Teens The Best Books for Teens  

Stan Holton
11.7k votes 930 voters 15.8k views 91 items

List Rules Books whose themes and reading level are great for teens between the ages of 13-18

The best books for teens include some of the greatest novels ever written, along with several contemporary books that are extremely popular. Any list on the best books for teenagers should include timeless classics like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Catcher in the Rye. Just becuase high school students may be assigned these works in English class doesn't mean the books will be boring! These incredible works of literature hold safe spots in the literary canon because they have struck a nerve with generations of teen readers. Once a teenager falls in love with books, luckily, he will find there are many, many others to read. Be sure to vote for the teen books you like the most, vote down any that you didn't like -- and please, add any that might be missing.

In recent years, young adult author John Green has become incredibly popular, largely with the success of his YA novel The Fault in Our Stars. Green has written several other notable books for teens, so he's on this list quite a bit. Other top choices include Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy of books, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. and certainly J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. All of these writers are no doubt among the best young adult authors ever.

Some books listed here for teens might also appeal to preteens and adults. The genre is becoming so popular, it's possible to select a YA book that almost everyone will enjoy. Many of the books listed here have gone on to become major motion pictures. You can check out this list of the best film adaptations of young adult novels to see if your favorite made the cut.

Finding the right book for teens depends, in part, on that teenager's specific reading and maturity level. Some books contain material that might be a little dicey for a 13-year-old, but would be perfectly fine for a 16-year-old. This list includes books for all teenagers, ages 13 to 18. Don't forget to vote and remember: You can also re-rank this list in any order you want!

list ordered by

1
398 96
Harry Potter and the Philosoph... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Books for Teens
J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series and J. K. Rowling's debut novel. The plot follows Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his magical ...more

2
285 90
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and ...more

3
325 111
The Hunger Games is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games is a 2008 science fiction novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the dystopian, post-apocalyptic ...more

4
235 77
The Chronicles of Narnia is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Books for Teens

5
272 97
The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Books for Teens
J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings is an epic high-fantasy novel written by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but eventually developed ...more

6
218 74
The Diary of a Young Girl is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl is a book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the ...more

7
209 70
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Lois Lowry The Giver is a 1993 American social science fiction children's novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which is at first presented as a utopian society but then has the reader question ...more

8
222 78
The Lightning Thief is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Rick Riordan The Lightning Thief is a 2005 fantasy-adventure novel based on Greek mythology, the first young adult novel written by Rick Riordan, known for his Percy Jackson novel series. It is the first ...more

9
198 68
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Books for Teens
S. E. Hinton The Outsiders is a coming-of-age novel by S. E. Hinton, first published in 1967 by Viking Press. Hinton was 15 when she started writing the novel, but did most of the work when she was 16 and a ...more

10
257 102
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Books for Teens
J. R. R. Tolkien The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel and children's book by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for ...more

11
194 68
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Markus Zusak The Book Thief is a novel by Australian author Markus Zusak. First published in 2005, the book has won numerous awards and was listed on The New York Times Best Seller list for over 230 weeks.

12
185 67
The Perks of Being a Wallflowe... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Stephen Chbosky The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age epistolary novel by American writer Stephen Chbosky which was first published on February 1, 1999 by Pocket Books. Its narrator is an ...more

13
216 90
The Fault in Our Stars is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Books for Teens
John Green The Fault in Our Stars is the sixth novel by author John Green, published in January 2012. The story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster, who is forced ...more

14
204 92
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Books for Teens
J. D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. A controversial novel originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage ...more

15
186 83
Divergent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Veronica Roth Divergent is the debut novel of American novelist Veronica Roth, published by HarperCollins Children's Books in 2011. The novel is the first of the Divergent trilogy, a series of young-adult ...more

16
139 59
The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Books for Teens
William Goldman The Princess Bride is a 1973 fantasy romance novel written by William Goldman. The book combines elements of comedy, adventure, fantasy, romantic love, romance, and fairy tale. It is presented ...more

17
147 67
The Maze Runner is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Books for Teens
James Dashner The Maze Runner is the first book in a young-adult post-apocalyptic dystopian science fiction trilogy of the same name by James Dashner. The novel was published on October 6, 2009, by Delacorte ...more

18
139 66
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Books for Teens
William Golding Lord of the Flies is a 1954 dystopian novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author William Golding about a group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island who try to govern themselves with ...more

19
117 54
Miss Peregrine's Home for Pecu... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Ransom Riggs Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is the debut novel by American author Ransom Riggs. The book tells the tale of a boy who, following a horrific family tragedy, follows clues that take ...more

20
119 56
A Wrinkle in Time is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Madeleine L'Engle A Wrinkle in Time is a science fantasy novel by American writer Madeleine L'Engle, first published in 1962. The story revolves around a young girl whose father, a government scientist, has gone ...more

21
136 69
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works. The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and ...more

22
124 63
Ender's Game is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Orson Scott Card Ender's Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled mankind after two conflicts with the ...more

23
118 62
Looking for Alaska is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Books for Teens
John Green Looking for Alaska is John Green's first young adult novel, published in March 2005 by Dutton Juvenile. It won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association. During the ...more

