The more enlightened among you may believe there’s ‘no difference’ in books for boys and girls. But I’ve got two boys and a girl who would all beg to differ on that point. How many girls do you know who have read Beast Quest? How many boys who have read Jacqueline Wilson?
Over the years, my boys have both read very similar books to each other – Jeremy Strong, Harry Potter, Alex Rider… but my daughter hasn’t been keen to follow in their footsteps.
The only books they would all read happily are Jeremy Strong and Tom Gates books. Sadly, my daughter won’t even consider Harry Potter books (although I’m pleased to say I don’t think she actually sees them as boys’ books).
So we’ve had to find some new books to read…
We’ve discovered Jacqueline Wilson and we both love her. Her tear-jerking, poverty-stricken tween angst fests aren’t to everyone’s tastes, but I think they’re brilliant – well-written and thought-provoking. Then there’s Holly Webb, who has written one good series (Triplets) and an awful lot of dreadful ones!
Our latest discovery is Karen McCombie who is a prolific writer of fiction for tween and early teen girls.
We started on the Stella etc series and have read four of the seven books so far. No doubt Father Christmas will be bringing the others if my daughter doesn’t buy them first.
There’s a cringey quote from Mizz magazine (remember that?!) on the front which totally doesn’t do it justice – ‘Super sweet and cool as an ice cream’. It is that, but it’s more.
Stella is a 13 year old girl forced to leave London with her family to live in a boring seaside town, where she has to make friends and a new life for herself. The stories are written with a big dose of humour. And as well as being entertaining stories, these books are full of great messages about friendship and family, about being strong and doing things for yourself. Just the sort of messages we’d all like our tween daughters to pick up.
My daughter is devouring them right now.
I’ve just had the pleasure of reading McCombie’s Six Words and a Wish for work and I think it’s even better than Stella. The humorous writing is there and main character, Jem, seems to come across a lot like Stella, but there is more emotion in the story.
When a 13 year old girl is dealing with feelings about the disappearance of the big sister she ‘hated’ two years earlier, how does that affect her and those around her? This book really got into my head and I found myself enjoying it a lot more than the grown up book I was reading for myself. It even made me cry!
So if you’re looking for books for tween girls, you could do a lot worse than check out Karen McCombie.