non-series books to read aloud to 9 and 12 year olds?

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non-series books to read aloud to 9 and 12 year olds?

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Fév 10, 2008, 7:20pm

like the subject says, I'm always on the lookout for stand-alone (not-part-of-a-series) books to read aloud to my kids. I'd be grateful for any suggestions from this group.

Fév 10, 2008, 7:56pm

Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater
Number the Stars by Lois Lowery
Someday Angeline by Louis Sachar
There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar

These are some of my favorites, some of them I convinced my teacher read aloud in 4th or 5th grade!

3palyam9 Premier message
Fév 11, 2008, 5:31pm

I read the following to my twin boys between the ages of 8 and 11, their current age.
Treasure Island by Robert Loius Stevenson
Out of Egypt by Anne Rice
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
( They have since completed the LOTR trilogy on their own - no way I was reading that to them!!)
Walking the Boundaries by Jackie French
Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner
Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

Fév 11, 2008, 9:04pm

Robin Hood and Pinnochio are two of the greatest read aloud. I read the editions done by Chronicle Books with great illustrations.

Fév 12, 2008, 3:07am

Fév 12, 2008, 11:49am

I second The Hobbit and Treasure Island. I also enjoyed Kidnapped at around that age myself.

Holes by Louis Sachar
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
A Wrinkle In Time ( I know there is a series, but this book stands on its own.)

Fév 13, 2008, 6:57pm

How about Bridge to Terabithia? My teacher read that aloud in sixth grade. Any classics would do. Swiss Family Robinson is a wonderful story and read aloud. Farmer Boy, Cricket in Times Square, and Wind in the Willows. Oh, and what about James and the Giant Peach?

Modifié : Fév 17, 2008, 9:50pm

Fév 17, 2008, 10:45pm

I have read Peter Pan to kids and they really liked it.

Fév 18, 2008, 12:05am

we always enjoy a Roald Dahl story, even the older ones that can take a turn at reading get into the stories and the silliness...

Modifié : Fév 18, 2008, 9:13pm

>8 jugglingpaynes:. Out of curiosity, why no series suggestions?

because I have several series ready to read to them and I'm after some one-off books to space them out, not more series to commit to.

some good suggestions so far, thanks all :o)

Fév 18, 2008, 11:14pm

Holes by Louis Sachar.

Fév 19, 2008, 1:21am

oops, almost forgot a great one!! Dinotopia by James Gurney. My son loves it and the illustrations are fabulous. Makes you want to live on an island with dinosaurs. Note, there is two other books that continue on with the story if you want to go on. One was just pubished recently. We enjoyed the mini series, it was really wonderful to see the special effects. THey did a great job. There was a tv series, although I don't recommend it. I found that I didn't like the plot-it continued on with the mini series and unfortunately was cancelled mid season and left a cliff hanger that will never be resolved.

Fév 19, 2008, 6:18am

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Fév 19, 2008, 6:20am

>11 freelunch: If you would like a one-off book about two children (aged ten and twelve) who go on a mission into space, you could try Mr. Planemaker's Flying Machine. This is what one of the readers wrote:

"... your children/grandchildren will enjoy it... mine did :-)
YOU will love it... I promise :-) "

Fév 19, 2008, 1:49pm

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Fév 19, 2008, 5:11pm

I (Shelagh Watkins) wrote Mr. Planemaker's Flying Machine. My mother didn't write the quote -- my mother thinks the book is too highbrow, but I did write it for bright kids and I make no apologies for that. The quote was taken from the Leyland forum. You can read the actual quote here:

Leyland Forum

Fév 19, 2008, 5:52pm

then it sounds like a great suggestion, I'll put it our list...

Mar 15, 2008, 7:33am

I wish I could say that you could take it out of your local library but the book is only available in Lancashire libraries. Anyone in the UK can request a copy and the library will buy a copy (I know of at least one copy in Luton main library).

However, Mr. Planemaker's Flying Machine is now available on mobipocket if anyone is interested in e-books. You can download a sample of the book here:

I was very impressed with the quality of the e-book!

Mar 15, 2008, 8:48am

The Twenty-One Balloons and Little Britches were two good ones that my mom read to me when I was in that age range.

