This month, as part of our Reading Adventure, my girls are reading books that are all about animals. While some are works of fiction and others are true stories, they all have one thing in common – some pretty amazing creatures.
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Books for Tween and Teen Animal Lovers
Giant George: Life with the World’s Biggest Dog by Dave Nasser and Lynne Barrett-Lee
This is the true story of a dog named George. Although he began life as the runt of the litter, this famous Great Dane grew up to weigh 245 pounds, and stood almost five feet tall.
George holds the world record as the tallest dog ever and even has his own fan club. But deep down inside, he was just a playful pup, who happened to be afraid of many different things, including smaller dogs.
As you can imagine life was quite unusual, and often funny, living with such a large dog.
Max: Best Friend, Hero, Marine by Jennifer Li Shotz
Justin’s brother Kyle was a marine, fighting in Afghanistan, until he was tragically killed. Max, his canine partner is lost without Kyle and although he is highly trained, he can no longer serve.
Max is shipped off to Kyle’s family for one last chance. Max immediately becomes attached to Justin, who wants nothing to do with him. Eventually, they learn to trust one another and even discover the truth about how Kyle died.
This story definitely has heartbreaking parts, but tweens will love reading about this heroic canine.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien and Zena Bernstein
Mrs. Frisby is a widowed mouse living on a farm with her four small children. The change of seasons is coming early and her home is about to be plowed under. They must move immediately to their summer location. Unfortunately, her youngest, Timothy, is quite ill and cannot go anywhere.
In order to remain safe, Mrs. Frisby must befriend the rats of NIMN, a group of rats who escaped from their cages in a research lab and now live within a sophisticated society under the rose bush on the farm.
Both the rats and mice need help and it’s up to them to save each other. They must learn how to trust one another and will need to be quite brave to survive.
Watership Down by Richard Adams
In England’s rural landscape, a group of rabbits are forced to quickly flee their home because of a land developer. They know they must move for their own safety, but they have no idea where they’re going. They end up searching for new holes on the plains of Watership Down.
During their journey, they encounter multiple obstacles, finding both success and failure along the way. They also face all kinds of predators – humans, animals, and other wild rabbits.
Older kids will enjoy this tale told from the rabbits’ point of view.
The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John
Through tragic events, 11-year old Martine finds herself living on an African wildlife preserve with her grandmother, a woman she didn’t know existed. Once in Africa, Martine is told a tale about a mythical white giraffe living in the wilderness. When she realizes the animal is real and poachers will do anything to capture it, Martine realizes she needs to do what she can to protect this rare and beautiful creature.
Kids who are interested in conservation will find this story especially interesting.
If your middle schooler doesn’t like reading animal stories, make sure to check out the other genres we’ve read as part of our 2016 Reading Adventure.
- Adventure Novels
- Books that Inspired Disney Movies
- Contemporary Novels
- Fantasy Books
- Historical Fiction Stories
- Inspiring Biographies
- Newbery Medal winners
- Personal Growth Books
Would you like a Reading Log, Book Report Form and Discussion Questions to go along with this month’s Reading Adventure choices? Just join our 2016 Reading Adventure group.
Already a part of our reading group? We’ll be sending your goodies right to your email, so keep your eye out.