When you are a teen, it is significant for you to read books and be involved with art in general. This is the time when your brain is naïve and creative. You can develop your brain the way you want. And, reading the right books and having the right interpretation of things is vital. Here in this article, we have a list of the 10 best books for teenagers you must read.
10 Best Books for Teenagers You Must Read
- The Perks of Being Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
- Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan
The Perks of Being Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being Wallflower was published in 1999. It is set in the early 1990s and follows Charlie during his freshman year of highs school. Charlie is observant and introverted. The story details his unconventional style of understanding as he navigates between adolescence and adulthood. Charlie deals with moving questions encouraged by his interactions with his family and friends. It deals with issues such as sexuality, rape, mental health, and drug use. This book became a cult classic after its publication. The central theme of this text is the role of family and friends in a young person’s life.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Harper Lee’s 1960-published novel To Kill a Mockingbird is considered a classic of American literature. It is loosely based on the author’s observation of her family, and neighbors, and an event that occurred near Monroeville, her hometown when she was just 10 years old. The narrator’s father Atticus Finch plays the role of a moral hero for several readers. As a Bildungsroman and a Southern Gothic novel the significant themes of this novel are the devastation of innocence and racial injustice. Though this book has sexual themes and radical slurs, this is realistic and can benefit mature teenagers. It is also considered one of the best pieces of literature.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak’s 2005 published The Book Thief is a historical fiction novel. It is about the explorations of Liesel Meminger in Germany during the time of the Second World War. The story personifies death as a tangible thing. By doing so, the story narrates a unique viewpoint into the world of war victims. The novel deals with several tangible themes like this.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This book by Anne Frank is the writings from her diary that she kept while she was concealing for two years with her family. Her writing was set during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Anne Frank died of typhus in 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Her diaries were recovered by Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl. Miep gave the diaries to the only survivor of Anne’s family, her father Otto Frank. It was originally published in 1947 in Dutch. This book has translations in over 70 languages.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye novelized in 1951 deals with adolescent themes of alienation and angst. It also deals with deep and complex themes such as belonging, identity, sex, depression, innocence, and loss. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of the novel became an icon for teen rebellion. He gives his opinion on almost everything as he narrates his latest life events.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This 2017-published young adult novel is Angie Thomas’s debut novel. Thomas expanded this novel from a short story she wrote in college as a reaction to the police shooting of Oscar Grant. The story of narrated by 16-year-old African-American girl Starr Carter. Starr is from a poor neighborhood and attends an elite school in a predominately white and prosperous part of the city. She gets involved in a national news story as she witnesses her childhood friend Khalil getting shot by a white police officer. Teenagers will have a good insight into social justice concerns through this fictional novel.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry’s 1993 published young adult dystopian novel deals with the importance of memory and individuality and the relationship between pain and pleasure. It is set in a society that seems utopian, however, it transforms dystopian as the story progresses. Society lacks color, terrain, climate, and a true sense of equality. Jonas, the 12-year-old protagonist is chosen to inherit the position of receiver of memory. He receives and stores all the memories and deals with every emotion. It has a few sequels that further tell the tale of the characters as they discover the world and its realities.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson’s 1999 published novel Speak focuses on the story of Melinda Sordino, a high school freshman. After Melinda is raped at a summer party she calls the police. She gets shunned by her peers as she will not talk about why she summoned the police. Melinda stops speaking altogether. She only expresses her grief through the art she creates for Mr. Freeman’s class. Her art will help her acknowledge and confront the issue and recreate her identity. The themes of this novel are not easy to look at. However, the realistic picture of the outcome of a terrible crime and how the story opens up about sexual harassment is a good read for mature teens.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
This 1868-69 published novel by Louisa May Alcott deals with the coming-of-age genre. The story follows four sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. And, details the passage of the March sisters from childhood to womanhood. It is loosely based on the life of the author and her three sisters. Little Women was revolutionary due to the representation of independent women. The character of Jo remains popular, especially among teen girls.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan
The 2018 published novel The Astonishing Color of After deals with themes such as suicide and mental health. It focuses on a biracial teen, Leigh who is in search of her mother. Leigh believes that her mother has transformed into a red bird after her suicide. She follows the bird to her mother’s hometown Taiwan. Leigh meets her grandparents for the first time and tries to comprehend what the bird is trying to express. Throughout the novel, she uses color and her art to process her misery. This story remains popular because it touches on grief along with magical realism.
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10 Best Books for Teenagers You Must Read