Amazing Books for Tweens Who Love Animals

If you have a middle school animal lover in your home, add some of these animal books for tweens to their reading list. My daughter has always loved to read, especially when the books revolved around animals, so I was always looking for the best books for middle school.

The books below include works of fiction as well as true stories. They’re all interesting and are sure to engage older kids. They also have one thing in common – some pretty amazing creatures.

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. Choose one of these books to get your middle schooler reading!

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Animal Books for Tweens

To get your tween excited about reading, share with them books that relate to their interests. There are many great middle grade books out there, written with middle schoolers in mind, that will engage, challenge, and speak to them.

These six titles are bound to thrill older kids who love animals.

Giant George: Life with the World's Biggest Dog
Max: Best Friend, Hero, Marine


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
Watership Down: A Novel


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 is 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
A Wolf Called Wander


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.

A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry

Swift is a young wolf cub who lives with his pack up in the mountains. His days are spent with his brothers and sisters, learning how to hunt and figuring out his place in the family.

One day, a rival pack attacks, and his family flees, leaving Swift alone and scared. Faced with the choice of staying on the outskirts of his old home, starving, or heading out into the unknown, he embarks on a long and treacherous journey across the Pacific Northwest in search of a new home. Alone and frightened, he must be braver than ever to survive in the wild by himself.

This book is inspired by a true story of a wolf named OR-7 and includes illustrations and information about the real-life creature from the story.

I hope that this list has introduced your tween to some new stories about some amazing animals. Maybe even a new favorite title.

Additional Books for Middle School

Looking for even more books your middle schooler will enjoy? Check out these

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. Choose one of these books to get your middle schooler reading!

Books make amazing gifts. Share your favorite story with a friend and make one of these awesome bookmarks for kids to put into the book as part of the gift.

Using Technology to Support Reading

Do you love the idea of expanding your child’s reading list, but getting her to sit down with a book ends up being a hassle? Consider switching over to audiobooks. You can even get 2 free books to get started. They’re a lifesaver for some families, including those who love “reading” together. Kids can listen on their devices or you can play books in the car as you travel together.

If you haven’t ventured into electronic books with your tween yet (whether audiobooks or a Kindle), I encourage you to consider it, especially if you want to raise enthusiastic readers. And bonus, some classic stories can be download for free to Kindle devices from online stores and your public library.

Ultimately, when you embrace the format that fits your child best, it will help them get swept up in a great story, like the ones on this list.

Which animal book for tweens is your favorite?

Megan Zechman
I love homeschooling! Learning is a way of life for our family. Most days you will find us exploring our Central Florida community, having fun while learning. I am constantly looking for new and interactive ways to engage my older children.
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman

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