If you're looking for books for teens and young adults, we have recommendations of both fiction and nonfiction. These are all books aimed at a teen or young adult reader aged between 13 and 18, though they can make good reading for adults too.
In fiction, we have different genres, including fantasy, science fiction and historical fiction, as well as more general fiction, like recommendations of coming-of-age novels or books on teenage misadventure.
We also have a great selection of nonfiction books for teens, including books on spies, the van Gogh brothers and the Russian composer Shostakovich, among others. When it comes to subjects teens are learning in school, we have reading lists for young adults on the ancient world, physics, philosophy, art history and even novels with economics themes. Many of these books are recommended by high school teachers. If you're interested in getting involved in politics, we have some book recommendations about that.
Some wonderful authors have also made young adult book recommendations for us, including German author Cornelia Funke, author of the Inkheart series. We've also spoken with Meg Rosoff, author of How I Live Now, and Philip Reeve, author of the Mortal Engines sci-fi quartet. Both have won the Carnegie Medal.
For the latest YA books we have a list of the best books for teens 2022.
Every year teenagers in Ireland show their enthusiasm for reading quality young adult fiction by voting for their favourite new Irish and international novels. Great Reads Award panellist Breege O’Brien highlights her top teen reads from recent years’ shortlists.
Good books for teens and young adults are often about identity and figuring out who you are. Novels with LGBTQ+ characters are some of the best examples of (fictional) young people learning to be themselves while navigating the world. Here, librarian Cassie Kemp shares her top picks of LGBT novels for teens and young adults.
Fantasy inspired by West Africa is taking the literary scene for teens and young adults by storm. These books have strong world-building and all the usual fantasy ingredients. At the same time, drawing on rich seams of mythology and magical traditions such as juju, they bring something entirely fresh to the genre. Author Efua Traoré talks us through her pick of West African fantasy novels for teenagers.
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
by Philip Hoose
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
by Steve Sheinkin
Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad
by M T Anderson
Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
by Deborah Heiligman
Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam
by Elizabeth Partridge
Whether you want your kids to know more about the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War or the life of Vincent van Gogh or Dmitri Shostakovich, we’re entering a golden era of nonfiction books for teens (also known as ‘Young Adult’ or YA nonfiction). Marc Favreau, author of the brilliant Spies, recommends some of the best.
Young adult science fiction extends far beyond the typical dystopian novels which immediately come to mind. Estelle Francis, a teenage author who recently published her first book, shares her favourite reads on this topic.
Leszek Kolakowski (trans. by Agnieszka Kolakowska)
by Thomas Nagel
A Short History of Ethics
by Alasdair MacIntyre
Modernism as a Philosophical Problem: On the Dissatisfactions of European High Culture
by Robert B. Pippin
The Spiritual Dimension: Religion, Philosophy and Human Value
by John Cottingham
Dr Andrew Brower Latz, the head of philosophy at Manchester Grammar School, one of Britain’s leading secondary schools, talks about why it’s important to study philosophy and recommends five books to get an interested teen started.
Every generation has its own minefield to negotiate in order to reach adulthood. Author Rae Earl discusses five books that explore a range of mental health issues that some teenagers may face, and many adults have faced, while on this difficult journey.
What are the best books for getting a teenager into physics? Kate Lee, a physics teacher at St Paul’s Girls School, recommends books about NASA, space travel, and the Big Bang—and puzzles the question of why it is so hard for young women to stay in physics as a profession.
Which are the best books to get a teenager excited about art history? We turned to veteran art history teacher John Harrison, formerly head of the art history department at Eton College, for his top five picks of the most illuminating and accessible books for getting a broad overview of the history of art.
Award-winning author Philip Reeve talks us through the science fiction and fantasy books that shaped him and his work in profound ways; among indubitable classics are vibrant lesser-known works awaiting our discovery.
