What to Read Next?

Home » What to Read Next?

The lovely Kate Fairlie* asked me on Facebook tonight about books for her nearly 12 year old twin daughters. It’s SUCH a tough age. I started replying on Facebook to her, but it got lengthy! So here’s my reply Kate  – a blog post J (of sorts). I love catching snippets on social media of the books Kate and her family read – they are readers. Like many young readers, they’ve churned through the ‘The Hunger Games’ and a plethora of other fantasy and dystopian novels. It’s lovely for young people to travel to other worlds and other times through beautifully crafted words and images. The phenomenon that was Harry Potter started a tsunami of fantasy fiction for young people – some of it wonderful, so of it dire. Some of the more recent and wonderful (in my opinion) fantasy or dystopian titles for the 11-15 age group are below. I’ve reviewed many of these in full, so have a dig around the blog if you need more info on any of them. What to Read Next

‘The Book of Lies’ series by James Moloney

‘Song for a Scarlett Runner’ by Julie Hunt

‘Refuge’ by Jackie French

‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making’ by Catherynne M. Valente

‘Silvermay’ by James Moloney

‘When You Reach Me’ by Rebecca Stead

‘The Marvels’ by Brian Selznick

‘Newt’s Emerald’ by Garth Nix

‘The MapMaker Chronicles’ by A.L. Tait

‘Pureheart’ by Cassandra Golds

‘The Whisperer’ by Fiona McIntosh

‘A Single Stone’ by Meg McKinlay

‘The Hidden Series’ by Lian Tanner

‘City of Orphans’ series by Catherine Jinks

‘Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy’ by Karen Foxlee

And then there is my personal fav genre – realistic fiction. Many parents are, very rightly so, concerned about their young readers moving into the world of YA novels – it really does signal that your child will soon be a teen, who will soon be a young adult and then before you know it they will be 39 and you’ll be freaking out about how that happened (hello to my mum!). I started my ‘Year Six Girl Zone Book Club’ for this very reason – to transition young readers into the world of YA reading. We read age-appropriate titles that will stretch the girls and give them a taste of YA novels without some of the heavier issues. Realistic fiction which is age-appropriate is a way for young people to navigate their way through some of the tricky situations in their own life and the lives of their friends, family and wider society. My dear friend Trish Buckley says: This is a difficult age and a difficult area to try to classify books. There are all sorts of unwritten no-no’s for young people aged between about 11 and 14, including obvious ones, such as strong language and graphic sex, drug use, and gratuitous violence. But others are not so clear cut, and it’s these areas where parents and educators think carefully about each individual tween before putting a book in his or her hands. (Reading Time Online). My fav realistic fiction books from the last little while for 11-15 year olds are here. Yes there is a girl focus – hey, I work in a girls school. If you’re after more male focused reads, see my ‘Books for Boys’ tag in ‘Categories’ in the right hand side bar.    What to Read Next2

‘One Perfect Pirouette’ by Sherryl Clark

‘Bleakboy and Hunter Stand Out in the Rain’ by Steven Herrick

‘Louis Beside Himself’ by Anna Fienberg

‘Flyaway’ by Lucy Christopher

‘My Life as an Alphabet’ by Barry Jonsberg

‘Through My Eyes’ series

‘Plenty’ by Ananda Braxton-Smith

‘Counting by Sevens’ by Holly Goldberg Sloan

‘Intruder’ by Christine Bongers (maybe from 12-13 years for this one)

‘Two Wolves’ by Tristaan Bancks (same as above – from 12-13 years)

‘Goodbye Stranger’ by Rebecca Stead (same as above – from 12-13 years)

‘The Matilda Saga’ series by Jackie French (historical fiction)

‘The Forgotten Pearl’ by Belinda Murrell

And a few non-fiction that I think every 11-13 year old should read

what to read next 3

‘Find Your Tribe (and 9 other things I wish I’d known in High School)’ by Rebecca Sparrow

‘It’s Your World’ by Chelsea Clinton – I know. I KNOW. Chelsea Clinton! It’s really good. I thought it would be very American, but in fact it’s global and really very readable.

