I have never been a big fan of “required reading” lists in school. I’ve always felt that as long as teens are reading something, they’re learning and growing. Even comic books can teach new ideas, expand vocabulary and stretch imaginations. That said, there are some books that we really want our teens to read before they grow up. Today, our special guest, Nicola, will share her picks for 8 books that every teen should read!
8 Books Every Teen Should Read Before Growing Up
by Nicola Reynor. Affiliate links included below.
Motivating your teen to read more books instead of spending hours on a smartphone or a laptop is one of the many parenting responsibilities. If you want your kids, particularly teenagers, to lead a life with some intellectual worth, you need to encourage them to read several types of books apart from the classics they’ll read in the high school. Besides, reading offers several advantages including stress relief, improved analytical thinking and concentration, and mental stimulation, among others.
Here is a list of fiction and non-fiction books that are not only fun to read, but also thought-provoking.
- The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
Any teenage girl who likes to read about a strong and resilient girl will fall in love with Katniss Everdeen, the lead character in this fictional book series. The story takes place in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem in North America. 16-year-old Katniss’s volunteers to participate in the horrific hunger games to save her sister. While fighting for her survival, she ends up leading a rebellion against the Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis that controls the nation of Panem. Confident, strong and powerful, Katniss is a great role model for every teenage girl.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This is a must read for all teenagers irrespective of their gender. The Perks of Being a Wallflower captures the lives of everyday teenagers in a realistic manner. This book is one of the best coming-of-age books that has become a cult classic among teenagers. The story revolves around the life of the lead character, Charlie and his everyday struggles as he comes to terms with growing up. The book also covers sensitive teenage issues such as drug abuse, teen pregnancy, and suicide. However, it also illustrates how family, friends, love, and relationships can help you survive through turbulent times.
- The Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling
Millions of youngsters around the globe grew up exploring the fascinating world of Harry Potter. This series is about the journey of a wizard boy, Harry as he discovers that true love and friendship are more powerful than any magic. The story centers on basic human instincts such as greed, ego, power, love, and friendship. The best thing this series teaches us is how to deal with the unexpected loss of loved ones, something we have to face in real life as well. Regardless of their age, every kid and teenager should read this internationally acclaimed fiction series.
- A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
A Long Way Gone is the true story of Ishmael Beah. Ishmael was forced to become a boy soldier for the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) during a civil war in Sierra Leone at the tender age of twelve. The RUF brainwashes him, turning him into the very thing he feared, a relentless killing machine. The unwilling boy soldier and his comrades are forced to wander from village to village in search of food and shelter. Ishmael continues to be a soldier until UNICEF rescues his from the army. The love and compassion of a nurse named Esther at the UNICEF rehabilitation center gives him hope to begin a new life. Told with poignant honesty, everyone should read this book irrespective of their age.
- The List by Siobhan Vivian
An interesting page turner by Siobhan Vivian, The List takes an intense look at the high school system. Every year an anonymous person makes a list of the four prettiest girls and the four ugliest girls, one from each grade. The book takes us through the lives of these eight girls as try to survive these difficult times. This book offers an intelligent take on the lives of high school girls and how they perceive themselves. Every teenager will be able to relate with at least one of the characters in the book.
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars
This is a classic love story of two teenagers, Hazel and Augustus both of who have cancer. 16-year-old Hazel reluctantly joins a support group, where she meets the charming and witty, Augustus who changes her life forever. The award-winning author explores the sensitive issues of cancer, death, love, and life. This book is an emotional roller coaster ride. However, if your teenagers enjoy reading emotionally heartbreaking love stories full of witty humor, The Fault in Our Stars is the perfect read.
- Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Holocaust is perhaps the darkest period in the history of mankind. Though plenty of holocaust books have been published over the years, the Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank will move you in a way others can’t. The book has good role models and messages. It is not just about the survival of a young girl, but also about prejudice, nobility, and compassion. The book illustrates the endless struggle of an adolescent girl, Anne Frank. This one is definitely a good read for kids above 10.
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
This novel is the first literary work of author, Rainbow Rowell. It is a beautiful love story set in the mid-80s. Eleanor & Park are the two lead characters who gradually fall in love despite coming from drastically different family backgrounds. However, the book is more than just about the love story as it touches various sensitive issues such as poverty, domestic abuse, and emotional/financial instability. The evocative and sensual writing style makes this novel a unique coming-of-age love story.
As a parent, you want your children to spend their time productively by pursuing activities such as reading rather than watching YouTube videos or playing video games. While they will come across a few classics in high school, there are tons of books relevant to modern teenagers. From classic literature to latest bestsellers, this list of books covers them all and will make for great suggestion for your children to read. Hopefully, these books will also lay the foundation for the life-long habit of reading. Happy reading!