Book Recommendations

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Teen Book Recommendations

Teens in grades 6-12 can write recommendations to help others find great books to read and earn community service hours! Click here for more details.

Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo
six of crowsKeywords: fantasy, complex, action packed
Description: A group of six and their leader go try to pull off an impossible heist. There is amazing character building and world building. Once you get through the first few pages, it is nearly impossible to put down. It is an extremely entertaining book.
Recommended for: I would recommend this book to those who are into fantasy novels and who have an active imagination. Students in 8th-10th grade.
The Bone Witch, Rin Chupeco
The Bone WitchKeywords: dark fantasy, magic, necromancy
Description: Tea doesn’t intend to raise her brother from his grave. It just happens. She learns that she is a bone witch, one of the most feared type of asha there is. Tea is taken under the wings of Lady Mykaela, who is a bone witch as well. In a different timeline, Tea is exiled and is telling a story to a Bard about her life when she was an asha novice. While telling her story, she raises daeva, one of the most terrifying creatures in existence, from their graves. Readers will be captivated by this dark fantasy story and its memorable characters. (first in series)
Recommended for: This book is for middle school students and fantasy/dark magic lovers. Perfect for you if you want to read late into the night, not being able to rip yourself away from the book. I am recommending this book because of how it captivated me from beginning to end. I loved all the ways the unnatural portions fit right in like it was the most normal thing in the world.
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
the alchemistKeywords: Deep, thoughtful, spiritual, encouraging
Description: The story follows Santiago, a young shepherd who leaves his sheep to follow a dream he had about treasure hidden in the pyramids of Egypt. Along the way he meets deep, intriguing characters who influence his journey. I really enjoyed this book, it moved at the perfect pace and I felt connected to the characters at every moment. Though the advice given to Santiago is fictional, it felt just as applicable to a modern human life. It’s a book you’ll check out again and again. 
Recommended for: The Alchemist is a fantastic book for fans of high fantasy, magic, and spiritual journeys for grades 6 and up. If you enjoy reading about characters who are open to change and new experiences, then this one is for you.
The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn
the woman in the windowKeywords: Thrilling, fun, exciting, surprising, mysterious
Description: An agoraphobic woman who has locked herself in her home for almost eleven months spends her (abundance of) free time drinking too much, playing chess online, and spying on her neighbors through her windows. This has been a habit of hers for a while, but one night, everything changes because she sees something at the house of her new neighbors. Her world changes overnight and she is forced to question what she saw happened, or better yet, if it happened at all. This book was such a page turner, and I finished it in only two days, even though it has a good four and a half hundred pages. The pace is fast, and the chapters are short, making it easy to just keep flipping through. The writing is suspenseful, the characters are well made, and the twists are never ending. The book will keep you on your toes. One of the best thrillers I've read so far!
Recommended for: This book is recommended for highschoolers and young adults that are interested in thriller/mystery books.
All of Us Villains, Amanda Foody and C.L. Herman
all of us villainsKeywords: competition, survival, magic, battle
Description: Everything changed for the seven families of Ilvernath that participated in the Tournament. When the book A Tradition of Tragedy was published, the murderous ways of these seven families came into light, how they would send seven of their children to fight to the death, and the one who came out alive would be awarded with high magick for the next twenty years. Then the cycle would repeat again. After the release of the book, paparazzi and reporters and even the government hunted down the families. But when the time for the Tournament came, and with the whole world watching, of course everything went wrong. Briony Thorburn forcefully took the name of champion, one who competes in the Tournament, from her sister. Isobel Macaslan lost her sense for magick, both high and common, and Gavin Grieve resorted to a test experiment that made sure his magick use was restrained to his life. But within it all, a way to end this horror has been found. The only question is if the champions are smart enough to be truthful. Yet even that could be too much for children bred and raised to kill others and trust no one but themselves. I am recommending this book because it is like the Hunger Games, except more rich and with more fantasy and lore to it. It has unexpected twists and turns that will keep you up at night reading.
Recommended for: People who like books about shifting loyalties, a competition, and people fighting to be the last ones standing. Perfect for Hunger Games fans ages 13+
The Black Witch, Laurie Forest
the black witchKeywords: fantasy, magic, action, adventure
Description: Elloren Gardener is the granddaughter of the famous Black Witch, who killed the Icaral, a winged demon, of the Prophecy. People are stunned by how much she looks like her grandmother. Elloren lives with her uncle, but when Aunt Vyvian takes her with the intent to have her wandfasted, a kind of marriage, Elloren tries to refuse. She goes to the University, and is doomed with two Icarals, her aunt’s way to torture her until she agrees to wandfast. Elloren faces many difficulties, like one of her roommates trying to kill her, a girl who is a powerful mage and is quite jealous of her, and, above all, Elloren, for the first time, sees how cruel her people are to other species. I am recommending this book because it’s fast-paced, especially for people who don’t like to wait for action. It is very different from other fantasy books, leaning a bit more to dystopian than others do.
Recommended for: People ages 13+ who like fantasy, magic, and different worlds. For people who like to read a well-written story with a complete history and background, and different fantasy religions.
