Reading Lists (ages 12-14)

Age 12-14 Recommended Reading List

The following is a recommended list of fiction books for children from 12-14 years old. This list is by no means exhaustive and I would recommend exploring your local bookshops and libraries as well as using this list. Many of the authors on this list have written many more books that I would encourage you to explore and enjoy. The list contains a mixture of both classic storybooks and more modern releases.


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

by John Boyne

Random House

Bruno is exploring his new home at ‘Out-With’ when he meets Shmuel, who lives on the other side of a fence which surrounds a large camp in the grounds.


Looking for JJ

by Anne Cassidy


When a 10-year-old girl kills her best friend, she is convicted of manslaughter and locked away. Seven years later she is released on licence with a new identity.


The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins


Welcome to Panem: its Capitol repressively rules twelve satellite Districts, enslaving the populations as workers and controlling them through hunger.


The Graveyard Book

by Neil Gaiman


After his family are killed, Bod is brought up in a graveyard by ghosts.


Maggot Moon

by Sally Gardner

Hot Key Books

Combining conspiracy theory and dystopia, this hugely original novel is set in an alternate 1950s in which Britain is dominated by the ruthlessly oppressive forces of The Motherland.


The Owl Service

by Alan Garner

HarperCollins Children’s Books

When Alison finds a curious dinner service in the attic, the discovery sets off a strange chain of events that look set to effect everyone’s lives.


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

by Mark Haddon

Red Fox

This funny, touching and compelling novel was the winner of the inaugural Booktrust Teenage Prize



Coram Boy

by Jamila Gavin


Coram Boy is the story of Toby, saved from an African ship as a child, and Aaron, the illegitimate son of the heir to a great estate.


The Alex Rider Series

by Anthony Horowitz

Walker Books

Fourteen-year-old Alex Rider finds his life turned upside down on discovering that his late uncle wasn’t a mild-mannered banker, but instead a field agent for MI6.


The Kite Rider

by Geraldine McCaughrean

Oxford University Press

Haoyou feels powerless when the man responsible for his father’s death demands to marry his mother. Determined to support her himself, the young boy joins a travelling circus.


The Knife of Never Letting Go

by Patrick Ness

Walker Books

The first in a series, this enthralling sci-fi/fantasy novel grips readers throughout, presenting them with tough questions about identity, ethics and the nature of truth.


Northern Lights

by Philip Pullman


This extraordinary fantasy is the first book in Philip Pullman’s multi-award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy.


The Ruby in the Smoke

by Philip Pullman


Determined to discover the truth about her father’s tragic death, Sally Lockhart is plunged into a dangerous and terrifying adventure that takes her to the dark heart of Victorian London.


Mortal Engines

by Philip Reeve


London is on the move again: the traction city trawls the world on wheels, capturing and eating smaller towns.



by Marcus Sedgwick

Orion Children’s Books

‘They say dead men tell no tales, but they’re wrong. Even the dead tell stories.’


The Fellowship of The Ring

by J R R Tolkien


The first part of J R R Tolkien’s epic masterpiece The Lord of the Rings, this is the story of young hobbit Frodo Baggins, who finds himself faced with an immense and terrible duty.


Girl Missing

by Sophie McKenzie

Simon & Schuster Ltd

Lauren has always known she was adopted but when a little research turns up the possibility that she was snatched from an American family as a baby, suddenly Lauren’s life seems like a sham.


Divergent Series

by Veronica Roth 

Katherine Tegen Books

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives.


The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Black Swan

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.


The Hobbit 
by J.R.R. Tolkien

Harper Collins Children’s Books

The Hobbit is the unforgettable story of Bilbo, a peace-loving hobbit, who embarks on a strange and magical adventure.


The Phantom Tollbooth 
by Norton Juster

Harper Collins Children’s Books

Milo’s extraordinary voyage takes him into such places as the Land of Expectation, the Doldrums, the Mountains of Ignorance and the Castle in the Air. He meets the weirdest and most unexpected characters and, once home, can hardly wait to try out the Tollbooth again.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs 

Quirk Books

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience.


The Diary of a Young Girl

By Anne Frank


In July 1942, thirteen-year-old Anne Frank and her family, fleeing the occupation, went into hiding in an Amsterdam warehouse. Over the next two years Anne vividly describes in her diary the frustrations of living in such close quarters, and her thoughts, feelings and longings as she grows up.


Animal Farm

By George Orwell

Maple Press

George Orwell’s 1945 satire on the perils of Stalinism has proved magnificently long-lived as a parable about totalitarianism anywhere and has given the world at least one immortal phrase: “Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.”


Lord of the Flies 
by William Golding

Faber & Faber

A plane crashes on an uninhabited island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast.


The Call of the Wild

By Jack London

The Call of the Wild is an adventure novel by Jack London set in Yukon, Canada during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The central character of the novel is a dog named Buck.


The Wind in the Willows 
by Kenneth Grahame

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Alternately slow-moving and fast-paced, the story focuses on three animal characters in a bucolic version of England, and is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality and camaraderie.


Of Mice and Men

by John Steinbeck

Penguin Modern Classics

Drifters in search of work, George and his childlike friend Lennie, have nothing in the world except the clothes on their back – and a dream that one day they will have some land of their own.