Filed Under:

The Best Books For Kids Age 9-14? You Tell Us

Play associated audio

Ever since we launched NPR's Backseat Book Club in 2011, our young listeners have been busy reading — classics like The Wizard of Oz, Black Beauty and The Phantom Tollbooth, and newer tales, like The Graveyard Book, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Lunch Lady graphic novels. (Here's a list of all the books we've read so far.) This summer, with your help, NPR Books will assemble the Ultimate Kids' Bookshelf — a collection of 100 books that every 9- to 14-year-old should read.

To nominate your favorite books for consideration, log in below and write the titles and authors into the comments field. Based on your recommendations, our expert panel — made up of children's book authors and bloggers and librarians — will curate the final list of 100 books. Before you start nominating, here are a few guidelines:

1. Limit yourself to five titles per post. Don't hesitate to nominate a book that someone else has already listed. We'll tally your nominations and take note of the most popular titles.

2. Not too old and not too young. Remember, the age range we are targeting here is 9-14. (If you are looking for YA books, you can check out our audience poll from last summer.)

3. Feel free to nominate a series. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series or the Harry Potter series, for example, will be considered as single, collective works — so don't bother listing the separate titles in the series. To qualify as a collective work, the books in a series must be written by the same originating author or authors, and must tell a more or less continuous story — usually about a consistent group of characters. If it's a very large series — such as Goosebumps or the Nancy Drew books — feel free to nominate your favorite title as an individual work.

Which books did you love when you were this age? Which books do your kids love today? We'll publish our 100-title bookshelf later this summer. For now, send us your lists!

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit

WAMU 88.5

Anne Tyler: "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (Rebroadcast)

In her first live radio interview ever, Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler joins Diane to talk about her 20th novel, "A Spool of Blue Thread."


Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize

An artisanal salt producer is processing brine from ancient ocean deposits below West Virgina's mountains. The company, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, ships to top chefs who value the salt's minerality.

Downed Russian Warplane Highlights Regional Divide On Syria

Hugh Pope, director of communications and outreach at the International Crisis Group in Brussels, explains the growing divide between Turkey and Russia on their priorities inside Syria.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.