Young Adult Reading List


Being a young adult is always going to come with obstacles, but this year has been filled with unusually immense challenges . We’ve curated a list of titles to not only help entertain and unwind, but to also assist kids with issues of anxiety , self confidence, overcoming adversity, and accepting differences. Unplug and enjoy!

Young Adult Reading List

For Social and Emotional Health 

Recommendations from Trusted Educators, 

Professionals and Parents

link to amazon list here:

Rethink Bullying by Dr. Brooks Gibbs (Non-Fiction)

Love is Greater Than Hate by Dr. Brooks Gibbs (Non-fiction)

  • “Strategies to end bullying that begin with you”, written by our partner and anti-bullying expert, Dr. Brooks Gibbs

Fighting Invisible Tigers by Earl Hipp (Non Fiction) 

  • Stress Management tips for teens including practicing mindfulness, time management, healthy routines, and strategies to fight negative thoughts and bullying  

Legacy and the Queen by Annie Matthew and from the mind of Kobe Bryant

  • This is novel about finding your own magic in the face of adversity. This beautiful story mixes fantasy and sports together to create a unique, inspirational and intriguing tale. Also available on audible -narrated by Phylicia Rashad

Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories 

  • Today’s top authors come together to share their stories of bullying from all sides to weave together a powerful community and a defense against the trials of adolescence. 

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

  • Freak the Mighty  is an inspiring story of triumph over imperfection where a slow-learning teen giant befriends a tiny genius.

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

  • Two unlikely friends bond through facing their common problem: the biggest bully in school. A common and relatable tale told with humor from two different perspectives. 

Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

  • What happens when a best friend becomes a bully for the sake of popularity? Real Friends is fictional story for middle school kids facing the difficult trials that often come along with teen friendships. 

The Only Game by Mike Lupica

  • A young baseball star struggles to keep playing after a year of changes including the loss of his brother. This is an inspirational story about finding strength after feeling like you can’t go on. 

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

  • Dusti Bowling has created a unique read, told from the perspective of Aven, an energetic and hilarious girl born without arms . Her life takes some unexpected turns as she forms a friendship with a boy feeling alone due to his own disability.

Wink by Rob Harrel 

  • Wink is a touching and surprisingly funny story about a boy with a tough cancer diagnosis surviving middle school angst.  (For younger teens or pre -teens. )

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

  • Sharon Draper’s award-winning novel tells the magical tale of a girl genius who can’t verbalize or walk due to Cerebral Palsy who finds a way to speak her mind and gain acceptance.  

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova-

  • Awkward is an easy fictional read about surviving bullying and not falling in to the same trap while struggling to belong and to find your “tribe”. (For younger teens and pre-teens)

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

  • Stargirl is a dynamic young adult read . It’s a story about a girl who is unapologetically herself. It teaches a lesson about not conforming and succeeding while being true to yourself. 

Ghost by Kwame Alexander

  • This is a fictional and inspiring story about a boy named Ghost  coping with anger and surviving a tough family life. Ghost will inspire as he finds a passionate outlet instead of acting out in violence against the rage he is feeling inside. 

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

  • We Were Liars is a haunting fictional young adult story about three cousins and a family friend on a private island.  The story deals with consequences, privilege, family morals, and self-acceptance.

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