Skip to comments.Vanity - Book/Author Suggestions for a 12/13 y/o Girl
Posted on 12/01/2009 6:14:54 PM PST by highimpact
I'm seeking help finding a new author and/or book suggestions for my daughter for Christmas. She is 12 going on 13, and very smart (gifted student, genius IQ, home-schooled.) She is moving beyond her pre-teen books.
I'm looking for books/authors that are early adult, without graphic sexual/horror situations. She enjoys mystery, history (fiction or non-fiction), adventure, and romantic comedy. She is a big fan of Brian Jacques and Gail Carson Levine.
My early reading tended more to Fantasy and Sci-fi, so that is what I am going to recommend.
Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is great for a bright kid at that age or maybe Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle is a retelling of the Authurian legends with a strong historical feel threaded through it and might be something she would enjoy.
I think a great book (probably not for the holidays though, given the subject matter) would be the Diary of Anne Frank. I read it when I was that age. It was deeply moving.
The Hobbitt Series was a fun read.
My nine year old is reading “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and loving it. She hated “Little Women” and dragged through it.
For fun, she was reading the Beacon Street Girls. They are written for Tweens. They are very much candyfloss, but they were cute and not objectionable.
I would suggest what my 12-year-old is reading, but I’m not sure how much your daughter likes Glenn Beck or Ann Coulter.
“Arguing with Idiots” is hilarious.
Fiction: Watership Down by Richard Adams
Non-fiction: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
The Corpse Had a Familar Face by Edna Buchanan
I especially recommend Edna Buchanan’s books. She used to be the crime reporter for the Miami Herald before she quit to write novels. She writes some of the best prose I’ve ever read, and says more in a few paragraphs than most writers say in a dozen pages.
The Hobbitt/LOR series is a great suggestion. It never crossed my mind. I read it as well around that age. I don’t know about the Diary of Anne Frank. I’ve never read it. Would you recommend that book for a child who occasionally has nightmares (2-3 times a year)?
Also: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
“The Velvet Room” by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. It’s a wonderful story and extremely well-written.
“I especially recommend Edna Buchanans books. She used to be the crime reporter for the Miami Herald before she quit to write novels. She writes some of the best prose Ive ever read, and says more in a few paragraphs than most writers say in a dozen pages.”
Sounds like I might like her myself. I love true crime stories, and I hate flowery prose. What book would you suggest to start with?
I will check it out. Thanks.
The Once and Future King
Captains Courageous, Kim, The Light that Died
Rudyard Kipling (In fact, anything by Kipling)
The Honor Harrington series (Horatio Hornblower IN SPAAACE!!!!) Honor, duty, courage in a Royal Navy in the far future with good hard science mixed in. The Hero (heroine?) is female, and a great positive role model.
The Hyperion series (Lots of philosophical insights but may be too advanced.)
“Also: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.”
Good one. I read it 20 years ago. Thanks.
What do you all think of the Isaac Asimov “Foundation” Trilogy? Too early for a 12 year old? She has never explored Sci-Fi before. I remember really enjoying those books when I was a teen.
I appreciate the suggestions. Thanks.
True Grit by Charles Portis
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
The Golden Ocean by Patrick O’Brien
Beowulf trans. by Seamus Heaney
Podkayne of Mars by Robert Heinlein
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
some stories by Tolstoy
“Prude” by Carol Platt Liebau.
‘How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls’
You read it first!
Then decide how long you can afford to wait to have her read it.
Start with The Corpse Had a Familar Face. It’s a collection of essays from her career as a reporter. There’s also a second collection of essays, but I don’t recall the title. Her novels are pretty good too. Most of them center on the Britt Montero character, who is, naturally a crime reporter in Miami.
“I would suggest what my 12-year-old is reading, but Im not sure how much your daughter likes Glenn Beck or Ann Coulter.
Arguing with Idiots is hilarious.”
I have all the Ann Coulter books except that one. I enjoy them, but my daughter’s a bit young to start with the deeply political material. We watch Glenn Beck, and the kids disappear. They’re a couple years away from understanding the bigger picture he’s talking about. I appreciate your suggestions, though. Especially “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” I had completely forgotten about that book.
Enemy Women. A gripping story about women imprisoned during the Civil War. No sex, little violence. But strong.
I appreciate all of your suggestions, but:
“Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls”
Really? For Christmas? I’m still crying 23 years later! LOL
Sounds interesting. Author?
