Teen Book Shelf

Book Shelf » Books for Teenagers

These books have been chosen and recommended by Monica for teens and young adults. All the books have free delivery, all over the world.

The books in this list are mainly novels, but if you check under the headings for various subjects, you will find books there that I have reviewed and recommend to teen homeschoolers.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. We don’t recommend this book. Read a review from Stephanie here.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. A survival story of a boy who leaves home for a while to live in the wilderness in the Catskill Mountains in New York State.

Hatchet by Gary Paulson. A story of a 13-year-old boy’s survival in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash. This is a great alternative to The Hunger Games (in terms of a book about survival) for younger teens.

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D Schmidt. An entertaining and very well-written story about a school boy’s year and the way he changes and grows throughout the year. Read my book review here: Read my full review here

A Parcel of Patterns by Jill Paton Walsh. Based on a true story, tells of how Bubonic Plague breaks out in the small Derbyshire town of Eyam (pronounced ‘eem’) in the mid sixteen-sixties. Told through the eyes of a sixteen year old girl as the plague invades her home town and carries away three quarters of the population, but sparing the surrounding countryside. Read the full review and watch a video here

Broken Song By Kathryn Lasky. The year is 1897, the place, Russia. Rueven (pronounced Rubin) Bloom is a fourteen year old boy in a small Jewish village. He plays the violin like an angel. His love for music is the only thing that doesn’t change when his life is turned upside down by the Tsar’s army. This book is a sequel to The Night Journey, it goes into greater detail and is far more brutal. Recommended for teens and older.

Under the Blood-Red Sun By Graham Salisbury. Thirteen-year-old Tomikazu is a Japanese-American. He lives with his mother, father, grandfather and little sister, Kimi on a corner of land overlooking Honolulu Bay in Hawaii. He plays baseball everyday with his best friend, a haole or white boy named Billy. Along with their other friends they make up an unofficial baseball team called The Rats and have regular games with another unofficial team called the Kaka’ako Boys. All in all he leads a happy, reasonably carefree life; that is until the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbour. Tomi’s world is then turned upside down as life as a Japanese-American becomes unpredictable and terrifying. Graham Salisbury brings to life the disgusting way in which Japanese-American men and their families were treated during World War 2. First published in 1994, this book is a winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction.

The Island of Horses By Ellis Dillon. This is an amazing story about two boys who live in Ireland and decide to go to an island full of wild horses to try to tame them. I highly recommend it.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and Let The Circle Be Unbroken and The Road To Memphis by Mildred D. Taylor are the stories of a family in the Deep South of the United States of America, in the 1930s fighting to stay together in the face of racism, illness, poverty, and betrayal. The story is told from the point of view of nine-year-old Cassie Logan, growing up so protected by her loving family that she has never had reason to suspect that any white person could consider her inferior or wish her harm. The story demonstrates clearly the racial injustice displayed towards African American people in twentieth century America.

I cannot recommend these books highly enough. But I wouldn’t give these to anyone younger than 12 years old. I have read book reviews which recommend Roll of Thunder for nine to twelve-year-olds, but I really think it is much more suitable for teens. You will enjoy it better if you wait, and the subject matter will mean more to you and have more impact.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers By Sean Covey. This is one of my favourite books of all time. It is the handbook to being a high-achieving, pleasant-to-be-with teenager. It puts the 7 habits into easy-to-read forms with cartoons stories and quotes without taking away any of the importance of bestowed upon the original 7 habits by Sean Covey’s dad, Stephen Covey.

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo. Set in WWI, this book is a powerful saga of brotherly love. It is a strong story and still makes me cry even after doing a detailed in depth study on it, I highly recommend it, especially if you like an intensely forceful story.

Assassins of Rome By Caroline Lawrence. This is one in a series called “The Roman Mysteries” about four unlikely friends living in first century Ostia in the Roman Empire. The friends solve mysteries together. I recommend all the books except for “The Sirens of Surrentum”

From Ostia to Alexandria with Flavia Gemina: Travels with Flavia Gemina By Caroline Lawrence. This is a guide by the author written from the notes she made when travelling to research her books.

The Silver Donkey By Sonya Hartnett. This is a charming little book about a lost soldier in the French countryside in WW1.

The Portal By Andrew Norriss. The Portal is one of the many Sci-Fi-For-Teens books written by Andrew Norriss. They are all utterly entertaining and fun.

The Winged Watchman and The Borrowed House By Hilda van Stockum. These are powerful books about the Nazi occupation of Holland in WW2.

The Sea Wolf By Jack London. This book is quite difficult to read but its story is interesting and the quality of writing is excellent.

44 Scotland Street By Alexander McCall Smith. This is the first book of a series about several people including the 6-year-old prodigy, Bertie, and his well-meaning yet over-bearing mother, Irene. They are light, entertaining and amusing.

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian. A story about a deprived child who is evacuated to the country and billeted with an old man. Slowly, friendship, healing and love start to grow for both of them. A beautiful story of love and healing, beautifully written but it does have some disturbing descriptions and actions of the boy’s strange mother. Also, you will probably want to have family discussions about misuse of authority, child neglect, misplaced religion versus faith, etc.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. This is the very famous ‘Anne Frank’s Diary’. Anne would have had her 80th birthday during 2009, which is a poignant thought as we read her diary today.

More books for young adults/teenagers to come. And if you have any recommended books, I would love to add them to the list. Email me: Monica@HomeschoolFamilyLife.com