Stories For 12 Year Olds
Welcome to our Top 32 Stories for 12 Year Olds collection, specially curated for kids to read online! We understand how important bedtime stories are for children, as they not only help them drift off to sleep, but also encourage learning, imagination, and emotional development. That’s why we’ve put together a fantastic assortment of short, educational, and unforgettable tales that your children will love to read. And the best part? They’re all available as a free PDF download, making it easy to print and enjoy at your convenience!
Our selection of stories includes enchanting fairy tales, exciting adventures, and powerful moral lessons. All of these captivating stories come with pictures for added visual appeal and are available in easy-to-read English so that kids can enjoy them independently or as a fun read-aloud experience. With both famous classics and lesser-known gems, this collection caters to a wide range of preferences, such as interests in adventure, humor, and mystery. We’ve made sure to include stories that appeal to both boys and girls, with timeless themes that will pique the curiosity of your children as they learn and grow.
Ideal for kids in preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school, these stories are perfect for children in their early years (EYFS), toddlers, and older students alike. As they explore this extensive collection, children will not only develop their reading and comprehension skills, but also be exposed to various cultures, learn valuable life lessons, and strengthen their emotional intelligence. So, get ready to embark on a thrilling journey filled with unforgettable characters, as your child drifts peacefully off to sleep while listening to these wonderful bedtime tales. Happy story time!
Top 32 Stories For 12 Year Olds for kids to read online:
- As you please: The story tells of a wicked Duke Frederick who banished his own brother and claimed the duchy as his own. The banished Duke’s daughter, Rosalind, lived with Frederick’s daughter and fell in love with a young wrestler named Orlando. Things took a turn when Frederick banished Rosalind, and she disguised herself as a young man to travel to her banished father in the Forest of Arden. There, she met Orlando and they fell in love. Meanwhile, Orlando’s wicked brother tried to kill him but was saved by Orlando. As Orlando was injured, Rosalind pretended to be him and spoke words of love, leading to their happy ending. The weddings were held atop a beautiful mossy clearing in the forest where the other couples also married, and all lived happily ever after.
- The Winter’s Tale: This story is about King Leontes, who becomes violently jealous of his wife Hermione’s affection for his friend Polixenes. Leontes asks his servant Camillo to poison Polixenes, but Camillo warns Polixenes instead and they both flee. Leontes punishes Hermione and she dies in prison, but not before giving birth to a daughter who is abandoned. Years later, the daughter Perdita is raised by a shepherd and falls in love with Prince Florizel. When their engagement is discovered, they travel to Sicily where they are welcomed by Leontes. Paulina shows Leontes a statue of Hermione, which comes to life revealing the truth of her survival. Leontes is reunited with his wife and daughter, and Florizel and Perdita get married, living happily ever after.
- The Gift of Athena: This story tells the tale of how Athens got its name, where Poseidon and Athena competed to give the city the best gift. Poseidon gave a beautiful horse while Athena gave an olive tree. The gods decided Athena’s gift was better as it represented peace and prosperity, making the city of Athens named after her. The story highlights the importance of respect for the law, freedom of thought and action, and the greatness that can be achieved with the help of the gods. The story is available for download in PDF format.
- The Adventure of the Daughter of the King of Ireland: In this tale, the young king of Denmark, Hettel, seeks advice from his high vassals and liegemen to find a wife. One of his counselors, Morung, suggests the most beautiful girl in the world is Hilda, daughter of the wild King Hagen of Ireland. However, negotiations with King Hagen are dangerous, and many have lost their lives trying to take Hilda as their bride. Yarl Wate and his companions set out to Ireland, where they are welcomed by King Hagen, and Horant enchants Hilda with his song. Eventually, Yarl Wate and his companions have to steal Hilda away, and they return to Denmark where Hettel joyfully marries Hilda. However, King Hagen and his men attack Denmark, and after a long battle, peace is made, and King Hagen and his men return to Ireland.
- The story of the Norse about how everything began: This story is about how everything began before the creation of the world. In a gaping gap, filled with waves, on the north side was the dark House of Mist while on the south was the blazing House of Fire. One day, amidst the brimming ice, the giant Ymir was born. From him came the evil giants and from his sons, came the race of gods, the most important being Odin. After a long war between Odin and the Giant-Kings, the Gods made the world by using Ymir’s body. They made Midgard, the earth, and fenced it with his eyebrows to protect it from evil. Lastly, they created a man named Ask and a woman named Embla, and planted the Tree of Life.
