40 of The Best Books for a 9-Year-Old
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.
Looking for more options? We’ve got tons of genre-specific book lists for 9-year-olds!
*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.
Best Fantasy 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!
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.
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.
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
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 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 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 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.
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?
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 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.
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 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.
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 by Stacy McAnulty
My 3rd-grade math lover inhaled this 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 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.
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.
Love Back to School Books? We do too! That’s why we created the School Hub with all things school.
Best Spy Books for a 9-Year-Old
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.?
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!
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 by Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet the spy has been a classic 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 book 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 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 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 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
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 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 by Aaron Reynold
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
A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry
Rosanne does a marvelous job of telling the true story of a wolf trying to survive when he is separated from his family. Without the protection of his pack, Swift must learn how to thrive on his own.
Swift’s journey takes him across 1,000 miles of forests, highways, and rivers with danger facing him at every turn. We were riveted to this story when he listened on a recent family road trip.
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 book as a child. This one stands the test of time.
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 his. 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.
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 by Patrick Skene Catling
I adore this story about a little boy who gets the magical power to turn everything he touches into chocolate.
This twist on the Midas Touch is adorable and the thought of turning parents into chocolate had my kids rolling with laughter.
Stuart Little by E.B. White
Adventure- Check. Animals- Check. Animals who can talk and wear clothes- Check check. This is a tale that everyone loves about a boy who also happens to be a mouse. All my kids love this great story.
Sports Books for a 9-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 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 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
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 by Victoria Jamieson
This graphic novel is a Newbery Honor Award 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. after all, Astrid may be strong enough to endure middle school.
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 4 “bad guys” who are trying to become good guys by trying to save those around them in funny ways.
Non-fiction Books for a 9-Year-Old
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: 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 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 by Brian Selznick
Don’t let the length of this book 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 9-year-olds.
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 all the way 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.
We have read the Caldecott Medal winner, Finding Winnie, so many times, this chapter book is perfect for older readers.
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.