Giveaway: Road-Trip Reads for Pre-Teens

WINNER: Congratulations to anothermontclairmom!

Even though the kids never believe it, there comes a point during summer vacation when downtime with a book is more attractive than running around outside, having adventures and creating havoc.  The middle of July tends to be about that time. And even if the great out-of-doors hasn’t lost some of its glory, there are car trips to camps and far-away adventures that are made more bearable with a book.

Just like adults, kids are more than happy to devour books that are less than intellectual in the summer months.  And if those books can entertain and touch on difficult pre-teen issues along the way, all the better!  While I’m still a big fan of books like the Little House series, Encyclopedia Brown, and the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series, there’s always room for books that feel a little more modern and light.

Popular books tend to become sequels these days; once you find a formula for success, just keep going! And that’s true for The Cupcake Diaries and the Creepover series. They both deal with situations that make pre-teens cringe (a best friend deserts you, someone wants to sabotage your crush!), but with different approaches. The Cupcake Diaries is focused on how finding friends to count on makes anything seem better, and the Creepover series has a touch of danger and the supernatural to it.  Both are fun, short, and easy reads that will help the summer fly by.

For pre-teens that like books to take a little longer to read, books like Trading Faces, Confessions of a Wannabe Cheerleaderand Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder will satisfy their desires.  These books, while all parts of larger series, are more substantial and the characters develop and grow with more detail.  Each of the books deals with typical conflicts like whether or not to be honest, handling rejection, and quick popularity (by selling farts that don’t smell).  Maybe that last one isn’t quite to typical.

Check them out at your local bookstore.  At around $6 for each book, they are a great option for beach and car reading. And thanks to Simon & Schuster, we are giving away one book from each series to give one lucky reader a taste of what they are like.

To enter tell us your favorite book series as a pre-teen. Did you live in a dugout home with Laura Ingalls? Solve cases with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys? Were you an honorary member of the Baby Sitters Club?  Or did you travel with Sparrowhawk through Earthsea adventures?

No purchase necessary. Starts Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11 am EST and ends Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:59 pm. One person who replies to this post by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, July 20, 2012 , will be chosen at random to each win a five book prize-pack from Simon & Schuster! Open to U.S. residents ages 16 and older. Void where prohibited.

Want another entry? Here are a couple of ways:

  • Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment telling us you did with your Twitter profile. Make sure to include @baristakids in your tweet.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter here and send us a message telling us you did with your email address.
Good luck!


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  1. Its a toss up between the Paddington Bear series and Little House series (I still have both collections) but I’ll have to pick Little House since I made my mom drive me to LIW’s house in Mansfield, MO the summer I was 12.

  2. Encyclopedia Brown was always good, but I loved loved LOVED the Danny Dunn series. Pity it’s out of print now; I’d love to see if they hold up!

  3. Little House of course. I bought my girls the DVD of the old series a few years back and was so disappointed it did not appeal to their more modern sensabilities.

  4. Oh, The Phantom Tollbooth! Awesome! I loved Little House, but I was hooked on sci-fi/fantasy pretty early on. I even liked those “choose your destiny” books that sent you to a different ending depending on what you chose. The Wizard of Earthsea, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, The Hobbit, The Pern series. Forget Calgon, those books were fabulous!

  5. Wait — Phantom Tollbooth was a *series*? Since when? And why didn’t I know about this?

    And seconded on the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books; those were awesome when I was growing up.

  6. While I did love the Little House books, my hands-down favorites were Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown. Yeah for mysteries!

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