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15 Best Books for 10-Year-Olds

Updated 28 October 2020

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Reading is an important pastime for ten-year-olds. Not only are they expanding their vocabulary, but they are also opening up their imaginations and exploring new stories, cultures, and opinions. The power of a good book can have a lasting effect on pre-teens. They can experience things outside of their own lives and find special connections with a variety of characters.

Finding the right book that they will want to read cover to cover, over and over can be difficult.. TheToyZone is here to help. We’ve researched recommendations from real people, and pulped any books with manipulated online reviews to bring you the 15 best books for 10-year-olds. We’re confident you’ll find their next adventure here.

1Woke: A Young Poet's Call to Justice (Best Budget Option)

This collection of poems is one of the best books for 10-year-olds who are budding activists. All of the poems are written by women of color and they tackle a broad spectrum of topics, such as discrimination, acceptance, and many other social issues pertaining to today’s world.

What we love

  • Features vibrant illustrations that support the theme
  • Does well at tackling important issues in a child-friendly way

We dont like this as much

  • Doesn't appear to have a paperback version

2Stargazing (Best Quality Option)

Stargazing follows two kids, Moon and Christine, through their rich journey of friendship. The tale takes a serious turn once it’s discovered that Moon’s eccentric imagination has an earthly cause behind it. Stargazing is a graphic novel that successfully addresses many common Chinese-Americans experiences in ways that’s intimate, funny, heart-wrenching, and entertaining all at once.

What we love

  • Includes numerous underlying themes for children to learn about and discuss
  • Portrays relatable friendship issues

We dont like this as much

  • The illness storyline might be too complicated for some kids

3Lumberjanes Vol 1: Beware the Kitten Holy

A female-created and female-starring comic series, Lumberjanes Vol 1 includes the first four issues of the series that follows five friends dead-set on enjoying summer camp despite all the supernatural critters running about. They go on an investigative adventure, banning together to defeat their otherworldly foes with each protagonist having her own set of skills to help the group succeed.

What we love

  • Wonderful theme of friendship and helping each other throughout the story
  • Fun way to introduce kids to fantasy settings using rich artwork

We dont like this as much

  • Some kids might find certain story elements a bit scary

4Ikenga

This powerful story follows Nnamdi, a young boy who vows to avenge the murder of his father, the Chief of Police. The boy finds himself gifted with superpowers and the option to use them the right way in order to change his life. In this wonderful tale, you wonder just how much responsibility a 12-year-old child should take on, especially one with newfound magical powers.

What we love

  • Wonderful blend of a superhero origin story and a coming-of-age tale
  • The story flows well and is easy to follow

We dont like this as much

  • The mystery aspect could have been more established

5Be Prepared

The only thing Vera wants is to fit in, but for a Russian girl in the suburbs living with a single mother, it isn’t as easy. Be Prepared follows Vera as she attends summer camp and finds herself confronting things she wasn’t prepared for, like girl drama and Russian history. It’s one of the 15 best books for 10-year-olds to read and tackles real-life situations in a funny, entertaining manner.

What we love

  • Tackles great themes such as self-worth and bullying
  • Explores real-life situations in kid-friendly ways

We dont like this as much

  • Does contain some situations that may better suit older kids

6The True Meaning of Smekday

A young girl named Gratuity (Tip) Tucci is tasked to write an essay about Smekday, it tackles the many adventures of the alien race Boov taking over Earth and declaring it their colony as well as Tip’s unlikely friendship with a Boov named J.Lo. It’s a hilarious take on the so-called “end of the world,” which is fully illustrated.

What we love

  • Good variety of characters with varying personalities
  • Unique blend of illustrations from comic sequences to newspaper articles

We dont like this as much

  • Might be a bit lengthy to read for some kids

7Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever

Made by 25 funny female writers, this book contains a vast collection of entertaining stories and comics to keep kids engaged and laughing. Many of the tales are as heartwarming as they are hilarious and are aimed at inspiring kids as much as amuse them.

What we love

  • Fun mixture of prose-based stories and comic-style tales
  • Features insightful themes of allowing kids to be themselves

We dont like this as much

  • Some kids might be young for some of the humor

8Redwall

Redwall is where the beloved fantasy series starts and this new version contains seven fully colored illustrations to bring the book’s world to life. This adventure story is filled with heroes, villains, and everyone in between. It takes readers on an epic tale drenched with fantastical elements as the woodland creatures rush to defend themselves against incoming dangerous forces.

What we love

  • Kid-friendly approach to good vs. evil
  • Contains rich, imaginative world-building

We dont like this as much

  • Might benefit from having more illustrations

9The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book is a classic and it follows Nobody Owens (Bod) who is a normal, regular boy besides the fact that he lives in a graveyard and was raised by ghosts and a guardian who is neither living nor dead. It’s an interesting, thrilling tale filled with wit and creepy Halloween-like vibes.

What we love

  • Balances numerous elements that range from dark to uplifting
  • Engaging storytelling to keep kids invested

We dont like this as much

  • Some kids may find it long to read

10My Side of the Mountain

This story places readers in the shoes of Sam Gribley as he runs away from his family’s crowded home in New York to make a life of his own in the mountains. It’s a fantastical tale of resilience and surviving all on your own.

What we love

  • Has a timeless appeal that can entertain both kids and adults
  • Does well at introducing kids to survival skills in the wilderness

We dont like this as much

  • Some of the language used may be hard for some kids to follow

11Five Children and It (Puffins Classic)

This classic story follows a group of children who discover a Sand-fairy. They keep it as a pet as it can make one wish each day. It takes little time, however, for the kids to learn that not every wish is without consequences.

What we love

  • Features several mini-adventures to keep the story engaging
  • Easy to relate to the characters as the children behave realistically

We dont like this as much

  • Kids might need help understanding the old-fashioned language used

12Midnight for Charlie Bone

A blend of magic and mystery make up this exciting story. Charlie Bone recently discovers his magical powers, and he’s promptly sent to a magical academy filled with other special kids. It’s a fast-moving story that kicks off a series filled with fantasy-laced adventures.

What we love

  • Has just enough complexity to challenge children without being difficult to understand
  • Fast-paced so it may be easier for kids to read through it

We dont like this as much

  • Some of the details in the writing might be a touch too simple for some kids

13The Search for WondLa

A spin on classic storytelling for children, The Search for WondLa is a space-age adventure. It focuses on a young girl named Eva Nine, a human raised by a robot who goes on a quest looking for more people like her and a place where she can truly belong.

What we love

  • Includes vibrant illustrations
  • Child-friendly way to explore themes such as self-discovery

We dont like this as much

  • At certain points, some kids may need help understanding some story details

14Holes (Holes Series)

Holes is a heart-wrenching and heartwarming story that follows the unlucky Stanley who is unjustly sent to a juvenile detention center. The boys are forced to dig holes for the warden, but soon discover that it’s more than simple punishment as the warden is seeking something and Stanely is determined to find the truth.

What we love

  • The book is easy for kids to read in a short amount of time
  • Features many twists to keep children interested in discovering the truth

We dont like this as much

  • Certain story elements may be too mature for some kids

15Boy: Tales of Childhood

This is one of the 15 best books for 10-year-olds and takes a unique twist on an autobiography by telling the exciting, entertaining story of author Roald Dahl’s childhood. It goes over a variety of antics from nearly getting mauled in a car accident to how he tested candy for Cadbury.

What we love

  • Features a good variety of tales from school days to summer adventures
  • Short, yet fun read

We dont like this as much

  • Certain cultural differences may need to be explained to some kids