Horse Books for Tweens

I am slowly preparing for summer reading, but this spring has been a crazy one.

After not getting over from being sick last fall, I found out I have to get my tonsils taken out.
I hate missing work. So when the Doctor broke the news my first question was how long do I need to be out? Can I go back after a few days?
The nurse laughed at me and told me I had to take at least two weeks off, but should prepare to take it easy for next few months.

One of my friends jokingly told me I should have my family hide my laptop.

I guess I have come to accept I need to take a step back & will be taking a least a couple weeks off before summer reading.

As you can imagine, I am not looking forward to it.
As a result, my posts will be spotty for the next month. I will be back though! Has anyone gotten their tonsils taken out as an adult? Do you have any advice?

Until then, I am still working on summer reading!

This week I wanted to try and tackle a horse list.

I have to be honest, I am not a horse person.
Every few weeks, however, I always get a tween girl inquiring about horse books. They always want not one, but a whole stack to take home. Since this isn't a genre I am passionate about, I really struggle with this aspect of reader's advisory.

So when I got these questions, I started to ask the patron what some of their favorite horse books are. As I got this information, I composed it into a list to potentially use for reader's advisory.

According to the tweens in my area, here are some of the best:

This is part of Scholastic's Branches series.
It is perfect for young tweens who are at a lower reading level.
It is contemporary and is perfect for 1st-2nd grade readers.

A Magical Friend (Princess Ponies, #1)

In this series, readers will be taken away to a magical island where horses can talk. For horse lovers, what could be better? This one is again best for very young readers. Publishers typically recommend this one for ages 5-9. This one seemed to be a favorite for 8 year olds. I find it to be great for readers who enjoy the show My Little Pony.


This series is a collection of stories from the horse's perspective. It is another great series for young horse loving tweens.

A girl named Nell is forced to spend a summer with a relative she does not know.She reluctantly goes. There she meets a magical girl named Angel who steals her suitcase. Together they go on a magical journey with some magical horses.


This series surrounds a group of young girls at an elite boarding school that has a strong horse riding program. The girl who recommended this book mentioned that she felt like she could relate to the characters. There are mean girls, a little romance, and the characters have other interests too. It is perfect for older tweens that want a realistic drama.

When the tween book talked  this series to me she described it as a young girl who goes on adventures with her Mustang horse, but you can read more about it with the Goodreads link!

This book is narrated from Dante the horse’s perspective. After the horse failed as a racehorse, he ends up being adopted as a project by a local stable. There he forms a special bond with a student named Ashley. The tweens I talked to about this book mentioned that they enjoyed that it was from the horse’s point of view.

Wild Thing (Winnie the Horse Gentler, #1)

This is a Christian novel about a young girl trying to get a horse to trust her. In order to learn how to trust, however, she first must learn to trust God.
This one would be great for christian animal lovers.


This is an exciting horse mystery. It is great for tweens that are looking for an animal mystery.


This story surrounds a foster former race horse and a foster child named Shiloh. Both are in the same place for their last chance, and form an unbreakable bond.

This was book talked to me a breathtaking story. Here is more information from Goodreads:
A puzzling photograph, a box filled with faded toy horses, and a single fractured memory are all that Maya has left of her mother. In her Grandmother’s  house, she lives like a captive, tethered by rules... until a shocking event changes everything. A world away, in the rugged Wyoming wilderness, a wild mustang called Artemisia runs free, belonging only to the stars. In a land where mountain lions pose an ever-present threat, she must vigilantly defend her foal... until a devastating act separates them from their band. Like a braided rein, Maya's and Artemisia's lives will ultimately intertwine.


This one was a favorite by all of my tweens. Here is the book information provided by Goodreads:
Princess Haya, daughter of the King of Jordan, loves her family more than anything. So when tragedy strikes at its heart, she is devastated.
The Princess becomes ever more withdrawn until, on her birthday, the King gives her a life-changing present. An incredible new friendship grows and the heartbroken princess begins to dream of an extraordinary future.
Inspired by the real-life story of Olympic equestrienne Princess Haya Al Hussein and set against the exotic backdrop of Arabia, this novel is destined to become a modern classic


This series is from a small publishing company in Missouri. The author is local, and so my library has a copy. This might be as feasible for all, but it is a favorite among my tweens.  In this book the New Madrid earthquake comes alive. Crystal uses her special bond with her horse to go on a mission to save her parents.

As I have put together this list, I have noticed two things.
1. The tweens did not enjoy classics such as Black Beauty
2. The books they did like were older, and my library did not carry all of them. If a patron requested a copy, I generally had to take out an interlibrary loan.

What are some of your favorite horse books for tweens? Could you recommend any newer titles?