Well, it’s a bit of a read, but Brothers Karamazoff by Dostoyevski. If she’s reading Tolstoy, she’s ready for Dostoyevski.
Anything by Solzhenitsyn.
Anything by Kipling. Especially Jungle Book.
What about Mark Twain? Has she read Tom Sawyer?
I second the once and future king. She will very much love that book!
“What about Mark Twain? Has she read Tom Sawyer?”
She read Huckleberry Finn a couple years ago and didn’t like it. Now that she’s older, I’m sure she’ll enjoy Tom Sawyer. Thanks for the suggestion.
If she likes Arthurian fiction, try Idylls of the King by Tennyson.
Robert Heinlein’s young novels should work for Sci-Fi.
Also Agatha Christie for mystery.
“The Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin
“Understood Betsy” by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
“All Creatures Great and Small” by James Harriot
Yes, "Diary of Ann Frank" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" are good books. But not for Christmas.
Hmm, if she hasn’t read much science fiction, she’d probably enjoy Jules Verne’s books.
“The Count of Monte Cristo”
This. Seconded. Dumas she would love.
Birthday Snow, by Monique Niemaszyk
Spring’s Gift of Hope, also by Monique Niemaszyk
and two by Carmen Marcoux:
Arms of Love
Ender’s Game. Awesome. Maybe not if she’s really girlie though.
Two SciFi multiple volume epics come to mind both with very strong female leads; Anne McCaffery’s “Dragonriders of Pern” series and Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children / “Clan of the Cave Bear” series. The latter may be a bit to sexually explicit for that age (I don’t have any 12-13 females to ask about it) but its depiction of the Ice Age and primitive Eurasia still resonates with me.
You mentioned Huck Finn but neglected to mention Tom Sawyer. Why?
Ping to book ideas for our girl.
Many thanks to all FReepers for offering suggestions!
I remember still reading Dickens when I was a kid. Oliver Twist — I still remember Chapter 1: I Am Born. Tried to read all the classics & set my own reading lists. But still remember clutching my Oliver Twist on the (city) bus to school at about that age.
Anything by Jane Austen. Also, the Anne of Green Gables series. I remember being fascinated by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I at that age. Gone With The Wind and The Secret Garden.
Couple of suggestions:
History (real people):
Real Men: Ten Courageous Americans to Know and Admire - You can get it at Amazon
High Fantasy (probably my all time favorite book (both my grown daughters also from the time they were early teens):
The Deed of Paksenarrion: A Novel - also at Amazon
Hope she likes these.
Have a great Christmas!
“Clan of the Cave Bear”
I’ve read it. Way too explicit for a 12 y/o, but a good role-model book for a teenager nonetheless. I’ll check out “Earth’s Children.” I appreciate the mention.
Any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books would work and for a bit of fun contrasting today's science fiction have her read his "The Lost World".
The Little Britches series (8 books) by Ralph Moody. Autobiography/recollections of growing up in Colorado (& elsewhere) in the early 1900’s. Great, wholesome, honorable tales of survival and family values during rough times. Lots of horse & outdoor stuff. I loved them when I was 10 and read and enjoyed them again in my 50’s.
Digging into the memory banks here for what I was reading at that age. I think my favorites way back then were Christy by Catherine Marshall and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Jamaica Inn by Du Maurier was also a favorite.
One other suggestion if you don’t mind. The Nancey Drew series of books(if you can find them)are a good way for a modern teenager to see what teenagers were like in the late 1930s and early 40s. Not to mention Nancy is a good role model:)
Diary of Anne Frank has nearly nothing to do with concentration camps other than the fear of them. This is a diary written during the time that the family (along with another jewish family) was being hidden in the attic of an office building and the crush she had on the teenage boy of the other family.
My 12 year old loves it and I certainly recommend it. I mostly do so because it makes it real to the kids what it COULD be like. I mean this was a real girl, these were her real words and her real experience.
I see, well I started reading when I was 41/2(really) so don’t have reference as to what age a person should start reading Tom Sawyer, since I read before age 6, but I read it now and then even today, just to refresh my memory of Sam Clemens and his style of writing.
This book looks great! Hope I get it for Christmas.
I’ll tell you a good series that I enjoyed and that is the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. They are not deep, they are not nobel worthy literature, but they are very very cute without being childish. It’s a fantasy world with a lot of cute word play the objects as well as the characters.
has she read the little house series? or the harry potter series? both are very good for that age i think.
i discovered mary stewart at about that same age. her arthurian trilogy is wonderful.
the crystal cave
the hollow hills
the last enchantment.