Good Books for 13 Year Olds (Girls and Boys)
What are the best books for 13 year old girls and boys?
There is a huge range good books for 13 year olds catering for the avid to the reluctant reader. The first half of the article starts off with suggestions of the best books for 13 year old girls and the later half the best books for 13 year old boys. There also ideas of sports books, non fiction books, books that make great gifts, manga and cartoon books and lots more.
When buying books for 13 year olds I would keep an open mind as possible to what they might like. Many years ago as a 13 year old myself I was fairly good at English lessons and teachers encouraged me to read but I wasn't interested in the books they suggested. There were lots of fiction books recommended to me but I would have been much more drawn to factual books (autobiographies and true stories).
Therefore, I have suggested a huge range of books for this age group below. I am now a trained librarian and have worked with teenagers in a library for four years so I know there is a huge variety in tastes. There are some books which are extremely popular with teenagers and other hidden gems. There are books which are aimed at 13 year old girls, others that are more popular with 13 year old boys and some that are good for everybody. This year seems to be a good year for books to made into movies too and I have highlighted the books that you can also watch in 2014. Keep on reading to discover good books for 13 year olds.
Bestselling Books for 13 Year Olds 2014
The books below are selection of some the bestselling books for 13 year olds this year.
Whether you are buying books for an avid reader, a reluctant reader or are looking for ideas for yourself it's always worth checking out the bestselling book lists to see what other teenagers are reading.
This has been a bestseller for a few years now.
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive.
Currently on the New York Bestselling Books for teens, it tells the story of seventeen year-old Mia.
Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.
A movie of the book is currently showing in cinemas too.
If you look at the current bestseller lists for young adults, John Green dominates the list with his latest novel "The Fault in Our Stars" coming out top. It just shows how teenagers have fallen in love with his novels.
This story tells the tale of Hazel who is sixteen, with terminal cancer. She meets Augustus at her kids with cancer support group. In this book Green covers the big topics of life, death and love. It will take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride with laughter and most definitely tears. It's one book you won't be able to put down.
This was released as a movie in June 2014 too.
The Fault in Our Stars Movie Trailer
How To Encourage 13 Year Olds To Read
As a librarian I know the best way to get people to read is to give them books on topics they are passionate about and interested in. Many 13 year old books are expected to read classics and textbooks in order to pass exams which takes all the pleasure and fun out of reading. No wonder so many of us leave school without wanting to read another book.
If you love sport you should read lots of books about sport. If you love music read about music. This is what helps foster a love of reading. Get onto Amazon and start exploring what's available and the reviews.
Remember also that not everybody likes fiction. I love non fiction myself! There are some great non fiction books that 13 year olds will love. From biographies, to historical true stories, to fact books and more - there are lots of non fiction options. Check out some ideas further on in the article.
Top Books Series
There are some excellent authors for this age group who have captured the minds of their audience with not just one great book, but a series of books.
One of these authors is Suzanne Collins with her trilogy "The Hunger Games". The Hunger Games was first published in 2008 and has received many awards and honors including The New York Times "Notable Children's Book of 2008". I don't think a list for 13 year olds would currently be complete without the first book in the trilogy.
Her book has started a new wave of literature for teens with another great series in the same genre called Divergent.
The Giver was the first in a quartet series and was published in 1993. A movie is set to be released of the book in Summer 2014, so it's set to be especially popular this year.
The novel is also one of the top 5 best selling Kindle books of all time.The Hunger Games is also still one of the bestselling books for 13 year olds in 2013. Since being made into a movie it's popularity has continued to grow.
The USA has collapsed to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year 2 young representatives from each district are picked to take part in the televised Hunger Games. The games are brutal and each competitor has to literally eliminate their rivals.
This books is tense, compelling and dramatic. Highly recommended.
This book has drawn comparisons to The Hunger Games.
It's going to be a popular read in 2014 as it's just been made into a movie and will be great to see after reading a book.
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue-Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is-she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
The Giver won the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold more than 5.3 million copies. This is going to be another book made into a movie this year set to star Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges.
12 year old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignement a Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community.
Best Books for 13 Year Old Girls
Below are some top books for 13 year old girls. Many of them have romantic or friendship based themes. They have girls as the main characters which 13 year old girls should be able to identify with. My favorites are 13 Reasons Why and Uglies. If you like these suggestions of books you may also want to check out some more great books for girls aged 13 and over.
Thirteen Reasons Why
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.
Books about Friendship and Relationships for 13 Year Old Girls
Many 13 year old girls like to read about friendship, boyfriends and relationships and other issues that affect them.
