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7 Young adult novels you and your student can enjoy

Students will have plenty of reading to do this school year, but it is also important to help them maintain a habit of reading for pleasure. Encourage your child to read the following young adult novels.


t Young adult literature is an increasingly popular medium, with both adults and children consuming novels like Divergent, The Giver and The Hunger Games, as well as their film counterparts. We may sometimes believe that reading material for young individuals is intended solely for people who are not adults, but young adult literature represents an opportunity for parents and students to share in an experience… the pleasure it engenders, as well as the questions it raises about life as a whole.

t Not all books will appeal to multiple ages, however. Below are seven young adult novels that you and your child are both likely to enjoy.

1. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

t If your young adult loves The Fault in Our Stars (the movie or the Green book), suggest that she read An Abundance of Katherines next. It is nothing short of hysterical, and students with a passion for mathematics will enjoy the protagonist’s quest to develop an equation for romantic relationships.

2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

t Ransom Riggs combines approachable text with disconcerting black-and-white photography in order to craft his engrossing novel. Both high school students and parents will be drawn into this unusual journey of self-discovery, which features strong characterization, a crystal clear setting and monsters, just for good measure.

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

t Now a motion picture, The Book Thief is a deeply moving narrative that takes place in World War II Germany. While it is a heartbreaking portrayal of Jewish persecution, it is also an important examination of events that must not be forgotten, and of the beauty of the human spirit.

4. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

t Middle school students with an interest in the fairy world will adore Valente’s tale about a girl who must save a fantastical foreign world from its ruler. The novel emphasizes themes of female empowerment and friendship without sacrificing plot or prose.

5. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

t Gaiman’s book is another excellent selection for middle school-age readers, particularly those who enjoy the fantasy or horror genre. It is immediately enthralling, with a young male protagonist whose adoptive parents are ghosts and whose godfather is a vampire. And despite its graveyard setting, it is a warm exploration of family.

6. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

t Cisneros’s famous book is a poetic coming-of-age story about a Latino girl living in Chicago, Illinois. Though The House on Mango Street often involves serious topics, such as immigration, gender roles, poverty, etc., it does so with grace. Its imagery is remarkable, as is the resilience of its protagonist.

7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

t Though The Night Circus is officially listed as an adult novel, it is popular with teenage readers. Morgenstern’s work is notable for its intricate, engaging premise and its lovely language, and both you and your student are liable to find the love story within a circus difficult to put down. Plus, its conclusion may just move you to tears.

t For more tips and strategies to help your student succeed in school, visit

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