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Books for Pre-Teen Readers

By Rev. Caroline Osborne

I am a lifelong, avid reader. My love for reading grew out of my parents reading to me from a very young age. As I got older, I branched out and began to find new series to enjoy on my own. Below are some of my all-time favorites for middle school and high school age kids.

THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLINS BY GEORGE MACDONALD

You have probably heard of C.S. Lewis, but are you familiar with George MacDonald? MacDonald’s writings were enormously influential on Lewis and when you read books like The Princess and the Goblins, you can see why. This fairytale tells the story of a princess, her new friend Curdie, and the evil goblins who live under the mountain Curdie and the princess live on. More than that, though, it is a story of faith and friendship, good and evil, and the choices we make. Once you read this book, don’t forget the sequel, The Princess and Curdie!

THE SQUIRE’S TALE BY GERALD MORRIS

The Squire’s Tale is the first in a series of books by Gerald Morris (who just happens to be an Episcopal priest!). Each book is a retelling of an Arthurian legend. They are funny, enjoyable, and, at times, thought-provoking. Well worth a read!

A RING OF ENDLESS LIGHT BY MADELEINE L’ENGLE

Unlike L’Engle’s famous book, A Wrinkle in Time, A Ring of Endless Light contains no strong science fiction or fantasy elements. Instead, this novel tells the story of teenager Vicki Austen as her family spends the summer with her dying grandfather. Through the course of the summer, Vicki wrestles with the struggles of being a teen while also grappling with weightier questions of life and death. Though sad at times, the book is permeated with a certain ineffable joy and indelible hope.

MISTBORN BY BRANDON SANDERSON

I have heard this book described as “Oceans Eleven via Lord of the Rings.” This fantasy novel is the story of a daring heist by a group of gifted criminals to steal the secret wealth of the god-king who rules their world with power, violence, and fear. In the midst of all of this, the main character, Vin, learns that she has value and that life is about more than surviving.


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