The Young Adult Reading List


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To help you navigate the plethora of young adult books out there, both classic and contemporary, we've put together another awesome guide--The Young Adults Summer Reading Flowchart!


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The Young Adult Reading List

  1. 1. THE YOUNG ADULT SUMMER READING LIST START HISTORICAL FICTION Code Name Verity The Book Thief by Elizabeth Wein (2012) by Markus Zusak (2006) World War II story about a friendship between two female members of the British war effort. Espionage, suspense and a heart-wrenching ending — this moving page-turner has it all. DWELING IN THE PAST? NO GROWING PAINS? Set during World War II in Germany, Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich, scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist: books. Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick (2006) COMING OF AGE The Miseducation of Cameron Post Based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, this is an achingly raw and powerful novel about a child of war who becomes a man of peace. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Emily M. Danforth (2012) by Benjamin Saenz (2012) This coming-of-age story is one for any teen who has felt like an outsider, or has stopped and started her way toward an authentic self. Island of the Blue Dolphins As loners, Ari and Dante start spending time together, and they discover that they share a special friendship — the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. The Fault in Our Stars Karana is the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Hers is not only an unusual story of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by John Green (2012) by Scott O’Dell (1960) by Jesse Andrews (2012) Cancer patients Hazel and Augustus’ relationship is an unexpected journey, pushing Hazel to reexamine how sickness and health, and life and death, will define her, and to contemplate the legacy that everyone leaves behind. Greg and Earl spend their time making movies, and when Rachel stops cancer treatment, they decide to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives. Boy21 by Matthew Quick (2012) An exploration of survivor’s guilt and how a glimpse of death can make you rethink life. A post-high school story about the beauty and influence of music and art. Brilliantly captures a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives. As their final year of high school brings Finley and Russ together, “Boy21” may turn out to be the answer they both need. The Outsiders To Kill a Mockingbird by S.E. Hinton (1967) by Harper Lee (1960) The murder of a “Soc” by a “Greaser” gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same no matter which side you’re on. Thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, Clay Jensen’s classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier, arrive on his doorstep. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation is revealed. Leaving the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school, Junior struggles to find his place in his new surroundings in order to escape his destiny back on the reservation. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (2003) Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically gifted autistic boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog and uncovers secrets about his mother. During their first summer break spent apart, longtime friends Lena, Tibby, Carmen and Bridget share their adventures with each other through a pair of jeans they all wear that absorbs their stories. by Meg Rosoff (2012) When lazy, moody, charming Bob falls for Lucy, a lovely zookeeper, the world goes topsy-turvy. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813) A witty comedy of manners, this novel features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of 18th-century drawing-room intrigues. by John Green (2005) The Princess Bride Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash. by William Goldman (1973) This is a tale of a handsome farm boy who, aided by a drunken swordsman and a gentle giant, rescues a beautiful princess named Buttercup – but the twist is in the telling. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (1948) An Abundance of Katherines Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain lives with her older sister, writer father and bohemian stepmother in a crumbling English castle. Then, a well-to-do American family buys the castle, becoming the Mortmains' landlords. Cassandra uses a diary to record the tumultuous months that follow. by John Green (2006) Having been dumped by girls named Katherine all his life, Colin Singleton embarks on a quest to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will affect all of his future relationships and change his life. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist Speak by Laurie Halse by Rachel Cohen and David Levithan (2006) Anderson (1999) After being raped at a party, teenager Melinda is unable to tell angry partygoers why she called the police — and eventually stops speaking all together. Speak follows Melinda as she overcomes her past and finds her voice. High school student Nick O'Leary, member of a rock band, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes in order to avoid his ex-sweetheart. Those fateful five minutes lead to an all-night quest to find their favorite band's secret show. This Lullaby Stargirl by Sarah Dessen (2002) by Jerry Spinelli (2000) Remy, a girl who always knows how to end a relationship before it becomes emotional, meets her match in Dexter, a musician who embodies everything that she despises and reminds her of the father who abandoned her. Remy finds herself unable to dump Dexter and learns to follow her heart. Mica Area High School has never seen anything like Susan "Stargirl" Caraway. This is a story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity and the thrill of first love. The House on Mango Street My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (2004) Conceived to provide a bone marrow match for her leukemia-stricken sister, teenage Anna begins to question her moral obligations in light of countless medical procedures and decides to fight for the right to make decisions about her own body. There Is No Dog Looking for Alaska The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series by Ann Brashares (2001) LOVE/ROMANCE Unlikely friends Jess and Leslie become inseparable. Together they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations are the only limits. