Education and Learning

Must-reads for your 10-year-old (and younger)

Payal
7 to 11 years

Created by Payal
Updated on Sep 15, 2017

Must reads for your 10 year old and younger

When I was a kid, my father told me that a good book is a friend for life. I grew up in a house full of books my earliest memories are of my family relaxing cozily with books on a Sunday afternoon. It was only natural that I followed suit. When I was four years old, my father bought me a set of fairy tale books – Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Little Red Riding Hood. I read them till the pages almost came apart, and I still have them with me. At a time when Soviet literature was entering the country, I grew up hearing stories from Bengali folklore (from Thakumar Jhuli, or Grandmother’s Bag of Tales) on one hand, and Russian tales of Ivan and Igor on the other.

Since then, there has been no looking back, and I have a vast library today. I can safely say, that with my books, I’ll never lack a friend.

Why Is Reading Beneficial?

Introducing your child early to books has a huge impact on her development, and at the same time, helps you build a beautiful bond with her.

  • An early start:From water-proof bath books to read aloud children’s novels, your child may be initiated to the look and feel of books from the age she can sit up or hold objects. This will introduce your child to reading, and the wonderful world of creativity early on. She will also have better language and problem-solving skills
  • Builds a bond:While your toddler is a bundle of energy, running around, jumping, and playing all day, sometime of reading together at night gives you the time to bond with your child in a way nothing else can. It will also give you the time to talk to him and have him listen and communicate with you, and also share some important life lessons through a book
  • Better communication skills:Children who are read to from an early age have been seen to be able to express themselves better. The dialogues in the book and the dialogue you have with your child about the book will strengthen their skills of communication
  • Dealing with problems through a story:A storybook can help with specific issues your child may face. This can be achieved if you read a book that deals with that particular problem- for example going to the dentist, or starting school. A book, which deals with this incident, is written to alleviate fears in the child’s mind and helps them to understand the complexity of the situation
  • Better concentration levels:Reading to children or having them read by themselves helps in improving their concentration levels gradually. In the beginning, your child will be restless and might tire easily. But gradually as the love for hearing stories grows, he will learn to listen

How Do I Read To My Young Child?

If your child has not yet started reading, you can use three methods to make it interesting for him-

  1. The auditory method: A child is capable of listening to words even in-utero. It is an established fact that talking to a child helps them learn a language faster. The more you talk the faster this process is, even if your child does not understand the entire story
  2. The phonetic method: In this method, you can read words out by showing your child how they can be divided into sounds. This will set the foundation for correct pronunciation of words
  3. Fitting words and sentences: Once they understand words, they can then learn about the fitment of words into sentences, basic grammar rules and language skills

What Books Can I Read To My Child?

Here is an age-wise classification of some wonderful books for your child.

For Children For 0-2 years

  1. Dr. Seuss: These books are enjoyable regardless of age, so you can start as early as your wish. Children love pictures and animals, and Dr. Seuss provides a lot of that
  2. Are You My Mother by P D Eastman:Coming from a Dr. Seuss collaborator, it tells the story of a little bird gets lost and goes in search for her mother and finally finds her
  3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a child’s joy with colorful pages and shows how a caterpillar grows into a butterfly. This gives the idea of growth, life and the dynamic form of nature to a child

For Children For 3-6 years

  1. Disney’s Wonderful World of Reading: has books on Disney stories and films which children enjoy, also because they may watch the movies afterwards
  2. Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat Learning Library: provides books for this age up to the age of 8, such as “Oh the Places on Earth”, “Miles and Miles of Reptiles”, “The Eye book”, “Is the Camel a Mammal”, “Oh Say can you say Dinosaur”, “Inside you Outside.” These books have a fun way of introducing children to the basics of nature, geography and science in Dr.Seuss’s signature colorful style. The book “Oh the Places You Will Go” is often used by parents to have it filled by the child’s teacher starting from kindergarten and then gift it to them as they graduate. It’s a lovely gift idea for your little one when they are not so little any more. “The Lorax” gives them environment awareness
  3. What’s Up Duck, A Book of Opposites: THz is a board book for preschoolers to introduce them to the concept of opposites
  4. Duck Rabbit: Is it a Duck, Is it a Rabbit? Colorful illustrations and clever pictures keep the child guessing until she realizes that what can be seen as a duck can be seen as a rabbit with a change of perspective
  5. Horrid Henry series, Francesca Simon: Great fun to be read to children who have not started reading yet, and then can be given to older children to read by themselves. Horrid Henry is at constant war with his brother Perfect Peter.Horrid Henry and his friends do everything to escape school, and generally create mayhem
  6. Noddy, Enid Blyton: An evergreen series that children can start reading by themselves at this age. The words are large in font and the interactions between the characters make this a childhood favorite, which even we have enjoyed as children
  7. Charlotte’s Web, E B White: The story of how the spider Charlotte saves the pig Wilbur from certain death is both awe inspiring and gives children this age the concept of a larger novel written in simple language
  8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl: Dahl can be started at this age, and later, children read these books themselves. His wonderful imagination and quirky characterization gives free rein to imagination and creativity in children and the stories
  9. Ramona the Pest or The Ramona Series, Beverly Cleary: Similar to Horrid Henry, this series narrates the tales of Ramona, a kindergartner and her adventures of life at home and school
  10. The Little Prince, Antoine de St Expiry: The story of the Little Prince who comes from a world very unlike ours, which is so small that three trees overwhelm it. Gives children just being introduced to the concept of space and the universe, the imagination to think of planets which are far, far away
  11. Mary Poppins- P L Travers: The story of Jane and Michael whose lives are transformed when Mary Poppins comes flying and slides up their banister. She takes them on a magical and exciting adventure and they grow to love her