Caraval, Stephanie Garber
CaravalKeywords: magic, fantasy, mystery, descriptive
Description: Scarlett Dragona has for seven years been waiting for a letter from Legend, the mastermind behind the magical world of Caraval. People say that Caraval is a whole different dimension, with magic potions, creatures, and secrets. When she finally gets the letter, she's already engaged in a mysterious count, and she knows her father will kill her sister, Donatella, if he finds out that she has escaped. But then a mysterious sailor offers to take Scarlett and Tella to Caraval, and also pose it as a kidnapping so their father wouldn't find out. Though Scarlett only wants safety for her sister, she's dragged along by her sister's immense feeling for adventure. But when Legend kidnaps Tella and announces that whoever finds her would win Tella and a wish, Scarlett knows she will have to win the game before anyone else does, and to make sure her sister doesn't go mad like the girl who got fantasy and reality mixed up.
Recommended for: For people ages 12+ who love fantasy, magic, and wonder. Also for fans of mystery and suspense. I loved that this book combined mystery with fantasy. It was a very enticing book about love for siblings, magic, and sacrifice.
Spy School, Stuart Gibbs
spy schoolKeywords: suspenseful, amusing, thriller
Description: Ben Ripley is elated when an agent from the CIA comes to recruit him for a secret school for spies in training. But as soon as he gets there, he's attacked by men in black suits and helped by a girl who might hate him. In the following weeks, he's attacked by assassins, makes more than a few enemies, and also badmouths the principal. With the help of a girl named Erica, Ben figures out that the authorities are hiding secrets, and there might be a mole in the school. And they're coming right after Ben. This book was humorous and suspenseful; amusing in a deadpan way, and suspenseful in that there was a lot of frustration and going back to square one after learning more.
Recommended for: Middle school students ages 9-13, Gordon Korman fans, Rick Riordan fans
Raybearer, Jordan Ifueko
raybearerKeywords: fantasy, lyrical
Description: This book is about a young girl named Tarisai who was raised in isolation. Tarisai is commanded by her mom to befriend the prince so she can kill him. I'm recommending this book because I found I lost myself in this rich world. It's so unique and unlike anything I have ever read.
Recommended for: I would recommend this book to someone 8th grade and up who is into fantasy novels. If you are looking for something unique, exciting, heartbreaking yet uplifting, this is the book for you. 
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Holly Jackson
a good girls guide to murderKeywords: suspenseful, thriller, engaging
Description: In the town of Fairview, everyone agrees on one thing: Andie Bell was murdered, and the murderer, Sal Singh, later killed himself. But Pip isn’t so sure, and she researches this for her Capstone project. As she starts to investigate, the accepted story and the evidence she gathers don’t match up, and she realizes that the murder case has gaps in it. With the help of Ravi Singh, Pip digs deeper; what was once a school project is now a mission to clear Sal’s name. But someone doesn’t want her investigating, and others are hiding secrets. It’s up to Pip to solve the case and find out what really happened before someone else is taken, or worse, killed.
Recommended for: Murder mystery, thriller, and suspense fans and readers ages 13+ and fans of One of Us is Lying. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is written like a true crime podcast, and this format with the original story narrative makes it a fun read. The book is a well-written case, with connections to be made everywhere. It is similar to One of Us is Lying, as it gives you information about the case as well as the problems the main character is facing as well. The ending is very surprising, one that readers will probably never guess.
Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
howls moving castleKeywords: comedy, fantasy, magic
Description: When Sophie took over her stepmother’s hat shop, she didn’t expect to be turned into an old woman by the wicked Witch of the Wastes. She comes across Howl’s castle, and makes a deal with the fire demon, Calcifer. Calcifer tells Sophie that she will have to find a way to break his contract with Howl and free him. In return, Calcifer will try to find a way to break the spell the Witch placed on her. In the following month, Sophie works as a cleaning woman for Howl’s castle, and they travel around. Along the way, Sophie is chased by a scarecrow, pretends to be Howl’s mother, and tries to protect her sister Lettie from Howl. Sophie also learns that she may have own magic. I am recommending this book because I liked the humor and comedy in the story, and it’s pretty fast-paced. It’s hard to put down once you stop, because you just want to know what Sophie and the other characters will do next.
Recommended for: For readers ages 9 & up and fans of fantasy, magic, and spells.
We Were Liars, E. Lockhart
We Were LiarsKeywords: summer, cousins, privilege, lyrical, atmospheric
Description: There’s nothing like getting together with your cousins in the summer. These cousins look forward to their family’s annual trip each year because it's when they get to catch up with each other. Everything is great until one night, it's not. This book definitely takes an unexpected twist. I'm recommending this book because it keeps you in suspense. Maybe even confuses you a little, in a good way. It keeps you thinking and paying attention.
Recommended for: Recommended for teens and young adults; someone who enjoys reading already. 
Since You’ve Been Gone, Morgan Matson
since youve been goneKeywords: summer, honest, engaging
Description: When Emily cannot get into contact with her best friend, Sloane, she panics. That is until she receives a letter from Sloane with a list of things to do outside of her comfort zone. I'm recommending this book because of how amazing the writing is. The writing made it feel like the characters were real and like you were there with them in real time. 
Recommended for: I recommend this to anyone in 8th grade and up who hasn't read it. You will fall in love with the characters and the writing style.
One of Us is Lying, Karen M. McManus

one of us is lying book

Keywords: Mystery, murder, suspenseful, secretive
Description: Simon Kelleher - the writer of a blog that exposes all - has some secrets to share about 4 students who are deemed to be perfect. Bronwyn - the smart, Harvard bound student; Nate - the felon of the group; Addy - the perfect, pretty girlfriend; and Cooper - the MLB destined star. One fateful day, these 5 students are all given detention. Simon dies. Who could have killed him? Which one of the detention kids committed this crime? Together, the remaining 4 juggle through the difficulties of being suspected murderers, and reveal their deep, dark secrets, which are enough to make anyone stop trusting them. I enjoyed this book because the secrets made me more invested in the novel, to find out if the characters would be caught. I also enjoyed it because it had a plot twist at the end, which was something that did not occur to me. It was a great mystery book, that kept me guessing.
Recommended for: Teens aged 13 and older, who enjoy murder mysteries, and suspenseful novels filled with secrets that will keep you on edge.
Twilight, Stephanie Meyer
twilightKeywords: romantic, energetic, action, beautiful, exciting, intriguing, strong
Description: Twilight is about a young girl named Bella Swan. Her parents are divorced and she had been living with her Mom for a while, but Bella's Mom tends to move from place to place a lot with her boyfriend. Bella starts to realize she wants to stay put in one place for a little while so she decides to move to a small town named Forks in Washington with her dad. Forks is the complete opposite of what Bella is used to; Forks has a wet, very cold climate, something Bella is not very fond of. One day Bella arrives at her new school in the middle of the year which makes her a bit nervous. She meets a lot of new people, people that tend to be a bit more on the extroverted side while she is more introverted. As the day goes on, Bella arrives at one of her classes and is sat beside a mysterious young man who would change her life forever. This is one of my favorite books and it definitely made me interested in reading the rest of the series. This book series is also a movie series, which is also amazing. This teenage story is not your classic coming of age story and has many different interesting aspects that aren't really used in the typical girl meets boy style of writing. I really enjoyed this factor about this book because it made the book very unique in its own way. I also really liked the use of detail in this book. When I read it for the first time, it felt as if I was a part of the story, still, every single time I read this novel I always feel as I am sucked into the story-line. This book is an amazing book to choose if one is going for a drive, at the beach, sitting by the pool, or even flying on an airplane. 
Recommended for: I would recommend this book for older teenagers, around the ages of 13 and over. It is the perfect choice for those that love romance, whether it be movies or books.
Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life, Lulu Miller
why fish dont existKeywords: Scientific, historical, introspective, biographical
Description: Lulu Miller takes the reader on a journey as she details the story of David Starr Jordan, a 19th century scientist and explorer set on discovering as many fish as possible, even as the universe creates constant roadblocks. It’s not the normal read for me but turned out to be endlessly enjoyable. Interestingly, did not make me hungry for fish.
Recommended for: This book is a great read for people ages 15 and up wanting something both historical and thought-provoking. If you’re an NPR listener, a history buff, or one with an affinity for niche interests, this book is for you.
The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller
The Song of AchillesKeywords: sad, grim, adult books for teens
Description: A classic retelling of the Iliad from the point of view of a minor character, Patroclus. Strong characters with a beautiful plot.
Recommended for: I would recommend this book for someone in 9th to 10th grade who just started reading as a pastime and who just hasn't found the right book yet because this will lure them in. I normally would recommend reading the original story or source material, but not this time. If you have any interest in Greek mythology, this book is for you.
Iceberg, Jennifer A. Nielsen
Keywords: Tragic, adventurous, mysterious
Description: 12-year-old Hazel sails away from England to find a job in New York City. Things at home have been hard ever since her father passed away two years ago. Once Hazel boards the Titanic, she learns that there is a fire on the ship. She also learns that the captain has once caused a disaster while sailing another ship. Hazel turns more and more curious after finding out more and more about the Titanic, and the secrets it holds. She also starts to sense that something is off about the ship and grows insecure. She tries to find out as many things as she can about the ship, but before she can do this, disaster strikes. I recommend this book because it really shows how a person overcomes hardships. It is also very adventurous, and while I was reading, I could picture all the scenes that were happening. Finally, I recommend this book because it brings a life lesson, which is to be careful of who you make friends with, and who you stay away from.

Recommended for: This book is recommended for kids in grades 5 to 8 who love other adventure and mystery books. It is also recommended for people who like tragic books that are based off of true events.

All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven
All the Bright PlacesKeyword: heart-wrenching, love, tragedy
Description: This book is about two teens struggling with their mental health. It is about a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.
Recommended for: I am recommending this book for anyone dealing with mental illnesses. It'll break your heart and fix it at the same time. I would recommend this book to someone in 9th grade or above. The message of the book is something worth hearing and reading. The book left me speechless and I didn't know what to do with myself for the rest of the day.
Delirium, Lauren Oliver
DeliriumKeywords: sci-fi, dystopian, romantic, lyrical
Description: In the year 2091 in the U.S., love has been considered a disease and is commonly referred to as deliria, or Amor Deliria Nervousa. A cure for it has been found and is required for people of at least 18 years. Most people are afraid of the cure. Lena isn’t. She’s always believed wholeheartedly that the potential for love in her heart was disgusting, something to be ashamed of. She wants to be cured from something that had the potential to ruin her, like it did to her mother. Her friend, Hana, is quite the opposite. She’s prettier and more rebellious than Lena. While Lena prepares to be the perfect wife for her approved match, Hana goes to underground parties and listens to music unapproved by the DFA (Deliria-free America) But when she meets Alex, an Invalid who pretends to be Cured and shows Lena that the government has been lying all along, Lena wonders whether her entire life was ever true.
Recommended for: Sci-fi and dystopian fans. Ages 13+ This is a very riveting dystopian tale about what it means to learn the truth and change completely.
Dorothy Must Die, Danielle Paige
Keywords: Adventurous, exciting, entertaining 
Description: Amy is a high schooler who lives in Kansas. She is bullied at school and lives with her mother who ignores her. One day, there is a tornado and Amy’s mother ditches her to go to a tornado party. Soon the tornado hits Amy and sweeps her into the land of Oz. She discovers that Dorothy is a tyrant and a heartless villain that rules over Oz and is corrupted by its magic. She learns that the only way to return home is to help Oz first. In order to take down Dorothy, she must strip her of her power by killing her. With the help of her newly found friends, Nox, Gert, Glamora, and Mombi, she must train in order to kill Dorothy and save Oz once and for all. I like this book because the author puts her own spin on the classical book “The Wizard of Oz”. It has plot twists and leaves you on the edge of your seat.
Recommended for: This book is recommended for readers who like fantasy and adventure. I would recommend this book for ages 12+ because it has mild language.

