40 of The Best Books for a 9-Year-Old

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Looking for the best books for a 9-year-old? We’ve got the perfect list for you!

Having raised 4 kids through this particular age, we are well-equipped to give suggestions for children with all kinds of book preferences. We’ve got suggestions for Harry Potter-loving fantasy fans and picture book suggestions for reluctant readers.

Below, you’ll find lots of great stories divided by category. Many of the books for a 9-year-old have links to book lists with even more recommendations, so be sure to poke around.

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

Best Fantasy Books for a 9-Year-Old

Winterhouse and more of the best books for a 9-year-old

Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

We like to listen to books as a family when we are in the car together or doing a puzzle. The standout book for me this month was Winterhouse.

This middle-grade mystery was as enthralling to me as it was to my boys. I loved the slight bits of magic in the story and the captivating setting of an expansive ski hotel on a snowy mountain at Christmas time. If you are looking for cozy mystery books for a 9-year-old, pick this one up!

Tale of Magic and other books like Harry Potter for kids.

A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer

Brystal Evergreen finds out that she can perform magic when reading a book from her library, but women aren’t supposed to read!

When she is sentenced to a correctional facility, she was quickly whisked away to an academy where she can learn magic! My kids devoured this middle-grade fantasy as quickly as Chris Colfer’s last series. While no correctional facility could be as bad as Azkaban, this series is a perfect pick for books like Harry Potter for kids.

Kingdom of Wrenly and more of the best books for a 9-year-old

The Kingdom of Wrenly by Jordan Quinn

This series of early readers has pictures on almost every page and easy to read language.  The Stories, however, are fun and full of adventure.

They are sure to keep your child engaged with fairies, trolls, and mermaids. With all the creatures in this series, these are perfect books like Harry Potter for kids.

Love Fantasy Books? We do too! That’s why we created a list of Books Like Harry Potter and Books Like Percy Jackson!

Mystery Books for 9-Year-Olds

Escapre from Mrs. Lemoncello's Library and more of the best books for a 9-year-old

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Another middle-grade story that adults will enjoy too. Mr. Lemoncello’s library is one of a kind. It’s full of holograms, logic puzzles, and hidden games.

To officially open the new library, a few lucky kids get to spend the night inside as they try to win Mr. Lemoncello’s game and be the first team to escape.

Encyclopedia Brown and more of the best books for a 9-year-old

Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J Sobol 

These are the same books from when you were a kid! They are great for any child who wants a quick fun read.  Each chapter presents a problem that Encyclopedia solves.  

It’s great for kids to see if they can figure out the answer themselves.  A similar choice to these would be the Choose your Own Adventure stories, another perfect set of books for a 9-year-old.

book scavenger

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

The first of three books in the Book Scavengers series, this story is all about Emily and James. They are on the hunt to uncover the latest game by Garrison Griswold.

Griswold has recently entered a coma and it’s up to Emily and James to uncover who attacked him before they get attacked next. This pick in our list of mystery books for tweens is filled with fun and adventure.

For more books like these, check out our list of Mystery Books for Tweens

Best Family Books for a 9-Year-Old

The Penderwicks

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

An imperfect family, the Penderwick family (consisting of the father, 4 daughters, and their dog) go spend their three-week summer vacation at a cottage they rented. Mrs. Tifton, a grumpy, snooty woman, and her son Jeffry own the cottage that is part of the Arundel estate.

The first in a 5 books series, this wonderful book is perfect to read aloud at night or listen to on audio for a family road trip.

Mystery books for tweens

Greetings from Witness Protection! by Jake Burt

What a fun story about an orphan girl tasked by the U.S. Marshalls to keep a family alive. As she enters into witness protection with them, she puts her street smarts and pick-pocketing abilities to good use.

But can she keep her new family safe? Will she be able to hide from her own past? All while avoiding any C’s in school… You’ll just have to read this tween mystery book to find out.

Cilla Lee

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan

My brother’s girlfriend recommended it to me because her friend wrote it! It did a great job of handling difficult topics in an age-appropriate manner with humor and grace.

Cilla is about to become a big sister, but she wants to become a world-famous author first so her family won’t forget about her. It also addresses coming from a bi-racial family and having difficulties reading. It’s truly a lovely realistic fiction story.

Best Audiobooks for a 9-Year-Old


Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

It is ultimately a beautiful story of love, friendship, and kindness.  It is all told from the perspective of the tree. 

