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Non Book Talk > Need book suggestions for my niece

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message 1: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (lissieb7) | 544 comments I have a 12 year old niece who loves to read! I have asked what books/authors she likes and she says anything as long as it's a book. She is technically by sister's step daughter, although I never see the word step. She's my niece in the same her half siblings are my niece and nephews. She lives with her mom, however. And her mom doesn't monitor her reading. Over memorial day weekend she was reading one of Stieg Larson's books which I believe has some rather adult material. I don't want to buy her books that seem childish next to whatever other books she's choosing for herself, but I do want to set a good example and give her reading material that's more age appropriate. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations? I am not as well versed on my teen/young adult books as I should be. I would greatly appreciate any help. Thank you!

message 2: by laut (new)

laut At her age, I LOVED: Sabriel (The Old Kingdom, #1) by Garth Nix . I sped right through it, saw the advert for the next in the series and went straight to my mum going 'Mum MUUUM I want this for Christmas! ..Please?'

Perhaps slightly more adult than Sabriel, but again I read this when I was 12/13: Across The Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn

This is slightly less 'mature', but still a good story: Law of the Wolf Tower (Wolf Tower S.) by Tanith Lee

I could recommend so so so many more, feel free to PM me and I'll happily send you such a huge list. Alternatively, you can feel free to browse my 'read-as-a-teen' shelf any time you like!

message 3: by Jenny (last edited Jun 26, 2011 08:58PM) (new)

Jenny (narcisse) | 209 comments I would say Stieg Larsson is too graphic for a 12 year old, but then I think back to some of the stuff that I had to read for my middle school lit classes and I wonder. His seem particularly graphic, though, for that age to be reading, especially if there's no one to talk to about it.

I'll second Sabriel. The sequels, Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr and Abhorsen are great as well, and are clean and age-appropriate.

Some other YA books that are more mature but without the sexy stuff:
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - cute, funny, awkward, realistic relationship development (no insta-love) and amazing characterizations.
Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1) by Kiersten White - hilarious and the romance is innocent
Heist Society by Ally Carter - fun adventure about kids who are art thieves
The Education of Hailey Kendrick by Eileen Cook - laid back, fun read
Unearthly (Unearthly, #1) by Cynthia Hand - angels with life purposes and an adorable and innocent romance
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby - dealing with loss of mother in awesomely portrayed beach setting
Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales - two girls who are just so funny, no huge plot in this one but it's great fun
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys - teen historical about Stalin deporting Lithuanians to Siberia, follows one girl as she documents her journey, very good without being overly graphic
The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder Orchards by Holly Thompson - both written in verse, first is about fear and change, the second is about family and dealing with the aftermath of a suicide
Blood Red Road (Dustlands, #1) by Moira Young - probably my favorite read of the year so far, post-apocalyptic setting in which a girl's twin brother is taken and she sets out to get him back, some violence but not graphic, no sex

Also pretty much anything by Sarah Dessen or John Green is funny and awkward and great, while also dealing with deeper topics.

message 4: by Emily (last edited Jun 26, 2011 08:39PM) (new)

Emily  O (readingwhilefemale) | 10 comments Maybe you could pick some books that aren't YA but aren't graphic, like The Lord of the Rings or To Kill a Mockingbird. Then it wouldn't mean lowering the reading level, but you wouldn't have to be worried about her reading books that you don't find appropriate.

When I was that age, I really loved:
-The Two Princesses of Bamarre, which is about a princess who is not very brave who has to go on a quest to save her sister. She has to deal with dragons and spectres and all kinds of cool things.
-The Golden Compass, which tells the story of a girl who has to go on an adventure to save her friend and discover an evil plot and turns into a quest of epic proportions. The rest of the series was also really good. I must have read them ten times.
- The Amulet of Samarkand, which tells the story of a novice magician who summons a djinni to get revenge against an evil magician, and ends up uncovering a dastardly plot to destroy the government. The djinni is hilarious, and the series just keeps getting better with each book. It has politics, magic, plotting, and cool creatures. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone.
- The Great Good Thing, which is about the main character of a story book, and what happens to her when the book hasn't been read in a long time. It's a great book for someone who loves to read!
- Dragonsong. This is the story of a young girl who wants to be a Harper (musician) but isn't allowed to because she's a girl. She eventually becomes one anyway, and picks up some awesome tiny dragons along the way. I daydreamed about this trilogy for months after I read it. This is a side trilogy of The Dragonriders of Pern, but it stands on its own. I never read any of the Pern books except this trilogy, so I don't know how good they are.
-The Pigman was something I read for my 8th grade English class, and it really impressed and touched me. I read and re-read the ending over and over. It really hit home.
- The Illustrated Man. This book of short stories was my favorite book throughout middle school. The stories can be a bit dark, but they are never graphic or inappropriate, so they might be exactly what you're looking for. I read my copy until the covers wore off. Bradbury is really an excellent writer.
- Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. Yeah. When I was that age I thought Poe was the beginning and end of scary stories. His stories are dark and scary, but they are also really high quality and they are never terribly graphic.
-The Lost Years of Merlin. This is a series of 5 books about the early years of Merlin, before he became a legendary wizard and meets Arthur. I gobbled these up as a kid. They have some good twists on mythology and are adventurous and fun.
-Redwall. I'm pretty sure every kid reads these books at some point. The story of a peaceful abbey full of mice and moles and such when they are attacked by vermin. One young mouse has to step up and solve the riddles left my the ancient warrior Martin in order to find his sword and save his home. The rest of the series is very similar, but good.
-My Side of the Mountain Trilogy. I was really into the idea of wilderness survival and nature when I was that age, so I loved these books. Basically it tells the story of a boy who goes out into the woods to live off the land. He makes a home in a tree and has a pet falcon, and it's generally awesome.
-The Call of the Wild. I had to read this one for school, but I ended up reading it a bunch more times because I enjoyed it so much. It's told from the pint of view of a dog who is taken up to the north and made into a sled dog. It tells about all of his adventures and journeys and his relationships with various owners.

