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Book Recommendations for an 11 Year Old Girl

I have a daughter who turned 11 years old in Nov. 2007. She's very mature & intelligent for her age. She asked me yesterday to take her shopping for some interesting books to read. Can anyone recommend some good books (or authors) for her age group (& slightly older). She just finished reading a "high school" type book which talked about a girl with an eating disorder and how it affected her life. In her own words, "she couldn't put it down." Any recommendations are appreciated.

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My 10 year old loves the Madelene L'Engle series that begins with A Wrinkle in Time. She is an advanced reader also, the books are fantasy/science fiction and very appropriate.

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You've already been given TONS of great books, authors and resources, so this is just a caution: I loved Madeleine L'Engle and many of her books. I would, however, start with the Wrinkle in Time series (original was a Trilogy - Many Waters is a fourth that came later) or the Meet the Austens series. I just wanted to let you know that I was a bit perplexed by a scene in The Arm of the Starfish that later I read and thought, "Oh, well that was a very adult-themed moment, no wonder I was so confused." It may not phase your daughter (she could not be bothered or just not notice the more adult overtone) but I couldn't get the nagging voice out of my head to say something. But the Wrinkle in Time series and what I remember of the Meet the Austens I would recommend without hesitation.

Hi T.
There are some great websites that recommend good books. American Library Associations Young Adult division puts out an annual list of Best Books. Just google "ALA Best Books for Young Adults."

Here's a few that I really enjoyed:

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy - by Gary Schmidt
an historical novel about the relationship between the preacher's son and the African American community in a small Maine community in 1911.

Hoot and Flush - two books by Carl Hiaasen
Funny, ecology-conscious books about kids who fight city hall to stop the "grown-ups" from ruining the environment.

The Thief - by Margaret Whalan Turner
A fantasy, about a teen-aged thief who must steal a magic stone for the King's Mage. But this thief has his own agenda.

Homeless Bird - by Gloria Whelan
A slender little book - about a girl in India, who at age thirteen finds herself married, widowed and cast out, and must make her own way in a tradition-bound world.

That's just a few. There are lots of good books out there!

I loved reading when I was her age as well. Here are some of my favorite books:
A Wrinkle in Time
Number the Stars
Sarah, Plain and Tall
The Cricket in Times Square
The Giver
My Brother Sam is Dead
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry
Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)
Watership Down

And she may be too young for these yet, but they are great books: Go Ask Alice and A Child Called "It"

The Chronicals of Narnia series is PERFECT for an 11 year ols

My stepdaughter plowed through the Little House on the Prairie books when she was about that age.

There's also a series about a non-traditional princess. I think the first one is Dealing with Dragons.

She might also like the Warriors books, about clans of cats.

Terry Pratchett also has kid books she might like - the Tiffany Aching trilogy (Wee Free Men, Wintersmith, Hat Full of Sky).

My 10 year old loves the Madelene L'Engle series that begins with A Wrinkle in Time. She is an advanced reader also, the books are fantasy/science fiction and very appropriate.

Hi T.! I am B. Deck and I am an Educational Consultant for Usborne Books at Home. We have a wide variety of books for all ages, how to art, kits, cooking, music, etc. You can check it out at www.ubah.com/X2733. If you see anything you like, you can order right from the site. Also, make sure to put your name in for our $50 book drawing which we do monthly. Also take a look at the holiday sales.

If you would be interested, I also do E-shows on my site. You would be the hostess and invite people to visit and order from the site. You will receive your books for free. More money made - more books you receive. Great way to get free Christmas gifts!

I am so glad to hear that your daughter loves to read. I have 5 children and they have picked up on my passion for reading. I picked it up from my mother. She always had a book in her hand. She has lost her eye sight over the years, but she still listens to books on tape.

Let me know if you have any questions, or if I can help you in any way.

B. Deck

My daughter loved the Saddle Club series when she was that age. They're stories about the lives of teens who ride horses, but your dauther may enjoy them even if she's not into horses.

My favorites were:
Anne of Green Gables series.
Little House on the Prarie series

Try the Piers Anthony series about Xanth, it begins with 'A Spell for Chameleon'--they're full of weird puns, my daughter loved them. And my favorite at that age was 'A Little Princess', the one about Sarah Crewe(did you ever see the movie, with Shirley Temple?). My kids always read above grade level, so the classics were good-i.e. Peter Pan, Treasure Island, etc., as written, not the Disney versions. I rarely vetoed a book as being too old, as long as they understood they should ask about anything they didn't understand; I did skim through a few checking for language and topics that weren't appropriate.

I still love to read and I was tested at 'high school' reading level in 3rd grade. Kudos to you for encouraging her reading habit!

Let's see, I agree with the recommendations already given. I would also add the classics - Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, Little Women, Oliver Twist, etc. and the Judy Blume books (Blubber, Fudge, Are You There God? Its Me Margaret, etc.) Anything mythology as well - King Arthur stuff in the series by Mary Stewart, and I just ransacked the library shelves for anything set in Celtic, Greek, Roman, Indian, etc cultures. I loved the Little House on the Prairie books, the Narnia series and the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. The Darkover series books by Marion Zimmmer Bradley were also excellent!

I'm not sure why some of the other posters seemed apologetic about posting fantasy or science fiction choices. They are one of the classic venues to discuss ideas and philosophies, but in interesting settings. Many of these kinds of books are inherently 'safe' for young readers since they don't need to rely on bad language, sex or gore to sell them, just ideas.

Reading SciFi & fantasy opens doors. I still read widely in science fiction and fantasy, but I also read historical fiction, crime thrillers, political thrillers, biographies, 'chick lit', mysteries, etc. (I'm 37 now.)

Besides the "official" ALA and library sites, I also like this blog - she's reviewing only YA fantasy books.

Also, a great forum for continuing to get ideas for your daughter (or yourself) is at www.paperbackswap.com
Every time I look at it, I get ideas of different things to read. There are many discussions on the forum about Kids Books, YA books and Homeschooler books. Here's a link to the post (with replies) where someone asks almost the same exact question as you (11-yr old, reading ahead of her age, etc.)
You can also post yourself to ask for more suggestions.

There's a ton out there!
Good luck and Happy Reading to your daughter!

I remember when I was 11 I LOVED the books, "Are you there, God? It's me Margaret" and "The girl with the horn rimmed glasses."

Limmine snicke series there are 11 books My daughter loved them

Very interesting is also "The Birchbark house" and the second one in the series ("The great Silence?") by Earhardt (?). She also writes adult literature.

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