Teen Book Series
Book Series for Junior High Readers
Alice, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Alice has no mother, and is growing up with only her well-meaning but sometimes awkward father and brother to guide her. This funny and sensitively written series begins when Alice is in seventh grade and follows her up to the twenty-fifth and last book, into college. There is also a series of prequels featuring her as a younger child.
Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Also known as the Caster Chronicles, the series features supernatural romance and magic. The hero is Ethan, a small-town boy, whose dreams of a more exciting life come true when Lena moves to town. She and her family are Casters, destined to inherit powers which can be either dark or light.
Confessions of Georgia Nicholson, by Louise Rennison
Georgia Nicholson is a 14-year-old English girl and her confessions are made in the form of her hilarious diary. If the title, Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging confuses her American readers, the included glossary will clear up this and various other British slang. Georgia’s concerns center around her social life and boyfriends, as well as family life.
Divergent Trilogy, by Veronica Roth
Set in a dystopian future version of Chicago. Society is divided into five factions, based on five different human qualities. As they come of age, citizens take a test to see which group they are best suited to. Beatrice finds that the results of her test are inconclusive; she is a “divergent”. When war between the factions threatens, the plot thickens.
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
This futuristic science fiction series began with the award-winning novel, Ender’s Game. The hero is being trained at a military school to save the earth from an alien insect species. The series consists of sixteen books, which wander backwards and forwards in time.
Gallagher Girls, by Ally Carter
Cammie Morgan is a student at The Gallagher Academy, which has the reputation of an elite girls’ prep school, but is in fact a training school for CIA operatives. In the first entry, I’d Tell you I Love You but Then I’d have to Kill You, Cammie meets and becomes involved with a boy while on a school-assigned mission, but she keeps her true identity a secret from him. Further tales of adventure, espionage, romance and prep school antics follow in books two through six.
Graceling Realm, by Kristin Cashore
A fantasy trilogy set in a medieval-like land where certain people have superhuman powers, or graces. The possession of such a gift is revealed by eyes of two different colors. In the first book, Graceling, eight-year-old Katsa kills in self-dense. Her grace is thus thought to be the ability to kill. For years, her uncle and guardian, King Randa, uses her against his enemies but Katsa rebels and finds an ally in young Prince Po, another Graceling. After much tension, romance ensues. Graceling, Fire (a prequel), and Bitterblue (a sequel) all feature wonderful, strong heroines and intense and satisfying drama.
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
In this fantasy trilogy a grim future North America is divided into districts and ruled over and exploited by an oppressive central government who controls through scarcity and fear. Each year, the districts are forced to send one boy and one girl to fight to the death in the annual Hunger Games. Katniss, a strong, resourceful girl helps her family survive by hunting in the forest although this is forbidden. When her younger sister is chosen to be a competitor in the Games, Katniss volunteers to take her place. The ensuing action is compelling, although violent, and the thoughtful reader may see parallels with contemporary entertainment and warfare.
The Inheritance Cycle (Eragon), by Christopher Paolini
A fifteen-year-old boy finds a mysterious stone which turns out to be a dragon’s egg; it hatches and he cares for it as it grows. Together boy and dragon set off on a quest through magical and beautiful lands, meeting other dragons, elves, monsters, and an evil king. Further quests, dangers, struggles and triumphs are related in later volumes. The settings suggest lands of ancient northern myth.
Matched Trilogy, by Allyson Braithwaite Condie
In a future society, the authorities decide everything for its citizens, including the correct mate for each person. When Cassia is “matched”, she has her first doubts about the role of the Society in making this decision for her, but to challenge its power will lead her into a dangerous unknown. In two sequels, Cassia ventures even further in her rebellion.
Princess Diaries, by Meg Cabot
Mia, an ordinary fourteen-year-old girl, a student at a private school in Manhattan learns that she is a princess and heir to the throne of an imaginary European country. This is not completely welcome news, and she is not pleased by her grandmother’s determination to turn her into proper princess material. Because Mia’s mother feels that Mia has trouble sharing her true feelings, she gives her a diary, where Mia can express herself. The revelations of the details of Mia’s New York life and its complications are hilarious. Ten books take Mia to age eighteen and off to college.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, by Ann Brashares
Four close friends are about to go their separate ways for the summer. A pair of jeans which one of them has found in a thrift shop has the magical quality of looking fabulous on all of them, although they are all different shapes and sizes. They decide to share the pants by sending them to each other during the summer they will spend apart. The stories follow the friends through their summer adventures and lessons learned.
Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
This series is set in a society of the future where, upon reaching the age of sixteen, everyone undergoes an operation to make them “pretty”. The protagonist, Tally, is happy as her sixteenth birthday approaches, until she finds out that along with the change in looks goes a loss of individuality and intelligence. Will she join her friend who is determined to risk everything to escape the authorities and preserve her freedom or betray her and become one of the Pretties?