Top Ten Tuesday: Books for my Baby Cousin

November 19, 2013 Children's Fiction, Classics, Top Ten Tuesday, Young Adult Fiction 40

Hey Bookworms!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I participated in the Broke and the Bookish’s weekly extravaganza that is Top Ten Tuesday. Today we’ve been challenged to create a list of recommendations with a specific person in mind. I’ve got me a baby cousin. Well, okay, she’s not really a baby anymore, she’s 12… I’m not really sure when that happened. However, I was wracking my brains and I kept coming back to books I think Dana ought to read, so she wins today’s list. (Remember my post about snarky eyebrows? That was an ode to Dana’s older brother Adam. These kids, man. These kids…)




1. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry- This might be a little below your reading level, but if you haven’t read it, you simply must. It’s about WWII and it’s full of everyday people being brave and doing the right things. Sometimes you need to hear about that stuff when you’re 12.

2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that Alice in Wonderland is for little kids. Forget what you saw in the Disney movie. I mean, I guess you can remember it, because that was pretty screwy, but still. These books are clever and full of word play. I also happen to know you and the fam are into Dr. Who and the cosplay scene- Alice should be a pre-requisite for all fantasy endeavors.

3. The Giver by Lois Lowry (my review). I was about your age the first time I read this and it kind of blew my mind. The sequels are not as good, but certainly worth a read if you enjoy this one. It’s set in a scary strange future where people can’t see in color and everyone’s life is weirdly regimented. You’ll be super stoked to not be living in their community, I promise.


4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I know, I know. You’ve probably been there, done that. Wasn’t it awesome though?! Katniss was such a butt-kicking character! You’re a girl who shall never be a damsel in distress, so you and Katniss would probably be great friends. (If you could look past her obvious psychological damage stemming from the fact that she was forced to fight other children to the death in an arena setting…)

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (my review). You’re a pretty mature 12, so I wouldn’t worry about giving you something with some heavier themes. This is another WWII book, but it rocks. If you enjoyed Number the Stars and you’re feeling up to it, give this a shot. Did you know Grandpa fought in WWII? He did. When he went to enlist, he changed his name from “Karl” to “Charles” because it sounded “less German.” It’s a true story, Grandma told me. After you read this, you’ll understand why he didn’t want to be associated with Germany at that point in history, despite the fact that our family is largely of German ancestry. It’s a haunting and beautiful book, but have some tissues on hand.

6. Cinder by Marissa Meyer (my review). Dude. Cinderella is a CYBORG. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love this one. Fractured fairy tales totally seem like your vibe.


7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Don’t laugh! Your parents gave me a copy of this for Christmas when I was about your age and it’s awesome. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy will get all up inside your heart and make you want to buy petticoats and bloomers… And find out what a pickled lime tastes like (I still don’t know… Not sure that’s a bad thing though. The sound kind of gross, and we have pizza now, you know?)

8. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I know, I know, it’s another old fashioned book. It’s so much fun, though! Anne gets into all sorts of shenanigans. Just trust me on this one, alright? There’s hair dye and an episode of accidental underage drinking (The accidental part is key there. Drinking at your age is the WORST IDEA EVER. Promise me you won’t drink until you’re in college? I’m old and I worry.)

9. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. This book will make science and math seem cool, I swear. It’s really cool and full of time warps and alternate dimensions and mystery. Very Whovian, my dear.

wrinkle in time

10. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (my review). Dana, my dearest. If you are anything like I was at your age, the fact that I’m bringing up this book at all is probably making you blush furiously and feel ill. It’s okay, pumpkin. The internet doesn’t know who you are (seriously, we don’t even have the same last name anymore.) This is a REALLY good book though, about feeling awkward and all the embarrassing girl stuff that goes on (or doesn’t) at your age. If it makes you feel better, check out a copy from the library and hide it under your pillow while you read it. That’s what I did. A girl deserves her privacy, you know?

There we have it, folks. My reading list dedicated to my not-so-baby-anymore cousin Dana. Any of you bookworms have a title to add? She’s quite the reader (I’m so proud) so I’m sure she’d appreciate the suggestions. 

Have you sent your address to yet? You know you want a bookmark! You also know that I’m an affiliate for Book Depository and that if you choose to make a purchase from any of the links in this post I’ll get a tiny kickback, right? It’s all on the up and up, swearsies. 

40 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Books for my Baby Cousin”

  1. Sarah Says Read

    Oooo so many great classics on this list. The Giver! I’m sad I didn’t get to that until I was already an adult, lol. And I read A Wrinkle in Time when I was like 11, but I don’t remember much. I need to re-read it.

