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12 Books to Read Before You’re 12

From tales of superheroes and spies, to thrilling mysteries and sci-fi adventures, this selection of some of our bestselling fiction books – and an extra-special, non-fiction guide – should be on every young reader's bookshelf!

My Brother Is a Superhero

Written by David Solomons
9-12

Luke is a comic-mad eleven-year old who shares a treehouse with his geeky older brother, Zack. Luke' s only mistake is to go for a wee right at the wrong time. While he's gone, an alien gives his undeserving, never-read-a-comic-in-his-life brother superpowers and then tells him to save the universe.…

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The Spy Who Loved School Dinners

Written by Pamela Butchart Illustrated by Thomas Flintham
7-9

Izzy is really pleased to have been put in charge of the new girl at school. Matilde is French, and Izzy and her friends can't wait to show her their den and its moth, and to help her avoid school dinners (also known as poison). But Matilde LOVES school dinners…

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The Girl Who Stole an Elephant

Written by Nizrana Farook
9-12

Chaya, a no-nonsense, outspoken hero, leads her friends and a gorgeous elephant on a noisy, fraught, joyous adventure through the jungle where revolution is stirring and leeches lurk. Will stealing the queen's jewels be the beginning or the end of everything for the intrepid gang? With cover illustration by David…

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Escape Room

Written by Christopher Edge
9-12

The latest mind-blowing novel from award-winning author Christopher Edge, Escape Room is a thrilling adventure that challenges readers to think about what they've done to save the world today. When twelve-year-old Ami arrives at The Escape, she thinks it's just a game - the ultimate escape room with puzzles and…

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Ella on the Outside

Written by Cath Howe
9-12

Ella is the new girl at school. She doesn't know anyone and she doesn't have any friends. And she has a terrible secret. Ella can't believe her luck when Lydia, the most popular girl in school, decides to be her new best friend - but what does Lydia really want?…

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No Ballet Shoes in Syria

Written by Catherine Bruton
9-12

Winner of the Books Are My Bag Readers Award Aya is eleven years old and has just arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria. When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes…

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Zoe’s Rescue Zoo: Puzzled Penguin

Written by Amelia Cobb Illustrated by Sophy Williams
5-7

When Great-Uncle Horace brings back lost and homeless animals from his travels around the globe, it falls to Zoe and her mum, the zoo's vet, to settle them into their new home. Zoe's good at this, because she can understand what they say and talk to them, too. But that's…

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Wigglesbottom Primary: The Toilet Ghost

Written by Pamela Butchart Illustrated by Becka Moor
5-7

Life at Wigglesbottom Primary is often lived on the edge. A class talent show becomes a thing of great mystery and intrigue, when it turns out that Jacob Barry's stinky shoe can PREDICT THE FUTURE! Or filled with peril when the boys' toilets become HAUNTED! And then there's the CURSE…

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The Secret Detectives

Written by Ella Risbridger
9-12

A gripping, beautifully written historical mystery, from an incredible new voice in children's fiction. The body seemed to fall for a long time. There was no splash, or if there was it was lost in the waves. Isobel was frozen to the spot for a moment - and then her…

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My Life as a Cat

Written by Carlie Sorosiak
9-12

A wise, funny and moving story of what it means to find a family, from the best-selling author of I, Cosmo. Leonard has never had a name. Or a body. Or a best friend. But he is excited to try being a human. On their three-hundredth-birthday, every alien from Leonard's…

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Orion Lost

Written by Alastair Chisholm
9-12

The transport ship Orion is four months out of Earth when catastrophe strikes - leaving the ship and everyone on board stranded in deep space Suddenly it's up to thirteen-year-old Beth and her friends to navigate through treacherous and uncharted territory to reach safety. But a heavily-damaged ship, space pirates,…

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National Trust: 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 3/4

Written by Nosy Crow Illustrated by Sandra de la Prada
5-7

This is the ultimate guide to having fun outside for children aged 6-11! Coinciding with the National Trust's relaunch of the 50 Things to Do Before You're 11 3/4 campaign, this book is bursting with ideas to help children from any background discover the great outdoors and get closer to…

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