Must Read Books 10-Year-Olds Will Love (+ Free Printable!)
Recently, my 10-year-old boy was stuck in a reading rut.
He enjoys reading, but needed new material to get interested again. And I was clueless on what to help him find. A solution was in order – one that we can use again and again!
Best books for 10 year olds are the answer. No kid should stay stuck, and no parent or teacher should have to scour the internet for hours to help!
Reading specialist-approved recommendations!
Best Books for 10 Year Olds
First, these 10 year old chapter books are all highly rated, popular, and cover a variety of subjects. You’re sure to find winners!
1. Wish (Ages 9-12)
*New York Times Bestseller
Charlie Reese has made the same wish every day since fourth grade. She begins to doubt her wish will come true. But then she meets a stray dog and a surprising neighbor boy.
Suddenly, Charlie’s not sure if what she wanted SO badly is really what she wants her life to be.
2. The One and Only Ivan (Ages 9-12)
*#1 New York Times bestseller and Newbery Award
The One and Only Ivan is inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla who spent 27 years behind glass walls in a shopping mall. Ivan hardly ever thought of the jungle, until a new elephant makes him see things in a new way.
This touching story gives children a new perspective on the way we treat animals and the power of friendship.
This beautiful story was made into a major motion picture! Read the book, then watch the movie for family night!
3. Holes (Ages 10-13)
#1 New York Times Bestseller• Newbery Medal • National Book Award • One of Time Magazine’s 100 Best YA Books of All Time
Pass down this modern classic to your kids!
In Holes, Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. And when he gets unjustly sent to a detention center at Camp Green Lake, he finds that there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. He realizes that the boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something.
But what could it be?
4. The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Ages 10-14)
*Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal
In this creative fantasy story, the forest witch Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight on the way to delivering her to a family.
The baby is filled with extraordinary magic. So the witch names her Luna and realizes she must raise her as her own. But as Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge just as danger comes from all corners.
5. Rules (Ages 9-12)
*Newbery Honor Book & Scholastic Gold
12-year-old Catherine has spent much of her life helping her Autistic brother learn the rules of what’s acceptable and what’s embarrassing. But when she meets a few unusual new friends, her beliefs are flipped upside down.
Her own behavior changes and she starts to wonder… “what is normal?”
Grab your copy of this book here.<<
6. The Secret Lake (Ages 8-12)
*A Children’s Mystery Adventure
Stella and Tom move into a new London neighborhood. Soon, they befriend a neighborhood dog. Yet, they become overwhelmingly curious when the dog continues to disappear.
As they search for answers, they discover a tunnel that leads to a secret lake. And that they’ve somehow traveled back in time…
7. The Graveyard Book (Ages 10-12)
*The only work ever to win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) medals.
This is the unique story of “bod.” A normal kid who just happens to live in a graveyard and be raised by ghosts. A boy can find many adventures in a graveyard, but if he leaves he is in far graver danger from the living.
8. Brown Girl Dreaming (Ages 10-13)
*Jacqueline Woodson’s National Book Award and Newbery Honor winner
In a collection of soulful poems, Woodson shares what it was like growing up in the civil rights era, how she always felt halfway at home, and the love for writing that emerged and inspired her.
9. Restart (Ages 8-12)
*New York Times Bestseller
Restart is the spectacular story of a kid who loses his memory. Then, he gets to see his life through a new set of eyes.
Chase is astonished at the way kids react to him at school and he’s not sure he wants to be the same person anymore. But will he choose to be different?
10. Daughter of the Deep (Ages 10-14)
Ana is a freshman at a prestigious marine biology academy. But when she is sent on a secretive weekend trial at sea, Ana and her classmates witness a terrible tragedy.
Now she must face new deadly enemies and race to find the answers she needs. See Daughter of the Deep here>>
11. Smile (Graphic Novel Ages 8-12 Years)
*#1 New York Times bestseller, Eisner Award-winning graphic memoir
Raina longs to be a normal sixth grader. But when she falls and severely injures her front teeth, she must undergo braces, false teeth, headgear, and all sorts of frustrations.
Add an earthquake, boys, and friends, and you’ve got a true tale that every pre-teen can relate to.
12. Crenshaw (Ages 8-12)
Jackson’s family has fallen on hard times. Again. And so Jackson’s imaginary cat friend returns to help him. In this sweet story of getting through tough times, author Katherine Applegate shows the power of friendship.
13. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise (Best Books Ages 9-12)
*A 2019 Parents’ Choice Award Gold Medal Winner
Since her mom and sisters’ car crash five years ago, Coyote and her dad have been on the road. They’re traveling the nation in a school bus. And in all that time they haven’t returned home.
