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Teen Must-Reads for the summer before... high school

Using Books to Promote Compassion and Camaraderie
High school is a challenging time in every teen's life: new school, new classmates, new teachers, new classes. Everything seems bigger, more difficult, and more intense. At this time in students' lives, their support system—friends, family, teachers—is extremely important. With the increased presence of bullying in schools, it is essential that students learn to treat each other with understanding and compassion.

Thirteen Reasons Why
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a teen novel that has made a deep impact nationwide since its publication in 2007. The intricate, heartrending, and sensitive story that Clay and Hannah tell through their dual narrative makes for a standout novel that truly illustrates the power that teenagers have over the quality of each other's lives. Thirteen Reasons Why is a book to teach, a book to learn from, and a book that will stay with readers long after they close its cover. Ask incoming freshmen to read Thirteen Reasons Why over the summer before ninth grade. Reaction papers and creative essays could be assigned to coordinate with the first few lessons of English class. During orientation, engage students in small group discussions with teachers as leaders.

Speak Wintergirls
Twisted Catalyst
Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    A classic and essential teen read from Printz Honor-winner, Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
    An emotionally wrenching, lyrically written look at the deadly dangers of anorexia
  • Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
    A thought provoking exploration of what it means to be a man.
  • Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
    No amount of planning can prepare Kate for her senior year.

Read all the books by these favorite teen authors

Teens love to read about characters and situations that reflect themselves and their own experiences. Finding an author with a sizable backlist gives them an opportunity to read all summer long.

If I Stay Where She Went
Gayle Forman
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman
    A critically acclaimed novel that will change the way you look at life, love, and family.
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman
    Don't miss the lyrical and emotionally charged follow up, Where She Went.

What Happened to Goodbye? Along for the Ride
Lock and Key Just Listen
Sarah Dessen
Know a teen who can't get enough of Sarah Dessen? Tell them to check out where they can chat with other fans, view trailers, and enter to win prizes.
  • What Happened to Goodbye? by Sarah Dessen
  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  • Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
  • Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Will Grayson, Will Grayson An Abundance of Katherines
Paper Towns Looking for Alaska
John Green
Did you know that when John Green isn't writing books for teens he's a prolific video blogger? See what John has to say at
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  • Paper Towns by John Green
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green

Other great high school reads

Dracula Hamlet
The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Stories Frankenstein
Get a head start with curriculum favorites
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Fire Incarceron
Sapphique Eon
Discover a Unique new world
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore
    The exquisitely romantic and breathtaking companion to bestselling teen fantasy Graceling.
  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
    A heart-pounding, page-turning New York Times bestselling thriller.
  • Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
    Find out what happens next as Finn's adventure continues.
  • Eon by Alison Goodman
    Action a stunning magic system—swordplay galore!
  • Eona by Alison Goodman
    The conclusion to the saga that began with Eon.

Between Shades of Gray
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart as it elegantly delves into a little-known event in history telling the tale of fifteen-year-old Lina, a Lithuianian girl who is sent to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia during World War II.