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Books for younger readers who are looking for something more...

Often around this area I'm finding that there are a lot of kids reading above their age level. They're voracious readers who devour any books that come their way. As a result parents are despairing of both keeping up with them and making sure there's nothing to unsuitable for them in their chosen novels. So here's a few books I've read myself that might appeal for kids between 8-10 who want to read books that are more challenging. Take note that a lot of these are fantasy books, because they often don't have unsuitable themes, but be careful of some of the books on the more realistic end of the spectrum as many of them have references to things that ten year olds don't need to know about just yet.

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy- a walking talking skeleton, who is the Sherlock Holmes of the magical community. With his kick-butt sidekick Valkyrie, she's everything a good heroine should be. The first few books are amazing and then they descend into more violence than possibly needed but are otherwise fantastic.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - now don't scoff at this suggestion. I read these books before they'd even been released (one of the perks of being a new-book seller) and adored them. Also keep in mind, reading about the horrible stuff is not nearly as confronting as watching it at the movies.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld - this is a terrific introduction to the genre of Steampunk. The first book in a trilogy, its simply written but with enough action and adventure for any kid.

Bartemaus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud - this is definitely for the more advanced reader, looking for something funny that will also challenge their reading capabilities. Set in an alternate universe where magicians rule the world thanks to some very put-out Genies.

Getting over Garrett Delany - perfect for girls who want to realistic teenage fiction but doesn't have anything beyond a bit of kissing. I loved the empowering message in this story that sometimes as a girl we can hide our own personality because that's what we think we want, when actually we're being subtly manipulated all the time.

Pocketful of Eyes by Lilli Wilkinson - loved the awkward teenage girl in this story of murder and taxidermy at the local Museum of National History. Funny with a twist at the end that'll keep you guessing. There's some kissing in this be warned!

Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park - what a classic! With a bit of time travel, a love story and a terrific peek at what Sydney was like to live in the 1800s, I can't begin to tell you how many times I read this book when I was a teenager.

Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne - almost everyone has heard of this book or at least seen the movie. Yes, it really was written as a kids book to introduce through the eyes of another child what it was like living in those times. A great conversation starter about world history and how it's still relevant today.

Holes by Louis Sachar - told almost like a fairytale, this hilarious story of poor Stanley Yelnates and his terrible luck. There are a lot of holes dug in this book and yet it still manages to be interesting.

Deadly Unna? By Philip Gwynne - looking for something to introduce the idea of racism and how it can be insidious? This is the perfect book. Two mates are from opposite sides of town, one white, one Aboriginal and they're only friends because they're on the footy team together really. So what happens when there's a break in at a shop and all the aboriginal kids are rounded up?

Now as you know, we're second hand here so although many of these are often on the shelves I can't promise we'll have every one of these in stock. However you can always pop your name in the Wishlist and next time it comes in I'll give you a call.

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