Hacking Electronics

I like Simon Monk. He writes the kind of books that I wish I'd written. They are sensible, instructive and above all practical. I've read some of his Arduino texts and found them very useful. He's also written the a book that you'll find useful if you want to get into electronics. 

Hacking Electronics is a great guide to getting started with components and computers. It gives you a good grounding in the basics, teaches you how to solder and then gets you making genuinely useful/fun things. Some of them have computers in (usually the Arduino). Others are just circuits. This is very nice to see. I think of electronics as "programming with hardware". You can write a program to make a light flash, or you can make a circuit that does it.

In software you change what happens by adjusting the value of variables inside the program. In hardware you change what happens by altering things like the resistance or capacitance of the components themselves. 

If you are looking for a book to give an inquisitive 11 year old (and then have fun together burning your fingers and "letting the smoke out" of devices) then I reckon this would be a very good one to go for.