Avr 11, 2008, 4:12pm

Off the top of my head...
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellaires
Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Parks

Août 3, 2008, 11:09pm

There are certain authors who write stand alone books that are exellent, that way the story is tied up but you know where to find the same style

id recommend anything by Eva Ibotson and Cornelia Funke

Août 4, 2008, 1:16am

My kids are currently enjoying The Mysterious Benedict Society, and both also enjoyed Peter Pan as a read-aloud -- it's rather more sophisticated than the Disney version we all grew up on. I've been thinking Journey to the Center of the Earth might be good right now, too, since the movie just came out.

Août 21, 2008, 10:34pm

It is wonderful. Several of my 4th graders read it last year and loved it. I also like:

The Thief Lord
Because of Winn Dixie
The Penderwicks
Bridge to Terabithia -- and almost anything by Katherine Paterson

to name a few!

Août 22, 2008, 12:35am

I was about 10 when I got into fairy tale retellings, which are almost all stand-alone and can work as read-alouds. The first one I read was Beauty by Robin McKinley.

Sep 26, 2008, 8:46pm

I read The Whipping Boy when I was a kid. Its a really easy read and it's not too long.

Fév 3, 2009, 11:19am

You HAVe to read The Tale of Despereaux; skip the movie!

Also, The Fairy Rebel by Lynn Reid Banks

Everytime I recommend these to teachers as read-alouds, they are very happy and so are the kids.

Fév 4, 2009, 2:35pm

I have recently been reading to my boys from The Storyteller: Thirteen Tales by Saki. This particular collection is mostly stories which deal with children and they are wonderful -- subversive, spooky, funny and thought provoking. They aren't children's stories per se, but this collection was selected (and illustrated) for use with exactly the age group you're looking for, and both my boys are really enjoying them.

Fév 5, 2009, 11:39am

Just finished Lois Lowry's The Willoughby's, and it made me chuckle. Think about every poor orphan cliche you've ever read, and there you have it. Lowry actually uses all those books in the plotline, from Oliver Twist, Little lord Fauntleroy, etc. , which just might make them pick them up. If your kids enjoyed The SEries of Unfortunate Events, they may like this one.


I thought the best part was the author's glossary at the end.

Fév 5, 2009, 5:25pm

I've had great success with A long way from Chicago by Richard Peck, a novel in stories. The first chapter/story, "Shotgun Cheatham's Last Night Above Ground" is a corker! The virtue of this book is that each chapter is a self-contained story and makes for an easy cut-off.
The grandmother in the story is no sugary Hallmark confection, but a gun-totin' iconoclast. She operates under her own rules, the first one seeming to be "Hard work never hurt nobody."

Fév 6, 2009, 9:35am

I've never read it aloud, but another Peck novel that I liked was Here Lies the Librarian; takes place in early days of automobiles; librarians figure prominently in the story. The epitaph on the tombstone of the town librarian reads:
Electra Dietz

That made me laugh. I think I'll tell my husband to put that on MY tombstone! (And like most everything Peck has written, it's a great read!) I think for older kids it has a little bit of everything: cars and racing for the boys, history, and a little romance (but not too mushy)

Fév 8, 2009, 2:35am

A couple of books I've really enjoyed recently, that seem like they'd be good read alouds, are Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis, and The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. Newbery honor books, both.

Another fun one they might enjoy is Schooled by Gordon Korman.

Fév 21, 2009, 12:28am

Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Parks is a very fun book to read aloud, with quite a few subtopics, interesting educational tidbits, both boy and girl main characters AND readers discover how an author writes a story.

Patricia McKissack's Porch Lies is also a fun readaloud, done in a southern black vernacular. For scarily exciting, try The Old Willis Place.

Fév 23, 2009, 1:18pm

Hmm... I would have to recommend
The Book of Story Beginnings, by Kristin Kladstrup
The King In the Window, by Adam Gopnik
The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, and
Because of Winn-Dixie...forget the author...

Fév 25, 2009, 3:10pm

I read How to Steal a Dog to my 4th graders last yearl and they really liked it. Some of my students had actually been homeless, & many of them live right on the edge, so it was relateable to them.

Modifié : Mar 2, 2009, 10:12am

GULL! by John Birkett -Recommended by a 11 y old boy in one of the schools I visit as a supply teacher. Bought from Amazon and read in three days. Though it is definitely a book for older children (9-13) I really enjoyed it and am now reading to a class of 12 y olds who are also loving it. Could be a writer to watch out for.

