What a great time to pick up a book and become engrossed with a good story. The following books are perfect for ages nine and up unless otherwise indicated. These outstanding books are all well written and include several genres that contain mysteries, fantasy, historical fiction, and more. These books are sure to excite even the most reluctant reader.

The Thirteenth Hour, by Quinn Sosna-Spear, has all the element to keep readers engaged all of the way to the end! Twelve-year-old Rose is having many difficulties dealing with life. Her parents have divorced, she’s being bullied, and feels too weak and lacking confidence to handle the situation. But her life completely changes when her aunt gives her a pocket watch. Her aunt gives directions on how to open magical worlds through this watch. When Rose goes to sleep, she discovers worlds beyond her imagination. But she also discovers her strengths and confidence to eventually carry over into her real world. Be ready for an amazing adventure in this amazing book!

The Very Best House in Town, by Meera Trehan, is a powerful story that families and school classrooms should read. The subject matter deals with bullying with a perspective from different points of view. The story has two main characters who are great friends, Sam and Asha, and who are both also autistic. When one friend is accepted into a private school leaving the other to fend for herself, it causes great angst for the other and she feels very alone. There is also a great mansion at the top of a hill which both friends hold in high regard. The mystery woven throughout ultimately dwells on what makes a friend and what makes a home.

City of Spies: Forbidden City (Book 3), by James Ponti, continues with a group of highly intelligent orphans who have recently been adopted, (Book 2), and continue to infiltrate evil organizations and blend in where adults can’t. This book deals with chess maneuvers, missing nukes, a possible defection and much more. The locations these young spies are involved in include Moscow, Scotland and China. If you haven’t read the first two books entitled City Spies Book 1 and City Spies: Golden Gate Book 2, you are missing out on more edge-of-your-seat adventures!

Marie Curious- Girl Genius: Rescues a Rock Star, by Chris Edison and sprinkled with nice illustrations by Ada Newton, is a series of books with three books published so far. These intriguing books are written for ages seven through ten and celebrate girls and their extraordinary abilities in math and sciences. In Book 2, the four friends find themselves involved in locating a band member that has suddenly gone missing. Their latest scientific invention is being used by this popular band when the disappearance took place. This is a fast-paced adventure with highly intelligent protagonists.

Unseen Magic, by Emily Lloyd-Jones, is rich with magical mischief and deals with self-acceptance and resilience. Fin has lived in Aldermere, an enchanted town, for three years and is finally feeling like this is her home. But there is much to notice in this mysterious dwelling than meets the eye: shops that can suddenly vanish into thin air; mysterious doors that can lead you astray. But Fin’s problems begin when she leaves a tea shop with a drink to brew and everything changes. This should be a fun read-aloud.

Birdies Billions, by Edith Cohn, is a realistic fiction book dealing with the importance of telling the truth at all costs and the difficulties of how hard that can be. Birdie is concerned about how hard her mom works for her and to make ends meet. When she finds a half a million dollars in an abandoned house, she feels this will solve all their problems. But this actually brings an onslaught of challenges that she will have to remedy. This most interesting story begs for much discussion in family or school settings.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition (MinaLima Edition), by J. k. Rowling, displays vibrant and gorgeous full color illustrations. There are eight interactive paper components showcasing the Whomping Willow, the Weaselys’ Burrow, Dumbledore’s spiral staircase leading to his office and more.  The overall graphic design is beautiful and will become a valued treasure. The book cover is exquisite making this the perfect keepsake for a lifetime.

Attack of the Killer Komodos, by Summer Rachel Short, will grab you in the first chapter and not let up until the end! This fantastic read has all the elements of a great book with adventure, mystery and even education. The two protagonists, Maggie and Nate, get split up from their group while exploring Yellowstone Park during a minor earthquake. When they attempt to locate their group, they encounter many different extraordinary animals including Komodo dragons. There is so much to learn here you will be compelled to look at the author’s notes to discover which animals are real. The author has another fabulous book with these two main characters you would also enjoy: The Mutant Mushroom Takeover.

Operation Do-Over, by Gordon Korman, is an amazing story dealing with time-travel. Mason and Ty have been best friends throughout their young lives. But at age twelve a new girl arrives to their school and both boys develop crushes. When an in incident causes their trusted friendship to break, they don’t speak for five years. When Mason is seventeen, he is swept into a time-travel experience back to his twelve-year-old self. Now he has a chance to fix things. If you haven’t read any of Korman’s outstanding books, you’re truly missing out!

The Interplanetary Expedition of Mars Patel, by Sheela Chari, is a thrilling science fiction book that is a follow up from the first book, The Unexplained Disappearance of Mars Patel. However, you don’t need to read the first book to completely enjoy this adventure. Six months ago, Mars boarded a spaceship to travel to Mars. And now he has finally arrived. But what he finds there is filled with mystery and that the colonists who arrived earlier are not the only ones living there. Beware, not only will you be turning pages to the end, but there is much science to learn along the way.