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Awesome fiction reads for tweens

Julee Rudolf "book snob"
The list author says: "So many great books for tweens, so little time to preview them. Here is a list of (eventually 40) books that my kids and I liked or loved, in no particular order, that are appropriate for 10 to 12 year olds (plus or minus). Happy Reading!"
When You Reach Me
When You Reach Me
"Loved this story about friendship and the possibility of time travel. My kids and I (who enjoyed this in audiobook format) didn't figure things out until the last possible moment-my rating 5 stars."
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
"A very nerdy middle schooler named Dwight engages the prophetic abilities (or not) of his origami Yoda puppet to help solve his friends' problems in this neat, unique story. Good in audio version too-my rating 5 stars."
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling
"Best enjoyed in audiobook format performed by the amazing Katherine Kellgren, this is an action packed, interesting story about a plucky young governess whose three charges were raised by wolves-my rating 5 stars."
School of Fear
School of Fear
"Four 12-year-olds are forced to face their fears in this clever (though predictable) story about friendship and phobias. Excellent in audioformat-my rating 4 stars."
Tales From Outer Suburbia
Tales From Outer Suburbia
"Quirky picture book phenomenal for kids at this age (as well as adults), can't speak highly enough, especially of the illustrations-my rating 5 stars."
Johnny Tremain
Johnny Tremain
"Informative historical fiction story about a Revolutionary Way era boy forced to deal with adversity-my rating 4 stars."
A Year Without Autumn
A Year Without Autumn
"A young girl tries to prevent a tragedy from happening to her friend. Includes some ethical issues (family debates "pulling the plug") but the story ends on a positive note-my rating 5 stars."
The Unwanteds
The Unwanteds
"Except for the silly debate over the importance of intelligence, especially mathematical, versus creativity, the triumph of good over evil angle prevails-my rating 4 stars."
A Tale Dark and Grimm
A Tale Dark and Grimm
"Remember the super scary fairy tales of your youth? Author Adam Gidwitz put together this story about Hansel and Gretel's adventures without pulling any punches. Appropriate for those who have a high tolerance for the super scary-my rating 4 stars."
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
"Except for some talk about alcoholism and violence, this tale about not bowing to peer pressure about a boy with electrical superpowers, is, I think, entirely appropriate for tweens-my rating 5 stars."
Lightning Thief, The (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)
Lightning Thief, The (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)
"This is one of my all time favorite books for its fast-paced action, smart writing, and clever chapter titles. I've only read the first one by my son raced through the entire series and continued on with next-my rating 5 stars."
Savvy
Savvy
"With a sort of southern, spiritual tone, this is an interesting tale about a spunky gal with a special power who tries to save her father's life-my rating 4 stars."
Anne of Green Gables (Modern Library Classics)
Anne of Green Gables (Modern Library Classics)
"This classic about an orphan girl whose behavior whose attitude and behaviors (eventually) warm the hearts of everyone is excellent, as is the video series-my rating 5 stars."
The Angel Experiment: A Maximum Ride Novel (Book 1)
The Angel Experiment: A Maximum Ride Novel (Book 1)
"Another sci-fi fantasy story series, but this one features a brave winged girl who, along with others stuck in similar circumstances, tries to evade capture by the bag guys-my rating 5 stars."
The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)
The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)
"After reading this, the first in the series about two orphans who are preyed upon by a nefarious villain, we raced through all 13 books, full of robust vocabulary, action, adventure, and plenty of literary references-my rating 5 stars."
Treasure Island (Illustrated Junior Library)
Treasure Island (Illustrated Junior Library)
"Listening to the audio version of this this thrilling, though sometimes violent, classic pirate adventure is definitely the way to go-my rating 5 stars."
First Light
First Light
"Climate change is the backstory for this predictable story of what happens when the people of two entirely different worlds collide (the audio version is just as good)-my rating 4 stars."
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Mysterious Benedict Society
"I love the way children were selected to spend time at the Benedict Society and that they were forced to work together to foil the villains' evil plot-my rating 5 stars."
The Lorax (Classic Seuss)
The Lorax (Classic Seuss)
"Okay, so tweens will likely find this very easy reading, but the story of the Lorax and what happened to the trees is an excellent lesson about the environment for earthlings of all ages-my rating 5 stars."
The Cricket in Times Square (Chester Cricket and His Friends)
The Cricket in Times Square (Chester Cricket and His Friends)
"Loved this one so much, I've listened to the audiobook twice, once with my kids and once without. An amazing cricket who unexpectedly ended up in Times Square makes beautiful music, and friends-my rating 5 stars."
