Tween and Teen Book Recommendations

March 12, 2021, marks the one year anniversary of the last day I was teaching in my classroom last school year. It seems like eons ago, doesn’t it? This pandemic and quarantine business has been very difficult and challenging for all of us. With the third quarter of the 2020-2021 school year almost over, we will soon be starting our summer break!

Here are some interesting pieces of literature that would make for perfect summer reading for tweens and teens. Some of these titles are for more mature teens, and some may be considered middle grade reading level, but the stories were compelling enough for me to want them on my list. These are things I’ve taught, read and enjoyed, or highly recommended and/or award-winning titles. Newbery winners are always a good choice! I will continue to add to this list, so check back often! If you have titles you’d like to suggest to me for adding to the list, please let me know!

Fiction – Classics:

  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 
  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  • Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • The Complete Works of O. Henry (short stories) by O. Henry
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  • D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Mythology by Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (short stories) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Fiction – Contemporary:

  • House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • Rebound by Kwame Alexander
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  • Anything (many series to choose from) by Rick Riordan
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
  • Countdown by Deborah Wiles
  • The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
  • Wake Up Missing by Kate Messner
  • Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner
  • Silver Jaguar Society mystery trilogy by Kate Messner
  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
  • Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
  • Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman


  • The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  • Antigone by Sophocles
  • Our Town by Thornton Wilder
  • Fences by August Wilson
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  • Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
  • The Monsters are Due on Maple Street by Rod Serling (screenplay)


  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  • The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Sa’ud by Robert Lacey
  • Apollo 13 by James Lovell
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  • Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II by Daniel James Brown
  • Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong
  • Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Boys in the Boat: Young Readers Adaptation by Gregory Mone (or the adult version by Daniel James Brown)
  • All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team  by Christina Soontornvat
  • Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin (or sequel More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin)
  • A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
  • Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
  • A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

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