Books about the Social World of Girls and Teens

Recommendations by Kris Vreeland
Head of the Children’s Book Department at Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

Click on a book to find it at VromansBookstore.com!

All the World 
by Liz Garton Scanlon (Ages: 4-Adult)
Lyric art and poetry illustrate how we are interconnected and we are all the world and all of the world is all of us.

Chester’s Way 
by Kevin Henkes (Ages: 3-7)
Chester and Wilson are best friends and do everything the exact same way. Then Lily moves into the neighborhood. She has her own way of doing everything. Chester and Wilson’s friendship will never be the same again.

Clementine 
by Sara Pennypacker (Ages: 7-9)
Clementine always means well, but somehow things just seem to happen to her and they don’t turn out at all the way she meant them. Like when Clementine found Margaret crying in the bathroom after she got glue in her hair and tried to cut it out herself. She hadn’t done such a great job so Clementine offered to help her make it look better by trimming it up a little. Clementine got in trouble for cutting Margaret’s hair…

Ella Enchanted 
by Gail Carson Levine (Ages: 8-11)
When Ella was born, a fairy gave her the gift of obedience. She must obey any order given her, no matter how absurd. Ella is strong-willed and refuses to accept the fate set for her. She sets out on a quest where she deals with ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers and handsome princes.

I Can Do Anything That’s Everything All on My Own 
based on characters created by Lauren Child (Ages: 3-5)
Charlie tries teaching Lola that sometimes we all need help and doing everything on your own isn’t always the best way to approach life.

Ivy & Bean 
by Annie Barrows (Ages: 6-8)
As soon as they first see each other, Ivy and Bean know they will never be friends. Then Ivy has to rescue Bean after Bean has played a trick on her sister and has to hide–quickly!

Millicent Min, Girl Genius 
by Lisa Yee (Ages: 9-12)
Millicent is a girl genius who has trouble finding friends her own age. When her mother forces her to join a summer volleyball team, Millicent meets and bonds with Emily Ebers over their mutual dislike for volleyball. As their friendship develops Millicent learns what it means to be honest and the effects of keeping secrets.

My Most Excellent Year 
by Steve Kluger (Ages: 12+)
There are only three great loves in T.C. Keller’s life: the Red Sox, his father and his best friend and unofficial “brother”, Augie. But ninth grade is the year when he falls head-over-cleats in love with Ale Perez. She’s pretty, sassy, smart, and a great dancer. Ale is so busy playing hard to get that she doesn’t realize that she just might be falling head-over-tap shoes for T.C.

Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great 
by Judy Blume (Ages: 7-9)
Sheila Tubman isn’t sure who she is. Sometimes she feels like confident Sheila the Great and other times she’s secret Sheila who’s afraid of spiders, swimming and dogs.

The Pain and the Great One 
by Judy Blume (Ages: 6-8)
Abigail is the Great One and Jacob, her young brother, is the Pain. Just ask her. Sweet sibling relationship stories.

The Rules of Survival 
by Nancy Werlin (Ages: 13+)
For Matt and his sisters, life with their cruel, vicious, unpredictable mother is a day-to-day struggle for survival.

Sheila Rae, the Brave 
by Kevin Henkes (Ages: 3-6)
Sheila is very brave, she’s not afraid of anything. Until she decides to take a new route going home and gets lost. Fortunately her sister is close behind to help her.

Speak 
by Laurie Halse Anderson (Ages: 13+)
Melinda is raped during a party at the end of the school. After she calls the police, she becomes a social outcast and withdraws from communicating with everyone except through her art.

Suite Scarlett 
by Maureen Johnson (Ages: 12+)
Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small Art Deco hotel in the heart of New York City. When she turns 15, she is given a suite to care for, is hired as a personal assistant by a permanent guest who is an eccentric C-list starlet and falls in love with Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who is new to town.

Non-Fiction

Can We Get Along? Dealing with Differences 
by John Burstein (Ages: 6-9)

Crap: How to Deal with Annoying Teachers, Bosses, Backstabbers, and Other Stuff That Stinks 
by Erin Elisabeth Conley, Karen Macklin and Jake Miller (Ages: 12+)

A Friend 
by Anette Bley (Ages: 3-6)

Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change 
by Bonnie Burton (Ages: 12+)

Girl in a Funk: Quick Stress Busters (and why they work) 
by Tanya Napier and Jen Kollmer (Ages: 12+)

Girls’ Friendship Journal: A Girls’ Guide to Understanding and Building Healthy Friendships 
by Cheryl Dellasega, Ph.D. (Ages: 9+)

Go Ahead Ask Me 
by Rico Medina and Billy Merrell (Ages: 12+)

How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them 
by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown (Ages: 3-6)

I Am a Rainbow 
by Dolly Parton (Ages: 3-5)

I Don’t Know What I Want But I Want to Be Happy 
by Kimberly Kirberger (Ages: 12+)

Jon & Jayne’s Guide to Getting Through School (Mostly Intact) 
by Jon & Jayne Doe (Ages: 12+)

Secret to Teen Power 
by Paul Harrington (Ages: 12+)