The most recommended books about teenagers

Who picked these books? Meet our 163 experts.

163 authors created a book list connected to teenagers, and here are their favorite teenager books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of teenager book?


The Price of Privilege

By Madeline Levine,

Book cover of The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids

Betsy Brown Braun Author Of You're Not the Boss of Me: Brat-Proofing Your Four- To Twelve-Year-Old Child

From the list on being the parents you want to be.

Who am I?

My whole life I have loved working with children, corny though it sounds! (I guess that’s why I wasn’t so surprised to give birth to triplets 43 years ago!) For the past 50 years, my work has been with children and families. I have been a teacher, a school head, and I even founded an early childhood center. I am deeply committed to children and families, helping parents along the often rocky but so fulfilling parenting pathway. I provide the support for parents I wish I had had when I raised my brood.

Betsy's book list on being the parents you want to be

Why did Betsy love this book?

Over and over I urge my clients to read this book before they think they need to…even if they’re not “privileged.” In it we learn the real-life effects of over-privilege, of giving our kids too much, and more, of not expecting enough from them. Learning the critical connections between the choices we make for our kids and their emotional development certainly helps any parent to be the parent she hoped to be.

By Madeline Levine,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Madeline Levine has been a practicing psychologist for 25 years, but it was only recently that she began to observe a new breed of unhappy teenager. When a bright, affluent 15-year-old girl, a seemingly unlikely candidate for emotional problems, came into her office with the word 'empty' carved into her left forearm, Levine was shaken. The girl and her cutting seemed to personify a startling pattern Levine had been observing among her teenage patients, all of them bright, affluent, and clearly loved by their parents. Behind a veneer of strength, many of them suffered extreme emotional problems: depression, anxiety, and…

Don't Let Go

By Harlan Coben,

Book cover of Don't Let Go

Angelo Marcos Author Of Whoever Fights Monsters

From Angelo's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Psychological thriller writer

Angelo's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Angelo love this book?

I've read all of Harlan Coben's books, but I realised I'd left this one out. As soon as I started reading it, I felt like I was having a chat with an old friend. 

The story revolves around Nap, who revisits his brother's death from years ago. Like with a lot of Harlan Coben's books, the "'official" version of events very quickly unravels.

I loved the questions posed by this book, especially around how far you would go to avenge – or even just find the truth about – a family member's death. Nap is constantly told to leave things alone but pushes forward - which is what I think we would all do in that situation - even at huge personal cost.

By Harlan Coben,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don't Let Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


The brilliant new thriller from the international bestselling author of Home and Fool Me Once, and the creator of the Netflix hit Safe.

Mistaken identities. Dark family secrets. And a murderous conspiracy...

'The modern master of the hook and twist, luring you in on the first page only to shock you on the last' - Dan Brown

'Coben is a phenomenon - the most reliable of American thriller-writers, the least likely to disappoint ... the true mystery is Coben's extraordinary capacity to keep writing such wonderful thrillers' - The Times

'As moreish as ever' -…

A Children's Bible

By Lydia Millet,

Book cover of A Children's Bible

Lena George Author Of She's Not Home

From Lena's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Climber Mom Aspiring minimalist Loyal-if-sometimes-preoccupied friend

Lena's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Lena love this book?

I got this from the library at the beach over vacation and read it in a day. I just couldn’t put it down.

A Children’s Bible is a weird, dark, vaguely post-apocalyptic story for adults featuring a child protagonist. In other words, right up my alley. Readers may guess from my own work I love young protagonists. They have a lot of power, especially when they take the reader through some heavy topics.

I really connected with the narrator in this story, and I loved the way Millet showed both her maturity and wisdom and her youth, all mixed together. Very engrossing.

By Lydia Millet,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Children's Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet's sublime new novel-her first since the National Book Award-longlisted Sweet Lamb of Heaven- follows a group of eerily mature children on a forced vacation with their parents at a lakeside mansion. Contemptuous of their elders, who pass their days in a hedonistic stupor, the children are driven out into a chaotic landscape after a great storm descends. The story's narrator, Eve, devotes herself to the safety of her beloved little brother as events around them begin to mimic scenes from his cherished picture Bible.

