The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynne Reid Banks
A magic cupboard? A plastic Indian that comes alive? It’s the perfect recipe for an exciting story lessons learned. A great book that’s appealing to adults and children alike.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
Tom’s mischievous exploits with his friend Huck Finn have thrilled many children over the years, and he’s most certainly an all-time favorite. I think this is for slightly older kids–probably at least 10, but maybe even 11.
Call Me Francis Tucket (The Francis Tucket Books)
Francis Tucket is 14 years old, and traveling to west to Oregon in a wagon train when he is kidnapped by Pawnee Indians. As he searches for his family, two years are spent learning how to survive in the wilderness, and gives readers a peek into the life of the Wild West. He meets Mr. Grimes, and later helps rescue Billy and Lottie, and the three of them encounter soldiers, storms, and even treasure.
This is the second book in the classic series The Chronicles of Narnia, and an incredible story. When siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy step through the wardrobe and into the land of Narnia, they find a frozen land enslaved by the wicked White Witch. Aslan, the Great Lion returns when all hope is lost, and great sacrifices are made to overcome the witch’s power.
Treasure Island (Sterling Illustrated Classics)
Robert Louis Stevenson
It’s said to be the most popular pirate story ever written in English, and I think would have to agree! I read this years ago in my own childhood, and loved it. It’s told through the eyes of Jim Hawkins, a cabin boy, it details a perilous voyage across the Spanizh Main. It’s full of mutiny (i.e. Long John Silver), piracy, and treasure, and it’s sure to please. A fantastic tale–a definitely favorite.
This is the story of a French biologist and his assistant, in search of a mysterious undersea creature that’s attacking ships. Soon they discover that the creature is actually a submarine, and are soon taken captive aboard the ship and meet the brilliant and also mysterious Captain Nemo. They are in for an incredible journey, full of excitement and danger! The unabridged version (which the above link is to) is most definitely for older kids–12 years old or so. We also own the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Great Illustrated Classics) which is for the younger children, 8 and up. I think reading and loving the classics can start young, but you can’t always start with the full, unabridged editions. The one I linked above is also a stepping stone book intended for younger ages as well.
The Call of the Wild
Buck is enjoying his comfortable life as a family pet when he is taken by dog traffickers, and steal him to be a sled dog in Alaska. He is soon introduced to a very harsh environment, and struggles to survive. He is passed from owner to owner, all of them incredibly cruel, until he meets John Thornton, who ultimately saves his life. But when Thornton is killed, he heeds the call of the wild. REALLY good book. Once again, in my opinion, the unabridged version is for age 12 and up. I included it because if you have an 11 or 12 year old, this may really appeal to them. There are also several other versions (The Call of the Wild (Classic Starts)) that are targeted for younger ages, which I suggest using. We have the classic starts version, and my girls really enjoyed the story when I read it to them (age 7).
I’d love for you to add your favorites for this age range!! ENJOY!