My favourite seasonal tween reads

image of girl with black hair and glasses in jean jacket giving thumbs up inside green circle. box underneath reads Miss Mahee's Booklist. light blue background around white.
Booklists for you

Hi friends, this first week’s post will bring you a booklist of my favourite seasonal tween reads! Here you will be treated to a selection of titles that showcase the different seasons and feature a cast of characters that you could possibly fall in love with. So, if you’re ready, go ahead and press the button below…

Since most of you are enjoying summer up there in the northern countries, this booklist will start off with the two best summer reads for me. 

cover image of small pond at bottom with ripples. grass strands with butterflies around. white clouds behind with dark sky above. blue letters in middle reads 'Butterfly summer'.
An interesting read

My first summer read is Butterfly summer by Anne-Marie Conway. This read is set in the country my sister calls home: England. We meet young Becky whose world comes crashing down around her when she finds a mysterious photograph in a box belonging to her mum. The only place she finds comfort is at the Butterfly Gardens with her new friend, Rosa May. But even she seems to be hiding something. In the heat of the sun-drenched summer, it seems that Becky is the only one in the dark. If you enjoy a dash of mystery and intrigue in your summer reading, this debut novel by a truly masterful author is the one for you. Filled with captivating characters and an intriguing story of friendship and family secrets, this will tick many books for avid readers!! 

cover image of three girls on large blue-and-white striped beach towel on yellow sandy beach. two girls reading on towel and other girl playing with sand on beach. red letters 'The Forget-me-not summer' along water on top left edge.
A quirky summer read

In this second summer read, The Forget-me-not summer by Leila Howland, we’ll be hopping over the Atlantic to America where we’ll meet three impressionable young sisters. Marigold, Zinnia and Lily Silver are looking forward to an event-filled summer holiday in Los Angeles when their parents send them to their Aunt Sunny’s house in Cape Cod. they’re forced to adjust to a much simpler way of life – no TV, no Wifi, and worst of all, sharing a room. As they start to make friends and see the magic of the Cape, the summer becomes one of firsts, fun, and plenty of sun all while they learn how to band together as the strongest version of themselves they can be: sisters. This first title in a darling little series gave an exquisite story of sisters, family, friendship and summer!! I truly loved this story and remember laughing and crying at the same time many times!! I hope you and your tween enjoy it too!! 

Following on from that, the next two are titles that feature the season of autumn or ‘fall’ as it’s called in the Americas. For me, autumn is a season of a change or transition from warm to cold, long days to short, dark ones; and if I lived in the northern regions of the world, that Halloween is around the corner when the dark forces start seeping into the world. It’s with thought in mind that I selected the next two titles.

cover image has dark black trees along edges. branches at top spell out title Small Spaces. scary looking scarecrow hangs out from right tree. middleground has fields with large yellow school bus. sky behind almost purple in colour.
An eerie tale…

Small spaces by Katherine Arden is a story I’ve reviewed before and I think I’ve said that it truly scared me. The descriptions of the landscape of Smoke Hollow was filled with an autumn flavor. The main characters of Ollie, Coco and Brian are thrust into a netherworld filled with demonic scarecrows and ghosts. Now, if you’ve read my previous post then you have an idea of what this book will lead to. So, may I suggest you heed my warning if you are faint of heart or brave enough, then go ahead and dare yourself to read this at night…

cover image of young girl facing towards castle in middle. gloomy looking dark trees on both sides of girl. her form is transparent with road leading towards castle and ravens flying around. purple sky. large white letters at top read Cinders & Sparrows.'
An intriguing read…

My second choice of Cinders & Sparrows by Stefan Bachmann is a title I read quite recently and instantly enjoyed. We meet orphaned Zita Brydgeborn as she receives a letter saying she has inherited a castle, she jumps at the chance of adventure. Little does she know that she has been thrust into a centuries-old battle between good and evil. Blackbird Castle was once home to a powerful dynasty of witches, all now dead under mysterious circumstances. This eerie tale of witches and dark magic had me clutching for my blanket every now and then… Yes, I’m a bit of a scaredy cat!! I liked how Bachmann takes us into this fantasy world from an autumn setting towards winter. I really liked the descriptions of dark magic along with the cast of brave young people in Zita, Bram and Minnifer. Hope you fans of the mystical and magical world enjoy this read!!

