A Page, A Knight, A Reader’s Delight

Books for 11 and 12-year-olds

The books listed are a sampling of the titles available. Ask your Children's Librarian for further suggestions and tell us which are your favorites.


     book cover    book cover    book cover    book cover
Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul: 101 Stories of Changes, Choices and Growing Up.
by Jack Canfield, et al.

True inspiring stories on achieving dreams, friendship, family, love, and more.

Dinosaur Parents, Dinosaur Young.
by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld.

Paleontologists ponder parenting skills of the protoceratops. See how scientific theory develops over time.

(j567.9 Zoeh)
Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist's Microscope.
by Stephen Kramer; photos. by Dennis Kunkel.

Take a look at what can’t be seen by the naked eye. Amazing! And disgusting too.

(j570.282 Kram)
Building Big.
by David Macaulay.

Bridges, dams, domes, skyscrapers and tunnels. Their design and engineering are explained in this companion to the author’s television series of the same name.

(j720 Maca)
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extra-ordinary True Story of Shackleton and The Endurance.
by Jennifer Armstrong.

Eight hundred miles through freezing water in an open boat. How did they survive?

Oh, Freedom! Kids Talk About the Civil Rights Movement With the People Who Made It Happen.
by Casey King and Linda Barrett Osborne.

The title says it all.

(j973.0496 King)
The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party.
by Marian Calabro.
(j979.403 CaLa)

Would you eat your friend in a pinch? That was the dilemma faced by some pioneers crossing the snowy Sierra.


Historical Fiction

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Fire, Bed & Bone.
by Henrietta Branford.

An old hunting dog narrates this gritty tale about the sights, sounds, and smells of 14th century England on the eve of the Peasants’ Revolt.

(jF Bran)
Al Capone Does My Shirts.
by Gennifer Choldenko.

No one asks 12-year-old Moose how he feels about moving to Alcatraz so his father can work as a guard and his autistic sister can attend a special school.

(jF ChoL)
Bull Run.
by Paul Fleischman; illus. by David Frampton.

The first battle of the Civil War comes alive as sixteen characters, including an 11-year-old fife player and a slave woman, tell their dramatic tales.

(jF FLei)
Journey to the River Sea.
by Eva Ibbotson.

Liars, orphans, and snares in a 1910 Brazil setting.

(jF Ibbo)
Adaline Falling Star.
by Mary Pope Osborne.

Adaline is half Arapaho, and there’s no stopping her when she sets out to find her father, Kit Carson.

(jF Osbo)
A Single Shard.
by Linda Sue Park.

A 12th century Korean orphan finds his future as apprentice to a famous potter. 2002 Newbery Award.

(jF Park)
Other Newbery titles of interest: Holes (Louis Sachar); Maniac Magee
(jerry Spinelli); The Giver (Lois Lowry).
The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
by Elizabeth George Speare.

Just being able to swim can get you branded a witch in a small Puritan village. 1959 Newbery Award.

(jF Spea)
The Journal of Wong Ming-Chung: A Chinese Miner.
by Laurence Yep.

Young “Runt” travels from China to join his uncle in Gold Rush California where he faces racism and learns self-reliance. Part of the “My Name is America” series, companion to the “Dear America” series.

(jF Yep)


book cover book cover book cover book cover
Voices: Poetry and Art from Around the World.
Selected by Barbara Brenner.

148 poems, arranged by continent, celebrate “the human family” in this beautifully designed collection.

(j808.81 Voic)
Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems.
by Kristine O’Connell George; illus. by Debbie Tilley.

A girl survives the ups and downs of her first year in middle school.

(j811.54 Geor)
by Jacqueline Woodson.

Eleven-year-old Lonnie recalls how his parents died in a house fire and how he and his sister were sent to separate foster homes.

(j811.54 Wood)
The Tree Is Older Than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems and Stories from Mexico with Paintings by Mexican Artists;
selected by Naomi Shihab Nye.

English translations accompany the original Spanish and Mayan writings.

(j860.9972 Tree)


    book cover  book cover   book cover   book cover   book cover
They Saw the Future: Oracles, Psychics, Scientists, Great Thinkers, and Pretty Good Guessers.
by Kathleen Krull; illus. by Kyrsten Brooker.

From Ancient Greece to almost the present day, here are twelve people known for predicting the future.

(j133.3 KruL)
Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science.
by John Fleischman.

How do you make a polite, reasonable man rude and unreasonable? Shove an iron rod through his brain.

(jB Gage)
The Longitude Prize.
by Joan Dash; illus. by Dusan Petricic.

In response to the loss of British battleships, an ingenious clockmaker invents a method of measuring longitude at sea.

(jB Harr)
Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit.
by Laurie Lawlor.

A photo-biography of the deaf and blind woman who was surprisingly outspoken on many issues of her day.

(jB KeLL)
Shipwrecked! The True Adventures of a Japanese Boy.
by Rhoda Blumberg.

A fourteen-year-old boy becomes the first Japanese person in the United States after he is rescued by a New England whaler.

(jB Naka)
Babe Didrikson Zaharias: The Making of a Champion.
by Russell Freedman.

One of the best women athletes of all time, Babe helped pave the way for women in sports.

(jB Zaha)


         book cover   book cover   book cover   book cover   book cover
The Thief Lord.
by Cornelia Caroline Funke. Translated by Oliver Latsch.

Young brothers run away to Italy’s magical Venice and become entangled in the escapades of a gang of street kids.

