Teens/Young Adult Books

Recommended Books for Teens and Young Adults

The Giver “In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy.”

Flowers for Algernon “Flowers for Algernon is the journal of Charlie Gordon, a mentally retarded adult who becomes a genius after undergoing a brain operation. Keyes gives Charlie Gordon a voice that conveys the full range of emotions Charlie experiences before and after the operation. Keyes conveys the drama with such intensity that it becomes almost painful to listen…”

The Golden Compass (Pullman, Philip,…“Philip Pullman’s acclaimed epic novel about missing children, a golden, truth-divining compass and a young girl and her “daemon” who are catapulted into a life-and-death struggle against dark forces, is transformed into spellbinding theater for the imagination, thanks to a flawless British cast and Pullman’s own narration. A 1999 Parents’ Choice® Gold Award Winner.”

The Stones Are Hatching “One morning in England in 1919, 11-year-old Phelim’s life upends when he enters the kitchen and discovers a crowd of & stark-naked men and women about as tall as his waist, shaggy and matted with filth.” These wild, scrabbly “prehistoric dwarfs” are glashans, people who tend the fields, invisible to humans. The whole motley crew has emerged from hiding to save the house from the Hatchlings, and for some reason they are counting on Phelim Green (newly dubbed Jack o’ Green) to stop the Worm from waking up and demolishing the world.”

When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune“First-time author, Lori Aurelia Williams, has written a novel that eloquently ties together the importance of family, the power of imagination, and the simple strength of innocence. Although Williams takes her time telling this sweetly sad tale, teens will be so caught up in Kambia’s creative imagination and Shayla’s strong voice that they will quickly move through its 200-plus pages.”

The Outsiders “According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser. This classic, written by S. E. Hinton when she was 16 years old, is as profound today as it was when it was first published in 1967.”

Lord of the Flies : A Novel “William Golding’s classic tale about a group of English schoolboys who are plane-wrecked on a deserted island is just as chilling and relevant today as when it was first published in 1954.”…”Golding’s gripping novel explores the boundary between human reason and animal instinct, all on the brutal playing field of adolescent competition.”

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl “A beloved classic since its initial publication in 1947, this vivid, insightful journal is a fitting memorial to the gifted Jewish teenager who died at Bergen-Belsen, Germany, in 1945. Born in 1929, Anne Frank received a blank diary on her 13th birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Her marvelously detailed, engagingly personal entries chronicle 25 trying months of claustrophobic, quarrelsome intimacy with her parents, sister, a second family, and a middle-aged dentist who has little tolerance for Anne’s vivacity.”