story of a man who made a commitment to a small Pakistani village to someday build them a school.

Mull, Brandon (2007) Fablehaven. New York: Aladdin Books. All mythical creatures are kept in Fablehaven to prevent extinction. Kendra and her brother are just a little too curious. Other recommended books by the same author: This is one book in a series of five.

Oppel, Kenneth (2004) Dead Water Zone. Toronto: HarperCollins Canada. Set in the future, Paul is searching for his brother who has gone missing near toxic waters. Other recommended books by the same author: The Live Forever Machine

Paulsen, Gary (2007) Dogsong. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Russell longs for the old ways of the North. He sets out with a team of dogs on an extraordinary journey. Other recommended books by the same author: Hatchet, The Winter Room, The Foxman

Pearce, Philippa (1992) Tom’s Midnight Garden. New York: HarperCollins. When Tom is shipped off to his relatives, he thinks he will be bored. Instead, he finds a magical adventure. Other recommended books by the same author: The Squirrel Wife

Pobst, Sandy (2008) National Geographic Investigates: Animals on the Edge: Science Races to Save Species Threatened with Extinction. Des Moines: National Geographic Children’s Books. Nonfiction. Scientists describe endangered species, the degree of threat of extinction and the importance of taking an active role in preservation.

Rex, Adam (2008) The True Meaning of Smekday. New York: Hyperion. Gratuity receives an assignment for the National Time Capsule contest. Her stories are anything but ordinary.

Sachar, Louis (2008) Small Steps. Toronto: Doubleday Canada. The only person who believes in Armpit is his disabled neighbour, Ginny. Together, they take steps toward the right path. Other recommended books by the same author: Holes

Scott, Michael (2008) Alchemyst: Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. New York: Delacorte Books for Young Readers. Nicholas was born 700 years ago. His secret to longevity is in the book he protects: the Book of Abraham the Mage. Other recommended books by the same author: The Necromancer, The Magician

Skelton, Matthew (2007) Endymion Spring. London: Puffin UK. Two parallel stories—one in the present day and the other in 1452—merge because of one wordless book entitled Endymion Spring. Other recommended books by the same author: The Story of Cirrus Flux

Skurzynski, Gloria (2004) Are We Alone? Scientists Search for Life in Space. Des Moines: National Geographic Children’s Books. Nonfiction. This book describes the efforts scientists are making to find and detect life on other planets. Other recommended books by the same author: This is Rocket Science: True Stories of the Risk-Taking Scientists Who Figure Out Ways to Explore Beyond Earth

Smith, Roland (2008) Peak. New York: Harcourt Paperbacks. Fourteen-year-old Peak finds himself being shipped off to his father for training to climb Mount Everest! Other recommended books by the same author: Tentacles, Sasquatch

Twain, Mark (2008) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. London: Oxford Press. Originally published in 1876. Share in Tom’s adventures along the banks of the Mississippi. A classic book for all!

Voigt, Cynthia (2002) Dicey’s Song. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Dicey is trying to create a new life now that she and her younger siblings finally have a home. Other recommended books by the same author: Homecoming, The Runner

Weston, Robert Paul (2008) Zorgamazooby. New York: Penguin Young Readers Group. A girl and a creature join forces to explore both the real world and the fantasy world of Zorgamazoo.

Wynne Jones, Dianna (2007) The Pinhoe Egg. New York: HarperCollins. Full of magic, this story centres around the discovery and hatching of an egg! Other recommended books by the same author: Howl’s Moving Castle, Enchanted Glass

Challenging books

Alcott, Louisa May (1983) Little Women. New York: Bantam Classics. Originally published in 1868. Spend time with four sisters as they go through the joys and challenges of life in the nineteenth century.

Boyne, John (2007) The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. New York: Random House Children Books. Surrounded by the cruelties of war, two boys from different worlds strike up a secret friendship through a barbwire fence.

Cooney, Caroline (2008) Enter Three Witches: A Story of Macbeth. New York: Scholastic Inc. Lady Mary has lost both her mother and father and is trapped in a castle with the murderous Macbeths! Other recommended books by the same author: Diamonds in the Shadow

Dashner, James (2010) The Maze Runner. New York: Random House Children’s Books. Trapped in the Glades, Thomas has no idea how he got there or if he will ever leave. Other recommended books by the same author: The Scorch Trials

DuPrau, Jeannie (2004) The City of Ember: The First Book of Ember. New York: Yearling. Imagine living with no natural light and resources are diminishing. Can the townspeople figure their way out? Other recommended books by the same author: People of Sparks

Frank, Mitch (2005) Understanding the Holy Land: Answering Questions about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. New York: Viking. Nonfiction. Organized in a question-and-answer format, the conflict is explained in a non-prejudicial way.

Garcia, Kami (2010) Beautiful Darkness. New York: Little Brown Books for Young Readers. Who knew that a small town could have so many secrets? Ethan is now trapped in the dark side of Gatlin. Other recommended books by the same author: Beautiful Creatures

Halse, Anderson (2010) Chains. New York: Atheneum. Isabel and her sister become property of cruel owners. Convinced to spy, she learns information that may help her gain freedom. Other recommended books by the same author: Forge

London, Jack (2001) White Fang. New York: Apple Paperbacks. Originally published in 1906. An abused wolf dog finally finds kindness living in the harsh North. Other recommended books by the same author: The Call of the Wild.

Pullman, Philip (2001) The Golden Compass. New York: Yearling. Travel with Lyra and her daemon, as she tries to solve the mystery of disappearing children. Other recommended books by the same author: The Ruby in the Snow, Shadow in the North, Tiger in the Wall

Shelley, Mary (2008) Frankenstein: The Graphic Novel: Original Text US Ed: Original Text. Berkeley: Classical Comics. Originally published in 1818. Graphic Novel. A mad scientist experiments with the creation of life in this classic.

Stiefvater, Maggie (2010) Shiver. New York: Scholastic Press. Sam is human by summer and wolf by winter.  One girl is close to learning his secret. Other recommended books by the same author: Linger, Forever

Tolkien, J.R.R. (1998) The Hobbit. New York: HarperCollins. Originally published in 1923.Bilbo Baggins abandons his peaceful life as he is swept into a dangerous adventure full of magical creatures and treasure. Other recommended books by the same author: The Lord of the Rings

Twain, Mark (1994) Huckleberry Finn. Mineola: Dover Publications. Originally published in 1885. Huck and an escaped slave raft down the Mississippi running into adventure, danger and a slew of interesting characters.