Book List and Reviews for 9 and 10 Year Olds

How Lists Are Created

Books make it onto the recommended list when I read a book that I believe moms and daughters will learn something from, find something important to talk about, or have fun reading.

You’ll find reviews for most of the books listed here; just click on the live link to be taken to a specific review. If a book doesn’t have a review, that means it’s been recommended by a club or a librarian, but I have not had a chance to review it.

Review Policy

Most of the book reviews at Mother Daughter Book have been written by me, Cindy Hudson. If there’s a guest review, it’s identified. Generally, I recommend books that may be widely available in libraries, but there are exceptions, depending on the topic. I check out books for review from the library, and I get them from publishers who send me copies to read. I always give my honest opinion regardless of how I obtain books for review.

My reviews focus more on the issues to discuss in mother-daughter book clubs instead of whether or not I liked the book. In my experience, finding a title that everyone likes is rare, and best-liked books don’t always lead to good discussions. My general philosophy is that if the issues are worth discussing and the book is fairly well written, it’s a good book club choice.

The age recommendations are often my own, and they don’t always reflect publisher recommendations.

Numbered Titles

The 13th Sign by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

101 Puzzle Quizzes by the Grabarchuk Puzzle Family

100 Matchstick Puzzles by the Grabarchuk Family


A Different Day, A Different Destiny by Annette Laing

A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

A True Princess by Diane Zahler

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton: Book I, Crash Landing on Ooleeoo by Angela Shelton

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko

The (Almost) Perfect Guide to Imperfect Boys by Barbara Dee

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake by Anne and Freya Dinshah

The Armpit of Doom by Kenn Nesbitt, illustrated by Rafael Domingos

as if being 12-3/4 isn’t bad enough, my mother is running for president! by Donna Gephart

Audition & Subtraction by Amy Fellner Dominy

Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb


B by Sarah Kay

The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger by Jenny Meyerhoff

Bat 6 by Virginia Euwer Wollf

Belches, Burps, and Farts Oh My! by Artie Bennett

Becoming a Superhero by William Smith

Becoming Naomi Leon by PamMunoz Ryan

Betti on the High Wire by Lisa Railsback

The Biggest Burp Book Ever: Funny Poems for Kids by Kenn Nesbitt

Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Bloom: A Girls Guide to Growing Up Gorgeous by Carmindy

Bloomability by Sharon Creech

The Book of Nonsense by David Michael Slater

The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards

Boston Jane by Jennifer Holm

Boy by Roald Dahl

Breakaway by Andrea Montalbano

Brooklyn Bridge by Karen Hesse

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson


Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

Call Me Hope by Gretchen Olsen

Callie Be Gold by Michele Weber Hurwitz

Cast Off by Eve Yohalem

The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee by Barry Jonsberg

Chasing the Falconers by Gordon Korman

Circle of Secrets by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker

Cleopatra Rules! The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen by Vicky Shecter

The Crepe Makers’ Bond by Julie Crabtree


Darkbeast by Morgan Keyes

The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor

The Darlings in Love by Melissa Kantor

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia Wrede

Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick

The Detective’s Assistant by Kate Hannigan

Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

Dogsled Dreams by Terry Lynn Johnson

Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When by Annette Laing

Don’t Feed the Boy by Irene Latham


Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ellie’s Log: Exploring the Forest Where the Great Tree Fell by Judith L. Li, illustrations by M. L. Herring


The Falcon in the Glass by Susan Fletcher

Falcon’s Prey by Kristina Coia

Famous Phonies by Brianna DuMont

Fern Verdant and the Silver Rose by Diana Leszczynski

Fish Finelli: Operation Fireball by E. S. Farber

The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin

Fleabrain Loves Franny by Joanne Rocklin

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi

Foiled by Jane Yolen

Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce

The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson

Friendship Over by Julie Sternberg


Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth by Lee Welles

Giants Beware by Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre

The Glass Puzzle by Christine Brodien-Jones

Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything by Uma Krishnaswami

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages


The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little

The Heart of a Chief by Joseph Bruchac

Heaven’s to Betsy by Maud Hart Lovelace

Home for the Holidays by Heather Vogel Frederick

Horrid Henry’s Joke Book by Francesca Simon

How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart


I Kill the Mockingbird by David Acampora

I Wish I May by David Stahler Jr.

Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson

In Disguise! Undercover with Real Women Spies by Ryan Ann Hunter

Ivy + Bean Make the Rules, written by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sophie Blackall


Jane and the Raven King by Stephen Chambers

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Just Add Magic by Cindy Callaghan


Keeping Safe the Stars by Sheila O’Connor

Kimchi and Calamari by Rose Kent


The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

Laugh with the Moon by Shana Burg

Let’s Make Some Great Art by Marion Deuchars

Lymeria by Kristina Coia


The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant

Masterpiece by Elise Broach

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern

Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Mistress Masham’s Repose by T. H. White

Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins

The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick

The Mother-Daughter Cook Book by Lynette Rohrer Shirk

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien

Much Ado About Anne by Heather Vogel Frederick


Nerd Camp 2.0 by Elissa Brent Weissman

Nissa’s Place by A. LaFaye

Noonie’s Masterpiece by Lisa Railsback


Odette’s Secrets by Maryann Macdonald

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen by Donna Gephart

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake

One Witch at a Time by Stacy DeKeyser

Operation Oleander by Valerie O. Patterson

Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French

Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer Holm

OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy


The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder

Petey by Ben Mikaelson

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Pink Locker Society: Only Girls Allowed by Debra Moffitt

The Pink Locker Society: Best Kept Secret by Debra Moffitt

Piper Reed, The Great Gypsy by Kimberly Willis Holt

The Pony Whisperer: The Word on the Yard by Janet Rising

The Pony Whisperer: Team Challenge by Janet Rising

Possum Summer by Jen K. Blom

Promise the Night by Michaela MacColl


The Quest of the Warrior Sheep by Christine and Christopher Russell


Raja: Story of a Racehorse by Anne Hambleton

Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by Hèléne Boudreau

Rebel in a Dress Series: Cowgirls and Adventurers by Sylvia Branzei, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins

Rocky Road by Rose Kent

Rory’s Promise by Michaela MacColl and Rosemary Nichols

Rosie Flo’s Coloring Fashion Show by Roz Streeten


The Samantha Granger Experiment: Fused by Kari Lee Townsend

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

The Saturday Cooking Club: Kitchen Chaos by Deborah A. Levine and JillEllyn Riley

Second Fiddle by Rosanne Parry

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Rober Beatty

The Short Seller by Elissa Brent Weissman

Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman

Soccer Sisters: Lily Out of Bounds by Andrea Montalbano

Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor

St. Viper’s School for Super Villains: The Riotous Rocket Ship Robbery by Kim Donovan

Strange but True, America by John Hafnor

The Summer I Saved the World…in 65 Days by Michele Weber Hurwitz


The Hermit Thrush Sings by Susan Butler

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Di Camillo

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea, written by Ellis Weiner, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes

The Tighty Whitey Spider by Kenn Nesbitt

The Time of the Fireflies by Kimberley Griffiths Little

The Truth, I’m a Girl, I’m Smart and I Know Everything by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

This is Me from Now On by Barbara Dee

Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes

Trauma Queen by Barbara Dee

The True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp by Kathi Appelt

Tua and the Elephant by R. P. Harris, Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo


The Ultimate Top Secret Guide to Taking Over the World story by Kenn Nesbitt, illustrations by Ethan Long

The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Under the Green Hill by Laura L. Sullivan

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana


Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth


Walk the Wild Road by Nigel Hinton

Walter, the Story of a Rat by by Barbara Wersba, illustrated by Donna Diamond

Water Steps by A. LaFaye

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren

When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens

When the Butterflies Came by Kimberley Griffiths Little

When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders by J. Patrick Lewis

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

White Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages

Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick

The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams by Rhonda Hayter

With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo

Women Making America by Heidi Hemming and Julie Hemming Savage


The Year of Goodbyes by Debbie Levy

Yuri’s Brush with Magic by Maureen Crane Wartski


Zita the Space Girl by Ben Hatke

Zitface by Emily Howse


  1. Kelana says:

    Do you think Zitface, The Truth or Dogsled Dreams is better for a 4th grade mother daughter book club?We are a new club and just starting out.


  2. admin says:

    I think they would all be good, but Dogsled Dreams may be a good one to start with.

