If you have a girl, it’s not long before your daughter is a little beyond Ramona and Beezus but not quite ready for The Hunger Games or Twilight. It can be a challenging time. Tween girls don’t want to be treated like little kids anymore and are looking for something more adventurous and challenging to read. As a mom, you want to ensure that the content doesn’t get too mature too fast. As the mother of an avid reader, I’ve spent a lot of time finding age appropriate books that we can both agree on. The ten books listed below are all recommended for kids 9 to 12 years old. So relax and get your daughters into these great books.
1. The Penderwicks – Jeanne Birdsall
This is actually a series of books. My daughter has read The Penderwicks and The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. Next up, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette.
2. The Mysterious Benedict Society – Trenton Lee Stewart
Another series, that includes The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, and The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Prisoner’s Dilemma.
3. The Last Hero: The Heroes of Olympus Book 1 – Rick Riordan
Are you sensing a theme here? My daughter loves series. I don’t blame her, it’s nice to be able to continue along with characters you love. The Last Hero author is also the author of the Percy Jackson series, another great read for tweens.
4. Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine
My daughter had seen the movie for this first starring Anne Hathaway and loved it, so I was surprised when she told me she enjoyed the book more.
5. Little Women – Louisa M. Alcott
My daughter found an old copy of this in a used book store in The Florida Keys. She read it in a day. Some stories never get old.
6. When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead
This book is classified as sci-fi, but it’s also a great glimpse of childhood in the 1970s. Winner of the 2010 Newberry Medal and several other awards, my daughter gives this an very enthusiastic thumbs up. Ooops, sorry, two thumbs up.
7. The Care and Keeping of You – American Girl
My daughters have several American Girl books and as a mom I have absolutely no complaints. Whoever is running their book department gets a standing ovation from me for keeping content age appropriate and wholesome. The Care and Keeping of You is currently my 9 year old’s bible, as it guides her through the changes her body is going through.
8. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
Meant to be read as your child grows, the Harry Potter series is perfect for kids from 7 to 17. This year my daughter has reached the third book, The Prisoner of Azkaban and she’s ready for the darker material and scarier depictions. This is how my family has been tackling The Harry Potter books.
9. Eragon – Christopher Paolini
Oh look, another series. Eragon, the first in the Inheritance series is classified as fantasy and centres around dragons, a boy and a mythical land called Alagaesia. What’s not to love?
10. The Girl Who Could Fly – Victoria Forester
Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, calls this book a mix between “Little House on the Prairie and X-Men”. That was enough to suck my 9 year old in on this one. I won’t let her read Stephanie Meyer yet, so this was as close as she could get. As it turns out though, she loved it.