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chocolate-chip chooky

YA thriller novels - need recommendations please

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My daughter has discovered the thriller genre but it's hard to find things that are suitable (she's a reasonably mature 12).

She's beyond the John Grisham Theodore Boone books (loved them a few years back though).

She's currently reading the Harlan Coben YA series and it's a perfect fit. 

She recently read and loved Dan Brown's Origin, but it's kind of rare to find an adult novel that is suitable. She loved Origin. I'll have to re-read the other Dan Brown books to see if any are okay for her.

I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thank you ?

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gr. 3-7 books, so probably too young, but you never know:
39 Clues series (Riordan and others)
Enola Holmes series (Springer)
HIVE series (Walden)
Spy School series (Gibbs)
Moon Base Alpha series (Gibbs)
Among the Hidden trilogy (Haddix)

tween/young teen books
Lincoln's Grave Robbers (Sheinkin) -- a true crime thriller
The Westing Game (Raskin)
Nick of Time (Bell)
Alex Rider series (Horowitz)
Mortality Doctrine trilogy (Dashner)
books by Mary Downing Hahn -- most are ghost stories and spooky/creepy thrillers, some have a mystery aspect
"Thriller Books for Teens" -- book list from Common Sense Media (gives suggested ages, quick overview of the story, and lists what kinds of mature elements appear)

high school
One of Us is Lying (McManus)
Lois Duncan books -- a number of them have a supernatural element as well as thriller
Charlotte Holmes series (Cavallaro) -- female Sherlock Holmes

adult, but gentle
Mrs. Pollifax series (Gilman)
And Then There Were None (Christie)

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Not quite thrillers, but at that age I liked Sherlock Holmes.  A friend introduced me to Sayers' Peter Whimsey books when I was older, and I would have liked those when I was younger, too.  

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18 hours ago, ClemsonDana said:

Not quite thrillers, but at that age I liked Sherlock Holmes.  A friend introduced me to Sayers' Peter Whimsey books when I was older, and I would have liked those when I was younger, too.  

She loves Sherlock Holmes ? 

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22 hours ago, Lori D. said:

gr. 3-7 books, so probably too young, but you never know:
39 Clues series (Riordan and others)
Enola Holmes series (Springer)
HIVE series (Walden)
Spy School series (Gibbs)
Moon Base Alpha series (Gibbs)
Among the Hidden trilogy (Haddix)

tween/young teen books
Lincoln's Grave Robbers (Sheinkin) -- a true crime thriller
The Westing Game (Raskin)
Nick of Time (Bell)
Alex Rider series (Horowitz)
Mortality Doctrine trilogy (Dashner)
books by Mary Downing Hahn -- most are ghost stories and spooky/creepy thrillers, some have a mystery aspect
"Thriller Books for Teens" -- book list from Common Sense Media (gives suggested ages, quick overview of the story, and lists what kinds of mature elements appear)

high school
One of Us is Lying (McManus)
Lois Duncan books -- a number of them have a supernatural element as well as thriller
Charlotte Holmes series (Cavallaro) -- female Sherlock Holmes

adult, but gentle
Mrs. Pollifax series (Gilman)
And Then There Were None (Christie)

Thanks, Lori. There's so much there to follow up and my wishlist is growing ?

The Westing Game is probably one of her favourite books. She knows those characters inside and out.

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Haven't been around in a while, but you know book threads are catnip. This isn't a genre that my kiddos are particularly into, but still, maybe:

I Am Princess X

The Stranger Game (I was legitimately surprised by the twist, but then, I almost always am)

Yeah, other than that I really have nothing.

If she likes The Westing Game she may also like The Parker Inheritance or Finding Mighty.

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My 11 year old son likes that type of book. I cannot keep up with what he reads, so I have no idea if you would consider these appropriate, but this is what he has been enjoying recently.

Maximum Ride series and Daniel X series by James Patterson

A trilogy that starts with the book, I am the Weapon.

Among the Hidden by Haddix was mentioned, but she has a couple more series. Some are shelved in the kids section at our library and some in the YA section.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head, but I'll add more if I think of them. 