- Horaizan: The story is about two wise men, Jofuku from China and Wasobiobe from Japan, who both have a word written on their heart that troubles them. Jofuku is sent on a mission to find the herb of immortality by a tyrant ruler but ends up on the Island of Eternal Youth where he forgets his troubles. Wasobiobe accidentally ends up on the same island and enjoys its pleasures but is homesick because of the word “humanity” written on his heart. He eventually returns home, grows old, and dies in the arms of a fisherman. The story ends with the fisherman reflecting on the way of all flesh.
- The Child of Maria: A poor woodcutter and his wife give their child to Maria, the mother of baby Jesus, who takes her to Heaven. When she turns fourteen, Maria gives her the keys to the thirteen doors of Heaven and tells her not to open the thirteenth door. The girl obeys for a while but eventually gives in to her curiosity and opens the door, touching the Heavenly fire and turning her finger to gold. When she denies disobeying Maria, she is banished to a wilderness where she is unable to defend herself against rumors of cannibalism. After losing three children through her refusal to admit to her sin, she finally confesses and is forgiven by Maria, who returns her children and gives her happiness for the rest of her life.
- The Water Nymph in the Pond: This fairy tale is about a miller who makes a promise to a Water Nymph who offers him wealth in return. When the miller’s wife bears him a son, he realizes that the Nymph tricked him and fears losing his child to her. Despite his newfound wealth, he is unhappy until his son grows up and marries. However, tragedy strikes when the son accidentally touches the water and is dragged under by the Nymph. The son’s wife eventually saves him by using a golden comb, flute, and spinning wheel to summon him from the water, but they are transformed into a frog and a toad and separated. They spend years searching for each other until a chance encounter reunites them, and they live happily ever after.
- How the Monkey and the Goat Earned Their Reputations: In this story, a tiger invites a goat to visit his friend with him. On the way, they face challenges like crossing a marsh and finding food. The tiger tricks the goat at every turn, but later tries the same tricks on a monkey who outsmarts him. In the end, the goat is beaten for the tiger’s wrongdoings, while the monkey exposes the tiger’s deceit and saves himself. The story explains why people who are easily fooled are called “the goat.”
- How the Monkey Got a Drink When He Was Thirsty: The story is about a mischievous monkey who sings a teasing song about the tiger’s bones and runs away each time the tiger tries to catch him. The monkey eventually tricks an old woman into hiding him in a basket with honey, to cover himself with leaves and go unnoticed to drink water. The monkey then uses resin and leaves to camouflage himself and trick the tiger from attacking him. The monkey keeps repeating the trick until the rainy season arrives and he finds another source of water.
- How the Monkey Escaped Being Eaten: In this story, set in a time when fruits and nuts were scarce, people had to eat meat. The man eventually tries to eat the monkey, but the monkey outwits him by playing his guitar and escaping each time he tries to catch him, until one day the man succeeds. The monkey, when the man is cooking him, tricks the children to let him out of the box by promising to dance for them. He puts some sticks and an empty coconut shell into the pot to fool the man, and then escapes into the treetops. The man tastes the food and realizes he didn’t catch the monkey.
- Naughty Jocko: In this story, a mischievous monkey named Jocko enters the life of a little boy named Neddy. Jocko causes a lot of trouble, including making a mess in a candy store, playing pranks on the family, and frightening poor Nelly. Despite all the chaos, Neddy grows attached to Jocko, but eventually, the monkey dies in a trap. However, Jocko’s presence had a positive impact on Neddy’s behavior, as his aunt would threaten to tie him up like the monkey if he misbehaved.
- Echo and Narcissus: In this story, a talkative nymph named Echo is punished by Juno for distracting her from Jupiter’s misdeeds, limiting her speech to only repeating the last words she hears. Echo falls in love with a vain man named Narcissus but is unable to communicate her feelings properly. Narcissus, in turn, falls in love with his own reflection and eventually dies from his obsession, while Echo withers away and turns into stone, leaving only her voice echoing in the forest. The story teaches the power of love and humility and how seeking something too intensely can lead to destruction.
- Hyacinthus: This is a Greek myth about the friendship between a prince named Hyacinthus and the god Apollo. During a game of discus, the jealous wind god Zephyrus changes the course of the discus, which hits and kills Hyacinthus. Apollo, heartbroken by the loss of his friend, honors him by turning him into a beautiful flower, the hyacinth. The flower becomes a symbol of love and friendship, reminding people of the bond between Apollo and Hyacinthus. The story ends with a suggestion to download an ebook of the story.
