March 10, 2011

Tween Fiction

tween  (twn) n. A child between middle childhood and adolescence, usually between 8 and 12 years old. 

What is it about kids these days?  They think they need to grow up so fast!  Try as we might, we just can't convince them that there is no hurry.   I have noticed these days that my "tween"readers (ages 8-12) are quick to jump in to books that are intended for young adults!  (They ask me for Hunger Games and Twilight!) Young adult fiction is geared towards kids ages 14 to 21.  Tween readers are ages 8-12.  
Today I will let you in on a little known librarian secret: we trick kids.  That is right.  We trick them into thinking they are reading books that are meant for older kids.  I bet you didn't know that, did you?  So, today I open my bag of tricks and give you 9 books that I use to trick these "children" into thinking they are reading "young adult" books... if you are a kid, this blog post will self destruct in 10 seconds and you will have no memory of what you've just witnessed. 

Realistic Fiction 
Draper, Sharon. Out of My Mind
 Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-graderwith cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.  Starred Review.  

Lord, Cynthia. Touch Blue 
When the state of Maine threatens to shut down their island's one-room schoolhouse because of dwindling enrollment, eleven-year-old Tess, a strong believer in luck, and her family take in a trumpet-playing foster child, to increase the school's population. 

Willner-Pardo, Gina.  The Hard Kind of Promise
California seventh-graders Sarah and Marjorie made a promise in kindergarten to always be friends, but Marjorie is weird and Sarah, wanting to be at least somewhat popular, makes friends with a fellow choir member.  Starred Review  

Science Fiction 

Buckingham, Royce. The Dead Boys
Timid twelve-year-old Teddy Mathews and his mother move to a small, remote desert town in eastern Washington, where the tree next door, mutated by nuclear waste, eats children and the friends Teddy makes turn out to be dead. 

Landon, Kristen. The Limit
When his family exceeds its legal debt limit, thirteen-year-old Matt is sent to the Federal Debt Rehabilitation Agency workhouse, where he discovers illicit activities are being carried out using the children who have been placed there. 

Lupica, Mike. Hero 
Fourteen-year-old Zach learns he has the same special abilities as his father, who was the president's globetrotting troubleshooter until "The Bads" killed him, and now Zach must decide
whether to use his powers in the same way at the risk of his own life. 

Historical Fiction
Fawcett, Katie Pickard.  To Come and Go Like Magic.
Chili Sue Mahoney longs to escape her tiny Kentucky hometown and see the world, but she also learns to recognize beauty in the people and places around he.

Klise, Kate. Grounded 
After her father, brother, and sister are killed in a plane crash, twelve-year-old Daralynn's life in tiny Digginsville, Missouri, proceeds as her mother turns angry and embittered, her grandmother becomes senile, and her flamboyant aunt continues to run the Summer Sunset Retirement Home for Distinguished Gentlemen, while being courted by the owner of the town's new crematorium.  

Wittlinger, Ellen. This Means War
In 1962, when her best friend Lowell begins to hang around new friends who think girls are losers, Juliet, a fearful fifth-grader, teams up with bold, brave Patsy who challenges the boys to a series of increasingly dangerous contests. Starred Review


  1. These look like good reads. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the suggestions. I will be reading The Limit and The Dead Boys over spring break. Just finished an ARC of a scifi title, The Resisters, by Eric Nylund. He has written several of the HALO novels and works as game developer at Microsoft. It is fast-paced and action packed. PLENTY of battle scenes in insectoid exoskeleton suits.