Ten Classic Stories for 12 & 13 Year Old Girls

By Anna Lowell

May 05

Twelve and thirteen year old girls are forming value systems of their own and then testing them out to see if they will work in real life. Stories for 12 & 13 year old girls should encourage the girls to place themselves in the heroines’ places and consider what they might have done in those same circumstances. These classic stories for 12 & 13 year old girls are fascinating adventures that will stay with your girls long after they have turned the last page.

These classic stories for 12 & 13 year old girls are fascinating adventures that will stay with your girls long after they have turned the last page.

1. Nory Ryan’s Song

Set during the Irish Potato Famine of the late 1840’s, Nory Ryan’s Song is the story of a 12-year-old girl’s struggle to overcome hunger and poverty when everything seemed to be working against her. Nory Ryan’s Song offers us the unique opportunity to crawl into another person’s shoes and experience history through their eyes.

2. Pictures of Hollis Woods

Hollis Woods is a 12-year-old girl who is lost in the modern foster care system. She desperately longs for a home and a family, but is scared to open her heart after so many rejections. When Hollis is placed in the care of an elderly art teacher, she discovers a secret that will not only cause her to assume the role of care giver, but also to discover strengths she didn’t know she had. This poignant book is beautifully written.

3. Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables is a thoroughly enchanting, light-hearted story of an orphan girl who comes to bless an elderly sister and brother who offer her a home and love. Anne delights girls of all ages with her spunk, determination, fiery temper, and penchant for getting herself into hilarious situations.

4. Misty of Chincoteague

Two children are in love with the wild horses on Assateague Island, but one in particular – “The Phantom”. When she is finally captured, the children will do anything to become her owners. But will anyone ever be able to truly own this wild horse? Marguerite Henry is the author of many horse books, most based on true life stories and real horses.

5. Strawberry Girl

Strawberry Girl, a historical fiction story set in the early 1900’s, tells about how a ten-year-old girl and her family settle in Florida’s “frontier”. They battle a harsh climate, poverty, and their neighbors’ free ranging cattle to build a farm and grow crops for sale. And, while they might be successful at growing strawberries, will they ever be successful making friends with their difficult neighbors? This story does include instances of the neighbor’s drunkeness and minor violence, as well as mild swear words and the use of “Lordy”.

6. Island of the Blue Dolphins

Karana is a 12-year-old Native American girl who was left on a small island off the coast of California when all of her people emigrated to the mainland after a disaster. Based loosely on the true story of the Lost Woman of San Nicolas, this is an adventure story of strength, survival, and overcoming challenges.

7. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Claudia comes from a large family and feels under-appreciated. So, she decides to run away. She doesn’t like the thought of “doing without” any comforts though, so she takes her younger brother (who has money) and runs away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Will two children be able to hide for long in the great museum?

8. The Year of Miss Agnes

School is different in a one room school house is Alaska in the 1940’s. Learning is difficult as teachers frequently come and go and children are expected to help with chores at home and little value is placed on education. Miss Agnes, the new teacher, is up to the challenge though, and ready to teach the children not only that learning can be fun, but that everyone, even physically handicapped children, can learn.

9. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby, a poor widowed mouse, is willing to do anything to save her gravely sick son from death. There is only one hope for his life – that a bunch of extremely intelligent lab rats will help her move her house before the garden plow destroys it. On the surface, this is a fun adventure story, but there are deep undertones to this book as well. (Are the rats good? Are they heroes? Or are they only self-seeking?)

10. The Sign of the Beaver

Thirteen-year-old Matt finds help from an unexpected friend when he is left by himself to take care of his family’s homestead in the wilderness. This is a fascinating story of courage, friendship, and learning to respect and appreciate people of different cultures.

Which books would you recommend for 12 and 13 year old girls? I would love to hear your suggestions. Please scroll down to comment.


More Book Lists from Path Through the Narrow Gate:

This list of books for 10-11 year old girls includes stories of strong, spunky, kind girls who will become fictional friends that your girl will cherish for years.    History, fantasy, outdoor adventure, nonfiction, and dinosaurs - 10 books that your 10 and 11 year old boy is sure to enjoy!    This is such a great list of books for an seven to ten year old animal lover. Am pinning this to keep it handy for the next time I go to the library.
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