The Very Best Books for 9-Year-Olds
Choosing a book for a child can be a tricky proposition; and with so many popular authors, genres, and styles out there, knowing what the 9-year-old you’re buying for will love is even harder. We can help! Use our guide to the very best books for 9-year-olds to select a gift that they’ll love reading for years to come.
So, whether they’re into the latest must-read series that all their friends are talking about, or would prefer a non-fiction treasure trove of fascinating facts, you’ll find the perfect present among the titles listed below.
- Best Books for 9-Year-Old Girls
- Best Books for 9-Year-Old Boys
- Classic Children’s Books
- Best Chapter Books for 9-Year-Olds
- Top Book Series for 9-Year-Olds
- Funny Books for 9-Year-Olds
- Need More Inspiration? Other Interesting Books for 9-Year-Olds
Best Books for 9-Year-Old Girls
Here’s our pick of the top books for 9-year-old girls—each is perfect for curling up and getting lost in, and for nourishing young minds in the most entertaining way possible.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal, The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a very special book that’s loved by young readers the world over. The story is set in a fantasy realm in which, every year, a community leaves a baby as a sacrificial offering to the witch who lives in the forest, hoping that this gift will appease her and prevent her from terrorizing the village.
However, all is not as it seems: the witch is a kind soul, who rescues these abandoned babies and takes them to a new home on the other side of the forest, feeding them with starlight on the way.
Children will love the adventure and beauty of this novel, as well as its cast of compelling characters—highly recommended.
Fizzlebert Stump and the Girl Who Lifted Quite Heavy Things by A.F. Harrold
Fizzlebert needs to find a new circus act quickly after the lion from his The Boy Who Puts His Head in a Lion’s Mouth act retires—and that’s where the self-titled strongest girl in the world comes in! Kids who love Lemony Snicket’s novels will enjoy this tale of circus rivalry and learning how to be comfortable in your own skin.
Plus, if she enjoys this title, she can go on to read the other books in the Fizzlebert Stump series.
Wish by Barbara O-Connor
Any young animal lover will adore this heartwarming story about a girl and her dog. When Charlie is sent to North Carolina to live with a family she hardly knows, she resigns herself to the fact that the secret wish she’s been making for years will never come true. But then she meets a stray dog, Wishbone, and Howard, a neighbor, and suddenly it looks as if Charlie may get her wish despite everything that’s happened—but does she really want it after all?
A beautifully told tale from the pen of award-winning author Barbara O-Connor, this book is certain to become a much-loved title in your child’s collection.
Best Books for 9-Year-Old Boys
Choose a title from the list below to give the present of a page-turning good read!
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
This popular novel was first published in 2007 and remains a favorite with kids all over the country. The book tells the story of Peter and his little brother Fudge; all the grown-ups think Fudge is as cute as can be, but Peter has a very different point of view!
Readers—especially those with a younger sibling—will love the way that the author captures the frustrations of being a kid, and the wacky, but entirely believable, disasters that occur as the story unfolds.
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier
Told using a combination of text and black and white illustrations, this best-selling book will be a sure-fire hit with any nine-year-old reader. After a monster apocalypse hits his hometown, Jack Sullivan takes to living in his treehouse. From this base, the 13-year-old assembles a team that includes his best friend, the reformed middle school bully, and June, the fiercest girl he knows!
The Last Kids on Earth is one of the very best books for 9-year-old boys: full of fun, adventure, and more than a little humor, kids will find it irresistible.
Never Stop Dreaming by Ellen Mills
If you’re looking for an inspirational and uplifting read for a special little boy in your life, then this is a great option—the book features ten unique short stories written to promote self-esteem, courage, inner strength, and self-love.
Each piece of short fiction is designed to help boys develop the tenacity, bravery, and self-belief to recognize and follow their dreams. As a bonus, readers can also download a Dream Journal and a Motivational Phrases Coloring Book PDF from the publisher’s website—both are good resources that can be used to consolidate the book’s messages.
