When you pass that line between being twelve and thirteen, it feels a bit as though you’re expected to just stop reading children’s literature, and move on to YA lit. But that doesn’t mean that children’s literature is bad, or that you’re not allowed to read it anymore. There are a ton of great children’s books that are still just as great to read when you’re older as they were when you were younger. Here are a few of my favorites!
First Test by Tamora Pierce. Keladry of Mindelan is the first girl to try for her knight’s shield under the new law that women can attempt knighthood. She applies, and gets accepted to the training program, but under one condition—she must undergo one year of probation, and then it will be decided if she is allowed to continue. Kel must prove her worth to the men running the program, and show them that women are just as good at men in a fight.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones. Sophie Hatter is the oldest of three sisters, and destined to be unlucky. She resigns herself to a life making hats in her family’s hat shop, until one day a witch comes in and changes Sophie into an old woman. Sophie, who is forbidden from telling anyone what has happened to her, must try to live her life as an old woman, and in doing so, she comes to the mysterious castle of the feared Wizard Howl.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Milo finds himself bored with just about everything. When a mysterious tollbooth appears in his room one day, he drives through it (after all, he has nothing better to do), and arrives in a mystical world of wordplay. Milo, Tock the Dog, and the Humbug embark on an adventure through the Kingdom of Wisdom.
Alex and the Ironic Gentleman by Adrienne Kress. When a new teacher appears at 10 1/2 year-old Alex’s school, bringing fencing lessons and a secret with him, Alex feels overjoyed. Soon, however her new favorite teacher, Mr. Underwood, gets kidnapped by pirates, and Alex must embark on a journey to rescue him, running into a bizarre, yet loveable, cast of characters while on the way.
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. Princess Cimorene hates being learning to be a lady. She’d much rather be fencing, or baking cherries jubilee, or learning magic or Latin, than learning the proper times to scream when one is being carried off by a giant. After receiving some helpful advice from an unusual suspect, Cimorene runs away from home, ending up in the cave of the dragon Kazul. With the help of Kazul, and the interesting people that Kazul knows, Cimorene’s life goes from boring to anything but.