What are the best Mensa-recommended books for ages 9 to 12?

asked by Anonymous
530 contributors
17 solutions
  1. 54


    Candide is a satirical novel by Voltaire. It provides social criticism by telling the story of Candide, who delivers a blow against optimism in the face of life's hardships as he struggles to reunite with the love of his life.

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    Jesse Hughes
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "If you're looking for a Mensa-recommended book for ages 9 to 12, Candide likely isn't a great option. A satirical novel by Voltaire, the underlying themes that make up Candide might be a bit much for a child, so it may be best to keep looking."
  2. 51

    #2Animal Farm

    Animal Farm
    Animal Farm is a short novel by George Orwell that tells the story of a farm that's taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. They set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality, but a revolution starts to show. 

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    Patricia May
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "My child is a super advanced reader, but it's hard to find books that are age-appropriate AND on an advanced level. So I did a search for Mensa-recommended books for ages 9 to 12. This was one of the results and I remember loving it as a teenager. She read it all in one day and now lists it as one of her favorites."
  3. 48

    #3The Canterbury Tales

    The Canterbury Tales

    The Canterbury Tales is a classical literature novel written by Geoffrey Chaucer and translated by Nevill Coghill. With over 500 pages, this book is published in 2003 by Penguin Classics.


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    Jessica Harper
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "I never really enjoyed the Canterbury Tales in high school, but I enjoyed them after reading this collection of stories. My kids, however, love the stories so I continue to buy and read them with them. Reading because you want to is so much better than being forced to in school, it causes resentment and then you don't embrace the reading nor enjoy it"
  1. 47

    #4For Whom the Bell Tolls

    For Whom the Bell Tolls
    For Whom the Bell Tolls is a book by Ernest Hemingway. Widely regarded as his greatest masterpiece, it tells the story of Robert Jordan, an American who fought with leftist guerrillas during the Spanish Revolution in the 1930s.

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    Richard Grant
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "For Whom the Bell Tolls is a book written by Ernest Hemingway and is widely regarded as his greatest masterpiece and the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight." The book tells the story of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal."
  2. 44

    #5Crime and Punishment

    Crime and Punishment
    Crime and Punishment is a classic of Russian literature by Fyodor Dostoyevsky published in 1866. It tells the story of ex-student Rodion Raskolnikov who plans to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker to liberate himself from poverty.


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    Virginia Wallace
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "My coworker's 10 year old daughter was chosen for the Mensa program and was reading the book Crime and Punishment, a classic of Russian literature written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. She really enjoyed the book as it fit her program perfectly and was also recommended by her teacher."
  3. 42

    #6Cyrano De Bergerac

    Cyrano De Bergerac

    Cyrano de Bergerac is a play by Edmond Rostand. The play is loosely biographical, based on the life of the French author, Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac. Set in 17th century Paris, the play is about the struggles of a man with a large nose.


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    Félix Rivera
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "The Mensa group is considered to be one of the smartest groups in the world so any recommendation from them is highly regarded. They recommend Cyrano De Bergerac for kids that are 9 to 12. It is a great read because it deals with self acceptance."
  4. 42

    #7Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies is classic fiction written by William Golding published first in 1954 which is about a group of English schoolboys who survived a plane crash and got stranded on an uninhabited island.


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    Lawrence Thomas
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "This is basic reading for young people. It gives a chance to younger kids (especially boys..but girls too) to imagine life without adults. It wouldn't necessarily be great. In fact it might be downright bad. The story is compelling and for more mature kids it is a must read."
  5. 37



    1984 is a utopian and dystopian fiction written by George Orwell. First published in 1949, it is included in the NPR Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books.


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    Miguel Ángel Saldaña
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "1984 is not really a recommended book for ages 9 to 12 "
  6. 34

    #9The Fountainhead

    The Fountainhead
    The Fountainhead is a design, art, reference and non-fiction instructive guide book about Architecture written by Ayn Rand with the afterword from Leonard Peikoff. It was published September 1996 by Signet.

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    Sharon Alvarez
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I have never heard of this author but I've found the read very interesting. It is a bit erotic, but it was very enticing. I love how the author gives you provoking thoughts and very engaging. The only thing I would change is make the font bigger! It would have hurt my eyes less. Otherwise, a great book!"
  7. 31

    #10Girl with a Pearl Earring

    Girl with a Pearl Earring

    Girl with a Pearl Earring is a historical novel fictionalizing the creation of Vermeer's painting of the same name. It tells the story of Griet, a maid in the Vermeer household, and how she came to be immortalized by the master of light.