Classic Children’s Books
No list of the best books for 9-year-olds would be complete without a selection of classic tales that have been loved by kids throughout the ages. Here are our recommended title.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson-Burnett
Mary Lennox, the young protagonist of the story, struggles to settle into her new home on the moors when she’s bought to live with her uncle following the death of her parents. However, she soon discovers friendship and magic after stumbling on the key to the secret garden, and her life changes forever.
What makes kids continue to fall in love with this book, despite the fact that it was first published almost a century ago, is the ease with which they can identify with the characters, as they follow the adventures of Mary, Dickon, and her newly-discovered cousin.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
This 100th-anniversary edition of the famous tale comes in a stunning hardback cover that’ll look fabulous in any young reader’s collection! The Hound of the Baskervilles has got just enough of the creepy factor to make it a sure-fire hit with young readers, who will be spellbound as they accompany Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson on their investigations.
This special anniversary publication also features sixteen beautiful illustrations taken from early-run prints of the book, making it even more of a treasure.
White Fang by Jack London
If you’re looking for a classic novel for a 9-year-old, White Fang is perfect for this age group. It’s the tale of a wolf pup who’s different from the very start. As White Fang grows to adulthood, he discovers that the world of the ‘fire-making gods’ (humans) is a difficult one. However, a young man appears in his life who seems to be offering friendship and kindness, things that White Fang has little experience of.
A key reason for this book’s enduring popularity is in its evocation of the ‘outsider’—something we all, young and old, have felt ourselves to be at some point or another in our lives. Children will follow White Fang’s adventures and trials avidly and treasure this very special classic tale.
Best Chapter Books for 9-Year-Olds
If you’ve got a bookworm on your hands, then chapter books are the best option for your little reader; they’ll allow your child to get fully immersed in a longer story. Curling up and getting lost in a good book is one of the greatest pleasures of adult and childhood alike; choose one of these titles and give the gift of adventure and imagination!
The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence
A Junior Library Guild selection, The Skeleton Tree follows the story of twelve-year-old Chris and his uncle, who set off on a boat trip together along the Alaskan coast. Within forty-eight hours of departing, however, their boat sinks, leaving Chris, his uncle, and a boy named Frank stranded in the wilderness.
Children will appreciate the drama of the book, and will no doubt be racking their brains, just as the characters do, for ways to survive in the wild. It’s also a great lesson in staying motivated, even when things go wrong, and the importance of compassion.
The Proto Project by Bryan R. Johnson
From the pen of multi-award-winning children’s author Bryan R. Johnson, this book is a sci-fi mystery that kids will find utterly compelling; plus, it manages to be educational without sacrificing any of its entertainment value!
If the 9-year-old you’re buying for is a fan of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, then they’re sure to love The Proto Project, which is similarly humorous, and told by an author that has the same knack of knowing just what will engage young readers and keep them turning the pages.
Millionaires for the Month by Stacy McAnulty
What unfolds when two not-quite-friends find a billionaire’s wallet left lying around and are subsequently set an intriguing challenge is the story of this children’s novel. Can the boys really each spend five million dollars in just thirty days?
Kids will enjoy the book’s innate sense of fun and mischief, and it’ll no doubt get them thinking of just what they would spend the cash on! On top of that, it’s a thought-provoking tale about privilege and the real value of money—and how some of the most important things in life can’t be bought.
Top Book Series for 9-Year-Olds
There are so many popular book series for kids out there that selecting the best one can be a challenge! Here are some safe-bet options that every 9-year-old will love reading.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Collection by Jeff Kinney
This twelve-book collection is loved by kids (and adults!) around the world. Greg Hefley lives with his mom, dad, elder brother Rodrick and baby brother Manny and feels—it’s safe to say— pretty hard done by both at home and school most of the time!
With their famous humor, child’s eye perspective on the world, funny illustrations, and a cast of unforgettable characters, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Collection is sure to become a very well-read series of books in your house.
