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- author Jackie French

Friday 17 January 2020

Guest Post: 5 Great Books for 10 Year Olds

10-years-old isn’t quite the age for someone to read life lesson-filled books. But it’s no longer the time when your child should only be reading vividly pictured books where visual imagery is accentuated over one’s own imagination.

Instead, this age when your child ought to read something more serious and perhaps even enlightening. You should nurture your child's ability to understand what they read, as well as gently give a direction to the development of their moral principles and their worldview.

It may seem that it’s pretty difficult to get a 10-year-old to read a novel, however, there are quite a few works out there that have the power to captivate the young reader while teaching them something new.

Below, I would like to introduce you to what I think are 5 great books and book series for 10 year-olds to read. Along the way, I'll try to give you an idea of why I think these literary pieces are great for kids.  I also strongly encourage that you do more in-depth research on your own to make sure that these works will indeed be appropriate for your child.

1. The Harry Potter series
The Harry Potter series is a frequent guest on various roundups of the best kids’ books. And there’s a reason for this – these books have a unique charm to them that’s captivating to both children and adults. Perhaps this is why it is the best-selling book series of all time!

While your 10 year old won’t necessarily get the depth of the message of the Harry Potter books, what they will get is hours of entertainment fueled by enchanting heroes and unexpected plot twists. Harry Potter books are fairly easy to read as well, making it unlikely that your child will get bored with the series.

Since the Harry Potter series has seven books, you should probably only get the first book to see how your boy or girl likes it. If your child craves for more, then go ahead and get the rest of the books – they get better and better as the story progresses!
2. The One And Only Ivan
The One And Only Ivan authored by Katherine Alice Applegate is a fairly new book and it has already won a few awards – most importantly, the Newbery Medal, a prestigious literary award given to children’s books.

The One And Only Ivan follows the story of Ivan, a gorilla who has spent nearly 3 decades in a glass enclosure at a mall. Ivan is used to humans and doesn’t really mind living his life; part of the reason for him being content with his current life is that he doesn’t remember his past life in freedom.

Everything changes with the arrival of baby elephant, Ruby. As Ruby is trained to perform tricks, Ivan becomes a witness to animal abuse. In the meantime, he also starts to remember what it was like to live in freedom.

Children often aren’t really aware of animal abuse and don’t realize that humans are bearing moral responsibility for the safety and well-being of those animals who have been put into dependence from them. With this in mind, the One And Only Ivan delivers a touching story that promises to be highly enlightening to children.

3. Journey to the River Sea
Journey to the River Sea is another highly acclaimed children’s book. Authored by Eva Ibbotson, Journey to the River Sea has been the runner up for the Guardian Award, a finalist for many major children’s literary awards, as well as a winner of the Smarties Prize.

Anne Fine, British Children’s Laureate and writer, has praised Journey to the River for its light to read style and enchanting story.

Journey to the River Sea follows the story of Maia who was tragically orphaned at the age of 13 and was sent to live to the Amazon to live with her relatives who abuse and exploit her, keeping her only for her parents’ money.

During her time in her relatives’ house, Maia grows close to her eccentric and exceptionally intelligent governess. Eventually, Maia and her governess move out together to live in the Amazon where they discover an exotic world filled with challenging and charming experiences.

4. War Horse
Set in the years of World War I in France, the children’s novel War Horse by Michael Morpurgo recounts the hardships of war through the eyes of Joey, a horse purchased for service on the front lines.

Throughout his journey, Joey witnesses the deadly reality of the world, realizes the beauty of peace and the also devastating power of war. One of the novel’s key themes, this realization is transferred to the young reader as well. 

In the meantime, War Horse also follows Albert, the previous owner of Joey who attempts to bring him back home.

While War Horse can’t boast a wealth of awards, it has become the basis of a 2007 award-winning play and a highly-acclaimed 2011 film adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg.

5. Treasure Hunters
As Kirkus Reviews has put it, the Treasure Hunters series promises everything for kids, starting from ruthless pirates and CIA spies and ending with priceless treasure. 

Offering an enticing high-seas adventure, the Treasure Hunters series by James Patterson shines light on the biggest treasure one could have – family.

The Treasure Hunter series follows the story of the Kidd siblings who find themselves in the biggest treasure hunt they have ever had the chance to experience – the search for their parents who have mysteriously disappeared.

While following clues to find out what really happened to their parents, the Kidd siblings carry on their parents’ treasure hunting legacy and fight off treasure-hunting rivals in the face of high-seas pirates.

Perhaps the best thing about the Treasure Hunters series is that it has five books to read, so your 10-year-old could expect to have weeks of adventure-filled reading. But as we’ve recommended with the Harry Potter series, you should probably get the first book, the 2013 Treasure Hunters, and see whether your child is into its story or not. 

Jesse manages the kids website www.pigtailpals.com, which focuses primarily on gift idea guides that help parents find toys their boy or girl will love, no matter their age! His website also includes a super helpful Autism section to help parents that are trying to navigate the difficult situation of raising an autistic child.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Kids' Book Review.