Divergent, Veronica Roth
divergentKeywords: romantic, action-packed, thrilling, energetic
Description: Beatrice Prior, the protagonist of this story is a shy, young girl who lives in a society in which classes are ordered and made up by different sections of the society known as factions. The five factions include Abnegation, Candor, Erudite, Amity, and Dauntless, all very different sets of living. At a certain age, all in the society must take a test, one in which their biggest fears are presented, and the results conclude the faction they best fit into. There is then a ceremony, in which they pick a faction that sets them off to live a new life. While Beatrice is born into Abnegation, however, the test does not quite think so. I really enjoyed the energy in this book, seeing how Beatrice explores the sets of life and obstacles she faces were very interesting to read about. Those that love both action and romance will definitely enjoy this story.
Recommended for: Those that are 13 and older who love all things dystopian when it comes to books would definitely enjoy this romantic, powerful story.
Lock Every Door, Riley Sager
lock every doorKeywords: Surprising, suspenseful, creepy, exciting
Description: Jules moves into The Bartholomew building in New York which has a twisted and dark past to be unraveled. With apartment sitters and friends going missing, Jules must figure out the secrets of the building in order to save herself and her friends before it’s too late. I have always been an enjoyer of thriller books that keep me on the edge of the seat to keep me reading. This book definitely did, with many new twists added to always keep you reading to find out what’s next. The flow of the book is perfect, keeping you on edge of your seat the whole time. Everything is perfectly calculated and leaves no plot holes by the end.
Recommended for: This book would be recommended to someone aged 14+ years. I think someone who enjoys suspense and whodunnit books would like it. This book is a thriller with a bit of murder mystery thrown into it. 
As You Wish, Chelsea Sedoti
as you wishKeywords: adventurous, exciting, delightful, engaging, and expressive
Description: Madison is a small town in the Mojave Desert. It's in the middle of nowhere and it's not the most exciting place to live. But Eldon wouldn't wish to live somewhere else because it's almost his 18th birthday. If you live in Madison, everyone gets a wish on their eighteenth birthday and it always comes true. Many of Eldon's classmates wish to be beautiful or to be rich.  Eldon doesn't know what to wish for, but he has seen how wishes can hurt the people he loves. All Eldon knows is that he has 26 days to figure out his wish and for the rest of his life, he has to live with consequences. I am recommending this book because you can be so invested to the plot. When I was reading this, I thought I was only going to read a couple of chapters. I was so interested in the story that I ended up finishing this book in a day. But I also would recommend this book because it makes readers realize to be content with what they have. In this book, many characters have wished because they weren't satisfied with their lives.  But at the end of the day, these characters live with consequences from their wishes.
Recommended for: Recommended for 14+ or young adults who enjoy the genre fantasy fiction.
They Both Die at the End, Adam Silvera
They Both Die at the EndKeywords: love, friendship, tragic
Description: The title is self-explanatory. You'd think you're prepared for what's going to happen but you'd be very wrong. If you were going to die today, what would you do? When these kids get the call, they have to figure it out quickly as they’re on the clock.
Recommended for: I would recommend this book to someone in 10th or 11th grade who wants to spend their weekend cuddled with a good book. It's definitely for someone who doesn't mind shedding a tear or two. I'm recommending this book because it kept me entertained. I read it in two days. 
Maus, Art Spiegelman

