Being a Young Adult English Education & English Literature major, I am an avid reader. Some nights I stay up for hours reading before going to bed, as I literally cannot put the book down until I finish. Some call me crazy, but I am obsessed with reading. Since March 2 is National Reading Day, I decided I’d share a list of my favorite books with you, including brief summaries for my favorites!
Some of my all-time favorite books are Young Adult novels. I read a ton in college and as a teacher for my high school curriculum, but I suggest all adults read these young adult titles regardless of your age. They will help you understand what’s going on in your children’s world and they bring back the sense of adventure, excitement, and newness we sometimes forget as adults.
Young Adult Novel Authors
- Chris Crutcher – great for middle school-high school boys because each protagonist [main character] is a male. Easily relatable, promotes sensitivity, and uplifting.
- Sarah Dessen
- Robert Cormier
Young Adult Novel Titles
- The Book Thief – Markus Zusak. Narrated by death, this book follows the soulful events of a young girl living in Nazi Germany during the rise of WWII. Heart wrenching, engaging, incredibly captivating.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky. Details the life of a young, struggling, out-of-place and confused boy going through the hardships of adolescent life. Relatable, incredibly loving protagonist, familiar situations, and tear jerking.
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer (must read even if you’ve already seen the movie). Following the self-discovery age of a young boy who unexpectedly lost his father in 9/11. Relatable, adventurous, emotionally captivating.
- The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
- Speak – Laurie Helson
- The Pigman – Paul Zindel
- Golden Grove – Francine Prose
Adult Novel Authors
- Jodi Piccoult – family tragedy but VERY informative and engaging (one of my favorite authors!)
- James Patterson – murder mysteries
- Mary Higgins Clark – murder mysteries
- Sandra Brown – murder mysteries
Adult Novel Titles
- Saving Max – Antoinette van Heugten. A mother’s effort to fight for her son’s wrongful accusations and placement in a junior psych facility won’t stop at anything.
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
- Here on Earth – Alice Hoffman
- Something Blue, Something Borrowed, Baby Proof, The Heart of the Matter – Emily Griffin
- The Last Song – Nicholas Sparks
- Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
- The Help – Kathryn Stockett
- Summer Sisters – Judy Blume
- The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein
- The Shack – William Paul Young