But when Coyote learns that the park near her old home is going to be destroyed, they make the hard journey back. With the help of new (strange) friends by her side, Coyote finds herself where she needs to be.
14. Northern Lights (Ages 9-16)
*Now a major HBO/BBC Fantasy TV series
Northern Lights follows the journey of Lyra and her animal half-daemon. Her destiny awaits in the frozen Arctic where witches reign and ice bears fight.
This adventure book for 10 year olds is also full of stunning illustrations!
15. Inside Out & Back Again
Winner of the National Book Award * Newbery Honor, * #1 New York Times bestseller!
This touching true story gives the unique perspective of a child immigrating to another country. Join Há in her year-long journey of change and healing, as she finds her new place in the world.
16. Pax (Ages 9-12)
National Book Award Longlist * New York Times Bestseller * Amazon Best Book of the Year
Read the compelling story and unlikely friendship of a boy and a fox.
Peter and Pax have grown up inseparable. But one day, the family moves away and Peter has to return Pax to the wild. As it turns out, distance is no match for their friendship. Follow as Peter and Pax both embark on adventures to find each other again.
17. When You Trap a Tiger (Ages 8-12)
*2021 Newbery Medal *New York Times Bestseller *Asian/Pacific American Award
When You Trap a Tiger is the tale of courage. When Lily and her family move in with her grandmother, a magical tiger appears to them. Soon Lily learns that there’s much more to her family history than she could have imagined.
Will Lily make a deal with a magical tiger?
18. Goodnight Mister Tom (Ages 8-12)
*IRA Children’s Book Award – best of classic books for 10 year olds!
As London braces for World War II, young Willie Breech is evacuated from his home. He is taken in by a kind old widower. At first, Willie is terrified of everything.
Yet with time, an unlikely friendship emerges. When Willie must return to his former abusive life, Tom goes looking for the boy he now thinks of as a son.
19. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (Ages 7-11)
*One of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time
When James drops magic crystals by an old peach tree, the peach starts to grow. Until it’s the size of a house! Then James meets a group of interesting, oversized friends and a great fantasy adventure begins.
Related: Awesome and Inspiring Books For Kids
Best Book Series for 10 Year Olds
Next, book series are incredibly helpful in keeping your child’s reading consistent. When they find one they love, they’ll be excited for more!
20. Artemis Fowl (Ages 10-14)
The adventure series that inspired a movie comes to life in this full collection!
12-year-old Artemis is no ordinary kid. He’s a criminal mastermind. But he gets way more than he bargained for when he finds out that fairies are real.
Want to try the first book? Here’s book 1 of the series!
21. The Chronicles of Narnia (Ages 8 & Up)
7 Books + Trivia Set
Explore a fantastic world just beyond your closet with this full series collection. The epic battles and astounding creatures have enchanted children for years. Your child will love them too!
See book 1: The Magician’s Nephew HERE>>
Pro Tip: Many of these series were turned into kids movies! Kids love reading the book, then watching the movie.
22. Harry Potter (Ages 8 & Up)
*Most Popular Children’s Books of all time!
The most popular children’s book series EVER!
This box set starts us off at Harry’s beginnings. It weaves you through magical spells and exploding adventures until the epic battle Harry faces with Voldemort. These are must-read books for 10 year olds!
See the first book here to start: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Related: Harry Potter Trivia Quiz
23. The Feather Chase (Ages 8-12)
*An Unlikely Mystery Book!
In The Feather Chase, two cousins with nothing in common have to spend the summer together. But their ho-hum summer turns into a thrilling mystery when they find a mysterious briefcase in the forest.
Now they must find a way to solve the case – together!
24. The Secret Zoo (Ages 9-12)
*Fast-Paced & Exciting!
The Secret Zoo is the first of this imaginative series. Suddenly, the zoo animals begin acting strange. And they seem to be searching for something.
Megan notices the odd happenings first. But when she disappears, it’s up to her brother and friends to find her. What they discover when they sneak into the zoo surprises them all!
25. Belly Up (Ages 8-12)
In Belly Up, 12 year old Teddy believes that the hippopotamus at the brand-new FunJungle has been murdered. Others believe that he went “belly up” the natural way. Who could the culprit be?
The deeper Teddy digs, the more danger he finds…
26. A Murder Most Unladylike (Ages 9-14)
In this popular series, Daisy and Hazel solve the most amazing mysteries. Death Sets Sail (book 9) joins the girls in Egypt. They encounter both a shocking murder and a secret society that believes them to be reincarnations of ancient pharaohs.
