11 Best Books For Tweens Update 05/2022

Take a look back at all the great books that were written for middle graders in 2020. A road trip with The Last Kids on Earth, heartfelt and funny stories about coming of age, or stories to help kids learn how to deal with life’s problems, there’s something here for everyone.

The Last Kids on Earth and the Skeleton Road by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Holgate

Jack Sullivan and the rest of the Last Kids on Earth crew are going on a wild road trip with the fate of the world in the balance. With the Midnight Blade, Jack must stop an evil wizard named Thrull from building an unstoppable gateway into our world and bringing a powerful force into our world. In order for them to get outside of Wakefield, they have to fight off a monster that everyone thought was long dead and on their tails.

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik

It’s never easy to move and start a new school, and Omar is no different. In the beginning, he doesn’t know what to expect and is afraid of the worst. At least until he makes a new friend. However, when he gets into a fight with the school bully, a boy named Daniel tells Omar that all Muslims will be kicked out of the country. It looks like all of his worst fears are coming true. A happy family and an imaginative mind will help Omar get through this.

Wink by Rob Harrell

Ross Maloy wants nothing more than to be like everyone else. Making it through middle school is hard even when things are going well. There are a few exceptions to this: Ross was diagnosed with rare eye cancer, which makes it impossible for him to be a normal seventh grader. Ross might be able to accept his new life and learn that his diagnosis is not who he is.

Tornado Brain by Cat Patrick

A 13-year-old girl named Frankie is the star of this powerful coming-of-age story. : Frankie doesn’t like to be hugged or changed, and loud noises bother her. Frankie has a hard time making friends because of this. Then Colette shows up, and Frankie is excited – at least until Colette goes away. Now Frankie must convince her sister Tess to help decipher the clues she’s convinced Colette left behind so Frankie can find her friend.

Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

People at school will make fun of you if you have a bad perm. What do you do? If you’re Yumi Chung, you make even the most embarrassing memories into pure fun. As a stand-up comic, Yumi wants to be the best. She spends her free time watching YouTube videos of her favorite comedians. This is what happened: A mix-up led to her going to a comedy camp where she was taught by her favorite comic. When Yumi’s false identity starts to crumble, she must decide whether to tell the truth or risk losing everything.

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

During the Great Depression, Ellie’s family lost everything. They are now trying to start over. Echo Mountain is where they now live. It turns out that a tragic accident leaves her father in the hospital, and Ellie is unfairly blamed for it. To make things right, she goes to a healer in the mountain wilderness. In the end, it will be a long and difficult journey, one that she hasn’t been through before.

When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, illustrated by Victoria Jamieson and Iman Geddy

This graphic novel tells the story of two brothers who grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya. It is very powerful and emotional. It is hard for Omar and Hassan to live in the world because it is hard for them. Their whole lives have been spent in a refugee camp, where food and other necessities are always scarce. Omar knows more than anything that his brother, who can’t speak, needs to be taken care of. When the opportunity arises to attend school, which could possibly alter the brothers’ future, Omar must decide if he can leave his brother every day to pursue a better life for both of them.

The Mystery of the Moon Tower by Francesco Sedita and Prescott Seraydarian, illustrated by Steve Hamaker

When five different kids are put together at a summer camp, they’re surprised when they quickly become friends. As if that wasn’t enough, they found a trail of clues left by the camp’s first explorer-inventor. Soon, the kids find a castle with a strange secret room in which time appears to be going backwards. This starts them on an adventure that they could not have dreamed of.

What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado

This striking coming-of-age tale centers on Stephen, a mixed race kid trying to find his footing in a world that seems to have two different sets of rules. In the last few weeks, Stephen has been getting more and more worried about how his white friends are treated. He wants to be able to do the same things as his friends. The fact that he wants to do the same things as his friends makes it seem like there might be a set of rules that aren’t the same for him. That doesn’t mean Stephen doesn’t want to be in the lane he wants to be in, no matter what the world says.

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

During this moving look at loss and family, ZJ, a young boy whose father was a football star and a well-loved neighborhood leader, takes center stage. It’s not like that for ZJ. His dad isn’t the same person he was before. It’s hard for his dad to remember things and he gets angry a lot. He’s even forgotten ZJ’s name a few times. ZJ knows that head injuries from football are to blame for these things, but that doesn’t make it any easier. There is now a new normal for him. He must figure out how to deal with it and try to hold on to what is left of the father he loves.

Pages & Co.: The Map of Stories by Anna James, illustrated by Paola Escobar

During this moving look at loss and family, ZJ, a young boy whose father was a football star and a well-loved neighborhood leader, takes the center stage. It’s not like that for ZJ. His dad isn’t the same person he used to be. It’s hard for his dad to remember things and he gets angry a lot. He’s even forgotten ZJ’s name several times. ZJ knows that head injuries from football are to blame, but it doesn’t make it any easier. There is now a new normal for him. He must figure out how to deal with it and try to hold on to what is left of the father he loves.

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