If you are looking for a great book for your eight to ten-year old child, but don't know where to start, this short list will point you in the right direction. Whether your child is already a page-turner or you are looking to develop a love of reading, you can count on these great stories to captivate your young reader.
With Newbery Medal Winners in the mix, each one of these books is great for both boys and girls. Some of these are the first book in a series, while others stand alone. From mystery to fantasy, the one thing these books all have in common is that neither you nor your child will be able to put them down.
The Castle in the Attic
The Castle in the Attic was written by Elizabeth Winthrop and published in 1985. This fantasy story follows the adventures of ten-year old William. After receiving the gift of a very realistic model castle from his nanny, William discovers it is more real than just a crafted toy. He believes there is something special and can't wait to start playing. When the silver knight, Sir Simon, comes to life in his hand, William is drawn into a world filled with dragons and wizards. Having shrunk his nanny as a way to keep her with him, he must now go on a quest with Sir Simon to rescue her and reclaim the kingdom.
- 1987 - Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award
- 1989 - California Young Reader Medal
Half Magic was written in 1954 Edward Eager and is the first of seven books in his acclaimed Magic Series. This fantasy story follows the lives of four siblings, Jane, Mark, Katharine and Martha as they embark on adventures with the help of a magical coin that grants wishes - but only by halves. The children start their summer wishing their widowed mother didn't have to work so hard and they would be able to spend some time at the lake. Then Jane finds what she thinks is a nickel on the walk home from their weekly trip to the library. They soon work out the power of the charm and that all wishes must be doubled and then find themselves having the summer of a lifetime. What starts with a half-talking cat leads the four children on a series of happenings that could have gone awry without the help of friendly Mr Smith.
Although not an award winner, this book has stood the test of time and has even been re-released in a 50th anniversary hard cover edition.
The Westing Game
This award-winning mystery novel by Ellen Raskin was first published in 1978. Young Tabitha Ruth, but better known as Turtle is one of sixteen heirs named by recently deceased Samuel Westing. All of the heirs are in some way connected to the newly built Sunset Towers, from which you can see the empty expanse of the Westing House. But the reading of the will isn't straight forward. The heirs are divided into eight pairs of two and each are given clues to help solve the mystery of who murdered the millionaire. These unique and hilarious characters pit themselves against each other as they discover secrets about each other and ultimately the mystery of Sam Westing himself.
- 1979 - Newbery Medal
A Wrinkle in Time
Written by Madeline L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time was published in 1962. Half fantasy, half science fiction, this story follows Meg Murry, along with her brother Charles Wallace and and school mate Calvin as they cross through time and space in search of Meg's scientist father who has disappeared. The children travel by way of tesseract, which is best described as a "wrinkle in time" by their three lovely, but unusual neighbors: Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which. The children face perils as they jump from planet to planet, fighting against evil as they discover just why Mr Murry mysteriously disappeared and where to. This book is the first in a series of five books.
- 1963 - Newbery Medal
- 1964 - Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
- 1965 - Sequoyah Book Award
These page turners are all on Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion list. This will enable you to take all four for the price of three. At the time of this article's printing, these books are listed at $6.99 each in their paperback form, meaning you can take home all four books for just over $20. Pick up just one more book at the same price and get free shipping as well.
Other amazing classic stories for this age include:
- From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frakweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
- The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster