Tween

Middle Grade Books Both You and Your Tween Can Enjoy

by Dena McMurdie

read together be together
Image credit: Compassionate Eye Foundation/Getty Images

There’s no question that this sudden isolation is hard on everyone. Reading books together has helped my kids and I adjust to being confined to our house 24/7. It helps stave off boredom, gives us something to talk about, and reduces the inevitable brain-drain kids get from not being in school. Sometimes, I’ll read aloud to my tweens, but other times, we’ll read the same book on our own and then discuss it afterward. It’s like our own little book club.

If you’re interested in starting an informal book club with your kids, or a virtual one with their friends, here are some fantastic books to check out. For additional book lists, reading tips, and more, visit Read Together, Be Together.

  • The War That Saved My Life

    by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

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    Read about another unusual time in history when societies went to extreme measures to keep their vulnerable populations safe. During World War II, siblings Ada and Jamie are sent from London to the countryside and placed in the care of a woman named Susan. Each of the characters suffers from grief, loss, or abuse, but they find healing and hope together. This moving story will be a favorite that you'll want to read again and again.

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  • Fish in a Tree

    by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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    Lynda Mullaly Hunt writes heartfelt stories about kids growing up and discovering who they really are. Fish in a Tree is one of my favorites. Ally has dyslexia and can't read, but she manages to hide it from everyone around her. When her new teacher sees through her act and offers to help, Ally must face her fears and learn to be kind to herself.

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  • The Letter for the King (Netflix Original Series Tie-In)

    by Tonke Dragt

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    The best part of reading a book with a Netflix adaptation is that you can have a watch party afterward. With magic, friendship, and an honest-to-goodness quest, this adventure novel will sweep you away to another world. Join Tiuri as he risks everything to travel through rivers and cities to deliver a letter that has the power to save his kingdom from doom. Then, relive the adventure again with the Netflix adaptation.

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  • The Westing Game

    by Ellen Raskin

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    My tween daughters and I fell in love with this imaginative and captivating book. When Samuel W. Westing dies, he sends 16 people on a race to solve puzzles, crack clues, and win a fortune. Filled with suspense and humor, both you and your kids will get sucked into the mystery of the Westing Game.

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  • Bloom

    by Kenneth Oppel

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    Read about a different sort of pandemic-one filled with alien plants that invade the Earth through raindrops. As the plants take over the world, devouring animals and people and releasing toxic pollen, three young teens discover they are immune to the plants. They have to figure out the reasons behind their immunity before the plants destroy everything. This suspenseful and oddly relatable science fiction novel will keep you and your kids on the edge of your seats.

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  • Beverly, Right Here

    by Kate DiCamillo

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    You can't go wrong with one of Kate DiCamillo's books. This beloved author brought us classics like Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux. Pick up her newest novel and go on a journey of self-discovery with Beverly as she meets new people, finds love (not the mushy kind), and runs away from home (again). Set in the same world as Raymie Nightingale, you'll meet new characters and see some familiar ones as well.

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  • Holes

    by Louis Sachar

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    Every kid (and their parents) should read this modern classic and now is the perfect time to do it. Wrongfully convicted of a crime, Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, which isn't a lake at all. It's a work camp where the residents are forced to dig holes all day, every day. It doesn't take long before Stanley starts to wonder about all the holes and goes looking for an answer.

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  • The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane

    by Kate Oshaughnessy

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    If you like music, reality TV, and road trips, you should read this delightful novel with your kids. When Maybelle discovers that her dad is a radio DJ in Nashville, Tennessee, she decides to enter the singing competition he will be judging. But first, she has to get to Nashville. With the help of her uptight neighbor and a bully from her trailer park, Maybelle sets out on a journey to find her dad and forms an unlikely family along the way.

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  • Poison in the Colony: James Town 1622

    by Elisa Carbone

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    If you like historical fiction, you'll want to get your hands on a copy of this book and its companion novel Blood on the River: James Town 1607. Virginia has a special ability that could save her fledgling colony from conflict with the Algonquin tribe - or get her accused of witchcraft. With nobody to protect her, Virginia must be strong, stand up for herself, and prove her worth to the colony's leaders.

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  • A Wish in the Dark

    by Christina Soontornvat

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    Pong was born and raised in Namwon Prison. When he escapes from the prison, the warden's daughter Nok sets out after him - determined to capture him and restore her family's honor. Based on the classic novel Les Misérables, this breathtaking adventure will keep you and your children captivated from cover to cover.

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  • A Crack in the Sea

    by H.M. Bouwman, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu

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    Send your kids on a magical journey with this historical fantasy novel. It's about a boy who can talk to fish, a portal between worlds, and a man desperate to open it. This is the first book in a series of three intertwined stories about a magical realm called Second World and the kids who live there.

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