The All-Time Best Books for Tweens

Check out some of our favorite books for school-age kids and tweens.

1 of 14

Matilda

Courtesy of Puffin

Matilda

By Roald Dahl


Matilda doesn't watch television. At age 5 she reads a lot. But when she gets frustrated with her school principal, Matilda uses her new-found mental power to save the school.

2 of 14

Shipwrecked!

Courtesy of HarperTrophy

Shipwrecked!

By Rhoda Blumberg


Marooned on an island for six months, the true story of Manjiro Nakahama chronicles his rescue and American education before he returns to Japan where he becomes an honored samurai.

3 of 14

Monkey Island

Courtesy of Yearling

Monkey Island

By Paula Fox


When his parents are unable to care for him, Clay Garrity is left homeless in New York City. Afraid to go to the police, Clay, with the help of two homeless men, survives in a park until he is reunited with his mother and baby sister.

4 of 14

The Phantom Tollbooth

Courtesy of Bullseye Books

The Phantom Tollbooth

By Norton Juster


After a magic tollbooth appears in Milo's room, he pays the toll. What ensues is an adventure that takes him through the Mountains of Ignorance, the Word Market, and finally to Dictionopolis in an effort to save the Princesses, Rhyme and Reason.

5 of 14

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Courtesy of HarperCollins

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

By C.S. Lewis


Stepping through the back of a wardrobe, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy find themselves in Narnia, a land -- ruled by a lion -- that is being threatened with an eternal winter by an evil witch.

6 of 14

Number the Stars

Courtesy of Laurel Leaf

Number the Stars

By Lois Lowry


Set in World War II, this fictionalized story tells of 10-year-old Annemarie Johannesen and her efforts to save her best friend from the death camps.

7 of 14

The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks

Courtesy of HarperTrophy

The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks

By Nancy McArthur


Cleaning your room was never so easy. When some odd seeds arrive in the mail, Michael and his brother Norman plant them only to grow a plant that needs a little more than water to grow.

8 of 14

Secret Letters from 0 to 10

Courtesy of Puffin

Secret Letters from 0 to 10

By Susie Hoch Morgenstern


Ernest Morlaisse lives with his 80-year-old grandmother and has a pretty uneventful life. When a new neighbor, Victoria Montardent, moves in, Ernest's world is transformed as she teaches him to enjoy life and the joy of experiencing new things.

9 of 14

Hatchet

Courtesy of Aladdin

Hatchet

By Gary Paulsen


When the plane he is on to visit his father crashes, Brian Robenson is left to survive in the woods with only a hatchet. Will rescue come before winter sets in?

10 of 14

Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Courtesy of HarperTeen

Sideways Stories from Wayside School

By Louis Sachar


In a school that was built on its side, there only can be odd stories to tell. From the child stuck in his chair by a wad of gum to the tale of a Bebe, a quirky artist, this book is sure to make you laugh.

11 of 14

Summer Reading Is Killing Me!

Courtesy of Puffin

Summer Reading Is Killing Me!

By Jon Scieszka


The Time Warp Trio is back, and after the boys realize they placed their summer reading list in the magical book that transports them back and forth in time, they are faced with having to stop the bad literary characters, led by an evil teddy bear, before they get rid of all the good ones.

12 of 14

Black Beauty

Courtesy of Sterling

Black Beauty

By Anna Sewell


This classic tale told from one horse's point of view shares in the animal's hardships and fortune. Children will learn about relationships and consideration for others.

13 of 14

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Event, Book 1)

Courtesy of HarperCollins

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Event, Book 1)

By Lemony Snicket


Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire lost their parents and their home in a fire. Turning the pages to find a happy ending is pointless as the children only endure more hardships in this surprisingly humorous story.

14 of 14

Maniac Magee

Courtesy of Little, Brown Young Readers

Maniac Magee

By Jerry Spinelli


Jeffrey Magee is just a kid from a small town. Sure he can run fast and hit homeruns, but Magee is better known for how he bridged the town's racial gap.



Copyright © 2003 Meredith Corporation.