Trees can talk, didn’t you know?  After a few hundred years, the tree decides to intervene in the lives of those the sees every day. This is a great one about welcoming immigrants. Katherine Applegate writes great books for 9-year-olds.

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

This classic middle-grade story is one the whole family will enjoy. Claudia and Jamie decide they want to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

When a new statue arrives while they are hiding at the famed museum, they won’t rest until they solve the mystery of who created it! Will they solve the mystery before the museum staff? 

THe Candymakers and more family audiobooks for road trips

The Candymakers by Wendy Maas

This story appears on our list of books about candy! I decided to read this book with my boys prior to our visit to Candytopia.

It was a lovely take on life at a candy factory and felt almost like an updated version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 4 kids are competing to win a candy-making contest to have their creation mass-produced. This is the first in a series of middle grade novels. It’s one of the must-read books for 11-year-olds.

For more books like these, check out our list of Family Friendly Audiobooks

Books for 9-Year-Olds Set at School

the miscalculations of lightning girl

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

My 3rd-grade math lover inhaled this tween book in 2 days. It’s all about a 12-year-old girl who was struck by lightning and became a math wiz.

She’s been homeschooled her whole life, but now her grandmother wants her to try to go to school just for one year. She has to make one friend, join one activity, and read one book that isn’t math related. Can she do it?

the boy at the back of the class

The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Raúf

This is the story of Ahmet, a Syrian refugee, who ends up in Mrs. Khan’s 4th-grade class. At first, the students are wary of the strange new boy.

Soon, they learn that Ahmet has been separated from his family when he was trying to escape the war. Soon the kids were banding together to help Ahmet reunite with his family.

My son cried while reading this book. The story touched his heart and evoked such compassion in him.

Wayside school

The Wayside School Collection by Louis Sacher

Louis Sachar’s hysterical collection of stories about the students of Wayside School is a true must-read for students.

The wacky tales and backward ways of the students and teachers at Wayside will have your child in a fit of giggles.

For more Back to School books and book lists, Click here.

Best Spy Books for a 9-Year-Old

chasing Vermeer and other mystery books for tweens

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

When a famed Vermeer painting goes missing, Petra and Calder are thrust into the middle of a scandal! Can they solve an art mystery that’s stumped the F.B.I.?

Why We Love It: The first in a 4 book series, this is a great book that is interactive too. There are hidden puzzles in pictures and a code for readers to break in this tween mystery book.
Find this Book in Best Puzzle Books

spy school and other mystery books for tweens

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs

The first book in Gibbs’s series is about Ben Ripley, a child CIA agent trying to defeat the evil organization Spyder. As he attends the secret junior CIA boarding school, he gets into loads of situations that put his espionage skills to good use.

In each book of the series, Ben and his fellow agents tackle a new problem. They take place at various new locations as the series progresses. This series of books for 9-year-olds has 10 stories and keeps growing!

Harriet the spy and other mystery books for tweens

Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Harriet the Spy has been a classic children’ book for over 50 years. The 11-year-old is never without her notebook to write her observations in. When the notebook falls into the hands of her friends, they all get very angry with Harriet.

Will she be able to right her wrongs? There is a reason this realistic fiction book for a 10-year-old has been adapted repeatedly for the screen. It’s got life lessons for every child.

Love these kinds of stories, then check out these spy books for kids.

Royal Books for 9-Year-Olds

TUesdays at the Castle 1

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

If the changing staircases, room of requirement, and secret passages are your child’s favorite parts about Hogwarts, this is the series for them!

Princess Celie lives in an ever-changing castle that adds new rooms every Tuesday. She eagerly maps out each new addition that might just end up saving her family when danger heads to their home.

the school of good and evil 1

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

You might want to bump this series to the top of your reading pile because it’s becoming a movie starring some big-name actors.

Sophie thinks her history makes her a good fit for the School of Good like Cinderella and Snow White before her. Agatha is thinking the School of Evil is a better fit for her. But when the opposite schools are assigned to each girl, they need to figure out who they really are and where they belong.

from the notebooks of a middle school princess

From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot, the author of the famed Princess Diaries, is back with a middle-grade book about Princess Mia’s half-sister, Olivia.

Olivia is an average girl who doesn’t know her father, until her half-sister, Mia shows up and asks her to move to New York to live with the royal family.

She chronicles her adventures in princess life in this charming book series!

Love these kinds of stories, then check out these royal books for kids.

Picture Books for a 9-Year-Old

the legend of rock paper scissors by drew daywalt

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt 

Author Drew Daywalt is a hands-down favorite in our home. I’ve read this so often that I now make specific voices for each character. It’s all about how the game Rock, Paper, Scissors came to be.

