Keep reading for 10 of the best classic books for 9 year olds
“You aren’t old until you are Beverly Cleary’s age” were the words my sweet summer child said one day. According to her, her grandparents aren’t old, even her 98 year old great-grandfather wasn’t old. You aren’t old until you are as old as Beverly Cleary.
Beverly Cleary, the beloved author of more than 30 books, celebrated her 103 birthday on April 12, 1919. And she is my children’s favorite author. They listen to the adventures of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse on repeat. In fact, it can be hard to get them to read anything else.
But that’s a good thing! Classic books like those draw kids in and hook them. The effortless character development as well as the engaging storylines keeps kids coming back year after year.
And that’s my definition of a classic book. A book that has stood the test of time and the critique of children. The familiarity of a title and the warm memory of reading the book for the first time combine to make a classic book. It isn’t a copyright date or a best children’s book ever list. It’s the feeling of an old friend coming to visit.
Classic books can be tricky book recommendations because the varying reading levels. Because my children were late readers (as was Beverly Cleary!) the books I recommend may be slightly below “normal” reading level. Nevertheless, the following books are books my children or I have read loved!
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Descriptions come from Amazon; some are edited for length
Classic Books for 9 Year olds
“Having a little sister like four-year-old Ramona isn’t always easy for Beezus Quimby. With a wild imagination, disregard for order, and an appetite for chaos, Ramona makes it hard for Beezus to be the responsible older sister she knows she ought to be. Will Beezus find the patience to handle her little sister before Ramona turns her big day into a complete disaster? “
“Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.”
“After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!”
“How many penguins in the house is too many? Mr. Popper is a humble house painter living in Stillwater who dreams of faraway places like the South Pole. When an explorer responds to his letter by sending him a penguin named Captain Cook, Mr. Popper and his family’s lives change forever. Soon one penguin becomes twelve, and the Poppers must set out on their own adventure to preserve their home.”
“There are lots of children on Hill Street, but no little girls Betsy’s age. So when a new family moves into the house across the street, Betsy hopes they will have a little girl she can play with. Sure enough, they do, a little girl named Tacy. And from the moment they meet at Betsy’s fifth birthday party, Betsy and Tacy become such good friends that everyone starts to think of them as one person—Betsy-Tacy.”
“Nicky has freckles that cover his face, his ears, and the whole back of his neck. Sitting behind him in class, Andrew once counted eighty-six of them, and that was just a start! If Andrew had freckles like Nicky, his mother would never know if his neck was dirty. One day after school, Andrew works up enough courage to ask Nicky where he got his freckles. When know-it-all Sharon overhears, she offers Andrew her secret freckle juice recipe for fifty cents. It’s a lot of money, but Andrew is desperate. At home he carefully mixes the strange combination of ingredients. Then the unexpected happens…”
“Meet Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle! She lives in an upside-down house with a kitchen that is always full of freshly baked cookies. She was even married to a pirate once! Best of all, she knows everything there is to know about children.When Mary turns into an Answer-Backer or Dick becomes Selfish or Allen decides to be a Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has the perfect cure. And her solutions always work, with plenty of laughs along the way.”
“Bonnie is more than ready to join her older sisters and brother in the many adventures she sees come their way, whether it be sliding along the ice, searching for arrowheads, or going on a journey across the swinging bridge to school. Winter or summer, something is always happening in the Fairchild house, tucked amidst the pine trees of the Kentucky hills one hundred years ago or more. And, four years old or not, Bonnie usually manages to be in the middle of the action!”
“When Elmer Elevator tells a stray cat about his dream of being able to fly, he learns of a captive dragon on Wild Island. The dragon has been forced by the jungle residents to serve as their shuttle across a wide river, and anyone who rescues the dragon from its cruel captors might be entitled to a free ride. Elmer needs no further encouragement to stow away aboard a ship to the island, where he matches wits with hungry tigers, an irate gorilla, cranky crocodiles, and other moody creatures.”
“Welcome to Centerburg! Where you can win a hundred dollars by eating all the doughnuts you want; where houses are built in a day; and where a boy named Homer Price can foil four slick bandits using nothing but his wits and pet skunk.”
Classic books don’t have to be wonderful tales of years gone by. They can be the story of two completely different sisters trying their best to get along, a boy trying to survive his terrible aunts, and the tales of two little girls who are best friends. They are the stories that stay with you forever. That’s what makes a classic book!