While I tend to lean toward YA novels, I am also a lover of children and tween novels. Over the last couple of days I've read three that I really enjoyed, and they are worth your tween's time as well.
Cupcake Diaries: Mia's Baker's Dozen by Coco Simon
First let me say that I absolutely love this series, and I recommend it to all readers, but especially if your tween is a bit of a slow reader. The plots are engaging, fun, and full of cupcakes! Each novel focuses on one of four characters, and her troubles, which might seem silly to adults, really plays to their intended audience. What more could a tween reader want?
In this installment, the sixth in the series, the focus is on Mia. She has a bit of a problem and is unsure of how to solve it. School is important to her, but when her parents let the cat out of the bag - Mia can speak Spanish - it's decided that she should take an advanced class in the language. The problem? Speaking it and reading/writing it are two very different things.
Not only that, but her mom has recently re-married, and she wants to stay fair to her father. Is inviting her step-dad to parent/teacher night the right thing to do? And does her mom forget to make sure to include her father in the conversations as well?
With the Cupcake Club sprinkled in with the plot, Mia must figure out how to solve her problems while keeping it all together.
This Totally Bites by Ruth Ames
If you have not picked up a Poison Apple book, I highly recommend them. They are paranormal for tweens - very appropriate for the age. Think of Cupcake Diaries with a twist - in this case, vampires.
Emma-Rose Paley is quite different from her parents - not just in the way she looks but in personality as well. She has always been pale with jet-black hair, but she also detests sunshine and garlic. Is this proof enough that she is a...vampire?
Great-aunt Margo is coming for a visit, and the two of them have quite a lot in common. During the visit odd things occur - like animals mysteriously dying in the park - and Emma-Rose witnesses strange occurrences herself - is this proof that Great-aunt Margo is a vampire as well?
Tween readers will be delighted with this mysterious tale and will ultimately be surprised with the outcome. If you've not taken a bite out of these books yet, you should add them to your mound of reads.
Miss Popularity and the Best Friend Disaster by Francesco Sedita
At the opposite end of the Poison Apple spectrum is the Candy Apple books. I fell in love with these books, and I read every one when they are published. They are such fun, empowering tween reads.
In the latest installment of Cassie Knight's tale, she is preparing to celebrate her thirteenth birthday with a skating party. She left her home state of Texas just six months ago to move to Maine and has made new friends. But what about those she left behind? No fear, it's Cassie after all. She is a master of keeping her friends in Texas in her life as well, especially with the latest technology.
But what happens when her Texas BFFs meet her Maine BFF? Catty words, petty arguments, and sparks that lead to more than just a headache for Cassie. Can't everyone just get along? And how can Cassie convince her friends that they don't have to like one another, but they do have to come together for her sake.