It’s HYSTERICAL. There is no moral to this story, just plain silliness. My kids guffaw with laughter every time we pick it up.

I walk with vanessa

I Walk with Vanessa by Karascoët

This simple yet powerful wordless picture book tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying.

Inspired by real events,  I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help.

creepy carrots

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynoldir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=dbe83d4e901f65f9956099c8b8b21f23& cb=1570139442823

Both Creepy Carrots and its sibling book, Creepy Pair of Underwear, are favorites in my household. Jasper Rabbit loves carrots, but he soon thinks his favorite carrots are out to get him!

This funny tale is very Twilight Zone-inspired and it’s awesome. The underwear version is funny too and it glows in the dark! This is a fun series of books for 9-year-olds!

Animal Books for 9-Years-Olds

Howliday inn and other halloween books for kids

Howliday Inn by James Howe

Technically the sequel to Bunnicula, this read-aloud book can really be read as a stand-alone. Chester and Harold are being boarded while their family is on vacation, but they are convinced they are staying in a haunted hotel!

I remember laughing out loud as I read this middle grade mystery book as a child. This Halloween chapter book stands the test of time.

one and only ivan

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Based on the true story of Ivan, a gorilla trapped in a shopping mall, this feel-good story is one of the best family audiobooks for any road trip.

Stella, a young girl gets Ivan to start painting again and she realizes how lonely he is. Bob, a stray dog, works to help Ivan and Ruby, a baby elephant, garner the attention they need to be sent to a better home.

Why I Love This Book: This book will touch your heart. Even though there are sad parts in this book, the ending will make it worthwhile. This is one of the best animal fiction books for middle grade and adults.
Appropriate for ages 8-10
Find this book in
Books for 9-year-olds, Zoo Books, Family Audiobooks, Animal Novels / Audiobooks for Kids

superpowered pets

Superpowered Animals: Meet the World’s Strongest, Smartest, and Swiftest Creatures by Soledad Romero Mariño

We love this nonfiction book about animals that is a must for best books for a 9-year-old. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations that make it read like a fiction book.

My daughter read and loved this book which is filled with amazing information and facts about different animals. I love the way the information is presented in this book and kids can read about one animal at a time if you want a few minutes for a quick read.

Classic Books for a 9-Year-Old


Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda is a magical little girl who loves books. Stuck in a family that doesn’t value education, her life is changed when she meets Ms. Honey at her new school.

But the principal, Miss Trunchbull hates children. When she terrorizes the kids at her new school, Matilda finds the power to fight back. The Netflix book adaption of this one is a musical!

The Chocolate Touch

The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling

I adore this story about a little boy who gets the magical power to turn everything he touches into chocolate. If you have not read it, you have to know it’s absolutely hilarious.

Why We Love This Book: This twist on the Midas Touch is adorable and the thought of turning parents into chocolate had my kids rolling with laughter.
Appropriate for ages 
Find this book in
Candy Books / Read Aloud Books / Audiobooks for Kids

tale of

Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

We Love Kate DiCamillo. She is a modern storyteller who appeals to children intelligently and thoughtfully.

I feel like I could choose every single one of her books to put on this list so take your pick. This Newberry Award-winning book is delightful.

Why We Love This Book: We love the message in this wonderful book that is a story of love, bravery, friendship, wishes, and dreams.
Find this book in Best Books for a 6-year-old / The Best Family Audiobooks / Read Aloud Books

Sports Books for a 9-Year-Old

The Wizenard and other books for a 10-year-old

The Wizenard Series by Kobe Bryant and Wesley King

My boys and I started this series shortly after their basketball season began and they were on a losing streak. I thought this series about a group of kids and their magical coach sounded like the perfect book to inspire them.

The Badgers are the worst team in the league until Professor Wizenard comes to be their new coach. With his magical tricks focusing on teamwork and morale, the Badgers players learn more than just playing good ball.

Swim Team and other books for a 10-year-old

Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas

Bree and her dad have just moved to Florida for her father’s new training program. She’s excited to join electives and make new friends until she realizes the only one she can join is swimming…and that makes her quite nervous.

Soon Bree begins counting on her neighbor Etta to give her swimming lessons, and ends up joining the swim team with the hopes of winning the big competition!

Softball Surprise and more of the best books for a 9-year-old

Softball Surprise by Jake Maddox

Jake Maddox has long been known for stories about male athletes, but he has female athlete stories too!

