Auckland Libraries: Advanced books for keen young readers

Advanced books for keen young readers

He Pukapuka whanake mā te kaipānui taitamariki

​Librarians are often asked to recommend books for 7 to 9 year olds, who are reading well above their chronological age. But the teens’ section has content that isn’t appropriate – and the reading level isn’t really that advanced, either. Here are some children's books which have age-appropriate subject matter, but a higher reading level.

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The graveyard book

Neil Gaiman

Book

There is some violence that might disturb some younger readers. But, this has one of the best opening sentences ever, and an amazing cast of characters – living and dead.

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The fairy-tale detectives

Michael Buckley

Book

An intriguing adventure / mystery series featuring descendants of the Grimm brothers, and a host of fairy-tale characters.

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The Penderwicks

Jeanne Birdsall

Book

Just as promised in the title – a modern story with an old-fashioned feel. This is the first in a series about the Penderwicks.

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Because of Winn-Dixie

Kate DiCamillo

Book

Words cannot fully express the wonder and soul-deep contentment this book brings to every reader I’ve met. Please expand out and try other Kate DiCamillo books – she’s written for many ages.

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Dragon rider

Cornelia Caroline. Funke

Book

Fantasy quest novels never go out of fashion. Obstacles, friendships, dangers…

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A tale of Two Castles

Gail Carson. Levine

Book

Gail Carson Levine does a great job of re-imagining fantasy stories, and the Two Castles series is a great place to start.

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Turtle in paradise

Jennifer L. Holm

Book

Drama, fun, family and a bit of history lesson thrown in.

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The exiles

Hilary McKay

Book

First in a trilogy about a quartet of sisters and their family dramas and interactions.

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From the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

E. L. Konigsburg

Book

A mixed-up book, too – full of many genres and stories and characters. Just one of the many amazing books by E. L. Konigsburg.

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The music of dolphins

Karen Hesse

Book

The whole writing style will intrigue some readers – as Mila’s language ability and confidence grows.

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Nuts to you

Lynne Rae. Perkins

Book

Another quest story – this time featuring squirrels! I’ve been reliably informed that this is a wonderful read.

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Mrs. Frisby and the rats of Nimh

Robert C. O'Brien

Book

An oldie, but a goodie – a story of maternal love and determination.

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My best friend and other enemies

Catherine Wilkins

Book

School and friends can be tough – as Jessica finds. Humour and pathos in equal measures.

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Maniac Magee

Jerry Spinelli

Book

Another book I can’t praise highly enough! Another one that lives close to my heart. Also try Jerry Spinelli’s other books.

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Amazon adventure

Willard Price

Book

The Hal and Roger Hunt adventures may be a bit dated (they’re originally published between 1949 and 1980), but they can do the trick for the right reader.

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Book list by:

Annie

LibrarianHelensville Library