San Francisco Public Library

Bite into A Good Book!

Books for 9 and 10-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.

A Taste of Something Strange: Other Worlds

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Whales on Stilts!
M.T. Anderson; Illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
Would you believe a friend if she told you her father’s boss is planning to conquer the world? A weird and wacky adventure. (also available on CD) jF ANDE
Tuck Everlasting
Natalie Babbitt
Is the ability to live forever a blessing or a curse? Ten-year-old Winnie must answer this question for herself. (also available in Chinese and Spanish)
Half Magic
Edward Eager
Another boring summer? Not when three sisters and a brother discover a magic coin—but just how does it work? There are 6 other titles in the Magic series.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Grace Lin
Aided by a goldfish, a flightless dragon and other friends she meets along the way, Minli journeys to find the Old Man of the Moon in a quest to bring happiness and prosperity to her poor village.
The Doll People
Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin; Illustrated by Brian Selznick
A young porcelain doll ventures out the Dollhouse to find her aunt, missing for 45 years, with the help of a modern plastic doll. Read more of their adventures in The Meanest Doll in the World and The Runaway Dolls.
Milagros: Girl From Away
Meg Medina
Milagros, the only survivor of a brutal attack on her idyllic island home, learns that miracles can happen, through messages in bottles, stingrays and a special new friend on a very different island.
Charlie Bone and the Shadow
Jenny Nimmo
A boy with magical abilities finds himself sucked into a painting of Badlock and flung back 900 years in time to the land of his ancestors in this seventh series book, which culminates with Charlie Bone and the Red Knight. Harry Potter fans, take note.
Cloud Tea Monkeys
Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham; Illustrated by Juan Wijngaard
Tashi’s mother is ill. How can the small girl take her place picking tea on the plantation and earn money enough for the doctor? Might the monkeys have a plan?
Travels of Thelonious
Susan Schade and Jon Buller
Imagine a world in which animals such as chipmunks, bears, lizards and porcupines speak and read and humans no longer exist; you will be in the realm of the Fog Mound, an adventure told in pictures and words, and continued in Faradawn and Simon’s Dream.
Knights of the Kitchen Table
Jon Scieszka; Illustrated by Lane Smith
The Time Warp Trio travels back to King Arthur’s court and encounters a knight, a giant, and a dragon.

Cooked to Perfection: Historical Fiction

Bud, Not Buddy
Christopher Paul Curtis
Guided by his own Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life, a 10-year-old boy sets out to find the father he’s never known. (Newbery Award winner, also available in Spanish) Two Newbery Honor winners by this author are Elijah of Buxton and the Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963.
The Ballad of Lucy Whipple
Karen Cushman
It takes time for a young New Englander to feel at home in a rough-and-tumble California gold mining town. Cushman also wrote the Newbery medal winner The Midwife’s Apprentice, set in medieval England.
The Birchbark House
Louise Erdrich
A devastating smallpox epidemic pierces the rhythmic cycle of life for the Ojibwa people of Lake Superior. Was young Omakayas rescued as a baby so that she could save her family? Her story continues in The Game of Silence and The Porcupine Year.
Baseball Saved Us
Ken Mochizuki; Illustrated by Dom Lee
For Japanese Americans, imprisoned behind barbed-wire in the internment camps, baseball is an escape from boredom. (also available in Japanese and Spanish)
The Kite Fighters
Linda Sue Park
Sibling rivalry and friendship are themes in this story set in Korea in 1473. From the Newbery-winning author of A Single Shard. (both titles also available in Korean)

Peas in a Pod: Just Like Me

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Love That Dog
Sharon Creech
Trying to convince his teacher of his distaste for poetry, Jack finds his notes are not only expressing many of his feelings, they are also turning into poems. Jack continues to explore this theme in Hate That Cat.
The Lemonade War
Jacqueline Davies
Evan won’t tell his sister Jessie why he’s angry at her, but when he accepts her $100 lemonade sale challenge during the final week of summer vacation, both get a lot more than they bargained for. The surprises continue in The Lemonade Crime.
Katy Kelly
Adam Melon has lots of great ideas. He’s not sure why they all seem to end in disaster. Will his entry for the class invention Fair be a winner? Want more fun with Adam? Read Melonhead and the Big Stink, and Melonhead and the Undercover Operation.
The Agony of Alice
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
An 11-year-old girl in an all-male household seeks a beautiful role model. The first of several books about the always honest and interesting Alice.
Bridge to Terabithia
Katherine Paterson
Jess and Leslie develop a special friendship at their secret hideaway in this sad and satisfying story. Newbery Award winner. (also available in Chinese and Spanish)
Lucky Breaks
Susan Patron
Lucky needs a stroke of luck when she falls into an abandoned well and thinks her friends have abandoned her, too. Companion book to Newbery winner The Higher Power of Lucky.
Star in the Forest
Laura Resau
Zitlally’s name means star in Aztec; when her father is deported to Mexico, she finds and cares for a stray dog with a star on his fur, sure that Star’s well-being, and her father’s, are connected.
Good Luck, Ivy!
Lisa Yee
Ivy hopes for good luck as she juggles commitments to family and to her gymnastics team. Set in San Francisco 35 years ago, her choices ring true today.

