Books for 11 year olds – a panel of educators from schools around the country asked 11-year-olds to name their favourite book, and these are the results. For more details about how these books were selected, please see our Children’s Favourites article which explains the survey process. This list includes titles by authors including J.K. Rowling, Sophie McKenzie, Raina Telgemeier, Katie Kirby, Kazu Kibuishi, Louis Sachar, Robert Muchamore, Derek Landy, Simon Mugford, Roald Dahl, David Walliams, Jeff Kinney and Jerry Craft.
Books for 11 year olds – favourites chosen by children
(In randomised order)
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Harry is surprised to discover his wizarding destiny lies at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A captivating tale of magic, friendship, and hidden secrets, this modern classic offers a fast-paced start to the Harry Potter series. A very popular series with less confident early secondary-aged readers.
Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi
This graphic novel series seamlessly blends magic, puzzles, and mystery with superb storytelling and enchanting art. Amulet will have wide appeal with 11-year-olds looking for an engaging, easy-to-read and visually appealing graphic novel.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
Greg Heffley’s revealing diary shows how he stumbles through the struggles of school life, making mistakes along the way in a humourous and page-turning illustrated format. Kinney’s simple yet captivating style, combined with the series’ unceasing popularity sees this series pinned near the top of school library loan top tens around the country.
Holes by Louis Sachar
Ever since the ‘Framework for Teaching English: Years 7, 8 and 9’ used Holes as an exemplar text back in the 2000s – flooding school libraries with copies of the book – Louis Sachar’s cleverly plotted mystery with same-age characters and relatable situations has made this a popular choice for early secondary readers. Combine this with a highly watchable PG-rated film version and popularity is almost guaranteed.
The World’s Worst series by David Walliams
From monstrous Dr. Dread to furious Miss Seethe, and the fear-stricken Mr. Phobe, these short stories describe dreadful teaching. No, this isn’t an Ofsted report, it’s a fast-paced escape for children who enjoy an easy read. The colour illustrations by Tony Ross help bring the text to life, and there are well-produced audiobooks for every title in the series.
Boy by Roald Dahl
This glimpse into the author’s childhood is filled with funny anecdotes that children will love to retell. From boarding school life to his time as a chocolate tester for Cadbury’s, Dahl’s life describes the relatable struggles of growing up. A modern classic, Boy is a popular choice with 11-year-old readers.
Football Superstars series by Simon Mugford
The Football Superstars series provides well-written and engaging football stories, anecdotes, facts, stats and quizzes in a highly illustrated jam-packed format that appeals to readers who prefer non-fiction and are less confident with longer texts. It’s an ideal series to help ensure your 11-year-old is reading every day.
Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy
Filled with action and humour, Derek Landy’s genre-defying books keep young readers hooked. Covering crime, humour, fantasy, magic, mystery and adventure, there’s something to appeal to most 11-year-olds. It’s a thrilling and well-crafted series that proved very popular in our survey.
Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie
Lauren has always been aware that she was adopted as a child, but her world crumbles when she discovers she might have been snatched from a family she never knew. An emotive and tightly plotted psychological thriller that proved very popular with 11-year-old girls.
CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore
A rollercoaster ride in every book, these stories will appeal to 11-year-olds who want instant action. Memorable characters, humour and realism will keep even the most reluctant readers engaged. This extensive series proved very popular with boys in lower KS3.
These books received a very high number of votes in some schools but did not make the top 10 overall.
The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks by Katie Kirby
Lottie Brooks, an 11-year-old, navigates the struggles of growing up and her new school in this funny illustrated story. Highly relatable, themes of friendship and embarrassing situations are explored with deft humour. Very popular with 11-year-olds who normally don’t like books.
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Describing Raina’s struggles as an 11-year-old, dealing with dental drama, friendships, and the challenges of adolescence, this is a highly relatable and engaging graphic novel with bold artwork. It’s a must-read for children who worry about what growing up has in store.
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Addressing themes of diversity, racism, and fitting in at a new school, this graphic novel follows Jordan Banks as he finds himself one of the only children of colour in an expensive private school. A good choice for those who enjoyed the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, New Kid is a thought-provoking and useful transition read for 11-year-olds.
Books for 11 year olds – buy the set or order in bulk
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