The most recommended books for 9 year olds

Who picked these books? Meet our 1,150 experts.

1,150 authors created a book list with books for 9 year olds, and here are their favorites.

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What type of book for a 9 year old?

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Book cover of A Place to Hang the Moon

Marcia Strykowski Author Of Call Me Amy

From Marcia's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Children’s author Former librarian Wannabe musician Sporadic artist

Marcia's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Marcia Strykowski Why did Marcia love this book?

I enjoy reading about sensitive, thoughtful characters who deserve a happy ending, and these three orphaned siblings—William, Edmund, and Anna—fit the bill.

Their heartwarming story takes place in England during WWII, where they are shuffled from one billet to another in search of someone who will take them in and hopefully become their forever family.

A truly delightful read for all ages!

By Kate Albus,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Place to Hang the Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A heartwarming story about three siblings, evacuated from London to live in the countryside, looking for a permanent home--and a new meaning for family.

A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year

It is 1940 and William, 12, Edmund, 11, and Anna, 9, aren't terribly upset by the death of the not-so-grandmotherly grandmother who has taken care of them since their parents died.

But the children do need a guardian, and in the dark days of World War II London, those are in short supply, especially if they hope to stay together. Could the mass wartime evacuation of…


Book cover of Time Cat: The Remarkable Journeys of Jason and Gareth

Deborah Kalb Author Of George Washington and the Magic Hat

From my list on classic time travel books for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a former journalist, currently a freelance writer and editor, book blogger, and author. I’ve spent my entire life voraciously reading. I majored in history in college and spent many years covering Congress and politics in Washington, D.C., before turning to writing books.

Deborah's book list on classic time travel books for kids

Deborah Kalb Why did Deborah love this book?

I remember really enjoying this book as a kid. Jason and his talking cat, Gareth, embark on a series of time travel adventures, from Ancient Egypt to the Revolutionary War. Alexander was probably best known for his Chronicles of Prydain fantasy series, but Time Cat is less a fantasy story than a series of time travel episodes. I’ve always been more interested in stories that involve time travel back to the past rather than into a hypothetical future, probably because I love history.

By Lloyd Alexander,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Time Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Gareth doesn't have nine lives, but he is definitely not an ordinary cat. For one thing, he can talk. For another, he has magical powers that Jason never dreamed of. "Anywhere, any time, any country, any century"―Gareth tells Jason he can take them traveling through time. And in the wink of a very special cat's eye, they're off. From ancient Egypt to Japan, from the land of young Leonardo da Vinci to the town of a woman accused of witchcraft, Jason and Gareth are whisked from place to place and friend to foe. This fantastic tale grabs the imagination and…


Book cover of Hilda and the Troll

Joshua Hauke Author Of Doom's Day Camp

From my list on monster loving middle grade reads.

Why am I passionate about this?

I always used to want to sleep with a nightlight. Then one night my dad said, “what does it matter, if when you close your eyes it’s dark anyway?” That’s when I realized, he was completely right. I'd been vulnerable to monsters this whole time and since none of them had tried to snack on me yet, then that must mean some were friendly… right? The only way to be sure was to learn more about them. So, I did. Here's a list of some of my favorite middle grade books featuring monsters. Because the only thing better than a book about a monster, is a book about kiddos that they scare or befriend.

Joshua's book list on monster loving middle grade reads

Joshua Hauke Why did Joshua love this book?

There are so many things to love about Hilda and the Troll that it is hard to pin down why I enjoy it so much.

Is there an awesome monster? Of course. Amazing art work? Sure. A magical adventure? Absolutely. But, probably the best thing about this book is Hilda. She is the type of character that is downright infectious. All she wants to do is help.

From tiny invisible people trying to kick her out of her own house, to enormous giants that can crush cities, Hilda does her best to make sure everyone… or, rather everything she meets is heard and cared for.

By Luke Pearson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Hilda and the Troll as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

While on an expedition to seek out the magical creatures of the mountains around her home, Hilda spots a mountain troll. As she draws it the blue-haired explorer starts to nod off. when she wakes, she finds herself lost in a snowstorm and her troll has totally disappeared. On her way home, Hilda ventures deep into the woods, befriends a lonely wooden man and narrowly avoids getting squashed by a lost giant.


Totally Turtles!

By Ginjer L. Clarke,

Book cover of Totally Turtles!

Ginjer L. Clarke Author Of Animal Invaders: Creatures Causing Trouble

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Hiker Reader Dancer Nature & science lover Social justice activist

Ginjer's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Did you know that leatherback turtles can weigh up to 2,000 pounds? Or that the Florida softshell turtle can breathe through its snout and its skin? Turtles have been around for millions of years, and we’re still learning more about them!

With simple language and vivid photographs, Totally Turtles! is perfect for emerging readers curious about turtles and how they have managed to adapt, survive, and thrive for so long. Learn about the fascinating world of turtles, from sea to land and everywhere in between.

Totally Turtles!

By Ginjer L. Clarke,

What is this book about?

Learn about turtles and their many talents in this nonfiction leveled reader perfect for kids interested in these shelled creatures and their lives on land and in the water!

Did you know that leatherback turtles can weigh up to two thousand pounds? Or that the Florida softshell turtle can breathe through its snout and its skin? Turtles have been around for millions of years and we're still learning more about them!

With simple language and vivid photographs, Totally Turtles! is perfect for emerging readers curious about turtles and how they have managed to adapt, survive, and thrive for so long.


Genres
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Book cover of A Traveller in Time

Gwyneth Jones Author Of Kairos

From my list on classic tales of mysteries beyond the veil.

Why am I passionate about this?

If I knew why I'm attracted to ghost stories, spooky stories; “mysteries from beyond the veil”, it wouldn't be a mystery, would it? My brother was the same. We can (or could) suddenly find the streets where we lived as mysterious as a lost world. We used to call it “The Land of Ghosts and Witches”. Did we imagine this feeling? Did we make it up? I don't know. But there is a long name for a condition, a little kink that matches my experiences. I found an article in New Scientist about it once, but I've forgotten what it was.

Gwyneth's book list on classic tales of mysteries beyond the veil

Gwyneth Jones Why did Gwyneth love this book?

Sent off to the old Derbyshire farm to convalesce, Penelope Taverner opens a door, steps into the world of the tragic stand-off between Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth of England, and hardly notices she's time-travelling.

She's just there, among people who dress a little strangely: accepted as exactly what she is, the daughter of an old family connection, come to stay for a while. Nothing can be done. Mary of Scots can't be saved; nor can the courageous Babingtons. It's intense and a bit voyeurish in a way, because the time-traveller is always going to walk away unharmed from tragedy, if not untouched.

I loved this story when I was a child, but what I notice most as an adult writer is Alison Uttley's method with the time travel: a real innovation. No clunky explanation, no clever rationale. It's all about hints and glimpses, haunting fragments; drifting into each…

By Alison Uttley, Phyllis Bray,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Traveller in Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A TRAVELLER IN TIME by Alison Uttley is a much-loved time-slip novel which vividly captures life at the time of Mary, Queen of Scots. Penelope lives in the 20th Century, and it is only when she visits Thackers, a remote, ancient farmhouse, that she finds herself travelling back in time to join the lives of the Babington family, and watching helplessly as tragic events bring danger to her friends and the downfall of their heroine Mary, Queen of Scots, whom they are seeking to rescue.


Book cover of The Animal Atlas: A Pictorial Guide to the World's Wildlife

Deborah Niland Author Of Annie's Chair

From my list on to happily lose yourself for hours.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being a children’s illustrator and writer, I have built up a well-loved collection of childen’s books over the years. They must have great drawings and imaginative concepts. They are books I can come back to again and again. The books I have chosen are ones where you can lose yourself in their intricate detailed worlds and forget about day-to-day troubles for a while. These books can also help reluctant readers by enticing them into a visual world first and then into appreciating the written word. 

Deborah's book list on to happily lose yourself for hours

Deborah Niland Why did Deborah love this book?

I love to see beautifully drawn animals and this book has it in abundance. For animal lovers who want to know more about animal habitats worldwide. Find out interesting facts about hundreds of rare and common species and enjoy the detailed and beautiful artwork of Kenneth Lilly. This book is a delight for any age group.