I'm glad you started this thread- I didn't know Coben had a young adult series and he's one of my favorite authors! I'll have to look into it for me! (And my ds)

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Possible a few more ideas?

gr. 5-8
- Red Blazer Girls series (Beil)
- The Secret Box trilogy (Ringwald)
- I, Q series (Smith)
- Palace Beautiful (Williams)

gr. 7-9
- Rich and Jade series (Higgins) -- secret service thriller
- Steel Trapp series (Pearson) -- espionage thriller

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My 13yo dd loved the mortality doctrine series that Lori mentioned.

Thanks for this thread! Nice to know there's other tween/teen girls who like this genre. ? Does your dd need a penpal? Lol.

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Well, Scott Westerfeld rocks. If she likes Uglies she should take up Zeroes next, and of course Leviathan. (Which is a different genre, but whatevs.)

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3 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

Well, Scott Westerfeld rocks. If she likes Uglies she should take up Zeroes next, and of course Leviathan. (Which is a different genre, but whatevs.)

 

Just looked up leviathan and it sounds right up her alley! Thanks, it is reassuring that other wtmers liked it! Most of her irl friends are from much more sheltered homes so she doesn't have too many people to share with.

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17 hours ago, TABmom said:

My 11 year old son likes that type of book. I cannot keep up with what he reads, so I have no idea if you would consider these appropriate, but this is what he has been enjoying recently.

Maximum Ride series and Daniel X series by James Patterson

A trilogy that starts with the book, I am the Weapon.

Among the Hidden by Haddix was mentioned, but she has a couple more series. Some are shelved in the kids section at our library and some in the YA section.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head, but I'll add more if I think of them. 

I'm glad you started this thread- I didn't know Coben had a young adult series and he's one of my favorite authors! I'll have to look into it for me! (And my ds)

Thanks for the ideas ?

Harlan Coben is one of my favourites too. The main character in his YA series is Myron's nephew.

I am the Weapon looks good, but I'm having trouble finding reviews that give age suggestions. I usually use common sense media to get an idea of content, but I couldn't find it on there.

Do any of you know of other sites similar to common sense media?

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13 hours ago, LMD said:

Also, she's just about to start a new series called Uglies.

Uglies is one of many books in my bookdepository wishlist ?

I've put the first Mortality Doctrines book (The Eye of Minds) on hold at the library.

12 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

Well, Scott Westerfeld rocks. If she likes Uglies she should take up Zeroes next, and of course Leviathan. (Which is a different genre, but whatevs.)

I'd forgotten about Leviathan! Thanks for reminding me. Her older sister owns it. It's a really beautiful looking hardcover book. You know those types of books that just look fabulous on a nice bookcase?

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8 hours ago, LMD said:

 

Just looked up leviathan and it sounds right up her alley! Thanks, it is reassuring that other wtmers liked it! Most of her irl friends are from much more sheltered homes so she doesn't have too many people to share with.

I'm reasonably relaxed about what I'll let my 12 yr old read. I'm not ready to hand her books with sex scenes though, so a lot of YA and adult fiction is not yet suitable, in my opinion.

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I second the Mrs. Pollifax books.

Also, I'd suggest the Maigret books.  They're written for adults but are very tame.  They take place in Paris in the 40's and 50's I think.

 

 

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1 hour ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

I'm reasonably relaxed about what I'll let my 12 yr old read. I'm not ready to hand her books with sex scenes though, so a lot of YA and adult fiction is not yet suitable, in my opinion.

 

This is exactly where I am too. I don't mind a little light romance, especially if it demonstrates healthy relationships.

I also remembered she read and loved a dystopian series called Matched.

 https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/matched

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5 minutes ago, LMD said:

 

This is exactly where I am too. I don't mind a little light romance, especially if it demonstrates healthy relationships.

I also remembered she read and loved a dystopian series called Matched.

 https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/matched

Thank you ?

It's on this list too: https://sites.google.com/site/parentalbookreviews/books-i-let-my-14-year-old-read 

 

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Louis Duncan were ones I loved as a kid. Not the most profound writing but books in this genre I loved around that age were Christopher Pike books, LJ Smith, Ritchie Tankersley Cusick...my grown son also loved them at that age.

Clive Barker's Thief of Always as well as the Abarat are good. Darrin Shan Cirque De Freak series and also his Demonata series were hits with my kids at that age.

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Lori already mentioned One of Us is Lying, but it was my first thought when I read your request. I read it a couple months ago and found it interesting and enjoyable, with a good twist. A review I read called it “The Breakfast Club, but with a murder” and that about sums it up.

