Celebrate your quirks
Everyone can find themselves in the popular book The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth (Alexandra Robbins). The New Girl, The Band Geek, The Gamer and The Loner are just a few of the characters rounded up in this 2011 nonfiction work. Robbins does a great job of showing how the very traits and quirks that set us apart in high school actually help us stand out in our adult life. Share this book with your tween and share your memories of these same characters during your school years.
Written from the perspective of Crash Coogan, a typical middle-school bully, Crash (Jerry Spinelli) is a story of redemption and change. Life changes make Crash rethink how he treats his long-time torment victim, and he realizes that there is more to life than being the school's star jock. Your tween can no doubt relate to someone like Crash at his school, and sharing this book may give him some perspective on someone who has quite a different life. The resounding message is that anyone can change, if they set their mind to it.
Make a difference
The unlikely friends in the book Hoot (Carl Hiaasen) form a bond over an endangered species of burrowing owls. There are elements of being the new kid in school, bullies, homelessness and beating the system. A pancake chain decides to build on the site where the miniature owls burrow, and the middle-school friends spring into action that is often comical. Tweens and parents alike will love the antics of these devoted, quirky friends.
Connect^ Pull up a comfortable chair, bring along your favorite tween and start reading. You may be surprised where a book can take you together.