Selecting the correct book for 10 to 12 years old is quite crucial. They are not teenagers yet but already crossed the early-reader stage. Hence quite comfortable with bigger books, non-fiction, etc. The books children read at this age have quite an impact on their thought process.
This is also the time when children develop interests in particular genres, styles, writers. Many Indian authors have written exclusively for this age group. Some are new-age authors who have written content relatable with today’s world. Others are all-time favourite books for this demographic.
The below list is a balanced mix of all topics and types – starting with Adventures, Constitution of India, tween-age dilemmas, Indian history, geography, some fictions.
Mayil Will Not Be Quiet
Niveditha Subramaniam (Author), Sowmya Rajendran (Author)
Mayil, the 12-year-old protagonist finally has her chance to say all she wants, in her diary! Created in a setup of southern India, the story is full of confusion and confidence of adolescence, gender stereotyping from all around while the 12-year old steer through daily dilemmas.
In a beautiful narration, the book handles all confusions of this age group quite earnestly – starting with inferior complex, friends, periods, curiosity about sex, and everyday adult problems. Highly recommended read for girls aged 10-13 years. Check more in Amazon.
The Man Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag
Jim Corbett (Author)
If there is one book that can mark the entry of tween and teens into adult reading, this book from Sir Jim Corbett is it. The book provides wonderful insight into the simple lives lead by the mountain folks of India and also on the behavior of animals and birds in the Jungle. A truly gripping account of hunting a man-eater who seemed to possess supernatural finesse and intelligence. A non-fiction from one of the best hunters ever! Check more in Amazon.
Read More: 7 Indian Classic Books for Children to Read
We the Children of India: The Preamble to our Constitution
Leila Seth (Author), Bindia Thapar (Illustrator)
Former Chief Justice of India Leila Seth introduces the Indian Constitution to the youngest reader. A book to explain what democracy, republic etc really mean. A great book to remind today’s children and even adults, who are born in free India, not to take Independence for granted.
The background stories of the writing of the constitution, little unknown anecdotes, original photographs, beautiful Illustrations make this book really appealing for both adults and children. A great way to teach your 10-12 years old about Indian democracy! Check details in Amazon.
Mathematwist: Number Tales From Around The World
T V Padma (Author), Proiti Roy (Illustrator)
This book is a fascinating collection of mathematical tales from around the world, from a country known to possess number power since ancient times. The stories encourage children to think, rationalize, and tickle their brainpower. The math behind ‘Magic’ is quite simple when explained correctly, as this book does! A worthy book for any child’s book collection. Check details in Amazon.
Narayan R.K. (Author)
Malgudi Adventures is another marvel from celebrated Indian author R.K. Narayan for children aged 10 to 14. One will fall in love with all the characters – be it Babu, who tried to set up the lights for his sisters’ Navaratri exhibition or the snake charmer boy or Raju or Chandran. The stories are quite interesting and refreshing in typical R.K. Narayan style. A must-read for every child. Check more in Amazon.
Also Read: Indian Mythology books for children
She Can You Can: The A-Z Book of Iconic Indian Women
Garima Kushwaha (Author)
The book is a biography of 26 iconic Indian women, one for each letter of the English alphabet. Each story is complemented with an illustrative sketch. It includes pioneering women from all walks of life – starting with scientists, doctors, activists, painters, dancers, astronauts, comedians, political leaders, and many more. Quite an inspiring gift for any child. Check details in Amazon.
My India: Ideas for the Future : Notes for the Future
A P J Abdul Kalam (Author)
This book is a compilation of speeches from Dr. Kalam, in his post-presidency years delivered in institutions in India and abroad. They include his ideas on science, nation-building, poverty, compassion and self-confidence. The people’s president always held children close to his heart, urged every child to pursue their dreams, to be the best they can be, creating a better India. Suitable for age group 9 to 14 years. Check more in Amazon.
Let’s Go Time Travelling: Life in India Through the Ages
Subhadra Sen Gupta (Author), Tapas Guha (Illustrator)
Did they design jewelry in Harappa? Was King Ashoka fond of chewing paan? Who played pachisi, chaupar and lam turki? Through short stories and funny trivia, this book provides the children glimpses into how people lived in different times throughout the history of India.
Written in a conversational, light-hearted way, this book will encourage children to learn about history. Ideal for age group 9 to 14, this is how history should be taught to children! Check more in Amazon.
Girls of India: A Chola Adventure
Anu Kumar (Author)
A fictional story about 12 years old Raji set in 990 CE, Tanjore, India. Will she be united with her lost family? Will peace return to the kingdom? A gripping tale set in historic background. Check more in Amazon. You can also check out other books from this series.
Girls of India: A Mauryan Adventure
Girls of India: A Harappan Adventure
A Trail of Paint (Looking at Art)
Anjali Raghbeer (Author), Soumya Menon (Illustrator)
This book is for all the art lovers out there. It is a fictional story set in by-lanes of Kolkata, dealing with fake and forgery in the painting world. Quite a gripping tale that takes one through the evolution of Jamini Roy’s paintings.
An easy read with exciting twists, adventures to keep readers hooked throughout. Opens ones horizon about the art world. Check details in Amazon
Also Read: 11 Children’s Books about Indian Culture
Letters from a Father to his Daughter
Jawaharlal Nehru (Author)
This book is a collection of 30 letters sent in the year 1928 by Nehru began to his 10-year-old daughter Indira when she was in Mussourie and he was in Allahabad. The diverse set of letters contain topics ranging from the existence of earth, human, animal, races, faith, beliefs of that time, history of the world.
Beyond the literary importance and learnings, these letters are teachings from a father to his daughter.
This book is still relevant even after almost 100 years! Check more in Amazon
Ghost Stories of Shimla Hills
Minakshi Chaudhry (Author)
This book is recommended for children who love to read ghost stories and travelers. It is a gripping book with 15 short stories set in Shimla. Makes one want to run to Shimla and explore the hills and nature. One can even visit the places where the stories were set up. Check more in Amazon
A Children’s History of India
Subhadra Sen Gupta (Author)
This book can be enjoyed by anyone interested in knowing about India – 10 or 70 years old alike. Starting with Jambudeepa, this book narrates Indian history sequentially. Interesting anecdotes and Did You Knows, makes this book an engaging read. The glowing reviews from all the readers is a true testimony about the book’s power. Check more in Amazon
Shah Jahan and the Ruby Robber
Natasha Sharma (Author)
This is an engaging book from the History Mystery series. Even though the story is fiction, the author’s knowledge about the historical facts is clearly evident through the skillfully woven facts and highlights at the end. Suitable for children aged 9 to 14 years. Check more in Amazon
The Emperor Who Vanished: Strange Facts from Indian History
Kavitha Mandana (Author)
Dive into this book of odd and wonderful facts from the pages of Indian history. Disappearing emperor, beetle wings fashion accessory, elephants parading in frozen streets of St Petersburg, Russia -learning history can never be boring! Even though written for children in mind, this book is for all ages. Stories on trade, monuments, archeology, agriculture, art, music from ancient India written in a simple style, make this book an exciting read! Check more in Amazon
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