Master List of Gifts Ideas for Tween & Teen Girls and Boys! Master List of Gifts Ideas for Tween & Teen Girls and Boys!

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Best Book Series for Tweens & Teens [Book Guide 2021]

Best Book Series for Tweens & Teens [Book Guide 2021]

Bookmark this list of good book series for tweens and book series for teens - or book series for young adults - so you can refer back to it over time. Getting tweens and teens started on a series they love is a great way to keep them reading. 

We split our list into book series for tweens and book series for teens based on age recommendations for the content. The books series for tweens list includes books recommended for ages only up to 12+.

The young adult genre is so popular right now that teens might might enjoy many of the series listed for tweens. And parents would likely enjoy the books on either list.

 

Book Series for Tweens

City of Ember, book series for tweens
City of Ember series
 by Jeanne DuPrau, 4 books
This was an assigned reading for fourth graders at my kids’ school, and I heard kids say it was now their favorite book. It’s about the city of Ember, built as a last refuge for the human race, and solving the mystery of how to save it.


Cape, books for tweens 

Cape (The League of Secret Heroes) by Kate Hannigan, 3 books
Inspired by remarkable real-life women from World War II, the book follows three girls chosen by a government agency to help solve puzzles for the government. The girls then find themselves transformed into superheroes who need to solve an important mystery. The boxed set launches in August 2021, but you can check out book one Cape to get started.


The Underland Chronicles, books for tweens 

Gregor the Overlander (The Underland Chronicles) by Suzanne Collins, 5 books
Gregor and his sister fall through the vent in his apartment building laundry room and discover a world below with royalty, giant beasts and prophecies. Written by the author of Hunger Games, these books are an interesting ride.

Last Kids on Earth, books for tweens

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, 6 books
Also in the “funny thriller” category, these books are full of monsters and zombies and get a perfect 5-star rating on Amazon.

 

Plants vs Zombies, books for tweens
Plants vs Zombies by Paul Tobin, 17 volumes
A confusing-yet-brilliant inventor known as Crazy Dave helps his niece and a young adventurer fend off a "fun-dead" neighborhood invasion in this Teachers’ Pick graphic novel.

The Lemonade War, book series for teens

The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies, 5 books
A brother is frustrated by his younger sister's over-achievement and challenges her to see who can create a more successful lemonade stand. A good story about dealing with emotions and learning life lessons.

 

Jake the Fake, books for tweens

Jake the Fake Keeps is Real by Craig Robinson, 3 books
Written by comedian Craig Robinson (Daryl from The Office), Jake the Fake is a funny story with award-winning illustrations. The story starts when Jake fakes his way into a Music and Arts academy for the gifted and talented.

Big Nate, books for tweens
Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce, 26 books
These hilarious books follow a middle schooler in comic-strip style writing and illustrations. 

 

Diary of a 6th grade ninja, books for tweens
Diary of a Sixth Grade Ninja by Marcus Emerson, 12 books
Described as a “funny thriller,” these books are the diary of a sixth grader recruited to be a ninja on the dangers of taking this path. You can’t purchase a boxed set, but many of the individual books are designated Teachers’ Picks on Amazon.


Roald Dahl, books for tweens
Matilda, BFG & Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Dahl's books can be a little dark and twisty, but they’re full of lessons and interesting characters. This set has 16 books, including Matilda, the BFG, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There are movies for many of these famous reads.

 

 Lynda Mullaly Hunt, books for tweens

The Linda Muhally Hunt Collection by Linda Muhally Hunt, 3 books
Though not technically a series, this set includes three stand-alone novels from this New York Times best-selling author: One for the Murphys, Fish in a Tree and Shouting at the Rain.

Julie of the Wolves, books for tweens 

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George, 3 books
This Newbery Medal winner tells the story of an Eskimo girl lost on the Alaskan tundra. The story continues in Book 2: Julie and Book 3: Julie’s Wolf Pack.


Hatchet, books for tweens

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, 5 books
A teen survives a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness and works to survive until he can be rescued. There are four follow-up books to the Newbery Medal-winning first book.

 

York, books for tweens

York by Laura Ruby, 3 books
This alternate history series follows three kids trying to solve a puzzle and treasure hunt laid into the very streets and buildings of New York City.


