Reading is so important for teens and finding them the right book is crucial. Here are some books that your teens will love!
The Hunger Games is a book that will grip teenagers with its gritty subject choice, fierce characters and huge themes of love, loss, life and death. Although, this is not a book which I would recommend to younger teens, as its subject topic is quite mature and in places it can be quite gruesome. The book is set in the future featuring an America called Panem, and split into twelve poor districts and the wealthy Capitol. Each year two children, a boy and girl, are chosen to represent their district and fight against each other in a fight to the death until one is the victor. What Collins creates, which is one of the most compelling things about the book, are the strong, feisty characters which are believable and characters who teenagers want and can aspire to be. Katniss, the main character, is a strong female warrior who is a breath of fresh air as unlike many main female characters in books is not defined by her relationships with men and is neither self-centred, vain, or a gossipy air-head. Katniss shows teenagers that a hero has no gender and that personality and skills are the best way to judge someone, not on their looks. She also helps to show girls (who once they hit their teens drop out of sports at an alarming rate) that sports are ‘cool’ and not just for boys.
This is a beautiful book and an absolute classic. Little Women is a book about four sisters and is set in 1860’s New England. It features the day to day life of these four sisters at a pivotal moment in their life, as they mature into young women and enter into the world. The four sisters represent very different girls: Jo the adventurous tom-boy, Amy the attention seeking baby of the family, Beth the kind and somewhat meek middle sister and Meg the practical elder sister who is making her first forays into the adult world and social circumstances. What makes the book so timeless is that each character and their problems are still relevant today.
An atypical crime book, with fascinating characters and a compelling storyline which is beautifully written; it is suitable for older teenagers. Kate Atkinson creates a flawed, yet intriguing character in the ex-army, ex-police, private detective Jackson Brodie. Kate Atkinson shows how to write an exceptional, clever and thoughtful book whilst holding its own against the run of the mill, sometimes trashy and overly-violent genre of crime-thrillers, for escapism and ease of read. The book is split into three different time zones and follows Jackson Brodie as he tries to solve three different mysteries, and manage his chaotic personal life. Whilst being undemanding on the reader this book still manages to deliver a great story and plot-line and a brilliant read.
A great, classic sci-fi book, which is imaginative, funny and is particularly suitable for boys.
The seven-part Harry Potter books are loved all over the world and deservedly so, as their rich characters will make people everywhere wish that they, too, could go to Hogwarts!
6. The History Boys – Alan Taylor
A play set in the 1980’s about a group of sixth farm boys who are applying to get into Oxbridge. This is a short, snappy book, which will engage older teenagers who are looking for something different or who usually don’t read.
A book about belonging and what identity and culture mean in today’s society. Although it is suitable for all ages it would be more suited for older teenagers.
The first in the series of the Young James Bond books, it is exciting, fast paced and action packed. This is a particularly good book for boys.
A classic book, which is beautifully written with a richly woven narrative, was recently turned into a film. The story is fascinating, as it paints a detailed and intruiging picture of the First World War.
A dark and fascinating read, exploring themes of dictatorship, civilization and whether man is inherently evil. A book which is suitable for both sexes and all ages.
Artemius Fowl is a child genius, and Eoin Colfer a genius for creating him. An adventure-fantasy book with an unusual main character, which will particularly inspire boys.
A classic book, which will inspire teenage girls to dream about princesses and magic once again.
Scarlett is an unusual, magical book about a girl; set to the backdrop of divorce and the difficulties of being a teenager.
A fantasy-adventure story, which raises interesting ethical questions as well as tackling the big questions of life. Suitable for all teenagers.
This is a beautiful, unusual love story, which will make you fall in love with the main characters and want to read it again and again. Suitable for older teenagers.
An adventure story set in the Georgian period about a girl who defies convention at this time and who leads a colourful and adventurous life.
About two boys in Nazi-occupied Germany during the Second World War. This book paints a beautiful portrait of friendship and will make you cry.
This is a gritty, thought-provoking book for older teenagers about a society in reverse apartheid, where white people are considered to be second class citizens. It raises questions about terrorism, society, and racism. Suitable for older teenagers only.
This is a lusciously scandalous book. It’s like a celebrity magazine set at the turn of the 20th century, full of gorgeous gowns, handsome men and forbidden love .
An adventure book with an intriguing plot line and a spectacular background of the Second World War. It will engage teenagers of all ages’ imaginations and is particularly good for boys.
A book that is more suited for girls, which is magical, fun and adventurous and will leave you wanting to read it time and time again.
This is one of Terry Pratchett’s best and most humorous books. It will engage both girls and boys and its quirky, magical style will leave them wanting to read the others in this series
A fun and idiosyncratic book set in Viking period about a boy called Hiccup who doesn’t fit in. Written in the in diary form, this is light-hearted, fun and suitable for younger teens of both sexes.
This is an unusual mystery book which centres on an ex-pop star who becomes an amateur detective after an awful murder at the university which she works at. Light, whilst still being readable and worthwhile. It is suitable for older teens.
Both books are about two aristocratic teenager girls looking for love, but with all the trials of 19th century conventions. Fun and romantic, suited to all teenage girls.