There’s a reason why young adult fiction is creeping into adult reading favorites. A lot of recent and classic teen fiction books are good. Sure, you’ll get your how-is-this-popular Twilight types. But for every Bella and Edward there’s a Katniss, Peeta and Gale or a Harry, Ron and Hermione.
To learn more about classic and great books, we offer this course, which will introduce you to great literature and teach you how to discover good books and the qualities that make books great.
With the popularity young adult books have gotten as of late, there are plenty of new books that are quickly becoming classics. There are also the standard classics that are read over and over by many generations. Here are a few new classics and old classics that will suck teens into their stories.
There’s a reason why the Harry Potter brand is worth more than $15 billion: it’s one of the most beloved young adult series of all time. Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger have been in our lives for 17 years, making it near impossible for us to ignore this pop culture phenomenon.
The Catcher in the Rye
Filled with teen angst and rebellion, The Catcher in the Rye is practically a rite of passage for teenagers. This novel, written in 1951 by J.D. Salinger, is universal when it comes to growing up, not fitting in and figuring out who you are.
The Hunger Games
A recent phenomenon, The Hunger Games doesn’t tread lightly when it comes to themes. The plot revolves around a dystopian nation that sacrifices 24 young adults in the annual “Hunger Games.” In this event, a boy and a girl from one of the nation’s 12 districts is picked, where they will all fight each other to the death until there is one winner. Heavy stuff, right? The book series, however, tackles important themes like poverty, oppression and affects of war, among others. The story is enthralling and the characters are strong role models for teenagers.
This book’s setting appears to be a utopian world, but things start to slowly unravel as a boy named Jonas starts to uncover his town’s secrets. Another coming-of-age story, Jonas starts discovering life outside his childhood as he gets closer to turning 12, the year where children will be given the roles they will hold the rest of their lives.
His Dark Materials
This trilogy has been criticized for being anti-religion, since it’s about “killing God,” according to author Philip Pullman. The world in this trilogy is a fantasy one and involves witches, armored polar bears and dæmons, which is an animal representation of a person’s inner self. These creatures are with their humans at all times and serious consequences happen when they are separated. The protagonist, Lyra, is a 12-year-old girl who is able to read the alethiometer, a powerful tool.
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird is possibly one of the most important American novels a teenager could read. Published in 1960, its strong themes of race, acceptance, gender roles, class and loss of innocence are still relevant in today’s times.
This classic sci-fi novel focuses on genius Ender Wiggin as he goes through training on future Earth. His training is to prepare for a predicted invasion from an alien species called the “Buggers.” Ender must not only train to save the world, but go through your typical teenage problems like bullies, fitting in and finding yourself.
This novel was published by S.E. Hinton when she was just 18 years old. It has since become not only a classic, but can be found on a number of banned book lists due to its gang violence and teen drug and alcohol use. The narrative focuses on two rival gangs, the lower-class Greasers and the upper-class Socs, and an incident that furthers the conflict between the two gangs.
Looking for Alaska
Basically any book by author John Green is a young adult goldmine, but this one is a beautifully tragic coming-of-age story that resonates with teenagers. Green doesn’t stray away from topics like teenage sex, drinking and smoking, but that’s what makes his stories easy to relate to. He writes about situations that teenagers come face-to-face with every day, told by characters who could easily be your friend.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Like all great books for teenagers, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age story about an introverted teen during his freshman year in high school. The book was first published in 1999 and spent an impressive year on the New York Times Best Seller list.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Another sci-fi adventure series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a fictional hitchhiker’s guide that was inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Europe. The book is written in the form of an encyclopedia and focuses on best friends Arthur and Dent as they head out into the galaxy after their planet is attacked by an alien race.
Encouraging Teens to Read
If your teen claims they don’t have time for reading, they might be interested in the art of speed reading. This is not only productive to their lifestyle, but it will also encourage them to devour books if they are able to read them more efficiently. If your teen is interested in learning how to speed read in order to help prioritize their lives and schedules, we offer this course that can help. After taking the course, you will be able to boost your understanding of the content, develop your memory, increase reading and more. Additionally, this skill is helpful for those teens that want to learn to study for tests more effectively and efficiently. You can also use this blog to help with literacy, as it gives seven literacy strategies to help you become a better reader.
Going Further than Reading
If your teen enjoys reading and writing, encourage them to start a blog to display their writing abilities. Blogs are a great way to interact and communicate with people, especially if they provide interesting content. If you are unfamiliar with how to start up a blog, we offer a blogging 101 course that you can take with your teen. This will teach you how to set up your first blog and even get into deeper territories such as getting money for your blog or sampling products through the site. Whatever you choose to do with your blog, this course can help you.
If your teen wants to go further and write their own book, there are many different ways they can self publish it. This is a great way to encourage your teen to work hard for their dreams and give them something impressive to show for it. One of the more accessible ways to self-publish your own books is through e-readers. Since you don’t have to print an e-book, costs are low and getting your book out there is relatively easy using this platform. With this course, you can learn not only how to write an e-book, but how to publish one as well. Take love of reading, books and writing to that next level and have something to show off in the end.