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Children's fiction for 8-11s

Children's fiction has survived in a way that many thought was impossible as video and computers took hold. There are some great authors writing for children so it is a real shame that children are generally not getting the opportunity to read good stories with a Christian theme. Here's a selection aimed at 8-11s
























Best Mates Too (Bob Hartman, Authentic) RRP £6.99


Big Bart, Tommo and Pip are back for more adventures. Following Jesus, figuring out what he's up to and, inevitably, goofing around. They're best mates, and Jesus' mates too. Six more of their stories - stories that you will find in the Bible if you take a look. Well, sort of, because everything is just a little bit different when you're hanging out with best mates.


"...he thinks it would be helpful if we knew how many people were being fed today.'

  'There are gazillions!' said Pip.

  'That's what I told him,' Bart explained. 'But he said gazillions wasn't a real number. he wanted me to make a REAL count, with PROPER numbers - so he'd know exactly how many there were.'

  'That's rough,' Tommo grunted.

  'You're telling me,' Bart sighed again. 'I started with the kids. But they take a bite and then they run around. So they're here, they're there. You don't know if you counted the same kid once or twice or six times! And there mums are no better. They keep running after them, shouting at them to finish their lunch.'

  'So just count the men,' Pip suggested. 'They're all sitting down, nice and still, stuffing their faces. That'll be easy. And then you can just say there were some women and children too.'

  A huge smile broke out across Bart's face.

  'Pip, you are a genius! I would give you a big hug, except that you smell like fish and even from here you are starting to make me retch.'


Sue says: If you have boys in your groups who you think it would be a waste of money buying a Bible storybook - then this series is your answer.

2011 conference recommended title



I want to be an airline pilot (Mary Weeks Millard, Dernier Publishing) RRP £5.99


This is a new book (published 2010) aimed at 8-11s. Set in rural Rwanda, Shema, an 8 year old goatherd, has many adventures including a goat eating his only T-shirt, a frightening visit to a medecine man and a dangerous brush with a cobra! Through them, and little by little, Shema learns about 'Mister God' and discovers that, although he is an orphan, he has a Father in heaven who cares for him.


Sue says: I found this a really heartwarming story that I really wanted to finish before I had to get off my train.




Liz 'n' Laz No 1 (Titi Omole, Trutalk) RRP £4.99


A compilation of three short empowering stories of two courageous young people who dared to be different. They helped their friends to resolve some of their daily life issues and challenges using the simple codes in the magnificent book- the Bible.



Sue says: A fairly easy read for this age group, giving ideas on the what to say, and some specific Bible verses to use, when their friends need encouragement and help.



The Treasure Hunt (J M Evans, Dernier Publishing) £4.99


Four Christian friends have a mystery to solve. Who is in the back of the white lorry and why are they there? Prayer, faith and their Bible book picture knowledge all help, but as things get more dangerous, Lance, Joel, Debbie and Ravi also need to be courageous and obedient. With God's protection and guidance, will they find out what is going on?


Sue says: An adventure story where the children learn that through their faith and simple prayers, God guides them to act in best way. But the need to obey parents too isn't forgotten.


Best Mates (Bob Hartman, Authentic) RRP £6.99


Seven short stories from Bob Hartman.


Big Bart, Tommo and Pip are best mates. And Jesus' mates too. Not exactly the best known of the twelve disciples, but on the edge of the action there's plenty of partying, goofing around and time to make an idiot of yourself.


Stories you'll find in the Bible if you take a look - well sort of!


Sue says: Bob has written these stories with boys particularly in mind - some smelly and slightly disgusting events included!


Mystery in the Snow (J M Evans, Dernier Publishing) RRP £5.99


Not long after solving their first mystery, Ravi, Debbie, Lance and Joel find themselves with another problem; Ravi's shed has been burgled. Can they find out who did it? The plot thickens as an old lady's handbag goes missing, then a cat disappears. Can all these things be connected? Join the Christian friends as they find answers in unexpected places.





Deepest Darkness (Denise Hayward, Dernier Publishing) £5.99


Ten-year old Abi suffers from terrible nightmares and her life is ruled by fear. On holiday in Canada, she makes a new friend who shows her that true light shines, even in the deepest darkness. Facing her fears one by one, Abi opens up her life to the light and finds a freedom that she never thought possible.


Sue says: A story that will help any child that has fears and nighmares.


Adam and the Tattooed Angel (Heather Butler, Scripture Union) £4.99


Spooky goings-on at the bottom of the garden! Groaning from the graveyard! What can it be? Will Adam stand up for what he believes when things get really scary? Adam sees faith in action as Mum responds to bullies with love and kindness. The text mirrors some of Paul's adventures as he tells people about his faith, and Adam discovers he has to stand up for what is right. 