message 5: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Chaney (carrie_chaney) | 148 comments Steig Larsson is definitely a little graphic for a 12 year But I remember reading some pretty adult things as a preteen too. The maturity level of a child has a lot to do with what kinds of books they can handle.

The Sabriel series was great. I also really liked Robin McKinley's books at that age; they're mostly fairy tale adaptations. Try out Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast or Spindle's End. Anything by Libba Bray is good. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen was one of my favorites in middle/high school.

If your niece is a more "serious" reader, maybe get her to try out some classics. Sherlock Holmes, Jane Eyre, etc.

And last but certainly not least, Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games series was fantastic.

Hope some of those help! :)

message 6: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (lissieb7) | 544 comments You have all been very helpful. Thank you all so much!!!

message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary (marybt) | 336 comments If you think she would like historical fiction, then the "Dear America" series is great. Each book reads like a diary from a young person of that time period. 12 may be on the border but it's worth a shot.

message 8: by Butterflycager (new)

Butterflycager She might like books by Joan Bauer. These are a little different from some of the standard YA fare because the teenagers in her books tend to be really work-focused (one is a waitress, one sells shoes, one is a vegetable grower, etc.) and that helps to center them and get them through whatever problems they face. Here are some of her titles:

Hope Was Here
Rules of the Road
Best Foot Forward

message 9: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 2175 comments If she likes edgier or more mature subjects, she could look into Ellen Hopkins' books. Her books are about drugs, eating disorders and abuse, which are geared towards an older teen, but if she's already reading the Stieg Larsson books, nothing in these will shock her. The really cool thing about Hopkins' books is that they are written entirely in verse. I'd recommend Burned to start. It's a slightly happier book.

message 10: by Emily (last edited Jun 29, 2011 11:58PM) (new)

Emily  O (readingwhilefemale) | 10 comments Other suggestions for people that age:
Sirena: The story of a mermaid during the time of the Trojan war.
The Folk Keeper: An orphan girl whose job is to keep the folk (magical creatures) placated discovers her mysterious past when called to work at an estate by the sea.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle: An girl's voyage at sea takes a strange turn when she befriends the crew and a mutiny takes place.
Julie of the Wolves: A girl gets lost in the arctic tundra and must survive using her wilderness skills and the help of a local wolf pack. The sequels are also good.
Island of the Blue Dolphins: A girl is accidentally left behind on an island when her tribe leaves, and must learn the skills needed to survive on the island all alone.
The Black Cauldron: A swineherd and a Princess go on a quest to stop an evil king from creating a monstrous army with a magical black cauldron.
The Music Of Dolphins: A girl lost as a child and raised by dolphins is found by people, who try to teach her and integrate her into society.
The Mayflower Project: With a deadly asteroid on a path to destroy Earth, the U.S. government creates a space ship to take a small number of humans in on a mission to another planet hundreds of years away. The story is told from the shifting perspectives of four young adults who are chosen to go on the voyage
Eva: After a car accident, young Eva wakes up from a coma. She learns that her body could not be saved, but that her mind was put into the body of a chimp. (Her father is a scientist who studies chimps). She tires to live a normal life, until the needs of the chimps call her to action.
Being Dead: A collection of short stories for younger readers. It contains ghost stories, including one from the perspective of a ghost.

message 11: by Viola (new)

Viola | 1014 comments I recently finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It's about a girl coming of age in the early 1900s. I think it'd be perfect for a 12 year old girl.

message 12: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (wolfewoman) | 24 comments Judy Blume's books, Madeleine L'Engle's books, Harriet the Spy Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg or anything by E.L. Konigsburg. Laura Ingalls Wilder. All the Black Stallion books. The Great Brain. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys. Lois Duncan. For starters, anyways! :.)

Cate (The Professional Fangirl) (chaostheory08) | 101 comments How about the Nancy Drew mysteries? I was reading those when I was 12.

message 14: by Louise (new)

Louise I have a few suggestions too :-)

The Shamer's Daughter brilliant low-fantasy series, that a lot of adults enjoy too

The Dark Is Rising Sequence I loved this as a teen and recently re-read the first 3 books. Still love them!

The Blue Girl great mix of coming of age teen as well as some mystery and urban fantasy

Coraline - this comes as a graphic novel too.

Elizabeth (Alaska) Melissa wrote: "I have a 12 year old niece who loves to read! I have asked what books/authors she likes and she says anything as long as it's a book. She is technically by sister's step daughter, although I neve..."

Have you tried out any of the suggestions? What did she like? This has been such a good thread - feedback please!

message 16: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (lissieb7) | 544 comments Things got a little hectic around here. I haven't had a chance to really go through all the suggestions and read about the books myself yet. There have been a lot of good suggestions. Thank you all for contributing. I will keep you updated!

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