Alex Rider, books for tweens 

Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, 12 book
This spy kid series is action-packed and full of adventure. It’s like James Bond for tweens. There’s also at least one season of an Alex Rider TV show.

 

Nancy Drew, books for tweens

Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene, 10 books
An older cousin shipped about a hundred Nancy Drew books to me as a kid, and I read every single one. These books are perfect for 8-12-year-old readers who want to follow girl detective Nancy Drew as she solves mysteries.


The Boxcar Children, books for tweens 

The Boxcar Children Mysteries by Gertrude Chandler Warner
These books have been around for years, and my kids really enjoy them. This set includes the first 12 of the 19 by the original author. Others picked up the story after the author’s death in the 1970s, and now more than 100 have been published. They’re the story of orphan siblings trying to make it on their own.


Treasure Hunters, books for tweens 

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson, 7 books 
A New York Times best-selling author builds a fun adventure following the kids of professional treasure hunters after their parents go missing. The set includes the first six books, but a seventh book is now available as well.

 
Theodore Boone, books for tweens
Theodore Boone Series
 - John Grisham, 7 books
I grew up reading John Grisham’s books, and now he has a series for tweens about a kid lawyer. The set includes the first six books, but a seventh book is now available.

 

Spy School, books for tweens

Spy School Series by Stuart Gibbs, 8 books
This series has been a favorite for my sons as they follow the adventures of tween Ben Ripley after he gets recruited for the CIA’s Academy of Espionage. There are a few stray swear words, but most of the books are listed as a Teachers’ Pick on Amazon and moms in our gift ideas for tween & teen boys Facebook group listed him Stuart Gibbs as a favorite author. The set includes the first seven books, but an eighth book is now available as well.


Swindle, books for tweens 

Swindle by Gordon Kormon, 8 books
I couldn’t find the complete series for sale, but you can collect the individual books. Moms in our gift ideas for tween & teen boys Facebook group listed Kormon as a favorite author, and these books are a fun adventure. A unlikely group of kids and a giant Great Dane solve mysteries in their town. Many of the books hold a Teacher’s Pick distinction on Amazon. Kormon also writes one of the 39 Clues series and has other great books for tweens.


39 Clues, books for tweens

 

39 Clues by Rick Riordan and various other authors, 11 books
In this clever series, a sister and brother duo follow in their parents’ footsteps around the world to collect the clues needed to solve a mystery left by their aunt when she dies. Scholastic now offers an interactive 39 Clues experience with hundreds of cards readers can collect and enter online for a new experience using the Home Base app. This set comes with digital cards.

Peter and the Starcatchers, books for tweens

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry, 5 books
This series is a new take on Peter Pan written by nationally-syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry. The set includes the first three books and is a wild and fun adventure.

 

Books by Alan Gratz
Gratz was mentioned more than any other by the moms in our gift ideas for tween & teen boys Facebook group. Kids LOVE the books and want to read everything Gratz has written after reading one. 

Other books by Alan Gratz:

 

 Wings of Fire, books for tweens
Wings of Fire series
 by Tui T. Sutherland, 5 books
This fantasy series is a New York Times best seller and a Teachers’ Pick on Amazon.

 

Ranger's Apprentice, books series for tweens 

Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, 12 books
Great for older tweens, the series focuses on rangers who are trained to protect kings and villagers and who value honor, community and courage. There is some violence and mild cursing, and romance enters the picture as the characters get older.

 

I Survived Series, books for tweens

I Survived by Lauren Tarshis, 10 book set
Tweens love these fictional stories based on real historic events. This set includes Sinking of the Titanic, Shark Attacks of 1916, Nazi Invasion, Bombing of Pearl Harbor, Attacks of September 11, Battle of Gettysburg, Destruction of Pompeii, Hurricane Katrina, Japanese Tsunami and San Francisco Earthquake.


Little House books, books for tweens

The Little House by Laura Ingalls Wilder, 9 books
Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees Michael Landon when I think about the Little House stories! These books will throw teens back into the time of American pioneers and the TV series is available for streaming on Amazon.

 

What was the Underground Railroad? , books for tweens

Who Was? and What Was? books
These series explore famous people and events and are written specifically for tween readers. Pick from hundreds of options written by different authors.