- The Bumble-Bee: The story is about Uncle Paul teaching Jules and Emile about the importance of the relationship between insects and flowers, and how they work together to produce new life. Uncle Paul conducts an experiment with pumpkins to demonstrate the role of pollen reaching the stigma, and goes on to explain the various ways in which pollen can be transferred by insects. He highlights the importance of a drop of nectar and a bright spot in showing insects the way to the corolla of closed flowers. Uncle Paul explains that these intricate relationships between insects and flowers cannot be a product of chance and are evidence of an intelligent design. Downloads of the story in PDF format are available.
- Shells: Uncle Paul shows his nephews his collection of shells from all over the world and tells them about the creatures that live in them. He explains that shells are the homes of mollusks and shows them different types of shells, including sea-shells, fresh-water shells, and land-shells. Uncle Paul also teaches the children that the snail makes its own shell from its substance, as humans make teeth, and that the snail’s shell is used as a dwelling. Although snails eat flowers, Uncle Paul reminds the children that they can learn many beautiful things from the creature.
- The Sea: A group of children ask their Uncle Paul about the sea, and he explains its vastness and depth, the different ways the sea appears depending on the brightness of the sky, and the color of its waters. The children come to understand that the sea is much larger and deeper than they ever imagined, and that even the largest river in France could not fill the thousandth part of the ocean basin in twenty years. Overall, the story serves as an educational tool about the sea.
- Waves, Salt and Seaweed: The story is a conversation about the ocean and its waves, saltwater, and seaweed. The characters discuss the power of waves and their role in keeping the ocean healthy and preventing it from becoming putrid. They also talk about the abundance of marine plants, called seaweed, which are different from land plants and provide nutrition for many sea creatures. Finally, the story provides a link to download an ebook version of the story.
- The Wasp and the Cricket: The Yellow-winged Wasp leads a busy life; she tears open her cocoon in July and spends August collecting honey, then in September she must dig burrows and hunt Crickets for food for her young. Ten or twelve Wasps work together to build the burrow and capture the prey, and the Yellow-winged Wasp is especially skilled at fighting and paralysing the defensive Cricket while avoiding its sharp spikes. Once she has gathered enough food, she lays her eggs and buries them, then returns to a carefree life until she dies in the first cold snap.
- Rock Me to Sleep, Mother: In the story, a tired and weary person lays in bed and wishes to be a child again. To their amazement, the wind carries their wish and their mother appears, as she was during their childhood. The person feels safe and protected in their mother’s embrace, and asks her to sing to them. The mother’s love and presence brings peace and chases away the pain of adulthood. The person falls asleep, comforted by the love and protection of their mother. The story is accompanied by a link to download an eBook of the story.
- Earthquakes: The story is about the villagers discussing strange occurrences in their village, such as bellowing cattle and shaking beds. Uncle Paul explains to his nieces and nephews that these could be signs of an earthquake, a powerful and deadly natural disaster that can destroy entire cities and swallow up people, animals, and buildings. He tells the story of the 1775 earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal, which killed 60,000 people in six minutes, and the four-year-long earthquake in Southern Italy that killed 80,000. Uncle Paul also condemns the behavior of people who take advantage of disasters to loot and rob, instead of helping those in need.
- The Subterranean Furnace: This passage discusses the topic of the subterranean furnace, which refers to the increasing heat found in the earth’s interior as one descends deeper, with every thirty meters of depth resulting in a one degree Celsius increase in temperature. The discussion explores the use of artesian wells and thermal springs to gauge the distribution of heat, as well as the existence of volcanoes as safety valves that can prevent earthquakes by releasing subterranean vapors. Despite the relative thinness of the earth’s crust when compared to the molten core, earthquakes and other disasters caused by subterranean activity are comparatively rare, thanks in large part to the presence of volcanoes.
- The Storm: The story follows Uncle Paul and Jules on their journey to find caterpillars while a storm approaches. Uncle Paul teaches Jules how important it is to remove caterpillar nests in orchards to protect the crops and mentions how birds assist in this task. As the storm intensifies, they take shelter in an excavation hollowed out in the rock and narrowly escape a thunder bolt striking a tree nearby. Uncle Paul’s intuition had led him to avoid the dangerous shelter of the tree, and Jules is curious about why, but Uncle Paul tells him he will explain when they are all together.