One of the Superblade fiction series, this tale uses Paul's adventures to show how to cope with bullying.



Matthew and the Mystery Messages (Al Aston, Scripture Union) £4.99


When Matthew starts getting mysterious messages on his mobile he's determined to find out who's sending them. But the mystery isn't easily solved, and he finds he has to confront his greatest fears. Matthew is helped through his journey by some mystery messages from Proverbs.

One of the Superblade fiction series. A great story about seeing things from other people's perspectives and trusting God with our problems.



Ellie and the Clown Crisis (Heather Butler, Scripture Union) £4.99


Ellie's got problems - BIG problems! Polly is taller than everyone else. And a show-off. And a bully! And Mum and Dad keep arguing. And to top it all, Mum wants to be a CLOWN! Ellie is helped and comforted by seeing how Joseph copes with all the troubles life throws at him.


One of the Superblades fiction series. A great story about dealing with your worries, with a little help from Joseph.




Deadly Emily (Kathy Lee, Scripture Union) £4.99


Emily Smith's family has broken up and her mum has taken her and her brother to the village of Brilby to stay with their gran.

The village is boring after the big city, but Emily’s problems really start when she discovers that another Emily Smith lives in Brilby. They get off to a bad start and become enemies. However, when she starts to find out more about Deadly Emily, she starts to realise why she is the way she is.

This book deals with real issues: family break - up, bullying, friendships, abuse etc.  


Lifepath Adventures: Hard Rock (Fay Sampson, Scripture Union) £4.99


The Lifepath fiction titles for children aged 8-11 are exciting historical adventure stories, based around a Christian character.  


Collan is 12 and old enough to work down the mine, like his brother and father. But excitement turns to terror as a disaster on his first day shows how dangerous life is underground. Will he stay safe? And what will happen when John Welsey visits the town?




Lifepath Adventures: Pilgrim (Eleanor Watkins,  Scripture Union) £4.99


The Lifepath fiction titles for children aged 8-11 are exciting historical adventure stories, based around a Christian character.


It’s early in the 17th century. When we meet Tom he believes he has become an orphan. He has just buried his mother and his father has disappeared - Tom is bitter and hopes that he is dead. Before she died, his mother told him that he should go to Scrooby, her home village. There, some kind people called Separatists would look after him. He sets out for Scrooby and meets up with them. Eventually he joins them on the voyage to the new world.


Lifepath Adventures: In the Shadow of Idris (Ruth Kirtley, Scripture Union) £4.99


The Lifepath fiction titles for children aged 8-11 are exciting historical adventure stories, based around a Christian character.


Bryn lives in the same village as Mary Jones, and is drawn to the girl because she is so different. What will Bryn do when Mary and her mother get into danger? And will he help her get what she wants most?






A Land of Broken Vows (Steve Dixon, SCripture Union) £4.99


The Lifepath fiction titles for children aged 8-11 are exciting historical adventure stories, based around a Christian character.

This exciting historical adventure story brings the world of the 12th century alive. Battles, intrigue, lies, danger, a Queen of England and a a confused boy all combine to form a fantastic fiction book.

This gripping story will help children examine promises in their life as they see how the monks behave and the reasons behind the ways they lived their lives - promises made to God, not to men.











The Book of Secrets (Kathy Lee, Scripture Union) £4.99


Futuristic fantasy fiction echoing 2 Kings 22,23, and an exciting adventure for children aged 8-10. First book in the Lost Book Trilogy.


Far in the future, the sea has taken over, turning huge mountains into islands and swallowing cities whole. Many of the Ancestors were wiped out, but some humans still struggle on: fishing, hunting, keeping away from things left over from the Old Times. Well, who needs the bad luck?

On the island of Insh More, Jamie leads a simple life, but his friend Rob dreams of more - travelling to the great island city of Embra. However, between Rob and his dream lie dangers that neither he nor Jamie have ever encountered before. Dangers that threaten to kill. Can the book in the seal-skin bag save them? 

2011 conference recommended title















The Book of Good and Evil (Kathy Lee, Scripture Union) RRP £4.99


Second book in the Lost Book Trilogy.


Welcome to the magnificent island city of Embra, full of riches, knowledge and power. But for Jamie, Rob and Ali, the city has very different things in store. While Rob gets a job in the castle, Jamie isn't so lucky. War, robbery and treachery follow him wherever he goes, but the book in the seal-skin bag is never far away. Can the words inside save him from certain death?

People are always stealing, cheating each other and looking for a way to get more power and influence. The God of the Old Times has been forgotten by all but a few, but Jesus' followers are there nonetheless, caring for the sick and the needy.

Through the story, children will be able to explore what the Bible says about revenge, about loving your enemies and about depending on God. Jamie, the main character learns about praying to God and is touched by the selflessness of God's followers compared to the other inhabitants of Embra. 


