Below is a list of recommended books for middle schoolers and young adults. This list is grouped by age range and alphabetically. Middle grade books are listed first alphabetically, followed by young adult titles listed alphabetically. While every reader is different, general age guidelines are: middle grade books (ages 8-12), and young adult books (ages 13 and up). For a list of graphic novels for young readers, click here.
The First Rule of Punk is a wry and heartfelt exploration of friendship, finding your place, and learning to rock out like no one’s watching.
From debut author Janae Marks comes a captivating mystery full of heart, as one courageous girl questions assumptions, searches for the truth, and does what she believes is right--even in the face of great opposition. A perfect book for fans of Front Desk and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook!
It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.
At a time when everything is changing for Bea and her family, the important things will always stay the same. A soon-to-be classic by the Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me.
Winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal, this coming-of-age tale by New York Times best-selling author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.
Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you'll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She's the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile.
In this acclaimed novel by the author of the award-winning, bestselling The Thing About Jellyfish, being the new kid at school isn't easy, especially when you have to follow in the footsteps of a legendary classroom prankster.
A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed.
One lie snowballs into a full-blown double life in this irresistible story about an aspiring stand-up comedian.
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.
This poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA is about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican American home.
Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she's not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer--what's sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet's coming out crashes and burns, she's not sure her mom will ever speak to her again.
A quirky and heartfelt coming-of-age story about a teen girl with bipolar II who signs her failed magician father up to perform his legendary but failed illusion on live TV in order to make enough money to pay for the medications they need--from the author of Symptoms of Being Human.
It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing. Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.
Named to ten BEST OF THE YEAR lists and selected as a William C. Morris Award Winner, The Serpent King is the critically acclaimed, much-beloved story of three teens who find themselves--and each other--while on the cusp of graduating from high school with hopes of leaving their small-town behind.
Debut author Tobly McSmith delivers a coming-of-age teen love story about a transgender boy who's going stealth at his new Texas high school and a cisgender girl who is drawn to him, even as she's counting down the days until graduation.
From Printz Honor winner and Morris Award finalist Jessie Ann Foley comes a comitragic YA novel that will appeal to fans of Jandy Nelson and Jeff Zentner. As the youngest of eight, painfully average Pup Flanagan is used to flying under the radar. He's barely passing his classes. He lets his longtime crush walk all over him. And he's in no hurry to decide on a college path.
Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.