Food for Thought: Non-fiction

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Encyclopedia Horrifica: The Terrifying Truth! About Vampires, Ghosts, Monsters, and More
Joshua Gee
Strange stuff, creepy creatures, the weird and the wondrous, all in one convenient volume.
j001.9 GEE
Tales Told in Tents: Stories from Central Asia
Sally Pomme Clayton; Illustrated by Sophie Herxheimer
Stories, poems and riddles transport the reader to lands of carpet weavers, silk merchants and juicy pomegranates.
j398.2095 CLAY
Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea
Sy Montgomery; Photos by Nic Bishop
Enter a fascinating world where new plant and animal species are being discovered, and meet a group studying and helping save these rare and adorable marsupials.
j599.22 MONT
It’s Perfectly Normal: A Book about changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health
Robie H. Harris; Illustrated by Michael Emberley
This frank and funny discussion of human sexuality examines puberty, sexual feelings, reproduction and other topics.
j613.9071 HARR 2009
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
Brian Floca
Beautiful, poetic text and stunning illustrations take the reader along on Apollo 11’s historic journey and moon landing.
j629.454 FLOC
Is My Dog a Wolf? How Your Pet Compares to Its Wild Cousin
Jenni Bidner
Even the smallest, fluffiest dogs are related to wolves; learn about the shared behaviors of the wild and the tame.
j636.7 BIDN
The Greatest Cookies Ever: Dozens of Delicious, Chewy, Chunky, Fun & Foolproof Recipes
Rose Dunnington
Learn to bake dozens of different cookies for parties, presents or sharing with family and friends –what could be better?
j641.8654 DUNN
Masterpieces Up Close
Claire D’Harcourt
Well-known works of art, representing eight centuries of Western civilization, are explained in fascinating detail. Pore over these paintings; there is so much to see!
j759 DHAR
How to Play Tennis: Learn How to Play Tennis with the Williams Sisters
Venus and Serena Williams
Champion sisters offer all the basics, from clothing, equipment and rules to fitness and match play
Enhanced with detailed color photography by Russell Sadur.
j796.342 WILL

Rool this Round Your Tongue: Poetry and Word Play

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Jon Agee
It’s fun to play with words that read the same forward and backward, especially in a book done in comic-strip style. One of a series.
j793.734 AGEE
A Poke in the I
Selected by Paul B. Janeczko; Illustrated by Chris Raschka
Words take shape in the thirty concrete poems that make up this stylish collection.
j811.008 POKE
Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart
Vera B. Williams
Free verse poems and soft, pastel pictures show how two sisters comfort each other while their father serves time in jail and their mother works long hours.
j811.54 WILL
Twist: Yoga Poems
Janet S. Wong; illustrated by Julie Paschkis
The essence of yoga breath and positions is captured by these meditative and playful poems.
j811.54 WONG
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich: And Other Stories You’re Sure to Like, Because They’re All About Monsters, and Some of Them Are Also About Food
Adam Rex
The title doesn’t lie! Poems, stories, songs and terrific pictures of nasty creatures doing yucky stuff, often with food. Want more of the same? Try Rex’s Frankenstein Takes the Cake.
j811.6 REX

Good Eggs: Biography

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Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story
Paula Yoo; Illustrated by Lin Wang
Anna May Wong loved movies; she and the new industry grew up in Los Angeles at the same time. As the first Chinese American movie star, her challenges included finding roles respectful of her heritage.
j791.4302 WONG
Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life’s Song
Ashley Bryan
The exuberant Bryan welcomes readers into his world, sharing his life-long love of art, color, creativity and friends.
Gregor Mendel: the Friar Who Grew Peas.
Cheryl Bardoe; Illustrated by Jos. A. Smith
What do you and the humble pea have in common? You both look like your parents. One of the greatest scientific questions was answered by Mendel’s study of pea plants.
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshall
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
A big man who really was larger than life, Bass’s skill and bravery kept people safe in the Wild West.
Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories of Growing Up
Jon Scieszka
Scieszka was one of six boisterous brothers—living in that household may explain why his books are so funny!
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
Peter Sis
Through detailed illustrations, the author describes his childhood in a country where every aspect of life was under government control—but for a brief time in 1968, there was an intoxicating taste of freedom.
Helen’s Eyes: A Photobiography of Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller’s Teacher
Marfe Ferguson Delano
Sharp and spunky Annie Sullivan dealt with her own dark world before grasping the opportunity to help bring Helen into the light.

What Smells Fishy? Mysterious Happenings

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The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity
Mac Barnett
A visit to the library to research a homework assignment finds Steve Brixton, who longs to be detective like the ones in his favorite books, diving deep into danger and duplicity!
The Fairy-Tale Detectives
Michael Buckley; Illustrated by Peter Ferguson
Orphaned sisters Sabrina and Daphne Grimm learn that they are part of the Grimm legacy, overseeing all of the world’s fairy tale characters in the town of Ferryport, NY. Book One of The Sisters Grimm.
The Treasures of Weatherby
Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Harleigh Weatherby and his new friend, Allegra, have much to explore and learn about the strange old Weatherby mansion. Is there a treasure hidden there—and can Allegra really fly?

The Icing on the Cake: Graphic Novels

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Rapunzel’s Revenge
Shannon and Dean Hale; Illustrated by Nathan Hale
It’s the Wild West—sort of—where Rapunzel’s been imprisoned by the witch she thought was her mother. Tired of waiting to be rescued, she uses her head—well, her hair—to take charge of her own life.
A Family Secret
Eric Heuvel
Poking around in his grandmother’s attic, Jeroen finds her wartime scrapbook and begins to understand the hardships she went through when she was his age. Sensitive and harrowing, this story is continued in The Search.
Jason Shiga
A trip to the ice cream store leads to a million different adventures in this fascinating book. See where where it takes you!
Kean Soo
A silent purple creature appears in Portia’s window, and her life begins to change. Will Jellaby help Portia find her mission father? Read on for more adventures in Jellaby: Monster in the City.