Millet, praised as "unnervingly talented" (San Francisco Chronicle), has produced a…

A Breath Too Late

By Rocky Callen,

Book cover of A Breath Too Late

Ashley Wilda Author Of The Night Fox

From the list on magical realism about mental health.

Who am I?

As a kid, I devoured books with any magical element, especially those somehow linked to nature. As I grew older and discovered that my emotional struggles were a signal of mental health issues, I turned to books again to make sense of my shattered world. I've found that magical realism is an incredible vehicle to explore the deep truths and questions behind mental health, healing, and grief, providing a way to make sense of the unexplainable. I slowly found my way to my own healing and wrote the book I needed as a young adult. I'm forever grateful to the authors of these books for providing a haven for souls like mine.

Ashley's book list on magical realism about mental health

Why did Ashley love this book?

This book is a heavy read but a vital one. After the main character dies by suicide before the book begins, a fragment of her is left in the world, attempting to piece her shattered memory back together and remember why she left.

A heartbreaking but hope-giving look at the heaviest and most beautiful moments in life, this book ultimately reminds readers that there’s always a reason to hold on.

By Rocky Callen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Breath Too Late as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Girl in Pieces, All the Bright Places, and Girl, Interrupted comes a haunting and breathtaking YA contemporary debut novel that packs a powerful message: hope can be found in the darkness.

“Achingly poignant . . . a love letter and a life raft to the brokenhearted.” –New York Times bestselling author Alison McGhee

Seventeen-year-old Ellie had no hope left. Yet the day after she dies by suicide, she finds herself in the midst of an out-of-body experience. She is a spectator, swaying between past and present, retracing the events that unfolded prior to her death.

But there…

The Orchard

By Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry,

Book cover of The Orchard

Alina Adams Author Of My Mother's Secret: A Novel of the Jewish Autonomous Region

From the list on Soviet historical fiction which skips the cliches.

Who am I?

I was born in Odessa, USSR, a Southern Ukrainian city that many more people know now than when my family and I immigrated in 1977. Growing up in the US, everything I read about Soviet immigrants was either cliched, stereotyped, or plain wrong. A 1985 short film, Molly’s Pilgrim, about a (presumably Jewish) Soviet immigrant girl showed her wearing a native peasant costume and a scarf on her head which, for some reason, Americans insisted on calling a “babushka.” “Babushka” means “grandmother” in Russian. Why would you wear one of those on your head? I was desperate for more realistic portrayals. So I wrote my own. And the five books I picked definitely offer them.

Alina's book list on Soviet historical fiction which skips the cliches

Why did Alina love this book?

Mariza Kuznetsova (Something Unbelievable), Irina Reyn (Mother Country), and I all left the Soviet Union as children, before Putin and before all the changes he brought. Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry came of age in the new Russia. The Orchard is a tale of what our own lives might have been if our families had stayed. This loose retelling of Chekov zeroes in on how a childhood begun in the USSR and a young adulthood lived in Russia affected everyone who went through it, how it shaped worldviews, and how it continues to resonate even after decades of immigrant life in America.

By Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Four teenagers grow inseparable in the last days of the Soviet Union—but not all of them will live to see the new world arrive in this powerful debut novel, loosely based on Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.

“Spectacular . . . intensely evocative and gorgeously written . . . will fill readers’ eyes with tears and wonder.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

Coming of age in the USSR in the 1980s, best friends Anya and Milka try to envision a free and joyful future for themselves. They spend their summers at Anya’s dacha just outside of Moscow, lazing in the apple orchard, listening…

Breathe and Count Back from Ten

By Natalia Sylvester,

Book cover of Breathe and Count Back from Ten

Jasminne Mendez Author Of Aniana del Mar Jumps In

From the list on girls seeking bodily agency and body confidence.

Who am I?

