A well-written story about childhood crushes and first love is always a good thing to read. Even though I’m in my early twenties, I love books that show the tenderness and innocence of young love. They just make me feel warm, fuzzy, and nostalgic. They make me want to go back in time. These stories are also very important to young people who read them, especially when they’re in middle school.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a voracious young reader looking for romance recommendations or a tired adult looking for a boost of endorphins and nostalgia, these are some books with some tween romance that you might want to read. Happy reading, everyone!
The Best At It By Maulik Pancholy
It’s middle school for a young gay Indian American boy in a small town in Indiana. He has to find one thing he’s good at. And become the best at it, too! Rahul Kapoor spends a lot of time staring at his classmate Justin Emery, which makes him want to be the best.
This is Pancholy’s first book for middle-schoolers, and it’s very cute. It talks about how to be true to yourself and your family, and how to have the courage to live your truth.
Drum Roll, Please By Lisa Jenn Bigelow
Quiet The only time Melly doesn’t feel like she’s a mouse is when she plays the drums. However, even though Melly is excited to spend two weeks at Camp Rockaway this summer, she doesn’t know what to expect. Her parents will split up, her best friend won’t come, and she’ll start to fall in love with a girl at camp.
People who read Drum Roll, Please will be able to identify with the young girl who leads the group, even though she is a little awkward. As a bonus, who doesn’t love the idea of a quick romance set in the middle of summer camp?
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora By Pablo Cartaya
When Arturo Zamora is 13, he has a goal: save the restaurant. Save the city. Then, get the girl. Make his grandmother happy. It’s not clear if he’s setting himself up for a big, bad mistake.
A young Cuban boy, Arturo Zamora, fights for his community and learns about poetry and protest through untold family stories and Jose Marti’s work. The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora
From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess By Meg Cabot
With 15 million copies sold around the world, Cabot’s Princess Diaries series is a global hit. Everyone loves Princess Mia and her pranks. But what about her younger half-sister?
Newer series: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess is about Olivia Grace Clarisse Harrison, who is now the new princess of Genovia. She is a book and music lover. Finally, in the third installment of this series, Olivia comes to terms with the fact that she has a crush on Prince Khalil and asks her grandmother for help.
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World By Ashley Herring Blake
In the worst way possible, Ivy Aberdeen is having the worst time of her life. Tornadoes have destroyed her home, leaving five people without a place to live. And her notebook with secret drawings of girls holding hands has been taken away by someone else, too. In fact, when Ivy’s drawings start to show up in her locker again, with anonymous notes encouraging her to be more open, she thinks her crush is behind this.
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World is a heartwarming story that will make you cry.
Mary Underwater By Shannon Dolesky
In order not to keep being a victim anymore, Mary has a plan: she and the class clown, Kip Dwyer, are going to build a real submarine, just like the model they’ve been making together. Mary gets her strength and courage from her hero, Joan of Arc. She wants to drive a sub across the Chesapeake Bay to save herself.
Mary Underwater, a story about perseverance, courage, and bravery, is a story that can help anyone, no matter what their age is.
The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James By Ashley Herring Blake
Twelve-year-old Sunny St. James had a heart transplant and is now on her “New Life Plan.” She wants to do things she couldn’t do before, find a new friend, and kiss a boy for the first time. She doesn’t think that way until she meets her new best friend, Quinn.
Beautiful: The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James tells a story about young love and sexuality.
Nikki on the Line By Barbara Carrol Roberts
Nikki Doyle, who is 13 years old, wants to be a basketball star one day. School and friends are stressful, and babysitting isn’t easy. Will she be able to get through it all? To make things even worse, her science teacher wants her to do a project on her family tree that will require Nikki to tell her most embarrassing secret.
In Nikki on the Line, a book about friendship, competition, and self-confidence, Nikki talks about these things.
P.S. I Miss You By Jen Petro-Roy
It breaks Evie’s heart when her older sister is sent away from their strict Catholic home after becoming pregnant, but Evie doesn’t understand why. Evie isn’t allowed to talk to Cilla, so she starts writing to her, especially when she starts to question her sexual orientation.
P.S. I Miss You is a middle-grade book that talks about a lot of different things, like first crushes, faith, teenage pregnancy, and complicated families.
Redwood and Ponytail By K.A. Holt
Kate looks like a typical cheerleader who is perfect and polished. Tam is tall, athletic, and often thought to be a boy.
Redwood and Ponytail is a book that is told in verse. It tells the stories of two girls who are very different from each other, but they end up being attracted to each other.
Crushing It By Joanne Levy
When I read this book, it makes me think of the Netflix movie “Sierra Burgess is a Loser.” When Kat’s friend, Olivia, falls for her neighbor, Kat has to help them get together. Kat might be able to use her knowledge of Tyler because they’ve been friends for a long time to help her. The only problem is that Kat is secretly in love with Tyler.