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Maybe she could try less popular books such as the ones that are shared in Wattpad. She can also try making her own story under the same genre. It will surely flourish her lover for literature.

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5 minutes ago, berwif said:

Maybe she could try less popular books such as the ones that are shared in Wattpad. She can also try making her own story under the same genre. It will surely flourish her lover for literature.

I'm not familiar with Wattpad. Is it where unpublished authors post their stories? I would have to feel confident that the content is suitable for a 12yr old. I wonder if there's any rating system or content summary. I'll look into it. Thank you.

My daughter enjoys writing and I'm currently in the process of looking for resources for suspense/thriller writing. I've found one Udemy course so far. Do you have any suggestions?

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Wattpad is a place where anyone can instantly published their written works and receive comments from fellow wattpad members and readers. It's a nice place to hone one's writing skills and read free books as well. Udemy is a good learning zone too but practice is also a great way to flourish writing ability. Try Coursera too.

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My dd has done Write Storybooks for Children online course. My MIL got it for her, a lifetime subscription using a coupon code. Dd seemed to like it.

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58 minutes ago, LMD said:

My dd has done Write Storybooks for Children online course. My MIL got it for her, a lifetime subscription using a coupon code. Dd seemed to like it.

That course looks thorough. Thanks for the idea. It's a bit $$ though. Do you think it was worth it? Any idea where a coupon code came from?

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On 11/3/2018 at 8:48 PM, LMD said:

 

Just looked up leviathan and it sounds right up her alley! Thanks, it is reassuring that other wtmers liked it! Most of her irl friends are from much more sheltered homes so she doesn't have too many people to share with.

My daughter just gobbled up Leviathan in a couple of days. I'm now about to seek out the rest of the series for her.

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15 minutes ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

That course looks thorough. Thanks for the idea. It's a bit $$ though. Do you think it was worth it? Any idea where a coupon code came from?

Something like Groupon I think... ah here it is:

https://www.groupon.com/deals/writestorybooksforchildren-com-11-honolulu

To be honest, dd just dips in and out doing a module at a time when the mood strikes her, but she has got a fair bit out if it and notebooks full of writing!

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18 minutes ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

My daughter just gobbled up Leviathan in a couple of days. I'm now about to seek out the rest of the series for her.

Cool! Glad she liked it. It's on my list.

Dd is halfway through Uglies and says it's good. ?

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12 minutes ago, LMD said:

Something like Groupon I think... ah here it is:

https://www.groupon.com/deals/writestorybooksforchildren-com-11-honolulu

To be honest, dd just dips in and out doing a module at a time when the mood strikes her, but she has got a fair bit out if it and notebooks full of writing!

$19 is a bit better than $590! 

Thank you! ? 

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Dd also just said that in Khan academy there's a section in the computer animation part about storytelling which she says is really good too. Lots about character/story structure etc.

Pixar in a Box Art of Storytelling it's called.

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@LMD   I just wanted to thank you for the link and coupon for the online writing course. Two of my daughters are doing it together, working through each module systematically, and they're really enjoying it. They're up to Module 8 at the moment.

Thank you so much 🌻

Did you see that they've released a similar course specifically about writing YA fiction? I can get it for $35AUD as a launch discount and I expect we'll snap that one up also, as it's really YA fiction that my girls like to write.

Uglies is going down well here also. 👍

 

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18 hours ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

 

@LMD   I just wanted to thank you for the link and coupon for the online writing course. Two of my daughters are doing it together, working through each module systematically, and they're really enjoying it. They're up to Module 8 at the moment.

Thank you so much 🌻

Did you see that they've released a similar course specifically about writing YA fiction? I can get it for $35AUD as a launch discount and I expect we'll snap that one up also, as it's really YA fiction that my girls like to write.

Uglies is going down well here also. 👍

 

Oh that's wonderful! Glad they're enjoying it!

I did see the discount, I suspect my dd would be very interested in it too.

😄 uglies was very popular here! She's into The Giver now, I bought it as a school novel but she got to it first and is now pining for the rest of the series!

(I'm slightly tapped out atm after spending on school books!)

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Oh yes, The Giver. My daughter loved that series (4 books if I remember correctly).

It's a different genre, but my daughter is also re-reading the Skullduggery Pleasant series. There are a LOT of books in that series, so that is keeping her going in between other good finds. Phew.