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    George Mitchell
    Written on May 16, 2018
    " I like this book a lot. It’s a good read. It was an enjoyable story about paintings. It’s very easy to keep track of the characters, and the social understanding of the time period. I enjoyed the historic fiction, and suspense drama. I couldn’t put the book down at all."
  8. 30

    #11Brave New World

    Brave New World

    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a utopian and dystopian fiction novel published in 1932. This book follows Bernard Marx living a perfect life in a scientifically engineered society until he visited one of the remaining old reservoirs.


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    Bruce Davidson
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "The best Mensa-recommended book for ages 9 to 12 is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Set in a future utopian world the story follows Bernard Marx, as he journey's deeper into the depths of a world he thought was perfectly designed but is anything but. It is a thought-provoking read and a classic."
  9. 26

    #12Dr. Faustus

    Dr. Faustus

    This book, one of Western's literature most popular classics, narrates the story of a German doctor who sells his soul to the Devil in order to become powerful and to obtain knowledge. 


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    Leonardo Rosas
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "Dr. Faustus is a classic, and a great fiction story to get young readers interested in philosophical thought. I read this book as a kid, and it started me down a long path of questioning and self exploration that eventually lead to a love of science, learning, and exploration."
  10. 8

    #13The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye is J.D. Salinger's 1951 classic about teenager Holden Caulfield, who was used as an icon of teenage angst and rebellion. The controversial book has caused debates, mainly because of its vulgar language and themes.


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    Peter Zhang
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "If you are looking for a good Mensa-recommended book for ages 9 to 12, than try out The Catcher in the Rye a J.D. Salinger's 1951 classic. It goes deep into about teenager Holden Caulfield a character who is an icon of teenage angst and rebellion."
  11. 8

    #14All Quiet on the Western Front

    All Quiet on the Western Front
    All Quiet on the Western Front is a book by Erich Maria Remarque that tells the story of Paul Baumer, a soldier in the German army during World War I. The books was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.

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    Susan Welch
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "All Quiet on the Western Front is a classic story that is still relevant today. It is a great tool to teach the history of World War 1 to a new generation in an interesting and engaging manner. "
  12. 6

    #15Nineteen Eighty Four

    Nineteen Eighty Four

    1984 is a George Orwell fiction originally published in 1949. It is filled with political themes and was ranked 13th in the 100 best English novels in 1998. It is about Winston, a man fighting the totalitarian government ruling the land.


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    Deborah Carpenter
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "From reading the overview of this book and the reviews, I would find this book to be more appropriate for high school kids. Ages 9-12 is kind of young for this type of book. It is written back in 1984. However, it seems like a good read. "
  13. 4

    #16Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina is widely regarded as one of the best books ever written by Leo Tolstoy, which was first published in 1878. This follows the story of Countess Anna Karenina and her affair with Count Vronsky.


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    Raymond Howell
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "Ann Karenina is a fine book. However, it is not the most appropriate solution for the topic at hand. I don't feel like this book about marriage and affairs is quite appropriate for children aged 9-12."
  14. 1

    #17Pride and Prejudice

    Pride and Prejudice

    Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows Elizabeth Bennet as she navigates British society and is confronted with how people regard things like upbringing, education, manners, morality, and marriage.


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    Chen Zhang
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "I read this book as part of my concerted effort to fill in literary gaps in my reading history. And, to be honest, reading the current crop of new novels and works of non-fiction was starting to get me down. I needed a break. With few exceptions, it seems, the literary edges are all pretty sharp these days"


Best What are the best Mensa-recommended books for ages 9 to 12
1CandideBooks 54 Paid
2Animal FarmBooks 51 Paid
3The Canterbury TalesBooks 48 Paid
4For Whom the Bell TollsBooks 47 Paid
5Crime and PunishmentBooks 44 Paid
6Cyrano De BergeracBooks 42 Paid
7Lord of the FliesBooks 42 Paid
81984Books 37 Paid
9The FountainheadBooks 34 Paid
10Girl with a Pearl EarringBooks 31 Paid

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