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New Book Gifts for 11 – 13 Year Olds this Christmas

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Gosh I love this age group for reading. I was talking to some teacher librarian friends the other day and we were discussing our fav reading age for children’s literature. Mine is definitely this ‘upper primary/lower secondary/middle grade’ age – I love the way skilled middle grade authors explore *the big issues* in life but keep it age appropriate and also manage to engage and entertain. So much skill. These books are ‘stepping stones’ from primary school books into the world (in a few years!) of YA literature.

The books on this list are almost all titles published this year (with some perennial favs snuck in) so they are perfect ones for gifting this Christmas. Books really do make the very best gifts. Of course they may not be as swooned over as other gifts on the day of unwrapping, but they will be enjoyed and remembered at a later date I assure you!

Click on ‘buy from Booktopia’ when shopping online in Australia to #supportaustralian. Amazon and Book Depository options for overseas purchases and Apple for e-versions. Purchase in store from your local independent bookstore where possible #supportlocal.


‘A Tale of Magic’

by Chris Colfer

Buy from Apple Books

‘Invisible in a Bright Light’

by Sally Gardner

‘Invisible in a Bright Light’ soars with the imagination of a master story-teller. A pitch perfect, haunting story. It is 1870: opening night at the Royal Opera House in a freezing city by the sea, where a huge crystal chandelier in the shape of a galleon sparkles magically with the light of 750 candles. Celeste, a theatre rat, wakes up in a costume basket from what she hopes is a bad dream, to find that everyone at the theatre where she works thinks she is someone else. When the chandelier falls, she is haunted by a strange girl who claims to know Celeste’s past and why she must play a game called the Reckoning to try to save the people she loves.

Buy from Apple Books

‘The Bone Garden’

by Heather Kassner

Buy from Apple Books

‘The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1-7: A Graphix Collection’

by Ann M Martin. Adpated by Gale Galligan & Raina Telgemeier 

Buy from Apple Books

‘As Happy as Here’

by Jane Godwin

Buy from Apple Books

‘White Bird’

by RJ Palacio. Full review here.

Buy from Apple Books

‘Sick Bay’

by Nova Weetman

‘The Secrets We Keep’

by Nova Weetman

Buy from Apple Books

‘Murder Most Unladylike’ series

by Robin Stevens

Buy from Apple Books

‘Nice Girls Don’t Play Footy’

by Kathy Helidoniotis

Buy from Apple Books

‘The Dog Runner’

by Bren MacDibble

Buy from Apple Books

‘How to Bee’

by Bren MacDibble

Buy from Apple Books

‘Bushfire’

by Sally Murphy

Buy from Apple Books

‘The Keys to the Kingdom’ (complete boxed set)

by Garth Nix

Buy from Apple Books

‘Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day’

by Dominque Valente

Buy from Apple Books

‘The Little Wave’

by Pip Harry

An outstanding verse novel from one of my absolute favourite writers! When a Manly school sets out to bring a country class to the city for a beach visit, three very different kids find each other and themselves. Noah is fearless in the surf. Being at the beach makes him feel free. So where does his courage go when his best mate pushes him around? Lottie loves collecting facts about bugs, but she wishes her dad would stop filling their lonely house with junk. She doesn’t know what to do about it. Jack wants to be a cricket star, but first he has to get to school and look after his little sister. Especially if he wants to go on the class trip and see the ocean for the first time.

‘Check Mates’

by Stewart Foster

Buy from Apple Books

‘The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Lucerne’

by Katrina Nannestad

(This is Book Three in series which also includes ‘The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Rome’ and ‘The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Provence’ – all highly recommended!)

Buy from Apple Books

‘The Turnkey’

by Allison Rushby. Full review here.

Buy from Apple Books

‘The Seven Keys’

by Allison Rushby

Buy from Apple Books

‘Our Planet: The One Place We All Call Home’

by Matt Whyman & Richard Jones

The official children’s book to the Netflix original documentary series, Our Planet, with a foreword by Sir David Attenborough. This glorious visual celebration of the natural world combines extraordinary photography from the series with stunning illustrations from acclaimed artist, Richard Jones. Lose yourself in icy landscapes, dense jungles and endless oceans. Learn how our fascinating habitats, and the plants and creatures living there, interconnect to create the one place we all call home – Our Planet. This beautifully written and informative book for children has an uplifting message of hope that will strike a chord with all the family.

‘The Peski Kids’ series

by R.A. Spratt

Buy from Apple Books

‘Catch a Falling Star’

by Meg McKinlay. Full review here.

Buy from Apple Books

‘Pages and Co Book 1: Tilly and the Bookwanderers’

by Anna James

Buy from Apple Books

‘Pages and Co Book 2: Tilly and the Lost Fairytales’

by Anna James

Buy from Apple Books

‘The Fowl Twins’

by Eoin Colfer

Criminal genius runs in the family…Myles and Beckett Fowl are twins but the two boys are wildly different. Beckett is blonde, messy and sulks whenever he has to wear clothes. Myles is impeccably neat, has an IQ of 170, and 3D prints a fresh suit every day – just like his older brother, Artemis Fowl. A week after their eleventh birthday the twins are left in the care of house security system, NANNI, for a single night. In that time, they befriend a troll on the run from a nefarious nobleman and an interrogating nun both of whom need the magical creature for their own gain . . . Prepare for an epic adventure in which The Fowl Twins and their new troll friend escape, get shot at, kidnapped, buried, arrested, threatened, killed (temporarily) . . . and discover that the strongest bond in the world is not the one forged by covalent electrons in adjacent atoms, but the one that exists between a pair of twins.

Buy from Apple Books

‘Ateban Cipher’ series

by Allison Tait

Buy from Apple Books

‘Detention’

by Tristan Bancks. Full review here.

Buy from Apple Books

‘The Raymie Nightingale Three Book Collection‘

by Kate DiCamillo. Kate DiCamillo’s sequence of novels about the three friends is now complete — and with this beautiful hardcover boxed set, readers can savour all three. This is a MUST HAVE collection for readers 10-13.

First came ‘Raymie Nightingale’the “triumphant and necessary book”* that would become a National Book Award Finalist. Then followed the tender ‘Louisiana’s Way Home’featuring “one of DiCamillo’s most singular and arresting creations” (The New York Times Book Review) and marking the first time the two-time Newbery Medalist had revisited the world of one of her novels. And finally, the much-hoped-for third novel, ‘Song of Beverly, Right Here’, awaits its rapt audience. Here, the entire trilogy of novels — the perfect gift for both longtime fans and new devotees — is available in a beautifully designed set. Included are hardcover editions of:
‘Raymie Nightingale’
‘Louisiana’s Way Home’
‘Beverly, Right Here’

Buy from Apple Books

‘The Secrets of Magnolia Moon’

by Edwina Wyatt, illustrated by Katherine Quinn


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