Great book recommendations for 11-13 year olds
Published on 17th November 2020
Sometimes, we need a bit of help when it comes to choosing our next book especially as there's such a great selection of children's titles available these days. So, if you're aged between 11-13 and looking for inspiration, why not let yourself be guided by some of the choices from Ballymun library children's book club?
(All available for download on the Borrowbox app.)
The first two are books we read and enjoyed - the rest are ones we intend to get to in the future!
No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton
(This was voted the most popular book in our club since it began one year ago.)
It is the story of a young Syrian girl called Aya who has to flee her home and embark on a perilous journey to England. She has a passion for ballet dancing, and the book describes how her talent is discovered as a refugee in Manchester and how it can possibly help save her family.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A timeless classic which tells the story of Mary, a rather spoilt and strange girl who finds her whole world turned upside down when her parents die of fever in India. As a girl who had a personal servant, and is used to getting her own way, she is initially very upset when she is sent to England. She has to live with an uncle she has never met.
His wife died in mysterious circumstances, and he lives in a mansion. It is dark and gloomy, and Mary thinks she will be miserable forever until she discovers a secret garden in the grounds of the house, and everything changes.
Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes
If you're looking for an exciting, edge- of -seat read, then this story of a 13 year old boy called Paulo who is living in Nazi occupied Florence towards the end of World War II is highly recommended.
Paulo lives in a small town in Florence (Italy) with his mother and older sister, Constanza. His father has been missing for months; it is rumoured that he has joined a group of men known as the Partisans who are trying to help escaped prisoners of war, as well as thwart the Germans' efforts to stop the Allies advancing towards the city.
Bored with his life, ( there is no school, movements are restricted because of the curfew imposed by the Nazis), Paulo's only diversion is his secret nightly excursions to the city centre on his bicycle. He devises a plan to join the Partisans, and maybe find his dad. But fate intervenes, and suddenly his family are in terrible danger...
The Lotterys plus one by Emma Donoghue
Nine year old Sumac lives with a very unusual family. All her brothers and sisters are named after trees, and her parents bought a big house after winning the Lottery - and changed their surname to "Lottery" to celebrate! None of the children go to school. Into this warm, delightful, if rather chaotic environment appears Grumps. He is their grandad who is unable to manage living on his own any more, and the grown-ups decide he must move in with them.
No-one is happy with this new arrangements least of all Grumps, and Sumac - she has to give him her bedroom and move into the attic.
A wacky, often hilarious story which deals with how different generations deal with each other, often suspiciously at first, and also how the very young and old can learn from each other - perhaps have more in common than they think!
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Submitted by Catriona in Ballymun library