Top Tips: Best Books for Teens/Adolescents

In February 2022 I had a question from someone in my membership community about trying to get her teenage son to read more. He liked young adult fiction but he didn’t like sci-fi or romance and soooooo many YA books fall into these categories.

I put the question to my Facebook community ‘Can you share your adolescents’ favourite reads and authors (especially ones that aren’t sci-fi/romance)’ and the recommendations came in thick and fast. Check out the comprehensive list below including some great Australian authors.

DISCLAIMER: These tips are shared from our Facebook community – please do your own research when making book choices for your family. Also please note we have left people’s entries largely unedited so there will be imperfections in grammar and spelling.



The Dead I Know – Scot Gardener

Changing Gear – Scot Gardener

The Bogan Mondrian – Steven Herrick

The Man in the Water – David Burton

The Wolf Wilder – Kathy Griffith

Shallows – Tim Winton

Cloudstreet – Tim Winton

Dirt Music – Tim Winton

Breath – Tim Winton

Lockie Leonard Human Torpedo – Tim Winton

The Winter Triology – Mark Smith

We Are Wolves – Katrina Nannestad

Ice Station – Matthew Reilly

One of Us is Lying – Karen M McManus

The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

Boy Swallows Universe – Trent Dalton

Liars Series – Jack Heath

Detention – Tristan Bancks

Two Wolves – Tristan Bancks

The Sidekicks – Will Kostakis

Monuments Series – Will Kostakis

The Lieutenant – Kate Grenville

The Power of One – Bryce Courtney

Losers Bracket – Chris Crutcher

Running Loose – Chris Crutcher

Deadly Unna? – Phillip Gwynne

Nukkin Ya – Phillip Gwynne

Homecoming Series – Cynthia Voight

A Fortunate Life – A. B. Facey

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green, David Levithan

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

Jasper Jones – Craig Silvey

Worst Holiday Ever – Charlie Higson

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

On the Come Up – Angie Thomas

Concrete Rose – Angie Thomas

Empire of the Sun – J G Ballard

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

29 locks – Nicola Garrard

Heroes of Tubrook – David Mulligan

Six Seconds – Alan Sunderland

The Crossover – Kwame Alexander

After The Shot Drops – Randy Ribay

A Ladder to the Sky – John Boyne

Kind of a Big Deal – Shannon Hale

Crongton Knights – Alex Wheatle



Diary of A Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney


Auto-Biographical / Adventure / Animals

The Happiest Man on Earth – Eddie Jaku

Mental Fitness – Ant Middleton

Hatchet Series – Gary Paulsen

Blood Sweat Steel – Curtis McGrath

New Jungle Book Adventures – Bear Grylls

Mission Survival Series – Bear Grylls

Ghost Flight – Bear Grylls

Navy Seal Dogs – Mike Ritland

The Victory Dogs – Megan Rix

Soldier Dogs Series – Marcus Sutter

Ice Dogs – Terry Lynn Johnson

Warriors Series – Erin Hunter

Survivors Series – Erin Hunter

Thunderwith – Libby Hathorn

Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf – Sonya Hartnett

The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein

White Fang – Jack London

WereWorld Series – Curtis Jobling



Discworld Series – Terry Pratchett

Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins

Lord of the Rings – J R R Tolkien

The Hobbit – J R R Tolkien

Mortal Engines Series – Philip Reeve

Tomorrow When the War Began – John Marsden

The Ickabog – JK Rowling

Harry Potter – JK Rowling

The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

Skullduggery Pleasant Series – Derek Landy

Cherub Series – Robert Muchamore

Robin Hood Series – Robert Muchamore

Henderson’s Boys Series – Robert Muchamore

Keeper of the lost cities – Shannon Messenger

Throne of Glass Series – Sarah J. Maas

The Mendoran Chronicles – Lynette Noni

The Ranger’s Apprentice Series – John Flanagan

The Brotherband Chronicles Series – John Flanagan

Deltora Quest Series – Emily Rodda

Clockwork Angel and City of Bones – Cassandra Clare

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series – Rick Riorden

Heroes of Olympus Series – Rick Riorden

The Kane Chronicles Series – Rick Riorden

Magnus Chase Series – Rick Riorden

The Trials of Apollo Series – Rick Riordan

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Dark Rise – C S Pacat

The Witcher Series – Andrzej Sapkowski

His Dark Materials Trilogy – Phillip Pullman

Wings of Fire Series – Tui T. Sutherland

The Arc of a Scythe Trilogy – Neal Shusterman

Gregor Underland Chronicle Series – Suzanne Collins

The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

The Keys to the Kingdom Series – Garth Nix

The Wheel of Time Series – Robert Jordan

The Knife of Never Letting Go Series – Patrick Ness

Gone Series – Michael Grant

Monster Series – Michael Grant

BZRK Series – Michael Grant

Divergent Trilogy – Veronica Roth

The Mortal Instruments Series – Cassandra Clare

The Inheritance Cycle Series – Christopher Paolini

Spooks Apprentice Series – Joseph Delaney

Obernewtyn Chronicles – Isobelle Carmody

The Witch Hunter Chronicles – Stuart Daly

The Brotherhood of Thieves Series – Stuart Daly

The Maze Runner Series – James Dashner

Aurora Rising Series – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The Abhorsen Chronicles – Garth Nix


Action / Mystery / Crime

Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express

Magpie Murders – Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider Series – Anthony Horowitz

Sherlock Holmes – Anthony Horowitz

The Bourne Identity – Robert Ludlam

The Davinci Code – Dan Brown

Jack Reacher Series – Lee Child

Eagle in the Sky – Wilbur Smith

The Courtney Trilogy – Wilbur Smith

The Dresden Files Series – Jim Butcher

Boy Soldier – Andy McNab

The Enemy Series – Charlie Higson

The Stranger in the Lifeboat – Mitch Albom

The Seven Signs Series – Michael Adams

Artemis Fowl Series – Eoin Colfer

Time Traveling with a Hamster – Ross Welford

Theodore Boone Series – John Grisham

I Am Number Four The Lost Files Series – Pittacus Lore

Hover Car Racer – Matthew Reilly

The Magpie Society Series – Zoe Sugg & Amy McCulloch

Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir



Once Series – Morris Gleitzman

Boy Overboard – Morris Gleitzman

Girl Underground – Morris Gleitzman

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

The Librarian of Auschwitz – Antonio Iturbe


Graphic Books

Rise of the Mythix – Ahn Do and Chris Wahl