I’m frequently asked “What books would you recommend for 9 year olds?” and I’ve been meaning to write this post in response for a while now. I have my answers to this question, and they would inevitably involve some Katherine Rundell, but I decided it would make more sense to ask my 9 year old her opinion. I sent her off to her bookcase on a quest to find the 9 books she had enjoyed most this year, and here is what she produced a while later:
Beware! Low Flying Rabbits: Poems by Roger Stevens
Happy Holidays by Jacqueline Wilson
Sam the Stolen Puppy by Holly Webb
Daisy and the Trouble with Zoos by Kes Gray
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
Billionaire Boy by David Walliams
A Home for Molly by Holly Webb
Tom Gates: Epic Adventure (kind of) by Liz Pichon
Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space by Tim Peake
A fairly good mix, I think, though I would have liked to see some classics in amongst the Walliams and Wilson. This little lot is also a pretty honest reflection of what we have read over the last year – we have devoured everything the aforementioned two authors have written and a lot of Holly Webb’s animal efforts. On top of reading, both of my children enjoy listening to audio books and have digested the entire Harry Potter collection alongside a few others this year.
Jasmine has always been interested in science and space and to see that she has included a non-fiction text on this subject is no surprise to me. Offering children a range of books to read can be a good way of enticing a reluctant reader to get stuck in – it may be that they simply haven’t found something that interests them yet, and novels are not the only books worth reading. We love Horrible Histories, anything to do with the Human Body, maps, and joke books!
I tend not to guide my kids too much when it comes to reading – as long they are reading something, I’m happy. As much as I would like them to be trawling through my much-loved classics and the truncated Shakespeare stories I bought them, it is enough that they are interested in reading and in books. Sonny’s favourite topic at the moment is football – he eats, sleeps and breathes it. Inevitably, this interest is reflected in his reading choices; the current Barcelona annual is a particular favourite right now and while it may not be teaching him anything spectacularly worthwhile, it is helping him to practise and improve his reading skills, not to mention his spelling, grammar and comprehension.
I am always looking for recommendations on new books for primary age children and would love to hear any suggestions you might have. I am planning to follow up this post with Sonny’s top picks for 7 year olds (hopefully it won’t just be Harry Potter books and football annuals!) and then to check in with their literary highlights every 3 months or so.
Happy reading 📚