Best Books for Tweens by Middle School Boy

Book Reviews by Middle School Boy

Capability:Mom gave me her summer camp newsletter because there is a boy there who all the kids go to when they need a good chapter book recommendation.  The kids think he is a kind of genius boy wonder that knows pretty much everything on the planet.  I believe he is in middle school.  He was kind enough to write up his chapter book recommendations for the newsletter and I have retyped it for you.  I love peer-to-peer book recommendations.  Who better to know what you will like than a kid your age??!

Ages 9>

Ranger’s Apprentice Series.  Okay, it’s not wonderful, rather light and fluffy in fact, but a good summer read.  No thought-provoking subjects, but fun.  Some heavy topics.

Gregor the Overlander series:  Again, fairly light and fluffy, but a bit deeper and darker.  More for the older end of this age bracket.  WARNING:  some potentially disturbing imagery and events.  You have been warned.

Dealing with Dragons series:  An interesting twist on a fairy tale, where the princess runs away to be a dragon’s captive.  Hi jinks ensue.

Ages 10-12

Wee Free Men and sequels:  Set in England, a girl discovers that her younger brother has been stolen by the Queen of the Fey, and must embark on a journey with a tribe of little blue men to save her brother in this coming-of-age tale.

The His Dark Materials trilogy: Probably better for older kids, but can be read on multiple levels.  Can be interpreted as religiously offensive, but it’s a good story.

The Mortal Engines … Pentet (?):  In this post-apocalyptic tale, cities roll on wheels in a city-eat-city world.  Dark and potentially scary.

Bridge to Tarabithia:  Beautiful book.  Read it.  Expect tears.

Maximum Ride— ONLY the first three books:  An imaginative sci-fi comedy.  Best described as a “cross between The Boxcar Children and X-Men”.  WHATEVER you do, do NOT read books four and five.  Six, maybe.  My favorite- it’s the equivalent of candy, bad yet fun.

Ages 13+

1984:  Scary, depressing, and inappropriate in parts, this book plumbs the depths of psychology that are frightening and strangely beautiful at times.  RATED R, you have been warned.

Unwind:  Freaky and thought-provoking, this book is an interesting look at just how laws can be twisted.  Again, scary as all get-out.

Ender’s Game:  Classic sci-fi, brilliant plot- and one of my personal favorites.

Lord of the Rings:  You’ve seen the movies, now read the books.  I will acknowledge that the books are long, and, at times, rather dry, but they offer the best imagery that I’ve ever seen.  Again, classic.

The Reformed Vampire’s Support Group:  An alternative view of vampires, and good for getting Twilight-obsessed fanboys to realize the error of their ways.

Peeps:  Another alternative vampire novel.  It’s good.  Rated R, for creepiness and inappropriate content.

Sleeping Freshman Never Lie:  Realistic fiction romantic comedy.  Atypical, sure, but a very good book.  You will like it.


Thanks Ned!  To view any of these books at Amazon, please click on image of the book.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I think he’s a boy genius too. That’s about as good a list as I’ve even seen. Thanks for posting.

  2. Sugar Mama

    My 13 yo son read Unwind and loved it… but, yes, very creepy concept. We had a lot of discussions about this book.

  3. Megan

    I’m a 6-8 reading teacher and I’m very curious to know what is wrong with the Maximum Ride books 4 & 5?

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