Virtual Bookshelf for 9-11 year olds

Explore our list of great children's fiction from some of our favourite authors!

WHERE THE RIVER RUNS GOLD - SITA BRAHMACHARI

Shifa and her brother Themba live with their dad in Kairos City, on a future Earth destroyed by climate change. Families sign their rights away to the Freedom Fields organisation which claims to look after them. The bees have disappeared and children are used to pollinate crops instead so people can eat, but when Shifa and her brother are sent away to work, they uncover a system that is cruel and corrupt. Can they escape and make the world a better place?

Sita Brahmachari is an acclaimed author and playwright and the Writer in Residence at the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants. Her debut novel, Artichoke Hearts, won the Waterstones Childrens Book Prize.

SPUTNIK'S GUIDE TO LIFE ON EARTH - FRANK COTTRELL-BOYCE

Meet the Blythes: a big, warm family who live on a farm and sometimes foster children. Now Prez has come to live with them. But, though he seems friendly, he never says a word.

Then one day Prez answers the door to someone claiming to be his relative. Prez is amazed at the family's response to Sputnik's arrival. It seems they all think Sputnik is a dog! As Sputnik takes Prez on a journey to finish writing his guidebook to Earth, each adventure seems to take Prez nearer to the heart of his foster family but closer to the day that he is due to leave them forever . . .

Frank Cottrell Boyce is an English screenwriter, novelist and was the writer on the London Olympics Opening Ceremony. He is well known as an author of children’s fiction, including his debut, Millions, which won the Carnegie Medal and was made into a film by Danny Boyle.

SECRETS OF A SUN KING - EMMA CARROLL

London, 1922. When Lilian Kaye finds a parcel on her grandad's doorstep, she is shocked to see who sent it: a famous Egyptologist, found dead that very morning, according to the newspapers! The mysterious package holds the key to a story... about a king whose tomb archaeologists are desperately hunting for. Now Lil and her friends must embark on an incredible journey - to return the package to its resting place, to protect those they love, and to break the deadly pharaoh's curse.

Emma is an acclaimed author whose stories are published in many different languages. She has won the North East Book Prize, been nominated for the Carnegie Medal and Secrets of a Sun King was chosen as a Waterstones Book of the Month.

ASH MISTRY AND THE SAVAGE FORTRESS - SARWAT CHADDA

Varanasi: holy city of the Ganges. In this land of ancient temples where the monsters and heroes of the past come to life...One slightly geeky boy from our time... is going to kick some demons back to hell!

Ash Mistry is brought to India with his uncle, who has taken up a job with the mysterious Lord Savage. But something is very wrong with the eccentric millionaire. Soon, Ash finds himself in a desperate battle to stop Savage's masterplan - the opening of the Iron Gates that have kept Ravana, the demon king, at bay for four millennia...

Sarwat Chadda has been published in a dozen languages, writing comic books, TV shows, and novels such as the award-winning Indian mythology-inspired Ash Mistry series and the epic high-fantasy Shadow Magic trilogy (as Joshua Khan).

THE STORM KEEPER'S ISLAND - CATHERINE DOYLE

Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe from enemies. The time has come for Fionn's grandfather, a secretive and eccentric old man, to step down. Soon, a new Keeper will rise. But, deep underground, someone has been waiting for Fionn. As the battle to become the island's next champion rages, a more sinister magic is waking up, intent on rekindling an ancient war.

The Storm Keeper's Island is the award winning first book in the Storm Keeper Trilogy by Catherine Doyle. Catherine grew up in the west of Ireland and has written many books including the popular YA Blood for Blood series.

THE LONGEST NIGHT OF CHARLIE NOON - CHRISTOPHER EDGE

'If you go into the woods, Old Crony will get you.' Secrets, spies or maybe even a monster... What lies in the heart of the wood? Charlie, Dizzy and Johnny are determined to discover the truth, but when night falls without warning they find themselves trapped in a nightmare. Lost in the woods, strange dangers and impossible puzzles lurk in the shadows. As time plays tricks, can Charlie solve this mystery and find a way out of the woods? But what if this night never ends...?

