20 Young Adult Books Parents Will Love

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 1 of 20
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    Death himself narrates the story of young Liesel, who steals her first book at her brother’s funeral and learns to read it while living with a foster family in Nazi Germany. She steals more books to share with her friend Rudy and a Jewish refugee hiding in her basement, and we follow her life as she continues to meet an interesting set of individuals. A new take on a dark era of world history, The Book Thief will change the way you think about books.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • … or Vixen by Jillian Larkin 2 of 20
    ... or Vixen by Jillian Larkin
    The first of a series of books set in the Prohibition era, Vixen features Gloria, a good girl debutante who’s engaged to marry the rich and handsome Sebastian Grey. But Gloria tries out the flapper nightlife before she settles down and ends up falling in love with Jerome, a black piano player. No one wants the two together — including the mob. Gloria’s story intertwines with that of her jealous best friend and her secretive cousin, creating a delicious read.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly 3 of 20
    Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
    Andi, forced to spend Christmas in Paris after the death of her brother, finds the diary of a girl named Alex who lived during the French Revolution. Alex chronicles her attempts to protect the young French prince, Louis-Charles, from assassination plots. Through pain and music, Andi and Alex’s lives connect, and both girls ultimately experience their own personal revolutions. I love the story’s use of history and its celebration of hope and music.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • or Sold by Patricia McCormick 4 of 20
    or Sold by Patricia McCormick
    Sold is told through the eyes of 13-year-old Lakshmi, whose gambling-addicted stepfather sells her into the Calcutta sex trade. Lakshmi’s life is marked by abuse and starvation — and at times her story is difficult to read. But McCormick’s decision to write in free verse transforms an awful topic into a compelling eye-opener on a problem from which few girls escape in real life.
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  • The Skin Im In by Sharon G. Flake 5 of 20
    The Skin Im In by Sharon G. Flake
    Maleeka is a poor, dark-skinned black girl, an easy target for school bullies (one in particular treats her like a servant). Then a new teacher comes along: Miss Saunders, who’s confident in her own skin, despite the large birthmark on her face. Miss Saunders inspires Maleeka to find her inner strength and be proud of how she looks. As a former teacher, I love how this book demonstrates the effect teachers can have on their students.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • or Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli 6 of 20
    or Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
    Stargirl’s reputation at her new school is that of the weird, homeschooled girl; she dresses differently, meditates, and plays the ukulele. While at first she’s embraced for her differences, she soon becomes an outcast. This doesn’t bother Stargirl, but it does bother Leo, her boyfriend, who asks her to conform. Learning whether acceptance is more important than individuality is an important life lesson, no matter your age.
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  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman 7 of 20
    If I Stay by Gayle Forman
    Most of this story takes place in Mia’s mind while she’s in a coma after a car accident kills her entire family. Mia relives her life and contemplates whether she should fight to live without her family (but with friends, a boyfriend, and her beloved cello) or resign to dying with her family. It’s a tragic and gripping story. What will she choose?
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  • or North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley 8 of 20
    or North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
    What is beauty? Terra Rose has spent her life trying to hide the birthmark that covers half her face. Then she meets gothic Jacob, a Chinese boy with a cleft lip who understands better than she can imagine what it’s like to look different. Terra — and readers — have a lot to learn from him when it comes to discovering the truth of beauty.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • Impulse by Ellen Hopkins 9 of 20
    Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
    Three troubled teens — a cutter, a druggie, and an abused boy — are committed to a psychiatric hospital for attempting suicide. They befriend each other and share their stories. Hopkins writes the book in poetry form, and I’m a huge fan of it. She has a gift for delving into the minds of children and exploring how they reach such dark places in their young lives.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • or Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson 10 of 20
    or Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
    A must-read for parents, Wintergirls takes you inside the mind of Lia, who, along with best friend Cassie, suffers from an eating disorder. But when Cassie commits suicide on a night that Lia didn’t return her calls, Lia’s guilt drives her anorexia and cutting to extremes. The book is disturbing at times but offers an eye-opening account of the self-destruction and scrutiny of which
    teenagers are capable.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins 11 of 20
    The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    In the post-apocalyptic world of this series (which has also inspired an upcoming film version), teenage male and female representatives from each territory go head-to-head in the “Hunger Games,” a yearly, televised fight to the death. (Think futuristic gladiator-style matches.) All three books in the series are impossible to put down. I especially loved the kick-butt victor of the games.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • or Graceling by Kristin Cashore 12 of 20
