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Great reads for when you are 10

13 June 2019 -

Big Alice (10 years old) has been reading up a storm over the last few months. Thought I would pay it forward and share these titles, as it is so frustrating as a parent to have a keen reader chomping at the bit and no great idea to give them. These ones have worked for us:

📚 Watership Down. Yup controversial. She read this with Dad every night and was thoroughly gripped. I had forgotten how political it is (if you want to read it that way), maybe more so when it is heard out loud. Admittedly not an easy read, but worth the effort, especially if you have a nature loving child who will appreciate how informed Richard Adams is about green themes. Nowhere near as brutal as the original animation (she still hasn't watched that!).

📚 When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. Also being read aloud as a bedtime book. Judith Kerr (RIP) masterfully weaves difficult themes with humour and compassion. Chapter one mentions Nazis, stereotypes, swastikas and prejudice but never feels 'educational preachey'. Quite a feat. Not yet finished but everyone is engaged and waiting for the next chapter.

📚 The Indian in the Cupboard series by Lynne Reid Banks. We have had to beg borrow and steal these, after Big Alice devoured the first one but was so impressed she couldn't stop there. Undoubtedly the inspiration for the 'Night at the Museum' film. A classic that definitely stands the test of time.

📚 Redwall by Brian Jacques. Animal tales of derring do. Big Alice ate this one up. We did try others in the series but I think ultimately the lack of strong female characters has limited the appeal for her.

📚 Ruby Redfort series by Lauren Child. Perfectly poised for Big Alice right now. Feisty, courageous and never short of a pithy t-shirt slogan, Ruby is definitely a modern protagonist that my free thinking tween can identify with.

📚 The Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy Bastian. This whimsical, swashbuckling tale is hard to get hold off (we managed through the library reservations) but worth the effort. Exquisite illustrations. Think Alice in Wonderland at sea. A lovely graphic novel to unwind with.

📚 Northern Lights Graphic Novel. Big Alice struggled with the original novel when she tried it a year or so back (I think the lack of humour after JK Rowling may have been to blame), so it is one will we read together in a bit. The graphic novel version has been a big hit, she has reread it many times.

📚 Calvin & Hobbes is Big Alice's comfort read. Reading at night can wake her up rather than put her in the right mind for sleep. The humorous tales of a boy and his tiger are the perfect way to wind down. I loved these as a child too, and they really haven't aged.

Phew. There we go. Love to hear your suggestions as always and hope this has provided a little inspiration (if needed). Thank goodness for libraries, eh?!

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