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Summer reads for tweens

Need some reading material for the preteens? Try these books recommended by local children's author, Tamsin Winter (including her brand new one!).

Award-winning author of Being Miss Nobody and Jemima Small Versus the Universe, Tamsin Winter lives in Leicestershire, teaches English in Rutland and is a self-confessed book worm. Here some books she’s recommended, that we hope will captivate your tricky tween!

Girl (in Real Life) by Tamsin Winter

Thirteen year old Eva has been famous since before she was even born. Her parents share everything about her on their successful YouTube channel – her first tantrum, her first spot, and now even her first period. And she has had enough. Eva wants to take back control over her life, even if it means sabotaging her own parents. A funny and heart-warming novel that explores what it’s like to grow up online. Ages 10+.

Pop by Mitch Johnson

This is a punchy, action-packed adventure with dastardly villains, trillions of dollars, a stolen formula, and a girl longing to escape, all told with Johnson’s wry humour. Queenie is a truly kick-ass protagonist and her journey takes us across America, from the plastic-littered beaches of California to hiding out in Area 51. This eagerly-anticipated second novel from the author of award-winning Kick does not disappoint. Ages 9+

Tremendous Things by Susin Nielson

I’m an enormous fan of Susin Nielson and her latest novel is not to be missed. Wilbur has spent his life being bullied and is convinced he is a loser. His best friend is an 85-year-old, and his only talent is playing the triangle, and occasionally the cow bell. Things begin to look up when Wilbur falls instantly in love with the French Exchange student. This is a brilliantly funny novel that explores life, death and the importance of being yourself. Ages 11+

The Summer We Turned Green by William Sutcliffe

An hilarious read that follows socially-awkward Luke. His life is turned upside down when one-by-one his family joins the climate rebellion activists ‘across the road’. Luke is determined to save his summer (and rescue his family members from wearing sandals and recycling old furniture) but finds himself drawn into the social cause. This is a laugh-out-loud read with fantastically-drawn characters and an important message about conservation at its core. Ages 11+.

Dragonfly Eyes by Cao Wenxuan

A beautiful and captivating story for fans of historical fiction. Set against the backdrop of political unrest, Dragonfly Eyes takes us from 1960s Shanghai to 1920s France, to rural China in the grip of the cultural revolution, as Ah-Mei is drawn into her French grandmother’s stories. This is an exquisitely told story, perfect for confident readers with a love of history who love getting lost in stories. Ages 12+.

Between Sea and Sky by Nicola Penfold

Also set in the near future, but environmental disasters have left most of the planet underwater. The novel follows two very different sisters who are trusted with a secret, leading to them risking everything to save each other and our world. A beautifully and powerfully told adventure about the importance of staying wild. Ages 8+.

How I Saved the World by Polly Ho-Yen

A thrilling science fiction adventure, with mild elements of horror that will have your tween hooked from the first page. This novel explores the now very-real-world threat of a mysterious virus, and our protagonist Billy finds himself on a journey of survival for which he feels entirely unprepared. A good way of young readers to explore and process the current global pandemic in a gripping and life-affirming story. Ages 8+.

Tamsin Winter

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