Best Books for Teens

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Our teen interns worked very hard reviewing the hundreds of submissions we received for the Best Teen Book contest.

Here are some of the favorite books for fellow teens:

Best Fiction Books for Teens

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

The Uglies series of books are not only intensely thrilling and hard to put down, but also will get teens thinking about larger issues. Scott Westerfield masterfully ties in questions of identity, image and self confidence in his adventure filled book series. For teens who liked the Hunger Games or the Gone series, the Uglies is another classic they won’t want to put down.

TTYL by Lauren Myracle

TTYL, written by Lauren Myracle, is a very unique book.  It is completely written in the instant messages exchanged between the three friends throughout their grade 10 year at high school. This book was very entertaining to read and dealt with hilarious situations. It also deals with the regular teen issues such as popularity, relationships, drinking, and drugs. It is a very quick and fun read as Lauren Myracle is a funny lady who knows how to make teens laugh.

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Elsewhere is an extremely impressive book. Although no one knows or will ever know what happens or where one goes following death, Gabrielle Zevin manages to create a completely believable afterlife. It is so realistic that one cannot help but wonder if it is true. It would be a very pleasant way to spend time in the after life. In this world, people who die go to heaven and live quite normal lives with the exception that they age backwards and never grow ill. They get younger instead of older until they become babies, and once more are born as a different person on Earth. The main character, Liz Hall, is learning all of these new things after her unexpected death at 15. She must learn to cope with this new life and let go of her old one while watching her family from heaven.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Another success from Sarah Dessen, this book lives up to reader’s expectations. Just Listen kept me hooked from the beginning until the end, willing me to keep reading. I was very impressed with this book as I am with all of her books. It has an interesting plot, which centers on a high school girl, Annabelle, and her experience with being raped by her best friend’s boyfriend. Along with this terrifying occurrence, her sister suffers from extreme anorexia and over-exercising, and so must go through intensive therapy after almost dying. Annabelle’s life may look perfect from the outside-she’s a model, and was one of the most popular girls at school-but this book reveals her suffering and what she faces every day. Along with its interesting plot, it also incorporates the timeless message of ‘not to judge a book by its cover’.

Slept Away by Julie Kraut

Laney Parker is a city girl through and through. Love this great summer read by the author of Hot Mess.  Teens will love it as Julie Kraut’s voice is young, fun and very relatable to teen girls. Any teenager who has moved will be able to relate to the stories struggling heroine. Great summer or vacation reading!

Best Non-Fiction Books for Teens

The Green Teen: The Eco-Friendly Teen’s Guide to Saving The Planet by Jenn Savedge

Today’s teenagers are standing at the crossroads of environmental history and The Green Teen gives them the info they need to minimize their environmental impact at home, at school, and in their communities and get their concerns recognized by school officials, politicians, media, and even their own parents.

Coping with Cliques by Susan Sprague

This book is for young women dealing with gossip, teasing, bullying, and peer pressure in junior high and high school. This is something that too many girls are dealing with, and learning how to deal with it in an effective way helps girls grow into young women with high self-esteem.

Teen Entrepreneur Success Secrets: The Essential Guide to Starting and Growing a Business by-Shonika Proctor

Teens don’t want to be helped, they want to be empowered. They want to be given the same information and opportunities as adults, however, they don’t want to get the condensed version in a “Rated G” format. While a life coach helps teens to get their you know what together, a teen entrepreneur coach supports teens as they discover what their you know what is.

The Laugh Out Loud Guide: Ace the SAT Exam without Boring Yourself to Sleep! 
by Charles Horn

Research shows that comedy enhances learning, reduces stress, makes subjects more interesting, and increases recall. Students can now literally laugh their way to a higher test score.

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These books are Teen Approved by our teen interns!

Best Self Help Books for Teens

Questions Young People Ask, Answers That Work, Volumes 1&2 by Dr Andrea Frayser

This book provides honest workable answers to questions that kids and parents often wrestle with like: Why Don’t I Like Myself? How Do I Know if It’s Real Love? What If My Parents Are Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol? How Can I Protect Myself at School? Can I Be Happy In A Single Parent Family? and More.

