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20 Books for the Difficult Teen Years

By March 27, 2016July 10th, 2020Discussion and Recommendations

Some people find those teen years very difficult, it’s a time of change and growth and sometimes it can feel like it’s all happening a bit fast! Thankfully for us bibliophiles we had books to help us through, I spent many days lost in someone else’s world trying to make sense of my own, and I suspect many of you did too.

With that in mind, we specifically asked for the books that helped you through those difficult times, the ones that you felt spoke to you personally, and you answered in your droves! From your replies, we have 20 books for the difficult teen years and it makes a great reading list!

Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

The undisputed winner of this poll is Anne Frank with Diary of a Young Girl. While you might not think the life of a Jew hidden during World War II might have much in common with growing up today, Anne proves that teenagers feel the same the world over, whatever their circumstances.

Diary of a Young Girl US
Diary of a Young Girl UK

Review of Diary of a Young Girl

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret – Judy Blume

Lots and lots of Judy Blume books were suggested in this poll but the winner for the author, and second place in the list is Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. I loved Judy Blume when I was growing up, and many of you did too.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret US
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret UK

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The Outsiders – S. E Hinton

I guess the title says it all here, and The Outsiders is the perfect book for misfits, and wasn’t the only S. E. Hinton book suggested for the poll.

The Outsiders US
The Outsiders UK

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The Harry Potter series – J. K Rowling

It seemed inevitable it was going to make the list and it’s in fourth place. The book read by an entire generation of children growing up, the book that tackles bigotry and promotes tolerance in the most magical way, and the series that grew up as you did.

Harry Potter Box Set US
Harry Potter Box Set UK

Review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery

Who didn’t love Anne with an e? Set in a different time, Anne offers a magical innocence and a world easy to get lost in.

Anne of Green Gables US
Anne of Green Gables UK

Review of Anne of Green Gables

The Catcher in the Rye – J. D Salinger

I have to say Holden Caulfield annoyed me even when I was an angtsy teenager but for many of you, you found solace in the character suffering the same growing up pains as you were.

The Catcher in the Rye US
The Catcher in the Rye UK

A Review of The Catcher in the Rye

The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom

The Hiding Place is a personal favourite of mine, and Corrie Ten Boom’s account of her life, and imprisonment during WWII is a sobering read at any age.

The Hiding Place US
The Hiding Place UK

A Review of The Hiding Place

Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell

Such a beautiful story, Gone with the Wind often tops our classics poll and is clearly as loved by today’s youngsters as it always was.

Gone With the Wind US
Gone With the Wind UK

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a 1943 novel and American classic, a beautiful story and popular with many of you during your difficult teen years.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn US
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn UK

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The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

A scary dystopian future or a handbook for women and girls everywhere? The Handmaid’s Tale had a profound effect on me as a teenager, and many of you too it seems.

The Handmaid’s Tale US
The Handmaid’s Tale UK

Review of The Handmaid’s Tale

11. Go Ask Alice – Anonymous

12. A Wrinkle In Time – Madeleine L’Engle

13. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

14. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkien

15. Flowers in the Attic series – Virginia Andrews

16. Franny and Zooey – J. D Salinger

17. The Uglies Series – Scott Westerfield

18. Summer Sisters – Judy Blume

19. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole – Sue Townsend

20. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

What a great list, and you really don’t have to be an angsty teen either to enjoy some of these books, many of which are a balm to any soul.

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One Comment

  • Andreea says:

    I think that ‘It’s kind of a funny story’ by Ned Vizzini would be also a great choice. It is about a teenage boy who fights depression.

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