2011 conference recommended title




The Book of Life (Kathy Lee, Scripture Union) RRP £4.99


The last in the Lost Book Trilogy. 


A blind beggar from the south brings a mysterious message to the King of Lothian. An old friend needs your help… But the message is the start of a dangerous mission, taking Rob and Jamie far from Embra to a land of darkness, slavery and death. Will they ever be able to escape? And can they still trust in God, even when he seems far away?

Although a fantastic adventure story in its own right, it will also help children to rely on God in the tough times.


2011 conference recommended title


Fire by Night (Hannah MacFarlane, Scripture Union) £4.99


Kiva and Adalia are orphans, and Hebrews in the land of Egypt. But when the time comes to leave, they get separated and have to learn what it means to rely on God for everything they need. A fiction book for 8 to 11s based on the story of Exodus.

Winner of the SU 2007 fiction competition, Hannah’s innovative writing style came top out of almost a hundred entries. 



The Scarlet Cord (Hannah MacFarlane, Scripture Union) £4.99


This fiction story is set against the backdrop of the fall of Jericho from Joshua 2-6. It allows children to investigate what it means to be part of God’s bigger plan, and how sometimes we don’t understand or want to do something we think is less exciting even though it is God’s plan. 









Jack and the Wardrobe (Nicola Jemphrey, Scripture Union) £4.99


How do you cope with a dad who drinks too much and a mum who has run off and not told you where she is? Not very well, is the answer for Jack. But that all changes when he walks straight into a wardrobe in the middle of the street. Jack starts to find out about the ‘owner’ of the wardrobe, C S Lewis, and about his own family. What he learns inspires him to make a drastic decision – one that turns his life upside-down for ever.

Through the story, Jack, who is not a Christian, learns about prayer, but initially views it as a kind of magic, leading him to learn about Lewis’ comment that God is not a ‘great magician’. Jack also learns the truth behind Lewis’s description of Aslan being good, not safe.


Rainbow Garden (Patricia StJohn, Scripture Union) £4.99

When her mother leaves her to go on a business trip Elaine is a selfish, spoiled, stuck-up city girl who only gets pleasure in pleasing herself. Will her mother notice the change in her, following her stay with the Owen family in the Welsh countryside? 





Star of Light (Patricia StJohn, Scripture Union) £4.99


Hamid does not want his little blind sister, Kinza, to be sold to a beggar so he decides to rescue her. Together they escape from their mountain village to a town where there may be a new home for Kinza. But this is only the start of their adventures. An exciting story combining Christian truths written by the best selling author.





The Mystery of Pheasant Cottage (Patricia StJohn, Scripture Union) £4.99


Lucy has lived with her grandparents at Pheasant Cottage since she was a little girl, but she has dim memories of someone else. Who was it? What are her grandparents hiding from her? Lucy is determined to find the answers but it turns out to be harder than she expected.

This new edition of The Mystery of Pheasant Cottage is as fresh today as when it was first published in 1978.



Treasures of the Snow (Patricia StJohn, Scripture Union) £4.99


Lucien's teasing of Dani leads to an accident with far-reaching consequences. Annette is intent on revenge and does all she can to make life a misery for Lucien. His only friend is the old man up the mountain who recognises his skill in carving wood and gives him new hope. Set in Switzerland this story of Annett, Lucien and Dani has caught the imagination of countless children.


Patricia St John's classic story of love and forgiveness is as fresh now as when it was first published in 1950.


The Tanglewoods' Secret (Patricia StJohn, Scripture Union) £4.99


Ruth was only good at getting into trouble. Skipping her housework jobs to play with her brother Philip, planning wild schemes to raise money for the camera they both wanted, or just being rude to Aunt Margaret. There seemed to be no end to her mischief until the day she actually did run away.

This new edition of The Tanglewoods' Secret is as fresh today as when it was first published in 1948.


Where the River Begins (Patricia StJohn, Scripture Union) £4.99


The story of the effects of a family break-up on a ten-year-old boy. Fostered by a Christian family while his mother recovers in hospital, Francis experiences real love and forgiveness for the first time. He finds solace in the river, and as he tries to find its source, discovers the source of Christian life.

Patricia St John once again weaves her magic in this beautiful moving story showing Christian truths and values.

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John Lee (Guest) 12/11/2010 08:52
Don't recommend Jack - my daughter found this "real" tale a little traumatic.

Do HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Lily series by Nancy Rue for tweenagers which help young ladies become women of God. Series also comes with excellent non-fiction titles covering the issues raised in the books.

Also for boys I recommend the Chuck Black Kingdom series. A stories about knights serving the Great King. Just what boys need!

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