The best teen books for embracing your inner geek

Who am I?

I’ve always described myself as a lifelong geek. I grew up reading King Arthur legends, watching Star Wars and The NeverEnding Story until I could recite every line, running secret science experiments in my room, and burying my nose in every book I could get my hands on. As I grew, I came to appreciate that there are many different varieties of geeks. Being a geek generally means that you have a true, deep passion for something, and you pursue it unapologetically and with joy. So I wanted to give book recommendations that will appeal to whatever kind of geek you consider yourself.

I wrote...

This Last Adventure

By Ryan Dalton,

Book cover of This Last Adventure

What is my book about?

In This Last Adventure, a boy uses storytelling and shared fantasies to save his grandfather’s memories from Alzheimer’s. After Grandpa is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the hero that Archie’s known all his life starts disappearing. Using Grandpa’s old journal entries as inspiration, he creates role-playing fantasies with epic quests for them to tackle together–helping Grandpa to stay in touch with his fading memories.

But there’s a limit to the power of the fantasies. And not all the memories in the journal are happy. When Archie learns a secret about Grandpa’s past, he questions everything he thought he knew about his hero. As Grandpa’s condition worsens, Archie must come to terms with what he’s losing and decide what it means to live a life worth remembering.

The books I picked & why

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Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy

By Joshua S. Levy,

Book cover of Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy

Why this book?

Perfect for embracing your inner space adventure geek. Seventh Grade vs. The Galaxy grabs your hand and pulls you into deep space for a grand, fun, and funny star-sweeping good time. There’s excitement, cool spaceships, scary alien races, and an awesome group of kids that suddenly finds themselves in over their heads. You won’t believe how quickly you zip through this book. You just won’t want to put it down.

The Last Shadow Warrior

By Sam Subity,

Book cover of The Last Shadow Warrior

Why this book?

Perfect for embracing your inner fantasy geek. Sam’s novel has been making the rounds among lots of us middle grade authors, and it’s gaining new fans every day. Not only is Sam an incredibly nice guy, but he’s written a compelling fantasy book with characters you cheer for and awesome shoutouts to old fantasy legends. Who doesn’t love ticking clocks, dangerous quests, and mythical monsters? You’ll love this.

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

By Kwame Mbalia,

Book cover of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Why this book?

Perfect for embracing your inner mythology geek. And these mythological ties will be a breath of fresh air because they aren’t the same old myths and legends we’ve seen in so many books for decades. If you’re searching for something that feels new, and not quite like what you’ve read before, you’ll really dig this. Strong character voices, riveting visual descriptions, and a ticking-clock challenge will all keep you cheering from the edge of your seat. It’s pretty funny in places, too, which helps to balance out the tension. 

The Zanna Function

By Daniel Wheatley,

Book cover of The Zanna Function

Why this book?

Perfect for embracing your inner science geek. Not every school in a children’s book has to be for wizards, and this book proves it perfectly. The story is about smart people doing crazy things with their deep connections to science and how it shapes our world, and how the results of meddling with the building blocks of the universe can be both wondrous and scary. Even though I have a huge stack of books waiting to be read, I would happily take the time to read this one again.

Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

By Jessica Kim,

Book cover of Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

Why this book?

Perfect for embracing your inner comedy geek. The first thing that drew me to this book was that it’s about a young girl who wants to be a stand-up comedian. I’m a huge comedy geek, and I never thought a teen book would center on a main character with this desire, so I jumped at the chance to read it. But the book ends up being much more complex than that, as Yumi also must deal with the expectations of her family and culture, and she has to learn along the way how to balance desire with expectation. Really well done!

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in immigrants, vikings, and geeks?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about immigrants, vikings, and geeks.

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like A Gift from Brittany, Rebel Cinderella, and Rites of Passage if you like this list.