As children cross the threshold of double-digit age, their reading preferences often mature and evolve. Finding the right books that captivate their growing minds and encourage their reading journey can be both exciting and challenging. Homeschooling isn’t just about homework and math. It is important to instill in your child a love of reading.
1. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
The main character is Harry Potter, a young orphan boy who discovers he’s a wizard on his eleventh birthday. The story kicks off with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (also known as “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”), where Harry is whisked away to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Rowling’s narrative effortlessly weaves the ordinary with the extraordinary, inviting readers to follow Harry’s journey of self-discovery, friendship, and courage.
Rowling crafts a meticulously detailed universe with its own history, magical creatures, and complex spells. From the cozy common rooms of Hogwarts to the bustling streets of Diagon Alley, every setting comes alive with vivid descriptions, making readers feel as if they’re walking alongside the characters.
As the series progresses, the themes mature, addressing deeper topics such as prejudice, sacrifice, and the battle between good and evil. The books grow in complexity, mirroring the natural development of its readers, who age alongside the characters. This makes the series a perfect companion for children over 10, offering not only thrilling adventures but also thought-provoking insights.
2. “Percy Jackson & the Olympians” Series by Rick Riordan
Mixing Greek mythology with modern adventure, Riordan introduces us to Percy Jackson, a demigod on a quest to prevent a war among the gods. The saga takes off with “The Lightning Thief,” where Percy is thrust into a world of monsters, gods, and quests that defy imagination. As Percy navigates the realms of Mount Olympus, Camp Half-Blood, and beyond, readers are invited to join him in unravelling the secrets of his divine heritage.
One of the most enticing aspects of Riordan’s storytelling is his ingenious blending of ancient mythology with the contemporary world. From the entrance to the Underworld located in Los Angeles to battling Medusa in a modern New York City museum, each chapter brims with mythological references, turning familiar landscapes into epic stages for heroic tales.
He delves into the themes of heroism, self-sacrifice and destiny. Each installment unveils a new layer of the Olympian tapestry, weaving together past and present in a way that keeps readers eagerly turning pages. With themes that resonate beyond the bounds of mythology, the series offers valuable life lessons wrapped in a captivating adventure.
3. “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio
R.J. Palacio’s heartwarming tale revolves around Auggie Pullman, a young boy born with facial differences that have led to numerous surgeries and a life of isolation. As he enters fifth grade, Auggie faces the daunting task of attending a mainstream school for the first time. Palacio’s narrative unfolds through multiple perspectives, shedding light on the experiences of Auggie, his family, and his friends.
The brilliance of “Wonder” lies in its ability to immerse readers in the emotional journey of its characters. Auggie’s quest for acceptance is relatable to anyone who has ever felt different, while his classmates’ struggles with empathy and prejudice reflect the complexities of human nature. The characters’ growth and development are poignant reminders that transformation and understanding are possible even in the face of adversity.
“Wonder” doesn’t shy away from the difficult emotions that come with its subject matter. It encourages readers to confront discomfort and challenge their preconceived notions, inviting them to explore the intricacies of empathy. By exposing the struggles and triumphs of its characters, the novel bridges the gap between fiction and reality, serving as a mirror that reflects the human experience.
4. “The Chronicles of Narnia” Series by C.S. Lewis
The series begins with “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” where four siblings – Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy – stumble upon the fantastical realm of Narnia through an ordinary wardrobe. As they discover the prophecy of a land frozen in perpetual winter by the White Witch, they are drawn into a quest to rescue Narnia from her icy grip.
Lewis’s storytelling is deceptively simple, making it accessible to readers of varying ages. Each book presents a new adventure, building upon the lore of Narnia and its inhabitants. The blend of fantastical elements with relatable human experiences ensures that the series remains timeless, engaging young and mature readers alike.
But beyond the magic and mythical creatures, “The Chronicles of Narnia” series imparts valuable life lessons. It encourages readers to explore themes of loyalty, forgiveness, and the discovery of one’s true self. The characters evolve through challenges that parallel real-world struggles, making their triumphs and growth all the more relatable.
5. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry’s thought-provoking novel introduces readers to a seemingly perfect society devoid of pain and suffering. As Jonas approaches adulthood, he’s chosen to be the Receiver of Memory, a role that exposes him to the world’s past experiences and emotions – both joyful and painful.
“The Giver” explores the importance of memory and its role in shaping personality. As Jonas learns about the beauty and pain of the past, he begins to understand the significance of individual experiences in shaping who we are. This theme resonates strongly, urging readers to cherish their own memories and appreciate the complexity of human existence.
The novel’s exploration of emotion, choice, and the value of human connection is especially relevant for readers over 10 years old. As they navigate the complexities of growing up, “The Giver” serves as a catalyst for discussions about responsibility, empathy, and the role of individuals in shaping their world.
6. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl
Meet Matilda Wormwood, a brilliant and precocious young girl whose insatiable thirst for knowledge sets her apart from her less-than-supportive family. Despite growing up in a household that undervalues her intelligence, Matilda’s indomitable spirit shines through as she discovers her unique abilities.
At the heart of “Matilda” lies the theme of empowerment. As Matilda navigates the challenges of her home and school life, she discovers the strength that comes from harnessing her intelligence. Through her friendship with the kind-hearted Miss Honey, she finds a mentor who recognizes and nurtures her potential, giving her the tools to overcome adversity and seek a brighter future. The story’s humor, coupled with moments of poignancy, allows readers to experience a range of emotions while resonating with Matilda’s journey.
“Matilda” not only entertains but also encourages readers to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate the power of education. Matilda’s love for books and her determination to outwit the challenges thrown her way inspire young readers to recognize the value of knowledge and the doors it can open. Her story becomes a reminder that we all possess the ability to shape our destinies.
7. “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
Embark on an epic adventure with Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit content with a quiet life in his cozy home. His world is turned upside down when the wise wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves invite him on an extraordinary quest to reclaim their homeland from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Bilbo’s journey from comfort to courage, from self-doubt to discovery, forms the essence of this epic narrative.
“The Hobbit” is about growth and transformation. Bilbo’s evolution from a timid hobbit into a brave and resourceful hero mirrors the universal journey of self-discovery. This coming-of-age aspect resonates with readers of all ages, particularly those over 10, who can relate to the process of navigating change and embracing new challenges.
The themes explored in “The Hobbit” are timeless. The novel delves into the concepts of heroism, friendship, and the allure of the unknown. Bilbo’s interactions with the various characters, from the wise Gandalf to the enigmatic Gollum, serve as mirrors to his own growth, teaching readers about the complexities of morality and the power of choice.
8. “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
The story unfolds in the nation of Panem, where the Capitol rules with an iron fist and the districts are subjected to its whims. As punishment for past rebellion, the Capitol demands a yearly tribute: one boy and one girl from each district to compete in the televised Hunger Games – a fight to the death. The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, steps forward to take her sister’s place, setting the stage for a battle of survival and defiance.
At the core of “The Hunger Games” lies a powerful exploration of humanity under duress. Katniss’s journey from reluctant tribute to defiant symbol of resistance resonates with readers over 10 years old, who can appreciate the complexities of navigating a world filled with moral ambiguity. The choices Katniss faces reflect the moral dilemmas we all encounter, prompting readers to contemplate what they would do in her shoes.
The novel also reveals the dynamics of propaganda, media manipulation, and the consequences of a repressive government. As the Hunger Games unfold, readers witness the Capitol’s control over the narrative and the ways in which the tributes are turned into pawns for political gain. These themes invite readers to question the power of media, truth, and the manipulation of public perception.
9. “Holes” by Louis Sachar
At the center of the book is Stanley Yelnats, a teenager who finds himself in Camp Green Lake, a juvenile correctional facility in the desert. The peculiar punishment at this camp involves digging holes in the dry lake bed every day, purportedly to “build character.” As Stanley and his fellow inmates dig, they unearth buried history, forming a tapestry of interconnected stories that spans generations.
Sachar’s narrative style effortlessly interweaves past and present, creating a multi-layered story that keeps readers engaged from start to finish. The mystery of why the boys are digging these holes slowly unfolds, leading to surprising revelations that highlight the ways in which actions and consequences can echo through time.
As Stanley and his friends unearth artifacts and stories, they discover the hidden ties that bind their lives together. This theme resonates with readers over 10 years old, who can appreciate the ways in which individual choices reverberate through time and influence the lives of others.
Friendship is another central theme in the novel. Stanley’s camaraderie with his fellow inmates and his friendship with a young girl named Zero reveal the power of genuine connections in the face of adversity. Their loyalty and support underscore the importance of empathy and standing by one another, even in the harshest circumstances.
10. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl
A tail about young Charlie Bucket, a kind-hearted boy from a modest family. His life takes an unexpected turn when he finds one of the coveted golden tickets to tour Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory. As Charlie and four other children venture inside, they discover a world of sugary delights, magical inventions, and eccentricity beyond imagination.
The novel’s appeal extends beyond its whimsy. It also explores themes of greed, consequences, and the importance of good character. As the other children’s vices lead them into sticky situations, Charlie’s humility and empathy shine through, making him a relatable and admirable protagonist for readers over 10 years old.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” also introduces readers to the concept of morality tales, where actions have direct consequences. The children’s behavior inside the factory serves as a mirror, reflecting the consequences of their vices. This theme opens the door to discussions about ethics, decision-making, and the importance of valuing what truly matters.