Trapped in a Video Game: The Complete Series by Dustin Brady
For 9-year-old video game fans, this is a must-read collection. When Jesse and his friends get sucked into a game, they quickly discover that this situation isn’t as fun as they expected it to be! From hidden dangers to all-powerful madmen, the kids must work together and think fast to stay ahead of the game—literally!
Any 9-year-old will be thrilled to unwrap this gift for their birthday, Christmas, or any other special occasion.
The Land of Stories: Complete Paperback Gift Set by Christopher Colfer
The number one New York Times best-selling books are collected here in one gorgeous set that kids will treasure for years. The stories follow the adventures of twins Alex and Conner who, through the mysterious power of a magic tome of fairytales, find themselves in an enchanted realm, confronted with the creatures, monsters, and characters, that they grew up reading about.
This beloved series has already gained ‘classic’ status, and is a great choice for a 9-year-old who loves to settle down with a good book, and is ready for their next reading adventure.
Funny Books for 9-Year-Olds
Humor is a great way for a book to capture a child’s imagination, engage them, and keep them turning the page—and the titles below are likely to have mom and dad chuckling, too!
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara
Frankie used to be just your average pet goldfish until Tom’s big brother decides to become an Evil Scientist and dunks Frankie into a bowl of toxic green gunk. Tom and his best buddy Pradeep decide that the best course of action is to bring the fish back to life with the aid of a battery—it works, but Frankie isn’t quite the same….
This book was a New York Times bestseller; the author says that it was inspired by an incident in which, as kids, she and her brother did indeed bring their pet goldfish back from the brink of death!
Mega Monster by David Walliams
Widely credited as the Roald Dahl of his generation, Mega Monster will have your 9-year-old rolling around laughing! Illustrated by Tony Ross, it’s the story of The Cruel School and the unfortunate students who are sent to learn within its walls.
Kids can’t resist Walliams’ humor, wit—and the way that the appalling adults always get their comeuppance in the end!
Would You Rather: Gamebook for Kids by Jenny Moore
Get the whole family in on the fun with this collection of hilarious scenarios, and challenging choices! There are 500 questions to pose, and you’re sure to be surprised at the answers.
Great for keeping the kids entertained on a car journey, for some holiday family bonding time, or for children to play with friends. If you’re looking for an unusual and interactive book that’ll keep children entertained away from their screens for a while, then this is a perfect choice!
Need More Inspiration? Other Interesting Books for 9-Year-Olds
Use our easy-pick list below to make a quick selection that’s sure to hit the mark.
- The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick.
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin.
- When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller.
- Crenshaw by Katherine Appleshaw.
- Time-Travel Inn: Choose Your Own Adventure by Bart King.
- Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai.
- Hook’s Daughter by R.V. Bowman.
Non-Fiction Best in Class
- That’s Gross! Icky Facts That Will Test Your Gross-Out Factor by National Geographic.
- Interesting Stories for Curious Kids by Bill O’Neill.
- Grow Up and Love Your Body by Sarah P. Weston.
- Why? 1,1111 Answers to Everything b Crispin Boyer.
- The Dogs Who Play Baseball by Thomas Louis Carroll.
- How to Survive Anything by National Geographic.
- The Fascinating Space Book for Kids: 500 Far-Out Facts! by Lisa Reichley.
Giving the Gift of Imagination
Buying a book for a special 9-year-old boy or girl makes for one of the very best gifts you can give. The right book can provide a child with hours—even a lifetime—of entertainment, can nourish their imagination, and enrich their mind.
Think carefully about the child’s personality and preferences when choosing a book: the selections above are a great place to start. If your child, or the child you’re buying for, is already an avid reader, then consider introducing them to one of the classics, or a new series of books. If their reading journey is just beginning, then a funny book, or a title that ties in with their interests or hobbies, could be a good way of helping them on their way.
Why not share the guide above with friends, think about your favorite stories as a child, and come up with some other must-read titles of your own, to create the ultimate best books for a 9-year-olds list?
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