30 Great Books That Every Young Person Should Read
Books are magical things, that are now competing with various other mediums of entertainment that require less of an attention span. From Netflix and Amazon Prime to HBO dramas and the latest Marvel blockbusters, books- at least for young people- appear to have been relegated to the bottom of the cultural shopping basket, but that doesn't mean you should entirely forget about them.
While we are not telling you to go on a massive reading binge, you'll be surprised what you can get out of life by simply reading a couple of books a year. So what better way to reignite your love for words than by compiling a list of 30 timeless novels, self-help books and classic works of non-fiction geared towards young people.
If you think we missed out any masterpieces, be sure to tell us in the comments below!
1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time By Mark Haddon
One of England's most beloved works of literature is a book you can read over and over again. A mystery novel about an autistic boy named Christopher John Francis Boone, it has sold over 1m copies in the UK alone.
Chronicling the trials and tribulations of Christopher's condition and his unrelenting search to determine the murder of Wellington, his neighbor's dog, we also go on a relatable journey with the character who faces the same problems most young people face- exams, dealing with family problems, and most of all, coming to terms with who we are.
2. The Outsiders By S.E. Hinton
This book was first written when the author was just 15, and three years of edits later, it was published in 1967- and for good reason. The Outsiders is one of the best coming of age novels you can read about teenage angst and feeling like you don't belong.
The protagonist is a boy named Ponyboy Curtis, who is the ringleader of a gang of greasers who have some serious beef with a rival gang of wealthier kids who Curtis believes represent a wider problem in society. A social commentary on social, class, wealth disparity and teenagers themselves, Curtis and his cohort of angry teens is a novel that was well ahead of its time.
3. The Book Thief By Markus Zusak
Novels about Nazi Germany are nothing new, but Markus Zusak's The Book Thief had an entirely different approach to a sensitive topic. Rather than write the usual tropes of a war-torn love story or a survival story in a camp, Zusak fleshed out a fantastic female protagonist called Liesel, who is made aware of the horrors of the Nazi regime after being taken in by a foster family in 1938.
Under the guidance of her foster father, Hans, she slowly starts to understand the power of books and the cultural destruction the Nazis have caused by burning an array of significant cultural works. She also strikes up an endearing bond with a Jewish boy whom the family has secretly taken in. A dark, but cautionary tale of humanity's brute savagery, this breathtaking read will surprise you in more ways than one.
4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
William Golding’s scintillating 1954 debut was the drama young people had been craving. The premise is fairly straightforward and pits a group of stranded pre-adolescent boys on an island as they attempt to figure a way out.
A lesson in how societies and structures work and fail, this horrifying read serves as a reminder that the human race is built more on emotion than on reason and is a classic that continues to be taught in high schools, not only because it is a great work of literature but also because it serves as a lesson in how not to approach certain situations.