Tween Suggested Book/Reading List

The list is broken down into three sections: Girls and Boys (books that address both genders), Girls, and Boys. In addition to books about the tween phase, there are titles about teenagers for parents whose children are quickly approaching the teen phase. In fact, some books address the preteen and teen phases together knowing the line is blurring in our modern age. By no means is the list intended as a comprehensive resource. Rather, it is a starting point for learning more about this important developmental phase as well as the teenage years to come. Happy reading!


Girls and Boys

Girl Specific

Boy Specific

Global Interest Books



Check out our Brooklyn Public Library Book Lists to find these books quickly:

Tween Suggested Reading List: For Girls and Boys


1. Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They’d Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child’s Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens 

Justin Richardson and Mark Schuster (2004)


If you’ve ever tried to tell your six-year-old how babies are made or your fourteen-year-old how condoms work, you know that grappling with telling your kids about sex can be a sweat-drenched exercise. But it doesn’t have to be. Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They’d Ask) is a one-of-a-kind survival guide that will help you stay sane through every stage of your child’s sexual development. Two nationally respected, Harvard-trained physicians share their expertise in this brilliantly insightful, practical, and hilarious book.


 2. Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager  

Anthony E. Wolf (2002)

When this witty and compassionate guide was published, its amusing title and fresh approach won it widespread admiration. Now Dr. Wolf has revised and updated his bestseller to tackle the changes of the past decade. He points out that while the basic issues of adolescence and the relationships between parents and children remain much the same, today's teenagers navigate a faster, less clearly anchored world. Wolf's revisions include a new chapter on the Internet, a significantly modified section on drugs and drinking, and an added piece on gay teenagers.


3. Getting to CALM: Cool-headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens 

Laura S. Kastner, PhD and Jennifer Wyatt (2009)


Parenting a teenager is tougher than ever, but new brain research offers new insight into the best way to connect with teens. With humor, wisdom and a deep understanding, noted teen expert Dr. Laura Kastner shows parents how to stay calm and cool-headed while dealing with hot-button issue—everything from rude attitude and lying to sex and substance use—with clear, easy-to-follow suggestions for setting limits while maintaining a close and loving relationship.


4. How to Talk So Teens Will Listen and Listen So Teens Will Talk 

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish (2006)


Acclaimed parenting experts and bestselling authors Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish offer a lively, down-to-earth guide that tackles the tough issues teens and parents are facing today. In How to Talk So Teens Will Listen & Listen So Teens Will Talk, Faber and Mazlish share their knowledge of the problems encountered when raising teenagers. Faber and Mazlish present their innovative approach to maintaining a candid, open, mutually respectful dialog between parents and teens.


5. It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health 

Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley (2009)

Now offering a brand-new chapter focusing on safe Internet use, this universally acclaimed classic is a cutting-edge resource for kids, parents, teachers, and anyone else who cares about the well-being of tweens and teens. Providing accurate and up-to-date answers to nearly every imaginable question, from conception and puberty to birth control and AIDS, It’s Perfectly Normal offers young people the information they need to make responsible decisions and stay healthy.


6. It’s So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families 

Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley (1999)


Children have lots of questions about reproduction and babies—and about sex and sexuality too. It’s So Amazing! provides the fascinating answers—with fun, accurate, comic-book style artwork, and a clear, lively text that reflects an elementary-school child's interest in science and how things work. Throughout the book, a curious Bird and a squeamish Bee help tell the story of how a baby is made. In a reassuring and age-appropriate way, the book also addresses related topics such as love, sex, gender, families, heterosexuality, homosexuality, sexual abuse, and HIV and AIDS—while giving children a healthy understanding of their bodies.


