The most recommended books about teenage pregnancy

Who picked these books? Meet our 12 experts.

12 authors created a book list connected to teenage pregnancy, and here are their favorite teenage pregnancy books.
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Book cover of Only The Beautiful

Sarah Hanks Author Of Mercy Will Follow Me

From my list on to give you all the feels.

Why am I passionate about this?

The biggest compliment a reader can give me is to tell me my book made them cry. Yes, I love a great tear-jerker. I love writing them, and I love reading them. When we feel more deeply, we can live more fully. Books that evoke emotion can help us tune into our authentic selves and confront falsehoods that have held us back from full victory in our lives. Plus, reading is cheaper than therapy! I seek to bring hope, healing, and freedom through fiction. You have to feel to heal, so bring on all the feels.  

Sarah's book list on to give you all the feels

Sarah Hanks Why did Sarah love this book?

Only the Beautiful is one of the most important books I’ve ever read.

I’ve read many excellent books, but this one highlights the value of human life in such a profound way. It’s weighty, and definitely not an easy “beach” read. Yet, for all the emotions that rise to the surface throughout, I was left with a cord of hope. I’m a mother of a couple of children with special needs.

Historically, society has not placed a high value on the lives of children like mine. However, each day I see the light and beauty they bring to the world. I hope every believer will read this book and take the message to heart. 

By Susan Meissner,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Only The Beautiful as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Best Historical Fiction of Spring Pick by Amazon, PopSugar, AARP, and BookBub!

A heartrending story about a young mother’s fight to keep her daughter, and the terrible injustice that tears them apart, by the USA Today bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things and The Last Year of the War.
 
California, 1938—When she loses her parents in an accident, sixteen-year-old Rosanne is taken in by the owners of the vineyard where she has lived her whole life as the vinedresser’s daughter. She moves into Celine and Truman Calvert’s spacious house with a secret, however—Rosie sees colors when she…


Book cover of Method 15/33

Thomas A. Burns Jr. Author Of Sister!

From my list on dark mysteries you should read with the lights on.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m not sure why the dark side of humanity has always fascinated me, as it does so many others. I’ve read mystery and horror stories ever since I was a young boy, gravitating to ever darker books as I aged. I’m a pantser—that means that I don’t totally know where a story is going when I start, so I discover it right along with the characters. I think evoking emotion is key to writing a riveting tale, so I try to imagine what my character is feeling as I chronicle their experience. Part of being able to do this well is reading other writers who can, such as the authors on this list.

Thomas' book list on dark mysteries you should read with the lights on

Thomas A. Burns Jr. Why did Thomas love this book?

Method 15/13 is a book about a pregnant teen who is kidnapped by a gang who wants her child so they can sell it on the black market.

However, what they don’t know is that she’s an autistic prodigy with sociopathic tendencies who’s planning her escape and revenge from day 1.

This is Home Alone on steroids, and the young woman’s precise planning is so positively chilling that I almost felt sorry for the bad guys. Almost.

By Shannon Kirk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Method 15/33 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

USA Today Best-Selling Author Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal Winner National Indie Excellence Award Winner Kidnapped, pregnant teen plots a calculating escape and merciless revenge Imagine a helpless, pregnant 16-year-old who's just been yanked from the serenity of her home and shoved into a dirty van. Kidnapped . . . Alone . . . Terrified. Now forget her . . . Picture instead a pregnant, 16-year-old, manipulative prodigy. She is shoved into a dirty van and, from the first moment of her kidnapping, feels a calm desire for two things: to save her unborn child and to exact merciless revenge. She…


Book cover of The Book of Essie

Jennifer S. Brown Author Of Modern Girls

From my list on unplanned pregnancy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two things are true about me: I’m fascinated by the early twentieth century and I'm a diehard feminist. My grandfather nurtured my love of the 1920s and 1930s by introducing me to Dorothy Parker, John O’Hara, Ella Fitzgerald, and The New Yorker. My mother, a petite woman who can wield a welder like few others, encouraged the development of my feminist sensibilities. These two parts came together when my father offhandedly mentioned that his grandmother had an unplanned pregnancy during the Great Depression. As I researched reproductive issues through the years, my fascination for the topic grew. Each of the books here takes a different view of how to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. 