Christopher Edge is an award-winning children’s author whose book have been translated into more than twenty languages.

DRAGON RIDER - CORNELIA FUNKE

A dragon. A boy. A journey. Firedrake, a brave young dragon, embarks on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace for ever. Along the way, he discovers extraordinary new friends and a courage he never knew he had. But the greatest enemy of all is never far behind - a heartless monster intent on destroying the last dragons on earth ...

Cornelia Funke is the hugely successful author of many picture books and children's novels including the award-winning Inkheart Trilogy which was made into a film starring Brendan Fraser, Helen Mirren and Paul Bettany.

BRIGHTSTORM - VASHTI HARDY

Twins Arthur and Maudie Brightstorm receive word in Lontown that their famous explorer father has died in a failed attempt to reach the southernmost point in the world. Not only that, but he has been accused of stealing before he died! The twins don't believe the news, and they answer an ad to join a new attempt to reach South Polaris. It's their only hope of learning the truth... and salvaging their family's reputation. As the winged ship sets sail, the twins must prove themselves worthy of the rest of the crew. But will they find the answers they seek?

Vashti Hardy is a writer of children's books including Brightstorm and Wildspark. She was a primary school teacher for several years and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester.

PIE IN THE SKY - REMY LAI

When Jingwen moves to Australia, he feels like he's landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible, since he doesn't speak English, and he's stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao. To distract himself, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes his father used to talk about before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother's rule: no using the oven while she's at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake more elaborate cakes, they'll have to cook up more elaborate excuses to keep their baking a secret--and continue the dream their father started.

Pie in the Sky is the critically acclaimed book of Remy Lai. Remy studied fine arts, with a major in painting and drawing. She currently lives in Brisbane, Australia where she writes stories for children.

SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT - DEREK LANDY

When Stephanie's uncle dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that he wasn't who she thought he was. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source - the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard known as Skulduggery Pleasant. Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing's for sure: evil won't know what's hit it.

Skulduggery Pleasant is the first book in Derek Landy's hugely successful series by the same name. Published in 35 languages, the series has won many awards, including the Irish Book of the Decade.

MAGYK - ANGIE SAGE

Enter the world of Septimus Heap, Wizard Apprentice. Magyk is his destiny. A powerful necromancer plans to seize control of all things Magykal. He has killed the Queen and locked up the Extraordinary Wizard. Now with Darke Magyk he will create a world filled with Darke creatures. Only one boy can stop him - the only problem is, the boy doesn't know it yet. For the Heap family, life as they know it is about to change, and the most fantastically fast-paced adventure is about to begin.

Angie Sage has created many books for children, including Araminta Spook, her bestselling series for younger readers, and the New York Times bestselling series Septimus Heap.

WOLF BROTHER - MICHELLE PAVER

Thousands of years ago, the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers and they know how to survive in a time of powerful magic. Until a malevolent force conjures an evil demon. Contained in the body of a ferocious bear, it will slay everything it sees. Only one boy can stop it - 12-year-old Torak. He must lead the bear to the mountain of the World Spirit and beg the spirit's help to overcome it. It will take him on a terrifying quest in a world of wolves, tree spirits and Hidden People, a world in which trusting a friend means risking your life.

Wolf Brother is the first in Michelle Paver's award-winning Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series which has sold over 3 million copies in 36 territories, with acclaimed audio editions read by Ian McKellen.

THE SUPER MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF FREDDIE YATES - JENNY PEARSON

Freddie Yates likes facts. Just not the one staring him in the face - that his secret plan is not, in fact, secret. Because Freddie's journey wasn't meant to involve Big Trev and the onion-eating competition or the loo-exploding pear-and-potato turnovers. And Freddie definitely didn't expect to end up on national television in a supergirl costume. But journeys never take you where you think they will. And for Freddie, that fact might just have to be enough...The super funny, heart-warming adventure of three boys, one summer holiday, and a few miracles along the way.

