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READALICIOUS! Books for Tweens

NPR Top 100 Teen Books: My Picks

NPR published a final list of top 100 teen books, based on audience voting on a pre-selected list.

Teen isn't tween, and I draw that line sharply in this blog. (My sweet spot is ages 10 to 12.5—the upper half of middle grade, if you go by publishing categories.)

Even so, these 10 teen titles were my choices in the initial voting (out of hundreds of titles). The number in parenthesis is the place they came in on the NPR final list. Eight out of 10 made it!

1. The Book Thief (10)
2. The Giver (11)*
3. Go Ask Alice (35)
4. Harry Potter series (1)
5. The Hobbit (5)
6. The Pigman
7. Stargirl (37)
8. To Kill a Mockingbird (3)
9. Tuck Everlasting (30)
10. The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic

*They included the "series," but these titles are really companion books.

Go Ask Alice is definitely teen, not tween, and has a history of being censored in schools, along with some controversy over authorship and authenticity. (It's a work of pure fiction.) But, the book made a big impact on me when I read it in my teen years.

The Pigman is by Paul Zindel, who also wrote The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, one of my sister Lorraine's favorite teen books.

At the 2012 IRA Convention, Lorraine and I and a couple of colleagues attended the 50th Poetry Olio (videos at link), which featured a dazzling performance by Allan Wolf, author of The Watch That Ends the Night.

I covet my signed copy and have crafted a read-aloud poetry-history activity around his beautiful and haunting Titanic poems. I'm always on the lookout for fresh read-alouds, if you have any to recommend.

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