As a person who has lived with chronic illness and disability for over a decade, I've often found it difficult to advocate for myself because I was afraid and because I just didn’t know that I had a right to speak up. Not just in medical settings but also with family and friends. So often, others with “authority” think they know what’s best for us, but in the end, we know our bodies best. I’ve learned to set boundaries, say no, and advocate for myself as a means of survival. These five books are wonderful examples of strong girls and young women using their voices to protect their bodily agency and build their body confidence.

Jasminne's book list on girls seeking bodily agency and body confidence

Why did Jasminne love this book?

I loved Natalia Sylvester’s tender and gripping YA novel about a young woman living with hip dysplasia yearning to be a mermaid because it reminded me of the big dreams I had as a young teenage girl.

Verónica will do just about anything to get a job as a real-life mermaid at Mermaid Cove, however her parents are not having it. They want Verónica to be a “serious” young woman and pursue jobs and opportunities that will benefit her future and they think they know what’s best for her body and her disability.

I resonated with this deeply because I too pursued goals and dreams that my parents were often not in favor of and have had to advocate for myself and what my body needs.

By Natalia Sylvester,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Breathe and Count Back from Ten as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this gorgeously written and authentic novel, Veronica, a Peruvian-American teen with hip dysplasia, auditions to become a mermaid at a Central Florida theme park in the summer before her senior year, all while figuring out her first real boyfriend and how to feel safe in her own body.

Veronica has had many surgeries to manage her disability. The best form of rehabilitation is swimming, so she spends hours in the pool, but not just to strengthen her body.

Her Florida town is home to Mermaid Cove, a kitschy underwater attraction where professional mermaids perform in giant tanks . .…

Dark Room Etiquette

By Robin Roe,

Book cover of Dark Room Etiquette

Dev Jannerson Author Of The Women of Dauphine

From Dev's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Bookworm Gamer Queer Thorough Muppet

Dev's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Dev love this book?

If you’ve been through something horrible, how do you go back to living your life? This question (a familiar one for me) is at the center of Dark Room Etiquette, in which a teen is kidnapped and brainwashed by a lonely man with religious delusions.

It’s a top-notch abduction thriller but also a fearless depiction of living with trauma; if anything, the story becomes more gripping once Sayers is rescued. Plus, the character arc is stunning. Sayers transforms from an entitled rich kid to withdrawn and helpless, and finally to destabilized and haunted.

It’s profound, sensitive, and completely believable. I can’t wait to read it again.

By Robin Roe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dark Room Etiquette as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Popularity, good looks, perfect grades—there's nothing Sayers' family money can't buy.

Until he's kidnapped by a man who tells him the privileged life he's been living is based on a lie. 

Trapped in a windowless room, without knowing why he's been taken or how long the man plans to keep him shut away, Sayers faces a terrifying new reality. To survive, he must forget the world he once knew, and play the part his abductor has created for him. 

But as time passes, the line between fact and fiction starts to blur, and Sayers begins…

We Run the Tides

By Vendela Vida,

Book cover of We Run the Tides

Rachel Lehmann-Haupt Author Of Reconceptions: Modern Relationships, Reproductive Science, and the Unfolding Future of Family

From the list on women’s relationship with technology and reproductive justice.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by the influence technology and science on culture and our lives, especially women’s lives. The history of women’s rights, in many ways, is a story of science and technology’s influence on women’s evolution towards having more freedom (and now less) to control our bodies. As a science writer, these themes influence many of the stories that I choose to read and tell, including both my books, In Her Own Sweet Time: Unexpected Adventures in Finding Love, Commitment and Motherhood and Reconceptions: Modern Relationships, Reproductive Science and the Unfolding Future of Family. I also love to read both fictional and non-fiction stories about the nuances of personal identity. 

Rachel's book list on women’s relationship with technology and reproductive justice

Why did Rachel love this book?

We Run the Tides is a coming-of-age novel told through the eyes of Eulabee, a young girl growing up in the upscale Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco in the 1980s.

The novel tells the story of the mysterious disappearance of Eulabee’s classmate from her toney private school and its impact on her group of friends. The story wonderfully captures the complicated relationships of young teen girls grabbling with identity, truth, and lies. Vida’s lyrical prose is filled with wit and attention to eclectic details in both her descriptions of San Francisco and the characters that she creates.