It becomes clear that someone is being framed. And they must solve the riddle before danger gets them first…
27. Theodore Boone (Ages 8-12)
Theo is a kid living in a small town full of lawyers. And he thinks he’s one too. But he’s suddenly getting much closer to the action than he’d like. He knows too much!
Now, he must give everything he has to make sure justice is served.
28. The City of Ember Complete Boxed Set (Ages 10-14)
*Nominated to 28 State Award Lists!
In The City of Ember, only two lamps keep away the prevailing darkness for those remaining of the human race.
But when the lamps begin to flicker, it’s a race against time to save the light. And everyone left.
To read them all, see the four book series here>>
29. Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger (Ages 9-12)
*A New York Times Bestselling series
Read Book one in this series and meet Sophie. She has a special power as a Telepath. But no one knows until she meets Fitz. He can read minds too.
Fitz introduces Sophie to a new world and a dangerous truth.
Good Books for 10 Year Old Girl
Now, the following book recommendations are about girls. But of course, anyone may like them!
30. Roller Girl (Ages 9-12)
*The Newbery Honor Award Winner and New York Times bestseller
Roller girl is a graphic novel that follows Astrid. She falls in love with roller derby and struggles through a difficult summer of keeping up with older girls and friendships.
It’s an inspirational book of change for girls. And in the end, Astrid realizes that she is strong enough to get through it all – and be a roller girl.
31. Snow & Rose (Ages 8-12)
If your child loves fairy tales, then she’ll love this book!
At first, these two sisters had the perfect life. Until one day their father disappeared into the woods. Snow & Rose is the story of two girls and an enchanted forest that has been waiting for them to break terrible spells.
32. Girl’s Best Friend: A Maggie Brooklyn Mystery (Ages 8-12)
*Nancy Drew fans will love this!
Dogs are disappearing in the neighborhood. Maggie’s determined to find out what’s behind the suspicious behavior. Except, she never expected the people she liked could be involved…
33. The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl (Ages 8-12)
Lucy’s life changed the day that she was struck by lightning. The sudden zap gave her super-genius math skills. And she’s been homeschooled ever since. Now Lucy’s grandma insists that she goes to middle school for one year.
But what could this genius possibly get out of middle school? It turns out, a lot.
34. Celebrate Your Body: And Its Changes Too! (Ages 8-11)
#1 Best Seller in Physiology
Puberty can be especially tough for young girls. A lot of changes happen early.
Celebrate Your Body is a reassuring book that answers the questions that 10-year-old girls don’t want to (or know how to) ask. The more body-positive things girls see, the better!
Good Books for 10 Year Old Boys
Next, these topics cover a few things boys especially love. However, girls may also find a few of them awesome!
35. Trapped in a Video Game (Ages 8-12)
Find out what happens when Jesse Rigsby gets sucked into his favorite video game. Jesse realizes that he can’t get out.
He’ll need to figure out what’s going on fast! Before it’s too late.
This is also part of a 5 book series, see it here>>
36. Allies (Ages 9-12)
*My 10 year old boy’s favorite books! (& New York Times Bestseller)
In Allies, Gratz writes an intriguing narrative to show how much one day can change history.
It’s D-Day and there’s a breathtaking race against time. You’ll find deadly risks at every turn.
Will the characters prevail? Will the Allies win the war?
ALL of the Alan Gratz books are amazing.(See Refugee & Grenade) But note: These books get into more complex, grown up situations (like war)
37. Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys
#1 Best Seller in Children’s Boys & Men Books
Guy Stuff gives 10 year old boys the answers to take care of themselves. From hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to shaving, acne to voice changes, and everything in between.
You’ll find practical tips and how-tos to help understand normal body changes.
38. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (Ages 9+)
*Newbery Honor Book
Brian Robeson faces the biggest challenge of his life when the plane he is on crashes, killing the pilot. He’s the only survivor. Alone in the Canadian wilderness with only a hatchet, Brian will have to learn how to survive on his own.
Watch the Video
My 10 Year Old Boy’s Favorites:
*Looking for more fiction books? Try this amazing list of 9 year old books too!
Interesting NonFiction Books for 10 Year Olds
These best nonfiction books for 10 year olds are downright fascinating. They get kids excited about science, history, and more!
39. Wow in the World: The How And Wow Of The Human Body: From Your Tongue to Your Toes and All the Guts in Between (Ages 8-12)
*My kids’ favorite science book!
Wow in the World shows kids that the body is a fascinating mystery. Fun illustrations, fascinating facts, jokes, quizzes, and experiments, make learning an adventure!
These authors also have a mega-popular podcast! >>
Note: I did get a few reproductive questions after my kids read this book. I LOVED that the book opened this up in a scientific way, but this may happen.