By DK, Kenneth Lilly (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Animal Atlas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Explore the animal kingdom with this pictorial atlas of the world's wildlife.

Where do animals build their homes? How do they survive in very hot and cold climates? Why are so many species endangered?

Discover the answers to all these questions and many more in The Animal Atlas. Learn where in the world different animal species are found; what kind of habitats they live in; what they eat; and how they find their mates.

The Animal Atlas is packed with beautiful, life-like depictions of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Each species is carefully hand-drawn to show details of fur,…


Book cover of Music for Tigers

Mahtab Narsimhan Author Of Mission Mumbai: A Novel of Sacred Cows, Snakes, and Stolen Toilets

From my list on to travel the world without leaving home.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been an avid reader. At school, during recess, I would find places to hide so the teachers wouldn’t find me and insist on sending me out to play. Exploring other countries also fascinated me but, growing up, we did not have the money to travel the world. Books became my means of travel. I especially love books written by authors who have lived or grown up in that setting. It’s why I find writing stories in an Indian setting easy and satisfying. The highest compliment from my readers is when they feel immersed in my stories and come away feeling like they’ve been to India and now want to eat an Indian meal. 

Mahtab's book list on to travel the world without leaving home

Mahtab Narsimhan Why did Mahtab love this book?

I had the privilege of being on a panel with Michelle and her description of Tasmania in Music for Tigers was riveting. The characters come to life in this beautiful setting, working together organically to make an enchanting story. Michelle's descriptions transport the reader straight into the Tasmanian rainforest and hold you there till the last page is turned. 

I especially loved the arc of the main character Louisa who is, initially, focused on her music practice. As she gets to know her Uncle Ruff and reads her great-grandmother's journal, her priorities shift and her own character changes, for the better. Side character, Colin, who is on the autism spectrum, is written with thoughtfulness and humour. The end is satisfying and fitting. A must-read!

By Michelle Kadarusman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Music for Tigers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

From Governor General's Literary Award finalist Michelle Kadarusman comes a novel about a young violinist who discovers her mother's family secretly harbor a sanctuary for extinct Tasmanian tigers in the remote Australian rainforest

Shipped halfway around the world to spend the summer with her mom's eccentric Australian relatives, middle schooler and passionate violinist Louisa is prepared to be resentful. But life at the family's remote camp in the Tasmanian rainforest is intriguing, to say the least. There are pig-footed bandicoots, scary spiders, weird noises and odors in the night, and a quirky boy named Colin who cooks the most amazing…


Book cover of Kristy's Great Idea

Kit Rosewater Author Of The Derby Daredevils

From my list on middle grade with radical and epic friend groups.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I had a lot of experience having a close group of friends… and a lot of experience looking into other groups from the outside. I waded from circle to circle, trying on friendships like some people try on hats. The books I’m recommending represent the best of fictional friend groups—the groups that topped any clique I saw in real life. Reading these books made me feel like an in-kid in the best possible way. Many of the characters remain the absolute coolest people I know, and serve as inspiration for the friend group dynamics I get to explore in my own stories. 

Kit's book list on middle grade with radical and epic friend groups

Kit Rosewater Why did Kit love this book?

While I absolutely love the recent graphic novel series, I have to give some major props to the OG Baby-sitter’s Club. These books are the perfect length to devour on a lazy Sunday afternoon. With so many adventures to choose from as each member of the group gets to play narrator, it’s impossible to not feel like a fellow babysitter handing out club flyers or herding little kids into softball teams. You may even find yourself making your very own kid kit at home and filling up a box with puzzles and games to play with the neighbor’s cat. No? Just me, then?

By Ann M. Martin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kristy's Great Idea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR NETFLIX SERIES!
When Kristy Thomas has a great idea to form a BABYSITTERS CLUB
- a chance to earn money and spend time with her friends - she has
no idea how much the club will change everything.

Crank calls, uncontrollable toddlers, wild pets, untruthful clients
. . . running a business is hard work! Kristy and her co-founders,
Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey, are sure they can handle
anything. But only if they stick together . . .

EVERYONE'S FAVOURITE SERIES.