By Vendela Vida,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Run the Tides as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


An achingly beautiful story of female friendship, betrayal, and a mysterious disappearance set in the changing landscape of San Francisco 

Teenage Eulabee and her magnetic best friend, Maria Fabiola, own the streets of Sea Cliff, their foggy oceanside San Francisco neighborhood. They know Sea Cliff’s homes and beaches, its hidden corners and eccentric characters—as well as the upscale all-girls’ school they attend. One day, walking to school with friends, they witness a horrible act—or do they? Eulabee and Maria Fabiola vehemently disagree on what happened, and their rupture is followed by Maria Fabiola’s sudden disappearance—a potential kidnapping that…

Spells for Lost Things

By Jenna Evans Welch,

Book cover of Spells for Lost Things

Cathleen Barnhart Author Of That's What Friends Do

From Cathleen's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Crossfitter Traveler Reader Cat whisperer

Cathleen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Cathleen love this book?

I bought this book because I’m a huge fan of Jenna Evans Welch, having devoured her Love & series.

I fell in love immediately with the two main characters, Willow and Mason. I adore stories told from two points of view (which is why I wrote one), and the two characters’ voices and stories are so different from each other and so compelling that I was completely hooked.

Mason’s story is a hard one: he’s in foster care because of his mom’s addiction, and all he wants to do is find her and be with her. As a reader, I could see what a terrible idea this was, but Mason, of course, can’t. The slowly unfolding relationship between Willow and Mason is also beautifully rendered and so sweet.

By Jenna Evans Welch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spells for Lost Things 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 Love & Gelato comes a poignant and “beguiling” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) novel about two teens trying to find their place in the world after being unceremoniously dragged to Salem, Massachusetts, for the summer.

Willow has never felt like she belonged anywhere and is convinced that the only way to find a true home is to travel the world. But her plans to act on her dream are put on hold when her aloof and often absent mother drags Willow to Salem, Massachusetts, to wrap up the affairs of an aunt Willow…

Mortal Engines

By Philip Reeve,

Book cover of Mortal Engines

S.B. Norton Author Of Dave Bi-Plane Fights the Red Winged Death Command

From the list on wildly worldly invention in fantasy and steampunk.

Who am I?

I have been drawn toward tales and stories of the bizarre since childhood. As a reader, I look for works that will surprise me. The real world in general, I find very unsurprising (lord yes, I do!). When I read, when I enter the fictional world (my favorite!) I want to be inspired to read on. I have put down many a book through boredom. I am not a plough. If I am uninterested, I stop. These books have inspired me in my own craft. Currently writing my sixth novel of the unpredictable, I feel I have experienced enough to forward on some irregular reads of the pure and the awesome.  

S.B.'s book list on wildly worldly invention in fantasy and steampunk

Why did S.B. love this book?

How can one not love a book about moving Traction Cities? In a magnificently imagined world where these Traction Cities fight for what is left of a destroyed future earth (left behind by us humans – from a stupid massive war to end all wars – go figure eh!).

Tom Natsworthy is aboard the traction city of London. London needs to feed and hunt for smaller cities to feed into its mighty jaws. Tom soon learns that London’s sinister hierarchy of scientists are building their own bomb – MEDUSA. Tom is thrown from London when he befriends a physically and emotionally scarred stow-away slave girl, Hester. 

The journey back to the ever-moving London to try and stop – MEDUSA is an amazing one – I must say. So well written, brilliant actually.

By Philip Reeve,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A breathtaking work of imagination, Hester Shaw is a heroine for the ages. The moment we finished reading this book we knew we wanted to make it into a movie." -- Producer Peter Jackson

* "Reeve's [Mortal Engines] remains a landmark of visionary imagination." -- School Library Journal, starred review

窶銀�窶起ow a major motion picture produced by Peter Jackson!

London is hunting again. Emerging from its hiding place in the hills, the great Traction City is chasing a terrified little town across the wastelands. Soon London will feed.

