- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – The trilogy follows the fate of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen as she is forced to enter a TV game show in which competitors fight to the death. Smartly written, this futuristic thriller is great for luring teens back to the printed page.
- Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella – Following her hugely successful ‘Shopaholic’ series for adults, ‘Finding Audrey’ is Kinsella’s first teen fiction story – a witty adventure of the heart, set in the real world with just enough added glam fun to give 13-plus readers a sense of escape.
- Just in Case by Meg Rosoff – Rosoff has an easy, flowing narrative style and an eye for the remarkable in every day, which makes her books crackle with tension and detail. Dramatic and intelligent, ‘Just in Case’ follows the story of David Case, whose destiny is thrown into chaos when he saves his brother’s life. Also recommended, ‘How I Live Now’.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon – This insightful murder mystery sees our narrator, Christopher, turn detective to find out how a neighbour’s dog died. As the story unfolds we realise Christopher has characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome. A deservedly acclaimed read.
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – This modern jewel follows an ordinary chap who finds his house demolished and the Earth destroyed in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass. The original radio comedy format ensures a tight, pacy read as Dent is bounced around the universe.
- Heaven Eyes by David Almond – Three children who live in an orphanage under the uncaring custody of social workers and therapists decide to run away. Their escape is perilous, but when they meet a girl named Heaven Eyes, there seems to be some small hope in their otherwise bleak world. Almond at his thought-provoking best.
- The Enemy by Charlie Higson – Actor and television writer Higson has excelled as a children’s author in recent years, with his ‘Young Bond’ series and the post-apocalyptic teen novels in this series. Vivid, pacy and populated by infected adults who have turned into zombies, its a thrilling read for kids who don’t scare easily.
- The Knife that Killed Me by Anthony McGowan – Many authors address themes like the stresses of peer pressure and the threat of violence through fantasy writing. McGowan tackles these head-ons in an account of a boy who unwillingly becomes ensnared in a local gang war. Intelligent and honest without being sensational, this is a serious work of bold fiction.
- The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend – Townsend’s brilliant account of the pimply life of one hapless teenager continues to entertain readers today. Through Mole’s cynical and tormented eyes we see his world – a miserable home life, teen longing and a firm belief that modern life really is rubbish.
- Northern Lights by Philip Pullman – Pullman writes for teenagers with intelligence and originality. As a result, his celebrated ‘Dark Materials’ trilogy has proved a worldwide success with young and old alike. ‘Northern Lights’ is the opener – set in a parallel universe to ours, where science, magic and theology c-exist. Lyra is an orphan who goes in search of her missing friend and finds herself in a world of witches and ice bears. It’s a dazzling thriller that continues with a brand new trilogy, ‘The Book of Dust’
- Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli-It is now a film on Disney+, STARGIRL is a classic of our time that celebrates being true to ourselves and the thrill of first love. A life-changing read that touches souls of all ages.
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