Write Preteen Stories!
Cool Ideas for Preteen Kids'
& Young Preteens' Books

Write cool Preteen Stories! Here are our best fantasy, adventure, mystery and narrative story ideas, and more, culled from studies of what preteens (8 to 12 years) love to read. Learn secrets that'll help put your story on the best seller books list!

Preteen Stories Dealing with Relationship Questions & Growing-Up Issues

Preteens struggle with growing-up and relationship issues, as well as challenges at home and in school. They feel intensely about family conflicts, parents' divorce, sibling rivalry, peer pressure and the need for (and sometimes lack of) approval and acceptance from their peers.

Books that address adolescent problems with sensitivity and understanding are hugely popular; for example, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret (facing adolescent fears), and It's Not the End of the World (dealing with parents' divorce), both by Judy Blume; Jacob Have I Loved (dealing with family favoritism) and Bridge to Terabithia (coming to terms with a best friend's death), both by Katherine Paterson; Shiloh (making tough moral choices) by Phyllis Reynolds; The Moves Make the Man (about growing-up and friendship issues) by Bruce Brooks; and Just Don't Make a Scene, Mum! (this must be every preteen's cry) by Rosie Rushton.

Preteen Stories About Family, Friends & School Life

Stories about warm family life, pets, good friends and happy school days give preteens a sense of security and comfort. Add plenty of action and humor, and a touch of adventure or mystery, and you have an irresistible read.

Many bestselling preteen stories fall into this category; for example, The Baby-sitters Club series by Ann Martin; Meet the Austins and sequels by Madeleine L'Engle; Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge by Judy Blume; Sideways Stories from Wayside School and sequels by Louis Sachar; Little Women by Louisa May Alcott; Anne of Green Gables and sequels by LM Montgomery; and Little House on the Prairie and sequels by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Preteen Stories: Fantasy-Adventure Stories Are Hot Favorites

Fantasy stories help preteens escape into an exciting world of adventure and derring-do; a world where the young protagonist(s) is/are in control and often given magical powers to right wrongs, defeat evil and change the world for the better.

Fantasy stories must be action-packed and fast paced. Humor helps too. To understand what appeals to readers, look at some of these bestsellers: A Wrinkle in Time and sequels by Madeleine L'Engle; The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron and sequels by Lloyd Alexander; The Indian in the Cupboard and sequels by Lynne Reid Banks; and The Chronicles of Narnia series by CS Lewis: The Magician's Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; The Last Battle.

Preteen Stories: Write the Best Mystery Books & Thrillers

Mystery, detective and thriller-adventure stories command a huge and loyal following among preteens. It is important that the preteen/teen protagonists solve the mystery themselves; adults may hang around in the background to give advice, but the young heroes/heroines must show themselves capable of handling difficult situations and solving problems independently.

Bestselling stories in these genres include the Nancy Drew series and Hardy Boys series (by various authors under the pseudonyms Carolyn Keene and Franklin Dixon respectively); and the Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald Sobol.

Preteen Stories: Survival Adventure Stories are Bestsellers

Preteens look for survival adventure stories where they can share vicariously in the young protagonist(s) adventures and challenges. Preteen readers want to identify with the hero(es)/heroine(s); your characters must therefore come alive as real people, with strengths and weaknesses, they must change and grow as the story develops, and they must have matured in some way by the end of the book.

Favorite stories include Hatchet by Gary Paulsen; The Cay by Theodore Taylor; Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell; Surprise Island by Gertrude Warner; Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.

Preteen Stories: Favorite Funny Stories

Include humor in your stories - jokes, funny characters, hilarious incidents. Preteens love a good laugh; take your cue from favorite stories like The Phantom Toll Booth by Norton Juster; The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Catling; Chocolate Fever by Robert K Smith; The Great Brain by John Fitzgerald; Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey; Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lindgren; and the Amelia Bedelia series by Peggy Parish.

Preteen Stories: Write the Best Inspirational Stories

Preteens need to know their own worth and significance in God's scheme of things. Centre your plots around conflicts and issues your readers may be facing, and let them feel they are not alone. Above all, write with warmth, understanding and humor.

Great examples to learn from: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls; Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner; Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield; Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis; Charlotte's Web by EB White; Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink; The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgleish; Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry.

For more tips and ideas, go to How to Write a Book of Inspirational Stories for Kids


For ideas on how to write stories that appeal to preteens, go to How to Write Stories Kids and Teens Want to Read.

For lists of bestselling preteen stories and worldwide sales figures, go to Popular Preteen Stories.

Writing for younger readers? Go to Story Writing Ideas for Kids' Books and Ideas for Writing a Book for Children: Chapter Books

Writing for older readers? Go to Exciting Story Ideas for Early Teen Books.

For a step-by-step guide to story writing, go to How to Write a Book: Story Writing Tips that Work!

Return to Creative Writing Ideas: Cool Stories for Preteens and Teens

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