The Ten Best: Books for ages 8-12

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The Independent Culture

1 The Little White Horse Elizabeth Goudge I can still remember so much of the detail in this. JK Rowling loves it, and it's being filmed. Perfect for girls who love horses and adventure.

Lion Hudson, £4.99

2 The Switch Anthony Horowitz

Two boys from very different lifestyles switch bodies. Funny and gripping; good for reluctant readers as they can't help but get involved.

Walker Books, £4.99

3 Holes Louis Sacher

An intelligent story made up of jigsaw pieces that come together brilliantly. A great book for children who love puzzles and mystery.

Bloomsbury, £6.99

4 Gideon the Cutpurse Linda Buckley-Archer

Two children sent back 250 years in time have to learn to cope and try to get home. The cliff-hanger ending leaves you longing for the next book.

Simon & Schuster, £12.99 (hardback)

5 Framed Frank Cottrell Boyce

A beautifully crafted story, funny and poignant. Can Dylan steal a priceless painting and get away with it? A lovely one to read with your children.

Macmillan Children's Books, £5.99

6 Edgar & Ellen series Charles Ogden

These twins are so imaginatively wicked, you'll howl with laughter. Not one to give to children with very naughty tendencies.

Simon & Schuster, £6.99

7 Clay David Almond

I love the way Almond writes; his prose is sparing yet deeply evocative. His books are perfect for the more serious and thoughtful reader.

Hodder Headline, £5.99

8 The Edge Chronicles Paul Stewart

The first in the series, Beyond the Deepwoods, follows the adventures of Twig and the wonderful creatures he meets. For readers who love fantasy.

Corgi Children's, £5.99

9 Wolf Brother Michelle Paver

This is the first in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. It takes the reader back 6,000 years to follow the gripping adventures of Torak.

Orion, £5.99

10 Slawter Darren Shan

One of CY magazine's choices for the summer. Lots of children love being scared and Shan is one of the best at scaring them. A gripping read.

HarperCollins, £12.99