Ideas for Teachers and Parents · Summer Reading Programs · Young Adult

Summer Reading Programs: Part Seven, Great Reads for Young Adult Readers

Young adult fiction has really changed over the years! When I was in my teens, I found it very difficult to find good books written for a teenage audience, mostly because young adult fiction was not nearly as prevalent as it is now. My local library had a massive children’s section, which included picture books, nonfiction titles, and chapter books. Unfortunately, the young adult section was limited to a couple of sparsely populated bookcases. As a result, I spent most of my time in the adult fiction section (mostly choosing science fiction and fantasy titles).

Now, young adult fiction is constantly expanding, giving readers plenty of great titles to choose from.

When I was teaching, I read a ton of young adult fiction. I read many of the same titles that my students were interested in, not only because I wanted to be able to talk to them about the books they were reading, but also because it allowed me to better assist students who were looking for book recommendations. Nearly all of the books I ended up reading were brand new to me, and I found that I really enjoyed them.

I still enjoy reading young adult fiction, and I try to keep up with current releases as best I can. While many of the following titles are books that my high school students enjoyed, others are recently published books that I loved.

Great Reads for Young Adult Readers

  • Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
  • Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson)
  • Heartwood Box (Ann Aguirre)
  • The Vega Jane series (David Baldacci)
  • The Folk of the Air trilogy (Holly Black)
  • Romanov (Nadine Brandes)
  • The Finishing School series (Gail Carriger)
  • The Selection series (Kiera Cass)
  • The Testing trilogy (Joelle Charbonneau)
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
  • The Hunger Games trilogy (Suzanne Collins)
  • Gravemaidens (Kelly Coon)
  • House of Salt and Sorrows (Erin A. Craig)
  • The Maze Runner series (James Dashner)
  • The Fault In Our Stars (John Green)
  • The Loneliest Girl in the Universe (Lauren James)
  • A Thousand Nights (E.K. Johnston)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (Diana Wynne Jones)
  • Five Feet Apart (Rachael Lippincott)
  • The Giver (Lois Lowry)
  • The Stalking Jack the Ripper series (Kerri Maniscalco)
  • Books by Robin McKinley:
    • The Hero and the Crown
    • The Blue Sword
    • The Outlaws of Sherwood
  • A Night Divided (Jennifer A. Nielsen)
  • Long Way Down (Jason Reynolds)
  • The Divergent trilogy (Veronica Roth)
  • The Ash Princess trilogy (Laura Sebastian)
  • The Forbidden Game trilogy (L.J. Smith)
  • The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)
  • Books by J.R.R. Tolkien
    • The Hobbit
    • The Lord of the Rings series
  • A Time to Dance (Padma Venkatraman)

Even though young adult readers are more independent, many parents like to know what their teenagers are reading about. If you are interested in learning about the contents of a specific book before purchasing (or borrowing) it for your teenager, then I recommend checking out the title on Common Sense Media. This website does a really nice job of letting parents know what kinds of content they can expect from popular books, movies, video games, and apps.

Did you miss out on one of this week’s posts? The following schedule contains links to previous summer reading articles, as well as yesterday’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge update.

Do you have additional young adult titles to recommend? If so, please leave a comment on this post to share your recommendations with our community of readers.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! I hope you have a fun, safe holiday! I’ll be back next week with reviews of some great books for adults, as well as my thoughts about a recent movie release.

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