In the attack, Tom Natsworthy is flung from the speeding city with…


By Jennifer Donnelly,

Book cover of Revolution

Kathryn Knight Author Of Ghost Moon

From the list on romantic ghost stories.

Who am I?

I’m a fan of all things spooky! I especially love ghost stories, which is probably abundantly clear from my own novels. I’ve been known to frequent old graveyards, seek out haunted places, and sneak into abandoned buildings for inspiration—and the adrenaline rush! This fascination started when I was a young girl and my dad brought me a YA ghost mystery home from the library—every week, he would have the librarian help him pick out books for me, and I would devour the stack immediately, then re-read until the next library day! My favorite ghost stories have a mix similar to what I write—a tension-filled romance combined with a spooky, suspenseful haunting. 

Kathryn's book list on romantic ghost stories

Why did Kathryn love this book?

I fell in love with Jennifer Donelly’s writing when I discovered her historical romance trilogy The Tea Rose, and then devoured her YA novel A Northern Light. So when I found out she had published a YA book with history, young love, and a ghost mystery, I was all in!

In this story, the past and the present are once again woven together, adding fascinating and horrific details of the French Revolution as the main character navigates her new and strange life in Paris. The Catacombs beneath the city play a role in the plot, and it was this setting that made me determined to visit this creepy location myself one day—which I did!

The labyrinth of man-made tunnels wind their way into an underground maze that is filled with the relocated human bones of over 6 million bodies, which line the walls in macabre designs. Exploring the “Land of…

By Jennifer Donnelly,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Readers of If I Stay and Elizabeth George will love Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light. Revolution artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love; it spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’…


By Sebastien de Castell,

Book cover of Spellslinger

Nikky Lee Author Of The Rarkyn's Familiar

From the list on fantasy with creature companions that aren’t dragons.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always wondered what animals thought of humans. Do they see us as loving caregivers, servants who simply feed them, or strange lumbering bipedals? Seeing these questions explored in the likes of Narnia and Tamora Pierce then cemented a life-long love of animal and creature companions in literature. There is something having a protagonist paired with something non-human that I find both endlessly fascinating and revealing. So, of course, it’s a theme that crops up frequently in my own stories, from ghost rams to dingoes to the human-avian rarkyn, creature companions are my happy place in fantasy.

Nikky's book list on fantasy with creature companions that aren’t dragons

Why did Nikky love this book?

If you want a feisty, rodent-come feline companion with a taste for eyeballs, then look no further than Sabastien de Castell’s Spellslinger series. Along with a neat magic system and desert worldbuilding, we have Kellen, a young and staggeringly unskilled magic user who is on the cusp of his test to become a mage. If he fails, he’ll become a slave among his clan. Unfortunately, the latter is looking pretty likely, until he meets an Argosi, a mysterious travelling nomad with a deck of cards, and everything Kellen thought he knew and valued is called into question. 

While Kellen narrates the story, his squirrel cat companion, Reichis, often steals the show. The first in this series, Spellslinger, is a quick and entertaining read for teens and adults alike.

By Sebastien de Castell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage's duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There's just one problem: his magic is gone.

As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path.

Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi - a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She's difficult and unpredictable, but she may…


By Laurie Halse Anderson,

Book cover of Speak

Alexandra V. Méndez Author Of What the Jaguar Told Her

From the list on the power of stories and finding your voice.

Who am I?

Stories and the myriad ways they’re told fascinate me. Growing up in Atlanta with Mexican and American heritage, I first learned about Mexican códices—centuries-old books that tell stories through images—on a trip to visit family in Mexico. Later, I studied the history and literature of Latin America at Harvard and got a Ph.D. in Latin American and Iberian Cultures and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. I’ve studied storytelling in many forms, from Mesoamerican maps to early Spanish chronicles of exploration and invasion, to modern Latin American novels. The books listed here celebrate oral storytelling, written traditions, and artistic expression, and they take seriously the perspectives of young people.

Alexandra's book list on the power of stories and finding your voice

Why did Alexandra love this book?