MY FEET AREN’T UGLY, A GIRLS GUIDE TO LOVING HERSELF FROM THE INSIDE OUT by Debra Beck

Debra’s style of writing and insight into teen girls issues today really reaches out to them in their language. There are parts that are funny, deep and very revealing as to who we all are and the problems we all face and solutions are given!

My Life Unscripted: Who’s Writing Your Life? by Tricia Goyer

Goyer’s book is written for 12 – 20 year-old girls. Parent’s will LOVE this book, because it teaches girls to navigate their tween/teen years without giving in to peer pressure. It gives girls the tools they need to decide what they will and won’t do before they are faced with temptations, peer pressure, and/or difficult situations.

Special Topics: Interesting Books for Teens

Sew with Sara by Sara Trail

Sara shows you how easy and fun it is to sew cute clothes and accessories-and make money from your sewing. 9 beginner-friendly projects include PJs, pillows, a tote bag, a cell phone or MP3 player cover, an apron, a notebook cover, and more. Laugh along with Sara’s journal entries.

The Ultimate Girls’ Guide to Understanding and Caring for Your Body by Isabel and Emily Lluch

The book covers all the topics preteen and teen girls are wondering about but might not know who to talk to, or might not be comfortable asking an adult about, including hygiene, beauty, healthy eating, periods, bras, acne, social situations, and more. The best part: the book’s authors, Isabel and Emily Lluch, are sisters who are 13 and 16, so they know all about the changes and questions girls have during puberty. The girls give advice on these important topics, along with the advice from a panel of 6 experts in the medical and beauty industries.

Wishing: Diaries of a Teen Pregnancy by Kim McLeod

This book is the largely unedited diary of the author during her mid-teens, as she struggled with drinking and drug addiction, religion and family conflicts, and finally, teen pregnancy. You can’t get better insight into a teenage mind than this girl’s voice in all of its raw honesty.

Top Teen Book Picks:

“When you pick up a book and dive into another story, it’s like escaping into a different world. There are so many books out there that practically anyone can find a book that they will enjoy. The books I read leave lasting impressions so that I remember them well after I have turned the last page.” Laura, 17

The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever is an amazing novel written by Sarah Dessen. It follows the summer of Macy, a sixteen-year-old who is known around her town for the girl who saw her father die. While trying to maintain a perfect SAT score and her job at the library with the ultra-perfect girls working there, she realizes that she needs a change from her constant strive for perfection. She stumbles upon a job at a catering company, whose employees are less than perfect and she fits in effortlessly. It is a very hectic job, but it is what she needs in her life.

“I read this book when I was 10 and absolutely loved it. I think it is one of the best books for young adults to read because it was both inspiring and action packed. Especially for summer reading or if you are trying to find a book for your tween during summer vacation, give Eragon a try!” –Maggie, 15

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Prep is such an amazing novel especially for teens who feel out of place and alone. This can get a bit heavy at times, but really digs deep into many of the issues teens face on a daily basis like dating, studying, cliques and social pressure. The characters are also deep and interesting to follow along with.

” I read this book from cover to cover in the span of a few hours. I felt like I was cheating myself of Kaela and her new extraordinary and supernatural friends whenever I put it down to eat. This book doesn’t contain an extraneous word or a boring scene. The story flows from page to page like a beautiful clear stream. In the end, I still craved for more of Kaela Neuleaf and her cousin Shawn. Thankfully, Barbara A. Mahler is working on the second book in the trilogy. In the meantime, I recommend you pass by your local bookstore and explore the hole in the Sky.” –Gema, 18

The Hole in the Sky by Barbara A. Mahler

The Hole in the Sky is just the first in a trilogy and needs to be on everyone’s shelf. Although written for the readers between ages eight and thirteen, anyone who’s struggled with loss and grief can relate to Kaela’s journey. Interestingly enough, this book was inspired by the September 11th tragedy. What I found particularly remarkable is that Barbara A. Mahler is able to demonstrate the power of love without sacrificing the characters’ adventures or personalities. Grief has affected Kaela with the death of her mother. Even though she risks her life in this new world, the real adventure is in overcoming grief, fears and allowing love into her heart.  When we hear about “the power of love”, the stereotypical image of hippies and peace and love signs usually come to mind but that is not the case in this book. The Hole in the Sky is able to teach us about the dangers of a hardened heart and the benefits of love without having Kumbaya playing in the background.

Have you seen our other top picks? 

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