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Thursday, June 1, 2017

PCParent Teen and Pre-Teen Reading List: June

Best in Teen and Young Adult
This month, in honor of summer starting for all of our children, I am focusing on books for your teenagers!  If your teenager is anything like mine, they will spend the summer laying beside the pool posting selfies on Instagram and SnapChat), going to summer sports conditioning (for next year's sports seasons), watching Netflix, and reading like a fiend.  My teenager just DEVOURS books all summer long.  She can sit and read a 400-500 page book in two days.  She wasn't always a book worm, but a super special teacher in 4th grade introduced her to a series that rocked her little world.  She's had her nose in a book since then.

Each year when summer starts we make a list of the books she likes so that she can easily move from one book to the next.  The list is normally 20-30 books long and includes 4 or 5 series and a handful of individual books.  I order her books on Amazon.com and get them delivered straight to our house, then she keeps the stockpile in her room so that when she's done with one she can move right into the next.  If you find that your teen (who typically likes reading) is having a hard time staying interested in reading, I have also compiled a list to help you encourage them to read.  

*Every Book on the following lists comes HIGHLY recommended by my Teen*

Tips for Keeping Your Teen in A Book All Summer:

1. Keep Books On Hand.  When my teen is engrossed in a book I find that she has a small window of interest after she's finished reading it and when she needs to start the next book.  If she waits too long to start the next book she will get involved in other things (like a Neflix series binge).  That's why I ALWAYS have the next book in a series and/or another new book ready for when she finishes.  Considering she can devour a good book in a matter of days, I find it's best to order entire series at a time or order 5-10 books at a time.  This way we don't have to wait for Amazon's free shipping window of 5-7 days for a new book to arrive AND I'm able to meet the $25 minimum for free shipping on books.

2. Go to Your local Library.  There is nothing quite as inspiring for your reader than to be able to browse the shelves to find their next big read.  Our local library has summer reading programs and clubs that also encourage engagement.  My kids visit the library weekly for their summer programs, so the library is always on our to-do list.

3. Remind Them to Bring a Book When You Go Places.  For some reason, book never seems to make the list of "things to bring" when my teen is walking out the door.  Oddly, she always remembers the iPod.  Whether your headed to the pool, beach, park, or grocery store, make sure they bring a book.  A few minutes reading in the car or sitting pool-side may be all they need to get enthralled in the story.

4. Encourage Pre-Bed Time Reading.  When did teens stop having bed times?  When did sleeping for all hours of the day and staying up until 3am become normal for teens?  I'm sorry, all my teen's friends might be able to do that, but not in my house.  We have a 10:30 lights out policy here (which means my teen is up by 10am to engage in whatever the family is doing that day) and from 10pm on we have a Zero-Screen rule.  That means that tablets, cell phones, iPods and TVs get turned off and it's time to settle down.  Sometimes my teen protests this rule, sometimes we give 15-20 minute extensions, but in general we find this rule to be very beneficial. And this is backed up by the experts who suggest that screen time before bed isn't good for sleep.  So instill a teenager bed time and encourage them to read before bed.

5.  Give them Chores and tell them they can't watch Neflix until the chores are done.  Bear with me on this one, it makes since if you think about it.  If your teen is like mine, they will do anything to avoid chores.  We have found that in her procrastination to get chores done she will come up with all kinds of things to do instead.  This is the perfect opportunity for them to pick up a book to avoid their chores.  Just remember that this will eventually backfire if they decide that they don't need Netflix anymore.  You may need to be creative to get them to actually complete their chores (our rule is "get it done by bedtime or no screens the next day).  

6.  Consider an E-Reader.  Each of my children has a Kindle Fire, but none of them like to read on it.  My teen says that she just can't look at it for that long (which is odd because she watches Netflix on it for hours) and she prefers the feel of the paper book in her hand (the feel of the binding, the sound of turning pages.... I can see the appeal because I feel the same way).  If you think that your teen would read well on an E-Reader then consider Amazon's Kindle Fire.

Pre-Teen Summer Reading List: 
When my daughter was a pre-teen she was very interested in animal series books and was just starting to get into science fiction/fantasy.  She enjoyed the adventure of the unknown  and the fantasy of unique lives and ways of living.  This list reflects those interests.

The Fire-Us Series by Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher

This series is high in action and adventure.  After a terrible plague kills off all the adults of the world these young pre-teens and teens are forced to learn how to survive on their own.  We were lucky to find these books on withdrawl in our local library so we got them for a great price.  Make sure to check around your local re-sale stores because these are an older series.  Fire-Us is geared towards both male and female pre-teens.

The Roald Dahl Collection

Who doesn't LOVE Roald Dahl?!  I read these to my daughter when she was very little.  There was something about the silly stories and odd illustrations that really captured her interest (and mine too!).  When she got a little older she wanted to read them herself.  I recommend getting the entire box set (only $50 for all 15 books) because it comes out more economical than purchasing them separately, and this is really a collection that should be in every child's home library.  As an added bonus, you can watch the movies based off the books with your pre-teen after they've read the books!

