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Which books good read aloud and class sets ages 11-13

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Need a little help updating our school resource room. Whilst I know all the Harry Potters etc are winners with the kids, which books would you recommend as something that would hold the kids attention if read aloud in class, also which would do for class sets that both boys and girls would read.


I have just discovered the Robert Muchamore and like some of his series but find they may be a little old in places. What do you know of that is fast paced and will hold them captivated.


Cheers. :)

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Any book by Michael Murpurgo, especially Skellig, Private Peaceful. Robert Swindells is also a good author to read aloud - I like Stone Cold, and is it Abomination? And of course my favourite Markus Zusak - Fighting Reuben Wolfe and Getting the Girl. A special mention to Meg Rosoff too - How I Live Now would be lovely read aloud.

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I second Hazel's suggestion of Michael Morpurgo's books (although Skellig was actually written by David Almond!)


Whilst on the subject of David Almond, his recent prequel to Skellig - My Name is Mina - is brilliant to read aloud, and incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking. It does contain some mild swearing if that's a consideration?


Inkheart by Cornelia Funke is a cracker, and how about Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy? Masses of action and humour and great male and female characters. Not sure about the read aloud aspect, but worth a try.


Kate di Camillo is a very safe bet, I've not read a bad book by her, and they're always lovely to read out loud. Maybe more for the younger end of your age bracket though.


Philip Pullman? I've read The Firework Maker's Daughter and The Scarecrow and His Servant as well as the His Dark Materials trilogy, and either of the former two would be great. I think His Dark Materials is probably best read alone, but others may disagree.


Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series is very popular and while aimed at boys more than girls, I think it could appeal to both.


I'm bound to think of more, but must stop for now!

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Thanks for some ideas, I've been reading up hard during the school holidays and have covered

Archie's Adventures - Leonie Thorpe

Lion Boy - Zizou Corder (little slow and not resolved by the end!)

Cry of The Taniwha- Des Hunt (NZ book and I loved it)

The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster

The End of the Alphabet - FLeur Beale (another NZ author (girly but a possibility)

The 10pm question - KAte De Gold - too advanced

Stig of the Dump - Clive King (loved it but too old fashioned maybe)

A couple of Robert Muchamore (LOVED LOVED LOVED but concerned a little old as the series progresses even though main character is 12)

Uncle Montague's tales of terror - chris priestley (possibility)

Skellig - David Almond (ok but not sure it will hold them)

The Billionaire's Curse - Richard Newsome (great, but maybe a little long)


Currently reading.... Sorry I'm going on here and titles are by the bed so forgive me


Zen and the art of faking it

Help there's a boy in the girl’s bathroom (possible choice)

No more dead dogs (yet to start)


These are just some I've pulled off the shelves.


It's really hard as it's a school that has lots of different nationalities and religious beliefs with varying interests in reading and varied reading levels. Some of these kids would not have a book in their home and I'm hoping, that during the 2 years they're at this school, they will learn to love reading and the library.


Some of the kids are mentally like adults and others are very young for their age. Trying to find something that fits them all is near impossible. I will investigate EVERY book you've mentioned so please don't feel you can't send me a big old list to check out.


I brought the Skulduggery 1 & 2 and have yet to have them returned long enough for me to read and I think one of the kids just walked with the 2nd book, I guess that's a vote of approval albeit and expensive one.


Thanks for your help; you have no idea how hard it is to get this kind of unbiased information.

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