Jennifer's book list on unplanned pregnancy

Jennifer S. Brown Why did Jennifer love this book?

I felt an almost voyeuristic pleasure in reading The Book of Essie. Seventeen-year-old Essie Hicks is the daughter of an Evangelical pastor, whose family is the subject of a reality television series, Six for Hicks. Essie, as the youngest, has had her entire life aired for their adoring public. As you can guess, when Essie finds herself pregnant no one is thrilled. Essie’s future is determined by her mother and the TV producers: Essie needs to marry. How Essie takes control of the situation and the secrets that are revealed make for a gripping read.

By Meghan MacLean Weir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Book of Essie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ALEX AWARD WINNER
FINALIST FOR THE 2018 NEW ENGLAND BOOK AWARD

"Both timelessly beautiful and unbelievably timely." —Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Flight Attendant 

Esther Ann Hicks—Essie—is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She's grown up in the spotlight, idolized and despised for her family's fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. So when Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she immediately arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers. Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they…


Book cover of Duck Feet

Elissa Soave Author Of Ginger and Me

From my list on Scottish reads centring working-class women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Scottish writer and have long loved books from and about Scotland. But I would love to see more written about the working-class Scottish experience from women’s perspective as I think that would lead to less focus on the violence and poverty that is featured in so many contemporary Scottish books from male authors. There is so much joy in the Scottish working-class experience – a pot of soup always on the stove in someone’s kitchen, the stories, the laughter, a community that cares for their own. Let’s see more of that, and more stories from and about Scottish working-class women.

Elissa's book list on Scottish reads centring working-class women

Elissa Soave Why did Elissa love this book?

This is the debut novel by Ely Percy, and tells the story of Kirsty Campbell, an ordinary Scottish girl as she navigates her way through high school in Renfrewshire.

An extremely relatable novel, it is told in short, buzzy chapters, and I love it for relating the best of what a Scottish working-class childhood can give you – resilience, humour, and the will to succeed. The book covers issues like teen pregnancy, drugs, and violence, but it does so without lecturing; rather, it celebrates what it means to be brought up in contemporary, working-class Scotland.

By Ely Percy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Duck Feet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Duck Feet is a coming-of-age novel, set in the mid-noughties in Renfrew and Paisley, Scotland.

It follows the lives of 12-year-old Kirsty Campbell and her friends as they navigate life from first to sixth year at Renfrew Grammar school. This book is a celebration of youth in an ever-changing world. It uses humour to tackle hard-hitting subjects such as drugs, bullying, sexuality, and teenage pregnancy. But moreover, it is a relatable and accessible portrait of figuring out who you are, plunging into the currents of life, and most of all, finding hope.

By celebrated Scottish author Ely Percy, this is…


Book cover of How to Love

Katy Upperman Author Of Kissing Max Holden

From my list on the magic (and angst) of first love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading YA since I was a young adult myself, and I’ve always favored stories with a strong romantic angle. As a kid, I loved The Baby-Sitters Club’s starry-eyed Stacey and Sweet Valley High’s boy-crazy Jessica; as an adult, I flock to the romance section of bookstores and libraries. When the urge to try my hand at writing struck, I drafted young adult romances without even considering other categories or genres. I will always choose a meet-cute, witty banter, and sizzling chemistry over fast-paced action, clever twists, and high-concepts plots. When it comes to reading and writing, I love love! 

Katy's book list on the magic (and angst) of first love

Katy Upperman Why did Katy love this book?

One of my all-time favorite novels, How to Love is a deeply affecting story full of soaring highs and heartbreaking lows. Its protagonist, Reena, is a wonderful example of a strong female character; she’s flawed but inherently good, wildly determined, and fiercely devoted to those she loves—particularly her young daughter and Sawyer, the ultimate bad-boy-with-a-good-heart. How to Love is an unflinching and beautifully-written emotional rollercoaster, and a must-read for fans of contemporary young adult romance.  

