We know how important reading is for our kids. We know that kids who are good at reading generally do better at school in all areas, but reading isn’t only about academics. When kids read, especially as they get older and become fluent, independent, readers, they begin to get lost in stories, and when that happens, they are open to all kinds of learning opportunities. Reading develops imagination, it helps kids to develop empathy, and exposes them to new ideas. Through books tween readers can take on new roles, explore risks and experience all kinds of life circumstances and adventures. They may recognise themselves in the stories they read, and learn that they are not alone with problems or difficulties. Plus reading is relaxing, a great way to help tweens switch off and take a break.
It’s not always easy to encourage kids to keep reading during the tween years but a few things may help;
- Make sure your kids see you reading, set a good example.
- Make it easy for your children to access good reading material – for example, take them to the library, give them an eReader for their birthday, buy them books as gifts.
- Let your kids choose what they read.
- Take an interest in what they are reading. Ask questions, and even read some of the books yourself.
- Reading isn’t only about books – magazines, comics and even websites may all form part of your tween’s reading choices.
There are so many fabulous books out their for the tween age group, it really is impossible to list the ‘best’ books! The books below are just a few suggestions, based on books my kids, their friends, and the adults in their lives have enjoyed. We’ve tried to pick a range of books that would appeal to both boys and girls aged 9-13 years.
1. The Three Doors Trilogy by Emily Rodda: The Golden Door, The Silver Door and The Third Door.
These super exciting fantasy stories are packed with action and adventure, and as a bonus they are lovely to read aloud. I enjoyed them as much as my kids did.
2. Little Fur Series by Isobelle Carmody
Lots of magic, adventure, and environmental themes in this great series of books that are great for younger tweens.
3. The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch
With names like ‘The Name of This Book is Secret‘ and ‘This Book is Not Good For You,’ the Secret Series of books are as fun and mysterious as their author. If you like mysteries and clever clues to crack then you’ll love these books.
4. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
This is a clever, funny, fantasy tale with interesting characters and lots of twists and turns to the story. Also good reads, Castle In The Air and House of Many Ways feature the same world and some of the same characters.
5. Horrible Histories
Gross, funny, and educational, what more could you want in a book! Lots and lots of books to choose from too so there is something for everyone in this series.
6. Pizza Cake and Other Funny Stories by Morris Gleitzman
This book of crazy, silly short stories is an easy read for those times when you just want something to make you giggle. Morris Gleitzman has written loads of other fun books too, as well as some exploring more serious themes for older tweens.
7. The 13-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffith and Terry Denton
A wacky story that will make you laugh. And when you are done with this one the tree house grows for another book and grows again for yet another one!
8. Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
This books has a fabulous female hero and lots of crazy and clever characters living in an amazing fantasy world. A great read for older tweens.
9. The Guardians of Ga’hoole by Kathryn Lasky
A series of books where the main characters are owls! Don’t see the movie, read the books!
10. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Mystery, adventure and a bunch of clever kids makes this book loads of fun to read.
For more book recommendations check out the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge where you can download the book lists according to grade levels, or check out my ‘Chapter Books for My Kids‘ Pinterest board where I pin books I think my kids (aged 6 and 10) would like to read.
Check out our full series of Parenting Tweens posts.
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