Tween Picks June 2016
Best Tween Books June 2016 Picks


This month’s picks for best tween books includes great non-fiction books, graphic novels, realistic fiction, mystery and more.  There are excellent choices for a spectrum of interests.  As always, though, if your tween has a particular type of book that he or she just can’t get enough of at any time, try our Find A Book page (see menu tab above).  There, you can filter books by age, genre, topic, award winners, and more.

This month I’m really excited about Compass South by Hope Larson, illustrated by Rebecca Monk.  Larson is a masterful storyteller and this book promises to be full of action and adventure.  There are sea voyages, pirates, treasure, and all of it is tied together with the powerful bond of twins, Cleopatra and Alexander.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this one and share it with my 13-year-old daughter, who is a huge Hope Larson fan.


Another book that looks amazing is As Brave as you by Jason Reynolds.  In it, two Brooklyn boys are shipped off to the country to live with their grandparents for the summer, where they must learn to do chores and live without the internet.  It is a surprise to the boys when they discover that their grandfather is blind, and one of the boys inundates his grandfather with questions about how he so expertly gets around.  Slowly, issues between generations of fathers and sons come to light as the boys examine what it means to be a brave and what it is to be a man.  Reviewers attest that this thoughtful story is richly told through sensory details that place readers inside the events of the story.

Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts is an adaptation of Susan Cain’s adult book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Amazon link).  I actually held off on placing this book in last month’s list because of a comment my introvert daughter made about Cain’s TED talk on this subject.  Somewhere along the way, my daughter got the feeling that Cain had equated being introverted with being passive.  She didn’t appreciate that.  I don’t get that passive impression based on what I’ve read of Cain’s work, but I respect my daughter’s insights and opinions and therefore wanted to get a sense of readers’ reactions to this youth version of Cain’s book before placing it on a list.  Based on reviews, I see that many readers are benefitting from this book.  If you check out the Goodreads reviews, it would seem that the book may not be perfect, but contains a lot of valuable material for introverts.  Apparently, one positive aspect of the book is its offer of reassurance to introverts who often feel undervalued in our society.  Another positive feature reviews mention is that the book offers tips on creating strategies to maximize the benefits of being introvert, tips for setting boundaries for less comfortable situations, and suggestions for how to know when to press past that comfort zone a bit.  I plan to read this book and to share it with my daughter.  I think we introverts could both find some valuable tools and advice in the book.

 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. 

The Best Worst Thing Book Cover
The Best Worst Thing
by Kathleen Lane
published June 7, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Publisher's Weekly

Front door locked,

kitchen door locked,

living room windows closed.

Nobody in the closet,

nobody under the beds.


Still, Maggie is worried. Ever since she started middle school, she sees injustice and danger everywhere--on the news, in her textbooks, in her own neighborhood. Even her best friend seems to...READ MORE

Every Single Second Book Cover
Every Single Second
by Tricia Springstubb
published June 7, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly

From acclaimed author Tricia Springstubb comes a poignant and topical middle grade novel about the effects of an accidental shooting on family, friendship, and community. Perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Holm and Rita Williams-Garcia.

Twelve-year-old Nella Sabatini’s life is changing too soon, too fast. Her best friend, Clem, doesn’t...READ MORE

As Brave As You Book Cover
As Brave As You
by Jason Reynolds
published May 3, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star ImageHorn Book

When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires—literally—in this piercing middle grade novel by the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Johnson Steptoe Award.

Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are...READ MORE

When Friendship Followed Me Home Book Cover
When Friendship Followed Me Home
by Paul Griffin
published June 7, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly

A boy’s chance encounter with a scruffy dog leads to an unforgettable friendship in this deeply moving story about life, loss, and the meaning of family
Ben Coffin has never been one for making friends. As a former foster kid, he knows people can up and leave...READ MORE

The Misadventures of Max Crumbly Book Cover
The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 1: Locker Hero
by Rachel Renée Russell
published June 7, 2016

A brand-new series from #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries author Rachel Renee Russell! Introducing Max Crumbly!

Max Crumbly is about to face the scariest place he’s ever been: South Ridge Middle School.

There’s a lot that’s great about his new school, but there’s also one big problem—Doug, the school bully...READ MORE

The Great White Shark Scientist Book Cover
The Great White Shark Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series)
by Sy Montgomery
illustrated by Keith Ellenbogen
published June 7, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Dr. Greg Skomal, biologist and head of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, is investigating a controversial possibility: Might Cape Cod’s waters serve as a breeding ground for the great white shark, the largest and most feared predatory fish on Earth?  

     Sy Montgomery and Keith Ellenbogen report on this...READ MORE

Compass South Book Cover
Compass South (Four Points Volume 1)
by Hope Larson
illustrated by Rebecca Mock
published June 28, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist Star ImageSchool Library Journal  

It's 1860 in New York City. When 12-year-old twins Alexander and Cleopatra's father disappears, they join the Black Hook Gang and are caught by the police pulling off a heist. They agree to reveal the identity of the gang in exchange for tickets to New Orleans. But once there, Alex...READ MORE

Quiet Power The Secret Strengths of Introverts Book Cover
Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts
by Susan Cain,
by Gregory Mone,
by Erica Moroz
illustrated by Grant Snyder
published May 3, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal  

The monumental bestseller Quiet has been recast in a new edition that empowers introverted kids and teens 

Susan Cain sparked a worldwide conversation when she published Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. With her inspiring book, she permanently changed the way we see introverts and the...READ MORE

Sea Change Book Cover
Sea Change: A TOON Graphic (Toon Graphics)
by Frank Viva
published May 24, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publisher's Weekly

Publishers Weekly BEST Books for Summer 2016

"Sea Change is like a dip in cold Canadian waters: just step inside, and soon you're completely swept away, finding yourself overwhelmed and breathless, entranced by this whirlwind of a book. Bravo, Frank Viva. And glub, glub, glub." - Lemony Snicket, author of A Series...READ MORE

The Underdogs Book Cover
The Underdogs
by Sara Hammel
published May 31, 2016

Who killed Annabel Harper?

When a popular teen beauty’s body is discovered by the pool at an elite tennis club, the regulars are shocked―especially twelve-year-old Evie and her best friend, Chelsea. While everyone else is haunted by the teen’s death, Evie and Chelsea jump on the case, dogging the footsteps...READ MORE

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Hello there!

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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