By Katie Cotugno,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

This is a love story. But it's not what you think. This is not a first kiss, or a first date. This is not love at first sight. This is a boy and a girl falling in messy, unpredictable, thrilling love. This is the complicated route to happiness that follows.

This is real. This is life. This is how to love.

Before:

Reena has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember. But he's never noticed her, until one day... he does. They fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town, leaving…


Book cover of The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter: A Novel

Cindy Thomson Author Of Grace's Pictures (Ellis Island)

From my list on Irish immigrant historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love exploring the theme of family legacies and learning the stories, even if fictionalized, of our ancestors who helped build America for future generations. I explored this theme with my Ellis Island series, but truly it influences everything I write. It began with my interest in my own genealogy and my love of research. Along with writing my own books, I host a blog on historical fiction called Novel PASTimes and am co-founder of the Faith & Fellowship Book Festival with the aim of connecting readers with really good books.

Cindy's book list on Irish immigrant historical fiction

Cindy Thomson Why did Cindy love this book?

This book is so well written. It draws the reader into the story quickly with rich historical details and compelling characters. In 1838 in England a young woman helps her father, a lighthouse keeper, rescue survivors of a shipwreck. A century later a young Irish woman is sent to America to have her baby while living with a relative who is a lighthouse keeper. The 1938 woman learns family history that takes us back to the previous story. I love stories of family legacies and mysteries that come to us from the past.

By Hazel Gaynor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home comes a historical novel inspired by true events, and the extraordinary female lighthouse keepers of the past two hundred years.

“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and…


Book cover of Allegedly

Katherine Higgs-Coulthard Author Of Junkyard Dogs

From my list on surviving your family if they're trying to kill you.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I read Flowers in the Attic as a preteen, I’ve been fascinated with the idea that the family that is supposed to nurture you might actually mess you up. Like, beyond the normal dysfunction that most of us experience. That theme keeps coming up in my writing, especially in my current work in progress. It started out as a ghost story with some creepy paranormal elements, but when an editor asked “Yeah, but what really scares you?” the whole story shifted. It became much more horrific when I started examining how the main character’s family was contributing to her fear through their disbelief and her discovery of dark family secrets.

Katherine's book list on surviving your family if they're trying to kill you

Katherine Higgs-Coulthard Why did Katherine love this book?

Mary is described on the first page of Allegedly as “just born bad, plain and simple.”

When readers learn that Mary has been incarcerated since the age of nine for killing a baby, the claim is easier to believe. Yet, as the story unfolds, the reader learns that Mary’s mother is an abusive narcissist and the actual events of the death are put into question.

This story brings up important issues about nature versus nurture, mental illness, and a justice system predicated on the assumption that to be Black is to be born guilty.

By Tiffany D Jackson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Allegedly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Orange Is the New Black meets Walter Dean Myer's Monster in this gritty, twisty, and haunting debut by Tiffany D. Jackson about a girl convicted of murder seeking the truth while surviving life in a group home. Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. She didn't say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: a white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? There wasn't a…


Book cover of Pizza Girl

Carrie McCrossen and Ian McWethy Author Of Margot Mertz Takes It Down

From my list on feminist perspectives, coming-of-age, and humor.

Why are we passionate about this?

Hi! We are writers currently living in Los Angeles after 18 years in New York. We wrote Margot Mertz after reading American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Online Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales. It was the first time we heard of boys cultivating and curating non-consensual nude pics, effectively treating them like Pokemon cards. It was infuriating, especially when we realized there are no federal laws to protect victims of revenge porn at the time. So it became a focus of our work. We love a main character who’s angry but also funny, and desperately seeking change.

Carrie's book list on feminist perspectives, coming-of-age, and humor

Carrie McCrossen and Ian McWethy Why did Carrie love this book?

