Kid Tested – Librarian Approved: Something you’ve never tried

Tweens want to explore and understand their rapidly expanding world. They love experimenting with new food, music, styles, lingo and experiences. (Rollercoaster anyone?) They like to sample widely, trying a little of this, a little of that, before they settle into long term interests.

Parents, now is the perfect time for new experiences with your 8-12 year old’s. Tweens are old enough to understand new ideas and physically able to do new things. Best of all, they still enjoy doing things with you. Before much longer, their focus will shift from family to friends. Soon the eye-rolls will begin. So take time NOW to learn, play, investigate and create with your tween. They’ll make you laugh. They’ll surprise you. They might challenge you. They’re sure to inspire you.

Begin with a conversation. Tell them about that time you learned to ride a horse and the saddle slid off – and you did too. Follow up by asking what they would like to learn or make or do. Then come to the library. You’ll find great nonfiction books for kids on topics ranging from keeping chickens to building a robot – and pretty much everything in between. What a fabulous adventure you and your tween can have together! Read on for some of my nonfiction recommendations.

Horse Life: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Riding Horses by Robyn Smith

Saddle up and read! Written especially for kids 8-12, this ultimate guide harnesses all kinds of horse information. From grooming to gear to gaits, this book will teach young horse lovers how to ride, be safe around horses, and develop a healthy horsey relationship that will lead to many happy trails.


The Kids Guide to Sign Language by Katheryn Clay

American Sign Language (ASL) is the fourth most common language in English. This colorful book goes beyond the basics of signing the alphabet (when was the last time you spelled an entire conversation?) and teaches words and phrases they’re likely to use at home or at school. It includes a bibliography for additional reading as well as a list of ASL internet resources. Best of all, it might spark a conversation with someone you’ve never been able to speak to before!

Philanthroparties! a Party-planning Guide for Kids Who Want to Give Back by Lulu Cerone

This book was written for kids, by a kid. As a 10 year old, Lulu Cerone was moved to raise money for Haitian relief. Then she persuaded her entire class to join her efforts and their “Lemonade War” raised more than $4,000!

Now Lulu brings her message of social activism to other kids, showing them how to take action, give back, and make a difference in their communities and around the world. This book encourages kids to follow their passions and make a difference. You’ll find 36 suggestions for activism-themed “PhilanthoParties” that keep the fun in fundraising!


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Marlana is a youth services specialist who has worked in the Kids Library for the last 15 years. She enjoys creating and learning with kids of all ages. Her favorite books all have strong heroines, dragons, and magic. When not at the library, you can often find her riding her trusty bicycle, hiking with her dog Lily, playing board games with her family, or reading another great book.