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Choosing Books For Your Child: Teens

Tips for choosing age-appropriate books for your child

12 and up – Teens

  • Your teen is likely in search of her own identity, books related to his experiences and the challenges that come with adolescence are often popular.
  • Ask other parents for recommendations and/or encourage your teen get recommendations from a friend.
  • Young adult literature covers many genres, like fantasy, horror, realistic fiction, historical fiction, memoirs, and so on; encourage her to explore the genres!
  • Identify books related to your teen’s interest.
  • Choose books in a series or by the same author to keep her attention.
  • Consider award winning books. There are many awards that honor young adult literature, like the Michael L. Printz Award or the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
  • Reading isn’t just about books! Try subscribing to magazines or reading newspapers. And remember a lot of reading can happen while she is surfing the internet!

Reading tip! Encourage your child to explore and select books on her own, while at first she may need a little guidance from you or a librarian, she is actually more likely to finish book she chooses.  And remember adolescents don’t always show an interest in reading books, try to lead by example, she may be more likely to read if she sees you reading!

  • House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  • Speed of Light by Sybil Rosen
  • Lucas by Kevin Brooks
  • Peak by Roland Smith
  • Angry Management by Chris Crutcher
  • The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
  • The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff


For more reading lists visit the following websites:

International Reading Association – Choices Reading Lists

Reading Rockets – Recommended Books for Kids

Reading is Fundamental – Books Lists

Young Adult Library Services Association Book Awards & Book Lists

The National Education Associations – 50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Read

James Patterson’s Read Kiddo Read


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