In be “tween” books

How was your weekend? I cried over the Black Eyed Peas this weekend. No, not at the Grammys. We got to see our first school orchestra concert on Saturday. The finale was a gymnasium filled with kids — from 9 to 18 — joined together in a wonderful arrangement of I Gotta Feeling (um, not that I’d ever heard the song before; I don’t get out much). I watched a video of it the next morning and wept. ::sniffle:: Oh, the possibilities in that room.

Anyhoo, dab your tears and put your tissues away now, I asked Young Miss Herself to keep track of her reading this year. I know she reads a lot, but I thought it would be informative for her to keep a list of what she’s read this year. I told her I would post her monthly reading “recommendations” here.

So, if you have a tween in the house who is looking for something to read, here are January’s recommendations from our house to yours.

The best book of the month was The Rising Star of Rusty Nail by Lesley M.M. Blume — set in 1953 about a 10-year-old piano prodigy from Rusty Nail, Minnesota. Dear daughter liked it because she could relate to the piano-playing heroine. We are always on the look-out for laugh-out-loud stories that are also touching.

Other recommendations from January are, in no particular order:

Junebug by Alice Mead

Benjamin Bartholomew Piff #3 Wishing Well by Jason Lethcoe (#1 and #2, also good)

The Secret Order of the Gumm Street Girls by Elise Primavera


The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg (I had to force the issue with this one seeing as someone thought she couldn’t get it finished in time for her book club meeting — but she did and she liked it)

And those are the books from January. Wheee!

Oh, and I finished Spooner and highly recommend it. The 10 pages of acknowledgements at the end of the book are worth the price of admission!

Now, dusting off my third and fourth grade and fifth grade math memories to go help at school. That information is in a dark, dusty, bat-infested cavern…. Enjoy your Monday!


  1. Stephanie said

    I still love reading books that are considered children’s or young adult literature. Indian in the Cupboard was one of my faves. Have fun with math…I avoid it like the plague and used to volunteer reading the classes, working in the library, anything to do with books.

  2. kaholly said

    I really appreciated this post today. I will share it with those who have tweens in their household or tweens to consider gifts for! I, myself, will pick up a copy of The Rising Star of Rusty Nail, as I also still enjoy reading books for youth! Thank you !

  3. What a great idea. I remember when my daughter was a tween. Not always easy to find anything — books, clothes, etc. just right for that age. I look forward to hearing more about her reading adventures 🙂


  4. MichelleB said

    We listened to The View From Saturday, and I really enjoyed it. I believe I met with resistance when I picked it, too. I’ve been hearing great things about Spooner, I’ll have to put that on my list!

  5. Katy said

    GREAT IDEA!!!! Oops. Caps lock on. I can’t get my tween to read, even with bribing. She can’t be my daughter – I was a right bookworm (still am).

    Soooo…..what are those little dresdens I spotted, hmm? Love the pieced backgrounds!

  6. ibby said

    When I was a child…back in the dark ages as my nieces say…one of my favorite books was “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenwieler” by E.L. Konigsberg. I must have read that book 20 times! Maybe your tween would like that old book. I’m sure it is pretty dated. Today, they could have probably Googled the answer to the mystery.

    I’m going to have to check out the new book. I like reading kids books with my nieces.


  7. lily boot said

    oooh I like this topic! We shall definitely look up the Rusty Nail – we could do with a bit of piano heroism in this household – someone seems to have forgotten where the piano is 🙂 Abby’s been reading the Louis Sachar books – has Anabel read these? If she liked Junebug, Louis Sachar would definitely be up her alley. At the moment, Abby’s reading the Susan Cooper Dark is Rising books. Not to be mistaken with the HIDEOUS film adaptation – I’m amazed they had the gall to release it. Abby had to be shoved into reading them – like, they’re so old and brown and tatty and mine! – but I knew, once in, she’d love them. Have you read the Roman Mysteries? They are good fun and nicely historical. And Abby loved The Drowned Maiden’s Hair – she read that three times in one week. Looking forward to more Anabel moments. 🙂

  8. Thank you for the recommendations! We are a bit stuck in on dog and horse-themed stories for the tween here. I did manage to get her to read Are you There God it’s Me Margaret and she really liked it! She still can’t believe that every grown-up woman she knows read it a million years ago, too. I will share the recommendations of your dear daughter with mine!! Have you read Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society? *sigh* incredible story.

  9. AnnieO said

    How great that she’s a reader! Both of my girls are and I certainly am….

    I have three kids so I have now done all 12 grades four times. But, am I smarter than a 5th grader? Hmmmm, don’t know!

  10. nanette said

    I love to read and it can be such a relaxation. I finished (again) Gone with the Wind. It transported me to a different place with hardships much worse than those that most of us will ever know. The kids sound great. What a fun thing for them to do.

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