I'd especially recommend two classics: Queenie Peavy by Robert Burch and The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill. They are both specific to their eras but don't feel dated. The former deals with the gritty life in Atlanta, Georgia during the depression, and the latter is set in NYC in the 1970s or thereabouts (and oddly, the events in it sort of came true under the Giuliani administration!)...
mangagirl1603Featured By OwnerNov 7, 2012Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am a fan of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. The age group is quite awkward, it's classed as an adults' book for it's quite complex vocabulary but it's perfectly appropriate for teens (apart from the occasional use of the word bugger). It's a massive comedy fantasy set made up of stand alone novels that are all set in a made up parallel world that sits on a turtle and four elephants. There are little subseries in the set (eg. The Ankh Morpork police series, the Witches series, the Death series etc.) but that's less important. Because there are 40 odd books in the set, I'll recommend some good starting off ones:
The Colour of Magic(1st book in series, natural starting point, not that good though...) Wyrd Sisters (a loose parody of MacBeth, excellent wee story) Night Watch (I've heard this one was heavily based on Les Miserables) Hogfather (most famous, best in my opinion! Absolutely hilarious and such a great plot!) Going Postal (another famous one)
So is the Cyber Chronicles (not sure if it is for teen readers but it is appropriate and not hard to read)
Graveminder by Melissa Marr.
The Queen's Thief by Megan Whalen Turner is excellent. As is the Gemma Doyle Trillogy by Libba Bray.
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer was a good debate starter amung friends.
Something Wicked this Way Comes By Ray Bradburry as well as Farenhight 451 are pretty great. (but I really enjoy all of his stuff)
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut was a good read in English class in High School.
Anything by Niel Gaiman is fantastic.
The Keys to the Kingdom series as well as the Seven tower series by Garth Nix are both amazing.
The Delierium series by Lauren Oliver is about a society that rejects love and believes it is a disease. That is an interesting one. It goes right along with the Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins but is far less violent.
The Last Book in the universe by Rodman Philbrick and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak are both really lovely.
I loved the Forest of hands and teeth series by Carrie Ryan but that was a pretty extreme zombie series so I'm not sure if you want that.
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer talks about what it means to be human and human rights in a world that has clones and humans coexisting.
The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven was something that inspired me as a kid as did The Folk Keeper bt Franny Billingsley.
Feed by MT Anderson is pretty popular among teens.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, and A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner were top hits for our class in High School (junior and senior year) Sylvia Plath's Bell Jar (as well as other poetry and her Journal) is fantastic.
I hope this list isn't too long. If you want more information on any of these books I can give you additional information.
Thanks for the suggestions so far, you guys have been really helpful. I'll be sure to check out the books you all suggested. I think the hardest part of being a language teacher is giving assignments that pupils will be interested in and will want to make
The Tripods series is young teen sci-fi book where aliens have already took over the world. The books from the series are The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, The Pool of Fire, and When the Tripods Came.
YTcyberpunkFeatured By OwnerNov 5, 2012Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Harry Potter, Twilight, Eragon, His Dark Materials, various Star Wars books, and Dear America books.
Some of these books are better than others. Eragon and Twilight are low down on my list; I wouldn't recommend them to most people. Harry Potter would probably be at the top, along with the Dear America books (for those into historical fiction).
There's so many lovely ones out there! There's Cassandra Clare's work, she has two series out called "The Mortal Instruments" and "The Infernal Devices". TMI has five books out currently, it will be six total. TID has two out and will be three total. TID is a prequel to TMI, but it doesn't really matter which one you read first. They are fantasy books with a huge cast of amazing characters and the plot's of both are great. The first book of TMI is being turned into a book which is set to wrap filming on Wednesday and premier on August 23rd next year.
There's "The Demon's Lexicon" series by Sarah Rees Brennan which is a series of three fantasy books, all of which are out. They don't get nearly as much love as they should either. The books focus heavily on sibling bonds and what it means to love someone, and the plot is very interesting as well.
Sarah also has a new series in which the first book just came out, which is titled "Unspoken". I have yet to read this, but I have heard amazing, amazing things about it!
A few other awesome author's you can check out are Holly Black and Maureen Johnson.
One of my favorites is Soulless by Gail Carriger. It's a fantasy steampunk series about a Victorian woman who has no soul and thus the power to cancel out other supernatural powers (which are caused by an excess of soul). The writing is very posh, sarcastic and humorous. The main character is both historically correct and strong, which is hard to do. Another recent favorite is Croak by Gina Damico. It's about a delinquent who is sent to her uncle's farm for the summer. But her uncle isn't a farmer, he's a Grim Reaper, and she has to start working with him. It's a black comedy, but it's the kind of absurd humor anyone could enjoy.
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. [link] It's about a road trip across America and although it's a romance, it was really the different places and minor characters in the book that made me love the book so much.
Dash and Lily's book of Dares. [link] It's about a pair of teenagers going on adventures in NYC at Christmas. I really like the way the two main characters talk, it's different to your typical 'teen speak'
Leviathan by Scott Westerfield [link] It's a steampunk story about two teenagers on opposite sides of a fictionalised World War I. (it's the first of a series though)
Shift by Em Baily [link] High school story about a girl recovering from mental illness and something possibly paranormal going on, but it could just be all in her mind.
I don't know if it's exactly what you're looking for, but one of my favorites since my pre-teen years is "The Silver Kiss" by Annette Curtis Klaus. It's a vampire story (so... It's 'in' right now?) but it's really a story about death, loss and love and how we deal with it. Blood and Chocolate by the same author is great, although it was destroyed by the movie version.
Holly Black is one of my favorite teen authors as well. I'm partial to teen fantasy though.