Recommended Books: By Teens, For Teens, About Teens
Whether you’re in high school or going into college, you probably have a summer reading list of required and/or recommended reading. Many of those books are fiction, including classics and contemporary novels by adult authors. If you are preparing to take SATs or ACTs, writing your college admissions essay, or trying to figure out which colleges to apply to, you are probably consulting some sort of resource guide, designed for you by an expert – also an adult.
So we’ve decided to create another type of recommended reading list – a short list that includes books written by, for, and about teens, from your perspective. The list is by no means comprehensive, but we hope that these titles encourage you to think about yourself, your life, your hopes and dreams, and what’s important to you. Maybe they’ll even inspire you!
1. Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: Letters of Life, Love, and Learning by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger: Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Letters: Letters of Life, Love and Learning
The bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series is one of the most successful and inspiring collection of stories that is claimed to have “changed millions of lives.” We recommend Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: Letters of Life, Love, and Learning in particular because it is a collection of letters written by teens in reaction to the stories in the multiple editions of Chicken Soup for your age group (Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul I, II, III, Journal, and College Soul). The original teenage version of Chicken Soup was written in 1997.
2. Teen Ink What Matters: Written by Teens Telling it Like it Really Is, Edited by Stephanie Meyer, John Meyer, & Peggy Veljkovic: Teen Ink What Matters
This edition in the Teen Ink series features essays, poetry, art, and photography by teens throughout the world who express themselves about what matters to them. It is sure to get you thinking about what you really care about and help you find your own voice.
3. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, by William Kamkwamba and Bran Mealer: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope
In this uplifting and exciting book, William Kamkwanba tells his inspiring and heartwarming true story of how he, as a resilient and inventive young person living in a small African rural village used windmills to bring electric power -- and hope -- to his community. We think you will be amazed by his innovative nature and how he used his passion for science to change people’s lives.
4. The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them, by The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell: The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them
This one’s not written by teens, but about their personal stories and how they found their voice through their empowering teacher, Erin Gruwell. Gruwell recounts her journey of how she worked with her high school students and how they were transformed into becoming “Freedom Writers” in her classroom. We think this book has the potential to transform you too.
5. Yes You Can!: Your Guide to Becoming an Activist by Jane Drake & Ann Love: Yes You Can! Your Guide to Becoming an Activist
Do you have a cause? If you do, this book will teach you how to put it into action. If you don’t, we think it will motivate you to think about what you really care about and encourage you to make the world a better place.