***** Recommendations from Title Wave Books NEVER take the place of the adults in a child’s
life picking books that suit their reading level, likes, triggers, and appropriateness. We are
always here for suggestions, but please - you know your child best. Pick accordingly.
BOOKS FOR TWEENS (the boys should like most of these too)
The Mighty Odds (series) by Amy Ignatow.
A bus accident gives a four students, an Amish kid, a bus driver and a teacher superpowers
ranging from invisibility to teleportation. This diverse group of people must now work together to
solve the mystery behind what happened during the accident and how they got their powers.
The narration switches among the protagonists so readers get many different viewpoints.
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi.
A magical, mysterious modern day Alice in Wonderland. 12 year old Alice is determined to find
her father after he disappears from Farenwood. Alice is a bit of a misfit. In a world full of color,
she has pure white hair and white skin, and she performs miserably at the magic competition,
when all 12 year olds are supposed to display their unique talent. After the competition, Alice
and a boy, Oliver, set off on a topsy-turvy, inside-out and upside-down adventure into
Furthermore to find and bring back her father.
The Puzzling World of Winston Breen (series) by Eric Berlin.
After Winston gives his little sister a puzzle, they both find themselves stumped. They begin a
journey to solve the puzzle which leads them on a scavenger hunt which may lead to a load of
cash. Readers solve puzzles along with the protagonists, all the while realizing that cooperation
is the most necessary ingredient.
The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen.
This is a very suspenseful tale by the author of two other series I have not been able to put
down (The False Prince and The Mark of the Thief) . When Ani is captured and tested for a
deadly disease she is sent, along with her social opposite, to a quarantined colony. While in the
colony Ani and her cohorts begin to discover the truth about the supposed disease. They plot
escape and hatch a plan to bring the government’s deception to light. Thrilling!
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands.
There is some dark subject matter in this book, but it is an incredibly suspenseful and action-packed
read aloud for older kids. (On par with some of the darker imagery in the Harry Potter
books). Christoper, an orphaned apprentice in 17th century London must solve a complex
puzzle surrounding the murders of apothecaries. Despite the seriousness of the plot, the well drawn
characters provide some humor. Be sure to pick up the companion book, Mark of the
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.
Woodson describes her memories of growing up in South Carolina, and later in Brooklyn,
against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. The narrative is funny and poignant as
Woodson figures out what makes her special and discovers her love words. See all those
medals on the cover? This book totally earned every one of them. ** Really loved this one!
Lawrence Yep’s Golden Mountain Chronicles
A 10 book series which tells the story of the Young family over many generations and two
centuries. Dragon’s Gate is set in 1867. Otter has always been in awe of his father and uncle
who work for the railroad companies across the sea. When he gets there himself, however,
working conditions, the bitter cold, racism and his uncle’s behavior serve to disillusion him. You
don’t need to read the series in order to enjoy them and Yep is a skilled author. Your kids won’t
want to put the book down.
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds.
Both my kid and I loved this book about 11 year old Genie and his brother who have come to
rural Virginia to spend the summer with their grandparents. Genie is a boy who loves to ask
questions and when he learns about his grandfather’s blindness he has a lot to ask! During the
summer Genie struggles with making sure he makes the right decisions as he uncovers the
secrets of his family’s history.
The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh, illustrated by Kelly Murphy.
This is a fascinating novelization of the Baba Yaga folk tale. The suspense will keep your tween
turning the pages long into the night. (Try to encourage her to get a little sleep, though.) 12 year
old Mary is taken away from her orphanage by the mysterious Madame Z. Madame Z is full of
secrets and lives in a curious house. In town, Mary befriends Jacob, a magician’s assistant.
When they learn the true identity of Madame Z they must work together to escape her power.
Hazardous Tales (series) by Nathan Hale.
My kid loves the Nathan Hale’s historical graphic novels. The topics range from the
Revolutionary War to the Donner Party, the Alamo to WW1 and more. As a narrator, Hale makes
history fascinating and funny. If your kids say they aren’t “into history” sneak a few of these
books into their reading stash and you may just change their minds!
The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz,
illustrated by Hatem Aly.
Multiple narrators describe the adventures of several children and their (potentially) holy dog.
This book is an amazing mix of morality tale and puzzling mystery. Jeanne with her psychic
visions, Willian, a biracial Muslim monk with superhuman skills, and Jacob, a Jewish fleeing his
destroyed village who has healing powers come together for an adventure that enriches their
lives, as well as the lives of the reader.
The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford.
Lucy and Max are trying to put an end to the War of 1812 by assembling a mysterious and
ancient engine. While on a ship, The Left-Handed Fate, the ship is captured by the Americans
and put under the command of a 12 year old, Oliver who must wrestle with the moral decision of
becoming a traitor or putting the lives of others in jeopardy. Full of high adventure, treacherous
journeys and suspenseful action, this book will keep your tween on the edge of his seat