My 12 year old daughter loves to read. For a while there, I was actually concerned she was not going to have any social skills at all. But she does occasionally look up and engage with us – and three times a day she puts her book down to eat, so that’s something.
And the bonus is that I’ve been able to put together a list of the best series for tween girls we’ve come across so far. If you know a tween girl who loves to read – or if you know a tween girl that you’d like to coax into reading – these are a great start.
1. Billy B Mystery series by Sally Rippin
Older readers will love the spin-off of the Billie B Brown books, Billie B Mystery, in which Billie B Brown starts a secret mystery club with her friends. They scour the neighbourhood looking for mysteries to solve, beginning with the spooky house at the end of their street.
With six books in the Mystery collection, readers will adore seeing the fabulous Billie and her pals in the Secret Mystery Club solve neighbourhood whodunits in their own special way!
2. Dear Dumb Diary by Jim Benton
Read the hilarious, candid (& sometimes mean) diaries of Jamie Kelly, who promises that everything in her diary is true…or at least as true as it needs to be. These hilarious books mix great stories with fun illustrations, and will have kids begging for more.
3. Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
For lovers of Harry Potter and Jane Austen, Kat, Incorrigible is a Regency-era fantasy trilogy that delightfully blends adventure, humour, mischief, romance, and quite a bit of improper magic. Katherine Ann Stephenson has just discovered that she’s inherited her mother’s magical talents, and despite Stepmama’s stern objections, she’s determined to learn how to use them.
4. EJ12 by Susannah McFarlane
Emma Jacks is just an ordinary school student until she is recruited as a secret agent by SHINE. Then she becomes her alter ego Agent EJ12, and takes on mean girls and saves the polar ice cap; overcomes competition nerves and saves the rainforest; then confronts her fear of the dark to save the SHINE energy supply. EJ12 Girl Hero-solving life’s problems and saving the world!
5. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Adults who have been looking for books for their children that remind them of their beloved childhood favourites will love The Penderwicks. Full of old-fashioned charm but in a modern setting, the Penderwick sisters go on a series of adventure and get into a few scrapes along the way. Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer’s day.
6. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Red-headed, big-hearted Anne Shirley is one of literature’s most classic and beloved characters. Follow orphan Anne Shirley as she first comes to Marilla and Matthew’s home on Prince Edward Island. Anne of Avonlea chronicles Anne’s misadventures as Avonlea’s schoolteacher. Anne of the Island follows Anne as she sets out for Redmond College, and Anne’s House of Dreams tells the story of Anne and Gilbert’s new life together in Four Winds Harbour.
7. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
A forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth’s fate hinges on one girl: Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, and also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation. Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future. This is not the Cinderella you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget – and older readers will love.
8. The Babysitters Club by Anne M Martin
When Kristy Thomas has the great idea to form a babysitters club — a chance to earn money and spend time with her friends, all the while doing something they each love to do — she has no idea how much the club will change everything.
Crank calls, uncontrollable toddlers, wild pets, untruthful clients … running a business is hard work! Kristy and her co-founders Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey are sure they can handle anything. But only if they stick together…
9. The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Demons. Irresistibly drawn towards a group of demon hunters, Clary encounters the dark side of New York City – and the dangers of forbidden love. The bestselling series includes five sensational books: The Shadowhunter Chronicles: The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, The Bane Chronicles and The Shadowhunter’s Codex.
10. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet the Spy is a beloved series featuring feisty and smart Harriet, an 11 year old determined to solve all of her neighbourhood mysteries. And she drags her best friend, mousy Beth Ellen, into all kinds of odd and embarrassing situations in her efforts to uncover secrets. Observing in her own special, caustic way with her ever-present notebook, Harriet the Spy is on the case. But will she be ready to face the truth when she finds it?