What Do Tweens Like?

Tween Question Tuesday 

Yesterday, I had a patron looking for some materials for their grandchild.  They compared their grandchild to an unknown alien species and asked me what are kids into. 

Once I got this picture out of my head, I took a deep breath and  gave them a great big pile of materials. I made a point to give the grandparents materials on this age group, and I followed up by providing them a variety of books I thought their grand kid might want. 

I hate to admit how many times I get this question. To help with this, I wanted to do a blog post on what tweens at my library are interested in. 

First, what are tweens? 
Tweens are a tricky thing. I see tweens as ages 8-12. Why? Sadly, its puberty hitting kids younger and younger. A child who hits puberty at age eight, is not going to be interested in the typical school age things anymore. They are turning into their own person & they want to explore those things. They want to read book about kids going through it too. I think this is partly why Diary of a Wimpy Kid is so popular with school age kids.  I think,we, as parents and educators have a difficult time with this because puberty hit later in our generations. Due to this, tweens are in essence "alien" to us. 

Here are some things that are popular with my tweens right now: 

This series is huge right now. I feel like every time a tween walks into the door, they ask for this book. 

I am doing a STEM program on this series this summer. 
I have my program plans all ready for it. Be on the lookout for that post. 

(Or leave a comment if you are interested in see this). 

There are also the typical middle school books we are all used to passing out: 

Modern Classics

Other outlets

Video Games 
My tween boys love them! Not only are they interested in Minecraft, my tweens enjoy classics like Mario & Pokemon. 

Youtube the Vine 
When I was younger, Youtube was just starting to take off. Today, it is the place where kids go for entertainment. The Vine is very popular for kids. Tweens will be able to name all of the Youtube starlets & singers. As an educator, be aware of this resource. 

Self publishing 

A new trend I am seeing, is my older tweens writing stories and publishing them online. 


I have been getting a great deal of requests for Bone comics lately. They also enjoy more appropriate comics such as Garfield, the Peanuts, and Pokemon. 


Tweens really like quizzes as a form of self discovery. They can sit for hours & take quiz after quiz. They are really passionate about this. 
With this curiosity, they are also surprisingly superstitious. Kids might start to look up their horoscopes at this age too. 
 Try to offer some quizzes for your next program. I am sure it will be a success.


When little girls are little, they want to dress up like mom. When tweens reach puberty, they want to come up with their own take on beauty. This results in  an interest in makeup, clothes, exercise, and beauty. 

These are just  a few things. 

What do all of these things have in common? 


Tweens are looking to discover themselves. They want to discover their talents, find real friends, explore new things, and mold themselves into the person they want to be. More importantly, they want to know that someone is listening to them & they want to be treated like a real person not a "baby." Since kids hit puberty at different times, this can be difficult. I try to support them as much as possible. Having special programming for these kids are essential. 


This is just my take on my tweens. What are your tweens interested in where you live? Is your library doing something special for them? 


  1. Oh man! I survived and Interactive Histories-those things seriously fly off the shelves!

    We also see a big run on mystery and suspense for this age-again self-discovery. I think they're trying to learn how much they can handle from this genre and mysteries and ghost stories are something they really love. I have a few dedicated historical fiction fans, but I think mysteries are more popular.

    Oh and fairy tales! Those are huge right now!

  2. i like all the same things #lol