‘I am Malala’ by Malala Yousafzai

This is all a bit of a ramble really! This is what you get when you excitably slam out a blog post, as opposed to thinking about it carefully and editing it slowly and thoughtfully (hello Ms Mitchell!), removing extraneous words and {horror of all horrors}…exclamation marks. Who am I kidding. I don’t even have a blog scheduling thingo, or even a calendar. I snatch bits of time from the chaos of my life to blog. This is my brain on a screen. Sigh. Messy brain huh?

*Kate Fairlie’s Picklebums, was one of the first blogs I ever read and I still read it religiously. I feel like I know Kate, but I know that I don’t really know her, I know aspects of her – such is the wonderful weird world of online friends. I’ve wanted to meet Kate offline for the longest time now, and one day soon it’s going to happen – Kate, Shae, Eden and I are going to have a very long lunch and we’re going to laugh and cry and then will all officially be offline and online friends.

I’m hoping some of my super Year Six and Seven readers will help me out here – go for it girls, comment below and tell me what you’ve LOVED reading this year.

Year Six Seven Book Club Year Six Seven Book Club Reads

Megan Daley Bio

Looking for more great book reviews and recommendations? I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here.

My book recommendations (for babies to young adults) is here and you can peruse ALL of my reviews (searchable by age, genre and theme) here.

Check out my mini ebook, 'What to Read Next' or sign up for my FREE webinar, '3 Tips to Start the Best Book Club Ever'.

Post in , ,

You might also like:

About Me





  1. Kyla on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:20 am


  2. Justine on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Wonder by R.J. Palacio

  3. Lara on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Divergent- Veronica Roth
    Wonder- R.J Palacio
    Once series- Morris Gleitzman

  4. Veronique on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I absolutely loved the book “Wonder” by R.J Palacio. It was funny, sad and intriguing. I would definitely recommend you to read it.

  5. Hannah on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:24 am

    The Clique

  6. Justine on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Laurinda by Amy Pung

  7. Lilley on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Geek Girl – Holly Smale
    Geek Girl 2 – Holly Smale
    Once- Morris Gleitzman
    Wonder – R.J Palaciao
    I am Malala – Malala Yousafzai

  8. Lara on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Divergent- Veronica Roth

  9. Veronique on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I absolutely loved the book “Once” by Morris Gleitzman. It was funny, very sad and intriguing. I would definitely recommend you to read it.

  10. Renee on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:26 am

    I love this site, it helps me pick out which books I want to read and which ones are good 🙂

  11. Lily and Alisa on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:26 am

    We really enjoyed Love, Lies, and Lemon Pies and Secret Schemes and Sewing Machines by Katy Cannon. We liked it because it had a good story line and romance.

  12. Lizzie & Aeshlein on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:27 am

    The Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares

  13. Amelie Ava Graham on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:28 am

    spark by Rachael craw and the book series uglys by scott westerfield

  14. Hanadi on Oct 14, 2015 at 10:41 am

    The Book of Lies Trilogy is fantastic! I’d also recommend Emily Rodda’s The Three Doors Trilogy.

    • Megan Daley on Oct 14, 2015 at 11:13 am

      YES to The Three Doors! SO GOOD.

  15. katepickle on Oct 15, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Oh you are so awesome!!
    Thank you so much, and thanks to your lovely readers for their suggestions too!

    My girls have read every Morris Gleitzman they could find, and every Jackie French book too (well not all the adult ones!) and I can personally recommend the Three Doors Series by Emily Rodda after reading it aloud to my kids a few years back… it’s ace!

    If you are looking for another blog topic… how about ‘What to suggest when you’ve stopped your 8 year boy after the third Harry Potter book’ LOL

  16. katepickle on Oct 15, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Oh and we are so doing that long lunch… if you guys trek down here I’ll shout lunch ok!

  17. Cathy Atkinson on Oct 19, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Great list of books Megan! I am going to share with our boys at school. Can I add a link to his on our library web page?

    • Megan Daley on Oct 20, 2015 at 11:53 am

      Of COURSE you may!

Leave a Comment