My love for reading began in my tweens, so I felt reminiscing on the books that brought me into the literary world was long overdue. Thinking about these books reminds me of all those Scholastic Book Fairs I’d attend at my middle school.
Oh, those were the days.
I’d usually end up snatching money from my parents the morning of and spend every penny I had on books and useless things like giant erasers. A lot of the junk I bought at Scholastic Book Fairs just ended up in the junk drawer of my desk at home. I think this is where my love for shopping truly began. Also, my lack of logic when making purchases.
Anyway, some of these books I was forced to read and others I read for my own enjoyment. No matter, each book on this list 100% brought me all the tween nostalgia. If you were a tween in the early 2000s like me, then you’ll probs remember at least one of these books.
1. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
I think I bought this book because of the cute little chicky on the cover. Good choice on my part because this book ended up being one of my fave reads. I loved the back in forth between Bryce and Juli.
Side note: the movie is currently on Netflix.
2. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
When I first picked this book out at my school’s Scholastic Book Fair, I was very confused. Donde esta title of the book?! This obviously intrigued me and I had no choice but to buy it.
It’s basically another book about a weirdo girl attracting the attention of a cool kid who was scared to show his interest. Apparently, she’s so weird that she just can’t be defined.
3. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
If you’ve ever watched the show the Alone on the History Channel, then you’ve basically read Hatchet.
And if the first Hatchet book isn’t enough for you – like you need more survival stories – then check out Hatchet 2. The boy gets stranded in the woods for a SECOND time. You literally have to have the worst luck in the world to be put in that situation. TWICE.
Poor Hatchet boy.
4. Holes by Louis Sachar
Dig it up, oh, oh (dig it). Dig it up, oh, oh (ohh). Dig it up, oh, oh (dig it). Dig it up, oh, oh (ohhhh). Two suits, two tokens in hand, I got no respect ’cause I’m the new man. Got my shovel, shoes full of sand, check out the tag–the name’s Caveman, uhh.
You’ve got to go dig those hooooooooooooles.
The movie was better than the book – that’s all I’m going to say.
5. The Giver by Lois Lowry
I was 100% forced to read this book in middle school, but it didn’t end up being the punishment I thought it might be like most school kids assume when forced to read a book for class.
Also, I’m a sucker for a good dystopia book, so there was no way I was not going to enjoy reading this one.
6. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
There’s about a million books in the Princess Diaries series and I only managed to read the first one. For those who haven’t read this book, you should know that it is vastly, vastly different from the movie. I also like this movie waaaaay better than the book.
7. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Woof. This book was super intense and very eye opening. I’m sure most, if not all, tween girls in the early 2000s read this one. It was the first book I read that discussed the trauma of sexual assault. Definitely a tough read, but an important one.
8. TTYL by Lauren Myracle
This whole book is set up like an aim/text conversation among three besties. It was the first of its kind and deeply beloved by young tween girls such as myself.
Teen Magazine even reviewed this book and stated it was “changing the way you read.” Right you were Teen Magazine, right you were.
9. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
I’m not even slightly embarrassed by how obsessed I was with this book series. No shame. I was Team Edward allllllll the way too.
I was so Team Edward that upon realizing Edward was not in most of book two, I refused to finish reading the book. Yes, that’s right. I read New Moon long after finishing the last book in the series.
Once I matured I decided I could handle the emotional trauma of Edward’s absence and finished the book.
10. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney
I think I’m saving the best for last here. I mean, this book is a classic. It’s beyond classic. The book, and let’s not forget about the movie.
There’s nothing I loved more than the irony of the main character (the girl on the milk carton) being lactose intolerant. I’m now wondering if her ‘parents’, aka kidnappers, somehow made her lactose intolerant to prevent her from seeing her own missing face. Hmmm….
Feel free to share what books you remember most from your tween days in the comments below 🙂
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