Top 10 Pre-Teen Books All Girls Should Read

Today I thought that I would share with you guys some of the best books for 12-year-old girls. As a parent of a teenager and a tweener myself, I know how hard it can be to find the right books to make reading exciting for a young girl who would rather watch YouTube or mess around with her phone!

That is why I have used my own two daughters’ bookshelves for inspiration to bring you this list of fun books for pre-teen girls.


Jerry Spinelli

As a parent, I feel that Stargirl is one of the best books for 12-year-old girls. The story is about “Stargirl” who moves to a new high school. Things start off good, but then the other kids start to treat her badly because she is different. It is a very good story about embracing who you are and what makes you different as well as standing up to those who want to put you and others down.

The Thing About Jellyfish

Ali Benjamin

As far as mystery style novels go The Thing About Jellyfish is very interesting. It is about a young girl who is looking for answers about her friend who “drowned”. She feels that she as killed by a very rare kind of jellyfish! The premise certainly sounds very strange, but my daughter loved this book and loved to talk about it as well.

Stef Soto, Taco Queen

Jennifer Torres

What makes Stef Soto, Taco Queen one of the better books for 12 year old girls is that it has a really strong message about family. Stef hates that her family has an embarrassing taco truck, but when her family is in danger of losing it, she steps in! It is a very well written story and one that will really make your child think as she reads it. It is actually something of a pretty inspiring story too so that is great.

Bridge To Terabithia

Katherine Paterson

Full disclosure here, I loved this book as much as my daughter did! This is a heartbreaking book that is also filled with action and fantasy! Jess and Leslie are best friends and Leslie creates a fantasy world. This all sounds like a fun pre-teen story, but something bad happens and it forces Jess to deal with the real world, grief and also grow up. It really is a fantastic book and one that I feel anyone can actually enjoy.

The Girl Who Drank The Moon

Kelly Barnhill

What is it with kids and witchcraft! This is actually an award-winning book which is great to hear. The story is about Luna who at 13 discovers that she has special powers! Thankfully there is a “nice” witch on hand that that is willing to show how to embrace and use these powers that she has. This is a book that is fun, spooky and great if your child loves witches and things that go bump in the night.

We Are All Made Of Molecules

Susan Nielsen

When it comes to books for 12-year-old girls, I am sure this is one that most will fall in love with. Basically, we have two very different kids. Stewart who is very smart, but very socially awkward. Ashely who is not the best at school, but something of a Queen bee. The two of them are forced to connect when their parents get married! What is neat about this is that you get the story from two different points of view. It has humour and a lot of heart too.

Walk Two Moons

Sharon Creech

Sal heads off with her grandparents (who are awesome) on a cross country journey to find out more about her Indian heritage. What starts off as a rather one-note kind of story dives into something else as she bonds with her grandparents. This is a very interesting story and the kind that is rather hard to explain, but it is the kind of book that is a real page-turner and one your kid will really enjoy.

To Kill A Mockingbird

Harper Lee

You may be surprised to see this on a list of books for 12-year-old girls. However, To Kill A Mockingbird is regarded as a classic for a very good reason. Gem and Scout are on one heck of an adventure as their dad is on trial! It is a rather deep kind of book and one that your child is really not going to want to put down. Plus, chances are they will read this at some point in high school so it is awesome of they have read it before then.

I Am Malala

Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick

I Am Malala is some very powerful stuff indeed. It is the memoir of the very brave Malala who grew up under the oppressive and horrifying rule of the Taliban. It is a truly incredible story and one that really makes you think. The version we are talking about here is actually written with younger readers in mind. If you want your daughter to read something that is going to really make an impact, you cannot go wrong with this.

The Giver

Lois Lowry

Last, but by no means least is The Giver. Kids these days have a real thing for “dystopian futures” and that is what we have here. Jonas, when he turns 12, is given a job as the receiver of memory. He starts to train for this but soon learns that there is something that is not quite right. If she loves some action and mystery in her story, The Giver is going to be a book that she will not want to put down!

These are 10 amazing books for 12-year-old girls. There is a great variety on this list and I am sure your daughter or another special young woman in your life would love to read some of these tales. Reading is a wonderful thing to encourage in a child and these are books that she is not going to want to put down!

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