6 Great Books for Teens

 

blumePhoto: One of my favorite teen authors.

I was a weird kid and an even weirder teen. I often stayed up after lights out reading–it almost didn’t matter what. I would check out library books by the dozen. Back then, my favorites were Judy Blume, V.C.Andrews, Stephen King and (don’t tell my mom) illicit romances.

Even more liberating, I discovered that the librarian would not even BLINK AN EYE at the titles I’d pick. The first time I tried to check out an inappropriate book, my heart raced and my palms dripped…I just knew that Old Man Clardy (who, now that I think about it, was probably in his 40s–DANG IT!) was going to call the cops on me–or the very least, my Sunday school teacher. When I saw that he was barely even awake and gazed at my selections with all the vigilance of a late night convince store clerk, I had an eureka moment.

This, I told myself, was a taste of freedom. Nobody cared what I read. The sky was the limit! I burned through books like Chelsea Handler and vodka. Nothing was too steamy–nothing too scary.

I still remember my first time reading Stephen King’s The Shining. Entranced by Jack Torrence’s steady descent into madness, I lost track of time. The next thing I knew, it was 2:00 a.m. and I was exhausted. I turned off the lights and prepared for a long rest–which never came. Thanks to my vivid (and a tiny bit obsessive) mental reenactments of  Danny Torrence’s visions and Jack Torrence’s violent escapades, I couldn’t even close my eyes.

That jacket hanging over the chair? Not a jacket at all–it’s Jack, holding a croquet mallet, waiting for me to doze. The longest night in the world gave way to morning, and I showed up to 8th grade biology looking a bit hung over and a lot nervous. When I went back to the library, I silently gave Mr. Clardy the stink-eye for not protecting me from my own reading choices. What the heck? Wake up and do your job, man!

Anyway,  Here’s a list of my top 6
picks for teens.
 I’ve made an effort to pick challenging, but not too horrifying/graphic books for your Mancub or Watergirl. Some of them are a bit darker, so if your kid shies away from that, I’d definitely avoid Speak. However, I found it a compelling and heartbreaking read that has stuck with me ever since I opened the covers. Mancub has listened to The Shining on audiobook as we were traveling home from Arkansas, and he really liked it. At least I think he did. But he is MY kid…so keep that in mind before introducing The Kingster to yours.

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth

divergent

2. Among the Hidden (Shadow Children, #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix  

hidden

4. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbi

tuck

5. Speak by Laurie Hulse Anderson

speak

6. The Secret Life of Bees by  Sue Monk Kidd

secret

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: What is your top pick for your favorite teen book?

 

3 thoughts on “6 Great Books for Teens

  1. As much as I loved reading as a kid and now, I spent my teen years reading just one book, which satisfied my teacher right enough for me to stop trying harder. I don’t think we had as many choices as teens do now, though (and I’m not even near forty).

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