From the age of 5, when children start writing in school, it is a good idea to ask your child to write about what he has heard or read. A short summary, one word answers to questions you have created, writing about he thinks of the story and how it made him feel, can be attempted. Don’t push your child at this stage. It should be done purely out of interest to increase his comprehension skills, language skills, logical thinking and creativity.

For Children For 7-10 years

I am not including Enid Blyton’s ever popular Famous Five, Secret Seven, The Faraway Tree or other popular books like Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, which are invariably available in most libraries, and which we have read and enjoyed as children. I am listing 15 titles here, which you can include in your child’s reading list to improve their language skills. Many parents at this age look at creative writing classes for their children so that they can write better. But perhaps, the truth is that a child can write well if he or she reads extensively.

You can find plenty of books for this age group and it is quite difficult to choose just 15 among them, but this is a carefully made selection which will hold the attention of even a child who has not really gained an interest in reading.

  1. Harry Potter series - J K Rowling
  2. The 13 and Half-life of Captain Bluebear - Walter Moers
  3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid series - Jeff Kinney
  4. The Giving Tree- Shel Silverstien
  5. Stuart Little- E B White
  6. Where the Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak
  7. Rikki Tiki Tavi- Rudyard Kipling
  8. Jungle Book- Rudyard Kipling
  9. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents- Terry Pratchet
  10. His Dark Materials- Philip Pullman
  11. Septimus Heap series- Angie Sage
  12. Curious George- H A Ray
  13. The Railway Children- Edith Nesbit
  14. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing- Judy Bloom
  15. The Chronicles of Narnia- C S Lewis

What Are Some Indian And Regional Books My Child Can Read?

There’s no way we would miss Indian mythology as well as regional literature for children. Why not start with the evergreen Amar Chitra Katha series, which gives children a picturesque view of folk tales, mythological tales, leaders and lives of kings and queens? Highly recommended are tales of Gandhi, Rani Laxmi Bai, Mother Teresa and regional favorites like Bhagat Singh and Vidyasagar. Timeless classics like Panchtantra and Jataka tales, Ramayana and Mahabharata are relevant in today’s world, too. There are many authors and graphic artists who have kept different age groups of children in mind. Here are some of the stalwarts in this genre-

Among other writers in English are Shashi Deshpande (The Narayanpur Incident), Lata Mani (The Tamarind Tree), Ranjit Lal (The Simians of South Block and the Yum Yum piglets), Suniti Namjoshi (Aditi series), Sandhya Rao (My Mother’s Sari, My Friend the Sea), Samhita Arni (The Mahabharata- A Child’s View) among others.

If you would like your child to learn your mother tongue, apart from speaking it, you can read from books in the language. There are several books for kids in different languages, which will take a whole separate blog post! As C S Lewis has said “A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” Therefore, read to your child, read for your child and read with your child. There can be very few things in the world more pleasurable than sharing a book with your little one.

Do you read to your child? Tell us some of his favorites in the comments section!

