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Top Ten Tuesday: Required Reading for Teens

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish! You can join the fun too by hopping over to the site and checking out their post!

I really love today’s topic! I can’t wait to see what your picks are too!

The Top Ten Books Teens Should be Required to Read:

1The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins– I’m not sure what reading level this book would be appropriate at, but I think this novel would really make kids think about violence and our society’s acceptance of it. Also, I think group discussions about this book from a teen’s perspectives would be really interesting to hear!

2A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle– This book is one of my first forays into the fantasy world, and it’s so good and wholesome and fun. Plus, I think it goes deeper than some YA books, which makes it all the more required-reading-worthy.

3Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt– Love, love love this book! It’s so sweet and poignant. This book offers the most realistic representation of “living forever” that I’ve ever read.

4Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen– I’m not sure I really need to qualify this… It’s only one of the most romantic books of all time. No biggie 😉

5The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams– Ok, so this book isn’t exactly the most educational piece ever written, but I think it’s one of the best intro books to science fiction. It’s hilarious, irreverent and adorable.

6A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens– Dickens is kind of known for writing classics, but I don’t think every kid in America has read this book. And, honestly, they really need to! Sydney!! Ahh!!

7Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling– Hear me out- starting in 5th grade, you read one Harry Potter book a year until you graduate high school. If you want to teach your children about bravery, right and wrong and the power of friendship, make them read Harry Potter!

8The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien– This might be a tough sell for girls. I mean, I’m pretty sure I skimmed some parts. Maybe this required read could be a movie/book combo deal.

9Graceling by Kristin Cashore– Female empowerment to the max! Every high school or college-age girl should read this book! You’ll want to learn karate immediately after you’re finished reading.

10The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison– This book is pretty heavy, but I think issues like racism and prejudice should really be examined in formative years. I think so many kids would gain some serious insight from this novel.

What books made your required reading list?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Great list! I think a lot of these books would definitely be good for teens to read.

  • I never could have made it through Toni Morrison as a kid. I had to do it as a senior in college and hated it 🙁
    I might add the Chronicles of Narnia to that list?

    • Her writing is great but her subject matter is so dark. I can def understand that. The Chronicles of Narnia is a great addition!! I’ve never read them though… 🙁 You may know slap my wrists.

  • Ems

    I need to pick up Hitchhiker’s Guide again…I started it at a bad time in life, and couldn’t get through. It deserves a fair shot. I haven’t read Toni Morrison or Graceling, but they’re both on my list.

    Love the others, and I’d add the Prydain Chronicles, Narnia, and The Dark is Rising Sequence to the list!

    • I’ve been meaning to read The Chronicles of Narnia for years, seriously! Great addition!! 🙂 I would definitely put Graceling above Toni Morrison (sorry Toni). It’s seriously fantastic.

  • Laura

    A Wrinkle in Time was one of my favorite books in elementary school. I remember fondly my teacher reading it aloud to us.

    Come visit me at The Scarlet Letter.

  • Ckeaton

    I really loved The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when I was a teenager. But, it probably already is required reading for all teens.

  • Lauren Berman

    Wonderful choices – I’ve read quite a few.
    Here’s my Top Ten

  • Enbrethiliel


    Well, if The Lord of the Rings is a tough sell for girls (although it wasn’t for this girl!), Pride and Prejudice is likely a tough sell for boys.

    This reminds me of a teacher I had who assigned Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. With the usual token exceptions, the classes were split along sex lines: the girls didn’t understand what the big deal was about aliens blowing up London and the boys didn’t understand why we were reading a book about a woman’s suffering that just went on and on and on and on and on and on . . . LOL!

  • Deadtreesandsilverscreens

    New follower here!

    I agree with Hitchiker’s Guide just because it is so darn funny.

    For middle school kids, I would like to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid because it is funny, some of the embarrassing things are relate able but mainly because I think it would be a good gateway book for kids that don’t want to read.
    Just my thoughts!

    DT From http://www.deadtreesandsilverscreens.blogspot.com

    • I haven’t read A Diary of a Wimpy, but I’ve heard from parents and kids who’ve loved it! Nice choice!

  • Melissa Hayden

    A couple of these I have read. But some of them I haven’t. Really this is a great list of books all teens should read. And gives such a variety of views. Wonderful.