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20 Perfect Books for Your Tween's Back-to-School Reading List

by | Sep. 01, 2018

Mormon Life

Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

In the long-awaited sequel to Fablehaven, the dragons who have been kept at the dragon sanctuaries no longer consider them safe havens but prisons, and they want their freedom. The dragons are no longer our allies...

In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who confined the dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.

As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge, as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.

Resist by Ilima Todd

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

Having been rescued, Remade, and returned to Freedom, Theron faces a life without None. Though he's chosen to be a healer, he can't seem to heal himself of his heartbreak. Not even the endless pleasures and vices Freedom offers can dull the pain of losing the only girl he's ever loved. The peace he so desperately needs seems impossible to find.

Then he meets Catcher, who becomes a friend and a mentor and who teaches Theron about the dark truths behind Freedom's Batcher program—and about a growing rebellion known as "the Rise."

Theron's quest for peace and healing is further complicated when he falls in love with a captured rebel named Pua. He must choose: Freedom and its easy pleasures, or a life that is truly free but full of hardships and sacrifice.

Wizard for Hire by Obert Skye

Back to School Reading List

What if there was a wizard in your hometown who offered his services to anyone in need?

What if you were scared because your scientist parents had been kidnapped and you couldn't tell the police? What if you stumbled across a classified ad in your local newspaper that read, "Wizard for Hire. Call 555-SPEL"? Would you call?

Fourteen-year-old Ozzy is desperate to find his parents, but he's not so sure about the ad....He's read about wizards in books like Harry Potter, but they couldn't actually exist in the world today, could they?

Enter Labryinth, aka "Rin," who dresses the part. Sort of. His bathrobe and high-top tennis shoes seem unorthodox. At least Rin acts like a wizard, but Ozzy has his doubts. Do real wizards write notes on their shoes and eat breakfast for every meal? Most of all, Ozzy just wants to know if Rin can cast any magic spells.

With the help of a robotic-talking raven invented by Ozzy's father, a kind and curious girl at school who decides to help Ozzy, and, of course, a self-proclaimed wizard who may or may not have a magical wand, Ozzy begins an unforgettable quest that will lead him closer to the answers he seeks about his missing parents.

Potion Masters, Book 1: The Eternity Elixir by Frank L. Cole

Back to School Reading List

Twelve-year-old Gordy Stitser is one of the few people who knows the truth about the secret society of potion masters, because not only is Gordy's mom on the Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide (B.R.E.W.), but she has also been training Gordy in the art of potion-making.

Gordy is a natural, and every day he sneaks down to the basement lab to invent new potions using exotic ingredients like fire ant eggs, porcupine quills, and Bosnian tickling juice.

One afternoon, Gordy receives a mysterious package containing an extremely rare potion known as "The Eternity Elixir." In the right hands, the Elixir continues to protect society. But in the wrong hands, ti could destroy the world as we know it.

Now, sinister potion masters are on the hunt to steal the Eternity Elixir. It's up to Gordy, his parents, and his best friends, Max and Adeline, to prevent an all-out potion war.

Road to Rosewood by Ashtyn Newbold

Back to School Reading List

Lucy Abbot longs to return to the country estate where she spent the best days of her childhood with her cousins and their charming neighbor Nicholas. Her protective parents, however, have other plans for her. When she finally dares to escape, her carriage is besieged by highwaymen with a familiar man leading them. Could this mysterious outlaw be exactly the person Lucy has been searching for?


The Heart of Thornewell by Anita Stansfield

Back to School Reading List

What should have been a grand adventure in Africa ends in heartbreak for Enid Hawthorne, following her husband's untimely death. Bereft, the young widow bravely boards a ship for home with precious cargo—her unborn child. She hopes to find refuge in England in the only place she can—Thornewell Hall, the estate of her late husband's family. But upon her arrival, she finds a bleak home in the depths of mourning. It is clear that hers is not the only tragedy, but Enid is unprepared for the hostility that meets her arrival.

Sebastian, Earl of Thornewell, is grief-stricken following the loss of his wife and child. The news that his brother is dead is simply more than he can take—and he knows who is to blame: his sister-in-law, Enid. So when she arrives on his doorstep, seeking asylum, he does his duty in allowing her to stay—and nothing more. Yet fate has other plans, and as they face joys and trials alongside each other, their broken hearts begin to heal. But there is a cloud over their future, fo rEnid harbors a secret that may drive them apart forever.