7. Positive Discipline for Teenagers: Empowering Your Teens and Yourself Through Kind and Firm Parenting 

Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott (2012)


Adolescence can be a time of great stress and turmoil—not only for kids going through it, but for their parents as well. These effects can be magnified even further in this modern age of social networks, cell phones, and constant digital distraction. This revised and updated edition of Positive Discipline for Teenagers shows parents how to build stronger bridges of communication with their children, break the destructive cycles of guilt and blame that occur in parent-teen power struggles, and work toward greater mutual respect with their adolescents. At the core of the Positive Discipline approach is the understanding that teens still need their parents, just in different ways.


8. Sex and Sensibility: The Thinking Parent's Guide to Talking Sense About Sex 

Deborah Roffman (2001)

With a rare directness and clarity about sex and reproduction, sexual values, and cultural influences on sexuality, Deborah Roffman challenges and teaches readers how to develop a blueprint for opening the lines of communication with children of all ages. Sex and Sensibility introduces the five core parenting skills parents need to confidently interpret and comfortably respond to virtually any question a child might pose or any situation that arises. Powerfully instructive and thought provoking, it will inspire honest talk about sex and sexuality, helping all be better parents.


9. Sex, Puberty and All That Stuff: A Guide to Growing Up 

Jacqui Bailey and Jan McCafferty (2004)

This friendly book talks to teens in their own language. Separate chapters titled Boy Stuff and Girl Stuff describe body changes that occur during puberty, with frank and open explanations of male and female genitals, how they feel and how they function. Chapters that follow discuss typical teen problems as well as the new feelings that come with sexual development—having a crush, coping with parents, menstruation, dating, sexual activity, contraception, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, homosexual impulses, and generally surviving those difficult yet exciting teen years.


10. Talking to Tweens: Getting It Right Before It Gets Rocky with Your 8- to 12-Year-Old 

Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer

Giving sound advice rooted in the real world and based on a clear understanding of tweens’ needs, parenting expert Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer explains how staying close to our children while beginning to let go helps us achieve the balance for the parent-child relationship. Tackling many everyday issues of real concern, Talking to Tweens offers practical and reassuring guidance on various important topics.


11. Ten Talks Parents Must Have with Their Children About Sex and Character 

Pepper Schwartz and Dominic Cappello (2000)

Ten Talks offers advice on exactly how to begin and what to say in talking to their children—not just about sex, but about safety, character, peer pressure, ethics, meeting people on the internet, and mixed messages from TV. Ten Talks is based on innovative and proven approaches the authors use in parent workshops across the country. The talks can be adapted for all kinds of families and offer immeasurable rewards, strengthening the relationships of parents and children. This innovative and illustrated book helps prepare kids for the complex world of relationships, sex, and growing up.


12. The Everything Tween Book: A Parent's Guide to Surviving the Turbulent Pre-Teen Years 

Linda Sonna, PhD (2003)

The tween years can often be a challenging time for both you and your child. The Everything Tween Book helps you navigate the trying years between childhood and adolescence. From addressing such serious issues as eating disorders and school violence to learning tolerance for pink and blue hair, it helps you understand and cope with your child’s psychological, social, and emotional needs. Packed with practical advice and reliable tips to help you get through the worst conflicts, The Everything Tween Book ensures that you stay sane while your tween blossoms into a healthy, happy, and mature young adult.


13. What’s Happening to Me? 

Alex Firth, Susan Meredith, and Adam Larkum (2007)

Growing up is a whole lot easier if you have some idea what to expect. This book describes exactly what will happen to your body in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way, and it explains some of your feelings too—all you need to know for this important time in your life.


14. Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen 

David Walsh and Nat Bennett (2005)

In this national bestseller, acclaimed, award-winning psychologist Dr. David Walsh explains exactly what happens to the human brain on the path from childhood into adolescence and adulthood. Revealing the latest scientific findings in easy-to-understand terms, Dr. Walsh shows why moodiness, quickness to anger and take risks, miscommunication, fatigue, territoriality, and other familiar teenage behavior problems are so common—all are linked to physical changes and growth in the adolescent brain. It shows parents how to use this information to understand, communicate with, and stay connected to their kids.


