Over to you…great books for teens

When I only begin to read, I forget I’m on this world. It lifts me on wings with high thoughts.” – Anzia Yezierska

So, we’re in a deep freeze here in Eastern Canada. That’s what happens when you get complacent about winter, I guess. Until the last few days we’ve had a perfectly respectable winter…but minus 30 with the wind chill, come on!

In the real world I teach high school. I don’t have a long career behind me because I started teaching, got frustrated, abandoned it and did other stuff and have only recently returned. It’s shocking how many kids today don’t read. Shocking. What I would like to do is compile a list of great books for teens and I am looking for suggestions. I would also like to make a list of books/poems/plays that every teen should read before they leave high school. Yes, we have a curriculum, but I am shocked at the gaps in their reading.

Great books for teens.

A comprehensive reading list for teens.

Any thoughts?

8 thoughts on “Over to you…great books for teens

  1. I just discovered your blog by way of Savidge Reads. I also teach high school English and have been doing so for about 6 years. I would be happy to brainstorm reading lists with you, if you’d like.

    The one book that I feel elicits the most interest and discussion among teens who do not like to read is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It is a short book (which they like) but it shows them what a society looks like that does not read and think for themselves. It also shows them a society that is eerily similar to our 21st century – complete with ipods and big screen televisions.

    Have you read this book yet?

    • Thanks for this suggestion, Molly. You know what – I’m not sure I have ever read this novel. I’ve heard of it, of course, but never read it. Certainly as a book lover it appeals to me. I’ll add it to my list.

  2. I think Junk by Melvin Burgess is an amazing book for 14-16 year olds who can deal with the fact that it deals with heroin addiction and prostitution. I always insist tha teens finish this one though. The world of hard druugs is made to sound fun at first… then absolutely horrifying.

  3. hi! it’s so funny–i just wrote a post asking for the same thing last week but in the end, i scrapped it in favor of something else!

    i also teach high school english to very reluctant readers and i’m always on the lookout for clean, contemporary books for them to read at home. i’ve had success with lurlene mcdaniels, caroline cooney, a few meg cabots (mediator series), joan bauer (hope was here is clean and good–so is rules of the road–i use them in class), and a few lois duncan books.

    if i were you, i’d check out joan bauer first. hope was here was an award winner (or nominee). cheers!

  4. I think I saw a review for one of S.E. Hinton’s books in your former blog!? The S. E. Hinton books are great. I started reading them in junior high or therabouts

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