Scarlet by Jen Geigle Johnson

Back to School Reading List

The roads in and out of Paris are heavily guarded, but the dead have easy passage out of the city. A ragged old woman transports the coffins of the most recent victims of the guillotine and is waved on unimpeded. Later, the same crone watches five French aristocrats step out of the coffins unscathed. not beheaded, but spirited away to safety by that most elusive of spies: the Pimpernel. Or, as she's known in polite society, Lady Scarlet Cavendish.

When not assuming her secret identity as a hero of the French Revolution, Scarlet presents herself as a fashionable, featherbrained young widow flitting about London. In truth, this facade is merely a diversion designed to conceal her clandestine work in France. Among members of the doomed French aristocracy, the Pimpernel is renowned for her bravery and cunning. But when tasked with rescuing handsome Comte Matteo Durand, she faces an unprecedented challenge: she is falling in love with the man. If ever there was a time to keep her head, it is now—because in a world brimming with intrigue, she is not only one harboring secrets. And if Scarlet doesn't take care, Madame la Guillotine may finally catch up with the Pimpernel...

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she'll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

When Abby stepped through the hourglass door, leaving her beloved Dante blind and bleeding on the other side, it was in full faith that she could find a way to repair the damage to the river of time and restore him — as well as her family. It was a desperate chance that seemed worth taking.

But Zo had other plans.

Now Abby is trapped in a full-fledged battle for her own mind and life and heart. Even worse, Zo's evil intent reaches beyond simple revenge against her and Dante. The whole world is in danger of collapsing unless Abby can summon her courage and undertake a journey that will lead her beyond the origins of the hourglass door.

Mysteries of Cove, Vol. 3: Embers of Destruction by J. Scott Savage

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

It's time to take the battle to the dragons.

In the third and final volume of the bestselling Mysteries of Cove series, Trenton and Kallista—along with their friends, Plucky, Simoni, Angus, and Clyde—fly their mechanical dragons south toward San Francisco, looking to rescue any survivors from the battle of Seattle.

Arriving in San Francisco and investigating the area in secret, the young riders are reunited with Kallista's father, Leo Babbage, who reveals that the humans in the city are working as slaves to the dragons, but that they don't want to be rescued—himself included. He says they are being protected by their new master: a huge, powerful white dragon who lives in an impenetrable tower fortress overlooking the city. Kallista is stunned by the news. Why would her father ever willingly want to work for dragons?

Trenton and his friends are confronted by the guards and their mechanical dragons are seized. Evading capture, the young riders escape and begin looking for a way to break the white dragon's hold over the city—and over Leo. Working with the kids from the city, the young riders track down the source of the dragon's power to an underground chamber that is accessible only through an underwater passageway below the tower fortress.

With the white dragon watching their every move, Trenton and Kallista will need every bit of creativity and ingenuity they can manage to find a way to retrieve their stolen dragons, enter the tower fortress, and take down the dragons once and for all.

Adventurers Wanted, Book 5: The Axe of Sundering by M.L. Forman 

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

Whalen Vankin is a great and honorable wizard, and he has only ever personally trained two other wizards. One is Alexander Taylor, a young man who has earned a reputation as a brave adventurer, a warrior, and a man of honor. The other is Jabez, Vankin's nephew—a man whose choices have led him down a different, darker path.

Dark magic has covered Westland, and evil is stirring. Whalen and Alex must journey together into the heart of danger, confronting a sea serpent, and facing down more than one dragon. Alex must find the legendary Axe of Sundering—the one weapon that offers a chance to defeat Jabez—and protect the land from the dark wizard's plans. But finding it will be an adventure of its own as the only pathway to the Axe leads through the underground tunnels and secret passages of the Castle of Conmar.

But Jabez has a final weapon at his disposal: the powerful Orion stones, which could spell the end to Whalen and Alex both.

Romancing Daphne by Sarah M. Eden

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

As her first London Season looms before her, the thought of the impending social whirl fills Daphne Lancaster's timid heart with dread. She hasn't her sisters' beauty nor their talent for conversing easily. Even her family's enviable connections may not be enough to prevent disaster.

