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Best Books For Advanced Readers (Age 11 To 12)

advanced readers

Are your book-loving children progressing beyond the reading level of their peers? Use our guide to learn about the best places to discover fresh reads for your children. There are also numerous social media groups that you can join to trade or seek book recommendations — an example is the Gifted Children – Advanced Readers group on Facebook. 

Below, a mother of two advanced readers shares some of the books that her older son, now 11, has enjoyed. In an earlier post, she has also recommended series books that have worked for her younger son, age eight. 

Be sure to bookmark her lists if you’ve been having trouble finding age-appropriate books for advanced readers!

Fiction Titles

advanced readers

Science Chronicles (Singapore Series)

Publisher: Institute of High Performance Computing

Background: The Science Chronicles competition, organised by A*STAR over several years, is a science-fiction writing competition for local upper secondary school and junior college students. The Science Chronicles books are compilations of the winning stories from these competitions. 

Recommended Age: 11+

Commonsense Media Rating: N.A. 

Additional Info: Read about the Science Chronicles competition.

Find It At The Library: Print editions available.

Genius (Series) 

Author: Leopoldo Gout

Synopsis: This series from filmmaker Leopoldo Gout follows the lives of three bright teenagers who are also best friends: Rex, one of the best coders in the world; Tunde, a self-taught engineering whiz; and Painted Wolf, one of China’s most respected activist bloggers. The three teens get caught up in a competition known as Zero Hour, where 200 of the best minds pit their skills against one another. 

Recommended Age: 12+

Commonsense Media Rating: N.A. 

Additional Info: View series details

Find It At The Library: Print editions available.

The Maze Runner (Series)

Author: James Dashner

Awards: View details.

Synopsis: When Thomas wakes up in a lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers — boys whose memories are also gone. Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out, and no one’s ever made it through alive. Then, a girl arrives. And the message she delivers is terrifying: Remember. Survive. Run.

Recommended Age: 12+

Commonsense Media Rating: Mild-to-moderate warnings

Additional Info: View series details

Find It At The Library: Print, e-book, and audiobook editions available.

Zodiac (Series)

Author: Romina Russell

Synopsis: A sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series, set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs. The protagonist of the story is Rhoma Grace, a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates are using measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rhoma looks up at the night sky and makes up stories. When a violent blast strikes her world and kills thousands of citizens, Rhoma is named House Cancer’s new leader. As a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, she accepts the responsibility and embarks on her new journey.

Recommended Age: 12+

Commonsense Media Rating: N.A. 

Additional Info: View series details

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.

Alex Rider (Series)

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Synopsis: They said his uncle Ian died in a car accident. But Alex Rider knows that’s a lie, and the bullet holes in the windshield prove it. Yet he never suspected the truth: his uncle was really a spy for Britain’s top secret intelligence agency. And now, Alex has been recruited to find his uncle’s killers…

Recommended Age: 11+

Commonsense Media Rating: Moderate warnings.

Additional Info: View series details

Find It At The Library: Print, e-book, and audiobook editions available.

The Hunger Games (Series)

Author: Suzanne Collins

Awards: View details.

Synopsis: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to death before — for her, survival is second nature. 

Recommended Age: 12+

Commonsense Media Rating: Mild-to-moderate warnings

Additional Info: View series details

Find It At The Library: Print, e-book, and audiobook editions available.

The Belgariad (Series)

Author: David Eddings

Awards: View details.

Synopsis: It all begins with the theft of the Orb that for so long protected the West from an evil god. According to an age-old prophecy, as long as the Orb was at Riva, its people would be safe from evil. 

Garion, a simple farm boy, is familiar with the legend of the Orb, but skeptical about all things to do with magic. Until, through a twist of fate, he learns not only that the story of the Orb is true, but that he must set out on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger to help recover it. 

Recommended Age: 12+

Commonsense Media Rating: N.A. 

Additional Info: View series details

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.

Ranger’s Apprentice (Series)

Author: John Flanagan

Awards: View details.

Synopsis: They have always scared him in the past — the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. And now 15-year-old Will, small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. And, as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom, and he will not be denied…

Recommended Age: 10+

Commonsense Media Rating: Moderate warnings.

Additional Info: View series details

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.


Non-Fiction Titles

advanced readers

What Einstein Told His Cook

Author: Robert L. Wolke

Synopsis: Curious about the science of foods? What Einstein Told His Cook will answer all your questions in everyday, jargon-free language. Chemistry professor and Washington Post food columnist Robert L. Wolke debunks misconceptions, helps you make sense of food labels, and teaches you not to be deceived by false advertising. 

Recommended Age: 12+

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.

Liquid Rules

Author: Mark Miodownik

Synopsis: We all know that without water we couldn’t survive, but do we really understand how much we rely on liquids, or the destructive power they hold? Set over the course of a flight from London to San Francisco, Liquid Rules offers readers a fascinating tour of liquids, told through the language of molecules, droplets, heartbeats, and ocean waves. 

Recommended Age: 12+

Find It At The Library: Print editions available.

Is That A Fact

Author: Joe Schwarcz

Synopsis: In Is That a Fact?, science writer Joe Schwarcz navigates through the storm of misinformation to separate fact from folly: Are GMOs really harmful? Is BPA dangerous or just a victim of media hype? Is organic better? Schwarcz questions the credibility and motives of “experts” in this easy-to-understand yet critical look at what’s fact, and what’s plain nonsense. 

Recommended Age: 12+

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.

For The Love Of Physics

Author: Walter Lewin

Synopsis: For more than 30 years as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Walter Lewin honed his singular craft of making physics not only accessible but truly fun, by putting his head in the path of a wrecking ball, supercharging himself with 300,000 volts of electricity, and demonstrating why the sky is blue and why clouds are white. Now, Lewin takes readers on a marvelous journey in For the Love of Physics, opening our eyes to the ways in which physics can reveal the hidden workings of the world all around us.  

Recommended Age: 12+

Find It At The Library: Print, e-book, and audiobook editions available.

Storm In A Teacup

Author: Helen Czerski

Synopsis: In Storm in a Teacup, Helen Czerski links the little things that we see every day with the big world we live in. Each chapter begins with something small — popcorn, coffee stains, or refrigerator magnets — and uses it to explain some of the most important science and technology of our time.   

Recommended Age: 12+

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.

 

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