Keep your child’s thirst for reading alive with some longer books as they move into Year 4. From much loved classics to newer works, discover our selection of novels for 8 to 9 year olds to fall in love with.
The Hero Pup, Megan Rix
“For now Patch is just a Helper Pup,” Joe said. “But one day…” Eleven-year-old Joe is dreading his first Christmas without Dad. But then his mother suggests they volunteer for Helper Dogs and train puppies to help people in need. Joe has always wanted a dog and when he meets golden Labrador Patch he knows he’s found him. With Joe’s love and training, can Patch go from playful puppy to heroic helper – and mend Joe’s broken heart along the way?
The Pongwiffy Series, Kaye Umansky
When Pongwiffy is forced to spring clean her hovel she finds an old magic spell to help her! But it turns out that the old-fashioned ingredients are tricky to come by, especially when they belong to the familiars of other witches…
How to Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third is a smallish Viking with a longish name. Hiccup’s father is chief of the Hairy Hooligan tribe which means Hiccup is the Hope and the Heir to the Hairy Hooligan throne – but most of the time Hiccup feels like a very ordinary boy, finding it hard to be a Hero.
(240 pages. There are 12 books in the series.)
First Aid for Fairies and Other Fabled Beasts, Lari Don
When Yann the injured centaur clip clops into Helen’s life she decides to help him even though she’s not exactly a vet. Helen’s first aid kit comes in very handy when she meets Yann’s friends – a gang of fabled beasts with a habit of getting into trouble. Together they must solve riddles, fight fauns and defeat the dangerous Master of the Maze before midwinter and the end of the world. Winner of a Scottish Children’s Book Award.
A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket
There is nothing to be found in Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ but misery and despair. You still have time to choose another international best-selling series to read. But if you insist on discovering the unpleasant adventures of the Baudelaire orphans, then proceed with caution… Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky. Each book tells the story of how the three children go from one disaster to the next.
Wolf Brother, Michelle Waver
Thousands of years ago, the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and powerful magic. Until an ambitious and malevolent force conjures a demon, a demon so evil that it can be contained only in the body of a ferocious bear that will slay everything it sees, a demon determined to destroy the world.
Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
The sun-kissed prairie stretches out around the Ingalls family, smiling its welcome after their long, hard journey across America. But looks can be deceiving and they soon find that they must share the land with wild bears and Indians. Will there be enough land for all of them? The timeless stories that inspired a TV series can now be read by a new generation of children.
(A trilogy also including Little House in the Big Woods and On the Banks of Plum Creek)
The Snow Merchant, Sam Gayton
Lettie Peppercorn lives in a house on stilts near the wind-swept coast of Albion. Nothing incredible has ever happened to her, until one winter’s night, when the night the Snow Merchant comes. He claims to be an alchemist – the greatest that ever lived – and in his suitcase, he carries his newest invention: snow.
The Butterfly Lion, Michael Morpurgo
“All my life I’ll think of you, I promise I will. I won’t ever forget you.” Bertie rescues an orphaned white lion cub from the African veld. They are inseparable until Bertie is sent to boarding school far away in England and the lion is sold to a circus. Bertie swears that one day they will see one another again, but it is the butterfly lion which ensures that their friendship will never be forgotten. Listen to an excerpt read by the author here.
Superfudge, Judy Blume
When Fudge discovers that his new baby sister can’t play with him, he tries to sell her. When that doesn’t work, he tries giving her away. And on his first day at school he kicks his teacher and calls her Rat Face. Can his big brother help him out this time?
Monster Mission, Eva Ibbotson
Three children are stolen and taken to a bizarre island, which is home to some extraordinary creatures – including mermaids, selkies and the legendary kraken. The island is the base for a very mysterious mission. But the magical adventure is cut short when the island is suddenly under siege. Can the children save themselves and their new friends?
White Fang, Jack London
The story of White Fang takes place in Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush and details one hound’s journey to domestication. It is a companion novel to London’s best-known work, The Call of the Wild, which is about a kidnapped, domesticated dog embracing his wild ancestry to survive and thrive in the wild. White Fang examines the violent world of wild animals and the equally violent world of humans. The book also explores complex themes including morality and redemption.
Kensuke’s Kingdom, Michael Morpurgo
Washed up on an island in the Pacific, Michael struggles to survive on his own. With no food and no water, he curls up to die. When he wakes, there is a plate beside him of fish, fruit and a bowl of fresh water. And he is not alone… Kensuke’s Kingdom is a gripping adventure from the author of War Horse. Michael Morpurgo has written more than one hundred books for children and won the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Award, the Circle of Gold Award, the Children’s Book Award and has been short-listed for the Carnegie Medal four times.