Mar 2, 2009, 12:40pm

Stig of the Dump by Clive King is something of a classic.

Mai 24, 2009, 8:02pm

Savvy by Ingrid Law

Mai 24, 2009, 10:30pm

My daughter loves anything by Avi or Mary Downing Hahn. We have read several from both authors.

Mai 27, 2009, 5:28pm

It is difficult for me to think of books that are not part of a series. If a book is a success, almost all authors will write a sequel...and sometimes, even if they are not popular. Many of the books listed in this thread are in a series, or have a sequel.

So after some pondering, here are my suggestions.

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
The Foxman by Gary Paulsen
Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
White Stallion of Lipizza by Marguerite Henry
Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge

Juin 1, 2009, 1:42am

Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Land of Green Ginger by Noel Langley
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken -- this is the first of a series, but one of my favorite read-alouds as a child, adn I think it can stand alone, if I remember correctly
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Juin 15, 2009, 9:10am

The Enchanted Library by Karen Andrea
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Clay by David Almond

Juin 20, 2009, 2:09pm

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Juin 24, 2009, 9:59am

Adventures of Charlie & Doo-Doo Not A Baby Anymore by Andrea M. KUlman

Juin 26, 2009, 12:13am

Can of Worms or Beatnik Rutabagas from Beyond the Stars for those who love science fiction humor.

Août 2, 2009, 7:12pm

Try Goblins in the Castle by Bruce Coville. It is one of the best read alouds ever. Around Christmas the book to read is A Christmas Carol. Yes, it starts out slow but gets great later.

Août 14, 2009, 10:14pm

Try The BFG by Roald Dahl or the True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi.

Août 15, 2009, 10:36am

Savvy by Ingrid Law

Fév 13, 2010, 4:14pm

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Try Notch Ear's Sacrifice, a true-to-life tale about red fox brothers, their struggle to survive, and how their brotherly love is strained when they both fall for the same vixen. But the real test comes when MOONLIGHT is expecting kits and NOTCH EAR cannot find food for his mate. While making his way to a human neighborhood where he can scavenge food, he is struck by a car. Will he survive to help raise his kits? Can they survive without him? In the tradition of Jack London's White Fang, this book presents life as the foxes experience it.

I teach children ages 9-12. They loved this story when I read it aloud. I confess, however, they were biased: Their teacher wrote the novel. Go to to find out where you can get the book.

Fév 24, 2010, 2:29pm

The Minstrel and the Dragon Pup by Rosemary Sutcliff. For other suggestions of hers - many suitable - see

Juin 12, 2012, 11:36pm

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Juin 27, 2012, 12:06pm

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Juil 1, 2012, 11:19pm

Started The Search for WondLa and it seems like a good read aloud -- fast paced with interesting vocabulary.

Planning on reading Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane in last 2 weeks of school, my students act like it's impossible for a book to provoke emotion or any response deeper than "Yeah, I liked it."

Juil 2, 2012, 12:20am

My boys have recently enjoyed Old Yeller and Sounder and are asking to follow up with Savage Sam.

Some others on our list this year include:
My Father's Dragon
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
The Wish Giver

Check out the Newbery award lists for this age group! They're all fantastic! ;)

And, I'm marking this thread myself! Thanks! My boys are 7, 9, and 13, and I have our history read alouds for the year on my shelf tagged as "Illuminations 2" - we are studying the middle ages. I also have tags for interest levels vs grade levels and am going to include some of the books that have a 2 or 3-level difference as our read-alouds this year and next. :) I only did the books I own, though! LOL

Juil 2, 2012, 9:21am

I wonder if The Trumpet of the Swan is too young? I still enjoy it in my 40s, but I don't have kids so I'm not a perfect judge of what works for what age.

Juil 2, 2012, 7:09pm

We're currently enjoying The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, and it's fun to read aloud. The only difficulty is that it doesn't have a lot of clearly defined chapters so you just have pick a place to stop reading at random and stop there.

Juil 23, 2012, 6:51pm

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Try Mother Maria's Wonderful Bedtime Stories. I have heard many good reports from this book. The work also has a nice series of comprehension building exercises to go with the stories as well. Several school teachers are making use of this work in young child lit classes right now as I speak. I even discovered a copy in a South American English academy last year! Pick it up via Amazon Books for about 5.00, and 93 pages of some really entertaining children's lit. Hope that you enjoy it!