10 Books for 9-12 year olds for Christmas

This post is part of my 10 week Christmas planning series. You can find the rest of the my Christmas planning series here.


Whether you’re buying for your own kids or someone else’s, a book is always a terrific Christmas gift. But knowing what to choose can be difficult. I asked Allison Tait, author of The Mapmaker Chronicles series, to put together a list of bookish gifts for 9-12 year olds.

The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Tournament at Gorlan (John Flanagan)

The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Tournament at Gorlan comes highly recommended by my son, Mr11, for both current fans of this popular series, and those who are new to it.

In his words: “I thought this book was really good. It keeps the same qualities of the other Ranger’s Apprentice books – adventure, good vocabulary, humour and a good story. You could start the series with this book, or you could read it after you’ve read all the others.”

Danny Best: Full On (Jen Storer and Mitch Vane) (younger end)

For the younger end of this age group, the new Danny Best series will appeal to fans of Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton and reluctant readers. Non-stop action and quirky illustrations combine in a rollicking story.

Withering-by-Sea: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue (Judith Rossell)

Withering-by-Sea: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue is a beautiful little book that has won several awards this year and been shortlisted for many others, and for good reason. It combines adventure and mystery against a Victorian fantasy backdrop, and features Rossell’s own whimsical illustrations throughout. Gorgeous.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay)

Whether your child is new to Harry Potter or a mad fan, this new illustrated edition of J.K. Rowling’s classic is a lavish addition to their bookshelf.

Alice’s Food A-Z: Edible Adventures (Alice Zaslavsky)

For the budding Masterchef, Alice’s Food A-Z: Edible Adventures is the perfect combination of kid-friendly and grown-up looking. The tone is friendly, the images are large, the instructions are clear, and the book is full of quirky cartoons and healthy food information.

Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy (Karen Foxlee)

Boys and girls will both love Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, which combines magical realms and the real world. With wizards, an evil Queen, the battle between good and evil, and a quest to save the world, it’s got everything – and a beautiful cover.

A Single Stone (Meg McKinlay)

A Single Stone is a quiet, layered book will reward thoughtful readers. Set in a dystopian world, it follows the journey of Jena, a girl who finds that changing one thing can change everything.

Find your tribe (and 9 other things I wish I’d known in high school) (Rebecca Sparrow)

Find your tribe is aimed at girls, and touches on friendship, resilience, body image, stress, bullying and a host of other topics that tweens face daily. Sparrow’s tone is no-nonsense and entertaining, and the book would be enormously helpful to a girl approaching high school.

Ugly (Robert Hoge)

Ugly was released in August this year, the children’s version of Hoge’s autobiography is already proving enormously popular. Subtitled ‘A beaut story about one very ugly kid’, the book has been compared to Wonder by RJ Palacio – only it’s non-fiction.

Super Scratch Programming Adventures: Learn to program by making cool games (The Lead Project)

Scratch is a popular educational programming language that most kids will have come across by the end of sixth grade. Super Scratch Programming Adventures is comic-style book takes them through programming fundamentals as they make their own playable video games.


I love this list from Allison. I think a number of these books will be found in our house after Christmas! Allison Tait is the author of The Mapmaker Chronicles, an epic adventure series for kids 9+. My 9 year old devoured these books and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading them to him as our nightly reading.


You can currently buy the discounted trilogy on Booktopia here and save over 15% which is perfect timing –  book sets make such a fab Christmas gift!

What books do you have on the list to buy for the kids this Christmas?