I hope everyone has a great week!
My surgery is tomorrow. So I will be cuddling up with my cat and reading lots of books in the next several weeks. He is already a good book buddy. ;)


Cici Reno by Kristina Springer Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome Kristina Springer to Tween You & Me

Cici Reno

About the Book (from the publisher)

Middle school is a test, but Cici Reno has all the answers. She's the go-to girl for advice. She's cool, she's funny, and she's enlightened (thanks to yoga classes at her mom's studio). So when her pretty BFF, Aggie, is too shy to speak to the boy she's crushing on, Cici goes online and does the talking for her. The only problem is, Cici starts to fall for the guy herself! For the first time in her life. she doesn't have a clue.

Q&A Questions

What was your favorite book as a tween? 

Oooh, that’s a tough one! I read like, a book a day back then. I loved loved loved series! I read through all of Sweet Valley High, Baby Sitters Club, The Girls of Canby Hall, and Little House on the Prairie. If one were to inch out the rest I’d have to say Little House on the Prairie was at the top.

What were you like as a tween? Did you have any authors that inspired you? 

Well, along with being a really big reader I also liked to write. From ages 10-14, I wrote, directed, produced, and starred in yearly family Christmas plays that I forced my siblings and cousins to perform in. They. Were. Awesome. But alas, it wasn’t really cool to put on living room productions after age 14. And boys were cute. And being the president and founder of the local New Kids on the Block (they were like the One Direction of my time) fan club was really eating up my free time. So the plays were axed. But I kept writing. Throughout my early teens I made my friends fake magazine with articles, ads, quizzes, horoscopes you name it. And we wrote stories back and forth where we and our love interests at the time were the main characters. Thankfully none of them ever got a hold of those! Francine Pascal was my author hero back then. She is the creator of the Sweet Valley High series. Up until five or so years ago I had thought she’d written all of those books (more than 100!) so I was kinda crushed when I realized it was written by a team of ghost writers.

What do you hope tweens will take away after reading your book? 

To have confidence in yourself, try not be afraid to put yourself out there, be a good friend, and hopefully give yoga a try!

 Yoga plays a big part in this book. What made you want to write a book with yoga as a component? Do you have a favorite yoga pose? 

I first tried a yoga class one day a few years ago and fell in love with it. It really does make me feel tons better physically and calms down my racing mind. I introduced it to my two daughters (9 & 11) and they love it too and take classes with me. Which is awesome!! It’s stressful being a kid and yoga helps them deal with life’s problems and release negative energy. I thought writing Cici Reno would be a cool way to introduce yoga to lots of kids who may not have heard of it or tried it before. And I really loved writing Cici as this cool, laid-back, advice giving chick who hangs out at her mom’s yoga studio a lot. And my favorite yoga pose is, don’t laugh, Savasana (aka, corpse pose). My daughters tease me because it’s basically lying on your back, relaxing, but it’s always the last pose of the class and my very favorite—love it!

The character Cici gives out some great advice to her friends. What was the best piece of advice you have ever received? 

My mom always told me to put family first. They are the ones who will always be there for you. And it’s so true! I’ve occasionally had even the best of friends flake out on me but my family always, always is there. I tell my kids the same thing. The four of them have each other to always count on so they need to be good to one another.

Thank you, Kristina!

When I was in middle school, I wish I had a book like this. The thing I loved most about this book was how it demonstrated how everyone is different & how we each mature at different times. Middle school is often a difficult time for tweens for this reason. This is the first book that I read that I felt like middle school was displayed in an honest and relateable way. I can't wait to share it and yoga with my tweens.

Thanks to Sterling Publishing, one lucky winner will win a copy of Cici Reno!

Don't forget to enter for your chance to win! The winner will be drawn on 4/28/16 & is open to anyone in the U.S.


Lately,  I have been trying to read more diverse books. 
One that I came across in the past couple of weeks is called: 


Pages: 304
Release Date: June 30th 2015 
Age: 12 and up 

The Story 

(Based off of Goodreads)

Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season.  And when the graffiti murals start to weep.... Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.

Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order's secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick's supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family's past, present, and future. 

My Thoughts 

This could be a great crossover book for tweens. There is some violence, but it is nothing explicit. The violence is more for a thematic effect. For example, one of Sierra's friends dies. Wick turns her friend into a zombie full of  faces of other spirits. It is creepy, but it is something I think would still be appropriate for tweens. 

I would also like to mention (for reader's advisory purposes) that there is no sexual content. I was very impressed with this title. It is faced paced and I was especially drawn to the anthropology side of this novel. I enjoyed it so much, I wish the author would have explored it more. 

Either way, I will be sure to include this book in my reader's advisory. I think many of my tweens will get caught up in this shadow battle & its natural diversity. 

Since I was taken by this book, I looked up more videos and information on this book and the author. Upon my search, I came across this fantastic video of the author discussing his book and diversity. He brings up a lot of great points. I challenge you to take a look & tell me what you think! How do we make diversity more natural? 

Author Daniel Jose Older Talks about His Book & Diversity 

- Pamela