(jF Funk)
Chasing Vermeer.
by Blue Balliett; illus. by Brett Helquist.

At age eleven, Petra and Calder immerse themselves in an international mystery that involves three anonymous letters, a Dutch master, and a price-less painting. For fans of The Westing Game (Ellen Raskin) and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E.L. Konigsburg).

(jF BaLL)
Skeleton Man.
by Joseph Bruchac.

A suspenseful tale, drawn from a haunting Mohawk legend, of a girl’s search for her missing parents and for the truth about the mysterious “uncle” who claims her.

(jF Bruc)
Disappearing Act.
by Sid Fleischman.

A boy and his older sister invent new identities to elude the mysterious stalker in a white suit.

(jF FLei)
Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief.
by Wendelin Van Draanen.

Samantha spies a burglar who unfortunately spies her too in this Edgar Award-winning series entry.

(jF VanD)

Realistic Stories

          book cover    book cover    book cover    book cover    book cover
Stand Tall.
by Joan Bauer.

At 6 feet 3 ½ inches tall, “Tree” finds out that life is not fair. A 7th grader with no athletic ability, he is just coping with his parents divorce and grandfather’s illness.

(jF Baue)
The Goats.
by Brock Cole.

After being intentionally stranded alone and naked on an island, Howie and Laura vow to survive on their own rather than face the humiliation of returning to camp.

(jF CoLe)
Up on Cloud Nine.
by Anne Fine.

Why is Stolly in the hospital again? Ian knows what his friend’s parents are like and why he has led such a tortured life.

(jF Fine)
by Angela Johnson.

Fourteen-year-old Marley loves her life in the town of Heaven until the day she discovers that her mother and father are not who she thinks they are.

(jF John)
Saving Lilly.
by Peg Kehret.

Two sixth graders determine to save a mistreated circus elephant from being sold to a hunting park.

(jF Kehr)
Standing Up to Mr. O.
by Claudia Mills.

Mr. O is Maggie’s favorite teacher… until he insists she dissect a worm despite her commitment to animal rights./

(jF MiLL)
The Other Side of Truth.
by Beverley Naidoo.

Sade and her brother are in London illegally, separated from family and on the run from the people who killed their mother in Nigeria.

(jF Naid)
Esperanza Rising.
by Pam Munoz Ryan.

A Mexican girl falls from riches to rags when a family tragedy forces her to immigrate to California and become a farm laborer.

(jF Ryan)
(also available in Spanish)
This Isn't About the Money.
by Sally Warner.

Everything in Janey's life changes after a terrible car crash. Are her grandfather and great aunt caring for her because they want to, or do they have other motives?

(jF Warn)
The Friends.
by Kazumi Yumoto; translated by Cathy Hirano.

Three Japanese schoolboys spy on an elderly neighbor hoping to satisfy their curiosity about death, with surprising results.

(jF Yumo)

Humorous Stories

book cover  book cover  book cover  book cover  book cover
Once upon a Marigold
by Jean Ferris

A young man with a mysterious past and a penchant for inventing things leaves the troll who raised him, meets an unhappy princess he has loved from afar, and discovers a plot against her and her father.

(jF Ferr)
Joey Pigza loses control
by Jack Gantos

Joey, who is still taking medication to keep him from getting too wired, goes to spend the summer with the hard-drinking father he has never known and tries to help the baseball team he coaches win the championship. .

(jF Gant)
by Carl Hiaasen.

Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.

Everything on a waffle.
by Polly Horvath.

Eleven-year-old Primrose, who lives in a small fishing village in British Columbia, recounts her experiences and all that she learns about human nature and the unpredictability of life in the months after her parents are lost at sea.

(jF Horv)
Millicent Min, girl genius.
by Lisa Yee.

In a series of journal entries, eleven-year-old child prodigy Millicent Min records her struggles to learn to play volleyball, tutor her enemy, deal with her grandmother's departure, and make friends over the course of a tumultuous summer .

(jF Yee)

Science Fiction and Fantasy

         book cover   book cover   book cover   book cover   book cover
by David Almond.

Michael finds Skellig in a corner of his decrepit old garage. Is Skellig a homeless man, an owl, or an angel? And why is he there?

(jF ALmo)
The Seeing Stone.
by Kevin Crossley-Holland.

A thirteen-year-old living in medieval times notices that his adventures are remarkably similar to those of young Arthur before he is crowned king. First title of a trilogy.

(jF Cros)
The City of Ember.
by Jeanne DuPrau.

Ember is a world without sunlight, and the electrical generator is failing. Will friends Lina and Doon find a way to safety?

(jF DuPr)
The House of the Scorpion.

Matt plans to escape from Opium, an imaginary land just south of California, after learning that he was cloned in order to provide organs for his power-hungry patron.

(jF Farm)
The Music of Dolphins.
by Karen Hesse.

A young girl is raised by dolphins until she is rescued by human scientists who study her and try to teach her what it means to be human.

(jF Hess)
by Brian Jacques.

Matthias, a young mouse, must find the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior in order to save Redwall Abbey from evildoers. The first in a popular adventure series.

(jF Jacq)
Heir Apparent.
by Vivian Vande Velde.

One fourteen-year-old girl crosses into a life and death computer game at a local arcade being picketed by a group of protective citizens.

(jF Vand)
by Sylvia Waugh.

A twelve-year-old girl is shocked to learn that her parents are really aliens with plans to return to their native planet. Companion to Space Race and Who Goes Home?

(jF Waug)
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