When my girls are out of school for the Summer, I am not very strict about their activities. They can be on the computer, Xbox, iPad, and phone for as long as they want. However, I do request that they read at least one book a month. Reading not only stretches their imaginations, but I think kids that read also have better grammar and writing skills.
My oldest Dakotah shared with me some of the books her friends are reading. Together, we came up with this list of Summer reads for teens!
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: If you have a very sensitive teenager, you may want to read this one first. Dakotah is not one to give in to dramatics but she bawled over this book. All of her friends have read it and are planning on seeing the movie. It has sparked a lot of discussions in their age group, and even though it is "cry worthy," it may give your teens a way to discuss life-changing events.
- Looking For Alaska by John Green: Another Green novel that sparks a lot of debate. While it may not be as "cry worthy" as The Fault in Our Stars, it is definitely one that your teen will be engrossed in.
- Divergent series by Veronica Roth: Written about futuristic Chicago, this series follows the lead character Tris. Tris is a Divergent, and in her world, that means instant death. She must learn to conceal her true self while maneuvering through love and friendship and being a Dauntless. If your teens love sci-fi and strong female lead characters, this series is a great one for them.
- Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: This book deals with touchy subject matter that may not be suitable for all teens. I did let my oldest read it, but I would not let my youngest (14) read it. Charlie, a freshman in high school, writes a letter about his first year. He holds nothing back and talks candidly about family, friends, drama, sex, and drugs. This book opened up some frank discussions between Dakotah and I. I would recommend the book for ages 16 and older.
- The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare : Another popular series for teens. This one deals with demons and the Shadow Hunters that kill them. It is kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Dakotah read this series and found it slow and boring. However, several of her friends loved it. I would still recommend that your teen try the series because it has received some really good reviews.
- Ask the Passengers by A.S. King : This book follows Astrid, whose favorite pastime is to lie on the picnic table she and her father built in the backyard and send her love to passengers in the airplanes as they pass overhead. This is another book that follows some sensitive subject matter but is a must for teens. It helps them realize it is OK not to have all the answers, everyone is unique, and it is OK to love differently. I strongly recommend this one for ages 16 and older.
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I read this book first, then passed it down to Dakotah, and she passed it down to Alianna. I was intrigued that the book was narrated by Death. The author took a strange concept and really pulled it off. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will often think about the imagery in the book. I really wished the girls and I had read the book together and discussed it as we were reading it. I would highly recommend this book to adults and teens.
- My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult: To be honest, I am not a huge fan of Picoult. However, she seems to be the big thing in the teen scene. My Sister's Keeper keeps coming up in Dakotah's book group. Quite frankly, I found the book to be a bit overdramatic, but Dakotah loved it. It is sad, but most of Picoult's books are. The subject matter really hits home with teens. It makes them ask, "What if?" and I have heard some lively discussions about what they would do if they were either Anna or Kate. This book does deal with sensitive subject matter, and I would recommend it for ages 16 and older.
- Delirium (series) by Lauren Oliver: What would the world be like if love was considered a disease and, on your 18th birthday, you had an operation to cure you? That is what Delirium by Oliver is about. The series is very interesting and kept both of my girls engrossed. Lena watched love destroy her mother, and she wasn't going to let that happen to her. Ninety-five days before her cure, she meets Alex, a rebel living in the woods. The unthinkable happens, and now Lena must make a decision: get cured or love.
- Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine: Caitlin has Asperger's and only sees the world in black and white. Any other way is just too confusing. However, when the one person that made everything confusing meets a tragic end, she must learn to do things herself. Her journey shows her that life has a lot of gray areas. This book will stay on your teen's mind long after she closes the book.
What are your teens reading this Summer?