This particular story is about Jo and her summer softball team. But Jo might need to make a choice about which team she will be on this summer.

Graphic Novels for a 9-Year-Old

Chunk and other books for a 10-year-old

Chunky by Yehudi Mercado

Hudi is trying to figure out what sport he likes to play because he needs to lose weight. He’s trying to be healthy because of a serious illness he had as a younger kid. 

He invents an imaginary friend named chunky to help cheer him on. As he goes through sport after sport, the laughs roll in. But It’s not all fun and games, his dad loses his job and we get flashbacks of the medical problem that started his journey.

My son read this graphic novel in one sitting, while I listened to him giggling on the couch. I think it’s one of the perfect books for a 9-year-old reluctant reader! 

Roller Girl  and other books for a 10-year-old

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

This graphic novel is a Newbery Medal Winner and was an easy pick for a list of the best graphic novels of all time. Astrid and Nicole have done everything together until now. Astrid wants to go to roller derby camp.

And thus begins a summer of friendship, finding yourself, perseverance, and girl power. Astrid may be strong enough to endure middle school. Snag this if you are looking for a book for 11-year-olds.

The Bad Guys and more of the best books for a 9-year-old

The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey

Aaron Blabey’s famed series about the bad guys is a favorite in our homes. This graphic novel series is perfect for early readers.

The series is all about four “bad guys” who are trying to become good guys by trying to save those around them in funny ways.

Why I Like This Book: This book is hilarious which means kids will enjoy reading it. The more they read, the more it becomes a habit and they will improve their reading skills.
Appropriate for Ages: 6-8
Find This Book In: Early Reader Books for Emergent Readers / The Best Books for 7-Year-Olds / Animal Books for Kids

Non-fiction Books for a 9-Year-Old

from an idea to disney

From An Idea To Disney: How Imagination Built a World of Magic by Lowey Bundy Sichol

This book tells the story of how Disneyland and the Disney company were created from Walt Disney’s imagination. It’s a fun non-fiction book that is the first in a series.

Other books in the series look at companies like Nike, Google, and Lego. It’s the perfect series of books for a 9-year-old looking to get into the non-fiction genre.

Kid Athletes and more of the best books for a 9-year-old

Kid Athletes: True Tales of Childhood from Sports Legends by David Stabler

This book tells the story of famous athletes in short chapters, complete with illustrations. It’s one of the books for 9-year-olds who may not have the time or patience for longer books and any child who loves sports.

Kid Athletes has a mix of athletes from many different sports and includes legends like Babe Ruth, Muhammed Ali, and Gabby Douglas.

Who is and more of the best books for a 9-year-old

Who is Series… by Multiple Authors

The Who is Series is more than 200 books strong at this point. The series covers famous people, places, and historic events.

If your child is interested in any subject, we can almost guarantee there will be a book related to it in this series. The books are easy to read and interesting, making them the best non-fiction books for a 9-year-old.

Historical Fiction Books for 9 year-olds

The Invention of Hugo Cabret and more of the best books for a 9-year-old

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Don’t let the length of this mystery book for kids deter you. Even though it is on our list of long books, there are gorgeous illustrations on every other page and the writing is only a paragraph at a time.

This middle grade mystery is an amazing story of Hugo Cabret who is an orphan in the Paris train station where he winds the clocks so that nobody will discover his secrets. Soon he discovers a drawing and a notebook that will lead him to the biggest adventure of his life. This is one of the must-read books for 12-year-olds.

Winnies Great War

Winnie’s Great War by Lindsay Mattick and Josh Greenhunt

This book is based on the real story of the world’s most famous bear, Winnie the Pooh. From his beginnings in the forests of Canada to the London Zoo where he met the real Christopher Robin, this book mixes one part imagination and one part history to create Winnie’s first big adventure.

Why We Love This Book: It’s the perfect chapter book for older readers, particularly those who love the Caldecott medal winner, Finding Winnie.
Appropriate for ages 8-12
Find this book in
Zoo animal books, books for 9-year-olds, books for 10-year-olds

I Survived and more of the best books for a 9-year-old

I Survived by Laura Tarshis 

Each book tells about a disaster from the point of view of one child who survives.  The original books all had a boy on the front cover but, the newer books are told from female perspectives too!

The series has also recently started publishing graphic novels which are some of the best books for a 9-year-old reluctant reader.

Did you find any books for a 9-year-old to add to your home library? For more options check out our list of books for 8-year-olds or age up with our book suggestions for 10-year-old.

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