15. Will Puberty Last My Whole Life?: REAL Answers to REAL Questions from Preteens About Body Changes, Sex, and Other Growing-Up Stuff 

Julie Metzger and Robert Lehman (2012)

This flip book for boys and girls has questions asked by girls in one half of the book; flip it over and questions asked by boys are on the other side. It contains honest, informative, and reassuring answers to questions pre-adolescents have about puberty, friends, feelings, sex, pimples, babies, body hair, menstruation, bras, and more. Straightforward, age-appropriate answers to real questions from preteens are provided by an experienced nurse-and-physician team giving popular seminars to moms and daughters, and dads and sons for more than twenty years. Each of the questions in the book has been asked--many of them frequently!--by kids during their seminars.


16. The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers

Mogel’s sage advice on parenting young children has struck a chord with thousands of readers and made her one of today’s most trusted parenting authorities. Now, in a long-awaited follow-up, Mogel addresses the question she hears most frequently: what to do when those children become teenagers, when their sense of independence and entitlement grows, the pressure to compete and succeed skyrockets, and communication becomes fraught with obstacles?



Check out our Brooklyn Public Library Book Lists to find these books quickly:

Tween Suggested Reading List: For Girls


1. 101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body 

Brenda Lane Richardson and Elaine Rehr (2001)

With negative messages bombarding our girls on a daily basis, how can our daughters feel good about their bodies? While you may not single-handedly be able to change society, there are ways to make sure that your daughter's sense of self is strong and sustaining. In 101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body, a psychologically astute and fun guide to read, two mothers have teamed up to provide parents with practical ideas tailored to girls from birth through the teenage years.


2. Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters 

Joann Deak, PhD (2003)

Mary Pipher told us about the problems girls face in Reviving Ophelia; now in Girls Will Be Girls, JoAnn Deak gives us the solutions. Deak looks past the "scare" stories to those that enlighten parents and enable them to empower girls. She draws from the latest brain research on girls to illustrate the exciting new ways to help our daughters learn and thrive. Most telling of all, she gives us the voices of girls themselves as they struggle with a wide range of topics.


3. How Can You Say That? 

Amy Lynch and Linda Ashford (2003)

There isn't a parent on the planet who hasn't wished she could take back a painful remark comment made to her daughter—and the same is true for girls. This new book explores scenarios and offers practical advice from experts on how to turn hurtful conversations into parent-daughter exchanges that promote forgiveness and protect one of the most important relationships a girl will ever have.


4. Keep Talking: A Mother-Daughter Guide to the Pre-Teen Years 

Lynda Madison (1997)

In simple language and explanatory tone, a guide to initiating and sustaining lines of communication between parents and teens is designed to be read together, with the intended result of building a foundation for future discussions on adult topics.


5. My Body, My Self for Girls

Lynda Madaras and Area Madaras (2007)

What’s happening to my body? Is this normal? This fact-filled journal and activity book makes it fun for girls to find answers to their many questions about the physical and emotional changes that accompany puberty. With quizzes, checklists, games, and illustrations throughout, My Body, My Self for Girls also includes journal pages and lots of personal stories addressing girls’ concerns, experiences, and feelings during this new stage of their lives.


6. My Feelings, My Self: A Growing-up Journal for Girls 

Lynda Madaras and Area Madaras (2002)

From the bestselling "What's Happening To My Body?" Series comes a new, updated edition of the journal/workbook that focuses on how feelings, as well as bodies, change during puberty, and how to deal with them. Why don't my parents ever listen to me? Can I tell a boy that I like him? How do I say "no" to friends when they want me to do things I don't want to? Answers to these questions and more are what's in this fun- and fact-filled book as well as quizzes, exercises, stories and letters from kids expressing feelings about the changes going on in their lives during adolescence.


7. Period: A Girl’s Guide 

JoAnn Loulan and Bonnie Worthen (2001)

The start of hormonal changes can be troubling, even traumatic, for young girls. Now fully revised and updated with a parents' guide, Period explains in a straightforward manner the changes all girls go through, answers common questions, and includes a brief description of a pelvic exam.


