The following list contains books suitable for children aged 11-12 in Year 7 of secondary school. These titles consist of a range of fiction and non fiction for all ability ranges including the more able. This list was last updated on .
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Possibly the best and most well-known animal adventure. Fiver has a sixth sense for danger and he persuades Hazel to lead a group of rabbits to escape certain disaster and search for a new home.
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The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
Matthew finds it almost impossible to leave his room and venture into the outside world due to his OCD and constant worries. But when a small child in the neighbourhood vanishes, he finds his heightened attention to detail an ideal tool when he turns detective to try and solve the mystery. Brilliantly written.
The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
A thought provoking and atmospheric story about Amihan, who lives on an island affected by a leprosy outbreak. Forced to leave, she finds some unlikely allies in her quest to return home.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
In an alternative reality, King James III rules in 1832 and the country is plagued wolves from the Channel Tunnel. But for Sylvia and Bonnie it isn’t clear whether it’s the wolves or their governess Miss Slighcarp they should be more afraid of.
Peter Pan by JM Barrie
The timeless classic story of the boy who never grew up, Wendy and her brothers, and Neverland, where the Lost Boys are in constant danger from Captain Hook.
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Just prior to his 11th birthday, Will discovers he’s the last person left with the power of the Old Ones, and his mission is to guard the Light and drive out the Dark. A gripping and imaginative story.
Wolf by Gillian Cross
A haunting story of terrorism, impending doom, confusion and not really knowing your closest family members as well as you thought. Cassy finds some questions are best left unasked.
The Seeing Stone by Kevin Crossley-Holland
The stories of a young King Arthur are told in 100 short chapters. Ideal for reluctant boy readers in Year 7.
Boy and Going Solo by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl’s hilarious autobiographies – Boy, charting his childhood and school days, and Going Solo chronicling his early adult life.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Anne Frank’s diary, written when she was 13-15 and living in hiding above an Amsterdam warehouse during World War 2. ‘One of the greatest books of the century’ – Guardian.
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
Colin and Susan are saves from mysterious creatures by a wizard who has been searching for a lost magic stone for over 100 years. Can the two children defeat the dark forces at work?
Minders by Diana Hendry
Scully is learning to be a wizard with supernatural powers like his parents. Soon he finds himself in incredible danger. A good easy reader for year seven pupils.
A Winkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
Charles Wallace Murry’s father has disappeared and Charles sets out to find a wrinkle in time – a gateway to a parallel universe – to try and save him. A captivating and imaginative story.
Across the Barricades by Joan Lingard
Kevin and Sade live in Belfast, and the two of them being seen together isn’t an option. A gritty story of religious divide and distrust.
Tug of War by Catherine Forde
When Molly is evacuated to the countryside after terrorist attacks, she finds herself with a wonderful foster mum on an idyllic farm. Her new life is perfect. When her real mother visit and she finds out her brother is being abused Molly faces a choice, and she isn’t sure she wants to leave her new life behind.
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
A gripping description of the horrors of war, told from the perspective of Joey, a horse, who sees the senselessness of war and the importance friendships more clearly than the soldiers around him.
Stone Cold by Robert Swindells
There’s a serial killer targeting the young and homeless and Deb, an intrepid undercover journalist is determined to catch the killer – using herself as bait.
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
When Lyra finds out there’s an expedition to find other worlds very different to her own, a chain of events is set in motion catapulting Lyra into perilous journeys and a search for the truth.
The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
Will has killed a man and is on the run in a parallel world. When he meets Lyra, with her gifts and cunning and his determination, they set out to find Will’s long lost father.
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
Will and Lyra have become separated but must find each other to prevent dark forces taking over their worlds, and every other world. A stunning conclusion to the trilogy.
The Indian in the Cupboard Trilogy by Lynne Reid Banks
Omri is disappointed with his birthday present – a little red plastic Indian figure – until it comes alive and becomes a real person.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Victorian London is vividly portrayed through the eyes of a horse – Black Beauty – in this timeless classic of children’s literature.
The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliffe
Thousands of Roman Soldiers marched into the mist and were never seen again. Young Marcus Aquilla sets out to find out what happened to them. An engaging historical saga.
The Cay by Theodore Taylor
When World War II breaks out, 12 year old Phillip and his mother board the S.S. Hato but the ship is torpedoed, and Phillip is blinded by a blow on the head and left stranded on an island with a man named Timothy.
The Secret Diary or Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend
A fictional diary charting the teenage angst and dreams of Adrian Mole. Very funny.
Cue for Treason by Geoffrey Trease
Two young runaways become actors in London, where they meet William Shakespeare. They then help foil a plot to kill the Queen.
The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer have made lots of money, but all Huck want is to escape from his guardian, Miss Sawyer. A great American novel.
Blitzcat by Robert Westall
The horrors of the blitz are told through the eyes of a cat who is searching for her lost owner. Very atmospheric. The follow-up to Machine Gunners.
The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White
An entertaining fantasy adventure set in medieval England following the life of King Arthur.
Raptor by Paul Zindel
In a world of mutant dinosaurs in Utah, Zach tries to find which dinosaur infected him with reptilian blood.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
One person from each district in the country is selected to fight to the death in a reality TV lottery. Katniss vows to win.
Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman
13 year old Cameron is dying and his only hope is a heart transplant. When there are no human hearts available his father find a doctor willing to use a pig’s heart.
Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Framed tells the story of how paintings moved from the National Gallery in London to a cave in North Wales alter the lives of the village folk, especially Dylan.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Jack murders every member of a family except a child upstairs. When the child crawls to a graveyard nearby, Mr and Mrs Owens, both ghosts, decide to bring him up.
The Garbage King by Elizabeth Laird
Mamo is from a very poor family where everyone has died except for him and his sister, Tiggist. Mamo is kidnapped by a slave trader who claims to be his Uncle Merga.
Wonder by R.J Palacio
Augie wants to be like every other ten year old. But whenever anyone looks at him they treat him differently because of a terrible facial abnormality. Can he convince everyone that he’s just like them inside?
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Narrated by Death, this book tells the story of a young girl in Nazi Germany hiding for safety in World War 2.
Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan
Percy is a twelve-year-old boy who has been expelled from every school he has ever attended. When his class takes a field trip to the art gallery his Maths teacher Mrs Dodds attacks him.
The Box of Delights by John Masefield
In this classic fantasy novel, Kay Harker receives a box from an old man called Cole which has magic powers, letting him shrink, fly and travel back in time. But Cole is being followed.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Buck is stolen from his California home and shipped north to the Klondike to become a sled dog. Can he survive the cold, the work and the lead dog Spitz?
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
The emotive story of Thomas “Tommo” Peaceful who is looking back on his life from the trenches of World War I in Belgium. Each chapter brings the reader closer to the present.
Holes by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats IV’s family has been cursed since his great-great-grandfather’s time and Stanley has been wrongly accused of stealing the shoes Clyde “Sweet Feet” Livingston, a star basketball player.
Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge
Penelope Tredwell, aged 13, is heiress to the bestselling magazine, The Penny Dreadful. But no-one knows that she is the real author of the deathly stories.
Try our Year 6 reading list for the less able reader.
Have a look at our Year 8 reading list for the more able reader.
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