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When I was a girl, I had a special place I called The Bower.
Really, it was just a Wisteria shrub that had grown over an old clothesline near an overgrown flower bed in our backyard. I thought it was enchanting, and many times I slipped through the tendrils and branches to sit inside with a notepad, sketchpad or good book.
When I was a teenager, that Wisteria shrub was cut down.
Little did I know as a “tween,” but Wisteria is meant to have beautiful, fragrant blooms. Our Wisteria was never meant to be planted in such a shady place, had never bloomed, and could never truly thrive there.
Growing up is sort of like that.
We cannot grow up and truly thrive under just any conditions. We must have the right amount of shade and sun, the best soil, and lots of loving care in order to go from a sprout to a full bloom.
Even with all the loving care my parents were able to afford me, growing up was not easy, nor is it easy for my precious eleven and twelve-year-old sisters, or anyone else. But in every good story, there are helpers for the journey, and I agree with Mabel Hale, who said:
“Through books, we may, very intimately, know the wisest and best.”
–Beautiful Girlhood by Mabel Hale
This is why I am sharing seven books that are friends for the journey to womanhood.
(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
7 Books for Your Tween Girl’s Journey to Womanhood
This book was a very pleasant surprise. Published by American Girl, this is a secular perspective on growing up, but I found it very tastefully done. I was the awkward tween who felt queasy when reading any literature on puberty or anatomy. I wish I had had this book then!
The Care and Keeping of You would be appropriate to be used to answer a young girl’s queries about her changing or soon-to-be changing body, without jumping into all The Facts of Life. In my opinion, everything is presented in a pleasant, wholesome way. Available—>HERE
From the author of Anne of Green Gables, we meet another lovely young lady, Jane! Jane is eleven when she leaves her dreary city life, sweet but sad mother and overbearing grandmother for the exciting world of her estranged father.
Jane finds herself, in more way than one, on Montgomery’s beloved P.E. Island, and works to bring her fractured family back together. A truly charming tale about a hardworking, pure-hearted heroine. Available—>HERE
Popular Christian author, Elizabeth George, wrote this book for “tweens” after her book A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart was met with praise. This is a short book made up of ten chapters which I once used to lead a girl’s book club. The girls in my group were 3rd-5th grade and they all came into our meetings eager to read each week!
I appreciated that the book tackled some hard topics such as sibling relationships, school, and prayer. Each chapter includes space to answer questions, take notes and write a prayer. Available—HERE
The best thing about still being young? Having fun and enjoying your freedom! That’s why I love this book, originally published in 1887! Think about the original Girl Scouts and what they stood for, or the guilds your grandmother may have been a part of as a girl.
This thick, quirky book is chock-full of ideas for games, clubs, celebrations, crafts and skills. Complete with step-by-step instructions in beautiful woodcut illustrations, hilariously outdated but still-inspiring advice and good old-fashioned fun for girls of all ages. Want to learn to press flowers? Decorate a seaside cottage? Paint china? Create a home gymnasium? Look no further! Tweens are children. This book may slow their hourglass for a summer. Available—HERE
I was prepared to dislike this book because I thought it would be too predictable and, well, glad, but it was really very good. This would be a great read-loud, as well.
Pollyanna is an orphaned eleven-year-old girl who is resolutely and unwaveringly cheerful. (A characteristic I know I needed to learn a thing or two about when I was a tween!) She is sent to live with her ill-tempered Aunt Polly in a community badly in need of cheering up. Pollyanna inspires the people she meets and changes their hearts. When tragedy strikes, Pollyanna’s “Glad Game” is put to the test. I remember this story as being engaging and having a great message! Available—>HERE
Beautifully illustrated by the talented Breezy Brookshire, this hardback book is something between a long picture book and a chapter book. Definitely to be read one story at a time, For Such a Time as This tells the stories of forty women from scripture. Your daughter probably knows about Eve and Mary, but does she know the story of the widow of Zarephath or Priscilla?
After each story, Angie takes girls through three sections; He (an attribute of God,) Me (how we can apply that attribute) and She (a prayer to pray over your girl.) There’s also a memory verse and a Hebrew word to learn after each chapter and some lovely bonus material in the back. It’s no wonder this book has been receiving rave reviews since it’s publication in 2014. Available—->HERE
Just released in April of 2016, this short chapter book shares the remarkable, true story of sisters Eddie, Ocy and Darlene in the spring of 1946. When their pastor invites the congregation to save money for a special Easter offering, the three girls and their courageous, widowed mother set out to do everything they can to help the poor family in their church. Resourcefulness, hard work, and an undyingly cheerful spirit make this family one we can learn from time and again. Always Plenty is made up of six short chapters and pen-and-ink illustrations and was my personal labor of love! Available—>HERE
Growing up is not easy, but it is a good and natural thing. I don’t know a single mother (or big sister!) who doesn’t want to see their dear tween girl mature into a faithful, lovely woman, and sometimes the good company of a good book is just what we need for the journey.
“Keep good company, read good books, love good things and cultivate soul and body as faithfully as you can.”
–Rose In Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
May you walk in His sweet light,
Caroline Rose Kraft
Caroline Rose Kraft started blogging as a teen in 2007 as an outlet for her wonderful but crazy life. She’s a homeschool grad, sister to eight, passionate advocate for educated adoption and author and illustrator of Always Plenty. She blogs at carolinerosekraft.com and also gladly contributes to kindredgrace.com on a regular basis. Caroline lives at a place called Eyrie Park in Central Texas.
Tween girls have access to an unbelievable amount of media and information with just a simple click of the remote or mouse. Every outlet they turn to attempts to subtly influence their worldview…and what they believe about themselves directly affects how they live.
Wynter Pitts, founder of For Girls Like You magazine, gives girls a new devotional showing them a correct definition of themselves, opening their eyes to God’s truth and the difference it makes in their lives. Each daily devotion includes a prayer to help girls apply the lesson. ~ from the Publisher
Available here: For Girls Like You: A Devotional for Tweens
Here at Club31Women, we recognize that not everyone has the same taste or point of view on books, music, or movies, but we offer these short reviews for your consideration. Our hope is that you will find something new and wonderful on this list of recommended resources!
~ Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women