7 Books for Tweens and Teens to Get Stuck Into

Dive into this summer reading list for 12-16 year olds

by HarrisonLiao | Thu, August 03, 2017

If you're looking for a way to get your teenager off their phone for a few hours, we've got a few books that might just reel them in! These seven stories don't just serve to entertain, they also carry poignant, positive messages that they will be able to relate to.

1. Amina's Voice, by Hena Khan

Source: Voa News

Age Group: 11-14

Genre: Fiction

Why it's right for your child: Hena Khan's portrait of a Pakistani-American Muslim girl, trying desperately to blend in at her middle school, provides a moving vignette into the unique social challenges affecting girls of this age – especially those that feel different from their peers. Whether your child can resonate with that or not, Amina's Voice provides a poignant example of a young girl maturing into her own identity and encouraging those around her to do the same by example.

2. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson

Source: heyuguys

Age Group: 12-16

Genre: Adventure

Why it's right for your child: Don't be fooled by the age of Jonas Jonasson's protagonist, a 100-year-old man who indeed climbs out the window and escapes from his geriatric home. This is a story about youth, treasuring every moment of it, and it's a fab good read. The novel's beloved centenarian, Allan Karlsson, decides on his 100th birthday that he's had enough of being old and pops out his dormitory, window with no intention of returning. He embarks on a sprawling, epic adventure that would fit snugly into a Thelma & Louise sequel. You and your child will love Jonasson's colorful odyssey and it might just rekindle a little zest for life in your day-to-day routines.

3. American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang

Source: emaze

Age Group: 11-14

Genre: Semi-autobiographical Graphic Novel

Why it's right for your child: Gene Luen Yang weaves three vastly different stories together – Sun Wukong, a.k.a. the Monkey King, a second-generation Chinese American living in San Francisco; Jin Wang and a white American boy named Danny, who's visited by his Chinese cousin Chin-Kee. Eventually, the three timelines slam into one another, in a lighthearted yet insightful look into the identity crisis of second-generation immigrant children in America. American Born Chinese is an exciting read and a great example for young teenagers to learn to love who they are.

4. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

Source: collider

Age Group: 13-16

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Why it's right for your child: Ransom Riggs' debut novel tells the story of a boy who's orphaned after his grandfather is killed by a fiendish monster. With his dying breath, his grandfather reveals the boy's ancient family secret: the ability to see the supernatural. Through photographic clues left by his grandfather, the boy makes his way to Miss Peregrine's orphanage, a home for "peculiar children." Although Riggs' novel is a little darker than most childrens' books, if your child doesn't scare easily, they will love this quirky tale of an occult boy falling into a new family equally as strange as he is.

5. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Source: ionmagazine

Age Group: 12-16

Genre: Autobiographical Graphic Novel

Why it's right for your child: This story is loaded with heart and rooted in history. Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel brings readers through her journey as a young civilian girl entrenched in Iran during the Islamic revolution, to her somewhat bitter return to Iran as a grown woman. Persepolis is starkly empathetic yet never takes itself too seriously. It's heartwarming but never overly sentimental. It's a memoir, but it's also one of modern literature's great Bildungsromans, accessible by all ages. You and your child will be wowed by Satrapi's affecting black-and-white glimpse into her past.

6. Holes, by Louis Sachar

Source: behance

Age Group: 10-14

Genre: Mystery, Comedy

Why it's right for your child: Louis Sachar's story about an extremely unlucky 14-year-old boy named Stanley Yelnats moves at a delirious pace with a laugh a minute. Stanley, who is mistakenly accused of stealing a pair of sneakers, is sentenced to spending the summer at a juvenile prison out in the middle of the desert. As punishment, he and his fellow inmates are forced to dig holes in the scorching heat to "build character," but Stanley soon finds something beneath the desert sands that juvy would prefer to keep a secret. Not only is Holes a masterpiece of nonsense humor, it's also a gritty, sincere story of a down-on-his-luck kid trying to keep his head above ground.

7. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

Source: ytimg

Age Group: 12-16

Genre: Historical Fiction

Why it's right for your child: Zusak transports the reader to World War II and into the delicate mind of Liesel Meminger, a young German girl living in a time of worldwide chaos. After her brother's death, Liesel moves in with the Hubermanns, her new foster parents. At her new home, Liesel's veil of innocence is destroyed despite her foster family's best intentions and Liesel is exposed to the naked horrors of the genocidal Nazi regime. To keep hope alive, Liesel's foster father, Hans, teaches her how to read in secret and Liesel begins to steal books away from the Nazi party, writing with a Jewish man the Hubermanns take in. Even if your child has little knowledge of the events of WWII, "The Book Thief" is a moving, enthralling account of how good people deal with immense suffering.