  3. colleen says:

    wondering if i can get some advice for starting a book club with my daughter… 8 1/2 year olds – 9 year olds

    any books you can suggest?

    i have 3 i was thinking of… “The Tail of Emily Windsnap”

    or “From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”

    or “The Magician’s Elephant”

    Any other ideas? and do you think 3rd grade 8-9 year olds is too young to start a book club?
    thanks for any help you can give me

  4. admin says:

    Hi Colleen – I don’t think 3rd grade is too young; just be sure to look for books you think will be fun for the girls to read. You don’t want it to end up as a chore for them to be in book club. The titles you named are all great. To that list I would add Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin, The Quest of the Warrior Sheep by Christine and Christopher Russell, and Masterpiece by Elise Broach. Good luck with your new club. And if you’d like more advice on getting started and keeping your club going, you may want to refer to my guidebook, Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs. You may be able to get it on loan from your local library or as an inter-library loan. It’s also available at,, and bookstores.

  5. Deborah Martinelli says:

    I am a local bookseller and former teacher of literature for grades 5-8, who has been asked by our local library to conduct a “Mother-Daughter’s Book Club” this summer. We are a seasonal resort at the Jersey Shore, and the administrators of the library have asked that I host 3 meetings, one for June, July, and August, for ages 8/9-12, and select two titles, one fiction and one biography. Each meeting will be an hour and a half in length.

    My thoughts are to select books that will combine humor along with the issues that will face moms and daughters as they approach the dreaded ages of middle school. Or, should I just give them a fun, relaxing read to match the mood of summer?

    Have you any suggestions for two books that would work together thematically to take the members on a journey of discovery together?

    Thank you for your time and advice.

    Deborah Martinelli

  6. admin says:

    Hello Deborah –

    It’s so great that you’ve taken on this book club for the summer. And I’m so honored that you’re asking my thoughts on what to read. With your direction to choose fiction and biography, as well as to think about issues as the girls approach middle school I do have a few recommendations for you. My favorite pairing would be Matilda by Roald Dahl followed by his memoir, Boy: Tales of Childhood. Matilda has to find her voice and believe in herself as well as to find someone who believes in her and loves her as she is; important messages for anyone. It’s also funny and fun to read, so the lessons don’t hit you over the head. Boy has been a family and book club favorite of mine for some time, and it’s great to read after Matilda. It shows where Roald Dahl got the inspiration for some of his wildest characters, like Miss Trunchbull in Matilda, while it works in a bit of history about the times he grew up in. His stories of having his tonsils out, going to boarding school, putting a dead rat in a candy jar to get back at a mean sweet shop owner, and playing a joke on his sister’s boyfriend are all fascinating and often funny.

    I find that biography is sometimes a little dry for this age group, but there are a few other memoirs I can recommend if you want to look at other titles.

    Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipovic show a recent conflict from a child’s perspective.
    Dewey the Library Cat:A True Story by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter is all about libraries and how this one cat brought so many people together.
    Looking Back: A Book of Memories by Lois Lowry may also be a good pairing with one of her fictional books, like Number the Stars or The Giver. But that my be a bit too old for the group you’ll be leading. I think of those as more appropriate for 10 to 12 year olds, which sounds like the upper end of you club.
    Promise the Night by Michaela MacColl is fiction, but it’s based on the childhood in Africa of Beryl Markham, the first person to fly solo west across the Atlantic.

    I hope these suggestions help. Please write again to let me know how it goes. — Cindy Hudson

  7. Karen Trosset says:

    My daughter & I are in a book club for 3rd grade girls. We are selecting the next book and I’m considering the following titles:
    Dealing with Dragons: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
    The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill
    The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
    The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin
    The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Di Camillo
    Matilda by Roald Dahl

    I like the idea of the first in a series (Dragons & Windsnap), and the last two are well known. The Zook story has some mature issues, at least for my daughter. I love the sound of adventure of Miss Agnes.

    Your thoughts? Thanks, Karen

  8. admin says:

    Hi Karen – All of the choices you list would make good ones for the age of girls in your group. The last three can easily be read and appreciated when the girls are older. The best way for you to decide is to first think about whether you prefer historical fiction (Miss Agnes) or fantasy (dragons and mermaids). I know that some readers object to the princess becoming a maid in Dealing with Dragons, but when you’re reading together it can be an interesting point to discuss.Good luck with your meeting and drop a line to let me know how it goes.

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