Gift guide: Books for 10-year-olds and up


Wrapped book gift under a Christmas tree


With a couple of tweens and a teen between us, we know from experience how tricky it can be to find books for story-loving tweens who might be coming to the end of their middle-grade years, but aren’t quite ready for so-called young adult books.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of recently published titles that work particularly well for this age group. They straddle both middle grade and young adult categories, but in all cases we’d say the content is age-appropriate for 10+ - and we’d be happy passing these on to our own 10, 11 and 12-year-olds!


Safiyaah's War book and activity pack

Safiyyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan

We sent this heartwarming, historical adventure to our Macaw subscribers in August 2023. Set in wartime Paris, it is packed with empathy and a brilliant cast of characters, not least our extraordinary heroine, Safiyyah, whose bravery and compassion shine through in the darkest of times.

Cover of Koku Akanbu and the Heart of Midnight

Koku Akanabi and the Heart of Midnight by Maria Motunrayo Adebisi

This action-packed and highly illustrated adventure draws on African mythology and would be perfect for fans of Percy Jackson.  Cursed with a weird name and an illness to match, Koku thinks life can't get any worse - until he unleashes a demon on a school trip and is hurled into an impossible quest filled with magic and monsters! 


Finally Seen by Kelly Yang

Finally Seen by Kelly Yang

Lina has left China to live with her parents and sister in the US, after five years apart. She’s been waiting for this moment but it’s not exactly like the postcards. When her teacher is challenged for her latest book selection, a book that deeply resonates with Lina, it will take all of Lina’s courage and resilience to get over her fear in order to choose a future where she’s finally seen.

The Girl Who Fell to Earth book and activity pack 

The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Patricia Forde

This gripping sci-fi tale, from Irish Children's Literature Laureate Patrica Forde, is truly thought-provoking.  Aria lives on a well-ordered planet whose people have eradicated illness and even death. Brought up to believe that humans are inferior, Aria is shocked to discover that she is herself half human, and amazed to find that Earth-dwellers live life to the full and feel love for each other, even though they are mortal. 

Cover of The Final Year by Matt Goodfellow

The Final Year by Matt Goodfellow

This amazing verse novel has been a runaway hit in our bookshop. Life can be tough in your last year of primary school. Tests to take, preparing for the change to high school. With struggles at school and at home Nate's world turns upside-down. His new teacher, Mr Joshua, sees a spark inside of Nate that’s lit by his love of reading and writing and shows him how to use this to process what’s going on. But with so much working against him, and anger rising inside him, will this be enough?


Cover of In the Shadow of the Wolf Queen

In the Shadow of the Wolf Queen by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

This is the first in an epic new middle grade trilogy from master storyteller Kiran Millwood Hargrave.  Ysolda has lived her life in the shadow of the wolf queen's tyrannical rule but, safe in her forest haven, she has never truly felt its threat. Until one day when a mysterious earthquake shakes the land and her older sister Hari vanishes in its wake.


From our award-winning monthly book subscriptions to chapter books, letterbox gifts, stocking stuffers and ideas for a Christmas Eve box, we’re here to help you give the gift of reading this Christmas. Head to the dedicated Christmas area on our website for everything you need this festive season!



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