Our Reading List for This Winter Season

With Winter break approaching rapidly, a lot of us are getting ready for a different type of holiday season. We might not have as many large family gatherings as we’re used to, but we’re still keeping friends and loved ones in our minds as the weather starts to get colder and winter break approaches.

Because we’re most likely going to be spending more time inside this season than we usually do, we at Brooks School Summer Programs compiled our list of favorite books for kids aged 9-12. With so much time on our hands, we think it’s the perfect opportunity to dive into the world of our favorite books.

We wanted to share a reading list for the winter not only because these books are great and because it’s something we hold dear to our hearts, but also because these books are surefire ways to make a new reader out of someone who might have otherwise passed on the activity. 

Some of the books on this list are newer books, while others are some classics that we grew up with ourselves. What they all have in common is the effect of opening up minds to new experiences, and making us think in new ways.

Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl is a series of eight books written by Eoin Colfer, but we wanted to specifically mention the first book in the series, as it’s a unique and impactful take on the fantasy genre. This story about a young criminal mastermind who orchestrates a kidnapping of fairies in exchange for a ransom of gold involves many different fantastical characters. It plays with traditional tropes we’ve come to know.

A Wrinkle in Time

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention A Wrinkle In Time. This timeless classic by Madeleine L’Engle offers a great exploration into the themes of good and evil. It offers young readers a fantastical escape into the world of intergalactic travel through space and time in an attempt to overcome the challenges of love and eventually have a coming of age.

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

This classic by Jules Verne is a must-read for anyone who’s discovering reading and has taken up an interest in adventure stories. The fantastic tale of Captain Nemo as he descends into the depths of the ocean in his ship, The Nautilus. Not only is it a story that essentially foresaw the invention of the modern submarine, but it’s also the amazing story of a scientist’s quest for knowledge and the perils and wonder of new scientific discoveries.


Hatchet is a remarkable book and a great one for kids to read because it paints a fantastic picture of survival and the emotional journey one can take as they face the elements seemingly on their own. It’s a story not just of a boy against the wilderness, but the wilderness’s representation of an unknown future and how within, we all have the bravery to adapt to it.

Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas

This is one of the newest books on our list, published just in 2016, but it deserves a read for bringing such a fun new spin on the classic adventure tale. This is the story of a 7th-grade archaeology wiz who finds himself thrown into the adventure of a lifetime, off to the Amazon on a quest to recover his kidnapped parents with the help of his younger sister. The group finds themselves in tight situations but still have humorous quips at every corner, making for a compelling read.

My Side of the Mountain

This is another book similar to Hatchet in the themes it presents and the message it leaves readers with. It tells the story of a 12-year-old boy surviving on his own on his uncle’s abandoned farm in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The story is compelling for those exploring the themes of how young children transition into young adulthood and how the wilderness represents the challenges of the journey.

The Hobbit

There’s not much that can be said about the Hobbit that others have not said already, but it still deserves a read, or even a reread this season as we yearn for some adventure this season. The story of Bilbo Baggins going on the adventure across middle earth is the perfect introduction into Tolkien’s world and will set the stage for future adventure books down the road.

Charlotte’s Web

A true classic that needs no introduction, we feel this is the perfect book for the conclusion of our must-read list. The heartwarming story of Wilbur the Pig and Charlotte the Spider is the perfect reading book for anyone looking for a truly experiential reading. It is a timeless example of rhythm in writing, a story of learning how to build friendship in an unfamiliar world, and how lasting relationships build new forms and bring us to new places.

If you found this list interesting, and want to learn more about the educational opportunities and upcoming summer events at Brooks School Summer Programs, contact us today to learn more!