In this book Laurie Halse Anderson lets us inside the mind of Melinda, a high schooler who finds herself increasingly isolated from friends and family.

As a reader, it was easy to share her frustration with how others treat her, because it was clear that her inner world didn’t match up with what others perceived outside of her. She has experienced a traumatic event, a violation that she doesn’t know how to process or talk about.

This novel masterfully captures the way Melinda compartmentalizes what has happened to her and grasps for coping mechanisms. Some of my favorite scenes occur in art class, where art-making becomes a key part of Melinda’s journey of gaining the courage to speak up about her trauma, and of reconnecting with others. 

By Laurie Halse Anderson,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Speak as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fiercely authentic, critically acclaimed and award-winning modern classic.

'Speak up for yourself - we want to know what you have to say.'

From my first day at Merryweather High, I know this is a lie.

Nobody will even talk to me, let alone listen - all because I called the cops on an end-of-summer party.

But if I could only tell everyone why I called the police that night...

If I could explain what happened to me...

If I could speak...

Then everything might change.

'With the rise of women finding their voices and speaking out about sexual assault…

Book of Shadows

By Cate Tiernan,

Book cover of Book of Shadows

Valerie Biel Author Of Beltany

From the list on witchcraft novels that launch bingeworthy series.

Who am I?

Traveling through Ireland, everyone notices the low stone walls separating fields, but occasionally much larger stones rising from the green like giant cogs on a wheel—mystical standing stone circles. One in particular—Beltany in Co. Donegal—became the inspiration for my Circle of Nine series, which is a mix of Celtic mythology, pagan ritual, and magic set within alternating historical and modern storylines. It’s no wonder that the books I most like to read are also the same kind I write. There’s nothing better than picking up a new book and immersing myself in these worlds with their rich magical systems, historical details, suspenseful plots, and often a good dose of romance.

Valerie's book list on witchcraft novels that launch bingeworthy series

Why did Valerie love this book?

The Sweep series was one of the first witch series I ever read, and I promise you that it is still so, so good. Plus, there are 15 books to provide hours of entertainment. The story is very Wicca-based with well-described details of rituals and rites that will immerse you in each scene. I was immediately drawn to the main character, Morgan, and her struggles as she learns of her powers. The characters engage in familiar teenage drama, but everything is heightened by the magic they’re immersed in. Suspenseful, fast-paced, and just a little bit dangerous. 

By Cate Tiernan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Morgan and her best friend, Bree, are introduced to Wicca when a gorgeous senior named Cal invites them to join his new coven. Morgan falls for Cal immediately? and discovers that she has strong,inexplicable powers.

Book cover of The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)

Kayla Cagan Author Of Piper Perish

From the list on on art, creativity and chasing your dreams.

Who am I?

I love reading about artists and creators because I’ve been around them most of my life and they are the people I feel I understand the best – though I’m always surprised by the new crafts, facets, and ideas I learn! I grew up in and around my mother’s ceramic shop, my best friends in high school were artists and I was their dorky theater friend, and the two YA books I wrote centered on issues that face young creators. The passion of creative people and artistic friends has always driven me to do my best and not give up on my dreams. 

Kayla's book list on on art, creativity and chasing your dreams

Why did Kayla love this book?

Spalding’s book is such a fun read! It focuses on white blog writer and fashionista, Abby, who also happens to be plus-sized and wins the opportunity of a lifetime at her favorite local boutique. It’s there that she meets fellow intern and photographer Jordi Perez, a Latinx teen who makes that Los Angeles summer so much more romantic, creative, and sweeter. Add in Abby’s surprising bro-bestie Jax for some hamburger adventures and be prepared to swoon (and get hungry!) all around. It’s a great story of love and art, art and love, and how two creative spirits learn to intertwine their gifts and their goals.

By Amy Spalding,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people's lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby's been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a great internship at her favorite boutique, she's thrilled to take the first step toward her dream career. Then she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Hard. And now she's competing against the girl she's kissing to win the coveted paid job at the…

Not Your Villain

By C.B. Lee,

Book cover of Not Your Villain

Michael Griffo Author Of Moonglow

From the list on changelings and their friends.