This is the debut children's book from author Jenny Pearson. It was shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2020 and was a Waterstones Children's Book of the Month for April 2020. Illustrations are by Rob Biddulph, an award winning author and illustrator who became an internet sensation in 2020 with his series of twice-weekly draw-along 'Draw with Rob' videos.

NOW OR NEVER - BALI RAI

Young soldier, Private Fazal Khan, is on the battlefields of the Second World War, far from his home in India. Fazal's world is focused on Company 32 and the animals he cares for in the midst of one of the most frightening times in history. And as he and his friends make their way to the beaches of Dunkirk, Fazal must deal with even more than the terrors of war. Not everyone has welcomed the help brought by the Royal Indian Army Service Corps. And it forces Fazal to question who he can trust, and where his loyalties lie...

Bali Rai has written over forty novels for teenagers and children which have won and been nominated for numerous awards. He has nearly twenty years of experience working with young people across the UK and is a passionate advocate of libraries and promoting literacy.

VIKING BOY - TONY BRADMAN

Gunnar is the son of a Viking chieftain, living peacefully on his family steading with his mother, father and their people - until they are raided by Skuli and his Wolf Men, who raze his home to the ground and take his father's life. Gunnar swears an oath to avenge his father's death and save his mother - but first he must run to save himself. Murderous raiders, hand to hand battles, mythical flying wolves and a relentless sea journey to the Land of Fire and Ice... Unknown to Gunnar, his life has been foretold, and his destiny cannot be avoided...

Tony Bradman is a much loved and award-winning author of over 200 books. He has written for all ages, edited anthologies of poetry and short stories and done hundreds of talks in schools.

THE GOLDFISH BOY - LISA THOMPSON

Twelve-year-old Matthew is trapped in his bedroom by crippling OCD, spending most of his time staring out of his window as the inhabitants of Chestnut Close go about their business. That is, until the day his next door neighbour's toddler, Teddy, goes missing. Matthew was the last person to see Teddy before he vanished and so it's up to him to unravel the mystery – with a little help from a surprising and brilliant cast of supporting characters.

The Goldfish Boy, Lisa Thompson's bestselling debut novel, was a Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Before becoming a novelist, Lisa worked as a broadcast assistant for BBC Radio 2 and CPL Productions.

THE THIEVES OF OSTIA (THE ROMAN MYSTERIES SERIES, BOOK 1) - CAROLINE LAWRENCE

Flavia Gemina is a natural at solving mysteries. The daughter of a ship's captain living in Ostia, the port of Rome, in AD79, she and her three friends, Jonathan, a Jewish boy (and secretly a Christian); Nubia, an African slave girl; and Lupus, a mute beggar boy, must work together to discover who is beheading the watchdogs that guard people's homes, and why.

Caroline Lawrence is a children’s author who is most well known for her The Roman Mysteries series (which was televised by the BBC in 2007 & 2008). In 2009 she won the Classical Association Prize for ‘a significant contribution to the public understanding of Classics’.

THE TAIL OF EMILY WINDSNAP - LIZ KESSLER

Emily Windsnap lives on a boat, but her mother has always been oddly anxious to keep her out of the water. It is only when Emily has her first school swimming lesson that she discovers why: as soon as she gets into the water, she grows a tail!

Soon Emily discovers a glorious underwater world of fishes, coral, shipwrecks and mermaids, and, best of all, she finds a best friend! With mermaid Shona Silkfin by her side, Emily uncovers a surprising family secret and embarks on a quest to reunite her mum and dad.

Liz Kessler has written over twenty books for children and young adults including the popular Emily Windsnap series which has been translated into 25 languages, was a New York Times bestseller and sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Liz is passionate about books and her website features lots of advice and tips for writing stories.