The Warriors Series by Erin Hunter

This series inspired almost 2 years of reading for my daughter and it was literally the series that pulled her into "Book Worm" status.  These stories about a kingdom of cats are filled with adventure and mystery.  Erin Hunter is spectacular of weaving together intricate stories of mythical worlds.  The really great news is, if your pre-teen loves this series there are like a billion more Erin Hunter series that follow the Warrior Cats (and she even has a series about dogs called Survivors and bears called Seekers too!!) that will surely keep your child engrossed for a very long time.  My daughter owns and cherishes EVERY SINGLE one of Erin Hunter's books.  They were the first books that started her personal library.  This series is geared to both girls and guys.

The Princess Diaries Series by Meg Cabot

This series follows the adventures and life of Princess Mia and her journey from being a regular American girl to being a Genovian Princess.  This book series also has a handful of movies featuring Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway which make great mother-daughter movie nights.  Buy each book individually in the U.S. print version, or buy them as a set in U.K. print version.

Teen Summer Reading List:
My teen is really into supernatural science fiction.  There is something about vampires, witches, demons, and the complexities of dark stories that really entrall her.  She also enjoys a good teenage romance, so when she can find the two weaved together she is even more engrossed.  Fantasy and the complexities of royalties (prince/princess, queen/king, kingdom/subjects) also excite her.  You will find that this list reflects those interests.

My teen's top pick is The Mortal Instruments Series By Cassandra Clare

Not only is this the series that inspired the hit CW show (which I'm sure your teen has heard of or watches fanatically) but the first book was also made into a movie.  A science fiction and mythical book about demons, fallen angels, and those that protect us mere mortals (called Shadow Hunters), this novel is filled with teen romance, family drama, and the supernatural that most teens are obsessed with.   I highly recomend getting the entire series as a set because it will not only save you money (it's 6 books for $45 which makes it only about $7.50 per book AND it comes with free shipping) but it will also ensure that your teen has immediate access to the next in the series when they need it.  This series is good for both teen girls and guys.

The Selection Series by Keira Cass

This one is truly special to my daughter partly because the author lives very near to us and even graduated from the same high school that my daughter will attend next year.  A book filled with teen romance, this story deals in royalty and heredity.  If your teen likes the Bachelor (or similar shows) then this is the book series for them.  Unfortunately, the series of 5 isn't available in it's entirety yet, but you can buy the first 3 in a box set for roughly $19 and then purchase the newest two books separately (The Heir (The Selection) and The Crown (The Selection)).  This series is more geared towards young female readers.

The Immortal Beloved Series by Cate Tiernan

This trilogy is the latest series of books that my daughter read.  Another series with supernatural characters, this series deals with teen romance and the struggle to know oneself.  Buy all three on Amazon for roughly $20.  This series is geared towards young female readers.

The Morganville Vampires Series by Rachel Caine

This series deals with something every teenager can relate to: School.  But this time there is an interesting twist, it's a school for vampires.  The story lines in each of these books deal with teen romance, mystery, epic supernatural battles, and the struggle to fit in.  We found the first Morganville Vampire book in a local discount store for $3 and after my teen read it in one evening (not even putting it down for dinner) we decided she needed the other 14 in the series.  She was engrossed in each of the books and read them all in 2 weeks!  This series is geared towards young female readers.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

If your teen is looking for non-vampire and more on the fantasy spectrum, then this is the series for them.  Each of the stand alone books in the series revisits a classic fairy tale and twists them into dark and mysterious plots.  If your teen likes the show Once Upon A Time or was eager to see the new Beauty and the Beast film, then this is the series for them.  This series is geared towards young female readers.

The Fifth Wave Trilogy by Rick Yancey

The Fifth Wave was one of the books my teen read in her Summer Book-to-Movie Club (a club our Library runs each summer where teens read a book and then watch the movie together and compare them).  She enjoyed the first one so much that she immediately read the next two.  The story is about the invasion of Earth by an alien civilization.  They are incredibly action packed and keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.  It is cheaper to buy these books individually instead of in a set, but make sure to order all three to save on shipping!  These books are geared towards teen girls and guys.

What books does your Pre-Teen or Teen adore?  What are your suggestions for getting your Teen or Pre-Teen into reading?  Please share your RESPECTFUL comments and ideas below.


  1. Great post! I've always thought that reading is such an important habit for children and nowadays that technology has expanded so much we need to inspire them to keep on reading!
    xoxo, Pilar

  2. Just turned 20 and I can honestly say I've read a bunch of these. Great choices for a teen! I've happily passed my books down to my younger siblings and they love them as well! :)

  3. Great tips, these would be perfect for my teenage nieces and nephews. Have a great day xo

  4. When I was a teenager I used to just love reading books all summer. Great list of books. Am sure kids will enjoy reading them.

  5. My goal is to read 17 books this summer so I really love this post! I'm addicted to reading :) I'm currently starting The Seven Sisters series.

    xx Carly | www.thecarlycollective.com