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Ladybird

For younger readers

Reading list

9 books for 9 to 12 year-olds that love adventures

From space-obsessed kids to half-gods, would-be witches and talented magicians, the characters in these stories will take any young adventurer on the most unforgettable of journeys...

 

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo Book 2) by Rick Riordan

Set in the action-packed world of Percy Jackson, the second book in Rick Riordan’s Trials of Apollo series sees Apollo - god of legend, cast down to earth and trapped in the body of a teenage boy - continue his journey back to Mount Olympus. Trouble is, he has to face a series of trials before he can regain his status as a god. This time there’s a haunted cave and an evil Roman emperor standing in his way. Can he defeat them, with the help of Camp Half-Blood’s finest?

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Love from Lexie (The Lost and Found) by Cathy Cassidy

Lexie’s used to moving around, but since her mum went missing things haven’t stopped changing. Another new home, another new school and, this time, a new family - the world is spinning and all Lexie wants is for her mum to come back. So she writes letters about her new life: her friends, music, the boy with the blue eyes and the secrets. But when they stay unanswered, Lexie feels more alone than ever.

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George and the Blue Moon by Lucy and Stephen Hawking

Space-obsessed George and his best friend Annie have been selected as junior astronauts and sent off to be trained up for a trip to Mars. It’s their dream come true. Except things aren’t quite what they seem at space camp - strange things keep happening, and astronaut training is pretty scary. Co-authored by Lucy Hawking and her father, scientist Stephen Hawking, the George Greenby series also features up-to-the-minute facts and exciting scientific discoveries.

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The Smoking Hourglass by Jennifer Bell

An incredible city, hidden miles below London, with an uncommonly magical market full of uncommonly magical goods - that’s the Lundinor. Ivy Sparrow and her brother Seb discovered it in the first of Jennifer Bell’s Uncommoners trilogy. In The Smoking Hourglass, the second book in the series, Ivy and Seb are back, but things have changed. Something dark is stirring in the spaces between the Lundinor’s enchanted shops, and the traders are uneasy. Can Ivy and Seb, together with their extraordinary friend Valian, put a stop to it?

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Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Having been rescued from a washed-up skiff as a baby, twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny island with Osh, the man who rescued her. The only other person she can rely on for companionship is their neighbour, Miss Maggie. When she witnesses a mysterious fire across the water, it kicks off a chain of events that has Crow questioning her identity, the past she can’t remember, and the nature of family.

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The Forever Court (Knights of the Borrowed Dark Book 2) by Dave Rudden

Orphan Denizen Hardwick is getting used to being part of The Order of the Borrowed Dark, a society sworn to protect the Earth from a multitude of otherworldly monsters - although having to contain the new powers he’s been given by Mercy, daughter of the Endless King, is a bit of a struggle. But those powers are about to become pretty important, as the Tenebrous are stirring and there are other threats looming in this second instalment of The Knights of the Borrowed Dark trilogy.

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The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Illustrated by Laura Ellen Andersen, the first book in Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series introduces the unforgettable Tiffany. She’s the twentieth granddaughter of shepherdess extraordinaire and protector of the land, Granny Aching, and she wants to be a witch. The only thing standing in her way is her name - it’s not very witch-like. Still, with a horde of fairies at her disposal and a brother to save from the nightmares, she’s going to give it a go.

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See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Alex Petroski’s ultimate ambition is to launch his golden iPod into space - like his hero, astronomer Carl Sagan, who launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft back in 1977. When he’s finished, Alex’s iPod will tell the story of his life on Earth, so that anyone - or anything - out there in space will know everything about the planet Alex calls home. There are a few things Alex doesn’t know, but he’s determined to find answers.

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The Young Magicians and the Thieves’ Almanac by Nick Mohammed

Hidden behind an unassuming blue door, the Magic Circle is a conjuring club of international fame. Four young magicians - Alex, Zack, Sophie and Jonny - are about to set foot inside. Secret books, seemingly impossible crimes and confused pigeons await, but with a combined magical talent that includes hypnosis, card tricks, scientific know-how and the ability to pick a pocket (and put things right back), the four friends are well equipped to deal with whatever the Magic Circle is about to throw at them.

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