Your teen can benefit from reading, whether they are voracious readers or not. Regular reading helps teens better understand complex subjects, perform better on tests, and are more accepting of others. The difference between dragging their feet on finishing their necessary reading list and consuming a new read without grumbling is subject matter.

No shortage of fantastic literature exists for Gen Zers coping with themes like bullying, LGBTQ+ issues, acceptance, or everyday high school anxiety thanks to the explosion of middle grade and young adult publications. Like Harper Lee and J.D. Salinger, you undoubtedly remember John Green for his heartwarming high school romances. If they like one or more of these, we have deeper cuts that will have them downloading another one. If they don’t like those, we have some more unusual possibilities. This list has something for every teen bookworm.


1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2017)

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Khalil’s best friend, 16-year-old Starr, is shot and killed by a police officer while he was unarmed, highlighting the stark contrast between her destitute neighborhood and her affluent, suburban prep school. Every adolescent should read this book about police violence and racial inequity.


2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1988)

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Nothing beats Harper Lee’s narrative of conscience in a little southern town, which has sold more than 18 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 40 different languages, as a timeless work of literature. It probes the very core of human nature, asking questions like, “Who is innocent? What does it mean to be guilty? And what are the limits of love and hate?”


3. The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor (1982)

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Brewster Place, a dingy inner-city refuge, is the setting for this novel, which brings together the stories of seven people. Black women’s experiences in America are vividly described in this book, which shows how many different pathways their lives can take and how strong they are despite the obstacles they face.


4. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei (2019)

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Takei’s (yes, the George Takei) graphic memoir of his youth spent in Japanese internment camps in the U.S. during World War II is more than a history lesson; it’s a must-read. It’s also a lovely book to peruse.


5. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1977)

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At the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony, Barack Obama perfectly summarized Toni Morrison’s Nobel Prize-winning novel: For me, Song of Solomon was not merely a book about writing, but also a book about being and thinking. What if that isn’t a seal of approval?


6. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1962)

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In the middle of a rainy night, Meg and her brother Charles Wallace discover a strange woman in their kitchen. In addition to sci-fi lovers, individuals who don’t generally enjoy the genre will enjoy this masterpiece.


7. Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas (2020)

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All of the students at Catherine House are aware that they’ve made a significant commitment to the school: They won’t have any contact with the outside world for three years, and they won’t even be allowed to wear their own clothes. Catherine House, on the other hand, has something remarkable to give in return, even if few people know what it is.


8. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (2014)

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Readers get a glimpse into the lives of both Noah and Jude in this fascinating tale, which is recounted half by the melancholy and creative Noah and half by his daring twin sister Jude.


9. One of the Good Ones by Maika and Maritza Moulite (2021)

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It’s difficult for the sister and family of a young social justice activist who died in mysterious circumstances after attending a rally for police brutality to reconcile the fact that she has become an icon in the fight against police brutality and that she has been reduced to nothing more than just a symbol.


10. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)

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It is a tale of a gang of boys who survive a plane accident only to be trapped on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The harrowing tale shows how harsh circumstances may bring forth people’s true selves.


Thank you for reading my list of the top ten best books for teenagers. I hope you find a decent book to read every day from the selections above!

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