HOW YOU CAN SAVE THE PLANET - HENDRICKUS VAN HENDBERGEN

YOU have the power to help change the world! Climate breakdown, species extinction, environmental disasters - we know the planet is heating up and running out of time; but what can we do about it? With easy step-by-step actions and inspiring stories of other children who stood up and said 'no more', this is the definitive guide to creating a better world wherever you live.

Henrikus van Hensbergen has a BSc in Zoology from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation & Management from the University of Oxford. He is the CEO of youth environmental charity, Action for Conservation, which he founded in 2014 after realising that no charities existed in the UK with the sole purpose of engaging young people in the environmental sector.

A KIND OF SPARK - ELLE MCNICOLL

A Kind of Spark tells the story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie knows there's more to the story of these 'witches', just like there's more to hers. Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her, and make her voice heard?

Elle McNicoll is a Scottish and Neurodivergent writer. Addie's story was born from Elle's own experiences of neurodiversity and her commitment to seeing greater representation in children's books. A Kind of Spark is her debut novel and was Blackwell's Children's Book of the Month in June 2020, the overall Blackwells Book of the Year in 2020, The Times and The Sunday Times' Children's Book of the Week, and won the Blue Peter Prize for Best Story 2021.

BREAK THE MOULD - SINEAD BURKE

Sometimes we can feel like we are not good enough. That we don't belong. Or that we want to be more like our friends. In this empowering guide, Sinead Burke encourages young readers to believe in themselves, have pride in who they are and use their voice to make the world a fairer, more inclusive place. From the power of being different, to celebrating the things you love about yourself and helping others to do the same, this is a brilliantly inspirational handbook for breaking the mould and finding your place in the world.

Sinead Burke is a teacher, broadcaster, author and little person. She's a fashion-admirer and an advocate for disability and design. She has given a TED talk, spoken at the World Economic Forum, and according to the Business of Fashion, is a leader in the Age of Influence. Break the Mould was shortlisted for the 2020 An Post Irish Book Awards - Children's Book of the Year.

BECOMING - MICHELLE OBAMA

Now adapted for younger readers, with new photographs and a new introduction from Michelle, this memoir tells a very personal and completely inspiring story. This is the story of how, through hard work and determination, a girl from the South Side of Chicago built an extraordinary life. A tale of ups and downs, triumphs and failures, this is an incredibly honest account. This is a call to action and compassion and hope for a change in uncertain times and a scary world. You'll be inspired to help others and understand that no one is perfect. Above all, it is a book to make you think: who are you and what do you want to become?

Michelle Obama is a lawyer, writer, and was the first African-American First Lady of the United States from 2009-2017.

WORLD BURN DOWN - STEVE COLE

Carlos' mother works for Brazil's Environmental Authority. As head of a specially trained task force, her role is to protect the Amazon from those who are illegally destroying the precious rainforest. It's a dangerous role and when she upsets these people they decide to kidnap her son, Carols. Taken deep into the Amazon, Carlos manages to escape his captors only to discover himself trapped by fast moving fires. Will he be able to outrun the flames as the world burns to the ground around him?

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant, and dyslexic readers.

Steve Cole is a bestselling children's author and editor. His other titles include Z. Rex, Thieves Like Us, Doctor Who novelisations, and Astrosaurs. He was chosen by Ian Fleming publications to succeed Charlie Higson as the writer of the Young Bond series.

KAYS ANATOMY - ADAM KAY

The human body is extraordinary and fascinating and, well... pretty weird. This book is going to tell you what's actually going on in there, and answer the really important questions like: Are bogies safe to eat? And how much of your life will you spend on the toilet? So sit back, relax, put on some rubber gloves and let a doctor take you on a poo - and puke - filled tour of your insides.

Adam Kay is a former doctor, comedian, and bestselling author of 'This is Going to Hurt'. Kay's Anatomy is his first book for children and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards Children's Illustrated & Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2021.

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