Best Teen Reads (guilty pleasures you'll love)

So one of the many perks to being a teacher is the fact that we get to legitimately read teenage books and listen to top 40 music for "market research." I get TOTALLY excited having book talks and recommending/sharing books with my students that are at their age level because let's face it: teen books are just so much more interesting. 

Anyway, in case you are looking for the new best read that is definitely not going to be heavy, probably somewhat cheesy, basically predictable but totally engaging and fun, check out these books below: 

1. The Hunger Games -- THE best book series I know right now. Actually the third book (Mockingjay) is not very good at all and I would recommend skipping it until the last twenty pages. You aren't missing anything. 

2. Out of the Dust-- this is a brilliantly written book in prose poetry about life during the Dust Bowl from a 12 year old, motherless girl's perspective. Newberry classic and totally amazing. 

3. Waiting for Normal-- I think if anyone grew up in a broken home or any situation in which they felt like they just didn't fit in and were "Waiting for Normal," they'd love this book. Awkward pre-teen. Trailer. Jobless mom. Surrogate neighbor. Loving stepfather. Totally brilliant combination for a perfect middle school book. 

4. Fever 1793-- Great (but sad) book set during the 1700s regarding a family who owns a town coffee shop, struck by a plague after having recently colonized the eastern coast of America.

5. The Giver-- Many people have read this through school, but if you haven't yet I highly recommend it. It's very similar to the Hunger Games in many aspects (post-modern "world" setting after basically every major empire has fallen and been rebuilt), and has some elements to communism/socialism life. As in, what would life be like if the government made every single decision for us in order to bring peace to society?

6. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson Series) -- GREAT book series if you are into mythology/fantasy! They also have the Lightning Thief graphic novel out if you are a fan of illustrations. It's very popular with kids these days-- a lot of books are going comic book style for added effect. 

7. Touching Spirit Bear -- A story about a boy named Cole with severe anger and bitterness issues who makes a huge mistake in high school and is faced with the choice of either going to jail, or living on a remote island in British Columbia to face his issues and overcome his violence. 

8. Chasing Lincoln's Killer -- This was one of my favorite books this year. It's a historical fiction story about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the weeklong chase that followed for his killer - John Wilkes Booth. 


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Anyway, those are just a few of my recommendations if you're looking for a book totally different than you're normally used to reading! It's totally okay to check out young adult books even if you're not a teacher... I won't tell! :)
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