Update: thanks for all the great recommendations! With your assistance and the assistance of some helpful bookstore folks I ended up with Uglies, which I never read but sounds interesting, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond, which I remember from when I was young and liked. I almost got Speak, which I remember having a big impact on me as a teen, but also remember being kind of depressing. Nephew got A Handmaid’s Tale and The Gunslinger.
I’m totally saving all these other recommendations for another day though! Their birthdays aren’t Kong after Christmas so I’ll need some more very soon. Was think N.K. Jemisin for nephew — time to read diverse authors, sonny!
THANK YOU for all your help everyone!!
Anyone have a good recommendation for fiction with great female characters for around 13? Xmas shopping for my niece and I’m THAT aunt who is gonna buy you some books to read. And maybe chocolate. My nephew is already getting a copy of Handmaids Tale because he likes apocalyptic fiction. Get ready for some feminism kids!