Who am I?

As a writer I like to explore many genres, and one of my favorites is young adult supernatural.  I think I was destined to write in this world because the first book I took out of the library was Where the Wild Things Are. My favorite books as a teenager all dealt with supernatural themes – Summer of Fear, Carrie, and Audrey Rose. Writing about changelings allows me to explore the tenuous connection between what lies inside of us – our psyche, our minds, our souls – and what might exist on the other side of our known world.  It’s the search for that missing link that keeps me writing.  

Michael's book list on changelings and their friends

Why did Michael love this book?

I really enjoy C.B. Lee’s books. She writes stories with diverse characters, LGBTQ themes, and possesses a really fun voice. In this book, which is part of the Sidekick Squad series, Bells Broussard is having a hard time because he’s now a wanted villain. Lee flips the whole hero/villain archetypes and makes us question what’s good and what’s bad. Her books are for the middle grade set, but if you like superheroes and a comic book mythology like me, you’ll enjoy them.

By C.B. Lee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not Your Villain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bells Broussard thought he had it made when his superpowers manifested early. Being a shapeshifter is awesome. He can change his hair whenever he wants and, if putting on a binder for the day is too much, hes got it covered. But that was before he became the countrys most wanted villain.After discovering a massive cover-up by the Heroes League of Heroes, Bells and his friends Jess, Emma, and Abby set off on a secret mission to find the Resistance. Meanwhile, power-hungry former hero Captain Orion is on the loose with a dangerous serum that renders meta-humans powerless, and a…

A Good Neighborhood

By Therese Anne Fowler,

Book cover of A Good Neighborhood

Darlene Jones

From Darlene's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Reader Teacher Traveler Knee Replacement Survivor

Darlene's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Darlene love this book?

Fowler expertly presents an upper-scale neighbourhood as ideal. No problems here, no poverty, no conflict, no prejudice. Really? We instinctively know better.

Under that idealistic image, judgments seethe, racism raises its ugly head, and from the first chapter, we know that someone will die—but who? Fowler keeps us guessing, and we fear that the most innocent will bear the brunt of the delusion that all is well in this embodiment of the “American dream” life. 

By Therese Anne Fowler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Good Neighborhood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


"A provocative, absorbing read." ― People

“A feast of a read... I finished A Good Neighborhood in a single sitting. Yes, it’s that good.” ―Jodi Picoult, #1New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Thingsand A Spark of Light

In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son, Xavier, who’s headed to college in the fall. All is well until the Whitmans―a family with new money and a secretly troubled teenage daughter―raze…

Book cover of The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens: Updated for the Digital Age

Thomas Lickona Author Of How to Raise Kind Kids: And Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain

From the list on raising good children.

Who am I?

I’m a developmental psychologist and former professor of education. My life’s work and 10 books have focused on helping families and schools foster good character in kids. Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility is credited with helping launch the national character education movement. My first book for parents, Raising Good Children, described how to guide kids through the stages of moral development from birth through adulthood. My focus these days is kindness and its supporting virtues. My wife Judith and I have two grown sons and 15 grandchildren, and with William Boudreau, MD, co-authored Sex, Love, and You: Making the Right Decision, a book for teens.

Thomas' book list on raising good children

Why did Thomas love this book?

I regularly recommend this terrific book, recently updated for the digital age, to both teens and their parents. Sean Covey is the son of the famous Stephen Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). Sean is an experienced father, nationally known character educator (creator of The Leader in Me program), and highly talented author in his own right. His book on “the 6 most important decisions” tackles areas of a young person’s life where good decisions can bring big benefits and poor ones can carry a high cost: (1) choosing friends, (2) making the most of school, (3) creating a positive relationship with your parents, (4) building self-confidence, (5) dating and romantic relationships (without sex), and (6) steering clear of drugs, pornography, and other damaging addictions.