maus book

Keywords: grim, sad, suspenseful, violent, gory
Description: A young Jewish boy and his parents during the time of the Holocaust in World War 2. He was a part of Nazi occupied Germany where he was to hide from the Nazis and not get caught for if he and his family got caught they would have to suffer by living in ghettos, be forced to work, or be sent to concentration camps and be tortured there and pray so that you could at least die. This book has been softened by the writer as he makes it a graphic novel and he makes it child friendly by adding mice and cats as the characters, but the main story is about the writer as he and his family try to survive the Holocaust as Jews. The story of the Holocaust is important to know for everyone around the world as humans make inhumane decisions and laws and we must learn from this story so that humans in the future don't make such a mistake again as it will only lead to disaster and chaos. It is about a story that is essential for everyone to know and learn from.
Recommended for: I would recommend ages 10 and up should read this novel.
An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir
an emberKeywords: thriller, action, rebellion
Description: Laia runs when her grandparents are shot by the Empire, and her brother Darin taken captive. Laia goes to the Resistance, who, albeit grudgingly, tell her that they will free Darin, if only for the reason her parents were the best resistance leaders in the decade. Laia works as a spy against the Commandant of Blackcliff, where the feared masks are trained. She is the Commandant’s personal slave, ensuring punishments and being slapped for even being a few minutes late. She meets Elias, who is part of the Trials to pick a new Emperor, and who doesn’t treat slaves as less than human. As they both realize they have a common goal and enemy, their choices will affect everyone in the entire Empire. I am recommending the book because it is very interesting and thrilling. It has a lot of twists and turns, and the characters are memorable, not all in a good way though.
Recommended for: Magic, thriller, fantasy and dystopian fans ages 13+
The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
thugKeywords: racism, justice, murder
Description: Starr doesn’t like to go to parties, so when she meets her childhood friend Khalil there, she’s happy to make up the lost time. But when Khalil is murdered by a cop, and no one intends to investigate, Starr feels like breaking. People are calling him a gangster and a drug dealer, and Starr’s friends at school suggest he might have had it coming. And since Starr was the one who saw the murder herself, only she can tell the truth. But even if she tells the whole, gruesome truth, people might not want to hear it. This is a very good book about the real problems the world is facing. Racism and police brutality and even murder at the hands of cops are all true things happening. It is also a very witty book, with likable characters.
Recommended for: People ages 13 and up who enjoy reading about racism and murder
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong
on earthKeywords: coming-of-age, poetic, adult books for young adults
Description: This book involves many themes such as generational trauma and the emotional burden that refugees/immigrants may carry from their homelands to their new life in America. It mentions struggles with racism, poverty, drug addiction, sexuality and more. This book has gorgeous writing. It's powerful and makes you reflect.
Recommended for: I recommend this book for people who have immigrant parents, are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, and students in grades 8 and up.
Love & Gelato, Jenna Evans Welch
love and gelatoKeywords: romantic, exciting, sweet, funny
Description: Lina goes to Italy after her mother’s death to live with her dad for the summer, with the intention of going back to America at the start of school. There she meets a boy named Ren, and the two of them become close friends. They travel around Florence going to all of Lina’s Mom’s favorite places around the city. Lina meets many new people and tries many new things, including gelato. She and Ren try to figure out what life might have been like for Lina’s mother and how it affected Lina’s life now. When the time comes for Lina to either stay in Italy or go home, she has to make a very hard decision that shocks many, including herself. I am recommending this book because it got me out of a reading slump. It is lighthearted and fast paced, as well as a cute, summer read.
Recommended for: This book is recommended to anyone starting at the age 13. Someone who loves fast pace, cute romances will love this book!

Librarian Book Recommendations

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Marvelous Books Middle School Opens in new windowYoung Adult Non-Fiction Opens in new windowYA Science Fiction and Fantasy Opens in new window