10 Exciting Books for Tweens

Need some exciting books for keeping your tweens interested in reading? Here is a round-up of some exciting and adventurous books to help keep tweens turning the pages.

Spiderman reading exciting books for tweens

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As a major book lover and former teacher, one of my favorite things about being a parent is helping my kids to find great books that they enjoy reading. Every book on this list is one my son has read – so if you have any questions, comment below and I’ll get you an answer! This list of exciting books for tweens is appropriate for 4th-7th graders, depending on their reading level and interest.

  1. The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer is a magical adventure starring a twelve-year-old boy who is a criminal mastermind. The first book is a rather easy reading level for 4th graders, and the later books are a bit more challenging. A great choice to get kids sucked into the adventure!

2. Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins is about a boy who journeys under the streets of New York City – the Underland – on a quest to find his father. This is book one of five in the Overland Chronicles.

10 exciting books for tweens

3. The Wishing Spell is book one of the Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer. It is about twins who find themselves in the land of fairy tales, where they face characters including witches, trolls, and goblins. This one is at a 4th-5th grade reading level, but is recommended for kids ages 9-13, so middle schoolers would enjoy it as well.

4. The Book of Time by Guillame Prevost is a time-traveling adventure in which a fourteen-year-old boy is searching for his father. He travels to 800 A.D. Scotland, ancient Egypt, even Dracula’s castle! It’s the first in a series.

Spiderman can't put these exciting books for tweens down!
Even Spiderman can’t put these books down

5. The Storm Makers by Jennifer E. Smith is the story of twins Ruby and Simon who realize that the strange weather they experience is linked to Simon’s emotions. Then a stranger arrives and tells them that Simon is part of a secret group called ‘The Storm Makers’ – and he is in danger. This one is at a higher reading level.

6. City of Fire is the first in the City Trilogy by Laurence Yep. It’s an adventure that takes place in an alternate version of 1941 with an Asian twist – it includes Chinese warriors and Japanese mythological creatures.

7.  The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens is the first in the series entitled The Books of Beginning. This new series was referred to as, “A new Narnia for the tween set” by the New York Times. It’s full of magic, humor, and adventure. As a heads up, the third book in this series, The Black Reckoning, is a harder reading level and gets pretty scary, so probably isn’t appropriate for the youngest kids.

8. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett centers on a Vermeer painting going missing, and two kids that become crime-solvers. Newsweek described this mystery story as “A Da Vinci Code for tweens.” It is also the first in a series.

9. The Brixton Brothers series by Mac Barnett is a fun collection of books about kid detectives. The first in the series is called The Case of The Case of Mistaken Identity. These books are a somewhat easier level than many of the others on this list.

10. Nick of Time by Ted Bell is the first in the series Nick McIver Adventures Through Time. The book begins in 1939 England with concerns about the Nazis…but then pirates and time machines get involved and Nick and his sister Kate end up on quite an adventure!

Before you go…

I just wanted to throw in a few words about how I find books that will work for my kids. As a former teacher, I know a lot about reading levels and how to help kids grow as readers. When my kids were still in elementary school, I would ask their teachers what reading level they were, and then I would use that information to find books. I will write another article about how to do that another day if you all are interested…let me know if you would like that…but for now, I thought I would list the Lexile numbers of the books in my list so that you can compare the relative reading difficulty. If the book is first in a series, the number I give refers to the first book.

  1. Artemis Fowl: 600 (later installments in the series have higher scores).
  2. Gregor the Overlander: 690
  3. Land of Stories: 760
  4. Book of Time: 760
  5. The Storm Makers: 940
  6. City of Fire: 900
  7. Emerald Atlas: 720 (Black Reckoning is 890)
  8. Chasing Vermeer: 770
  9. Brixton Brothers: 590
  10. Nick of Time: 950

I would love to hear what you all think of my list of adventurous books! This is the first in a series of posts like this, as I have barely scratched the surface of T’s book list. I would love to hear what your adventure book recommendations would be! Also, what kind of book list would you like me to tackle next? Comment below and let me know.

You can also check out my lists of:

20 Quirky Books for Tweens

Science Fiction Books for Tweens

Books for Tweens Who Love Harry Potter

Exciting books for tweens
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  1. Thank you for your article, As great grandparents we need all the help we can get. As legal guardian to our great grandson who will be 12 this month, I realize he has to read to keep his grades up. At 9 years of age Paul was reading 6th and 7th grade level so he no difficulty to read, however, To get Paul to read at all is Now it’s the biggest hurdle we find we are at. Paul has ADD & HDHD. Anything you can suggest will be an enormous help.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much for reading my article! I’m glad that you found it helpful. It can be a challenge to find books that keep kids interested in reading. What type of books is he interested in? What are his other hobbies – maybe this could lead to some books he’d like?

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