8. Puberty Girl 

Shushann Movsessian (2005)

Offering a fun, sassy, and girl-power-inspired approach to understanding puberty, this guide offers tweens an appealing and fresh take on entering adolescence. This celebration of maturing bodies and spirits is invariably positive, while providing factual information on menstruation, pubic hair, acne, eating disorders, and other issues essential to girls entering puberty. The emotional challenges of this stage are also addressed, including information on sexual abuse, bullying, maturation reluctance, and conflict resolution.


9. The Period Book: Everything You Don’t Want to Ask (But Need to Know) 

Karen Gravelle and Jennifer Gravelle (2006)

Karen Gravelle and her fifteen-year-old niece have written a down-to-earth and practical book that answers any question you might have about your period, from what it is and what it feels like, to how to choose pads and tampons, to how to talk to your parents about it. The Period Book will help guide you through all the physical, emotional, and social changes that come with your period, as well as related issues like pimples, mood swings, and new expectations from friends and family.


10. The What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls 

Lynda Madaras and Area Madaras (1987)

One of the ALA's Best Books for Young Adults, this bestselling classic by Lynda Madaras was written with her daughter Area (then 13). It covers the body's changing size and shape, breasts, the reproductive organs, the menstrual cycle, pubic hair, and puberty in boys. It also includes vital information on AIDS, STDs, and birth control appropriate for 9- to 15-year-olds. Intended for adults and youngsters to share, it includes an introduction for parents and educators.


11. The Wonder of Girls: Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters 

Michael Gurian (2003)

In The Wonder of Girls, Michael Gurian, himself the father of two girls, presents radical and enlightening views of parenting. Using as his springboard up-to-date scientific research on female biology, hormones, and brain development and how they shape girls' interests, behavior, and relationships, Gurian offers crucial information for fully understanding the basic nature of girls. He explains what is "normal" for girls each year from birth to age twenty; what developmental needs they face in each stage; and how to cope with developmental crises. As such, The Wonder of Girls is essential reading for anyone involved in raising daughters.


12. The Myth of the Perfect Girl

Ana Homayoun (2012)




Check out our Brooklyn Public Library Book Lists to find these books quickly:

Tween Suggested Books For Boys


1. Boy’s Guide to Becoming a Teen 

American Medical Association, Kate Gruenwald Pfeifer, and Amy B. Middleman (2006)

The American Medical Association Boy’s Guide to Becoming a Teen is filled with invaluable advice to get boys ready for the changes they will experience during puberty. Learn about these important topics and more: Puberty and what kinds of physical and emotional changes boys can expect—from developing body to feelings about girls; the importance of eating the right foods and taking care of the body; pimples, acne, and how to properly care for the skin; the reproductive system—inside and out; and thinking about relationships, among other topics.


2. My Body, My Self for Boys 

Lynda Madaras and Area Madaras (2007)

Why is my voice changing? When will I get hair on my face? Is this normal? This fact-filled journal and activity book makes it fun for boys to find answers to their many questions about the physical and emotional changes that accompany puberty. With quizzes, checklists, games, and illustrations throughout, My Body, My Self for Boys also includes journal pages and lots of personal stories that address boys’ concerns, experiences, and feelings during this new stage of their lives.


3. Puberty Boy 

Geoff Price (2006)

An invaluable source of information for growing boys, parents, and caregivers, this guide offers pre-teen boys an appealing and fresh take on entering adolescence. Straightforward, conversational advice presents young boys with answers to the questions they may be too embarrassed to ask. This celebration of maturing bodies and spirits is invariably positive and provides factual information on acne, sexual development, body odor, and other physical changes. Also honestly detailed are the emotional changes that young boys encounter, as well as advice on interacting with girls.


4. Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys 

Dan Kindlon, PhD and Michael Thompson, PhD (2000)

In Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys, Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson, two of the country’s leading child psychologists, share what they have learned in their experience working with boys and their families. They reveal a nation of boys who are hurting. Kindlon and Thompson make a compelling case that emotional literacy is the most valuable gift we can offer our sons, urging parents to recognize the price boys pay when we hold them to impossible standards of manhood.


5. Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood 

William Pollack (1999)

Based on William Pollack's groundbreaking research at Harvard Medical School over two decades, Real Boys explores why many boys are sad, lonely, and confused although they may appear tough, cheerful, and confident. Pollack challenges conventional expectations about manhood and masculinity that encourage parents to treat boys as little men, raising them through a toughening process that drives their true emotions underground. Only when we understand what boys are really like can we help them develop more self-confidence and the emotional savvy they need to deal with issues such as depression, love and sexuality, drugs and alcohol, divorce, and violence.


6. Speaking of Boys: Answers to the Most-Asked Questions About Raising Sons 

Michael Thompson PhD (2000)

With his bestselling book Raising Cain, Michael Thompson, Ph.D., at last broke the silence surrounding the emotional life of boys and spearheaded an important national debate. Now he directs his authority, insight, and eloquence to answering your questions about raising a son. With candid questions and thoughtful, detailed responses, Speaking of Boys covers hot-button topics such as peer pressure, ADHD/ADD, and body image as well as traditional issues such as friendship, divorce, and college and career development.


7. The Boy's Body Book: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up YOU 

Kelli Dunham (2007)

As boys reach adolescence, everything changes. Their world turns shaky just when they find it hardest to talk with the adults in their lives. But even if they won’t say what’s on their mind, they still want straight answers. The Boy’s Body Book provides them, in a readable, reassuring, and illustrated guide. It covers a boy’s every concern: hygiene, exercise, teachers, peer pressure, sex, and siblings. He’ll learn about what’s going on physically (vocal changes, body hair) and how to handle academic pressures, deal with feelings, make new friends, and stay safe through it all.


8. The Everything Guide to Raising Adolescent Boys 

Robin Elise Weiss

The Everything Guide to Raising Adolescent Boys will help parents navigate the most difficult years in their child's life. This guide offers detailed information on the various stages of development and related challenges. It covers a range of topics including identity issues, puberty and peer pressure; the effects of the media, TV, and the Internet; staying on top of youth trends; school issues (learning difficulties, sports, competition, and violence); drugs, alcohol and sex; discipline and rebelliousness; your son's self-esteem, emotional maturity and sense of responsibility; and, maintaining a healthy, open relationship with your son.


9. The What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys 

Lynda Madaras, Area Madaras, and Sullivan (2007)

The What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys gives sensitive straight talk on: the body's changing size and shape; diet and exercise; the growth spurt; the reproductive organs; body hair; voice changes; romantic and sexual feelings; and puberty in the opposite sex. It also includes information on steroid abuse, acne treatment, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, and birth control. Featuring detailed illustrations and real-life stories throughout, this bestselling growing-up guide is an essential puberty education and health book for all boys ages 10 and up.


10. The Wonder of Boys: What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do to Shape Boys into Exceptional Men 

Michael Gurian (2006)

In the thoughtful and provocative The Wonder of Boys, Michael Gurian takes a close look at modern boyhood. Gurian asserts the biological and neurological differences between boys and girls need to be accounted for and nourished to raise healthy, happy boys. If the natural, testosterone-based impulses of boys are squelched or ignored, Gurian posits, such biological truths may find their way to the surface in other, more negative behaviors. The Wonder of Boys offers advice on how to understand and build strong father/son and mother/son relationships, the importance of healthy discipline, and suggests methods of teaching boys about sex, relationships, and spirituality.