The Breadwinner, books for tweens
The Breadwinner
 by Deborah Ellis, 4 books
An award-winning novel about loyalty, survival, families, and friendship under extraordinary circumstances during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan. 


Ghost, books for tweens

Ghost by Jason Reynolds, 3 books
A group of kids from wildly different backgrounds compete on an elite track team. Ghost makes it on many top book lists, and moms in our gift ideas for tween & teen boys Facebook group listed Reynolds as a favorite author.

 

Football Genius, Tim Green, books for tweens

Football Genius by Tim Green, 6 books
Twelve-year-old Troy White can predict football plays before they even happen. His single mom gets a job with the Atlanta Falcons and Troy has to figure out he can and should use his gift. There is no boxed set available. Moms in our gift ideas for tween & teen boys Facebook group listed Green as a favorite author.

 

Anne of Green Gables, books for tweens

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, 8 books
A favorite for nearly 100 years, the story about fiery redhead Anne changing the hearts of everyone she meets still connects with tweens. It’s also the premise for the Netflix series Anne with an E.

 Hoot, books for tweens
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, 4 books
This Newbery Honor winner is the first of a four-part series about a new kids, a bully and a pancake restaurant trying to open next to a colony of endangered owls.

 

Harry Potter, books for tweens

Harry Potter by J.K. Rawling, 7 books
I read the first Harry Potter book on a road trip with my family as a teen because it was the only book in the car, and I was bored. I wasn’t into fantasy and didn’t really want to read it because of all the hype. But it hooked me. I’ve read the entire series with both of my sons and will start it again with my daughter soon (watching the movies as we finish each book) . It’s magical, it’s well-written, and as a professional writer I’m truly in awe of what J.K. Rawling did - the plotlines she fits together, the characters she builds and the lessons she teaches. 

 Percy Jackson, books for tweens
Percy Jackson & the Olympians
 by Rick Riordan, 5 books
Rick Riordan is another favorite author among tweens, and the Percy Jackson series is my boys’ favorite. The books follow the quests of children born to Greek gods - specifically Percy Jackson, son of the sea god Poseidon. They’re full of Greek mythology, adventure and friendship. There are movies for the first two books. Percy’s story continues in the five books of The Heroes of Olympus series.



Heroes of Olympus, books for tweens
The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, 5 books
This series follows the beloved characters from Riordan's Percy Jackson series.

 

Magnus Chase, books for tweens 

Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan, 3 books
These books have a similar feel to the Percy Jackson series, following demigod Magnus Chase.

 

Book Series for Teens

Ready Player One series, book series for teens

Ready Player One Series by Ernest Cline, 2 books
These are the books behind the major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg. I hear that the books and movie have some key differences, but that both are really good. It's a futuristic treasure hunt where solving the riddles could be the key to survival.


Ender's Game series, book series for teens
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, 16 books
The first two books of this science fiction series won Hugo awards and there is a major motion picture, comics and short stories based on the series. One of my teen son's friends stayed up half the night reading this - that tells me it's a winner.

Michael Vey, books for tweens
Michael Vey
 by Richard Paul Evans, 7 books.
A 14-year-old with Tourette’s syndrome...and electric powers who must work with his team to prevent a sinister organization from achieving world domination.

Ranger's Apprentice, books series for tweens 

Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, 12 books
The series focuses on rangers who are trained to protect kings and villagers and who value honor, community and courage. 

 

Brotherband Chronicles, book series for tweens

Brotherband Chronicles by John Flanagan, 7 books
A new adventure by the best-selling author of Ranger’s Apprentice.

 

 

Harry Potter set, book series for tweens, book series for teens 
Harry Potter by J.K. Rawling, 7 books

I read the first Harry Potter book on a road trip with my family as a teen because it was the only book in the car, and I was bored. I wasn’t into fantasy and didn’t really want to read it because of all the hype. But it hooked me. I’ve read the entire series with both of my sons and will start it again with my daughter soon (watching the movies as we finish each book) . It’s magical, it’s well-written, and as a professional writer I’m truly in awe of what J.K. Rawling did - how the plotlines fit together, the characters she builds and the lessons she teaches. 

