The Very Best Books for 10-Year-Olds
Whether you’ve got a 10-year-old bookworm in the house, need inspiration for a birthday gift, or are keen to find ways to get your son or daughter more engaged with reading, we can help!
Below you’ll find a curated list of the very best books for 10-year-olds, from classic tales that have been loved for generations to the latest bestsellers and comedy must-reads that’ll keep even the pickiest of readers captivated.
- Best Books for 10-Year-Old Girls
- Best Books for 10-Year-Old Boys
- Fantasy Books
- Book Series for 10-Year-Olds
- Mystery Books for 10-Year-Olds
- Funny Books
- Nonfiction Books
- Other Interesting Books for 10-Year-Olds
Best Books for 10-Year-Old Girls
Choose one of these books for your ten-year-old girl to give her the gift of magic, adventure, and imagination!
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
This award-winning, best-selling book has been compared to the epic fantasy tales of Philip Pullman and Neil Gaiman; it weaves a story of friendship, magic, and myths.
Isabella lives on an island rich in legends, and when a series of mysterious events occur, it falls to her to lead a group of explorers into the forest to seek answers. The Girl of Ink and Stars draws on the culture of the Canary Islands to cast its spell on readers, who will love the intrigue, adventure, and relatability of its protagonist.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
This book is an Amazon Teacher’s Pick and a New York Times bestseller; it’s also a President Obama ‘O’ Book Club pick and a Newbery Honor winner. And, on top of this, it’s a great read, too!
The powerful, moving tale is the story of the author’s own childhood and is told in verse form. Each poem expresses Woodson’s experience growing up as an African-American in 1960s and 1970s America. The collection also recounts how the author struggled with reading as a child and her delight at discovering her ability to write down and recount her stories.
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
The winner of the Parent’s Choice Award gold medal in 2019, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is as popular with kids as it is with adults!
Young girls will love the whimsical, funny, bittersweet writing as they follow Coyote and her dad on their adventures. At its heart, it’s a deeply moving read about the importance of confronting our past in order to forge the future we want to live.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
With enchanting illustrations by Chris Riddell, this modern children’s classic is a spooky, gothic masterpiece that has gained legions of young fans worldwide.
Something strange is going on in Coraline’s new home, and it’s to do with whatever lies beyond the old door in the drawing room…
Best Books for 10-Year-Old Boys
Whether you’re looking for a chapter book to get your child on board with reading or as part of the progression from shorter stories to longer tales, these top picks are sure to do the job!
An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpugo
Inspired by a true story, this beautifully-written tale is an Amazon Teachers’ Pick and a truly captivating read.
When a zoo is hit by bombs during the war, the zoo keeper persuades the authorities to let Marlene, the elephant, stay in the family’s garden rather than be destroyed. But when more bombs fall, destroying the city, the family—with Marlene in tow—are forced to flee once more.
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
The winner of multiple awards and with over 14 million copies in print, children worldwide have been enthralled by this tale of love and adventure.
The story follows a boy, Billy, and his two beloved hunting dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann: the team is so tight that the whole region hears of its skill and achievements. When tragedy unfolds, Billy learns about the power of hope and how to continue our journey when all seems lost.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Wonder is a New York Times best-seller that’s already become a modern classic. Auggie Pullman—an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face—starts at a mainstream school for the first time in his life in the fifth grade… but his classmates have trouble seeing past Auggie’s differences.
Described by the author herself as a ‘meditation on kindness,’ Wonder is an inspirational story about friendship and courage, with a powerful message about life’s real heroes.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days by Derek Landy
Skulduggery Pleasant is a detective… he’s also a sorcerer and a warrior and is not—technically —alive. Right now, he’s in trouble: he’s been sucked into a parallel dimension, and it seems there’s little chance to save him. The fate of Skulduggery, and the world, all depends on whether his friend Valkyrie can pull off a rescue mission in time.
If you’re looking for a book that’s stood the test of time, then any of the titles below will fit the bill. These classic books for 10-year-olds have been treasured by generations of kids, and will doubtless be a wonderful addition to your family’s own home library.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
The original and best pirate adventure story, children will be thrilled as they follow young Jim Hawkins, who, following the death of the fearsome buccaneer Captain Flint, discovers a map to the fabled Treasure Island.
This edition of the book contains a behind-the-scenes journey, author profile, and activities to keep young swashbucklers entertained for hours!
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
First published in 1881, kids today still adore the story of Heidi, who lives with her gruff grandfather in an idyllic log cabin in the Swiss Alps. When the girl is forced to move to the city, she thinks she’ll never get over her terrible homesickness—but finds that friendship, and happiness, can often be found in the most unlikely of places.
Evocative and brimming with adventure, kindness, and compassion, Heidi is sure to become a classic in your home, too.
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann D. Wyss
After being shipwrecked on an uncharted tropical island, the Robinson family must learn to survive in their new home. This book is a classic tale of adventure and survival and has captivated and inspired readers since it first appeared in 1812.
The author never intended for his book to be published: he wrote it to read aloud to his four sons—one of these sons, once grown, edited it and arranged for the work to be printed.
