50 Best Books for 9 Year Olds in 2024

This epic list of books for 9 year olds will captivate reluctant readers, book lovers, and every type of reader in between.

At 9 years old, young readers transition from learning to read to tackling more complex texts, a crucial phase for academic success. Unfortunately, many kids experience a decline in interest in reading by this age.

Renew your child’s interest in reading with this engaging list.

kids reading; best books for 9 year olds

*Discover 5 simple and effective strategies to inspire your child to read after considering the recommendations from the reading specialist.

Good Chapter Books for 9 year olds

Begin by exploring these classic books for 9-year-olds, offering captivating stories suitable for reading aloud to the entire family.

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1. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume (Ages 8-9)

*#1 New York Times Bestselling Author

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Peter’s biggest problem is his two-year-old brother, Fudge, who seems to get into trouble wherever he goes. The entire family will laugh out loud with this relatable and timeless tale by beloved author Judy Blume.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the first in a five-book Fudge series.

2. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan (Ages 9-12)

*Scholastic Gold Line

esperanza rising

Esperanza’s privileged life in Mexico vanishes, forcing her family to flee to California. Amidst life on a farm labor camp, she discovers the resilience to overcome adversity and build a new life.

See Esperanza Rising Here>>

3. Frindle by Andrew Clements (Ages 8-10)

*Award-winning author Andrew Clements

Frindle: Best 9 year old chapter books

Ever wondered how words are made? Nick Allen’s plan to rename a pen as a “frindle” quickly spreads, and he finds himself unable to control the word’s popularity.

Find Frindle here >>

4. 4th Grade Rats by Jerry Spinelli (Books for 8-9 year olds)

fourth grade rats book

Transitioning from a third-grade angel to a fourth-grade rat proves challenging for Suds. Despite Joey’s attempts to toughen him up, Suds struggles. Will he survive fourth grade? Read to discover his fate!

5. The One & Only Bob by Katherine Applegate (Ages 8-11)

*Teacher’s Pick

The One and Only Bob

The beloved characters from The One and Only Ivan return in this book. Bob the dog is looking for his sister with Ivan and Ruby. And they’re off on an adventure that readers will love.

6. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (Ages 8-11)

*The New York Times-bestselling story of kindness, friendship, and hope

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

This is the story of Red, an old oak tree. Everyone in the neighborhood writes their wishes and ties them to Red’s branches. One day, a new family moves into the neighborhood and Red becomes more important than ever.

7. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater (Ages 6-9)

*A Newbery Honor Book

Mr. Popper's Penguins

When Mr. Popper receives a penguin, life will never be the same. Pretty soon, he has an entire performing group of penguins on tour! Parents and kids alike will burst into laughter with this delightful story.

8. Wonder By R.J. Palacio (Ages 9-11)

*Editor’s Inspirational Pick: Best books for ages 9-12


Meet Auggie. An ordinary boy with an unusual face. His personality inspires an entire community to discuss what kindness, empathy, and compassion mean in practice.

Also, check out more inspiring and motivational books for kids.

9. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes (Ages 7-10)

*Newbery Honor Book

the hundred dresses: classic 9 year old story books

Wanda wears the same blue dress daily, claiming to have a hundred dresses at home. When Peggy mocks her, the story explores themes of kindness, bullying, and the importance of standing up for others.

10. The Boy At The Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf (Ages 8-11)

the boy in the back of the class: books for 9 year old boys and girls who don't like to read

When Ahmet, a Syrian refugee, joins Mrs. Khan’s class and reveals his separation from his family due to war, the class devises a plan to assist him.

Read The Boy At The Back of the Class here >>

11. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper (Ages 9-11)

*New York Times bestseller and award-winning author

Out Of My Mind

In this story, Melody, with cerebral palsy impacting her ability to walk, talk, or write, possesses a remarkable photographic memory. Despite challenges, she is determined to show the world her intelligence and capabilities.

12. The Witches by Roald Dahl (Ages 7-10)

*A favorite read aloud

Roald Dahl; The Witches

This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.

When you are staying at a hotel where real witches are having a convention, things get a little scary. Especially when you discover that witches cannot stand children! Let your imagination run wild with this classic tale from Roald Dahl.

13. The BFG by Roald Dahl (Ages 7-9)

*One of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of all time


When Sophie is carried off in the night by the BFG, she thinks she is going to be his breakfast! Thankfully for Sophie, the Big Friendly Giant is not like other giants!