Sarah Dessen is one great author that covers this genre really well. Her book "Along for the Ride" below made the New Yorks bestseller list. If you like her writing she has written over 10 other books. She isn't featured below but well worth checking out if you like her style of books.
Another great book about friendship perfect for 13 year olds is the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants below.
They were just a soft, ordinary pair of thrift-shop jeans until the four girls took turns trying them on--four girls, that is, who are close friends, about to be parted for the summer, with very different sizes and builds, not to mention backgrounds and personalities. Yet the pants settle on each girl's hips perfectly, making her look sexy and long-legged and feel confident as a teenager can feel. "These are magical Pants!" they realize, and so they make a pact to share them equally, to mail them back and forth over the summer from wherever they are. Beautiful, distant Lena is going to Greece to be with her grandparents; strong, athletic Bridget is off to soccer camp in Baja, California; hot-tempered Carmen plans to have her divorced father all to herself in South Carolina; and Tibby the rebel will be left at home to slave for minimum wage at Wallman's.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry has written more than 30 children's books.
Number the Stars won a Newberry medal in 1989.
If you like her books you should also check out The Giver.
Read more about Lois Lowry on Wikepedia.
Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are "relocated". Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen's life.
Best Books for 13 Year Old Boys
I have chosen some science fiction, fantasy and books with boys as the main characters in this list of top books for 13 year old boys. Certainly some girls may like these books too but they cover topics which seem to appeal more to the male reader. If you like the books below and would like more suggestions of books for boys aged 13 and over click here for more ideas.
Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren’t the fairies of bedtime stories; these fairies are armed and dangerous.
Artemis thinks he has them right where he wants them…but then they stop playing by the rules.
More Top Books for 13 Year Old Boys
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he remembers is his first name. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade-a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they've closed. And every 30 days a new boy arrives in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising is the message she delivers.
The Maze Runner is being released as a movie in September 2014.
Check out the Maze Runner Trailer
Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space.
After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities. He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning. His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.
The Ranger's Apprentice is a fantasty book that follows 15 year old Will. Despite being scared of the Rangers in the past (who were widely believed to be practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people) Will is chosen to be a Ranger's Apprentice. He finds out that the Rangers are there to protect the Kingdon and fight battles before they reach the Kingdom. And there is a new large battle brewing....
The Absolutely True Story of a Part time Indian
This book tells the story of Junior, an aspiring cartoonist who grows up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Junior was born with water on the brain and this has meant he know has some physical disablilities that have also led to him dealing with some harsh treatment from others on the reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hads, Junior decides to go to an all-white high school in the off-reservation town of Reardan. The book deals with issues such as racism, poverty, and the following of tradition
More Series of Books for 13 Year Olds
A lot of books for this age group come in the form of a series and there have been lots of series highlighted so far in the article. The Hunger Games is one of the most popular series. Others series already mentioned include The Maze Runner series (featured above), Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Giver and the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants.
Series are good for encouraging reluctant readers as if once they have read the first in the series of books they are most likely to want to read the rest.
Check out another idea of a series below.
I am number four is the first in a series of books called the Lorien Legacies.
It was made into a film in 2011 so these books are still very popular.
The Legacies contains three action-packed novellas that give the heart-pounding backstories of some of your favorite Loriens.
Books as Gifts for 13 Year Olds
Perhaps you are looking for ideas of books to give as birthday or Christmas gifts to give as 13 year olds. Think about their interests and this may help. Here are some ideas:
- Cookbooks - Obviously best for 13 year olds who would like to learn to cook or already love cooking.
- Books about Sport - If they like to play sport, perhaps a book about the sport they love. Books with statistics, books about famous sportspeople and books to learn about techniques of their sport.
- Classic books such as To Kill a Mockingbird are good for the serious reader
- Boxed sets of books that they like.
- Autobiographies of their favorite celebrity.
- Factual books - there are lots of great factual books that teens will love. The Guinness Book of Records and Ripleys Believe it or Not are good choices.
If you're looking for gifts for girls you may also appreciate this article on the best gifts for 13 year old girls which gives suggestion of books and other gift ideas too.
Natalie Merchant. Sigourney Weaver. Tabitha Soren. Wendy Wasserstein. Rebecca Lobo. Lauren Hutton. Anita Roddick. Lynda Barry. These are among the thirty-three extraordinary women who lend their diverse voices to this outstanding collection of stories, songs, poems, comics, and essays
Books to inspire and motivate 13 year olds
Sometimes, it's hard being 13 years olds but there are lots of good books to help deal with the trials and tribulations being 13 brings. Here are some good book choices to inspire, motivate and empathise with 13 year olds.
Before You Go, You May Also Like....
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Please feel free to add any additional books that you think are great for 13 year old girls and boys in the comments section below. Thanks!