Meet the Experts Behind the ‘50 Best Books for 11- and 12-Year-Olds’ List

by the Brightly Editors and admin

To put together our list of the 50 Best Books for 11- and 12-Year-Olds we went straight to the experts — the children’s literature experts. Learn more about the book-loving folks who selected our top titles for tweens below.

  • Erin Clarke

    Erin Clarke is a senior executive editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, where she edits picture books, middle grade, and young adult. Books she has edited include Wonder by R. J. Palacio, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit, Taking Flight by Michaela DePrince, and Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen FoxleeErin’s favorite book about middle school is Rebecca Stead’s Goodbye Stranger.

  • Liv Hanson

    Liv Hanson is Content Curator of Youth Materials at the Chicago Public Library. She also named Goodbye Stranger as her favorite book about middle school.

  • Rene' Kirkpatrick

    Rene’ has been a bookseller since 1978. She currently works at University of Washington Book Store as Children’s Book Buyer and Supervisor. She received her degree in Elementary Education from the University of Oregon. As for her favorite book about middle school, Rene’ picked The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt.

  • Melissa Taylor

    Melissa Taylor, M.Ed may have left the classroom but not her passion for literacy and children’s literature. Her favorite thing, besides curling up with a good book, is helping kids find their perfect book. Like Rene’, Melissa also called out The Wednesday Wars as her favorite book about middle school. Find more of her favorite books on Brightly or her blog, Imagination Soup.