24
123 67
City of Bones is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Cassandra Clare City of Bones is the first urban fantasy book in the New York Times bestselling The Mortal Instruments series set in modern New York City written by Cassandra Clare. The novel has been released ...more

25
102 55
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction "trilogy" by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of ...more

26
87 45
Tuck Everlasting is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Natalie Babbitt Tuck Everlasting is a fantasy children's novel by Natalie Babbitt. It was published in 1975. It explores the concept of immortality and the reasons why it might not be as desirable as it appears ...more

27
90 48
Flowers for Algernon is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Daniel Keyes Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction short story and subsequent novel written by Daniel Keyes. The short story, written in 1958 and first published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine ...more

28
73 34
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Books for Teens
John Boyne The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a 2006 novel by Irish novelist John Boyne. Unlike the months of planning Boyne devoted to his other books, he said that he wrote the entire first draft of The ...more

29
72 35
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Books for Teens
jackslee2 added John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men is a novella written by Nobel Prize–winning author John Steinbeck. Published in 1937, it tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, ...more

30
69 34
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American ...more

31
107 70
Thirteen Reasons Why is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Jay Asher Thirteen Reasons Why is a 2007 New York Times best-selling young-adult fiction novel written by Jay Asher. The book was published by RazorBill, a young adult imprint of Penguin Books. The ...more

32
99 63
Paper Towns is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Books for Teens
John Green Paper Towns is the third young adult novel written by John Green. It was published on October 16, 2008 by Dutton Books. It debuted at number 5 on the New York Times bestseller list for ...more

33
68 39
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Jack London The Call of the Wild is a novel by Jack London published in 1903. The story is set in the Yukon during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush—a period in which strong sled dogs were in high demand. The ...more

34
91 62
Watership Down is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Richard Adams Watership Down is a classic adventure novel, written by English author Richard Adams, published by Rex Collings Ltd of London in 1972. Set in south-central England, the story features a small ...more

35
60 35
If I Stay is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Gayle Forman If I Stay is a book written by Gayle Forman.

36
68 45
The Sisterhood of the Travelin... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Ann Brashares The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a bestselling young adult novel by Ann Brashares published in 2001. It follows the adventures of four best friends — Lena Kaligaris, Tibby Rollins, ...more

37
71 48
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Charles Dickens Great Expectations is Charles Dickens' thirteenth novel and his penultimate novel; a bildungsroman which depicts the personal growth and personal development of an orphan nicknamed Pip. It is ...more

38
54 32
The Princess Diaries is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Meg Cabot The Princess Diaries is the first volume of the critically acclaimed, best-selling series of the same name by Meg Cabot. It was released in 2000 by Harper Collins Publishers, and later became a ...more

39
69 47
The Bad Beginning is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Daniel Handler The Bad Beginning is the first novel of the children's novel series A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. It was later released in paperback under the name The Bad Beginning; or, ...more

40
63 46
Howl's Moving Castle is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Diana Wynne Jones Howl's Moving Castle is a fantasy novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones, first published in 1986 by Greenwillow Books of New York. It was a runner-up for the annual Boston Globe–Horn Book ...more

41
64 51
The Golden Compass is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Brian Sibley

42
56 45
Go Ask Alice is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Beatrice Sparks Go Ask Alice is a 1971 novel about the life of a troubled teenage girl. It is written by Beatrice Sparks in the form of the diary of an anonymous teenage girl who becomes addicted to drugs. The ...more

43
47 36
I Am Number Four is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Pittacus Lore I Am Number Four is a young adult science fiction novel and movie by Pittacus Lore and the first book in the Lorien Legacies series. The book was published by HarperCollins on August 3, 2010, ...more

44
46 35
Speak is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Laurie Halse Anderson Speak, published in 1999, is Laurie Halse Anderson's young adult novel that tells the story of high school student Melinda Sordino. After accidentally busting an end-of-summer party due to an ...more

45
57 47
Clockwork Angel is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Cassandra Clare Clockwork Angel is a novel written by Cassandra Clare. It is the first novel in the Infernal Devices trilogy. Tessa Gray, goes to London to live with her brother. When she gets there she is ...more

46
45 40
Vampire Academy is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Richelle Mead Vampire Academy is an American best-selling series of six young-adult paranormal romance novels by author Richelle Mead. It tells the story of Rose Hathaway, a seventeen/eighteen-year-old ...more

47
53 50
The Curious Incident of the Do... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a 2003 mystery novel by British writer Mark Haddon. Its title quotes the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1892 ...more

48
47 45
Dune is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Frank Herbert Dune is a 1965 epic science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. It won the Hugo Award in 1966, and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. Dune is the world's best-selling science fiction novel ...more

49
49 48
Before I Fall is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Books for Teens
Before I Fall is a 2010 young adult novel written by Lauren Oliver.

50
10 2
The Bible is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Books for Teens
starwarssuperfan added The Bible is a canonical collection of texts sacred in Judaism and Christianity. There is no single canonical Bible and various religious traditions have produced different recensions with ...more