ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Books for Young Adults: Novels That Everyone Should Read

Updated on August 1, 2014
randomcreative profile image

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.


Top 30 Young Adult Books to Read in 2012

Best Young Adult Books of 2011: Gift Ideas

I love young adult books over pretty much every other genre. As I reached high school, I started branching out a little more. More than ten years later, I have a handful of other authors that I follow and truly enjoy. But I still have a real weakness for young adult books and pick up new ones pretty regularly. Here are a few of my favorites.

I didn't put the Harry Potter series in my list because I think that it deserves its own category. It's really not a kids' series, particularly the later part of it. That doesn't mean that the books are not appealing to kids, but more than they are appealing and appropriate for people of a wide variety of ages. They are also way up there on my all-time favorite book list so I highly recommend it if you haven't read them yet.

1) Holes by Louis Sachar

Louis Sachar has been one of my favorite young adult authors since I was in middle school. I really can't pick one favorite, but Holes is definitely one of the best. If you're looking for another book of his to check out, I would skip the Holes sequel and read any of the Wayside School books or There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom.

2) Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

One of my co-workers recommended this to me 5 years ago after she'd used it for a 4th grade reading group. Although I am not currently working on any creative writing pieces, this is the book that I always wanted to write. Chicago, kids, art, mystery, architecture (any other Frank Lloyd Wright fans out there?) has pretty much everything that I could want in my ideal young adult book. And Balliett has an amazing writing style that will suck you in right from the beginning. The other two books in this series are just as good.

3) Just as Long as We're Together by Judy Blume

I don't know how many times I've read this book. I'm sure it's at least 7 or 8. I've read and enjoyed almost all of Judy Blume's books, but this one has always stuck with me. Even if you are well past junior high or high school age, reading any of Blume's books will make you remember everything that was good and bad about that time of your life. This book is no exception.

4) Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery by John Feinstein

I enjoy watching basketball, but I don't read a lot of sports writing of any sort. When John Feinstein published his first young adult novel, my dad recommended it to me. It's also a mystery, which is my second favorite genre, so no one needed to twist my arm to pick this up. It's no secret that Feinstein has a gift for writing compelling sports tales, but he also has a natural knack for writing about children.  Also, anyone who has ever attended an NCAA championship game will appreciate a lot of the little details in this book.  Feinstein has a handful of other young adult mysteries about these same characters, all of which are excellent.

5) the Fudge series by Judy Blume

I was really torn about which Fudge book I wanted to include in my Top 10 so I decided that I wasn't going to pick. I really don't have a favorite. I re-read Superfudge and Fudge-a-Mania at least half a dozen times each growing up. I enjoyed Double Fudge as well, which was just released in 2007. After Just as Long as We're Together, these are some of my favorite Judy Blume books.

6) the Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald

Like Chasing Vermeer, this is a young adult book set that I did not start reading until I started teaching.  I have only read a couple books from this series, but they have both been really good.  It seems like every time I turn around, a kid is telling me about or is reading one of the newest books in the series.

7) Scat by Carl Hiaasen

I was reluctant to check this out because so many of Hiaasaen's books are either trashy or written purely for the purpose of executing a political message.  This book has a slight political bent but is mostly about the story, which is very well done.

8) Daphne's Book by Mary Downing Hahn

This is not a book that I have re-read many times, but it's has a plot and a main character that have always stuck with me.  I can't relate to a lot of things that happen in the protagonist's daily life, but she has a similar personality and some of the same interests that I did in middle school.  I'm also a big fan of Mary Downing Hahn's The Wind Blows Backward, which is one of my picks for my 10 Books Every Woman Should Read hub.

9) The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

This has become a classic and with good reason.  I hope that many of you reading this have already read this book.  If you haven't read it since childhood, I highly recommend pulling it out again.  I'm not a huge fan of Konigsburg's other work, but this is one worth reading and then re-visiting.

10) Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary

I'm not sure why I saved this one for last, except for the fact that it was the last one in the series when I was growing up so it seemed kind of fitting.  (Ramona's World wasn't released until 1999.)  I love the entire Ramona series, but I've always been a big fan of this book in particular.  It's really neat to see how much the girls have grown up and how the whole family pulls together more than ever for all of the family events that take place.

Midwest Local Bookstores

Magic Tree Bookstore:
141 N Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60301, USA

get directions

Prairie Lights:
15 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52245, USA

get directions

Anderson's Bookshop:
123 W Jefferson Ave, Naperville, IL 60540, USA

get directions

Top 10 Modern Young Adult Books (and Series)


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)