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Macaws are here: great books by post for 12 to 14-year-olds

Young teen boy lying back on grass and reading a book, out of which the Parrot Street Book Club parrots are flying
There’s a new bird in town!

We’re excited to launch a new reading level for 12 to 14-year-olds. It will look and feel a bit different to our existing subscriptions but our focus on sending the very best books and encouraging a love of reading remains.

We know from personal experience that it’s hard to find books that feel grown-up enough for our 12-year-olds but don’t venture too far into the edgier realms of relationships, peer pressure and angst found in many young adult books.

Research shows that the quality and quantity of reading children do drops significantly as they progress through secondary school, so finding the right books to keep them engaged and enthusiastic feels more important than ever.



We can’t wait to curate a selection of brilliant, varied and unusual books for our Macaw subscribers to explore. We carefully consider every book we choose and only ever send titles we’d happily share with our own kids.

Reflecting their growing independence, Macaws will have the option to choose between two books each month, charting their own course through our recommendations. You can also keep the element of surprise if you prefer or even upgrade to receive both books each month.

Each book will be accompanied by book club-style questions, activity ideas and further reading recommendations.


Teen boy and girl smiling and looking at a book together


I love it - how can we sign up?

We’re running a limited, two-month trial in September and October and, all being well, will launch the new reading level soon after.

All the places on our trial are now taken, but make sure you're on our email list so you can be the first to know when we launch:



We’ve had a think about questions you might have and answered them below. But if you need any more information, please feel free to contact us.


Girl reading young adult book

Who is this subscription for?

This is an ideal book subscription for 12 to 14-year-olds who are in the early years of secondary school. We pick books that can be enjoyed equally by both girls and boys.

Enthusiastic readers will enjoy the variety of titles we send and we hope will discover new favourite authors and genres.

For more reluctant readers the subscription is a great way to keep them engaged with books – whether they read them independently or you share one great book together each month.


How is it different from Cockatoos?

The books our Macaws will receive wouldn’t be suitable for Cockatoos, the youngest of whom are only 8 years-old. The books will be meatier and touch on more complex moral, social and emotional issues.

Macaws will also have the option to choose between two different books each month, charting their own course through our recommendations. Subscribers that have their own email address can manage their selections independently and we’ll encourage them to submit their reviews, comments and questions.


What sort of books will you send?

We’ll be picking books that we feel sit comfortably between the middle grade (usually aimed at 8 to 12-year-olds) and young adult categories. They will be challenging and thought-provoking with more complex themes than most middle grade novels but without focusing too much on the teenage angst and romantic struggles common in YA books.

As ever, we’ll focus on presenting a wide variety of books covering many genres and introducing subscribers to authors and stories they may not otherwise have tried. We’ve developed great relationships with publishers over the past 3 years and will work with them to discover the perfect books for this age group.


Why have you developed this?

We know that 12 to 14 years old can be a tricky age for many reasons, but when it comes to reading we’ve identified a specific problem. At this age, many kids are feeling a bit too old for classic middle grade novels (which we’d send our Cockatoos) but aren’t ready for all that Young Adult (YA) novels have to offer, particularly the focus on relationships and teenage angst.

When they can’t find the right books, it’s all to easy to return to primary school favourites or stop reading all together. But even reading for just 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference, so finding great, age-appropriate books is crucial.

As the parent of an 11-year-old, Sarah’s just entering this territory and even given her knowledge of the publishing landscape is discovering that it’s hard to find those goldilocks books that aren’t too young, aren’t too old, but are just right!

So, we’ve set out to help other parents in the same boat by carefully curating book selections for this age group that will keep kids excited and engaged in reading for the sheer fun of it.

Teenage boy reading book, leaning against tree whilst wearing headphones