11. What’s Going on Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask 

Karen Gravelle, Nick Castro, Chava Castro, Robert Leighton, and Walker & Co. (1998)

Your body has been behaving very strangely lately. You hardly know what to expect from one day to the next. Karen Gravelle, with some help from her two young advisors, Nick and Chava Castro, has written a down-to-earth and practical book that will help guide you through this confusing time in your life. What's Going On Down There? answers any questions you might have about puberty, from what it is and what it feels like, to what puberty is like for girls, to how to handle the sexual feelings you may be starting to experience.


12  Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices

Ralph Fletcher (2006)

 Writing test scores indicate that boys have fallen far behind girls across the grades. In general, boys don't enjoy writing as much as girls. What's wrong? How can we do a better of job of creating “boy-friendly” classrooms so their voices can be heard?

In Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices Ralph Fletcher draws upon his years of experience as staff developer, children's book author, and father of four boys. He also taps the insights from dozens of writing teachers around the US and abroad. Boy Writers asks teachers to imagine the writing classroom from a boy's perspective, and consider specific steps we might take to create stimulating classrooms for boys.


13. That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life by Ana Homayoun


"Homayoun is a highly respected academic counselor who has worked extensively with boys and their parents. She has "helped turn even the most disorganized, scattered, and unfocused boys into successful young people who consistently meet their personal and academic challenges." The book is a great read - not only accessible but also very practical.  To facilitate my work, I'm always researching the latest news on boys, and I keep finding more evidence that boys are struggling (many still deny it which is puzzling). It seems middle school is the time when boys actually begin to get off track with things snowballing into high school and beyond.

The Crumpled Paper is intended for boys in middle and high school. This is when the factors that derail disorganized boys coalesce - multitasking for various classes, the lure of technology, sleep deprivation, and such. Homayoun says some of her strategies could be adapted to apply to younger boys, but does not give a bullet-point outline of such.  Also, Homayoun does not specifically address ADD or ADHD. However, she does speak about having worked with boys diagnosed with ADD and ADHD citing a particular example how she was able to help one succeed in meeting his goals. And she does say boys should get outside assistance (therapy or counseling) if, in fact, that is what they truly need in addition to the services she provides.

I'm not an expert, but in my opinion, this is the type of focused support boys diagnosed with ADD or ADHD would need in order to learn organizational skills, time management, goal setting, etc. Naturally, I recommend speaking to a boy's doctor to find out whether he/she would agree this particular system would be beneficial for his particular situation.  By the way, Homayoun will soon publish a book about helping girls whose issues are less about being distracted/unfocused and more about having to deal with the "perfection syndrome" that seems to accompany the academic success girls are experiencing. If it's as good as That Crumpled Paper, the book should be a great read too."


14.  Smart But Scattered

Peg Dawson and Richard Guare.

This book has a lot of practical strategies for dealing with "executive function" issues like time management and focus. I plan to implement some of them with my 5th grader after the break."





Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys


Women complain there are no good men left—that men are immature, unreliable, and adrift. No wonder. Masculine role models have become increasingly juvenile and inarticulate: think of stars like Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell, or the dudes of the popular Judd Apatow movies. There are no rules for dating and mating. Guys are unsure how to treat a woman. Most importantly, dating in the pre-adult years is no longer a means to an end—marriage—as it was in the past. Many young men today suspect they are no longer essential to family life, and without the old scripts to follow, they find themselves stuck between adolescence and “real” adulthood. In Manning Up, Kay Hymowitz sets these problems in a socioeconomic context: today’s knowledge economy is female friendly, and many of the highest profile areas of that economy—communications, design, the arts, and health care—are dominated by women. Men are increasingly left on the outskirts of this new, service economy, and take much longer to find a financial foothold. With no biological clock telling them it’s time to grow up, without the financial resources to settle down, and with the accepted age of marriage rising into the late 30s or even 40s, men are holding onto adolescence at the very time that women are achieving professional success and looking to find a mate to share it with. A provocative account of the modern sexual economy, Hymowitz deftly charts a gender mismatch that threatens the future of the American family and makes no one happy in the long run.