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Christmas books for 9 – 11 year olds

From established classics such as Heidi and Tom’s Midnight Garden to classics in the making such as Gill Lewis’s Gorilla Dawn, take a look at some of our favourite books to give to older readers this Christmas.

Tom McLaughlin
Ben's starting to have serious doubts that Father Christmas is real, so hatches an elaborate scheme to try and capture him on Christmas Eve, kicking off a sequence of hilarious events that makes this Christmas the most bonkers ever!Christmas Eve, he sets up an elaborate booby trap to capture the jolly bearded fella as he comes sliding down the chimney. Kicking off a sequence of hilarious events that makes this Christmas the most bonkers ever!
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Gill Lewis
Joe has always loved the moorlands above his home. But everything has changed since his father died and the moors are no longer a place of refuge. Now the whole community are divided over the fate of the hen harriers that nest up in the heather – and Joe is stuck right in the middle, with a choice to make, and a huge secret to keep. A gripping and emotionally powerful novel from the award-winning and bestselling author Gill Lewis.
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Read an extract [PDF]

Philippa Pearce
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce is one of the great children’s classics. Loved by generations, it has been continuously in print since first published in 1958. Now this entrancing and magical story has been adapted into a graphic novel by top French illustrator Edith. A real Christmas treat for graphic novel and comic fans, well as all story lovers, this luxury hardback edition makes a perfect gift.
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Tom Moorhouse
Kale and Strife are two young water voles with a nose for trouble and an eye for adventure. But when their uncle Sylvan comes to stay, bringing news of a terrible danger, the voles are sucked into a quest that will test their courage to the limit. With unforgettable characters and over 100 illustrations, this thrilling and exciting story is perfect for readers who love animal adventures.
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Gill Lewis
Deep in the heart of the African jungle, a baby gorilla is captured by a group of rebel soldiers. Imara and Bobo are two children also imprisoned in the rebels’ camp. When they learn that the gorilla is destined to be sold into captivity, they swear to return it to the wild before it’s too late. But in their war-ravaged world, can any of them they ever find true safety? A memorable novel for older readers from an award-winning author.
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Christopher Edge
Full of hints and tips this book will awaken the author in every child. Find out how to overcome writer's block and how to write in different genres. Discover how to use wonderful and weird words, invent new words, and write powerful sentences using metaphors, similes, and idioms. Ideal present material for aspiring writers and children wanting to enter story writing competitions!
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Charles Dickens
The spirit of Christmas comes to life in this wonderful tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts that visit him to show him the error of his ways. As the clock chimes, will Scrooge be in time to learn the true meaning of Christmas?
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Dennis Pepper
All those things that matter – friendship, love, trust, happiness, and sacrifice – seem to matter all the more at Christmas time. In this wonderful illustrated anthology for older children such themes are considered through thirty stories, both old and new, to present a wide-ranging view of Christmas and its celebrations.
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Johanna Spyri
Orphan Heidi is happy in the mountains living with her grandfather. Sent away to live in the town with her Aunt, Heidi struggles to adapt and longs to return to the Alps. But when a new friendship starts to blossom, Heidi begins to wonder if she can have the best of both lives after all? A classic tale with a great heroine!
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Activity: Make Heidi paper chains [PDF]

Philippa Pearce
Lying awake at night, Tom hears the old grandfather clock downstairs strike . . . eleven . . . twelve . . . thirteen . . . Thirteen! How strange! When Tom gets up to investigate, he discovers a magical garden. A garden that everyone told him doesn't exist. A garden that only he can enter . . . A timeless classic about Tom's adventures in his secret, midnight garden
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Next: Books for 11+ years