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Tween Book Lists

The Longest Night of Charlie Noon by Christopher Edge  

As time plays tricks and night falls without warning, Johnny, Dizzy, and Charlie, who are lost in the woods, must elude the danger that lurks in shadows and work together to find a way out. Includes note about the science behind the story.

The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens  

Thirteen-year-old Hannah's first real babysitting job turns into a nightmare when a major earthquake knocks out power and phones, cuts off the island, and leaves her stranded with two children.

City Spies by James Ponti 

Sara Martinez is facing years in the juvenile detention system for hacking into the foster care computer system to prove that her foster parents are crooks. But then she gets a second chance when a mysterious man offers her a chance to join a group of MI6 affiliated spies

The Darkdeep by Ally Condie  

Middle-schoolers Nico, Tyler, Ella, and Opal discover a hidden island in a forbidden cove that appears uninhabited, but something ancient has awakened knowing their wishes, dreams, and darkest secrets.

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi  

Twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand, a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik's cube.

In the Red by Christopher Siedler  

Michael Prasad knows he shouldn't go out on the Mars surface alone. But when his best friend, Lilith, suggests they sneak out one night, he can't resist the chance to prove everyone-including himself-wrong.

Insert Coin to Continue by John David Anderson  

Middle-schooler Bryan wakes up to find that his life has become a video game, with bullies to beat, races to run, puzzles to solve, and much more at stake.

The Nerviest Girl in the World by Melissa Wiley  

A feisty girl from a family of ranchers lands a job as a daredevil stunt girl in the early days of silent film.

Pax by Sara Pennypacker  

After being forced to give up his pet fox Pax, a young boy named Peter decides to leave home and get his best friend back.

Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson  

A middle-grade novel of high adventure set in Alaska about a girl with her own dog team who finds an injured sledder in the wilderness. How they survive for the next few days makes for gripping adventure reading.

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California. Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants--not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class.

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco wasn't sure what to expect when her parents announced they were getting a divorce. She never could have imagined that they would have the “brilliant” idea of living in nearly identical houses on the same street. In the one house between them lives their eccentric neighbor Miss Flora Mae, the famed local advice columnist behind “Miss Flora Mae I?” Then one day Flora leaves for a trip and asks Sweet Pea to forward her the letters for the column. What she decides to do with a letter sets off a chain of events that will forever change the lives of Sweet Pea DiMarco, her family, and many of the readers of “Miss Flora Mae I?”.

The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff

Fifth-grader Winnie, with notes from her friends, writes of turning her treehouse into an embassy after her newly-divorced parents become unreasonable, where she is joined by nine others with complaints.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a New Cactus by Dusti Bowling

New friends and a mystery help Aden, thirteen, adjust to middle school and life at a dying western theme park in a new state, where her being born armless presents many challenges.

Posted by John David Anderson  

When cell phones are banned at their school, students start communicating through sticky notes left all over the school, triggering a wave of bullying activities in the wake of a new girl's arrival.

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell  

Fourteen-year-old Nikki Maxwell writes in her diary of her struggle to be popular at her exclusive new private school, then of finding her place after she gives up on being part of the elite group.

Wink by Rob Harrell  

After being diagnosed with a rare eye cancer, twelve-year-old Ross discovers how music, art, and true friends can help him survive both treatment and middle school.

Rick by Alex Gino  

Eleven-year-old Rick Ramsey has generally gone along with everybody, just not making waves, even though he is increasingly uncomfortable with his father's jokes about girls, and his best friend's explicit talk about sex; but now in middle school he discovers the Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities can express themselves--and maybe among them he can find new friends and discover his own identity, which may just be to opt out of sex altogether.

Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly  

Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships. Told from four intertwining points of view-two boys and two girls-the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero).

11 Before 12 by Lisa Greenwald 

Two best friends kick-start middle school with a bucket list of eleven things they need to do to become AMAZING before their joint twelfth birthday party.

Before the Ever After by Jackqueline Woodson  

A stirring novel-in-verse explores how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed and the cost of professional sports on Black bodies.

The Once and Future Geek by Mari Mancusi  

When thirteen-year-old Arthur of Gal, the future King Arthur, accidentally time-travels to the twenty-first century, Sophie Sawyer, twelve, must convince him to return and correct the time line.

Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor 

In southeastern Nigeria, twelve-year-old Mnamdi is determined to avenge his police chief father, who was murdered while triyng to rid the town of criminals, but Nnamdi feels powerless until he receives a magical object which gives him superpowers.

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron 

A twelve-year-old girl discovers her father is the keeper of the gateway between our world and The Dark, and when he goes missing she'll need to unlock her own powers and fight a horde of spooky creatures set on starting a war.

Revenge of Magic by James Riley

When long-dead magical creatures are discovered all around the world, each with a buried book of magic, the governments of the world want to unlock the power of the books, but need the help of kids to harness the magical power.

Witch Wars by Sibeal Pounder 

The first in a hilarious new black and white illustrated series that follows young witches as they compete in a The Apprentice inspired competition to rule their city!

A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano 

Think Ramona with a heaping serving of Mexican American culture and a pinch of magic. The first book in a heartfelt and funny young middle grade series about a family of bakers...who also happen to be brujas!

Archimancy by J.A. White 

Sixth-graders Cordelia, Agnes, and Benji go on a quest to unravel the secrets of Shadow School.

The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu 

When they are separated for the first time since birth, Iris and Lark struggle with insecurities over their individual identities at the same time things begin to go missing around town.

Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison 

Three sisters--adventurous Betty, curious Charlie, and proper Fliss--go on a quest to break the curse that has haunted their family for generations.

Wizard for Hire by Obert Skye  

After fourteen-year-old Ozzy's scientist parents are kidnapped, Ozzy's only help may be a classified ad that says "Wizards for hire."

Mystery in the Mansion by Lauren Magaziner   Mystery in the Mansion by Lauren Magaziner cover

When Carlos's mom gets sick with a nasty flu on the morning of an investigation that could save her failing detective agency, Carlos takes on the case. With the help of his best friend, Eliza, and her wild little brother, Frank, Carlos must uncover a mystery involving an eccentric local millionaire, anonymous death threats, and a buried treasure. But with tricky riddles, cagey suspects, hidden secrets, and dozens of impossible choices, they need your help!

Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit by Liliam Rivera   Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit by Liliam Rivera cover

In early 1960s Florida, sixteen-year-old Goldie, an aspiring detective at the Crossed Palms Resort Hotel, investigates when a diamond-encrusted swim cap goes missing during the filming of a movie at the resort.

Friday Barnes, Girl Detective by R.A. Spratt    Friday Barnes, Girl Detective by R.A. Spratt cover

A genius girl detective discovers her ultra exclusive boarding school is a hotbed of crime, from missing homework and stolen lemon tarts to a mysterious yeti haunting the school swamp.

Framed! A T.O.A.S.T Mystery by James Ponti   Framed! A T.O.A.S.T Mystery by James Ponti cover

So you're only halfway through your homework and the Director of the FBI keeps texting you for help...What do you do? Save your grade? Or save the country? If you're Florian Bates, you figure out a way to do both. He and his best friend Margaret help thwart the biggest art heist in United States history.

The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg    The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg cover

Nine-year-old Shelby Holmes, the best detective in her Harlem neighborhood, and her new easy-going friend from downstairs, eleven-year-old John Watson, become partners in a dog-napping case.

Masterminds by Gordan Korman   Masterminds by Gordan Korman cover

One day, Eli Frieden bikes to the edge of the city limits and something so crazy and unexpected happens, it changes everything. Eli convinces his friends to help him investigate further, and soon it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems in Serenity. The clues mount to reveal a shocking discovery, connecting their ideal crime-free community to some of the greatest criminal masterminds ever known. The kids realize they can trust no one-least of all their own parents.

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham   Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham cover

With two attorneys for parents, thirteen-year-old Theodore Boone knows more about the law than most lawyers do. But when a high profile murder trial comes to his small town and Theo gets pulled into it, it's up to this amateur attorney to save the day.

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson   The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson cover

Twelve-year-old Candice Miller is spending the summer in the old house that belonged to her grandmother, who died after being dismissed as city manager for having the city tennis courts dug up looking for buried treasure--but when she finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt, she finds herself caught up in the mystery and, with the help of her new friend and fellow book-worm, Brandon, she sets out to find the inheritance, exonerate her grandmother, and expose an injustice.

Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce   Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce cover

When twelve-year-old aspiring detective Myrtle Hardcastle learns her neighbor in quiet Swinburne, England, a breeder of rare flowers, has died she is certain it was murder and that she must find the killer.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein    Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein cover

Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.