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Top 10 Children’s Books for Xmas (7-11yrs)

The second of our expert book guides to help you buy the perfect gifts for Crimbo. For the 7-11 year category – always a toughie – we’ve enlisted the help of the brilliant indie Mostly Books in Abingdon. Thanks for the tips MB!

Meet at the Ark at Eight! by Ulrich Hub

Ulrich hub

Snow and ice all around, and nothing for three penguins to do but fight with each other and smell slightly of fish. But are they good penguins or bad penguins? And will they make it onto the Ark to escape the flood? Meet at the Ark at Eight is a delight: a funny, odd and strangely moral story of three penguins, a plump, over-worked dove, a beautiful butterfly that may or may not get done in, and a quite apologetic God. Perfect for children (and adults!) aged 7+

Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright by Chris Riddell   

goth girl 

Goth Girl and The Wuthering Fright is the third beautifully illustrated book in the Goth Girl series by Chris Riddell, sequel to Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse and Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death. What’s not to like about this entertaining series for children 7+?

How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell    

cressida cowell               

This is the twelfth and final book in the How to Train Your Dragon series for adventurous kids 8+, and is one of those novels that speaks brilliantly to both boys and girls. Dragons vs Humans: is this the end? As Doomsday draws to an end can Hiccup be the Hero of the hour?

A Boy called Christmas by Matt Haig

matt haig

There have been great reviews for Matt Haig’s story about the young Father Christmas – Stephen Fry is even quoted on the cover – and it’s all warranted, with this tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and a boy called Nikolas who isn’t afraid to believe in magic. A dead cert for Christmas! 8+

The Imaginary by A. F. Harrold

A F Harrold

We love this extraordinary tale of love, loss, imagination and not really being there, for fans of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman. Rudger is Amanda’s best friend. He doesn’t exist, but nobody’s perfect. Only Amanda can see her imaginary friend – until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda’s door. Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries.  A brilliantly funny, scary and moving read from A.F. Harrold, this beautiful book is astoundingly illustrated with integrated art and colour spreads by the award-winning Emily Gravett. 9+

 A Slice of the Moon by Sandi Toksvig

Sandi Toksvig

A big thumbs up from us for this action-packed story of one family’s journey across the world written by the brilliant Sandi Toksvig. Slim Hannigan and her family are poor but happy. But things change overnight and suddenly they find themselves facing hunger and danger. Can one brave girl keep her family together no matter what is thrown at them? Go on, have a guess! 9+

Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb

Holly Web

This sequel by author Holly Webb (she wrote the Emily Feather book series) return to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s timeless classic The Secret Garden. It’s 1939 and a group of children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Hall. Emmie is far from happy to have been separated from her cat and sent to a huge old mansion. But soon she starts discovering the secrets of the house – a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary, and a very secret garden.  For kids 9+


An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo


A brand new novel from the incomparable Michael Morpurgo. This is the extraordinary story of the man who could have stopped World War Two. Bobby Byron, the most decorated soldier of WW1, has the chance to end the war before it even begins. Now he has to try and fix his mistake. 11+

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

wolf wilder

A big hit with the Mostly Books staff, this adventure story follows Feodora and her mother who live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer – a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves,  to fight and run, to be wary of humans. When the murderous Russian Army threatens her  existence, Feo is left with no option but to fight back. 11+

Mostly Books, 36 Stert Street, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 3JP. Tel: 01235 525880

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