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
The Borrowers tells the story of three tiny people: the Clock family! Homily, Pod, and their daughter Arrietty live beneath the kitchen floor of a manor house, listening to the clomping about of the ‘human beans’ residing above them.
Magical and full of heart, this book teaches kids that size has nothing to do with courage.
Fantasy books not only make for wonderful escapism, but they offer a powerful means of exercising kids’ imaginations. If your child heads straight to the fantasy section at the bookstore or library, then any of the titles below will be a winner!
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Inspired by Chinese folklore, this magical tale follows Minli, a girl living in the valley of Fruitless Mountain, in a hut with her parents. Inspired by her father’s stories, Minli sets out on a quest to change her family’s fortune. Along the way, she meets an assortment of fantastical creatures, including a dragon, who helps her on her journey.
The text is accompanied by beautiful, full-color illustrations—by the author—throughout, and this book will undoubtedly become a much-loved title in your child’s collection.
Medusa’s Head: A Pick Your Own Quest Adventure by Connor Hoover
This interactive book lets your young bookworm make their own decisions as they turn the pages of the story—if you have a reluctant reader on your hands, then this type of book is a great way to get them engaged and help them with their reading journey.
There are over forty possible ending to the story, and suspense and adventure every step of the way!
The Hobbit by J R.R. Tolkien
When it comes to the best books for 10-year-olds, The Hobbit’s place on any list is secured. Beloved by generations, The Hobbit is the prequel to the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy and is perfect for younger readers, who will love the high adventure and the wondrous creatures that Bilbo and company meet on their quest.
This special hardcover anniversary edition of the book features the author’s own drawings and stunning full-color illustrations. Children will enjoy curling up with this classic on a rainy day and getting lost in the tale.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K Rowling
If you’ve got a Harry Potter fan on your hands, then this is a must-buy for their collection. The Tales were often referenced in the original series, and the information the books contained was an important part of the eventual defeat of Lord Voldemort.
As well as the Tales themselves, readers will love the included notes courtesy of Professor Albus Dumbledore.
To ensure the safety of a 10-year-old child, you need to keep an eye on them! Install the Find My Kids app to always know where your child is and what is happening around them.
Book Series for 10-Year-Olds
No matter what age we are, everyone feels a sense of sadness upon turning the final page of a book we’ve absolutely loved reading. So discovering that there are more titles in a series is a great feeling: kids can continue to get to know the characters they’ve connected with and be drawn deeper into the wider story.
Give your 10-year-old the gift of hours of reading pleasure that comes with a series compilation—the sets below are all sure-fire winners that’ll keep kids entertained on even the longest of car journeys or school vacations!
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
If you’re keen to encourage your child to read, this bumper twelve-book paperback set could be a great place to start—and kids that have seen the movies or the animated series may just be interested enough in the characters to give the books a go.
This series follows reluctant Viking, Hiccup, along with his dragon, Toothless, on their many adventures—and misadventures—that’ll have children enthralled.
Theodore Boon by John Grisham
John Grisham may be known as the bestselling author of legal thrillers and steely courtroom dramas, but here he turns his hand to the tale of young Theo Boone—‘kid lawyer.’
This six-title set follows Theo’s adventures from the very beginning, and each book is full of suspense, plot twists, and heart-racing drama. As well as being great mines of information about the legal process and rights, their protagonist is also a commendable role model for kids. You’ll find that the books offer plenty of opportunities for discussion on a range of issues.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
The Percy Jackson books are a bestselling phenomenon, and the five books making up the Olympian series are collected together here. As well as being read in homes and schools across the world, the books have inspired two blockbuster films and a Broadway musical!
Percy is the son of Poseidon, god of the sea: kids will race through his adventures as, along with his demi-god friends, he attempts to save the people of Olympia from an ancient enemy.
The Complete Wreck by Lemony Snicket
This collection brings together all thirteen bestselling books in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series to create one unbearably awful set!
With gorgeous illustrations throughout, your child can follow the misfortunes of the Baudelaire family from The Bad Beginning to The End.
Mystery Books for 10-Year-Olds
The most well-written mystery books can keep us all—young and old—glued to the page, our minds whizzing as we try to figure out the culprit or the answer to the conundrum!
Need some inspiration? Try the titles below to feed your kid’s appetite for a great mystery story or to introduce your child to the genre.
Case Closed: Mystery in the Mansion by Lauren Magaziner
A compelling interactive story is great for this age group and can engage even those young readers whose focus tends to wander! Kids need to read the story and help its characters solve the puzzles along the way to successfully crack the mansion’s mystery.
Various options that readers can choose throughout mean that the tale can take a different twist every time! And parents will be pleased to know that the puzzles have a strong basis in learning, too.
The Haunting of Elmwood Manor by Pamela McCord
Kids who appreciate spooky stories will enjoy the creepy goings-on in this tale. After starting a ghost capturing business with her two best friends, Pekin Dewlap finds herself trying to solve the mystery of a girl who disappeared over a century ago… and whose spirit continues to haunt Elmwood Manor.
