Your Must-Read Books for Parenting a Pre-Teen

I’m way past What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

My kids are in late elementary and early intermediate school, but I still have LOTS of questions. Thankfully, I have avid readers in my friend circle and their recommendations are fantastic. 

Here are recommendations for must-read books for parenting a pre-teen:

Your Must-Read Book List for Parenting a Pre-Teen

Books for Pre-Teens

  • When your friends are educators and they give you book tips, you take note. My teacher friends raved about Scott Todnem’s book Growing Up Great. They called this “the ultimate puberty book for boys. Beyond its content, it’s also written in a way that will keep a nine-year-old reading. It’s funny, it’s real, it’s perfect.” 
  • Speaking of puberty, we purchased Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys for our house. This book has an A-Z index that covers all the topics from acne and anatomy to braces and hygiene. (There’s also The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls for little girls.)

Books for Parents

  • I added Decoding Boys to my Christmas list last year. As a pediatrician and mother of two boys, the author suggests ways to reach pre-teen kids. I’m not a huge fan of her writing style, but I appreciated the tips on how to balance my kiddo’s need for privacy and more independence with our need to connect and continue communicating.
  • I sat fireside with friends and my favorite glass of merlot earlier this month as two of them raved about Middle School Makeover. This book gets a five-star review from moms eager to help their maturing kids navigate all the social awkwardness that comes along with adolescence and pre-teen years. 
  • I cringe when I have the news on and my kids are in the same room. It’s so hard to explain the current state of the world to young people who are ill-equipped emotionally to handle the headlines. That’s what piques my interest about Raising Feminist Boys: How to Talk With Your Child About Gender, Consent, and Empathy. I haven’t read this one yet, but I’ve called dibs when my cousin finishes it.
  • We’re back at school, and already in this first month, I’ve heard stories from my kids about a friend who has been hurt by another child’s words or actions. And now How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t A**holes: Science-Based Strategies for Better Parenting — From Tots to Teens just got added to my cart. (My friends haven’t mentioned this book yet, but Katie Couric recommended it. I feel like Katie can’t steer us wrong.)
Happy reading!

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Renee holds three titles that are of utmost importance to her: mom to Cale and Ian; wife to Andy; and Communications Director for Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Although she has a Master’s degree from the University of Iowa, her heart still shines cardinal and gold for Iowa State University where she received her undergraduate degree. Renee’s a foodie who loves cooking, travel, her friends, her family, the Oxford comma, and happy hour. Cheers!

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