    Awwwwww, embarrassing times while reading AYTGIMM! Ugh, adolescence is rough.

    • Words For Worms

      I didn’t read A Wrinkle in Time or Anne of Green Gables or The Secret Garden until I was a grown up. When I think of all the formative years I wasted on RL Stine… Sigh.

  2. Megan M.

    Well, since you like fantasy, my FAVORITE book when I was 12 was “A Plague of Sorcerers” by Mary Frances Zambreno. You can totally find it on Amazon (but not a regular bookstore, because it’s out of print.) It’s about a sorcerer’s apprentice who’s trying to find the source of a mysterious plague affecting all of the powerful magic-workers.

  3. Akilah

    Are You There God? is an excellent recommendation. Pretty sure I gave it to my daughter when she was twelve and she loved it.

    I always recommend Percy Jackson to that age group. So fun.

    I would also suggest Lauren Myracle’s Winnie series–starts with a book titled Eleven. My daughter loved those. Oh, and Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale. Good times.

  4. Tiffany

    I have read almost all of these books. Great list! I like that you call your cousin your baby cousin. I do the same thing with my 14-year-old niece.

    • Words For Worms

      You know, she’s the youngest of the 6 cousins and she and her brother weren’t born until the rest of us were teenagers. They’ll never escape the “baby” status :). I’m sure I’ll do that with my nephew too, but right now he technically is still a baby LOL.

  5. Liesel Hill

    SUCH a great list. I loved Number the Stars but am like the only person in the world who’s never read The Giver. So many great books here, though. I’m sure your coz will love ’em. 😀

    My TTT

    • Words For Worms

      You know, with the amount you enjoy fantasy I think you need to read The Giver. You’ll tear through it in a couple of hours and it’s so good. I really think you’d enjoy it!

  6. Lori

    Great list!! I am an Auntie who makes the effort to get her nieces (and nephew) to read. That means they get books for birthdays and Christmas from me. I would also add A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and anything by Lois Duncan (Killing Mr. Griffin, Summer of Fear).

    I just read Anne of Green Gables recently. I don’t know how I missed this growing up but since my mother-in-law mentioned it was one of her favorites and I just visited Charlottestown I felt it was necessary to read it. I absolutely loved it even at 40-something 😉

    • Words For Worms

      LOVE A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! I’m so THAT Aunt (and “aunt.”) Christmas presents from Aunt Katie typically include new fun PJs, books, and a Christmas ornament. I’ve got a system!

  7. Jayne

    I second Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. Must-reads for every girl! Is she too young for Nancy Drew? Also old-fashioned, but I loved those books!

    • Words For Worms

      I never read any Nancy Drew, but I know my MIL loved them. She used to save up her allowance to buy new Nancy Drew paperbacks. Is that not the cutest thing ever?

      • Megan M.

        ReallY?? I loved Nancy Drew! Sometimes I still read them if I come across one that sounds good. And I play the Nancy Drew PC games.

  8. Quinn Read

    Yes to everything on this list! So many good memories of reading these classics! She may be too old for it, but I also loved From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

  9. Monika

    What a great list! How about also, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt? One of my flute students (6th grader) recommended it to me early this year – she couldn’t stop talking about how great it was! (And I loved it!)

  10. lostinliterature108

    I absolutely love A Wrinkle in Time, my only complaint about it is that I think the chapters are too long for that age, but I tend to have less endurance in that sort of thing than most readers.

    I still have my copy of Are You There God, along with my other Judy Blume books. That is a must read. I always loved Deenie and Blubber the most, though.

    For several summers some friends and I had a mother-daughter book club. A few of the books I remember the girls really liking were Among the Hidden,
    The Truth Cookie and With Love from Spain, Melanie Martin. Those were all great ones!

    • Words For Worms

      Oh man, Blubber took on bullying before it was such a hot button issue. That Judy Blume knows what’s what! A mother daughter book club is SUCH a cute idea. Makes me want to procreate.

  11. Elizabeth

    AHHHHHH – that would be my brain this whole list.

    1. Your cousin likes Doctor Who and cosplay? That’s awesome
    2. THESE BOOKS. ALL OF THEM. Some of them I’m coming to a little late (I am only NOW finally reading The Book Thief), some of them have only come out recently (The Hunger Games…well ok sort of recently), but I’d read a lot of these when I was younger. I would have loved ALL of these as a 12 year-old, that’s for sure!

  12. It's A Dome Life

    This is a great list! I am going to pin it for later to make sure Tiny-Small reads all of these. I haven’t read a couple yet either and since I have a small obsession with youth fiction I am going to be doing some boon downloading very soon!

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