The logline sounds like the most depressing character study you’ll ever read. A story of a pregnant teenager, Jane, who lives with her mom after the death of her father. Jane spends her days delivering pizzas and her nights drinking beers alone in a shed behind their house. But thanks to the prose, and the pacing of the plotting, this book is both funny, engaging, and something of a psychological thriller. Especially when Jane becomes obsessed with one of her regulars, a stay-at-home mom. We marveled at Kyoung Frazier’s ability to put us in the head of Jane, in a way that we actually wanted to stay there.

By Jean Kyoung Frazier,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pizza Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named a Vogue, Esquire, NPR, Marie Claire, and Refinery29 Best Book of the Year. Perfect for fans of Normal People and Fleabag

Great inventiveness, unfailing intelligence and empathy, and best of all a rare and shimmering wit' Richard Ford

A moving story about an unforgettable young woman trying to find her place in the world...

Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl, our dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all.

Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighbourhood.

As one woman…


Book cover of Learning to Breathe

Amber Smith Author Of The Way I Used to Be

From my list on me-too movement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began writing The Way I Used to Be back in 2010. For me, it started simply as a place to work through my own private thoughts and feelings about sexual violence. I was writing as a survivor myself, but also as someone who has known, loved, and cared for so many others who have experienced violence and abuse. By the time I finished, I realized my novel had evolved into something much bigger: a story I hoped could contribute something meaningful to the larger dialogue. These powerful books on this list are all a part of that dialogue, each based in a richly diverse, yet shared reality. Readers will learn, grow, heal, and find hope in these pages.

Amber's book list on me-too movement

Amber Smith Why did Amber love this book?

Learning to Breathe tells such an important side of the #MeToo Movement, with sixteen-year-old Indira (Indy), a Black Bahamian girl who struggles to find her place in the aftermath of an assault that leads to an unwanted pregnancy. Set in the Bahamas, a place so often portrayed in Western culture as idyllic, it depicts a very different gritty and authentic lived reality for the main character. This heart-rending, yet empowering novel is enlightening on so many levels. Not only does it offer the unique and all-too-often overlooked point of view of a young person of color, but it also deals with complex family issues, homelessness, and a young woman’s path to claiming power over her own body and future. 

By Janice Lynn Mather,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Learning to Breathe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

A 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection
Amelia Bloomer List’s 2019 Top Ten Recommended Feminist Books for Young Readers
A Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize Semifinalist
A BC Book Prize Finalist

“A love letter to girls—bittersweet and full of hope.” —Ibi Zoboi, author of National Book Award Finalist American Street
“This is a stellar debut.” —Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of Little & Lion and Pointe
“A vibrant, essential story of healing, resilience, and finding one’s family.” —Stephanie Kuehn, author of William C. Morris Award winning Charm…


Book cover of The Home for Unwanted Girls

Vered Hazanchuk Author Of Life As An Almost

From my list on to make you wish you joined that book club.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love book club. If I could make it a requirement for everyone in the universe to give it a try, I would. I was an English major in college, so that feeling of ending an amazing story and needing someone to discuss it with never fully went away. All book club books should be thought-provoking, but the best add that intricate and wholehearted understanding, I think, that only literature can. Why do the characters you least understood or felt a kinship with suddenly have your heart, what do they want, need, feel, think? I hope these novels help you better understand. The who and what are beside the point. 

Vered's book list on to make you wish you joined that book club

Vered Hazanchuk Why did Vered love this book?

I think I’ll be recommending this book to people until the end of time. It’s just so, so good.

What I love most about it is it brings a forgotten part of history to life: a time when orphanages in 1950s Quebec misdiagnosed children as mentally ill to qualify for the better funding allocated to psychiatric hospitals. An obscure moment in history, generations of family scandals and secrets, and a forbidden love story? Yes, please.

By Joanna Goodman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Home for Unwanted Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Philomena meets Orphan Train in this suspenseful, provocative novel filled with love, secrets, and deceit—the story of a young unwed mother who is forcibly separated from her daughter at birth and the lengths to which they go to find each other.

In 1950s Quebec, French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility—much like Maggie Hughes’ parents. Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy on the next farm over. But Maggie’s heart is captured by Gabriel Phénix. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby…