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2020 | Best children's books (6+)

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

Discover our favourite picks for older kids and teenagers, from stories empowering women in our nowaday world or in the prehistory, to adventures at sea or in fantastic lands. Romance, humour, mystery and emotions await our young readers.

6-9 years old

Elle a dit non !, Hélène Leroy & Sylvie Serprix | Talents Hauts

In a prehistoric context, this short novel highlights what domestic violence is and the power of the word “no”. One day, Woman has enough of Homo Brutus’s behaviour. He is nice to her, but sometimes he hits her because the fire is too hot, the sun too yellow, or for no reason at all. This time, she doesn’t cry or scream, she stands up and says “no” to him.

Pepper et Carrot (3) : l'Effet Papillon, David Revoy | Glénat

Pepper, the clumsy witch, and her cat Carrot wanted to participate in the big potions' competition, but they end up being judges and they have to choose the winner between all of their rivals... The beautiful watercolour drawings, the humour, the spirit of adventure and the magic will seduce all the dreamy readers.

9-12 years old

Les aventures extraordinaires du mousse, Cristobal Speranza, Nicolas Michel | Magellan & Cie

Aventures await Cristobal Speranza, a 12 years old boy who dreams of travelling at sea. To the great displeasure of his parents, he manages to get hired on the Matador, the captain’s Barbe-Rousse’s ship. Nobody really believes in his capacities, but his courage and cleverness will soon become indispensable.

Les Croques (2) : Oiseaux de malheur, Léa Maze | Les Editions de la Gouttière

The twins’ investigation continues in a gothic, Burtonian’s ambience and their loneliness is more important than ever. Their parents, both undertakers, don’t trust them since their macabre discovery, and their friend Poussin, the funeral engraver, disappeared, putting suspicions on him. They can only trust each other.

Coup de batte, Ahmed Kalouaz | Oskar

Breaking the silence, this is what this novel is about. Following the #Metoo movement, this novel puts the light on sexual aggressions in the sporting field. After Charlotte confides to her friend Félix that their coach had inappropriate gestures, the teenager becomes aware that other girls in their athletic club are silent victims of this man and he decides to break the silence...

From 12 years old

La Théorie de l'Iceberg, Christopher Bouix | Gallimard

Six months after a surfing accident, Noé, 15 years old, is still chocked, his phobia of the ocean and his stutter are still there. But what can one do in summer, in a sea city when there is no reason to go to the beach? A writing contest and the encounter of Lorraine, will change his world and help him overcome his trauma.

La passe-miroir (4) : La tempête des échos, Christelle Dabos | Gallimard

Volume 4 of the successful Passe-Miroir series sees Ophélie joining a psychiatric institution to solve the mystery of the collapsing arches. Will she finally find “The Other” despite not knowing what she looks like? Christelle Dabos ends this breath-taking story with brio and the many ingredients which contributed to the success are as present as ever: a smart heroine, a stubborn scarf, humour, fantasy elements and an epic love story.

Comme un garçon (4) : Les hommes fragiles, Jenny | Delcourt

Besides sharing the same interest in Charlotte, Gabriel and Amaury now share the same bedroom. They challenge each other to find out who will be favoured by the teenager, but little by little their antagonism seem to turn into complicity. Each of the characters learns to grow and develop their self-confidence in this love triangle.

From 15 years old

Premier arrêt avant l'avenir, Jo Witek | Actes Sud Junior

Pierre, a brilliant student, just finished high school in the countryside and is ready to integrate one of the best universities in Paris. He is following the perfect way, but on the train, he meets Olympe, a carefree young adult who is on her way to a humanitarian mission. He doubts, what if, at 18 years old, he could decide his own future and not take the path written for him?

It, Catherine Grive | Gallimard

Jo, 14 years old, is called “it” by his classmates, the neutral English pronoun, which suits him. But what doesn’t suit him is his female body, which he sees in the shower, in the mirror... After an unfortunate event, Jo finds the courage and the words to tell his family that his gender doesn’t suit him and that he doesn’t want to be called Joséphine anymore.

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