14 Books Every Girl Should Read Before Age 10

girl reading bookMany of my fondest childhood memories involve being curled up with a good book. Now that I have a daughter, I can't wait to introduce her to some of the classic books that shaped me when I was growing up. So what are the must-reads?


To take a trip down memory lane, I asked other book-loving moms about the stories they read as kids that hold a special place in their hearts. Feel free to share them with the kids in your life -- or even reread them yourself!

"Anne of Green Gables! Who didn't want to run away to Canada and find a best friend after reading that?" -- Sue T., Toledo, Ohio

"The Harry Potter series -- everyone should read these! The themes of love, friendship, and finding family are very strong. They show that doing the right thing and believing in those you love may not be easy but, in the end, it makes you and everyone around you stronger." -- Laura N., Tucson, Arizona

"I wish I could buy a set of the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett for every 9-year-old girl. I love that Tiffany accepts help from her friends but never needs to be saved by adults or a boy." -- Gene G., Evansille, Indiana

"The Little House [on the Prairie] books showed me that there are different ways of being a girl, and that's okay." -- Leah M., Oakland, California

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"A Wrinkle in Time. I like that the main character had faults and that the mom was a scientist. It was pretty groundbreaking. I don't remember another heroine quite like Meg Murray in anything I read growing up. I liked that she was complex." -- Emily S., Cloverdale, California

"The Phantom Tollbooth. The main character grows so much and becomes more self-sufficient in his journey." -- Matilda F., Pittsburgh, PA

"The Diary of Anne Frank had a really profound effect on me as a girl. I think the themes are so relevant today too." -- Aleks C., Evanston, Illinois

"Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I love the lesson that it's okay to be scared but you should do the hard thing anyway, even if you think you aren't smart enough." -- A.S., Los Angeles, California

"Any book by Roald Dahl, particularly Matilda. Dahl’s books are fun and a little weird but all show that being true to yourself will lead to happiness. Matilda shows that being different and smart is a very good thing. True friends are made and a real family is found." -- Ann T., Grand Rapids, Michigan

"From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler -- I loved this book as a young girl. When young Claudia decides to run away, she hides in a museum. That simple setup leads to finding a true friend in family, a mystery to solve, and a realization that sometimes what you're running from is just what you need." -- Mary N., Grand Rapids, Michigan

"The Percy Jackson series. This has my daughter looking up Greek mythology. Any book that inspires research by kids is a winner in my book. It has a great friendship story line along with action and history." -- Ann T., Toledo, Ohio

"The whole Ramona series is so good. Perfect for bedtime reading together or reading on her own." -- Faith D., Saint Paul, Minnesota

"I think I was around 10 when I read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, and it was life changing. I was too shy to ask about a lot of puberty stuff, but this helped me have an idea of what to expect. I'll give it to my daughter for sure." -- Sarah F., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

"Sideways Stories From Wayside School is such a fun read for boys and girls. I remember laughing out loud the whole time I read the stories." -- Susan B., Ames, Iowa

What book would you add to this list?

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