The Best Books of 2009 for Tweens

shelved under Best of... and Tween

Tweens are my life. I’ve raised already two, and I'm raising my third and last now. As a school librarian, I work with them all day. So I think I know a thing or two about tweens.

In my experience, you can't raise readers. Readers are born. Kids want stories — good ones — great ones even. It’s our job to give them great stories. So here’s a list — in no particular order — of what I think are the best books for Tweens that came out in 2009. (Ok, I admit it. Some of them are originally from 2008. Their inclusion is explained below.)



by Michael Grant

Michael Grant’s Gone hearkens back to a Golding world where kids are left to their own devices to survive. The best part about this book that separates it from another meager attempt at a Lord of the Flies imitation is that some of these kids have superpowers. And to up the stakes even more — they disappear on their fourteenth birthday. No adults, the bullies are in charge, and lightning-charged hands? I’m in. (This is a book from 2008 but has a sequel, listed below, that was one of my picks for 2009.)


Hunger: A Gone Novel

by Michael Grant

Grant’s sequel to Gone. The kids have survived the FAYZ — and each other — for three months, but things are looking worse. Kids begin to group themselves into the “haves” and “have-nots” — who has the power and who doesn’t. Food is scarce, and if that isn’t bad enough, something out there is very, very hungry.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

by Jeff Kinney

Kinney strikes again in his fourth installment of in the Wimpy Kid series starring the hapless Greg Heffley. As Greg looks forward to the dog days of summer glued to his video games, his mom has something else planned—a family retreat. Tweens won’t be let down as they will be eager to follow Greg and his vacation shenanigans.

This book also appears on The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series



by Kristin Cashore

Katsa can kill grown men with one swift move. Katsa will save the kingdom. She is graced. No longer wanting to be used by her uncle for her powers to kill, Katsa, a young Graceling, breaks away and forms an underground group of renegades who save the kingdom from the evil that surround them. Innocence, romance, violence, action. Boys and girls will love this book. Imagine that. (Another 2008 book, but one that didn't catch on until 2009.)



by Kristin Cashore

In Cashore’s companion novel to Graceling, she manages to capture conspiracy, tragedy and romance. Spies, thieves, and mind-control. Who can resist? This book is almost a grown-up version of Graceling. Nonetheless, readers who love Graceling will devour Fire.


Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover

by Ally Carter

In the third installment of the Gallagher Girls series, Cammie thinks she’s on summer vacation visiting her best friend, Macey, in Boston. However, spies don’t rest, and Cammie and Macey find themselves in the middle of another adventure — this time a kidnapping plot! The truth, as always, will leave readers wanting more.


The Forest of Hands and Teeth

by Carrie Ryan

The Unconsecrated. The Undead. Living corpses. What tween wouldn’t find a forest full of zombies simply, well, yummy? Carrie Ryan’s debut novel is loaded with lore, romance (yes! In a zombie novel!), heart-wrenching what-would-you-do-if? decisions, and best of all... pictures you will never get out of your head: dare I say it? A whole forest of them? Yummy!


The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

Survivor on crack for tweens — yep and a love story to boot. Suzanne Collins manages to lure readers with tyranny, debauchery, starvation, romance, and murder. Katniss Everdeen is a survivor who, in gladiator fashion, manages to fight other children to the death in this post-apocalyptic drama. (Also 2008, but again, its sequel below is one of the best of 2009.)


Catching Fire

by Suzanne Collins

In the second Hunger Games installment, all the players are back — Peeta, Gale, and Katniss. The 75th Hunger Games must be celebrated, and the President of Panem will not be denied his revenge.