Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.
Earlier in the Summer my daughter Jillian and I asked you for your recommendations for books for tweens and teens. Boy, did you come through for us!
Thanks to you, we have discovered a few new series that we are both hooked on (I like to read what she’s reading) and we rediscovered a few old favorites. Thank you!
I know that many of you who have children in your lives around the same age frequently are on the hunt for good reading material for them as well, so today I’m rounding up some of your suggestions, plus a few that the tween reader in my house loves, to share with you today.
Books for tweens and teens
Here are a few of our favorites so far this Summer …
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (series) – many of you mentioned this series to us so Jillian and I were curious. We began with book one, The Mysterious Howling and have moved on to book two and are eagerly waiting the third book to come out in paperback so we can continue the adventures of Miss Penelope Lumley and the “three wild creatures” in her care. Written by Maryrose Wood, we’ve found these books to be funny, thoughtful, and intriguing. Plus, as the older sister to three “wild creatures” Jillian finds herself relating to the governess in more ways than one.
The Mysterious Benedict Society (series) – by Trenton Lee Stewart. Clever, with engaging characters, and a delightful mix of brain-busters, mystery, and drama this series has been neat to read in part because it has allowed for so many discussions between my child and I about social issues. Plus, it is fun to see if we can work out the clues and brain-busters before the members of the society do.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series) – written by Rick Riordan, this is a series that Jillian has read more than once (a compliment I’ve only ever known her to play to the Harry Potter series before now). The series is about a boy who learns that he is a demi-god, and not only that, but there are other demi-god children as well. A fun fictional series based on the Greek mythology. Skip the movie and read the books instead.
Some more recommendations, including many from Simple Kids readers:
- The 39 Clues (series) – she just started the first book, The Maze of Bones, but so far Jillian is enjoying it and my husband has been eager for her to finish it so that he can read it next. I’ve got my place as third in line, but from what Jillian reports it will be worth the wait. My series loving child is excited because there are many books in this series, so she’s got a lot of reading ahead of her to be excited about.
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster – this classic recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and is one that we read as part of homeschool last year that we both really enjoyed.
- Red Sails to Capri by Ann Weil – short, engaging, and dialogue driven, one of our favorites so far this Summer from our homeschool reading list. This book was the catalyst for some creative writing projects at our house and we find ourselves referring to the characters and wondering what they might think of certain situations in daily life from time to time. A quick read with a lot of action and mystery packed into its pages.
- Holes by Louis Sachar – a Newberry award winner that was highly recommend by Grandma (so we know it must be good).
- Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys by Louisa Mae Alcott – I cannot wait to share these with Jillian, I know she’ll love them! I think Little Women will be good to begin reading once the cooler days of Winter arrive. It is good fireside and cocoa reading, don’t you agree?
- Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson – written as a prequel to JM Barry’s Peter Pan, Jillian and I are both hoping to get our hands on this one soon after a Simple Kids reader suggested it. It sounds like one we’ll both love.
- The Hobbit – we’ve made a deal with Jillian that she can see the movie if she reads this Tolkien classic first.
- The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis – a reader was surprised we hadn’t read these yet and, frankly, so am I. I plan to add these to Jillian’s book shelf very soon and hope she will love them as much as I did when I read them for the first time as a young adult.
- Til We Have Faces – my favorite CS Lewis book, and one I’m planning on saving for just the right time. This is one of those books that I think everyone should read and its story of love and faith is beautifully written. A novel that stayed with me long after I read it for the first time and I’m looking forward to seeing if Jillian feels the same way some day.
- The Search for Wondla and A Hero For Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi sound like just the series for my sci-fi loving daughter after a reader described it as, ” young girl raised by robot underground Earth chased above ground to discover she’s not on Earth (just the beginning of book).”
And that, my friends, should keep our library card busy for a little while. Thank you for all of your suggestions. Jillian and I both really appreciate them. Happy reading!
Looking for more suggestions? Check out the comments in this post for a long, long list of ideas for kids ages 8 and up.