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (2007) NO by Katherine Paterson (1977) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (2007) LOOKING FOR LOVE? Bridge to Terabithia The Perks of Being a Wallflower A deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant rollercoaster days known as growing up. SPORTS/HOBBIES by Megan Miranda (2012) by Nina LaCour (2012) by Stephen Chbosky (1999) NO Fracture The Disenchantments Compassionate, dramatic and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior, to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. SPORTS PLEASE Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater (2009) by Sandra Cisneros (1984) Grace has been visited each winter by a yellow-eyed wolf — a werewolf, it turns out, who becomes her boyfriend in his human form as Sam. Grace and Sam must fight to stay together, while fellow werewolf Cole wrestles with his attraction for a rich girl, Isabel. For Esperanza, a young girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, life is an endless landscape of concrete and run-down tenements. She tries to rise above the hopelessness and come into her own. The Chocolate War Just Listen by Robert Cormier (1975) by Sarah Dessen (2006) The world of Trinity School is turned upside down when freshman Jerry Renault refuses to sell chocolates for the school's annual fundraiser. Jerry becomes a nonconformist hero for some — and a target of hatred for others. Suddenly unpopular 16year-old Annabel finds an ally in classmate Owen, whose honesty and passion for music help her face what really happened at the end-of-the-year party that changed her life. Struggling to confront her grandfather's impending death, 16-yearold Vicky Austin finds herself the center of attention for three young men, one of whom is a dolphin researcher. When the inevitable crisis comes, she must rely on the love of others — both human and dolphin — to overcome her grief. MYSTERY/THRILLER by Libba Bray (2012) If I Stay When a rash of occultbased murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. Through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer — if he doesn't catch her first. by Gayle Forman (2009) Seventeen-year-old Mia is in a coma after a terrible car accident that killed her parents. Awakening, she has no memory of the accident and must put her life back together piece by piece — then decide what to do with it. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (2011) Popular, thoughtless Samantha dies in a fiery car crash — but wakes up the next morning and ends up living out her last day alive seven times in a row, until she finally unravels the mystery of her death. It’s Kind of a Funny Story The Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (2009) Estranged best friends Lia and Cassie both struggle with anorexia and bulimia. When Cassie dies, Lia must find a way to hold on to hope and recover. NO The Diviners A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle (1980) WHO-DONE-IT? by Ned Vizzini (2006) An ambitious new student at Manhattan's prestigious Executive Pre-Professional High School, Craig Gilner suddenly discovers that he has become an average kid among a group of brilliant students and that he’s not the only one having a hard time coping. Paper Towns by John Green (2008) One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life, until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q's neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure, then mysteriously disappears. WANT TO ESCAPE? Mrs. Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children I Am the Messenger LOOK TO THE FUTURE by Markus Zusak (2002) by Ransom Riggs (2011) UTOPIA/DYSTOPIA The dull and drab life of Ed, an underage cab driver with a coffeeaddicted dog, takes an unexpected turn when he accidentally stops a bank robbery and finds himself being placed in charge of watching out for the entire town. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008) Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the annual Hunger Games. But Katniss has been close to death before and survival, for her, is second nature. If she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love. MAGICAL WORLDS NO Matched Series by Ally Condie (2010) FANTASY/FAIRYTALE Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her, so when Xander appears onscreen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate — until Ky Markham's face appears for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Hero and the Crown Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (2012) Serephina begins to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy peace in her land as she struggles to protect her own secret. Her tortuous journey to selfacceptance is one that readers will remember long after they've turned the final page. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953) The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning... along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag never questioned anything until he met a 17-year-old girl who told him about the past and a professor who told him about the future. Then, he suddenly realized what he had to do. by Robin McKinley (1984) Aerin, with the guidance of the wizard Luthe and the help of the blue sword Gonturan, wins the birthright due her as the daughter of the Damarian king and a witchwoman of the mysterious, demon-haunted North. Enchanted Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (1986) The eldest of three sisters in a land where being the eldest is considered a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice — until a witch turns her into an old woman, and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared wizard Howl. The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993) When Jonas turns 12, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back. by Alethea Kontis (2012) It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. A new twist on a girl kissing a frog into a prince. Bloodline Tiger Lily Series by Richelle Mead (2011) by Jodi Lynn Anderson (2012) Alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir. In a human private school in Palm Springs, California, amid the wealthy students, Sydney and Jill must attempt to pass as normal. Son by Lois Lowry (2012) Final book in what has become the “Giver Quartet,” a young mother who will sacrifice anything to find a son she was suppose to forget. A thrilling series finale, Son is the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale, culminating in a final clash between good and evil. Turning the tale of “Peter Pan” into a character study of the women in his world, this story is not just some cute retelling of an old story; it’s a meaningful look at race, gender and the truth about the men who don’t grow up. Harry Potter The Lightning Thief Series by J.K. Rowling (1997) (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan (2005) All Harry knows is a miserable life: His room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in 10 years. But all that is about to change with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There, he finds friends and magic around every corner, but also a great destiny that's been waiting for him — if Harry can survive the encounter. Divergent Series by Veronica Roth (2012) In a future Chicago, 16year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all. Percy will have to do more than catch a thief! He must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves. The Hobbit The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937) Series by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954) This introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, the creature Gollum and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner (2009) Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up in the middle of a maze with no memory and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape. But once he escapes, he discovers the outside world is a new and dangerous place. Frodo Baggins knew the Ringwraiths were searching for him and the Ring of Power he bore, which would enable Sauron to destroy all that was good in Middle-earth. Now it was up to Frodo and his faithful servant Sam to carry the Ring to where it could be destroyed: in the very center of Sauron's dark kingdom. The Phantom Tollbooth Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit (1975) Doomed to — or blessed with — eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can, but problems arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to ruin everything. Feed by M.T. Anderson (2002) In the future, most people have a Feed chip implanted in their heads that connects everyone to an evolved version of the Internet — at the cost of even basic privacy. During spring break on the moon, Titus and Violet meet and build a relationship when their Feeds are hacked. by Norton Juster (1961) For Milo, everything's a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, Milo realizes something astonishing: Life is far from dull. In fact, it's exciting beyond his wildest dreams! Daughter of the Lioness/Trickster The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (1968) The last unicorn leaves the protection of her enchanted lavender forest to search for her own kind, with the assistance of Schmedrick, the only occasionally successful magician, and dreamer Molly Grue. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (2002) In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States. Escape is his only chance to survive — but even that may not save him. FEELING SUPERNATURAL After a family tragedy, Jacob feels compelled to explore an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, discovering that the children once kept there — including his own grandfather — may have been dangerous and may be still alive. Series by Tamora Pierce (2003) Alianne, the teenage daughter of Alanna, the first lady knight in Tortall, is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Forced to serve an exiled royal family in the remote Copper Islands, she is immersed in a world of murder, intrigue and warring gods. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (1982) Harry Crewe's boring life in the remote orange-growing province of Daria is disrupted when she's kidnapped by a native king. She discovers power within herself and becomes the heroic Harimad-sol, King's Rider and heir to a magical sword. NO by Patricia C. Wrede (1985) Princess Cimorene of Lindenwall decides she's had enough of being a princess and hires herself out to cook for the dragon Kazul. This boxed set follows her adventures and those of her son Daystar. Circle of Magic Series by Tamora Pierce (1997) Having been sent to Winding Circle Temple, Daja, Briar, Tris and Sandry begin to feel that they have finally found a place where their magical gifts are respected. As they learn and grow in their skills, they must face down everything from pirates to strange diseases. FANTASY/PARANORMAL/SCI-FI Twilight A Wrinkle in Time Series by Stephanie Meyer (2005) Series by Madeleine L'Engle (1962) Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite. Meg's father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space? Every Day NO Dune by David Levithan (2012) START A NEW ADVENTURE by Frank Herbert (1965) Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. ADVENTURE Paul Atreides, the son of a betrayed duke, is given up for dead on a treacherous desert planet and adopted by its fierce, nomadic people, who help him unravel his most unexpected destiny. The Mortal Instruments: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (1883) While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, an innkeeper and her son find a treasure map that leads them across the Spanish Main to a notorious pirate's treasure. This classic novel introduced the world to the dreaded Long John Silver. Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield (2005) City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (2012) Fifth book in her paranormal series following Clary Fray and a pack of young Shadowhunters who live (and fight evil) in a supernatural world, some of which exists in New York City. A four-part series following teenage Tally as she uncovers the truth about her future world, where a mandatory operation at age 16 converts natural "Uglies" into conformist "Pretties." The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams (1979) Arthur Dent is introduced to the galaxy at large when he is rescued by an alien friend seconds before Earth's destruction and embarks on a series of amazing adventures. When a sinister carnival comes to town just before Halloween, two boys unearth the terrifying and horrible secrets that lurk beneath the surface and learn the consequences of wishes. Digging holes five feet wide and five feet deep is Stanley Yelnats’ sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize the boys are digging holes because the treacherous warden is searching for something, and before long Stanley begins his own search: for the truth. Series by Phillip Pullman (1995) Young Lyra Belacqua tries to prevent kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments and finds that she is caught in a battle between the angelic forces of the Authority and those gathered by her rebel uncle, Lord Asriel. Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter (2006) Cammie Morgan can speak 14 different languages, hack CIA computer codes and kill a man seven different ways. She and her friends are students at the elite Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, where martial arts and chemical warfare are on the curriculum, and the real mission is training spies. Unwind by Neil Shusterman (2007) In a future world where those between the ages of 13 and 18 can have their lives "unwound" and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to survive until they turn 18. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (2005) Chaos Walking When 17-year-old Ginny receives a bequest — a packet of mysterious envelopes — from her favorite aunt Peg, she leaves New Jersey to crisscross Europe on a whirlwind tour and scavenger hunt that transforms her life. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Patrick Ness (2008) On a "New World" where all men can hear each other's thoughts — but women remain private — Todd and Viola are pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron as they search for answers about their colony's true past, and seek a way to warn a ship bringing settlers from the Old World. by Louis Sachar (1998) His Dark Materials Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (1962) Holes by Laini Taylor (2011) Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student living in Prague, has a necklace of wishgranting beads and a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters — the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known. Gone The Immortals Series by Michael Grant (2008) OLDIES BUT GOODIES Series by Tamora Pierce (2005) When everyone over the age of 14 suddenly disappears from a California town, a battle erupts between the remaining residents and the students from a local school, as well as those who have "The Power" and those who do not. Thirteen-year-old Daine's magic allows her to speak to animals, hear their thoughts and shift into their forms. She uses her powers to help battle an invasion of terrible immortal creatures and prevent the overthrow of her king. Anne of Green Gables Where the Red Fern Grows Series by Lucy Maud Montgomery (1908) by Wilson Rawls (1961) The spunky Anne Shirley begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them over. Billy, Old Dan and Little Ann — a boy and his two dogs. Glory and victory are coming to them, but sadness waits too in this exciting tale of love and adventure. CLASSIC NOVELS Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (1952) The tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider, saved her pig Wilbur from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs. A story of friendship, hardship and the passing of time. Readers are reminded to open their eyes to the wonder and miracles found in the simplest of things. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911) Mary Lennox discovers the arched doorway into an overgrown garden and soon begins transforming it into a thing of beauty, unaware that she is changing, too. The Hatchet Series Lord of the Flies Catcher in the Rye by Gary Paulsen (1987) by William Golding (1954) by J.D. Salinger (1951) The story of 13-year-old Brian Robeson's survival following a plane crash has become a modern classic. Stranded in the desolate wilderness, Brian uses his instincts and his hatchet to stay alive for 54 harrowing days. A compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island. At first it seems as though it is all going to be great fun, but the fun soon becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. Flowers for Algernon The Call of the Wild by Daniel Keyes (1959) by Jack London (1903) When brain surgery makes a mouse into a genius, dull-witted Charlie Gordon wonders if it might also work for him. It does... but then the mouse begins to regress. The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard and part Scotch Shepherd, forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields, where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack. Holden Caulfield narrates the story of a couple of days in his 16-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school. His wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive), capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation. A Separate Peace by John Knowles (1959) Introverted, intellectual Gene and his daredevil best friend, Phineas, are roommates at a posh New England boarding school just before World War II, but a conflict of loyalties leads them to tragedy. Created by oBizMedia