 The Inheritance Cycle, books for tweens
The Inheritance Cycle
 by Christopher Paolini, 4 books
This book series is one of my teen's absolute favorites, and tons of moms in our gift ideas for tween & teen boys Facebook group mentioned it when we asked about great books for boys. There is an older movie centered on the first book Eragon. 

Julie of the Wolves, books for tweens 

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George, 3 books
This Newbery Medal winner tells the story of an Eskimo girl lost on the Alaskan tundra. The story continues in Book 2: Julie and Book 3: Julie’s Wolf Pack.


Hatchet, books for tweens
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, 5 books
A teen survives a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness and works to survive until he can be rescued. There are four follow-up books to the Newbery Medal-winning first book.


Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, book series for teens

Summers of the Sisterhood Series by Ann Brashares, 5 books
This New York Times best selling series has been a hit with teens for years. No complete set of books is available, but you can collect or gift the books one at a time.

 

Finishing School Series, book series for teens
Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger, 4 books
The young ladies sent to this finishing school learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage - in the politest possible ways, of course. 

Raven Cycle Series, book series for teens

The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater, 4 books
All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure any more.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, book series for teens

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, 4 books
Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can't see how she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. A daring revolutionary and savage enemies are also hunting her. 

York, books for tweens

York by Laura Ruby, 3 books
This alternate history series follows three kids trying to solve a puzzle and treasure hunt laid into the very streets and buildings of New York City.

Alex Rider, books for tweens 

Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, 12 book
This spy kid series is action-packed and full of adventure. It’s like James Bond for tweens. There’s also at least one season of an Alex Rider TV show.

 

Theodore Boone, books for tweens
Theodore Boone Series
 - John Grisham, 7 books
I grew up reading John Grisham’s books, and now he has a series for tweens about a kid lawyer. The set includes the first six books, but a seventh book is now available as well. 

 
The Giver, books for tweens

The Giver by Lois Lowry, 4 books (Recommended for 12+)
This Newbery Medal was on my son’s Christmas list. It follows 12-year-old Jonas who lives in a seemingly ideal world of conformity and contentment until his life assignment opens up the complex secrets behind his fragile community.

 

Books by Alan Gratz
Gratz was mentioned more than any other by the moms in our gift ideas for tween & teen boys Facebook group. Teens LOVE the books and want to read everything Gratz has written after reading one. 

Other books by Alan Gratz:


Crossover, books for tweens

Crossover Series by Kwame Alexander, 3 books
This series follows twin 12-year-old basketball stars and their conflict and hardship both on and off the court. 


Track Series, book series for tweens

Track Series by Jason Reynolds, 3 books
A group of kids from wildly different backgrounds compete on an elite track team. The first book in the series, Ghost, makes it on many top book lists, and moms in our gift ideas for tween & teen boys Facebook group listed Reynolds as a favorite author.

 

Football Genius, Tim Green, books for tweens

Football Genius by Tim Green, 6 books
Twelve-year-old Troy White can predict football plays before they even happen. His single mom gets a job with the Atlanta Falcons and Troy has to figure out he can and should use his gift. There is no boxed set available. Moms in our gift ideas for tween & teen boys Facebook group listed Green as a favorite author.

Divergent, books for tweens
Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, 4 books
Fans of the Hunger Games tend to like this dystopian tale about choices and consequences, unexpected romance, and a deeply flawed "perfect society." Read the books and then watch the movies.


Mazerunner series, book series for teens
Mazerunner
by James Dashner, 5 books
This best-selling survival saga is a New York Times best-selling series and the first three books are major motion pictures.
 

 The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, books for tweens

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien, 4 books
My son read and enjoyed The Hobbit, but hasn’t tackled the Lord of the Rings series yet. It’s a pretty big commitment. I enjoyed the movies much more than I ever thought, so I’m planning to read these when my boys are ready as well.

 

The Hunger Games, books for tweens

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, 4 books
This series - especially book one, are iconic to me, but my aunt still can’t bring herself to read them because she knows the premise involves kids hurting other kids. Read about them before you recommend them to your tween, but they’ll likely ask to read them at some point. I didn’t enjoy the final books as much as the first, but I certainly wanted to see the series through. The movies are great and star Jennifer Lawrence.

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