Book cover of The Last Mapmaker

Janet Sumner Johnson Author Of The Winterton Deception 1: Final Word

From Janet's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Book-lover Cookie-eater Clue solver Traveler

Janet's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Janet Sumner Johnson Why did Janet love this book?

This book gripped me from the first page. Twelve-year-old Sai is an assistant to Mangkon’s most celebrated mapmaker, and she has a lot to prove as she guards a secret that could ruin her.

The Thai-inspired world building was so vivid, I could see it in my head. But more than that, what I loved best about this book was how the author turned all my expectations on their head. The characters and their stories challenged my views on “progress” and traditions, and the ending was unexpected. I would love to go back to this world in a second book!

By Christina Soontornvat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Mapmaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

From the visionary author of two 2021 Newbery Honor Books, comes a high-seas adventure set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world.
A young woman struggles to unburden herself of the past and chart her own destiny in a world of secrets. As assistant to Mangkon's most celebrated mapmaker, 12-year-old Sai plays the part of a well-bred young lady with a glittering future. In reality, her father is a low-life conman - and the truth could ruin her. Sai seizes the chance to join an expedition to chart the southern seas, but she isn't the only one aboard with secrets. When Sai…


Book cover of Remarkables

Shelby King Author Of Forest of Realms

From my list on that transport you to another realm.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love of realms and fantastic imagination comes from growing up in the backwoods of Alabama. The woods inspired me and beckoned me to dance and build and imagine among the trees. I created characters and worlds and could be a witch, a fairy, a troll, or a girl lost in time. I owe my love of creating characters to the woods that built me and one day I will go back and thank them for the beautiful life they gave me.

Shelby's book list on that transport you to another realm

Shelby King Why did Shelby love this book?

This book is a great stand-alone but thankfully is a series. It is a story about moving away and learning to integrate but also a young girl discovering strange things in the woods and finding herself immersed in a mystery you will not believe. I read this to my boys but I found myself more intrigued every chapter 

By Margaret Peterson Haddix,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Remarkables as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix, the master of cliffhangers, delivers a pulse-pounding mystery perfect for fans of Jacqueline West and Kat Yeh, full of secrets, surprises, and the power of family.

One minute they’re there: laughing and having fun at the house next door. The next minute, the teens are gone. Like magic. Marin can’t believe her eyes. Who are they? Can anyone else see them? What makes them so happy?

Marin is lonely in this new town of hers and eager to figure out more. Then she meets Charley, who reveals that he knows about them,…


Book cover of A Little House Christmas Treasury: Festive Holiday Stories

Bernice L. Rocque Author Of Until the Robin Walks on Snow

From my list on that touch our heart at Christmas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am someone who loves Christmas. My family’s Christmas Eve gatherings and a 5th-grade assignment inspired me to learn more about my heritage. This quest has outlived my eclectic career in libraries, teaching, and project management. In my fifties, I suddenly realized that who we are as people is forgotten within 100 years of our death. So, I started writing to preserve the ‘essence’ of those who came before me. A character from Until the Robin Walks on Snow tapped my shoulder to tell this survival story—one which embodies the love, traditions, and miracles of the holiday season. The recommended books lift hearts, too.

Bernice's book list on that touch our heart at Christmas

Bernice L. Rocque Why did Bernice love this book?

Each time the ‘Little House’ books cross my path, I am reminded of where and when I first discovered the series. My dad regularly took my sister and I to the (Otis) Children’s Library, then located atop the Church Street hill in downtown Norwich, CT. We devoured the Little House books and much of the library’s young reader collection, usually finishing the books before their due date, when Dad was happy to drive us again. 

I probably identified with the Ingalls family. Their experience in the American frontier echoed certain life patterns of my dad’s immigrant family (a half-century later). Self-sufficiency, frugality, gratitude for small blessings, and appreciation for Nature’s beauty and bounties were just a few. This “Treasury” brings together many of Laura’s wonderful Christmas memories.

By Laura Ingalls Wilder, Garth Williams (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Little House Christmas Treasury as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A gorgeous and festive collection of Christmas stories from the prairie!

Celebrate the season with holiday tales from the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the beloved Little House series. Featuring Garth Williams’ classic artwork in vibrant full color!