1. Parenting

Summer Reading List for Teens

Recommended Books for Your Teenager

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When teens go all summer without reading, they fall out of a good habit that is hard to pick back up in the fall when school starts. You can help your teen keep up with their good reading habit by offering them books that they will enjoy reading, like the ones below, plus these books make great boredom busters.

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth

teen reads reading books Divergent
© Katherine Tegen Books

Divergent is a thrilling story about a dystopia society set in Chicago which is split into five fractions, each of which place a particular virtue over all others. For instance, the Dauntless fraction believes in bravery above all other virtues, so to succeed there you must be brave. The main character of the story has to choose where she should live by figuring out who she is, what she wants out of life and which friends she can trust.

This book has placed debut author, Veronica Roth, on the New York Times bestsellers list and has been called 'a brainy thrill-ride of a novel' by BookPage.com. It is the start of a series in which book 2, Insurgent, was released in May 2012. Teens who like thrillers with lots of twists and strong characters will really go for this book.

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2. Matched by Ally Condie

teen reads reading books Matched
© Speak

Matched is a love story set in the future - as many of today's teen books are - that is controlled by society. Teens, everyone really, are told what to watch, read and do in order to be happy. Along the same lines, they are also matched with their life-mate. No one argues or disagrees with any of the decisions that society makes because, like the main character Cassia, everyone trusts that the correct choices are being made. That is until the she comes up against a glitch in the mate that was chosen for her.

The author has said in an interview that the book is very introspective. Cassia must make a decision as to whether she believes that the mate chosen for her by society is 'the one' or if she should follow her heart. Your teen will be able to follow along with her reasonings and may question what in Cassia's life is fair as opposed to their own. Wonderful book to spark discussions on teen dating and relationships.

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3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

teen reads reading books The Fault in Our Stars
© Dutton Juvenile

Another love story but it is seeped in the reality that there are teens who are fighting cancer and their lives are going to be cut short. Sometimes these teens are lucky enough to fall in love and have a partner to help them while they are dealing with the questions one asks themselves when facing the end of one's life, like 'Did my life matter?' or 'How will I be remembered?' The teen couple in this book gets that lucky.

This book is sad, touching, thought-provoking and worthwhile. I highly recommend it for your teen and for you!

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4. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

teen reads reading books Its Kind of a Funny Story
© Disney-Hyperion

A realistic and sometimes very funny story about a teenage boy, Craig, who strives to make it into a prestigious high school only to find out he is not as successful as he once though he would be once he got there. He spirals into a depression that leads to a suicide attempt.

The story goes on to tell about his stay in the mental hospital, the people he meets there and his self-realization. The story ends on a note of hope, something I feel is important when writing about teen suicide. It is a powerful account of teen placement in a residential mental hospital, but it is not totally realistic as things happen for him too fast - for instance he becomes well in five days time - but as a story it is believable.

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5. Feed by M.T. Anderson

teen reads reading books Feed
© Candlewick

This is a great book for teens who are into computers, social networking and video games - which is pretty much all teens, right? A futuristic story about a group of teenagers who decide to go to the moon for spring break. While there, their feed - an information feed placed in their brains at birth - breaks. So, they end up in the hospital 'empty headed'.

Feed, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, is witty and entertaining. Most importantly, your teen will need to use their brain to get the message, as the characters learn to use their own brains as well.

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6. Shift by Jennifer Bradbury

teen reads books Shift
© Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Best friends Chris and Win, now high school graduates, decided to take a cross country bike hike together. On the way, they have a falling out and separate. Chris makes it home, his friend Win does not. The mystery of what happens on that bike trek and to Win depicts the 'shift' that most 18-year-old teens feel when they graduate high school and move into their young adult lives. It's a thoughtful story inside a puzzling mystery.
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7. Just Duct Tape It!

teen book duct tape
© Leisure Arts, Inc.
Duct tape has really found a market in teen crafts. Teens make wallets, tote bags and all kinds of fun useful items and clothes. Duck® brand duct tape even gives away scholarships for prom wear! If your teen wants to learn how to make things with duct tape, this is a great book to show them how.
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