Whether your teen is the type to sneak a book under the covers after lights out or a more reluctant reader, getting lost between the pages of a good novel can benefit everyone. Teens who read a lot can handle complex concepts better, perform better on standardized tests, and are often more accepting of people who are different from them.
And for many teenagers who claim to despise it, finding a topic that interests them can mean the difference between dragging their feet on finishing their required reading list and devouring a new read without complaint.
Middle-grade and young adult books have more to offer than ever before; no shortage of great literature available that speaks directly to your Gen Zer's life and times right now. You've probably heard of literary giants like Harper Lee and J.D. Salinger, as well as the heartwarming high school romances that made John Green famous.
If any of these appeals to them, we have deeper cuts that will have them frantically downloading another one. But if those don't pique their interest, we have some more unusual options that might. Check out these 12 books for your teenager;
"Harry Potter" J.K. Rowling
Yes, it's cliche, but there is a generation that might not benefit from the Harry Potter craze. A list of books for teenagers would be incomplete without a nod to one of the best fantasy series of all time, Harry Potter, which debuted in 1997. This is the best-selling series of all time, with over 500 million copies sold, including 120 million copies of the first book alone.
Harry Potter follows the coming-of-age of a young boy who discovers he is a part of a hidden world of wizards. Throughout the seven-book series, Harry and his friends must battle magical foes to restore balance to the wizarding world while learning about their own histories and personalities.
Erika L. Sanchez's "I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter"
Julia's broken family looks to her to hold them together after her sister Olga dies tragically. Julia, on the other hand, isn't the perfect daughter her sister was. Was Olga, on the other hand? This story delves into the pressures of being a Mexican-American daughter and what it means to bear the burden of loss.
John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars"
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has extended her life, Hazel has always been terminal, her final chapter written upon diagnosis. But when a stunning plot twist named Augustus Waters appears unexpectedly at the Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye"
The classic novel about young Holden Caulfield's disillusionment with the adult world and its "phoniness" will only grow in popularity — and controversy, as it is a favorite target of censors, who frequently cite profanity and sexual references in their efforts to ban the book.
The Hunger Games: "Catching Fire Suzanne Collins's"
The Hunger Games is the first book in a dystopian trilogy that follows Katniss Everdeen's story. The strong 16-year-old heroine is taken to battle to the death with other teenagers in a tribute, a televised game designed to keep the people under the control of the ruling class.
This book has a huge following among young adult readers, and the book series has over 36.5 million copies in print in the United States alone. The first book in the series was published in 2008.
J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings"
Tolkien's seminal three-volume epic follows Frodo the hobbit and his companions as they set out to destroy the evil Ring of Power and restore peace to Middle-earth. Unfortunately, the beloved trilogy continues to cast a long shadow, having established some of fantasy literature's most familiar and enduring tropes.
"The Diary of a Young Girl " Anne Frank's
This autobiographical account is one of only a few nonfiction titles on this list. The diary describes Anne and her family's two-year hiding from the Nazis. It provides a firsthand account of the horrors of World War II as well as the strength of a 13-year-old girl.
The Diary of a Young Girl was first published in Dutch in 1947. It has been translated into over 70 languages.
"The Benefits of Being a Wallflower" Stephen Chbosky's
This book is popular among readers of this age group because it provides an honest look at the everyday lives of teenagers. Through the eyes of a 15-year-old main character, The Perks of Being a Wallflower explores difficult topics such as drug abuse and teen pregnancy.
This novel became a cult classic after its publication in 1999. This book's central themes are the roles of friends and family in a young person's life.
The novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird," Harper Lee
Although the narrator is six years old, To Kill a Mockingbird is a top contender for best books for teens. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1960, and it tells the story of Atticus, a middle-aged lawyer who is defending a black man accused of rape against a white girl.
Though it contains racial slurs and sexual themes, which have caused it to be banned in some schools, mature teens can benefit from the real story. In addition, many critics regard it as one of the best literature ever written.
Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's "Guide to the Galaxy series"
Arthur Dent is introduced to the galaxy at large in this collection of novels when he is rescued by an alien friend seconds before Earth's destruction and embarks on a series of incredible adventures from the mattress swamps of Sqornshellous Zeta to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
"The Hate You Give" Angie Thomas's
Since its release in 2017, The Hate U Give has remained on the New York Times bestseller list. This book, inspired by Black Lives Matter, contrasts a poor black neighborhood and a wealthy prep school.
This novel gives teens valuable insight into social justice issues while reading enjoyable fiction.
L.M. Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables series"
Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a rather prim and elderly brother and sister pair in this collection of eight novels by Lucy Maude Montgomery send away for an orphan boy to help them run their farm on Canada's Prince Edward Island. But when the orphan arrives, it's a she — the loquacious and dreamy red-haired Anne-with-an-E Shirley — who quickly becomes a central figure in their hearts.
Lois Lowry's "The Giver"
The Giver depicts a world devoid of color and emotion, in which a young boy is given the gift of society's memories. However, as he learns more about the world's history, he realizes that what he thought was a utopia is dystopian, and he must work to change it or risk losing someone he has grown to love.
The Giver has sold over 12 million copies worldwide and was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1994. It has two sequels that continue to tell the story of its characters as they learn more about their world and its realities.