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15 Best Books for 9-Year-Olds

Updated 19 October 2020

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The benefits of reading are no secret: it develops cognitive skills, imagination, and motor skills, but picking the right book for a kid of nine can be a challenge. By this age, most kids can read fluently and they have very clear ideas about what they like. 

To help you get it right, we have found the 15 best options for 2020 by searching through reviews from the grown-ups who have bought them as gifts. Our list features the books with the most supportive comments and we removed any that have fake reviews. Read on to find the perfect book for the nine-year-old in your life.

1The Twits (Best Budget Option)

This is a classic tale about an elder couple that only enjoys being mean to everyone around them and playing mean tricks on each other. However, their monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, have some ideas about getting the revenge that they deserve for the Twits keeping them locked up in cages all day.

What we love

  • The book contains vivid illustrations to enhance the storyline
  • The book is 112 pages long, which is excellent for nine-year-olds to both entertain and build up their reading strength

We dont like this as much

  • The story does contain some gross parts too it

2Lizard Music (New York Review of Books Children's Collection) (Best Quality Option)

This story follows the adventurous Victor who loves many things, and when his parents go away to a resort, he decides to go on an adventure around town while his sister shirks her babysitting responsibilities. Teaming up with the Chicken Man and a hen named Claudia, they head off to a lizard’s floating island to find out if they are from outer space.

What we love

  • This book was written and illustrated by the same person
  • It has a unique story to keep kids entertained

We dont like this as much

  • It is quite a surreal story, some kids might not enjoy it as much other others

3New Kid

This is one of the best books for nine-year-olds because it has a relatable main character and the storyline follows him on his adventures of being the new kid in a prestigious private school that is known for academics when his real passion is for art.

What we love

  • This graphic novel is focused on younger kids
  • The storyline is easy to follow and relatable for many kids

We dont like this as much

  • The plot does take a little time to ramp up

4The Witch Boy

Aster is growing up in a magical world, but in his world, boys are never allowed to be witches. They are only allowed to become shapeshifters but when a new threat appears and threatens his family, he has to choose whether to use his witch powers to save his family and perhaps get in trouble or not.

What we love

  • This book can be purchased in paperback and Kindle form
  • The story is set in a wonderful world of magic to spark the imagination

We dont like this as much

  • The plot twist could be a bit underwhelming for more advanced readers

5The Okay Witch

This is a spellbinding graphic novel that is designed to follow a young 13-year-old girl who loves witches, even though she had always chalked magic up to fairytales. However, one Halloween night, she finds out that she comes from a long line of witches and her world will never be the same.

What we love

  • The graphics are beautiful and complement the storyline
  • The character is relatable even in a world of magic

We dont like this as much

  • It can't be found in hardcover format

6Princeless: Save Yourself

This story twists the traditional damsel in distress princess story. In this story, the princess isn’t a feeble damsel and she never wanted to be a princess. So, when her parents lock her in a tower to await her prince, she takes matters into her own hands.

What we love

  • The princess character is inspiring
  • It doesn't follow the traditional princess-saving storyline

We dont like this as much

  • More aimed at female readers than male

7Half Magic (Tales of Magic)

In this story, a young girl finds a very peculiar wishing coin. Unlike other coins, this one will only grant half of what a person wishes for. However, some wishes should never be doubled because they can cause more trouble than they are worth. How will this wishing fiasco turn out?

What we love

  • This book comes in paperback and Kindle format
  • It has an interesting twist on traditional wish stories

We dont like this as much

  • The font can be difficult to read

8The Phantom Tollbooth

Milo is a kid that finds everything in his life to be boring until the day that a mysterious tollbooth appears in his room. Hoping for something fun to happen, he goes through and finds himself in a different world where he learns things from a ticking watchdog named Tock.

What we love

  • This book is illustrated with unique and comprehensive graphics
  • It follows Milo into an enchanting world

We dont like this as much

  • Language can be quite sophisticated for less confident readers

9The Westing Game (Puffin Modern Classics)

This follows the events of a game-loving millionaire’s death and who is supposed to get his fortune. 16 people come to the reading of the will, but who will be going home with the fortune left behind and who will still be wondering if it was the killer who got the fortune?

What we love

  • This is an interesting thriller for younger kids
  • It includes games and a murder mystery all-in-one

We dont like this as much

  • The font can be a little difficult to follow

10The 13 Clocks: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

This is a tale of an evil Duke who is the protector of his niece, a princess. He has frozen time and set impossible tasks to keep any suitors of his niece at bay. However, this doesn’t stop the courageous prince Zorn, who has sworn to rescue and take the princess as his own.

What we love

  • This story is written to inspire courage in kids
  • It has beautiful illustrations that help to move the story along

We dont like this as much

  • Story is quite short

11The Egypt Game

This story is full of a child’s imagination when they find out that a new friend enjoys learning about Ancient Egypt. This story follows them in finding like-minded people to enjoy a fun Eqyptian game where they dress up. However, after starting the game, weird things begin to happen that take them into a whole new world.

What we love

  • The story will keep kids on their toes
  • It has excellent illustrations to complement the story

We dont like this as much

  • It can be surprisingly dark and a little scary for some readers

12From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Claudia Kincaid knows that she doesn’t want to be where she is but she also doesn’t want to run away like everyone else. She doesn’t want to run away from something. She has decided that she wants to run to somewhere and she winds up taking her younger brother, Jamie, with her on her adventure.

What we love

  • This story puts a twist on the traditional running away story
  • The main character is easy to relate too

We dont like this as much

  • The font could be easier to follow

13The Witches

In this story, a young boy comes face-to-face with the Grand High Witch and he finds out that all of the horrible tales that his grandmother has told him are true. He always listened closely to the stories she told but will they be enough to save him?

What we love

  • This brings the world of witches to a new generation
  • It can be purchased in Kindle and paperback format

We dont like this as much

  • This book is a little long compared to some others

14Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 1)

This is the first book in a series and it follows a young girl who teams up with an undead man with the mission of saving the world. However, the question is will they be able to?

What we love

  • The characters are well structured
  • The story provides mystery and intrigue

We dont like this as much

  • This is only the first book in the series but the others are sold separately

15Sisters

This is a timeless tale of two sisters having to learn how to work together to help their family. They didn’t always get along but when issues with their parents arise, they set aside their differences and work together.

What we love

  • The sisters' relationship is relatable to real-world scenarios
  • The story is fun and entertaining to read

We dont like this as much

  • The flashback format can be difficult to follow at times