I love a great book. What I love even more is seeing my tween get really into a good book. Tweens can be voracious readers, but they also have very discerning literary taste. Book selection at this age is both hugely important, and not easy, but there is help out there. The websites below are fabulous resources when it comes to selecting books for tweens. They provides great suggestions and reviews of hundreds of books for tweens.
Several people have asked me about recommendations for book for tweens to give as gifts. When I'm asked, I refer to these website below. These great resources may help with choosing gifts, but finding a good book doesn't always have to be for a special occasion. These resources may just the trick to finding the books that turn your tween from a kid who reads into a kid who loves to read.
Author James Patterson was inspired to found this site after taking it upon himself to find his son great books that he would love to read after he realized that his tween "didn't exactly love books." ReadKiddoRead.com has recommendations based on age, including for those age 8 and up, and a separate section for 10 and up. I love the differentiation in tween ages. Both sections include suggestions in a variety of genres, including Fantasy, Real World Fiction, Action/Adventure/Mystery and Just the Facts (a more fun way of saying nonfiction)
Patterson says, "Kids say the number one reason they don’t read more is that they can’t find books they like. Freedom of choice is a key to getting them motivated and excited. Vampire sagas, comics, manga, books of sports statistics — terrific! — as long as kids are reading."
Their movie and television reviews are very helpful, but this website's book reviews are also great. I love that you can specify the exact age of your child to find the perfect book for him/her. It also has a long list of genres so you can really zero in if you have an idea of the kind of book that will capture your kid. I love that it included poetry, sports, short stories, friendship.
You can also browse by books popular with kids, parent recommendations, editor picks and award winners.
The reviews include both an overview of the plot and "Is it any good" as well as ratings of the educational values, positive messages, positive role models, violence and sex in each book.
While focused on girls, this website can be helpful in finding books for both genders. Yes, even boys can enjoy books that feature strong girls, and it could benefit them every bit as much. A Mighty Girl's book section features well over 1,000 girl-empowering books starring stellar Mighty Girl characters. For tweens, it has recommendations for younger kids and ages 6-8, 9-12, and 13+. I like that they have information on more advanced books for older readers and can help parents of advanced tween readers find great options that keep their young readers challenged and inspired.
4. Your Real World Web
Okay, so it's not online, but your friends, family and community can be some of the best resources when it comes to book selection. My daughter has to read a mystery for school this month. It's not her preferred genre and she wasn't all that excited about it, but after she started reading yesterday and said, "This is a great book!" The book was The Westing Game, which she received as a gift a few years back because her godfather loved it when he was younger. Share some of your favorites from back in the day with your tween.
Of course librarians and teachers are fabulous resources for fun reading recommendations, and it's a good idea to ask now if they have suggestions for the summer.
Don't limit yourself to just adults, however. Use peer pressure for good! Find out what your tweens' peers are reading. My daughter enjoyed Because of Mr. Terupt and its sequel, and she heard about it from her friends. Getting tweens talking bout books can only be a good thing.
For more tween book info, scroll through the book section or check out this post: 7 reasons why reading aloud to older kids is still very important
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