Auckland Libraries: Advanced books for keen tween readers

Advanced books for keen tween readers

He Pukapuka whanake mā te kaipānui taiohi

So, your 10-year-old is reading at a 12 / 15-year-old reading level – but you’re worried they’ll read content that isn’t age-appropriate. Come on in – we can help! You’re not the first, and you won’t be the last parent to ask. Here are my top 10 books that may appeal, and have the language you’re looking for, but not the worrisome content.

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The zoo at the edge of the world

Eric Kahn Gale

Book

An emotional read about abilities and expectations, friendships and families, and animals.

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The book of three

Lloyd Alexander

Book

When offered the chance to be a hero, would you take it? Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, does and learns it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. First in a classic fantasy series, the Chronicles of Prydain.

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The tomorrow code

Brian Falkner

Book

Fast-paced, code- and clue-laden, and a very New Zealand – Auckland in particular – setting, make this ecological thriller an edge-of-your-seat-pay-attention read.

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The little white horse

Elizabeth Goudge

Book

Sometimes the classics are the best: safe content with advanced reading, in an old-fashioned style. Some readers may find this book too flowery, with not enough action, but I’m biased and love it. I still want Maria’s life.

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The mysterious Benedict Society

Trenton Lee. Stewart

Book

A secret, undercover mission – tests, special selections – what more could you want? First in a series.

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Dragonsong

Anne McCaffrey

Book

Not all Anne McCaffrey’s are suitable for this younger age group, but the Harper Hall trilogy was aimed at teen readers from the beginning. This one might need a pre-read, just in case – but Dragonsong should be fine.

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Stargirl

Jerry Spinelli

Book

An important book to read if your girl, in particular, is struggling with fitting in / image issues. We, as readers, love Stargirl because of her individuality – but can see the judgement placed on her by her peers. The sequel is Love, Stargirl.

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Five children and it

E. (Edith) Nesbit

Book

Another classic fantasy story, with the action firmly bedded in a Victorian family. The children’s adventures continue in: The phoenix and the carpet and The story of the amulet.

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Dealing with dragons

Patricia C. Wrede

Book

The joy of this book, and the others in the Enchanted Forest chronicles, is in having frames of reference for the in-jokes. You need to be thoroughly familiar with fantasy and fairy tales to fully appreciate the asides and characters.

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Ballet shoes

Noel Streatfeild

Book

Another classic on our list, this time in the realistic fiction genre, rather than fantasy. Noel Streatfeild is worth hunting down, if this appeals to your reader.

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Book list by:

Annie

LibrarianHelensville Library