- Electricity: Three siblings ask their Uncle Paul to explain thunder after experiencing a storm. Uncle Paul first explains air, its presence, and how it becomes violent through wind and allows them to understand its reality. He then goes on to teach his nieces and nephew about electricity, how rubbing wax over cloth created an attractive invisible current, as understood through a series of experiments using small objects. Overall, the story aims to explain natural phenomena and to encourage curiosity in readers.
- Thunder and Lightning: In the story, the uncle explains to his young nieces and nephews about the nature of lightning and the two distinct kinds of electricity. He also tells them about the importance of thunder in purifying the atmosphere and warns them about the dangers of high buildings, steeples, and tall, isolated trees during a storm. The uncle stresses the importance of being knowledgeable about the dangers of lightning and taking appropriate precautions to stay safe. The story ends with a list of downloadable resources for readers to learn more.
- The Thunderbolt: The passage discusses the power and effects of lightning on living and non-living things. It explains how lightning can cause damage, injury, and even death. The article also highlights the difference between feeble electric sparks and the much stronger electric shock of a thunderbolt. Finally, it provides insights about how to treat someone who has been struck by lightning, including how to revive their respiratory movement.
- The Atmosphere: Uncle Paul explains to his nieces and nephews about the importance of air in our lives, saying that it is necessary for all living things, even fish. He argues that the atmosphere is essential for plant and animal life and that without it, life would not be possible. Additionally, he goes on to explain that one man needs nearly 6000 liters of air per hour and that the weight of all the air in the atmosphere is so great that it outstrips the imagination. He concludes by explaining that we are small in comparison to the vastness of the atmosphere but that the mind is superior to it and has a divine connection to its author.
- The Gift of the Magi: The story follows a young couple, Della and Jim, who are struggling financially. On Christmas Eve, Della has only $1.87 to buy Jim a present and ends up selling her long, beautiful hair to buy a gift for Jim – a chain for his treasured watch. When Jim comes home and sees Della’s short hair, he reveals that he sold his watch to buy combs for Della’s hair. Despite their sacrifices being in vain, the couple celebrates Christmas together with love and gratitude. The story teaches us that sometimes the greatest gift we can give is not material possessions, but the love and sacrifices we make for one another.
- The Old Oak Tree’s Last Dream: A very old Oak tree in the woods sees the Day-fly dance about and is sad that its life is so short. The Day-fly is happy with its momentary existence and doesn’t understand the concept of time as the tree does. The tree dreams of growing tall and encompassing the entire forest, all the way up to the bright warm sun. It wakes up from the dream during a storm on Christmas Eve and falls. The next morning, the ship’s crew mourn the loss of the old Oak, but celebrate Christmas and the redemption of man’s soul by Christ.
- The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle: In this story, a helpful assistant offers their support to someone in need. The assistant is eager to help and provides assistance with tasks and gratitude to the person they are serving. Through their actions, the assistant demonstrates their dedication to offering help and improving the lives of those around them.
- The King’s Son and the Ogress: A prince goes hunting with his vizier, but gets lost when chasing a wild beast. He finds a weeping princess who he takes with him. When they reach some ruins, the princess reveals herself as an ogress who is planning to eat him. She suggests the prince prays to God for help, which he does. His prayer is answered and he is able to return to his father, the king. The prince reveals his vizier’s treachery and the king puts him to death. An ebook download link is provided.
- The China Shepherdess And The Picture: A delicate china shepherdess on a mantel appears as if searching for her lost sheep, but she actually has none. She fixates on a picture of a smiling little boy who reveals he used to hang beside her until his grown-up picture took his place. The boy recalls accidentally breaking her wrist, resulting in his punishment. Years pass, and the china shepherdess realizes the boy in the picture is the same one who climbed up on a chair and dropped her. When the gentleman who owns the farmhouse takes the china shepherdess down to show his little boy where he broke her wrist, she hopes they don’t take her away. She smiles at the boy in the picture, knowing their love remains forever young.
In conclusion, the Top 32 Stories for 12 Year Olds present a diverse and stimulating collection that engages young readers’ interests and is specifically written for their age group. These tales encompass adventure, mystery, fantasy, and friendship, offering various genres that cater to all reading tastes. By exploring the vividly crafted fictional worlds and relatable characters, 12-year-old readers are not only entertained but also inspired to broaden their literary horizons and develop essential reading skills. These stories capture the readers’ imaginations, fostering the lifelong love for reading and paving the way for a fantastic journey of self-discovery through literature.