But Daphne's misery turns to surprised delight when the first even of her Season brings an unexpected visitor to her door—James Tilburn, whose tender kindness stole her heart in her youth. When the handsome young gentleman expresses his desire to court her, Daphne is elated. Their feelings for each other quickly grow, and it appears that, much to Daphne's disbelief, her happily ever after is within reach.

Yet nothing is as it seems. The couple finds themselves caught in a tangled web of greed and deceit, leaving James and Daphne to determine whether they are willing to risk everything for true love.

The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

Anthony Blake, the Earl of Wilshire, is in love with his best friend's sister, Sophia Elliot. But his plans to court her are put on hold when he is forced to resume his role as an undercover spy for the Crown. A secret document listing the names of the entire network of British spies—including his own—has been stolen. To protect Sophia, Anthony cuts off all ties to her and exchanges his life as an honorable earl for the facade of a flirtatious playboy.

Heartbroken and confused, Sophia travels to India, hoping to find healing in one of the most exotic regions of the British Empire. But the exotic land isn't as restful as she had hoped. Instead, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery of a missing sea captain, a possible murder, and a plot that could involve the prince of India. And when Anthony appears at the British Residency, asking questions and keeping his distance from her, she is stunned.

She still loves him, and, in her heart, she knows he loves her too. But how can she rebuild her relationship with him if he won't confide in her? Does she dare offer her heart to him a second time, or will their love be lost under the India sun?

Searching for Irene by Marlene Bateman Sullivan

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

Anna Coughlin is a modern 1920s woman, armed with a college education and a partiality for numbers. Now, within the walls of a fantastic castle-like mansion in the hills of Virginia, her skill will be tested as never before. Hired to serve as financial advisor to wealthy Lawrence Richardson, Ann finds the welcome she receives anything but warm. Lawrence's handsome but antagonistic son Tyler wants nothing more than to send her packing. The household staff isn't much better, but who can blame them, considering the way Lawrence's last advisor, Irene, disappeared...

Convinced that one of the enigmatic members of the household had something to do with Irene's disappearance, Anna doesn't dare trust anyone—not even temperamental Tyler Richardson, who, despite her best intentions, is beginning to steal her heart.

A series of frightening incidents ensnare Anna in a maze of intrigue, putting her life in peril. But even as Anna begins uncovering the secrets hidden within the mansion's stone walls, she harbors a secret of her own. Now, the only question that remains is whether she will disappear as mysteriously as Irene.

The Vicar's Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

Cassie, the youngest of six daughters in the Wilton family, is bold, bright, and ready to enter society. There's only one problem: her older sister Lenora, whose extreme shyness prevents her from attending many social events. Lenora is now entering her third season, and Cassie has no choice except to wait her turn.

Evan Glenside, a soft-spoken, East London clerk, has just been named his great-uncle's heir and, though he is eager to learn all that will be required of him, he struggles to feel accepted.

A chance meeting between Evan and Lenora promises to change everything, but when Lenora proves too shy to pursue the relationship, Cassie begins to write Mr. Glenside letters in the name of her sister but her good intentions may lead to disaster.

As secrets are revealed, the hearts of Cassie, Evan, and Lenora are tested. Will the final letter sent by the vicar's daughter be able to reunite the sisters as well as unite Evan with his true love?

The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

Seven-year-old Chellamuthu's life is forever changed when he is kidnapped from his village in India, sold to a Christian orphanage, and then adopted by an unsuspecting couple in the United States. It takes months before the boy can speak enough English to tell his parents that he already has a family back in India. Horrified, they try their best to track down his Indian family, but all avenues lead to dead ends.

Meanwhile, they simply love him, change his name to Taj, enroll him in school, and make him part of their family. And his story might have ended there had it not been for the persistent questions in his head: Who am I? Why was I taken? How do I get home?

More than a decade later, Taj meets Priya, a girl from southern India with surprising ties to his past. Is she the key to unveil the secrets of his childhood or is it too late? And if he does make it back to India, how will he find his family with so few clues?

Mustaches for Maddie by Shelly Brown, Chad Morris 

Teen-Friendly Fiction Books Perfect for Back to School

Twelve-year-old Maddie has a quirky sense of humor and loves making her classmates laugh by slapping on fake mustaches every chance she gets. Being funny gets her noticed by class queen Cassie, and things are looking up when Maddie is cast as Juliet in the school play. Maybe Juliet could wear a mustache?

