Books for Teens

Suggested Books

The DC Public Library and the D.C. Public Schools have teamed up to suggest books you might enjoy. The lists include a variety of books for seventh- to 12th-graders, to satisfy every reading interest.

Themed Book Suggestions

Award Winners

Find an award-winning book to read by visiting the links below. Please note that the library may not always have every title available. Award lists are updated annually.


Suggested Books for Seventh Grade

  • Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery by Russell Freedman
  • Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green
  • Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig
  • Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm
  • Totally Joe by James HoweYA Fiction Howe
  • The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes
  • You Don’t Even Know Me: Stories and Poems about Boys by Sharon Flake
  • Top Secret: A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers, and Secret Writing by Paul B. Janeczko
  • Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang
  • The Color of My Words by Lynn Joseph
  • Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
  • Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton
  • Rules by Cynthia Lord
  • Travel Team by Mike Lupica
  • Hero-Type by Barry Lyga
  • The Great Fire by Jim Murphy
  • The Storyteller’s Beads by Jane Kurtz
  • Zel by Donna Jo Napoli
  • We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson
  • Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Thunder Rolling in the Mountain by Scott O’Dell and Elizabeth Hall
  • Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks
  • The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  • Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues by Harriette Gillen Robinet
  • Esperanza Rising by Pamela Muñoz Ryan
  • Small Steps by Louis Sachar
  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
  • Guys Write for Guys Read by Jon Scieszka
  • To Dance: A Ballerina’s Graphic Novel by Siena Cherson Siegel
  • Taking Sides by Gary Soto
  • The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
  • The Land by Mildred D. Taylor
  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia


Suggested Books for Eighth Grade

  • Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement by Ann Bausum
  • Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  • Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos
  • Jumping the Nail by Eve Bunting
  • Gifted Hands by Ben Carson
  • I, Too, Sing America by Catherine Clinton
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings
  • The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
  • Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic
  • Who Am I without Him?: Short Stories about Girls and the Boys in Their Lives by Sharon G. Flake
  • Dateline: Troy by Paul Fleischman
  • The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West by Sid Fleischman
  • Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
  • The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
  • Harlem Stomp! by Laban Carrick Hill
  • The Demon in the Teahouse by Dorothy Hoobler
  • The Misfits by James Howe
  • California Blue by David Klass
  • Wolf Tower by Tanith Lee
  • The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
  • Red Midnight by Ben Mikaelsen
  • Harlem by Walter Dean Myers
  • Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem by Marilyn Nelson
  • Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by Greg Neri
  • The Chosen by Chaim Potok
  • Jackie’s Nine: Jackie Robinson’s Values to Live By by Sharon Robinson
  • The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  • Gandhi, Great Soul by John B. Severance
  • Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Iron West by Doug TenNapel
  • Team Moon by Catherine Thimmesh
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson
  • Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman
  • The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
  • The Invisible Thread: An Autobiography by Yoshiko Uchida
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
  • Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps by Andrea Warren
  • Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
  • The Killer’s Cousin by Nancy Werlin
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  • Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Hush by Jacqueline Woodson


Suggested Books for Ninth Grade

  • Estrella’s Quinceañera by Malin Alegria
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson
  • Freeze Frame by Heidi Ayarbe
  • Another Country by James Baldwin
  • Tyrell by Coe Booth
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown
  • Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac
  • An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio by Judith Ortiz Cofer
  • Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
  • The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream by Sampson Davis and Others
  • Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection by Matt Dembicki
  • A Bone from a Dry Sea by Peter Dickinson
  • Just Another Hero by Sharon Draper
  • Martha Graham: A Dancer’s Life by Russell Freedman
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My Life by Mae Jemison
  • The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
  • The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson
  • Jefferson’s Children by Shannon Lanier
  • Ash by Melinda Lo
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
  • Gold Dust by Chris Lynch
  • Sorrow’s Kitchen: The Life and Folklore of Zora Neale Hurston by Mary E. Lyons
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley
  • Bad Boy, A Memoir by Walter Dean Myers
  • A Step from Heaven by An Na
  • Carver: A Life in Poems by Marilyn Nelson
  • 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  • Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson
  • The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
  • The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
  • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang


Suggested Books for 10th Grade

  • A Death in the Family by James Agee
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
  • A Place Where the Sea Remembers by Sandra Benitez
  • Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
  • Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • On the Street Where You Live by Mary Higgins Clark
  • Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
  • Neanderthal by John Darnton
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
  • Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years by Sarah Louise Delany
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • For the Win by Cory Doctorow
  • Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery by John Feinstein
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Hiroshima by John Hersey
  • Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman
  • Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
  • Good Poems by Garrison Keillor
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Sons of Liberty by Alexander Lagos
  • The Color of Water by James McBride
  • The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
  • Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
  • Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff
  • Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  • In My Father’s House by Ann Rinaldi
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
  • As You Like It by William Shakespeare
  • Deogratias, A Tale of Rwanda by Jean-Philippe Stassen
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Skim by Mariko Tamaki
  • Extreme Sports by Joe Tomlinson
  • Pride of Baghdad by Brian Vaughan
  • Philadelphia Fire by John Edgar Wideman
  • Fences by August Wilson
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
  • Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
  • The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak


Suggested Books for 11th Grade

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez
  • Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • What It Is by Lynda Barry
  • All Souls’ Rising by Madison Smartt Bell
  • When the Legends Die by Hal Borland
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  • Somebody Told Me: The Newspaper Stories of Rick Bragg by Rick Bragg
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Woman Hollering Creek, and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros
  • Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Juno Diaz
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot
  • A Cup of Tea, A Novel of 1917 by Amy Ephron
  • Cover-up by John Feinstein
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • Grendel by John Gardner
  • Two Parties, One Tux and a Very Short Film About the Grapes of Wrath by Steven Goldman
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • The Photographer: Into War Torn Afghanistan with Doctors without Borders by Emmanuel Guibert
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon Fiction Haddon
  • Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
  • The Big Sea: An Autobiography by Langston Hughes
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson
  • Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones
  • Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Wicked by Gregory Maguire
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Madapple by Christina Meldrum
  • A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  • DC Noir by George Pelecanos
  • When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  • The Wedding by Dorothy West


Suggested Books for 12th Grade

  • In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
  • Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  • The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade T. Bambara
  • Frida: Viva La Vida! Long Live Life! by Carmen Bernier-Grand
  • Kendra by Coe Booth
  • Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
  • Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
  • Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
  • Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer by Lynne Cox
  • The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Light in August by William Faulkner
  • When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head
  • Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography edited by Andrew Helfer
  • Beowulf by Gareth Hinds
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Soldier: A Poet’s Childhood by June Jordan
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Color of Earth by Tong-hwa Kim
  • Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
  • The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis
  • Makes Me Wanna Holler by Nathan McCall
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley
  • Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
  • Luna: A Novel by Julie Anne Peters
  • My Jim by Nancy Rawles
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  • What I Was by Meg Rosoff
  • The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur
  • A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
  • The Good Negress by A.J. Verdelle
  • The Aeneid by Virgil
  • Black and White by Paul Volponi
  • Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence by Geoffrey Canada
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  • Demo by Brian Wood
  • Monstrumologist by Richard Yancey

Other resources for ​Teens