50 Best Books: Year 5 Kids (Aged 9-10)

Jennie Hughes
Feb 21, 2024 By Jennie Hughes
Originally Published on Jul 07, 2020
Year 5 kids Reading Best Books for Year 5 kids
Age: 0-99
Read time: 6.7 Min

No matter what your age, there's nothing like that feeling of finding a new favourite author to read.

Books are brilliant entertainment, but there are so many amazing new books and series out there that it can be hard to find the best for each age group. With a little help from our children, we've sorted through our (and their) favourites, from Michael Morpurgo to Roald Dahl, to come up with this handy reading list of 50 recommended reads for nine- to ten-year-olds.

There are books out there for everyone, from reluctant readers to the most independent book-lover. Whether it's non-fiction or fiction, fantasy or realism, building a love of reading at any age is all about helping your child find the right books for them. We wanted to include as many different, diverse authors as we could on this list, so we've stuck to one book by each writer, even if it's part of a series. Once children know they like an author, they'll seek out their other books by themselves.

The Secret of Platform 13, Eva Ibbotson

Magical realism à la Harry Potter. Friends must race against time to rescue a lost child.

The Secret of Platform 13, Eva Ibbotson

The Wonder Garden, Jenny Bloom and Kristjana Williams

Beautifully illustrated and packed with information, this book explores five of the main habitats on Earth.

Peter in Peril, Helen Bate

A graphic novel about a boy going into hiding during WW2. Great for reluctant readers.

The Big History Timeline Wallbook, Christopher Lloyd

Unique pull-out book spanning prehistory to the present. Great for budding history buffs.

The Explorer, Katherine Rundell

Adventure book. A group of children are stranded in the Amazon rainforest after a plane crash.

family reading

Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of the Dark, Katie and Kevin Tsang

Sam tries to prove his courage to his class. Funny and relatable.

Run the Show Like A CEO: Oprah Winfrey, Caroline Moss

Child-friendly illustrated biography telling the story of Oprah's rise to success.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John Boyne

A boy makes a new friend after moving from 1940s Berlin to mysterious Out-With. For more mature Year 5s.

Street Child,Berlie Doherty

The life of the first Barnado's Boy, who determines to escape the horrors of the Victorian workhouse.

The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm, Norman Hunter

Wacky stories of crazy inventions. Great for children interested in STEM.

Planet Omar - Accidental Trouble Magnet, Zanib Mian

When school trip goes wrong, Omar must team up with the class bully to find his way home.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken

First in a set of historical fantasy books with a mysterious plot.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken

Heard it in the Playground, Allan Ahlberg

Illustrated collection of school-themed poems and songs. Great for shorter attention spans.

The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, Penelope Lively

James' family's new cottage has a ghost in residence. For stronger readers of this age.

Diver's Daughter: A Tudor Story, Patrice Lawrence

Based on a true story. Find out the realities of life for people of colour in the Tudor age.

The Iron Man, Ted Hughes

A strange giant appears and goes on a destructive rampage before his friendship with a boy changes his outlook.

The Demon Headmaster, Gillian Cross

There's something wrong at Dinah's school, and it has to do with the new headmaster.

The Sheep-Pig, Dick King-Smith

Piglet Babe wants to herd sheep. But who's ever heard of a sheep-pig? Reluctant readers will enjoy the associated film.

Hacker, Malorie Blackman

An excellent read for computing fans. Vicky's father is in trouble, and hacker Vicky must prove his innocence. For more confident readers. Some of Blackman's other fare can skew a little older.

The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

A children's classic, the theme of friendship remains as fresh as ever. The book's age makes this one for more confident readers.

The Rainmaker Danced, John Agard

Collection of enchanting poems exploring the wonder of the world.

The Story of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson

Growing up in a children's home, Tracy desperately wants a family to call her own, but will it ever happen?

Boy in the Tower, Polly Ho-Yen

A boy's tower-block home suddenly begins to collapse amid an invasion of destructive forces.

Boy in the Tower, Polly Ho-Yen

Jelly, Jo Cotterill

A talented and funny girl deals with body image and self-confidence issues.