  • R K Narayan: Malgudi Days, Swami and Friend, Malgudi School days (R K Narayan and Shashi Deshpande), Under the Banyan Tree are some books that are enjoyed by children and adults alike. It is a good read- aloud collection for small children as well
  • Ruskin Bond: He has written extensively for children. Among the most enjoyable books are The Blue Umbrella, The Adventures of Toto, Tigers Forever, Crazy Times with Uncle Ken, The Panthers Moon, The Tiger in the Tunnel and Animal Stories
  • Sudha Murty: How I taught my Grandmother to Read, The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk, Grandmothers Bag of Tales, The Bird with Golden Wings, The Magic Drum are her work for children
  • Satyajit Ray: Mostly in Bengali, his works have now been extensively translated. His Felu-da series are a great hit among all age groups, and children love the teenage sidekick, Felu’s nephew. Professor Shonku is a scientist with amazing discoveries, most of which are relevant even in today’s i-Pad age
  • Mahasweta Devi: Mahasweta Devi’s “The Why Why Girl” and “Choti Munda and his Arrow” are among the books which have been translated from Bengali, which is great because these stories are very beautiful and set in the heart of India, the villages that are far removed from urban lives

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| Mar 13, 2018

books can be used when baby is in utero as well.. there are age appropriate books available.

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| Mar 13, 2018

At what age I can make my child in to reading habits as my daughter is just 11 months old??

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| Mar 13, 2018

At what age I can make my child in to reading habits as my daughter is just 11 months old??

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| Sep 16, 2017

I love the blog, I would also add that we could make a group where in sharing the books could take place so that our kids could read many books in a low budget. I am from Bangalore (South) if we can build a group amongst us moms, exchange books regularly.... I don't mind making the group, so moms from Bangalore can msg me to add themselves up in the group. 9916649452 It's just a suggestion, if it works, we would have taken a positive step after reading a beautiful blog like this.

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| Sep 16, 2017

True..... Books are our best friend. Very useful information. thx

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| Sep 15, 2017

Reading books is a great way for bonding and I can second that, when I see my elder one read out a story everyday to her lil sis in a very interesting manner with all special effects . thanks Payal for sharing this wonderful write up and a comprehensive list of books for all age groups.

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| Sep 15, 2017

vry helpful... thanku

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| Sep 15, 2017

vry helpful... thanku

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| Jul 13, 2017

this is really good

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| Jul 11, 2017

Thanks... Really useful...

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| Jul 11, 2017

Thanks ..very useful.

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| Jun 16, 2017

interesting and informative

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| Jun 10, 2017

very useful information.

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| May 29, 2017

my elder one is very particular in reading books but my younger one not even sit and listen to me I know

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| May 28, 2017

thx

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| May 27, 2017

very informative article. thanq

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| May 27, 2017

i was searching for the right book for my little cutie. now that i found this article it is really helpful. thanks a lot

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| May 27, 2017

superb information thanks

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| May 15, 2017

Very informative Thanksgiving for Sharing

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| Nov 23, 2016

Thank u so much . very nice and satisfactory answer.

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| Feb 02, 2016

Good feedback. I am looking for a good library providing books in the vicinity of Thane, Mulund or Dadar. Can anyone kindly help me.

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| Oct 08, 2015

This is really a useful information and giving the name of books made the works easy for parents. thanks

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| Jul 31, 2015

Nice list of books, thanks for sharing

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| Jul 13, 2015

Thanx very useful information

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| Sep 19, 2014

nice collection of books

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| Apr 29, 2014

Thank you so much I was really confused with what books to start with for my son.. This list is gonna help a lot ...

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| Sep 05, 2013

magic pot magazine

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| Aug 16, 2013

Guess some of the books are available at a very high price at amazon... including international shipping and all... found some suggested here at flipkart... but links to all the books suggested above would greatly help

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| Jul 29, 2013

Cant the books be ordered online from somewhere?

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| Jul 21, 2013

Thanks for sharing this input, My 8 year old will start these books soon! Amazon has a bundle of free books for download on to kindle or kindle for ur device like anroud phone / tablet or kindle for iPad. I read most using this for my 2 year old, although she has her own stash of board book that she flips thru.

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| Nov 29, 2012

I feel totally overwhelmed at a book store, not knowing what to pick.. this is useful. thanks!

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| Nov 22, 2012

Thanks all. Soon the next in the series- Books above 10 years will come up.

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| Nov 21, 2012

It is such a comprehensive list.. It really helps in planning gifts... Thanks for sharing...

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| Nov 21, 2012

It is such a comprehensive list.. It really helps in planning gifts... Thanks for sharing...

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| Nov 21, 2012

Thats a deep dive into books and reading.. put together brilliantly.. could you share which books to pick for 10 years onwards.. thanks!

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| Nov 20, 2012

Reading to children for sure is integral to their formative years, having a place / corner for reading and developing a growing library for them is critical as well. As an Educational consultant I strongly recommend ETllearning for all those wid kids in the age group 0-8 yrs as they hav a very well researched total development program for kids

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| Nov 20, 2012

Very well compiled Payal. I am certain to pick a few books you recommended here for my kids :) Some of the names here took my back to my childhood. And there are so many books mentioned here, which we as adults love to read too!

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