Whether your child just entered the tween years or is about to leave them, some titles are designed to leave an impact for years (if not decades). These books offer a lifeline through "the awkward years" of late elementary and middle school with relatable characters, or they simply challenge norms and reveal new perspectives your young reader may have never considered before.
The protagonists in these adventures face loneliness, discouragement, peer pressure, and a yearning for more as they navigate school life, family secrets, and serious hard knocks. Kids will come away from these books full of hope that they, too, will persevere — and even thrive — through all that life brings them. Explore this list with your child, and make it a goal to check them all off the "to-be-read" list before that 13th birthday arrives.