Coraline By Neil Gaiman
Coraline By Neil Gaiman
"Author Neil Gaiman's reading of his book is the best way to experience this tale about a girl who comes upon an eerie otherworld. Skip the movie-my rating of the audioversion 5 stars."
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat (Emmy and the Rat)
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat (Emmy and the Rat)
"A cool feature, the sketch of a rat falling from a branch along the side of the text, is one of several things I liked about this book about a shy girl with absent parents, a healthful nanny, and a talking rat whose actions lead to plenty of mischief-my rating 4 stars."
Clarice Bean, Don't Look Now
Clarice Bean, Don't Look Now
"When Clarice Bean's friend moves away, she struggles, and resents the attention her classmates bestow on the new girl, but using techniques learned in her Ruby Redfort book, she helps solve a mystery and gain a friend-my rating 5 stars."
The Hobbit
The Hobbit
"Hobbit Bilbo Baggins goes along on a quest under duress, but shows: his mettle, an unexpectedly high level of bravery, and a little luck. Also excellent on audiobook-my rating 5 stars."
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
"The "weird Watsons," show readers what it was like to grow up as an African-American family in Flint, Michigan during 1963. Their trip to Birmingham places them in the middle of the church bombing that resulted in the death of four girls. Appropriate for older tweens (11 or 12). Excellent in audio format-my rating 5 stars."
Rules
Rules
"A 12-year-old girl's efforts to make friends with a new neighbor are hampered by her autistic brother's behavior. Befriending a wheelchair-bound boy, she is forced to make a difficult choice-my rating 5 stars."
Number the Stars
Number the Stars
"Set during WWII, a girl takes part in a potentially deadly plan to help smuggle a Jewish family to safety in this story more appropriate for older tweens-my rating 4 stars."
Wonderstruck (Schneider Family Book Award - Middle School Winner)
Wonderstruck (Schneider Family Book Award - Middle School Winner)
"Although the connection between the main characters of the two tales in this book is obvious, its superior sketches are very necessary to tell the story. Thunderstorms is a recurring theme-my rating 4 stars."
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
"In spite of being a bit dated and referencing marijuana, the backstory in the 35th anniversary edition makes it worthwhile. A 12-year-old girl runs away to a museum where she and her brother try to solve a mystery-my rating 4 stars."
The Giver (Readers Circle (Prebound))
The Giver (Readers Circle (Prebound))
"A boy whose assignment to an extremely important job learns more than he bargained for about the goings on in his town is one of my favorite books in the genre. Better for older tweens-my rating 5 stars."
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Phantom Tollbooth
"A bored boy ends up in a strange, magical world in this story stuffed to the gills with wordplay. Kids may need some encouragement (or read aloud time with a parent) to help them wade through it-my rating 4 stars."
The Railway Children
The Railway Children
"When their father is taken away unexpectedly, a woman and her three children move to the countryside to save money. Crammed with heroic acts, it's still a good story about dealing with diversity-my rating 4 stars."
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
"Loved this one as a child just as much (the audio version) with my kids. It has a few contrived moments (notably, near the end) but is still a great, clean, classic about tougher, simpler bygone days-my rating 4 stars."
The View from Saturday
The View from Saturday
"Explains the interconnections between a group of unlikely academic bowl contestants, and how each individual's background led them to being able to answer test questions-my rating 4 stars."
Inside Out and Back Again
Inside Out and Back Again
"This sad but beautifully written story follows a year in the life of a 10-year-old girl named Hà, who escapes Vietnam during the war only to find that life in Alabama is also difficult, though in different ways. The excellent audioversion allows listeners to properly experience Vietnamese words-my rating 5 stars."
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Island of the Blue Dolphins
"A brave, resourceful Native American girl finds herself alone on an island, not only does she survive, she thrives. This is one of my top five favorite Newbery Award winners, even better when enjoyed in audio format performed by Tantoo Cardinal-my rating 5 stars."
Al Capone Does My Shirts
Al Capone Does My Shirts
"This coming of age story is about a boy whose family wants more than anything else for his autism-afflicted sister to be allowed entry into a special school. In spite of having to deal with a new school, new home, and new friends, Moose Flanagan ingeniously achieves the goal in this entertaining story (excellent in audio format)-my rating 5 stars."
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Dover Thrift Editions)
"An engaging classic appropriate for tweens, Tom Sawyer's adventures include nuisance, cleverness, murder, mystery and a little romance. My rating-five stars."
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