Bookish Gift Ideas for Tweens

It’s that time of the year—crunch time for those last minute gifts for the holidays. If you are anything like me, you need advice for what to get those hard to buy for teens and tweens like my tween nieces and nephews this Christmas.  Here are some great suggestions:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul By: Jeff Kinney
Series:Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #9
Genre: Graphic/fiction.
For Ages: 8-12
           If you have never heard of the bestselling series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, then let me introduce you to this blockbuster-of-a-book series for tweens. This series uniquely combines fun, comic-like illustrations with text as it follows undersized sixth grader, Greg through his middle school experiences. “The Long Haul” is the ninth and most recent installment. In The Long Haul, Greg and his family takes a road trip. The trip which starts off well enough quickly takes several wrong turns– from a fender bender to crazed seagulls–but even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure, and this is one the Heffleys will not soon forget!

Treasure Hunters By: James Patterson
Series: Treasure Hunters # 1
Genre: Adventure
For ages: 9-13
Treasure Hunters is a new adventure series that combines a lot of humor and adventure into its pages. The story follows the four Kiddos kids (the twins Bick and Beck and their two older siblings) after their treasure-seeking parents disappear in a sea storm. The children continue their parent’s treasure hunting mission as they seek to discover the truth about what really happened to their parents. On the Kiddo children’s way, they run into pirates who are looking for the same treasure they are.
This book is great for adventure seekers between the ages of 9-13 and will appeal to Diary of a Wimpy Kid readers, as Treasure Hunters includes many wonderful illustrations.
Series: The School for Good and Evil, Book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Ages: 11-13
The School for Good and Evil is a new trilogy that has created a lot of buzz. What makes this book so grand it that is similar to Harry Potter with its strong good vs evil theme and the impressively detailed world described within the pages.
The story begins with best friends Sophie and Agatha as they are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Sophie, with her devotion to good deeds, knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella. Meanwhile, Agatha, with a wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil. The two girls soon find their fortunes reversed–Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil while Agatha is at the School for Good. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are … ?
Theodore Boone: The Activist By: John Grisham
Series: Theodore Bone: Kid Lawyer #4
Genre: Mystery
Age: 9 – 13 years
In this mystery series follow Theodore Boone, thirteen-year-old teen who has always dreamed of being a great trial lawyer someday. In this fourth and latest book, Theo’s town is divided in two by political and environmental issues. Theo takes the stand to protect his political and environmental freedoms. This book series is not only fun and exciting, it is also unique because it teaches its readers about the legal system.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
By: Chris Grabenstein
Series: N/A
Genre: Mystery
Age: 9-13
I know what you are thinking, that because I work in a library, of course, I’m going to love a book about a library. But I assure you that this book has so much more to it than a fun adventure in a library! This story is a quirky and fun read. The main character is an 11 year old class clown named Kyle. Kyle and 11 other kids are chosen to spend the night in the town’s new library. Luckily for them this library just happens to have been built by world famous game creator—Luigi Lemoncello. After a bit of fun the kids realize that they won’t be freed until they solve a series of puzzles based on famous books.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy By: Karen Foxlee
Series: n/a
Genre: Fantasy
Ages: 8-12
This book is a great choice for any fairy tale fans out there. It is full of imagination. Ophelia, a timid eleven-year-old girl who is grieving her mother, suspends her disbelief in things non-scientific when she meets a boy locked in the museum where her father is working. The boy asks her to help him complete an age-old mission. The story moves in two parallel worlds and timelines. One line is set in an unnamed place and tells the ancient story of the Snow Queen and the quest of the Boy With No Name to defeat her. That story involves wizards, a mystical sword, and magic. In the second line follows Ophelia who finds the Boy imprisoned in a museum.

Minecraft: Redstone Handbook Or
Minecraft: The Essential Handbook By: Scholastic
Series: n/a
Genre: nonfiction, how-to
Ge 8-13
Ages: 8-13
If you know a tween, you probably know someone who is obsessed with Minecraft. Minecraft is an interesting video game because it appeals equally to boys and girls.  Kids are just willing to watch it being played as well as play it themselves. Minecraft is also a fairly strategic game that takes a lot of practice and skill to master. That’s why I recommend Minecraft books as possible gifts. For a tween just getting into Minecraft, I recommend “Minecraft: the Essential Handbook”. This book completely lays out the basics of Minecraft with step by step easy to follow guide.
If, on the other hand, you have a tween who is on their way to mastering the game, I recommend “Minecraft: Redstone Handbook”. This book can give tips to even the most practiced Minecraft player. Both of these books are written for tween players/readers and will easily guide them through different levels of the game.
Scavengers By: Michael Perry
Series: n/a
Genre: Post-apocalyptic adventure
Ages: 8-12
          This middle grade novel is written by bestselling Wisconsin author Michael Perry. This story is a mixture of action-packed adventure and heartfelt family story. It is set in the near future.  A major climate change has hit our world, sending things into chaos and people into panic. The government has teamed up with corporations to build
Bubble Cities. You can live InBubble or OutBubble, but once you make your choice, there are no take backs. The main character, Ford Falcon lives OutBubble with her family.  They have been able to survive by working together. But when Ford comes home one day to find her family missing, she must rescue her loved ones.
Liar & Spy By: Rebecca Stead
Series: n/a
Genre: Mystery
Ages: 10-14
Some authors can write a career’s worth of books and never quite nail the intangible element of mood. Not so with Newbery-winning author Rebecca Stead! Liar and Spy is a wonderful novel that is perfect for 5-8th graders and deals with important topics such as friendship, bullying and loss. The story begins when the main character, seventh grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building.  He meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer’s first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?
          Do these books sound like books your tweens would read? What books did I miss? Are you looking for a different list of book recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!
Kirsten Vaughan
Isanti Outreach Librarian

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