40. Interesting Stories for Curious Kids
#1 Bestseller in Children’s American Local History
“A Fascinating Collection of the Most Interesting, Unbelievable, and Craziest Stories on Earth!” – Amazon
Let Interesting Stories for Curious Kids bring learning to you in a new fun way. This book keeps kids engaged through the most unbelievable true stories!
41. Awesome Physics Experiments for Kids: 40 Fun Science Projects and Why They Work (Ages 10-13)
Need books for 10 year olds that get your child moving? Try this activity workbook! It builds on stem knowledge and gets kids excited about science!
You’ll find 40 highly engaging hands-on experiments that get your kids thinking in a whole new way.
42. 5,000 Awesome Facts About Everything
# 1 Bestseller in Children’s Mystery & Wonders Books
Compelling photographs and fun-filled facts make 5,000 Awesome Facts highly entertaining and educational! It’s bursting with exciting tidbits and sensational things your kids love.
43. Amazing Muslims who Changed the World
This empowering book provides insight into thirty amazing historical figures.
In her message, author Burhana Islam writes “remember that we come from greatness, we are capable of greatness and we are greater than the stereotypes that bind us.”
44. How to Draw Cool Stuff
*#1 Bestseller in illustration and graphic design
If you have an artistic kiddo on your hands, then they’ll love learning how to draw in detail. How to Draw Cool Stuff gives step-by-step instructions and hands-on exercises. It helps anyone gain confidence and skill.
Books for 10-Year-Old Advanced Reader
Finally, if your child is looking for a few advanced books for 10 year olds, here are great books for 10-14 year olds!
45. A Wrinkle in Time (Ages 10-14 Years)
*Newbery Medal Winner
A Wrinkle in Time begins with an odd stranger on a dark and stormy night.
Meg & Charles learn of a tesseract (a wrinkle in time). Soon, Meg and Charles journey through space and time to find their missing government-employed father.
This is a five book series! See the full series here>>
46. The Trials of Apollo (Ages 10-14)
After angering his father, the God Apollo is cast down to Earth as a mortal. Now, without his immortal powers, Apollo must learn to survive as a regular teenage boy. But Apollo has many enemies, and danger lurks everywhere.
47. Difficult Riddles for Smart Kids (Ages 10+)
*Makes a great challenge!
Stretch your young reader’s mind with these creative brain teasers and riddles. You’ll find 300 puzzles designed to test logic, problem-solving, and memory.
Looking for more word challenges? Try these funny what am I riddles >>
48. A Long Walk to Water (Ages 10-14)
*Audie Award Finalist *New York Times Best Seller
This sensational book is based on a true story. Meet two Sudanese children who overcome terrible hardships to improve lives in an astonishing way.
49. Scritch Scratch: A Ghost Story by Lindsay Currie (Books For 10+)
When Claire rides her dad’s ghost-themed Chicago bus tour, she expects nothing unusual. But then she sees a boy at the back of the bus who mysteriously disappears. And the scratching starts…
Read this hair-raising book to find out what happens next.
Beware! This is a ghost story!
50. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (Ages 10 +)
*Newbery Medal Winner
As Salamanca Tree Hiddle travels with her grandparents, she tells a tale about Phoebe Winterbottom. As the trip continues, it seems that Sal and her story character Phoebe have something very important in common.
In Walk Two Moons two tales intertwine in one heartwarming story.
See more middle school books >>
Grab the free pdf
Keep it handy for when you go to the library.
How much should a 10 year old read?
The easiest way to achieve this is through a regular reading routine. In our home, the kids read right before bed.
This routine serves as both reading time and a way for them to wind down without screens. After school can also work well.
Tips for Choosing Books for Your 10 Year Old
What if you have a child that doesn’t want to read? Or how do you know what books to pick? Here are a few great suggestions!
- Books series are great for engagement! If the child loves the first book, he or she will want to keep going.
- Play to their interests! Look for books that highlight an outside interest of your child. Grab a fun free bookmark here to make things interesting too.
- Give a little reading motivation! Offer these free coupons as a reward for when they’ve done a certain amount of reading.
- Be a reading role model! Do the kids see you reading too? If you show that reading is fun and important, they’ll think it is too.
Pro Tip: Motivate your child by reading a book that is a movie or television series. Then watch it together!
Come back to this list again and again!
I hope you enjoyed this big list of best books for 10 year olds! I’ve got more lists for all ages, like books for 5 year olds to read themselves. So, explore the site for more.
In the meantime, check out other helpful kids posts…
- Two Truths & A Lie Game Examples (Tips to Trick Others!)
- The Big List of Fascinating Kids Trivia Questions
- 65+ Best Gifts for Kids That Are Not Toys