My Tween top 10, from a tween’s point of view
What I want you to know is that she loved this book so much that after she turned the last page and closed the book, she went and got 2 pieces of construction paper and created a list like those featured in the book which is now on her bedroom door. Nobody told her to do it. There was no school assignment involved. She just did it. It was an impressive look at how reading can inspire.
Tween take: It shows how sisters can be annoying and it is funny. I did the poster because there is one in the book and I wanted to see how me and my sister were alike and how we were different. Making the poster was fun.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
We read this book aloud at nights, but it only took a couple of nights because we both loved it so much we kept reading. Finally, the last night, we threw caution (and bedtimes) to the wind and just stayed up and finished the book. Then we held each other and cried. This is a great book for all ages actually and if you are a librarian, use it in programming and if you are a mom, spend a couple of nights snuggled up with your kids reading it out loud. Reading this book aloud with my tween has been one of my favorite life moments; we were both really touched by the story. Tween is a big animal lover. This is hands down one of my favorite MG titles of the year and again, I think everyone of every age should read it.
Tween take: It was sad, but in a good way. I loved the ending but my mom says I can’t tell you why.
Judy Moody by Megan MacDonald
We have actually been a fan of these books for a while and the Tween is currently doing a re-read. In fact, she read 5 this weekend. She read them at the park, at the dinner table, pretty much non-stop. Judy Moody is funny, inspiring and relatable. Judy Moody fans (and all my Tween’s friends) also enjoy Clementine and Ivy & Bean. Think old Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary titles.
Tween take: These books are very funny.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Come on, this one is no surprise. Jeff Kinney gets it just right with the blend of humor and pathos, and those drawings really help. This is the most read series in my house (multile times) and we even pre-ordered the most recent entry into the series. There was begging involved. And Scholastic book orders.
Tween take: Also very funny.
Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
This book was not at all what the Tween and I were expecting – a Star Wars book. It is in fact a humorous and touching story about a boy who just wants a little bit of attention and how his love of Star Wars helps him with that. It is told in multiple points of view and presented as kind of a trial. This is tremendously popular at my library, with my Tween and The Mr. even enjoys the series as well.
Tween take: They show team work and they are funny.
Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
The Tween and I journeyed to meet Lauren Oliver earlier this year, and she has a signed copy of Leisl and Po. I was excited when this new MG title came out by Oliver because I think that meeting her really opened the door to reading for my Tween. This is another book that we started reading aloud together in bed at night and I finished on my own because I just couldn’t put it down. Eventually the Tween always finishes it as well. Look, you can’t really go wrong with Oliver. She has some amazing storytelling skills and writes amazing MG fantasy. Trust me and the Tween.
Tween take: It’s good, it’s good.
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
This book was, of course, last week’s TLT Rec of the Week so you may know a lot about it at this point. I will say this: as you can see by the tween’s list, she has a strong affection for funny, realistic MG fiction. She is just now dipping her toes into fantasy, and she is very easily scared. I wasn’t sure how she would do with this but she really liked it.
Tween take: It’s very spooky.
Wonder by R J Palacio
This is a book that every. single. person. on the planet should read. It is the touching story of a boy who looks different (I often think of the move The Mask) and how the world reacts to him. It is told from different points of view, including his, his sister’s and his sister’s boyfriend. If this book doesn’t move you and make you really think, then you’ll want to retrace your steps and figure out where you left your heart behind.
Tween take: It’s a good book. It shows how being different can be okay.
Whatever After: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski
I actually got a signed copy of the ARC of this book for the tween at ALA, I can’t remember if it was midwinter or annual. And like a lot of girls, she is of course interested in fairy tales and princesses. We have seen every disney movie and both versions of Snow White that came out last year. You could argue that taking her to see Snow White and the Huntsman was a little much, but she did pretty good with it – although she definitely preferred Mirror Mirror. So, she immediately began reading this book and since she has finished I know that she has given it to at least two friends who have also read and enjoyed it. This is a twisted fairy tale, which is very popular. It was also just announced as bieng a Texas Blue Bonnet nominee. And there is another book coming out soon. We recommend it.
Tween take: Oh, that’s such a good book. It shows how touching stuff you have never seen in your life can be bad.
The making of this list: The tween and I scoured her shelves and really talked about what she read, how she felt about it and why. Then after I typed up the list and my experiences watching her read, I had her come in and give me her “Tween take”. Please leave her a message in the comments and encourage her as a reader.
Some of her other favorites:
Fudge by Judy Blume
All those funny pet and bad pet stories sold by Scholastic
The Basher Science books sold by Scholastic
Baby Mouse and Bad Kitty
The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter (we listen to these on audio in the car)
Capture the Flag by Kate Messner
Tails of Sring Break by Anne Warren Smith
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari
The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks
Filed under: MG Lit
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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