10 Best American Girl Library Books for Tweens

10 Best American Girl Library Books for Tweens

Growing up is hard.  Your body changes, your feelings change, your friendships change…life is no longer the same.  For girls entering puberty and adolescence, this transformation is a critical time in their development.  Girls who were once confident no longer feel that way.  Best friends change on a dime.  Add technology into the mix and puberty is even more challenging than it was in the past.

Where can parents and girls get help for this challenging phase of growing up? American Girl Library books for tweens aged 9-12 come to the rescue!  At this critical time in a young girl’s life, American Girl Library’s series of books helps fill the gap and opens up opportunities for conversations between young girls and their mothers.

As the mother of three, two of them girls, we own the books on this list. They have been a wonderful resource for my older daughter and my younger daughter now feels like a big girl now that they have been passed on to her. Honestly, I wish this series of books had been around during my growing up years.

Here are ten of my favorite “mommy” approved books for the American Girl Library series. All can be found on Amazon, along with dozens of other titles.

The Care and Keeping of You by Valorie Schaefer and Norm Bendell

The Care and Keeping of You is a must have book from American Girl Library if you have a daughter between the ages of 10-13.

Available on Amazon

Many years ago, on the advice of a friend with a daughter the same age, I bought The Care and Keeping of You for my daughter. I read through the book and was impressed with the information and how it was shared.  Everything a girl on the edge of young womanhood needs to know is covered.  From her budding breasts to getting her first period, from good hygiene to proper nutrition, The Care and Keeping of You has it all.  It does not discuss sex, something that is best left for other books.

I will admit that initially I was a bit squeamish about the illustration on how to insert a tampon.  Now that I am on my second round of motherhood, it does not phase me a bit. This is a must have book for all young girls and their moms who want to start an open discussion about puberty.

The Feelings Book: The Care and Keeping of Your Emotions by Dr. Lynda Madison

The Feelings Book helps girls talk about what they are going through during the early stages of puberty.

Photo from Amazon

Ask any parent of a daughter…once the hormones  kick in, it is a roller coaster ride!  With puberty being a time of low self esteem for many girls, a book such as this is critical for them.  Dr. Madison discusses all of the emotions girls will face, both negative and positive.

In a non-lecturing way, The Feelings Book lets tween girls know that they are not alone.  It also serves as a reference book for girls so they can look up how to handle different situations when they occur.  This book was very useful for my girls.

Is This Normal?  Girls Questions Answered by the Editors of The Care and Keeping of You

Sometimes it is difficult for girls to bring up sensitive subjects with her parents. This book can help a mother and daughter bridge the communication gap.

Photo from Amazon

Is This Normal? is a wonderful companion to The Care and Keeping of You.  Girls continued to write letters to the authors of the book with more questions about their changing bodies.   More questions about puberty are answered in this easy to read and understand guide.

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Friendship Troubles by Patti Kelley Criswell

Girls and drama go hand in hand. This American Girl Library book about friendship troubles will help your daughter through this minefield.

Available on Amazon

Girl drama.  UGH! The thing I dread most as a mother of girls is the unnecessary drama they cause each other.  Why is it that one minute they are best friends forever, and the next you could serve ice cream on her cold shoulder?

The roller coaster ride of girl issues is very tricky for moms to handle. There seems to be more drama at a younger age. Nevertheless, American Girl Library’s book about friendship will help your daughter through the ever changing world of tween friendship.  Realistic situations are brought up and discussed at a level girls of this age will understand

Stand Up for Yourself and Your Friends: Dealing With Bullies and Bossiness and Finding a Better Way by Angela Martini

Kids today are taught not to be bystanders. This AMerican Girl Library book helps girls learn how to keep doing this even though it is sometimes hard.

Available on Amazon

Stand Up for Yourself is a great companion book to the Friendship book.  Unfortunately, girls will be bullied, and how to handle these situations without exacerbating the problem are discussed.  You can stand up for yourself without stooping to the level of a bully.  This book has really been helpful to us and dealing with girl drama.

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Boys By Nancy Holyoke

Help your tween navigate through her first crush and how to deal with boys.

Photo from Amazon

One day, it will happen.  A certain boy’s name will come up in conversation and the grins and blushing begin.  Maybe he even calls or texts your daughter up on her cell phone and you catch the number.  Yep, it is her first crush.  What’s a parent to do?

A Smart Girls Guide to Boys is not about dating. It is about feelings, developing confidence, and how to deal with them.  Quizzes and actual letters from other girls who are the same age are the driving force in this book.

The last part of the book deals with going steady and dating, not topics for younger tweens.  But once middle school begins, this is another opportunity for conversations between parent and child to take place.

YIKES!  A Smart Girl’s Guide to Surviving Tricky, Sticky, Icky Situations by Bonnie Timmons

Girls can find themselves in some uncomfortable situations. Here is a book to help your child have a skill set to get out of them.

Photo from Amazon

Life happens.  Sometimes it’s embarrassing, other times dangerous.  This American Girl Library book handles 40 different situations, from what to do if you fall down the stairs in front of others to how to handle yourself if you get lost from your parents.  While some of these things may never happen to your daughter, there are some that most certainly will.

Like all of the other American Girl Library books for girls it has colorful illustrations and interesting sidebars that have very useful information.

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Staying Home Alone by Dottie Raymor

It is important for children to learn to be responsible whle being home alone for a few hours. This book is a useful guide.

Photo from Amazon

Staying home alone is a right of passage for young girls.  First, it may be for ten minutes while mom or dad runs out for milk.  As they show responsibility and maturity, the time is extended and people may even start asking her to babysit.

Staying home alone is scary at first.  What should you do, if someone comes to the door? How do you answer the phone?  What should you do if your younger siblings are not getting along?  These and many other questions are answered in this book.  There’s a place to write important phone numbers for easy access.

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Starting Middle School by Julie Williams Montalbano

This book is a must have for girls entering sixth grade. Makes a perfect graduation from elementary school gift.

Available on Amazon

Middle school is almost as bad as middle age!  Stuck right in the middle of being a child and an adult, these years are full of angst.  From changing classroom in a new school to changing bodies, the middle school years are some of the worst of adolescence.

This Smart Girl’s Guide will help your daughter navigate the changes that will be occurring in her life.  Checklists are included.  This book really helps alleviate the fears girls have going to junior high. It was by both of my daughters’ bed stands when they both started sixth grade.

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Money by Nancy Holyoke

Kids need to learn how to manage their money-the earlier the better. This book is a great guide to get them started.

Photo from Amazon

Money is important to have in life-and not just for spending at the mall.  In a Smart Girl’s Guide to Money, girls are taught skills they can use to manage their money, how to be responsible with it, and even how to earn some of their own cool cash.  Teaching children about money at a young age is important, because you want them to have the skills when they are adults.

These 10 American Girl Library books for tweens have always been on our bookshelves.  They should be a part of your favorite girl’s library, too.

Featured image from Pixabay and altered by the author in Picmonkey.


Hannah Gold is a participant in a number of affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, Zazzle, Commission Junction, Oriental Trading, Viglink, eBay Partner Network, Shareasale and LinkShare, affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites and writers to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and other online affiliates.

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