A couple of others she has enjoyed recently are The Stranger Game by Busby and The Deadly Game of Magic by Nixon.

Another good one which isn't a thriller at all but is just a good story is The Definition of Us by Sarah Harris. It reads like a cleaner John Green novel. I've read it twice myself.

I can't remember if I mentioned it already, but Small Spaces by Epstein is a good YA thriller, and Australian too.

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I really like One of Us is Lying, and I've read that one twice myself also, but it feels too much (re sexual content) for my 12 yr old at this stage. I'm mentioning it because you may think it's fine for your daughter @LMD

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/one-of-us-is-lying 

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Ooh thank you for the recommendations!

I had looked at one of us is lying when it was previously recommended and thought it might be slightly too much for this age. In a year or two we might come back to it. At around 15/16 I think.

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Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series, precocious 12 yo girl who has uncanny knowledge of chemicals and uses it to solve mysteries. Love this character! It's about a preteen but written for adults so the writing is not geared towards middle schooler. So it's perfect for DD who wants a character who is her age but written with sophistication.

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On 1/30/2019 at 3:02 AM, crazyforlatin said:

Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series, precocious 12 yo girl who has uncanny knowledge of chemicals and uses it to solve mysteries. Love this character! It's about a preteen but written for adults so the writing is not geared towards middle schooler. So it's perfect for DD who wants a character who is her age but written with sophistication.

I'm reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie right now, hoping it will pass as suitable to hand to my 12yr old.

Wow, I love Flavia. I'm *really* hoping it stays as clean as it has been so far. it's such a fun read.

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5 minutes ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

I'm reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie right now, hoping it will pass as suitable to hand to my 12yr old.

Wow, I love Flavia. I'm *really* hoping it stays as clean as it has been so far. it's such a fun read.

Isn't the character lovely? DD really connects with Flavia because they speak similarly. It's clean throughout. DD has read through the series numerous times. I looked up the author's age and feel sad that there may not be another 20 Flavia books. It's kind of like what we felt like when T. Pratchett couldn't write anymore due to Alzheimer's.

I'm trying to find another series that is similar; funny, well-written, and maybe in the mystery genre.

 

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17 minutes ago, crazyforlatin said:

Isn't the character lovely? DD really connects with Flavia because they speak similarly. It's clean throughout. DD has read through the series numerous times. I looked up the author's age and feel sad that there may not be another 20 Flavia books. It's kind of like what we felt like when T. Pratchett couldn't write anymore due to Alzheimer's.

I'm trying to find another series that is similar; funny, well-written, and maybe in the mystery genre.

 

Oh, I'm so pleased to hear that they are all clean reads! Bring on more Flavia!

If you find more treasures like Flavia, please let us know 🙂 

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And of course, who cannot love Wee Free Men series by Terry Pratchett? If you like Flavia, you'll like Tiffany and the rats. They're clean too.

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William Sleator writes psychological YA thrillers. I find them downright chilling (especially House of Stairs-Although that might be because  read it AFTER college psych classes)

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Wrote, you mean - sadly, we lost him a while back.

(But if you're interested in something totally different, you can read his book about growing up in his family here for free.)

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27 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

Wrote, you mean - sadly, we lost him a while back.

(But if you're interested in something totally different, you can read his book about growing up in his family here for free.)

 

that a was a depressing read!  I must have had a very sheltered childhood.

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Depressing! Well, we have different views, I guess. He seems to have had a lot of fun writing about it - though I was dismayed to realize that he never gives the gender of any of his adolescent crushes. Given the original publication date and the fact that he was gay, I don't think I need to speculate much about why he did that, but it's unfortunate given the context of the anecdotes.

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If you decide to give Discworld a try with your Dd this map https://io9.gizmodo.com/how-to-read-terry-pratchetts-discworld-series-in-one-h-1567312812 is really helpful.  Someone on BaW recommended it to me years ago.  Dd always recommends the Death books first........

Flavia is wonderful!  The latest book came out last week and is in my stack.

Another odd recommendation that worked well with Dd are Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde.  These are for people that love classics with modern twists, definitely adult because the amount of swearing is HUGE,  but The Eyre Affair is fun for the fan.  Same with others in the series.....Dickens is the focus of another in the series.  If you haven’t read the classic the mystery is based on I wouldn’t bother with these........

 

 

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