Tween Picks April 2016
Best Books for Tweens April Picks


On this month’s picks for great tween books, I felt pretty pleased with the mix of interests represented.  From great realistic fiction to mystery, fantasy, historical fiction, and even something for video game lovers; there’s something for all kinds of interests.  Woo!  

A book that I’m really excited by is Where You’ll Find Me.  I think this one is really going to speak to a lot of middle school aged kids.  Just like in the book, I’ve seen my 13-year-old daughter and some of her friends go through these moments where suddenly they feel like the whole world is against them.  I often hear that these kinds of feelings are typical during adolescence.  I can share that fact with young people, and I believe that hearing it is helpful.  Still, watching a character struggle through a situation that mirrors your own, hearing all the genuine emotion that goes along with the journey can be really reassuring.

The Storyteller is actually the finale of the Riverman Trilogy.  I wouldn’t normally include a portion of a series in a list, but I keep hearing how amazing the trilogy is.  Annndd, summer’s coming!  What better way to celebrate than to get sucked into an awesome series?

Okay, I must admit that The Guinness Book of Records is a bit of an oddball to place on this list, BUT I wanted to put it out there.  I was actually looking for a great graphic novel to round out this month’s picks, but I couldn’t find one that was truly awesome, new and meant for tweens. Then a book about facts that I came across sparked a memory.  At the library I used to work at, we used to have a bunch of tweens (or rather a few different bunches) that would come in to the library because they were bored.  They would come and talk to us at the front desk and mill around, not really interested in library stuff, but hanging out nevertheless.  (I actually thought that was pretty cool.  They’d picked the library over the mall or video games with friends.)  It never failed that they loved to read The Guinness Book of Records.  It was kind of a social thing, and kind of a silly thing, which was what they enjoyed.  If you and your tween haven’t tried reading the Guinness Book, maybe give it a shot, maybe even together during some hanging out time.

Mmm-kay... I hope you enjoy.  And as always, please let me know what awesome books you and your kiddos are reading!cool

** This post was mentioned on Literacy Musing Mondays.

 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

Wolf Hollow Book Cover
Wolf Hollow
by Lauren Wolk
published May 3, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publishers Weekly Star Image Horn Book

“The honesty of Wolf Hollow will just about shred your heart, but Annabelle’s courage and compassion will restore it to you, fuller than before. This book matters.” —Sara Pennypacker, New York Times bestselling author of Pax

Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a...READ MORE

My Seventh Grade Life in Tights Book Cover
My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights
by Brooks Benjamin
published April 12, 2016

Football hero. Ninja freestyler. It's seventh grade. Anything is possible.

All Dillon wants is to be a real dancer. And if he wins a summer scholarship at Dance-Splosion, he’s on his way. The problem? His dad wants him to play football. And Dillon’s freestyle crew, the Dizzee Freekz, says...READ MORE

Poison Is Not Polite (A Wells & Wong Mystery)
by Robin Stevens
published April 26, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews

A tea party takes a poisonous turn leaving Daisy and Hazel with a new mystery to solve in the second novel of the Wells & Wong Mystery series.

Schoolgirl detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are at Daisy’s home, Fallingford, for the holidays. Daisy’s glamorous mother is throwing a tea...READ MORE

OCDaniel Book Cover
by Wesley King
published April 12, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist

From the author of Incredible Space Raiders from Space! comes a brand-new coming-of-age story about a boy whose life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder—until he gets a mysterious note that changes everything.

Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy....READ MORE

The Apple Tart of Hope Book Cover
The Apple Tart of Hope
by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
published April 1, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews  

With Oscar as my friend, mused Meg, everything made sense. 

Fourteen-year-old Oscar Dunleavy is missing, presumed dead. His bike was found at sea, out past the end of the pier, and everyone in town seems to have accepted this as a teenage tragedy. But Oscar s best friend Meg knows...READ MORE

Shadow Magic Book Cover
Shadow Magic
by Joshua Khan
illustrated by Ben Hibon
published April 12, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal

Thorn, an outlaw's son, wasn't supposed to be a slave. He's been sold to Tyburn, an executioner, and they're headed to Castle Gloom in Gehenna, the land of undead, where Thorn will probably be fed to a vampire.

Lilith Shadow wasn't supposed to be ruler of Gehenna. But following the...READ MORE

The Storyteller Book Cover
The Storyteller: The Riverman Trilogy, Book III
by Aaron Starmer
published March 15, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Keri Cleary is worried about her brother, Alistair. Everyone is worried about Alistair. As the one witness to a shooting, he has been shocked into silence. But everyone needs to know three things: Who shot Kyle Dwyer? Where is Charlie Dwyer? What does this all have to do with the disappearance of...READ MORE

Josh Baxter Levels Up
Josh Baxter Levels Up
by Gavin Brown
published February 23, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Josh Baxter is sick and tired of hitting the reset button. It's not easy being the new kid for the third time in two years. One mistake and now the middle school football star is out to get him. And Josh's sister keeps offering him lame advice about how to...READ MORE

Where You'll Find Me Book Cover
Where You'll Find Me
by Natasha Friend
published March 8, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal

"Natasha Friend, I loved your book. I was hooked from the first page." ―Judy Blume

The first month of school, thirteen-year-old Anna Collette finds herself...
DUMPED by her best friend Dani, who suddenly wants to spend eighth grade "hanging out with different people." 
DESERTED by her mom, who's...READ MORE

Guinness World Records 2016 Book Cover
Guinness World Records 2016
by Guinness World Records
published September 1, 2015

The world's best-selling annual is back and bursting with thousands of amazing new records, never-before-seen images and mind-boggling trivia. And as always, we have a few more surprises in store for you...

As well as all your favorite records for talented pets, superhuman achievements, big stuff and extreme vehicles, you'll...READ MORE


I love the variety. Anybody can find something that interests them. I love it! I'm pinning! Thanks so much for putting these great lists together!

Hi Lisa! Thank you for your kind comments and for pinning the list! :D

Hi Amber! Nice! Yes. Summer time is coming up and I'm all over trying to pick stuff out for my 13-yr-old. If you could use any ideas that might suit your tween's preferences, please let me know. :D

Hi Mother of 3! Aren't they fun?! :D So glad your kids enjoy those.

Awesome! The Josh Baxter book sounds like one my oldest son would read and my other son was just asking for a new Guinness Book of records. I'll have to grab them both!

Hi Billie! The Josh Baxter book looks really cool. I haven't seen many books meant for gamers, especially for middle school aged kids. With the number of video game fans out there, it's nice to see books reflecting that interest. And that's awesome that they're into the Guinness Book!

We are all bookworms in our family. This is a great selection! Hope you have a great week.

Hello fellow bookworm and fellow Sarah! :) Thank you for the kind comment! You'll have to let us know what you're little readers are liking these days!

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Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of two -- a teen daughter and a preschooler son.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more

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