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Amazon's Top 10 books of 2013 for tween, independent readers

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Tween and independent readers who are book lovers can burn through a new book in no time at all; finding books in their stockings or under the Christmas tree is a real delight for those who would rather read than play video games. With Amazon's top 100 list of books for 2013, the editors have chosen some outstanding novels for young readers. Here are the top ten choices for readers ages 9-12.

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"The House of Hades" by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion) In this fourth book in the Heroes of Olympus series, Anaabeth and Percy travel to the Underworld and must find a way to seal the Doors of Death.

"Fortunately, the Milk" by Neil Gaiman and Skottie Young (HarperCollins) A fun story of time travel and the simply act of buying milk for breakfast cereal.

"Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures" by Kate DiCamillo and K.G. Campbell (Candlewick) Flora adores the comic book "Terrible Things Can Happen to You!" and Ulysses is a squirrel with super powers. When they become friends there is no telling what will happen.

"Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" by Chris Grabenstein (Random House Books for Young Readers) This book has been described as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" meets "Night at the Museum" by "Parents" magazine. Students locked in a library must solve literary puzzles in order to be released from Mr. Lemoncello's library.

"Counting by 7s" by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Dial) Willow Chance isn't your average middle-schooler. She finds comfort in counting by 7s, is obsessed with nature and diagnoses medical conditions. When both her adoptive parents die in a car crash she must learn to make her way in a world that considers her an outsider.

"Unhooking the Moon" by Gregory Hughes (Quercus) When a brother and sister become orphans, they must take a road trip to New York to find their long-lost uncle. Along the way they learn about the world, themselves and what it takes to survive.

"The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible . . . on Schindler's List" by Leon Leyson, Marilyn J. Harran and Elisabeth B. Leyson (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) Written by one of the youngest survivors whose name appeared on Oskar Schindler's list during the Holocaust of WWII, this is a moving memoir.

"Navigating Early" by Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte Books for Young Readers) Two boys set off on an adventure along the Appalachian Trail at the end of WWII. Jack Baker is an orphan sent to live in a boys' home in Maine and Early Auden is the interesting boy he meets there.

"The Year of Billy Miller" by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books) Kevin Henkes is known for creating realistic and believable characters; Billy is no exception. Billy is at times brave and at others fearful, just like most people. He will be a hero to many.

"The Thing about Luck" by Cynthia Kadohata and Julia Kuo (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) With her parents having to make a trip to Japan at harvest time, Summer and her brother must stay with her old-fashioned grandparents. Just as in her book "Kira-Kira," Kadohata writes about the Japanese life she is so familiar with.

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