There are a lot of trials and tribulations when it comes to growing up. Fortunately, these coming of age books can help those going through adolescence deal with the bumps as they bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood!
One of the toughest parts of being a kid is having to go through the teenage years. Full of tumult and emotional confusion, knowing what to do and where to turn can sometimes be hard. And, while non-fiction books are great, literature can provide endless inspiration when it comes to self-discovery! Whether there’s entertainment to be found or ethical questions to contemplate, the following coming of age books provide an escape.
When it comes to great novels, there are some works that are beyond reproach. Whether they’re for English class or pleasure reading, the following shouldn’t be missed.
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Few books in history have the significance of this 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee. The novel’s protagonist Atticus Finch serves as a moral lens through which the reader can view racism in the deep south. Providing education about equality and empathy, this is among the best coming of age books of all time.
- Lord of the Flies – Written by William Golding, Lord of the Flies came out in 1954 and is practically required reading for older kids. This Modern Library classic follows a group of boys as they find themselves stranded on an uninhabited island. Since peer pressure is a common issue, you might want to discuss this book’s insightful take with others on a family app.
- The Catcher in the Rye– There is no single novel that has captured the alienation of being a teenager quite like this short novel. In fact, this 1951 book by J.D. Salinger is among the best coming of age books for high school. As the main character Holden Caulfield struggles to find meaning in life, your teenagers will empathize with his frustrations.
There are those teenage books that might not have mainstream prominence. But, they’re still worth a read when it comes to getting through the rites of adolescence:
- The Giver - This Newberry Award-winning novel tells the story of a boy named Jonas who lives in a highly-controlled society where sameness is encouraged. The elders assign him the job of receiving all of the collected memories within this dystopian world, opening his eyes to both joy and pain for the first time.
- Little Women – Few books detailing the lives of adolescence have stood the test of time as well as Louisa May Alcott's 1868 classic. And the dominant themes of family, love, work, social norms, and sacrifice still resonate today. Generations of women have enjoyed this classic, as they can see themselves through the eyes of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.
There are a lot of kids who get bored with the idea of classic books. But the following coming of age books offer up keen character development and excitement for any tween and teen:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone – It might seem hard to believe that there was a time before Harry Potter was such a phenomenon. But, this fantasy story by J.K. Rowling is one of the best books for boys and girls out there. Children will enjoy following 11-year old Harry’s adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And, this one of the coming of age books for middle school that’s also a best seller!
- Out of My Mind – This beautiful novel explores the story of Melody Brooks who is brilliant with a photographic memory. But due to her cerebral palsy, she isn't able to speak or feed herself. This novel is sure to inspire your teen with Melody's story of perseverance despite her physical limitations.
For many kids, creative arts like music and books can provide a necessary escape from the everyday. Luckily, there are plenty of coming of age books for tweens and teens that can help them navigate adolescence. Do you have a favorite coming-of-age book you’ve shared with your kids? Let us know in our comments section and share it on a family app! Whether they prefer wizardry or wallflowers, there’s plenty of options to get lost in.