With just the right mix of thrills and spills—alongside the story’s concern with friendship, growing up, and knowing when to ask for help—this is a brilliant choice for boys and girls alike.
The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis
Already being described as a modern children’s classic, The Secret Lake is a time travel novel for kids that’s sold over 400,000 copies. It’s lyrically written and introduces children to characters they’ll quickly identify with; plus, its short, gripping chapters make it perfect for children who are ready to take the next step in their reading adventure.
Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens
Friends Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong decide to set up their own detective agency—however, they struggle to find crimes to solve. Until that is, they find their science teacher lying dead in the gym… but when they return to the scene five minutes later, the body has gone, meaning they now have two mysteries to solve rather than one.
Stylish and full of wit, Murder Most Unladylike has already proved to be a massive hit amongst this age group.
When it comes to choosing books for 10-year-olds, anything that makes your young reader laugh is likely to be devoured! Now, there are more humorous books for kids on the market than ever before, so you’ll be spoiled for choice at the selection available.
Here are some titles that are topping the bestseller lists right now.
Megamonster by David Walliams
Hailed as the new Roald Dahl, Walliams has made a huge name for himself in the world of contemporary kids’ literature. Loved by children around the world, his new book, Megamonster, is proving just as much of a hit as its predecessors.
Kids will delight in the deliciously ghastly details of the Cruel School, located on a volcanic island surrounded by shark-infested waters—when Larker gets sent there, it seems as if there’s no escape. But not everything is as it seems…
The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks by Katie Kirby
At the age of eleven and three-quarters, Lottie Brooks is convinced her life is over. She’s about to start high school but is contemplating hibernating with her hamsters instead.
Children will appreciate reading about a character who’s experiencing the sort of dilemmas and embarrassments that could be a part of their own lives right now and seeing how—ultimately—they can be overcome.
Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories by Jeff Kinney
Fans of the wildly popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid Story will love to see the return of one of the series’ characters, Rowley, here in this collection of hilariously spooky stories!
The fun illustrations, and Kinney’s trademark humor, is sure to have kids laughing—and parents, too!
Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets by Dav Pilkey
No kid can resist the silly fun and outrageous exploits of Captain Underpants, and you could well find that your child’s laughing so hard that they don’t notice their reading skills improving…
Friends George and Harry have inadvertently created an army of evil talking toilets that are set on taking over the world. Who can stop them? This looks like a job for Captain Underpants!
Looking for nonfiction books for 10-year-olds to fire their imagination? The titles below are just right for nurturing young minds.
National Geographic Kids Why? by Crispin Boyer
If there’s a curious kid in your life, this book provides the answers to over 1,111 questions covering every subject imaginable and ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous!
The plentiful illustrations, graphics, and full-color pictures throughout make the information easily digestible for young minds.
How to Survive Anything by Rachel Buchholz
Whether it’s an enraged Grizzly, a lightning strike, quicksand, or embarrassing parents, this hilarious—and yet highly informative—this book has everything your 10-year-old needs to navigate the various situations they could find themselves facing.
Space: A Visual Encyclopedia by Smithsonian
The whole family will enjoy this sumptuous hardcover book that explores the planets of our Solar System, as well as dark matter, black holes, and humankind’s journeys into outer space—and what the future holds in this regard.
As well as images from agencies including NASA and ESA, there are plenty of diagrams, timelines, information panels, and activities to keep readers’ minds busy.
A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Exploring subjects as diverse as the rise of civilizations to the likelihood of a meteor strike on Earth, Bryson brings his trademark wit, wisdom, warmth, and humor to this fascinating book that kids won’t be able to put down.
Other Interesting Books for 10-Year-Olds
Looking for a gift for a 10-year-old and need a quick pick? We’ve got you: choose from the selection below for a present that’ll provide hours of reading pleasure.
- Nation by Terry Pratchett.
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
- Rollergirl by Victoria Jamieson.
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle.
- Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.
- The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf.
- The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson.
- The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher.
- The Lost Diary of Sami Star by Karen McCombie.
- Danger is Everywhere by David O’Doherty.
- No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton.
- Nevermore: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend.
- Podkin One Ear by Kieran Larwood.
Helping Your Child Become a Reader for Life
Giving your kids access to great books that fire their imagination—like all those listed above—is essential to helping them develop a life-long love of reading. However, there are some other important things that you can do, too!
For example, taking turns to read aloud from a book they’re interested in (ideally one that’s a little above their current reading level) is a great way to both engage their mind and challenge them to develop their reading skills to follow the story.
Talking about the story that your child is reading alone or that you’re reading together is also very effective, helping with retention and keeping them interested in the story and any issues it raises.
And finally, avoid reading from becoming a chore: instead, encourage your child to view reading as a relaxing, fun activity. Try creating a cozy reading corner or having a regular time during the day when you both snuggle up together on the sofa to read your books. This is a routine that could benefit the whole family!
Did you have a young reluctant reader who’s transformed into a bookworm? We’d love to know your tips for helping kids develop a life-long love of literature – let us know in the comments below!
The picture on the front page: JOKE_PHATRAPONG//Shutterstock.com
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