So, last week I talked about books for pre-teens and young teens. Those are mostly books I read when I was around 10-13 years old.
But what about older teens? That can be even harder sometimes. You get tired of re-reading Redwall (sometimes…), but the books for our age are even more disgusting. For some it’s so hard to find things to read that they just stop reading once they are done with school. I think it’s important to continue stretching yourself and reading good books. It can get hard to find these good books though. So I present for your reading enjoyment, my favorite books for older teens and young adults:
1. The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
When people ask me what my favorite book is, this is what I say. It has mystery, it has drama, it has action, it has (appropriate) romance, it has daring rescues, it has clever disguises, it has guillotines. Set in the French Revolution, taking place in both England and France. We follow the beautiful Marguerite Blakeney as she tries to save her beloved brother. The only way is to identify the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel, and in essence hand him over to Mademoiselle Guillotine. But will she find out too late?
2. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
Another favorite set in the French Revolution. This one is more complicated, as Dickens often is, and it took me a while to figure out who was who. Still, confusion aside, I love Dickens’ style and imagery.
3. The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, by William Goldman
This one took me so long to figure out. It’s not an abridged version. It’s the original. Please just read it. At times the movie follows so closely it’s like reading a script. A few of the places are different, the Zoo of Death for example, but for me this made it even better.If you enjoyed the movie I would definitely recommend the book. It follows close enough that you feel like you know what is going to happen, but different enough that you aren’t sure. Buttercup and Westly don’t seem to be as tender as they do in the movie, but it doesn’t take much away from the story. (Taken from my Goodreads review)
4. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Another classic from the mind of Jack. Written as a series of letters from an older demon to a younger demon he is mentoring. It’s interesting to think of things from this perspective. Very thought provoking.
5. The Fishermans Lady (and The Marquis’ Secret) by George MacDonald
Almost a cross between Kidnapped and The Scarlet Pimpernel. The very first book of George MacDonald’s that I read. I love a good adventure book, if it is set in Scotland, even better. Fun Fact! George MacDonald was a favorite author of three of my favorite authors, J.R.R Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle.
6. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The nerd in me couldn’t leave this off the list. It is pure fluff and has an extremely rambling and almost nonexistent plot line. There is some language and more adult themes, but it is so hilarious. If you like Doctor Who you will most likely enjoy Hitchhiker’s Guide (Adams did write a few episodes after all).
7. The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis
An amazing sci-fi series by the man who is generally thought of as being a fantasy writer and theologian. I actually read these when I was about 11, but I would recommend them for older teens. I was too young to understand them very well. Full of twists and turns
8. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
The classic epic story of good versus evil. This story has so many good lessons, it is a sweeping epic, there is rawness, there are heroes, there is brotherly love. Most people know at least the gist of the story, so I’m not going to further spoil it. I will say though, even if you have seen the movies dozens of times, please read the books. The movies, while they do a pretty good job, leave out some of the best parts.
9. Me, Myself and Bob by Phil Vischer
The story of how Veggietales got it’s start. I really love behind the scenes stuff, so this was a treat. Now, I realize this is the only book on my list that isn’t a novel, there is a reason for this though. As we get older, it’s also important to read (or begin reading if it hasn’t been your habit) non-fiction. For most of the rest of our lives we will be reading non-fiction. I’ve found that great way to get a taste for books about real life is through biographies and the like.
While some of these books have a bit of language (nothing stronger than what you hear on PG movies or TV shows), the main reason I list them as books for older teens is because I want them to be appreciated. Most young teens could handle them, but they won’t get nearly as much out of these books as some one a little older will.