The next two feature those colder days of winter with landscapes that could possibly be more alien than some. Hope you enjoy these titles…

cover image of mountain peaks in brown and orange with girl and yak in silhouette running along tops. snow drops around. white letters along middle read 'Running on the Roof of the World' in Indic design.
An engaging read

My first choice is Running on the roof of the world by Jess Butterworth. Our main character is twelve-year-old Tash, whose parents are seized by soldiers, and she and her best friend Sam have no choice but to rescue them. But to do so, they must escape Tibet, cross the mountains and seek help from the Dalai Lama in India. And so an extraordinary journey of adventure, survival and hope begins. I really liked this story!! Winter during the peaks of the Himalayas, and an escape from Tibet of all places!! Jess Butterworth really delivered in this read!! My knowledge of that particular part of the world was quite replete and after reading this, I felt I understood what the people there have had to endure. I found the descriptions of the ‘roof of our world’ and life there, even the rich culture of those repressed Tibetan people, stunning and vivid. 

cover image of person in winter cloak with hammer on top of ice sheet. large yellow letters read 'Icefall.'
An intriguing epic…

The next read is Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby. Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Solveig, along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors, anxiously waits for news of her father’s victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts of treachery soon make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst. This fantasy filled historical read took me to the depths of somewhere in Scandinavia where Vikings reigned triumphant. I found Kirby’s writing gripping and enjoyed the heart-stopping adventure until the very end!! Hope you enjoy it too!! 

And the final two feature the warming days of spring giving rise to new life and blooms both in our lives and from the world around us. 

cover image of city buildings and houses with trees and bushes in middle. group of children playing in middle among trees. darkening evening sky above. yellow and white letters across top reads 'The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden.'
A quirky read

The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser is the second installment of the Vanderbeeker series featuring the mixed race Vanderbeeker siblings. When catastrophe strikes their beloved upstairs neighbour, the Vanderbeekers must band together to do what they do best: make a plan. They have 19 days to turn the ivy-ridden, possibly haunted, abandoned lot down the street into the best community garden in Harlem. Meeting this lovely family again was like fun rolled into more fun!! Hilarious, mad-cap adventures, friendship and family dramas, along with a myriad of characters old and new, this story will bring tears to your eyes!! 

cover image of young girl in red sweater and black skirt with large collection of flowers coming out of her head. red, orange and pink flowers around. green background. large red letters in middle of flowers in middle reads 'Bloom.'
An hilarious read

My last title is a book I found along the shelves. Bloom by Nicola Skinner took me to spring somewhere in England. We meet the perfect student in Sorrel Fallowfield. Her teachers come to her when they need help remembering the school rules. And there are LOTS. But when Sorrel discovers a faded packet of ‘SURPRISING SEEDS’ her world begins to flourish in all sorts of strange, terrifying – ultimately marvellous – ways. What a delightfully hilarious read!! This reads more like a green-fingered version of a Roald Dahl story!! You know, with a heroine who’s up against some nasty people who end up with some nasty surprises!! I liked the relationship Sorrel has with her mum and how her friendship is tested with bestie Neena. This awesome school story has a good mix of contemporary fantasy and ecology!!  

I hope you enjoyed these seasonal reads of mine. I’m pretty sure there are more titles out there, so if you have read anything similar I’d love to hear from you!

Until then, stay safe and keep reading

Miss Mahee

four-grid box. top left image of pink cherry blossom flowers on stalk with light pink background. top right image of bright yellow sunflowers and blue sky behind. bottom right image of winter scene of bare trees towering over snow-covered road. bottom left image of brown/orange sharp-edged leaves having orange background. black letters in middle reads 'My favourite seasonal tween reads.'
Seasonal reads for you

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