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Image source: Deerfield Library

10 Wonderful & Unknown Children’s Books for 10 Year Old Boys

Holly Daffurn itcherIn their last year before high school, 10 year old boys still enjoy the magic and wonder of childhood without the pressures of the next step. Books for 10 year olds are sophisticated enough to keep children of this age entertained, yet are still steeped in the magic of childhood. ‘Rain Reign’, ‘The Boundless’ and ‘The Crossover’ are some of my favourites. ~ Holly Daffurn

The Balance between Fantasy and Reality

Books can offer great escapism, as well as reassurance and guidance for everyday situations.

10 year old boys are emotionally and physically developing, their lives may be more complicated than they once were. Great books can transport them to other lands and times, or even help them deal with the here and now.

Here are ten magical books for kids age 10:

10. ‘Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie’ (Jeff Norton, 2014)

Image Source: Goodreads

My name is Adam Meltzer and the last thing I remember was being stung by a bee while swinging at a robot-shaped piñata on my twelfth birthday. I was dead before the candy hit the ground…

Jeff Norton was a reluctant reader in his youth, and really values funny children’s books. For this reason, he decided to write his own hilariously funny books for children. When Adam Meltzer dies and comes back as a zombie, he has a lot of adjusting to do but luckily he is in good company. His neighbour has transformed into a chupacubra and his crush is now a vampire…albeit a vegan one.

The next book in the series, ‘Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie: Escape from Camp’ is out later this month, making it the perfect time to get enchanted by the twisted tales of Adam Meltzer. This book is a great story about friendship, the complications of growing up and coming to terms with the unfairness of life.

A hilarious and heart-warming story with bite.

9. ‘The Map to Everywhere’ (Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis, 2014)

Image Source: Babelio

With one careful finger, Fin found the hidden wires behind the display doors and followed them back to the traps set to protect them…

Fin has a great gift for a thief, once he is out of sight everyone forgets that he ever existed. Longing for someone to connect with, he goes off on an adventure to find his mother in the hope that she will remember him.

Meanwhile, schoolgirl Marrill is whisked off on a pirate ship to another world. An unlikely friendship follows as they both are thrown into a wild adventure and are forced to confront a terrifying wizard.

A tale of overcoming the odds and finding friends in the most unlikely places.

An unusual and mysterious tale about a strange and wild adventure.

8. ‘Rain Reign’ (Ann M. Martin, 2014)

Image Source: Amazon

My father was standing at the front door, holding the letter in his hand and gazing out at the trees and the darkness…

This book tells the story of Rose, a girl who is obsessed with homonyms, prime numbers and details.

With a diagnosis of high-functioning autism (Asperger’s) she doesn’t fit in with her class mates. Only her dog, Rain, provides real companionship. So when Rain’s rightful owners step forward, Rose is devastated.

A beautifully honest and courageous story that will empower and educate.

A charming book about an unlikely heroine and her chaotic world.

7. ‘The Boundless’ (Kenneth Oppel, 2015)

Image Source: WordPress

The train shudders and surges higher into the mountains. Will hasn’t seen a single sign of human habitation since Farewell…

Books for 10 year olds are often full of adventure, but this story is exceptional in its intensity and sense of wonder. Set on board ‘The Boundless’ a train with 987 cars.

This story tells the story of how young protagonist, Will, fights to save the train, as well as the treasure that is stowed upon it. With help from some colourful characters in the form of an escape artist and circus ringmaster, Will has some challenging decisions to make.

An exhilarating adventure story packed with life and vibrancy.

6. ‘Skinny Bones’ (Barbara Park, 1997)

Image Source: Amazon

Oh, man! I couldn’t believe this! She was actually going to buy it! My mother was going to buy this whole insane story!

Being the shortest and skinniest kid on the baseball team isn’t always easy for Alex, but his determination and upbeat attitude makes us root for him all the way. Full of humour, moving anecdotes and a very real portrait of life in school. This is a book that many 10 year old boys will be able to relate to.

A witty and realistic portrayal of life as a skinny schoolboy.

5. ‘Little Man’ (Elizabeth Mann, 2014)

It was one thing to be miserable, bit it was another, far worse thing to see his mother sad on his account…

Full of vividly real characters and breath-taking descriptions of the Caribbean, this story is rich in emotion and detail. It tells the tale of Albert as he starts middle school.

He is ridiculed for his height, struggling with the one subject that he used to be good at and lonely since his best friend moved away. It is only when he chances across a troupe of stilt walking performance artists that he discovers the beauty in belonging to a group and pushing yourself to your limits.

A culturally majestic book that celebrates diversity while documenting the human condition.

An eloquent, informative and spellbinding book that quivers with life.

4. ‘The Great Greene Heist’ (Varian Johnson, 2014)

Image Source: Amazon

Charlie had only been outside for a few minutes, but his eyes were already beginning to burn, and he could feel the perspiration spreading across his forehead…

Realistic easy-to-relate-to characters, plenty of action and humour and sharp pacey prose make this a real page-turner. If you are looking for books for kids age 10 that are more about school that mystical adventures, then ‘The Great Greene Heist’ is set in middle school with a cast of characters that are beautifully realistic.

Defying stereotypes and opening minds, this book is thoroughly entertaining and a delight to read.

A gritty and compelling political saga set in middle school.

3. ‘On Two Feet and Wings’ (Abbas Kazerooni, 2011)

Image Source: ABC

My mother’s reaction certainly didn’t match mine. I couldn’t decide if she was sad or angry or both, but I knew she looked really upset, like she might cry. I hated seeing her like that…

Based on Abbas Kazerooni‘s own life as a child, this is a deeply poignant and heart-wrenching tale that is also steeped in hope. Before his tenth birthday Abbas has to flee to England from Tehran or face going to war.

Growing up fast and learning to survive in a terrifying and alien environment would be a challenge for any 10 year old boy, but Abbas shows great courage and slowly unveils a story that is deeply uplifting and full of hope.

A great way to get your children to look at the wider picture, to appreciate what they have and to empathise with others.

A rich and soulful story about an incredible young boy.

2. ‘The Crossover’ (Kwame Alexander, 2015)

Image Source: PWCS

With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .
The court is SIZZLING
My sweat is DRIZZLING.
Stop all that quivering.
Cuz tonight I’m delivering…

This story is told completely in verse which makes it highly accessible as well as keeping it fresh and current. Josh and twin brother Jordan are anxious to succeed at basketball, just like their dad before them. But sibling rivalry and differences of opinions threaten to get in the way of their dreams.

The pacey verse makes this book full of energy and character, a great way to encourage reading in those who want something a little special to really draw them in.

A heartfelt story of brotherly love and conflict.

1. ‘El Deafo’ (Cece Bell, 2014)

Image Source: Goodreads

And being different? That turned out to the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers…

Cece became profoundly deaf at just four years old, after contracting meningitis. When she is eventually fitted with a Phonic Ear, her new abilities make her feel like a superhero. This is the story of a girl who overcomes adversity and throws herself at every new challenge.

The fact that the book is based on the author’s own childhood simply makes it even more captivating and mind-blowing. Full of wit, colour and substance.

An empowering portrait of being different and embracing your individuality.


Learning More about Themselves as Well as Others

I chose these books because they vary from being about mystical adventures, to usual school life with stories of unusual difficulty thrown in too. These books are all empowering in different ways.

At the age of 10, boys are more aware of the feelings of those around them and the concept of diversity. These books celebrate our differences and will inspire, uplift and educate those who read them.

Furthermore, these books for 10 year old boys are full of extraordinary amounts of magic and I’m sure your children will love them as much as I do.

Do you have anything to add to my list?

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