David’s top ten book list (great for boys aged 10 to 15)

reading list recommendations 10 - 12 year old

David is the 11-year-old son of my friend Kim. Kim, Courtney and I met when our babies (David, Easton and Sara) were around 6 months old, when we would take them to French class in Swiss Cottage (London). Right now, I’m thinking — why on earth did we feel it was important to take our tiny babies to French class? But at that moment in time, we believed baby French class was absolutely crucial for their development. Oh well, I’m thankful for the fact that we had such fun-filled days (and we got to meet such a dear friend).

Kim recently moved to Amsterdam with her family, and when I was paying her a visit the other day, and we were chatting about everything and nothing, she told me about David being such a fond reader. Pim and Sara are really into reading as well (Pim being quite new to the magic of the written word — it took a while for him to get drawn into books but now he’s hooked), so I was really interested in what David had read and loved. Kim kept recommending books to me that all sounded so awesome, I couldn’t even keep track. So I asked her if perhaps David would want to share his favourite books with us, which he was so happy (and proud) to do! Here’s what Kim says:

I have to say that David is a very good reader for an 11 year old and has a good comprehension of the English language for his age. Some books might not appeal immediately, title wise, to parents, but all were checked beforehand by us and also often recommended by his fabulous school librarian who always encourages the school (boys) to read even if that means finding books that excite them and get them drawn into the magical world of reading. This has put some weird and wonderful books on David’s reading path over the years and all these books below have been thoroughly enjoyed by him.

Here we go, not in any particular order, as David loved reading them all!

1. Death or Ice Cream?  by Gareth Jones

Larkin Mills is a town with secrets and mysteries, a place with an exquisite ice-cream parlour and an awful lot of death. A dark, but also funny and brilliantly strange novel. A breakaway from the normal children’s series is this well written and according to David compelling, but also funny alternative read.

2. The Letter for the King  and its sequel The Secrets of the Wild Wood (Letter for the King 2)  by Tonke Dragt (translated into English from Dutch)

First published in the Netherlands in 1962, this tale of the knightly quest of a 16 year old squire named Tuiri, who answers a desperate call for help and finds himself on a perilous mission to delivery a secret letter to the King who lives across the Great Mountains. A letter upon which the future of the entire realm depends. A captivating beautiful written tale of faith and chivalry.

3. Laura Marlin Mysteries  by Lauren St John

A well told book series full of excitement and adventure about the 11 year old detective Laura Marlin, which was awarded the Blue Peter Book Award in 2011. Currently there are 4 books in the series: 1. Dead Man’s Cove , 2. Kidnap in the Caribbean , 3. Kentucky Thriller  and 4. Rendezvous in Russia .

4. The Double Axe  by Phillip Womack

The first instalment in Philip Womack’s Blood and Fire series, which cleverly reworks classical myths. It is a thrilling tale of adventure in which young readers will learn more about classical mythology. David can’t wait for the next instalment!

5. Urban Outlaws series by Peter Jay Black

Page turning thrillers about 5 extraordinary kids, The Urban Outlaws, who are living in a bunker hidden deep beneath London and outsmart (with lots of gadgets) London crime gangs and hand out their dirty money through Random Acts of Kindness.
Currently there are 5 books in the series: 1. Urban Outlaws , 2. Blackout , 3. Lockdown , 4. Counterstrike , and the newest, 5. Shockwave . Shockwave David received as Christmas present and as it was the final book of the series, he read it in one day curled up in front of our fire! He said it was awesome, but was sad this was the end of a great series he thoroughly enjoyed reading.

6. The Hobbit  by JRR Tolkien

This well known classic in children’s literature. The unforgettable story of Bilbo, a peace loving Hobbit, who embarks on a strange and magical adventure. David cannot wait to be old enough to read The Lord of The Rings and has read over the last year The Hobbit twice! We have a beautiful illustrated edition by Harper Collins, which is sadly out of print (but here‘s a beautiful looking one too).

7. The Everest Files  and North Face (The Everest Files)  both by Matt Dickinson

Both books follow eighteen-year-old Ryan Hart on a thrilling journey to the dark side of Mount Everest, while on a gap year for a charity in Nepal. Beautifully written book, which emerges you into the lives of the local Sherpa’s and the mountaineers at their gruelling attempts to climb Everest. The writer Matt Dickinson is an experienced climber himself.

8. House of Secrets  Trilogy by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini

A trilogy about three siblings, who’s family is forced to move into a mysterious new house in San Francisco and end up embarking on a journey to retrieve a dark book of untold power, which enrols them into a roller coaster of an adventure.
The trilogy exists of 1. House of Secrets , 2. Battle of the Beasts  and final instalment of the trilogy 3. Clash of the Worlds .

9. Dragon Shield Trilogy by Charlie Fletcher

A thrilling action packed trilogy in which Will and Jo are suddenly plunged into a world where statues come to life and dragons and heroes battles. The trilogy consists of : 1. Dragon Shield , 2. The London Pride , 3. The City of Beasts .

10. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child  by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany

This in our house much anticipated official script book of the original West End Production and the eighth story of Harry Potter, set in time nineteen years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. A bit of a different read as it is in script form, but still full of all the magic of the Harry Potter series. It is crucial to have read all the books in the series of Harry Potter before starting this book script. David re-read in a period of 2 month all the Harry Potter series before reading the script. I am sure this will not be the last time he will read the magical gripping Harry Potter series.

I hope this is helpful. David and I really enjoyed putting together his top 10 reads of the past months!

Kim xxx


Comments (3)

Amy Phariss
March 1, 2017

This list is so helpful and timely. Our kids are encouraged to read at school with a system called AR, which is based on a point system given to each book. It’s maddening because the focus isn’t on the quality of the literature or the story itself, but rather on the ‘level’ of difficulty of each book. My kids are reading, yes, but I think the beauty of it gets lost amidst this style of encouragement. I will look into these books pronto and secretly slip them onto his shelf. Since we’ve removed iPads and other technology from their realm, books, Legos and wandering around the house have become pastimes again. Thanks for the list. Amy

March 1, 2017

Kim, thank you for the list! Also, for the acknowledgement of your librarian–I’m bias, since I’m a librarian, but I think they serve as such a wonderful resource for students. They aren’t the child’s teacher, or parent, but an advocate all the same! Now off to plan my lesson for tomorrow’s Storytime in the Museum event….

March 2, 2017

Thank you for the books recommendations!

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