Skip to Content

Clean Reads for Tweens (ages 11-13)

This is definitely a deviation for my typical recipe posts, but more and more I’m hearing from parents looking for clean book suggestions for their tween kiddos. As a homeschooling momma, I have shelves overflowing with books for both of my kids. My oldest (Kylie is 11) is an avid reader, and reads well into a high school reading level. While not all of these books are at a high school reading level, they are appropriate for children between the ages of 11-13.

Clean Reads for Tweens (ages 11-13)

I have not read these books, but my daughter has. I read carefully through the summary and reviews, then allow Kylie to proceed if I approve.

Here’s the agreement I have with Kylie: She knows what I deem appropriate and what I don’t (ex: cult-type magic/witchcraft, sexual relationships, or books heavily laden with boyfriend/girlfriend or same sex relationships, etc…). If she starts reading the book and comes across any of those things, she’s supposed to tell me immediately (and she does… out of everything my husband and I stress to our girls, honesty is #1). At that point, we chat about what she’s read, and I either allow her to continue reading, or I take away the book (I normally take away the book).

Your standards may be stricter than mine, or more lenient… either way, that’s your choice as a parent. I’m just explaining to you how it works in our house so you can make a more informed decision about the books below. 😉

Kylie has also added “other helpful notes” you might be interested in.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Do you have any books to recommend for this age level? Please leave the book name and author in the comments below! 

Clean Reads for Tweens (ages 11-13)

The Inheritance Cycle (4 book series) by Christopher Paolini
Main character is a boy, but the dragon is a girl
Other helpful notes from Kylie: The books are very intense because there’s lots of fighting and monsters. It’s not a light-read type of series. Magic is used. 

I Road a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Wilson
Main character is a girl

The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger’s Apprentice series) by John A. Flanagan
Main character is a boy, although there are sub characters that are girls (they appear every few chapters)
Other helpful notes from Kylie: The book isn’t as dark as the cover of the book makes you believe. Towards the end there’s lots of fighting. 

Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
Main characters are both girls

The Colossus Rises (The Seven Wonders series) by Peter Lerangis
Main characters are both male and female (3 boys, 1 girl)

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Main character is a boy

Benjamin Dragon – Awakening (The Chronicles of Benjamin Dragon series) by C. G. Cooper
Main character is a boy

Wild Orchid: A Retelling of “The Ballad of Mulan” by Cameron Dokey
Main character is a girl
Other helpful notes from Kylie: Some parts of the book are intense with fighting. 

Warriors #1: Into the Wild (Warriors, the Prophesy Begins series) by Erin Hunter
There are several books in this series, main characters will switch between male and female depending on the book.

Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff
Main characters are both male and female (2 boys, 1 girl)
Other helpful notes from Kylie: The pictures in this book are really cool. You can tell Safronoff isn’t a seasoned author, but it was still a good book. 

Raiders from the Sea (Viking Quest series) by Lois Walfrid Johnson
Main characters are both male and female
(Faith-based Christian fiction)

The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Main character is a boy
Other helpful notes from Kylie: The main character gets beat up by his older brother often. 

Mystery of the Roman Ransom by Henry Winterfeld
Main characters are all boys
Other helpful notes from Kylie: This is a really funny book.

Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld 
Main characters are all boys
Other helpful notes from Kylie: This is a really funny book.

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
Main character is a boy
Other helpful notes from Kylie: The ending is really sad. 

The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles 3 book series) by Rick Riordan
Main characters are both male and female
Other helpful notes from Kylie: There is use of magic. 

The Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson & the Olympians 5 book series) by Rick Riordan
Main characters are both male and female (mostly male though)
Other helpful notes from Kylie: This book can be intense at times with fighting, but Riordan does a good job of lightening it up. There is kissing once or twice throughout the series. 

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
← Previous
Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake
Next →

Cassandra Kostuch

Sunday 29th of October 2017

Have you introduced the Redwall series? They were a favorite when I was her age. I'm reading them now again to my toddler before bed :)

Jacqi Lovell

Friday 27th of October 2017

I would like to recommend our Mouse Gate adventure books, written by me and my husband, Jeff and Jacqi Lovell. There are four books in the series so far and the fifth is coming out within the month. All these books feature a girl and a boy main character who have time travel adventures while vacationing in Disney World so there are many Disney details in these books as well as spiritual overtones. As former teachers our desire is to foster encouragement, character building, and courage in children. We’ve had three booksignings at our local Barnes & Noble store but our books are available on Amazon. Love for you to include them in your list. amazon.com/author/jefflovell NOTE: There are also books JEFF has written alone at this site for older teens and adults.

Denise

Thursday 14th of September 2017

Robin Jones Gunn, a former youth pastor, has written a couple of book series for Christian girls. My daughter really enjoyed them. Robin has also written a delightful collection for women called "SisterChicks", that are lighthearted, but God-centered! (Try "SisterChicks do the Hula" for a fun read!)

Megan

Wednesday 27th of September 2017

Thank you for the recommendations, Denise!

Lights UP North

Wednesday 7th of June 2017

Thank you for this list! The Elizabeth Gail series is also a good series. My daughter is currently reading those ones :)

Megan

Friday 9th of June 2017

Thank you for the suggestion!

Misty

Saturday 11th of February 2017

Check out Read Aloud Revival for a great list to read to your kids too :)

Megan

Wednesday 15th of February 2017

Awesome! Thanks for the suggestion!