    or Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    In this novel gracelings are those with special talents, marked by having eyes of two different colors. Our heroine graceling, Katsa, is a skilled fighter, but she hates her talent for killing, which her uncle, the king, forces her to use. Katsa falls in love with another graceling who shows her that she doesn’t have to bow to her uncle’s demands. The first book of a series, this story is the most enjoyable kind of escape fiction, one that transports you into a world of fantasy,
    romance, and mystery.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • Soulless by Gail Carriger 13 of 20
    Soulless by Gail Carriger
    Set in Victorian England, Soulless brings us into a society of vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. Alexia, however, is none of the above. Soulless, she has the ability to neutralize the other supernaturals’ abilities with a simple touch. She and the gorgeous werewolf Lord Maccon (who readers will love to hate and hate to love) must investigate the disappearance of civilized supernaturals and the appearance of untrained ones before all hell breaks loose. Part romance, part steampunk, part comedy, part mystery, this book defies genre. Simply put, it’s an entertaining and unique page-turner, the first in the Parasol Protectorate series.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • or Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld 14 of 20
    or Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
    Uglies features a dystopian society in which “Uglies” (basically, normal-looking people in our society) are surgically transformed into “Pretties” at the ripe old age of 16. Daredevil rebel Shay chooses to stay an Ugly and escapes the surgery. Her friend Tally, who’s always wanted to be a Pretty, is forced by higher-ups to follow Shay and betray the rebels’ location. But just when Tally falls in love with rebel David and decides to change her mind, she accidentally lets the location slip and the rebels are captured. To make amends Tally agrees to become a Pretty so the rebels can experiment on her brain and see if the damage done by the surgery is at all reversible. Action, adventure, romance, and sci-fi combine to make this first novel in this series a captivating read.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • Heist Society by Ally Carter 15 of 20
    Heist Society by Ally Carter
    Kat Bishop’s got art thieves for parents, and she tried to escape the family business by enrolling in boarding school. But then she learns her father has been framed for the one robbery he didn’t commit, and Kat, along with a group of teen accomplices, must steal back the paintings to prove his innocence and save her family. This fast-paced, adventure-packed novel is perfect for a rainy
    day (or weekend!).
    Get it from Barnes & Noble »
  • or Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz 16 of 20
    or Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
    Young Alex Rider is recruited to take over his murdered uncle’s undercover spy job of investigating Sayle Enterprises, a company that created the groundbreaking Stormbreaker computer. Heavy on thrilling, James Bond-type action, this graphic novel is a fun spy story with a likable hero. (I’ve noticed the YA genre is short on male protagonists, so Alex Rider is a welcome character!)
    Get it from Amazon »
  • Jane by April Lindner 17 of 20
    Jane by April Lindner
    A modern Jane Eyre drops out of college to work as a nanny for Nico, an eccentric rock star. A romance blossoms between the two, but Nico is hiding a few things from their relationship. Will his secrets destroy their love? Jane may make you want to read (or reread) the Bronte classic that inspired it. Both Janes are my kind of heroine — strong and true to themselves.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • or Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson 18 of 20
    or Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

    Perfect for Peter Pan lovers, this first novel of a series acts as the prequel to the classic children’s story, explaining everything from how Tinkerbell got her name to how Neverland came to be. Peter meets Molly, the daughter of a Starcatcher, who must protect the magical, powerful “Starstuff” from getting into the hands of the evil “Others.” The novel is chock full of fun pirate adventures that will make you see J.M. Barrie’s classic in a different light.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • Stitches: A Memoir by David Small 19 of 20
    Stitches: A Memoir by David Small
    David Small illustrates this graphic memoir to depict the hellish childhood his parents bestowed upon him, one in which he was subjected to radiation treatments that eventually led to cancer, a horrific throat surgery, and the loss of his voice. Small’s stark black, white, and gray illustrations create a raw, real-life story from which he has survived.
    Get it from Amazon »
  • or Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork 20 of 20
    or Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork
    Marcelo, a seventeen-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome, is forced to acclimate to life in society by working in his father’s law office mailroom. Through first-person narrative he brings us along to his daily tasks and talks about the people around him, his obsession with spirituality, and what happens in the “real world” of lies and scandals. This story provides an insightful look into Asperger’s Syndrome and will stay with you long after you read it.
    Get it from Amazon »
Article Posted 5 years Ago

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