Odd and the Frost Giants, Neil Gaiman

For more confident readers. A young Viking boy is sucked into a world of magic and gods.

Charlotte's Web, E. B. White

An unlikely friendship springs up between a pig and a spider. Suited to younger Year 5s or readers reluctant for their age.

The Imaginary, A. F. Harrold

What happens to an imaginary friend separated from the child who imagined them? For more confident readers at this age.

Striker Boy, Jonny Zucker

Great for the football-mad. What happens when a boy's dream of playing for a major side comes true?

How to Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell

Viking Hiccup refuses to join in his family's prejudice against dragons. The film may hook in more reluctant readers.

The Boy in the Dress,David Walliams

Dennis is bored and depressed after his mum leaves, but once he starts to follow his dreams, life changes drastically.

The Variety of Life, Nicola Davies

Packed with intriguing facts about biodiversity and the animal kingdom.

The Nowhere Emporium, Ross MacKenzie

Daniel is drawn into a mystical world and finds himself in the battle of a lifetime to save it.

The Fastest Boy in the World, Elizabeth Laird

When Solomon's grandfather collapses on a trip to Addis Ababa,  Solomon's best day ever may just become his worst.

Cosmic,Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Reluctant readers will have fun with this book about a school-age boy getting mistaken for an adult and going on an adventure to space.

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Possibly the best-selling children's book of all time, this classic will engage children of every reading ability.

Silly Verse for Kids, Spike Milligan

Hilariously silly poems. Great for dipping in and out.

The White Giraffe, Lauren St. John

Orphan Martine is sent to her grandmother's game reserve in Africa, where a mysterious white giraffe changes everything.

The Bacteria Book, Steve Mould

Informative science book about bacteria, viruses and fungi, presented in an engaging and funny style.

The Butterfly Lion, Michael Morpurgo

When Bertie is forced away to boarding school, he vows to find the white lion he rescued again someday. On the more accessible end for Year 5.

Manfish, Jennifer Berne

Gorgeous illustrations make this biography of Jaques Cousteau appealing to readers of all abilities.

How to Live Forever, Colin Thompson

Great for reluctant readers. The library where Peter lives has one missing book, a book on immortality - which Peter must find.

Letters from the Lighthouse, Emma Carroll

Olive's sister has gone missing, and now she and her brother are being evacuated together. Great for Year 5s studying WW2.

Varjak Paw, SF Said

Good for reluctant readers. Young cat Varjak has never been Outside, but that is about to change.

Wolf Brother, Michelle Paver

Torak, a Stone Age boy, must go on a quest after his father's death.

There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, Louis Sachar

Bradley is the class bully, but can he change given the right help? The book explores friendship and self-worth.

Year 5 kids Reading Best Books for Year 5 kids

The Breadwinner, Deborah Ellis

Set in Taliban-occupied Afghanistan, the book tells the story of Parvana, age 11, who is forced to become her family's breadwinner. A great read.

Clockwork, Phillip Pullman

A modern take on the fairytale that flips expectations upside-down. For confident readers.

What A Waste: Rubbish, Recycling and Protecting our Planet, Jess French

Packed with fascinating facts and exciting innovations; an excellent book for young environmentalists.

Danny, Champion of the World, Roald Dahl

Told, like all his books, with Dahl's signature humour, Danny and his father's adventures are unforgettable.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling

A boy discovers he's a wizard, leading to a series of seven books. These books are responsible for huge numbers of children becoming avid readers.

We hope this has given you plenty of inspiration for books your Year 5 age child will love to read!

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Written by Jennie Hughes

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Chinese and French, Postgraduate Certificate in Education

Jennie Hughes picture

Jennie HughesBachelor of Arts specializing in Chinese and French, Postgraduate Certificate in Education

Jennie, originally from Manchester, discovered her love for teaching and travel while working at a kindergarten in China. Since then, she has become an expert in both fields and mainly teaches KS2 children. Jennie also runs a tutoring and mindfulness company called 'Recreate-U', which aims to create comfortable, safe, and happy learning environments to help people reach their full educational potential. During her free time, she enjoys engaging in craft projects or relaxing with a good book and a hot cup of tea.

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