Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by Tahleen at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because due to a love of lists and what better way to celebrate lists than with book related ones?

This weeks topic is my top ten books I think every teen should read:

I feel I have come up with a list that is relevant to teens today, topical and some people may not feel appropriate, but I want to be clear that by “teen” I am aging them from 12 - 19, so some of the more risque ones would obviously be for teens on the older side of the spectrum.

1. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous - Whilst this story was originally published in the 1970’s I feel it’s every bit still as relevant today as it was back then. I remember reading this when I was about 13 or 14 and I loved it. It is one teenage girls anonymous true story about her struggles trying to get free of drug addiction. It also touches on sex, rape, running away and many other issues. It shows the true face of drug addition as well as highlighting its potential to be fatal.

2. Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden - This is an Australian book and to my understanding is already on the school cirriculum in some schools currently. Unforutnately it wasn’t a part of my schooling life, and I wish it was. I read this last year. It’s a story about a group of Australian teens that go camping, and then they get back from the remote outback they find out that Australia has been invaded and they are at war and need to fight for their lives and country. So many topics to discuss..

3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - This one is still fresh in my mind, having read this last month. This book really discusses the often taboo topic of suicide and I think in a classroom environment this could actually save lives just merely by allowing the topic of suicide to come up.

4. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott - An absolutely shocking, confronting, disturbing book. But a very important book also. This book is all about stranger danger and what the possibilities are if that is not adhered to. A story about a kidnapped girl and her ordeal being raped regularly, staved, beaten and controlled. I wouldn’t be recommending this story for young teens, let me be clear!

5. But I Love Him by Amanda Grace - Again another story that is not an easy read. It’s about a teenage girl involved with a boy who is physically and emotionally abusive and controlling of her. At times there were some really tough parts to get through, but this book is SO important for every young person out there who is meeting their first boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s an important book.

6. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - I remember reading this book in year 10 and I really enjoyed this book! This is the story of a black man charged with the rape of a white girl, written in the 1960s. The story is told through the eyes of two children Scout and Jem who’s father is defending the man on trial. This is one of the classics that I love.

7. So Much To Tell You by John Marsden - Another John Marsden classic. I read this one in year 8 (I would have been 13) and I still have fond memories of this book. It’s written in diary style by the protagonist Marina. She has been rendered a mute by her father after a traumatic incident took place. It was such a moving, sad story and it’s stayed in my mind for 14 years (that should tell you how old I am! lol). Highly recommend this one for anyone, but definitely teens in school.

8. The Divine Wind by Garry Disher - I read this book in year 9 English class and it’s a book that I really enjoyed. On the eve of WWII, suspicion runs rampant in Hartley Penrose’s small town. Even though they’ve done nothing wrong, the town is turning against its native Japanese residents - including Mitsy Sennosuke, the girl Hart loves despite himself. The result is a wrenching, unforgettable story of romance, betrayal, and the turmoils that rock both the world and the heart. It’s a book that heavily involves themes such as war and racism, and is definitely still relevant today.\

9. Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi - Now I realise this is not a YA title, however I felt so moved by Portia’s story. It speaks about her battles with body image, bullimia and anorexia. It highlights how obsessed we are as females at times with striving to become perfect, and ends on a much more positive note where we’ve seen Portia go through hell and back and at the end of her journey it’s evident that what she went through is such an illness of the mind. It really takes the glamour away and I feel this could be an important story for teens.

10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Oh I just had to include at least 1 dystopian novel! I feel that the dystopian novel is so popular to us today because it makes us question our society right now. Is this so far fetched? Is this the direction our life is taking us? The Hunger Games is not the most realistic of all the dystopians I have read, but it was the first book I read that got me hooked on them, and as a popular novel I feel it’s also one of those books that encourages kids to read that may not love reading at the moment. There’s definitely many topics to discuss with this book!

So… that is my top 10! Agree with me? Disagree? I want to know! What would you have included that’s the same, and what would you have done differently?

What do you think?

  • Dana Burgess says:

    Well, I’ve read four of them. Not too bad since most of them were written long after I was a teen!

  • Enbrethiliel says:


    Personally, I’d include more classics, but I agree that teens need characters and issues they can more easily relate to. =)

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