Good Books for 9-year-old Girls

Explore these popular girl books for 9-year-olds, featuring exciting series that can captivate even the most reluctant readers.

14. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George (Ages 8-11)

*First book of a series of 5

Tuesdays at the Castle: Best adventure chapter books for 9 year olds girl

Princess Celie cherishes Tuesdays at Castle Glower when it magically adds a new room or wing. She alone notices the changes weekly, and when the kingdom is threatened, Celie becomes the key to its salvation.

Also, look for the Dragon Slippers series by this same author!

15. You Are An Amazing Girl by Nadia Ross (Ages 6-10)

A Collection of Inspiring Stories About Courage, Friendship, Inner Strength and Self-Confidence

Inspire confidence, security, and self-belief in girls with this book featuring 10 short relatable stories that address overcoming fears and building confidence.

16. Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (Ages 8-11)

*Newbery Medal winner

Flora & Ulysses

From beloved author, Kate DiCamillo comes a humorous story about the friendship between a girl and a squirrel.

17. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (Ages 9+)

*Newbery Honor book for 9 year olds

Princess Academy

Miri transitions from a simple family life to attending an academy with the potential to become the next princess. As she faces hardships and trials, readers will connect with her journey in this this first book of the trilogy.

18. The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg (Ages 8-11)

*Read more in this series!

The Great Shelby Holmes: girl 9 year old books mystery

9-year-old Shelby Holmes is the best detective in her neighborhood. She’s smart and a little bossy. When John Watson moves in downstairs, Shelby may just find the friend and partner that she needs.

Mystery lovers will enjoy a funny spin on classic Holmes and Watson stories.

19. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Ages 5-10)

*award-winning Little House series

Little House in the Big Woods

Embark on pioneer life in the 1800s with Laura and her family in the first book of a 9-part series recounting true stories from Laura’s childhood and family adventures.

20. Ways to Make Sunshine by Renee Watson (Ages 8-11)

*A New York Times Best Children’s Book of the Year

Ways to Make Sunshine

Read the first book in this delightful series and meet Ryan Hart. Ryan knows how to make sunshine out of adversity, see the best in others, and continue to be kind in all circumstances.

Best Books for 9-year-old Boys

Boys may gravitate toward the engaging book choices in this next section.

21. The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows (Ages 8-11)

The Best of Iggy: Good books for 9 year old boys

9-year-old Iggy has done a few bad things…and he’s not even sorry for most of them. Except for that one time…

Read this humorous book!

22. Nate Rocks the World by Karen Pokras Toz (Ages 8-10)

Life as a fourth-grader can be tough when you are Nathan Rockledge. Thankfully he has a sketchpad and his imagination to help him survive! This is a perfect read for the boy in your life!

23. Dude, That’s Rude! (Get Some Manners) by Pamela Espeland (Ages 6-11)

Dude, That's Rude! Get Some Manners; books for 9 year old boys

Does the 9-year-old in your life need some manners? This fun book will help teach good behavior in many different situations.

24. Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas by Jonathan W. Stokes (Ages 8-11)

Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas

Adventure with Addison Cooke in book 1 of 3 as he tries to save his uncle and a treasure!

25. Power Forward by Hena Khan (Ages 8-11)

Power Forward

Zayd Saleem, a fourth-grader with dreams of basketball stardom, faces a challenge when his passion clashes with violin practice, disappointing his parents. Will Zayd pursue his basketball dream? Read to discover the outcome! Read to find out!

Best Book Series for 9 year-olds

The best way to hook your child into reading is by getting him/her started on a series. I suggest you read the first book in the series with your 9 year old.

26. The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies (Ages 8-10)

The Lemonade War

Siblings Evan and Jessie compete in a lemonade-selling contest before school starts, leading to a suspenseful outcome. The Lemonade War kicks off a five-book series with relatable characters, making it an enjoyable read for children.

27. The Tail of Emily Windsnap (Book 1 of 9) by Liz Kessler (Ages 8-11)

*New York Times Bestselling series

Emily’s first swim becomes a surprise when her legs transform into a mermaid tail, leading her on an unexpected adventure to uncover the truth about her father.

Read The Tail of Emily Windsnap here!

28. I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967 (#17 in the series) by Lauren Tarshis (Ages 8-10)

*New York Times Bestselling author

I Survived

Read another engaging installment in the I Survived series. When visiting Glacier National Park, Melody Vega comes face-to-face with a grizzly bear.