Are you a teenager who is furious about the way the world seems to be going? Do you feel powerless and overwhelmed? Author Adrienne Kisner recommends five really good books that will inspire and inform teens and young adults, giving them the tools to get involved in activism, to understand politics—and to change the world.
Three award-winning US high school psychology teachers—authors of the website Books for Psychology Class—share their recommendations of the best psychology books for teenagers, students and their teachers—and reflect on why storytelling is a key aspect of the art of teaching.
Economics need not be dry or didactic. Here’s a suggested reading list of novels with economic themes to appeal to young teenagers
Caesar, Cicero, Achilles, Socrates, Plato: millennia later, we still talk about them. Olly Murphy, classics teacher at Wycombe Abbey, one of England’s top girls’ schools, recommends books and explains why classics remains one of the most exciting subjects for teenagers to study.
Jane Eyre, 1984 and Anne Frank’s diary all make it onto novelist Amanda Craig’s list. On Black Beauty‘s underrated importance: ‘People forget that William Wilberforce, who abolished the slave trade, also founded the RSPCA.’
Model, actress, presenter and author Eunice Olumide shares her pick of the best books for children about fashion and the values that underpin her career in the fashion industry.
Battle Angel Alita
by Yukito Kishiro
The Promised Neverland
Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu (illustrator)
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, adapted by Crystal S. Chan, illustrated by Nokman Poon
Pokémon Adventures (Red and Blue)
Hidenori Kusaka, Mato (illustrator)
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
by Koyoharu Gotouge
Long associated with Japanese popular culture, manga are now found in translation across the world. In North America, this dynamic form of visual narration is overtaking comics and graphic novels in popularity. Oscar, age 13, recommends his favourite manga for children and teenagers.
Fantasy novels, with their limitless scope for possibility, appeal to children with vivid imaginations. Here 14-year-old Zoe, who lives in the US and is a big fan of the genre, recommends her current favourites.
Audiobooks are a great way to keep teenagers entertained and informed. Mary Burkey, an expert on kids’ audiobooks, and Robin Whitten, editor and founder of AudioFile magazine, talk us through the wonderful titles that were finalists in this year’s Audie Awards in the ‘young adult’ category.
As World Cup fever builds to irresistible levels, there is no better time to get kids reading by presenting them with a few books about ‘the beautiful game.’ Award-winning children’s author and self-confessed football fanatic, Dave Cousins, recommends five fantastic football books for kids and young adults.
The best books on Navigating the Future: a reading list for young adults, recommended by Chris Kutarna
We are living in times of unprecedented uncertainty and upheaval – and of unprecedented progress and opportunity too. Chris Kutarna, political scientist and co-author of Age of Discovery, here selects five books that will help young adults navigate this uncertain future and achieve their full potential.
This is a big week for Rick Riordan fans as The Tower of Nero, the final book in his Trials of Apollo series, is published. Here, Alex, a 13-year-old boy living in Oxford, explains what Rick Riordan’s books are about, why he finds them so mesmerizing, and which book you might want to start with if you’re interested in reading them.
If you haven’t read any books by German children’s author Cornelia Funke yet, you have a treat in store. The multi-award winning writer of imaginative fiction talks us through her books and explains why fairy tales continue to fascinate her and her readers.
Coming-of-age stories unfold at the point at which a young person goes out into the world – full of potential and change. Siblings, at this important crossroad, also have to establish themselves outside of their relationship to each other. Author Laura Wood recommends five of her favourite novels that explore the intense, sometimes destructive, relationships that exist between sisters.
Rachel Hickman, co-founder of Chicken House Publishing and author of One Silver Summer selects books with wild settings that have appeal to older children. She discusses how a strong use of nature adds drama and meaning to a narrative, and the way that setting can become another character in a story entirely.
Melvin Burgess, author of Junk and Doing It tells us about the books that first inspired him and he picks the best thriller writing for young adults – along the way explaining why young people make the most demanding readers