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Great Books for Twelve-Year-Old Girls and Their Parents

Alison F. Solove
The list author says: "This list suggests books you and your daughter can read together. It's not a filtered list of "safe" books, but a great way to find stories that teach valuable lessons and spark interesting discussions. Visit WhatShouldSheRead.com for more suggestions."
Bloomability
Bloomability
"Bloomability is a poignant, simple novel about finding yourself. No reader can resist DinnieÂ’s touching coming-of-age story."
The Cay (Laurel-Leaf Books)
The Cay (Laurel-Leaf Books)
"The Cay is a beautiful story about a boy becoming a man in the most difficult of circumstances. The elderly man's unrelenting love for Phillip gives the boy hope and preserves his will to live."
The City of Ember (Books of Ember)
The City of Ember (Books of Ember)
"The City of Ember is an exciting dystopian novel with a twist. Through their determination and friendship, Lina and Doon discover that there is always hope."
Esperanza Rising
Esperanza Rising
"Esperanza Rising is a very real story about a carefree girl whose eyes are opened to the world around her under the most difficult of circumstances. Learning to see the value in others, she also learns to see the value in herself."
The Giver
The Giver
"The Giver is a completely unique novel about love, beauty, the value of life, and the things that make us truly human. It won the Newbery Medal in 1994."
The Great Gilly Hopkins
The Great Gilly Hopkins
"The Great Gilly Hopkins is a story about love, hope, and not always getting what we want. It was a Newberry Honor book in 1979."
Holes: 10th Anniversary Edition
Holes: 10th Anniversary Edition
"Holes is a quirky tale of mystery and adventure about the rewards of determination and loyalty. Through his dogged loyalty, Stanley overcomes his familyÂ’s curse and finds his own destiny. It won the Newbery Award in 1999."
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
"The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a beautifully told story, half graphic novel and half traditional book, about a young man searching for vocation. In helping an old man recover his calling, he may just uncover his own. It won the Caldecott Medal in 2007."
Johnny Tremain
Johnny Tremain
"ForbesÂ’ vivid depiction of the American Revolution creates a perfect backdrop for the story of a proud little boy who becomes a man. Johnny Tremain won a Newbery Medal in 1944."
Letters from Rifka
Letters from Rifka
"Based on the true story of Karen HessÂ’ great aunt, Letters from Rifka is a compelling story of a young woman who overcomes incredible obstacles for the chance at a happier life."
Mandy (Julie Andrews Collection)
Mandy (Julie Andrews Collection)
"Mandy is a lovely story about one girl’s search for love and family. Edwards’ descriptions of Mandy’s hard work and the beauty of the outdoors set the scene for a simple story about how things—even very special ones—just aren’t enough without a clear conscience and people we care about. Julie Edwards is a pen name for Academy-Award-winning actress Julie Andrews."
Old Yeller (Perennial Classics)
Old Yeller (Perennial Classics)
"Old Yeller is a classic animal tale about companionship and growing up. As he struggles to help his family survive, Travis learns what it truly means to become a man."
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
"The Outcasts of 19 Schulyer Place is an homage to a passing world where neighborhoods and personal expression triumph over by-laws and control. Margaret learns the value of standing up to save what she loves--and that things don't always turn out the way we expect."
Queenie Peavy
Queenie Peavy
"Queenie Peavy is an incredibly real novel about a girl on the cusp of growing up who has to decide for herself what kind of woman she wants to be. Does she want to use her fatherÂ’s sins as an excuse to be lazy and destructive? Or does she want to live her own life, free from the shadow of crime and poverty?"
Red Kayak
Red Kayak
"Red Kayak is a compelling, first-person narrative about a teenage boy learning to make serious decisions about right and wrong. Through Cummings’ subtle prose, Brady’s difficult decision whether to protect his friends or tell the truth isn’t an easy one for Brady—or the reader."
Savvy
Savvy
"Savvy is a quirky story about a little girl coming to grips with becoming a young woman—and about the things that make us all just a little bit special. Law compassionately narrates the very beginning of a child’s slow, self-conscious passage into adulthood in a wonderfully believable way. Savvy was a Newbery Honor Book in 2009."
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
"Byron’s coming-of-age story is beautifully told through the funny narrative voice of his little brother. The Birmingham church bombing helps Kenny see that real family love shines through even the darkest night. The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 was a Newberry Honor Book in 1996."
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
"Where the Mountain Meets the Moon tells the exciting story of a young girl’s quest for a better life—and the surprising answer she finds at the end of her journey. Unlike many quest-narratives for young people, Lin captures the pain of a separated family and a girl’s longing to return home. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was a Newbery Honor Book in 2010."
Where the Red Fern Grows
Where the Red Fern Grows
"Where the Red Fern Grows is a much-loved coming-of-age novel about a boy and his dogs. BillyÂ’s hard work and selfless love for his dogs sets a beautiful example for readers of all ages."
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
"The Witch of Blackbird Pond is a wonderful story about coping with change and learning to be true to ourselves. Through the gentle affection of the Widow Tupper, Kit learns to find her vocation in life—and in love."
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Anne of Green Gables, Complete 8-Book Box Set: Anne of Green Gables; Anne of the Island; Anne of Avonlea; Anne of Windy Poplar; Anne's House of ... Ingleside; Rainbow Valley; Rilla of Ingleside
Anne of Green Gables, Complete 8-Book Box Set: Anne of Green Gables; Anne of the Island; Anne of Avonlea; Anne of Windy Poplar; Anne's House of ... Ingleside; Rainbow Valley; Rilla of Ingleside
Bread and Roses, Too
Bread and Roses, Too
Bridge to Terabithia
Bridge to Terabithia
The Bronze Bow
The Bronze Bow
Eight Cousins
Eight Cousins
Jacob Have I Loved
Jacob Have I Loved
J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)
J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)
Little Women
Little Women
Northanger Abbey
Northanger Abbey
Oliver Twist (Enriched Classics)
Oliver Twist (Enriched Classics)
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Princess and the Goblin (Puffin Classics)
The Princess and the Goblin (Puffin Classics)
Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library)
Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library)
The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden
The Slave Dancer
The Slave Dancer
Surviving the Applewhites
Surviving the Applewhites
Walk Two Moons
Walk Two Moons
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)