Covey’s gift for connecting with young readers combines straight talk, practical tips, humorous cartoon graphics, and hard-to-argue-with wisdom illustrated with true…

By Sean Covey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of the wildly popular bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens comes the go-to guide that helps teens cope with major challenges they face in their lives-now updated for today's social media age.

In this newly revised edition, Sean Covey helps teens figure out how to approach the six major challenges they face: gaining self-esteem, dealing with their parents, making friends, being wise about sex, coping with substances, and succeeding at school and planning a career.

Covey understands the pain and confusion that teens and their parents experience in the face of these weighty, life-changing, and…

It's Complicated

By danah boyd,

Book cover of It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

Sonia M. Livingstone Author Of Parenting for a Digital Future: How Hopes and Fears about Technology Shape Children's Lives

From the list on children and parents in the digital age.

Who am I?

I’ve researched children’s digital lives since the internet first arrived in many people’s homes. Recently, I noticed parents’ concerns weren’t listened to – mostly, researchers interview parents to find out about their children rather than about parents themselves. Worse, policymakers often make decisions that affect parents without consulting them. So, in Parenting for a Digital Future we focused on parents, following my previous books on Children and the Internet and The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age. As a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, I love that moment of knocking on a family’s door, and am always curious to see what I will find!

Sonia's book list on children and parents in the digital age

Why did Sonia love this book?

This book was published ten years ago, and it’s as fresh and relevant as ever. I’ve chosen to highlight it here because, honestly, it’s the classic book that catalyzed many researchers into properly listening to young people and really respecting their views.

I learned a lot from danah boyd’s fieldwork about how to put effort into gaining teens’ trust, avoiding adult assumptions, and properly listening to what teens had to say. The teens in this book are often troubled, struggling with mental health problems and difficult life circumstances – but it's not their fault, they are facing so many real-world problems – poverty, family breakdown, racism, etc.

As a result, teens turn to technology for support, privacy, intimacy, and belonging. But in key ways, technology can also make things worse. I found this book truly thought-provoking.

By danah boyd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It's Complicated as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"boyd's new book is layered and smart . . . It's Complicated will update your mind."-Alissa Quart, New York Times Book Review

"A fascinating, well-researched and (mostly) reassuring look at how today's tech-savvy teenagers are using social media."-People

"The briefest possible summary? The kids are all right, but society isn't."-Andrew Leonard, Salon

What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens' lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens' use of social media. She…

The Apocalypse Gene

By Suki Michelle, Carlyle Clark,

Book cover of The Apocalypse Gene

Audra Middleton Author Of Hitchhiker

From the list on weird and wonderful, indie, sci-fi and fantasy.

Who am I?

As a kindergarten teacher and a mother of three boys, I live at the intersection of weird and wonderful, so I expect nothing less from my library. Indie authors offer unique points of view, aren’t afraid to break the rules, and are motivated by their passion for the craft of writing. I'm drawn to those writers who let the voices in their heads lead the way, creating characters you become invested in from page one. I love writing around my characters, because once I have them developed, the books tend to write themselves. Some of my best storylines are ones where my characters took over and led me in weird and wonderful directions.

Audra's book list on weird and wonderful, indie, sci-fi and fantasy

Why did Audra love this book?

I’ll be honest with you, this one is a brain-bender, and I love that about it. I may not have been able to wrap my brain around all of the unique twists and turns in this story, but the characters are so well-developed, the description is so vivid, and the action scenes are so well-crafted, it really didn’t matter. Set in the middle of a dystopian cancer plague, the eerie biblical and sci-fi elements make this one a real page-turner.

By Suki Michelle, Carlyle Clark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Global pandemic is raging. Olivya Wright-Ono's once loving home has been converted to a hospice for the dying.  Her ability to see auras forces her to witness, with agonizing detail, the vibrant colors of life consumed by malignancy.  The beautiful and troubled, Mikah, is an elite Empath in the ancient Kindred clan, led by the brooding, ever-morphing, monster named Prime. Mikah has learned a terrible truth . . . the plague is linked to Kindred origins.  When Olivya sees evidence of disease creeping into her mother's aura, she has no one to turn to but Mikah. Can he unearth the…