hero-image

11 Plus Tutor


We're here to help you and your child navigate the admissions process from start to finish.

Reading Lists: Books for 9 to 12-year-olds


We all understand the value of books, and there has never been a better time to get reading. Having your child at home is a perfect opportunity to help them develop a love of reading and to recognise it is a pleasure, not a chore!

Mentor Education have put together the following reading lists of books for 9 to 12 year olds, using a variety of literary resources, book reviews, exam content, 11 plus reading lists and of course our favourites. Don’t forget, you can ask your tutor for recommendations too!

picture books for reluctant readers on a shelf

There is something for everyone – get reading!

Top tips for the reluctant reader…

  • Be a role model – exhibit a love of reading yourself. Schedule a time for the family to read every day eg. fiction, newspapers, cook-books, magazines, biographies.
  • Create a designated calm and cosy reading space.
  • Choose books together – mindful of your child’s reading ability and their interests.
  • Reading together is a special time and will not only improve your child’s fluency and understanding, but will create interesting discussions.
  • Encourage your reluctant reader to read to younger siblings.
  • Keep a reading log – this can be a great motivator
  • Create a reward scheme.
  • Help them to set-up an on-line book/comic/recipe club with friends.

Adventure Stories:

  1. Troy: Adele Geras
  2. Survival – Alpha Force1: Chris Ryan
  3. Hornblower: CS Forester
  4. Holes: Louis Sacher
  5. Journey to the River Sea: Eva Ibbotson
  6. Coram Boy: Jamils Gavin
  7. Kensuke’s Kingdom: Michael Morpurgo
  8. Moonfleet: John Meade Faulkner
  9. Treasure Island: Robert Louis Stevenson
  10. Beowulf, Dragonslayer: Rosemary Sutcliffe

War Stories:

  1. The Diary of Anne Frank: Anne Frank
  2. I am David: Anne Holm
  3. The Silver Sword: Ian Serrallier
  4. Hitler’s Daughter: Jacke French
  5. Carrie’s War: Nina Bawden
  6. Blitzed: Robert Swindells
  7. Warhouse: Michael Morpurgo
  8. POW: M. Booth
  9. Zlata’s Diary: Zlata Filipovic
  10. The Wave: Morton Rhue

Murder Mystery and Detective Stories:

  1. The Roman Mysteries: Caroline Lawrence
  2. The Falcon’s Malteser: Anthony Horowitz
  3. Nancy Drew: Carolyn Keene
  4. And Then There Were None: Agatha Christie
  5. The Thief Lord: Cornelia Funke
  6. Emil and the Detectives: Erich Kastner
  7. Cirque de Freak: Darren Shaw
  8. The Maze Runner: James Dashner
  9. The London Eye Mystery: Siobhan Dowd
  10. The House of 100 Clocks: A.M Howell

Fantasy & Science Fiction:

  1. Shadow of The Minotaur: Alan Gibbons
  2. Witch Child: Celia Rees
  3. Hacker: Marjorie Blackman
  4. The Neverending Story: Michael Ende
  5. His Dark Materials: Philip Pullman
  6. Stormbreaker: Anthony Horowitz
  7. Skellig: David Almond
  8. The Secret of Platform 13: Eva Ibbotson
  9. Harry Potter: JK Rowling
  10. The Day of the Triffids: John Wyndham

Horror Stories:

  1. Goodbye Tommy Blue: Adele Geras
  2. Marianne Dreams: Catherine Storr
  3. The Haunting of Alaizabel: Cray Chris Wooding
  4. The Clock Tower Ghost: Gene Kemp
  5. Moondial: Helen Cresswell
  6. The Haunting: Margaret Mahy
  7. The Ghost Behind the Wall: Melvin Burgess
  8. The Ghost of Thomas Kempe: Penelope Lively
  9. Goosebumps: RL Stine
  10. Room 13: Robert Swindells

Books about Animals:

  1. Black Beauty: Anna Sewell
  2. The Midnight Fox: Betsy Byars
  3. Charlotte’s Web: EB White
  4. National Velvet: Enid Bagnold
  5. My Family and Other Animals: Gerald Durrell
  6. Watership Down: Richard Adams
  7. Lionboy: Zizou Corder
  8. Refugee Boy: Benjamin Zephaniah
  9. Dear Nobody: Berlie Doherty
  10. A Child Called: It David Peltzer

Books to make you laugh out loud:

  1. How to Write Really Badly: Anne Fine
  2. Notes From a Small Island: Bill Bryson
  3. Hoot: Carl Hiaasen
  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Douglas Adams
  5. The Series of Unfortunate Events: Lemony Snickert
  6. Two Weeks with the Queen: Morris Gleitzman
  7. Wicked: Paul Jennings
  8. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole: Sue Townsend
  9. Mort: Terry Pratchett
  10. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Jeff Kinney


Get in Touch

We have many more reading recommendations and are on hand to help you whatever stage of the 11+ journey you’re at.


London’s No.1 tuition agency

“For more than 35 years they have been helping students achieve places at the top London day and boarding schools.”

School Report Magazine