29. The Sasquatch Escape: (The Imaginary Veterinary: Book 1) by Suzanne Selfors (Ages 6-9)

*Book 1 of 6 in a great series

The Sasquatch Escape; books series for 9 year olds

When Ben’s cat brings home a baby dragon, his summer with his grandfather takes an unexpected turn. Teaming up with a new friend, Pearl, they discover a veterinarian in town caring for imaginary creatures. What unfolds when they accidentally release a sasquatch?

Read here to find out!

30. Legend of the Star Runner by J. I. Wagner (Ages 7-9)

Legend of the Star Runner

Timmi Tobbson and friends only have 24 hours to discover the legend of a long-lost pirate ship buried in their city. However, they may find more than they expect aboard the Star Runner!

This unique series allows your child to become a sleuth by reading a story and finding clues in a picture to solve the puzzle.

31. The Danger Gang by Tom Fletcher (Ages 7-11)

*#1 bestselling adventure!

Danger Gang: 8-9 year olds book series for kids to read

Franky is new in town, but after a storm with green lightning and thunder, the kids on Franky’s street start to get a little…unusual. Soon he realizes that he and his new gang are in danger.

Grab your copy of this exciting adventure!

32. The Wishing Spell: The Land of Stories 1 by Chris Colfer (Ages 8-11)

*#1 New York Times bestselling author

Alex and Conner Bailey are twins that find themselves in a fairy-tale world. They discover that adventures in a fairy-tale are not always easy!

33. Sleepover Sleuths: Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #1 by Carolyn Keene (Ages 6-9)

Nancy Drew Mystery books for 9 year olds

When Deirdre invites Nancy and her friends over for a sleepover, Deirdre’s doll goes missing. Will Nancy be able to solve this mystery?

34. Front Desk by Kelly Yang (Ages 9-11)

*New York Times bestselling author of this series

Mia Tang, a 10-year-old, juggles managing the front desk of her family’s motel, where they secretly let immigrants stay for free and pursues her writing dreams while navigating the challenges that arise.

Get your copy of Front Desk here.

35. The Familiars (Book 1) by Adam Jay Epstein (Ages 8-11)

*Goodreads Choice

The Familiars: Books for 9 year olds who love Harry Potter

Aldwyn, an alley cat, becomes the familiar to Jack, a young wizard, and must convince other familiars of his magical abilities. When captured by the evil queen, Aldwyn faces a crucial challenge: can he save them all? This captivating fantasy novel is perfect for 9-year-olds who may not typically enjoy reading.

36. Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman (Ages 7-11)

*A New York Times bestseller!

The Silver Arrow

Kate and Tom’s lives transform when Uncle Herbert gifts them a locomotive, the Silver Arrow, for Kate’s birthday. The unexpected present leads them on a magical adventure of a lifetime.

*Test your knowledge with these book trivia quiz questions for kids >>

9 Year Old Nonfiction Books

Explore engaging nonfiction books tailored for 9-year-olds, sparking curiosity and reinforcing essential reading-for-information skills in your child.

37. Weird But True Gross: 300 Slimy, Sticky, and Smelly Facts by National Kids (Ages 7-10)

Weird But True: Non fiction educational books for 9 year olds

Do you like to be grossed out? This is the book for you!

38. Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be by Charlotte Foltz Jones (Ages 7-11)

Mistakes That Worked

Can a mistake change the world? Read these unusual true tales and facts about accidental inventions (from silly putty to potato chips)!

39. Where is the Bermuda Triangle? by Megan Stine (Ages 8-12)

*New York Times Bestselling series

Where is the Bermuda Triangle?

Engage your reluctant or history-loving reader with this book all about the Bermuda Triangle.

Explore over 250 books in this series and find topics your child will enjoy learning about!

40. Super Interesting Facts for Smart Kids by Jordan Moore (Ages 8-11)

Super Interesting Facts for Smart Kids; nonfiction books for 9 year olds

Dive into a world of super interesting facts about science, animals, sports, Earth, and more!

Adventure Books for 9-year-olds

Next, adventure books are always popular with 9 year olds!

41. Earthquake Terror by Peg Kehret (Ages 8-11)

*Popular adventure books

Earthquake Terror

In this story, Jonathan, camping with his family, faces an earthquake with his sister and dog. Can they save themselves? Explore more adventure stories by the beloved author Peg Kehret.

42. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (Ages 7-10)

*Teacher’s Pick

The Tale of Desperauxe

Join a mouse, a cat, a girl, and a Princess as these delightful characters take a unique journey together.

43. Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls (Ages 8-12)

*Bestselling author of Where the Red Fern Grows

A tree full of monkeys in Oklahoma? The monkeys have escaped from a traveling circus and Jay’s family needs the reward money. Adventure with Jay as he learns lessons on the way to finding the monkeys!

44. Up The Creek! by Kevin Miller: 9 Year Olds Books (Ages 8-11)

Up The Creek: Classic books for 9 year olds

In this first book in the Milligan Creek Series, four friends canoe down the creek without realizing the freezing and raging rapids they will encounter. In danger, the boys must figure out how to get home!

45. Wild Born (Spirit Animals, Book 1) by Brandon Mull (Ages 8-11)

*Teacher’s pick

Spirit Animals

Join four children on a wild adventure as they discover their spirit animal bond, a link between human and animal that gives powers to both. They must join with their animals to stop a dark force and save the world of Erdas.

Graphic Novels for 9 year-olds

Graphic novels are stories that are told using a combination of words and pictures. They are a great way to captivate readers.

46. Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke (Ages 8-12)

Mighty Jack: fantasy books for 9 year olds

Jack dreads summer because he has to take care of his younger sister. But one day they get a box of mysterious seeds and start an unexpected garden adventure. Jack quickly changes his mind about summer!

Read Mighty Jack here!

47. Kristy’s Great Idea: A Graphic Novel (The Baby-sitter’s Club #1) by Raina Telgemeier (Ages 8-11)

*Read the graphic novels adapted from the original chapter books.

Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and the members of the Baby-sitters club. They are ready to help and solve any problem that comes their way.

48. The Stonekeeper: Amulet #1 by Kazu Kibuishi (Ages 7-11)

*#1 New York Times bestselling series

Amulet; graphic novel seriesf or 9 year olds

Emily and Navin’s mom gets captured and they must follow her into a mysterious world with robots, strange plants, and animals that talk. Will they be able to save their mom in this dangerous world?

Read here to find out!

49. El Deafo by Cece Bell: Books for 9 Year Olds (Ages 7-10)

*Newbery Honor-winning graphic novel

Now streaming on Apple TV+

Cece, wearing a chest-strapped hearing aid, moves to a new school where she discovers she can not only hear her teacher in the classroom but everywhere else in the school!

Embracing her newfound ability, she becomes El Deafo, Listener of All, but her primary wish is to find a friend.

50. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (Ages 8-11)

Ghosts: adventure chapter books for 9 year olds

When Catrina and Maya’s family move to Northern California, their neighbor tells them there are ghosts in their new home. Maya who is sick with cystic fibrosis desperately wants to meet one, but Cat is too scared.

Will Cat be brave enough? Read to find out!

More Books for 8-10 year-olds

Does your 9-year-old need something different? Check out these lists:

5 Tips To Motivate Your 9 Year Old to Read

The number of kids who say they love reading drop from 40% among 8-year-olds to 28% among 9-year-olds. (Scholastic)

scholastic statistic: good books for 9 year olds

How do we encourage even our most unenthusiastic readers to get back to reading?

1. Schedule in time to read.

As your child gets older, it is still important to schedule reading into their routine. Help them find time to read for at least 20-30 minutes each day. (Try this free routine checklist to help!)

*Pro Tip: Stash books in your car for when you are on the go!

2. Book choice matters.

Help your kids find a variety of books that interest them and let them choose what to read.

  • Get kids hooked on a series. They will continue to read the rest of the series.
  • If a student likes a book, check out other books by that same author.
  • Introduce a lot of choices in genres: nonfiction, graphic novels, fantasy, etc…

3. Model a love of reading

Read in front of your child, discussing your enjoyment and what you’re learning. Share aloud interesting content to instill a value for reading through your example.

4. Continue to read aloud and with your child.

Read aloud continues to build reading skills such as vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Plus, both kids and parents enjoy this meaningful time together.

Read-aloud is a prescription for lifelong success for the child and a dose of deep well-being for the family.”-Pam Allyn, Senior Vice President, Innovation & Development, Scholastic Education

5. Try a reading challenge!

Check out these reading challenge ideas for both adults and kids to enjoy more reading with your child.

Pro Tip: Motivate your child by reading a book that is a movie or television series. Then watch it together!

Free Printable Book List for 9 Year Olds

What’s Next?

Join our free kids’ reading challenge for more motivation to read all year! Enter your email below!

Check out these other reading lists!

Good Books and Stories for 9 Year Olds

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