When Maddie starts tripping when she walks and her hand starts curling up at her side, her mom takes her to the doctor, who confirms Maddie has a brain tumor. In an instant, her world is turned upside down.

Maddie doesn't want anyone else to know. Especially Cassie, whose jealousy has turned to bullying. What about Maddie's chance to play Juliet opposite the cutest boy in the sixth grade? What if the doctors can't get the ugly tumor monster out of her brain?

As Maddie's surgery approaches, she wonders if her illness is giving her superpowers because her imagination is bigger than ever, her courage is stronger than ever, and her compassion is about to be felt by more people than she ever imagined.

Bonus: Coming Soon

Mayfield Family, Vol. 1: Promises and Primroses by Josi S. Kilpack (Sept. 4, 2018)

Back to School Reading List

Lord Elliott Mayfield has done his best to take care of his family, first his siblings and now his nieces and nephews. Unfortunately, he sees this new generation moving in the same direction of bad matches and scandalous relationships as the last. In hopes to change their course, he establishes a "marriage campaign" to motivate them to improve themselves through making respectable matches. With his heart in the right place, what could possibly go wrong?

Peter, Elliott's eldest nephew, thinks the entire idea is ridiculous. A widower with two young daughters, he simply needs a governess, not a wife.

Julia Hollingsworth certainly has the credentials and the experience, but is altogether too young and pretty for such a job. So why can't he stop thinking about her? Julia loves working as a governess, despite the objections of her mother, Amelia. And as it turns out, Amelia has a lot to say about the Mayfield men—none of it good. But Julia dismisses the rumors of ruined reputations and instead concentrates on helping Peter with his children and his fledgling business in canine husbandry. His kindness and gentleness is endearing—and increasingly attractive.

But Amelia, whose heart was broken thirty years ago by none other than Elliott Mayfield, is determined to prevent any relationship from blooming either between Peter and Julia—or between herself and Elliott.

Hearts and history collide as both couples must face their pasts and decide if risking it all is worth the promise of new love and a new future.


Squint by Chad Morris, Shelly Brown (Oct 2, 2018)

Back to School Reading List

Flint is furiously trying to finish the illustrations on his first comic book before he loses his eyesight due to his damaged cornea. His superhero character is called Squint after the nickname his classmates derisively give him for his poor vision.

My name is Flint, but everyone in middle school calls me Squint because I'm losing my vision. I used to play football, but not anymore. I haven't had a friend in a long time. Thankfully, real friends can see the real you, even when you can't clearly see.

Flint loves to draw. In fact, he's furiously trying to finish his comic book so he can be the youngest winner of the "Find a Comic Star" contest. He's also rushing to finish because he has keratoconus—an eye disease that could eventually make him blind.

McKell is the new girl at school and immediately hangs with the popular kids. Except McKell's not a fan of the way her friends treat this boy named Squint. He seems nice and really talented. He draws pictures of superheroes. McKell wants to get to know him, but is it worth the risk? What if her friends catch her hanging with the kid who squints all the time?

McKell has a hidden talent of her own but doesn't share it for fear of being judged. Her terminally ill brother, Danny, challenges McKell to share her love of poetry and songwriting. Flint seems like someone she could trust. Someone who would never laugh at her. Someone who is as good and brave as the superhero in Flint's comic book named Squint.

Adventurers Wanted, Book 5: The Axe of Sundering by M.L. Forman (Oct 3, 2018)

Back to School Reading List

Whalen Vankin is a great and honorable wizard, and he has only ever personally trained two other wizards. One is Alexander Taylor, a young man who has earned a reputation as a brave adventurer, a warrior, and a man of honor. The other is Jabez, Vankin's nephew—a man whose choices have led him down a different, darker path.

Dark magic has covered Westland, and evil is stirring. Whalen and Alex must journey together into the heart of danger, confronting a sea serpent, and facing down more than one dragon. Alex must find the legendary Axe of Sundering—the one weapon that offers a chance to defeat Jabez—and protect the land from the dark wizard's plans. But finding it will be an adventure of its own as the only pathway to the Axe leads through the underground tunnels and secret passages of the Castle of Conmar.

But Jabez has a final weapon at his disposal: the powerful Orion stones, which could spell the end to Whalen and Alex both.



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