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11+ Recommended Reading List

11+ Recommended Reading List

We've compiled a list of suitable reading texts ot help with preparation for the 11+ English and Verbal Reasoning exams.

For success in the 11+ exams it is essential that your child has an extensive vocabulary that they can apply to their Verbal Reasoning and  English tests. Encourage your child to read widely choosing and reading books that they like.


When your child is approaching their 11+ entrance examinations they need to be exposed to the sort of language they will face in their actual exam papers. If they read a wide variety of books, including more challenging reading books, this will help them develop a wide vocabulary.

11+ books

Reading modern children’s books and some of the old classics will help your child develop their understanding of how language works, it will expand their vocabulary, which is crucial for the 11+ Verbal Reasoning and English tests, it will also help them understand how texts are composed - a very useful skill for any creative writing 11+ exam.

Reading well-structured books will help improve your child’s creative writing and comprehension as they will learn about grammar, sentence structure, antonyms, synonyms and other aspects of the English language.

Obviously reading widely well help your child’s spelling.

It is also a good idea for your child to read across the genres of books and this should include fiction and non-fiction. A range of difficult to easy texts should be considered but the key is that your child enjoys what they are reading.Reading should be regarded as fun and something that is pleasurable and to be enjoyed. It should never be seen as a chore or something that they “have to do”. If they are not enjoying the book consider parking that book and starting another book.

Some children love reading while others are not so keen - often girls are keener on books than boys - either way encouragement and praise can work wonders especially if you, as the parent, read alongside your child.

There are hundreds of suitable 11+ related books to choose from and the following list is intended as a list of suggestions. Since you will know your child best help them to make sensible choices choosing books, they will enjoy. Many of the books listed below are also recommended by schools as suitable reading books and the list contains some classics and some modern texts.

Anna Sewell - Black Beauty

Anne Fine- Upon Cloud Nine: Flower Babies

Berlie Doherty - Street Child

Beverley Naidoo- The Other Side of Truth

C.S. Lewis - The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe

Clive King - Stig of the Dump

Cornelia Funke - The Thief Lord

David Almond - Skellig

Dodie Smith - The Hundred and One Dalmatians

E. Nesbit - The Railway Children

Eoin Colfer- Artemis Fowl

Erin Hunter - Warrior Cats

Eva Ibbotson - Journey to the River Sea

Frances Hodgson Burnett - The Secret Garden

Garth Nix- Sabriel

H.G. Wells- The War of the Worlds

Ian Serraillier - The Silver Sword

J.M. Barrie - Peter Pan

J.R.R Tolkien - The Hobbit

Jack London - Call of the Wild

Jack London- White Fang

Jamila Gavin- Coram Boy

Joan Aitkin - The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

John Steinbeck- The Pearl

Kenneth Graham - The Wind in The Willows

Lewis Carroll - Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Louis Sacher- Holes: Small Steps

Louisa May Alcott - Little Women

Lucy Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables

Lynne Reid Banks - The Indian in the Cupboard

Malorie Blackman - Noughts and Crosses

Mark Twain- Tom Sawyer

Mary Poppins - P.L. Travers

Michael Morpurgo - Kensuke’s Kingdom

Michelle Magorian - Goodnight, Mister Tom

Michelle Paver - Wolf Brother

Paul Gallico - Jennie

Penelope Lively - A Stitch in Time

Philip Pullman - The Firework-Maker’s Daughter

Phillippa Pearce - Tom’s Midnight Garden

Richard Adams - Watership Down

Robert Louis Stevenson - Kidnapped

Roger McGough - The Ring of Words (An Anthology of Poetry for Children)

Rosemary Sutcliffe- The Eagle of the Ninth

Rudyard Kipling - The Jungle Book

T.H. White - The Sword in the Stone

This English book will help to improve your child's standards in 11+ English.

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