9 Brilliant Books for Tween Girls to Expand Their Reading Level

Books for 10 year old girls

Twistrose Key

The Twistrose Key (by Tone Almhjell)

Full of mystery, it slowly leads you up to the main event, until you’re so into it that you’re guessing what might happen next! (GG)

Have you ever wondered where your pets go when they die? In your wildest imagination you couldn’t imagine this scenario for them, but when Lin finds her way to the land of Sylver, imagination becomes her reality, and an eternal winter plays host to racing adventure.  It started out as an advent calendar of one-page chapters for the author’s sister and became a full tome of magic and fantasy. It was no surprise to learn that her favourite book is Lord of the Rings. With permanent snow and a glorious waffle-house, it’s also the perfect read at Christmas time!

Rooftoppers (Katherine Rundell)

Exhilarating and fast-paced, Rooftoppers is a truly amazing read! Instead of wanting to read on my own at night, I would beg Mum for this!

Sophie has no mother. Orphaned as a baby in a ship-wreck, found floating in a cello case by an English eccentric, she grows up with a less than traditional life. But when the authorities threaten to shut her away in an orphanage, this adventurous girl embarks on a series of rooftop escapades around Paris, in search of the mother she’s always believed in. This is a massive page-turner, and reading it to my daughter was a mission for both of us most evenings!

Geek Girl (Holly Smale)

Funny and cute, and I love how the underdog comes out on top.

Reading Geek Girl also teaches you ‘stuff,’ says GG. Apparently Buddhists have to eat every grain of rice in their bowl. Anything less is disrespectful to the earth. And red is the colour we notice most as humans. I have no idea if any of this is true, but GG is quoting stats and anecdotes left, right and centre. If it is, we’ll have a potential candidate for Mastermind. If not, perhaps The Cube…

More books for 10 year old girls (as recommended by a 10 year old girl):

  • Heroes of Olympus, Rick Riordan – “Exciting fantasy, full of magic.”
  • Dork Diaries, Rachel Renée Russell – “LOVE the made-up words – ‘adorkable’ has to go in the English dictionary!”
  • Mr. Nobody’s Eyes, Michael Morpurgo – “It took me a while to get into Morpurgo, and even now I have to choose carefully, as some of his stories are tearjerkers. But this was such a fun book; a boy on the run with a circus chimpanzee – what’s not to love?!

Books for 10 year old girls

On our most wanted list:

  • Ruby Redfort – Feel the Fear, Lauren Child – “Moving on from the brilliant Clarice Bean, I know I’m going to love this!”
  • The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl, Melissa Keil – “This sounds right up my street – humour, intrigue, and a twist.”
  • White Boots, Noel Streatfield – “Mum and daughter reading is currently Ballet Shoes, so this is definitely going to be next.”

What books would you recommend for 10 year old girls?

Disclosure: we were given a copy of The Twistrose Key for the purposes of review, and absolutely loved it. To find out more, visit the author’s website.

13 thoughts on “9 Brilliant Books for Tween Girls to Expand Their Reading Level”

  1. This is really useful! My daughter is currently 8 (9 in March) and knee-deep in Jacqueline Wilsons! It’s good to have some guidance on the sort of books she might like in a year or two. Great to see that GG likes Heroes of Olympus, which my 11yo son has just read, and might be seen by some as a ‘boy’ book. I agree with the thoughts on Michael Mopurgo – undoubtedly a fantastic writer, but can be pretty heavy-going at times!

    • I started taking advice when JW began to appear in our home. I’m not a fan of some of the more adult themes in her books so it’s wonderful to find inspiring reads they can get lost in, that are a bit deeper.

  2. This is brilliant, v useful Helen, as GG clearly has similar taste in books to my 10yr old. So glad you loved the Rooftoppers as much as we did. It’s for adults as well as kids, I’ve decided. The fourth Ruby Redfort is on my daughter’s list too. And I completely agree re Morpurgo, so that’s wonderful to get a tip about one that isn’t such a tear jerker. I’ll let you know if we come across anymore that GG might like.

    • Please do, what I love about this age is that suddenly I enjoy reading to her again. I loved Blue Kangaroo for it’s wonderful innocence, I hated Rainbow Fairies, but now we’re exploring books together that both of us love to read! Such a joy x

  3. Jess loved Ruby Redfort when she was 10. That was also when she read Wonder which is still one of our favourite ever books (warning: it will make you cry!) She also got into Malorie Blackman about that time and had a laugh reading Big Nate. I love to read, so it’s great to see the next generation doing so too!

    • Isn’t it Sarah? My Mum tells the story of how she once asked what I would choose, if I could have anything in the world, and I said a library. I think my daughter would be the same, and it’s wonderful to see. Sometimes she doesn’t even make it off the stairs when she comes home with a good book. Haven’t tried Malorie Blackman, though she loved Wonder

  4. Totally! Have you/she read any of Siobhan Dowd\’s books? Her London Eye Mystery is fab, though C not yet read as i felt she wasn\’t quite old enough. She\’s about to be though, so have a look. I wrote about it in my December edition of Things I Discovered (a whole year ago!) (I can’t paste in the link as it tells me ‘you have too many URLs in your comment’….?!

  5. This is a great list! My daughter loves Ruby Redfort.

    She’s tackling Northern lights at the moment.

    I’m going to read ballet shoes with her (good plan) – she found it boring on her own.

    • Yes I’ve often found that a book which didn’t inspire her becomes a favourite once we’ve read it together. And it’s such a lovely time spent together now that she normally prefers to read on her own.

  6. Great ideas – Flea has only read four of these, so I’ll show her the list in the morning as we’re always looking for more inspiration!


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