The Best Bedtime Stories for
9- to 12-Year-Olds
by Melissa Taylor
It’s easy. Anyone can do it. And, if you do it every day, it makes a big impact on your child’s reading success.
Reading aloud to your kids.
By reading kids a bedtime story (even your older children), you’re building important literacy skills. Many parents stop reading to their kids around 4th grade, but if you keep reading to your kids, research shows you’ll help keep them reading on their own.
Plus, you can read kids more advanced books than they can read to themselves. All this while spending some good quality time together. Tuck into one of these classic or contemporary bedtime stories for 9- to 12-year-olds with your big kid tonight.
Classic Bedtime Stories
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie wins a coveted spot to tour the mysterious Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and ends up winning more than he can imagine.
Madeleine L'Engle: The Wrinkle in Time Quartet
Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and her friend must travel through time and space to save her father’s life from the evil “IT.” This collection includes all four books in the series.
It’s because of Stanley’s cursed no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather that Stanley got sent to Camp Green Lake where he digs holes all day in the dry lakebed. At least, he does until he discovers something in one of the holes…
The Story of Captain Nemo
Dave Eggers reimagines Jules Verne’s sci-classic through the eyes of 14-year-old Consuelo, who joins an infamous oceanographer to find a feared sea monster, only to discover a far stranger reality. Find similar retellings in the Save the Story series.
New Bedtime Favorites
Snow & Rose
In this lyrical modern fairy tale from author-illustrator Emily Winfield Martin, sisters Snow and Rose must enter the enchanted woods to confront a curse that broke apart their family.
Ranger’s Apprentice Series
Will apprentices with a Ranger who teaches him the skills to defend the kingdom as a battle looms with the evil Morgarath.
Micah believes his Grandpa Ephraim’s stories about the magical Circus Mirandus — and what’s more, he learns the Lightbender owes Ephraim, who’s dying, a miracle. Will Micah be able to find the circus, and will the Lightbender pay what he owes?
In a Glass Grimmly
Jack, his cousin Jill, and a three-legged frog seek a magic mirror for a wish (of course) and encounter bizarre and hilarious adventures, including my personal favorite, the dreaded fire-breathing salamander.
When the lively Penderwick sisters summer at Arundel, they discover a new friend in Jeffrey and share many wonderful adventures.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2021.