Jump to content

Menu

ISO Young Adult books for 13 year old girl


Recommended Posts

My always avid reader hasn't been reading much lately, which has made me so incredibly sad! Well I recently got her John Green's Fault in the Stars book (because she had asked for it last year and I felt we needed to wait). I still haven't read it yet (she just finished it) but I will. Anyway, she loved it. She wants to read his other books now.

 

But I would love to know of other excellent books for her to read that will hold her interest in the same way. Not trash, but at the same time, something that she really wants to read, if that makes sense (hopefully it does!)

 

Thanks in advance!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, okay, what's "trash"? Your trash might be my treasure, right? And vice versa, of course - and no, I refuse to list examples because I'm likely to offend somebody who likes Twilight.

 

I actually liked the story of the Twilight books (and yes the quality of the writing wasn't always the best, but whatever).

 

I am not sure how to explain my idea of trash :) When I was younger, that would have been Danielle Steel and Harlequin romances, lol. She LOVED the Maze Runner series. I also read it and liked it. I thought the story line was pretty cool. So that probably doesn't answer the question?

 

Also, a "little" bit of sex is okay (really relaxing my standards!!) but really want to keep it tame in that area.

Edited by tammyw
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a few my dds ages 13 and 14 have recently enjoyed that I can recall offhand:

Uglies (series)
The Ability
The Selection (series)
A Great and Terrible Beauty
I'd Tell you I Love You But I'd Have to Kill You (series)

None of these are great literary works, but just fun independent reading. My older Dd just read The Fault in Our Stars as well and loved it.

Edited by amsunshinetemp
Link to post
Share on other sites
I am not sure how to explain my idea of trash :) When I was younger, that would have been Danielle Steel and Harlequin romances, lol. She LOVED the Maze Runner series. I also read it and liked it. I thought the story line was pretty cool. So that probably doesn't answer the question?

 

Okay, so by "trash" you don't mean poor writing quality, you mean too much sex, or maybe too much unhealthy relationships? I can work with that :)

 

When I get back from the movies, that is. I gotta run soon.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so by "trash" you don't mean poor writing quality, you mean too much sex, or maybe too much unhealthy relationships? I can work with that :)

 

When I get back from the movies, that is. I gotta run soon.

 

That sounds about right :)

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're concerned about too much sex, I'd suggest you read the John Green books first.

 

I absolutely LOVE all of his books and I've read them multiple times myself.

But there is quite a lot of adult content, which can be a bit graphic in places.

 

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking about a scene from Looking for Alaska .... I'm blushing just thinking about writing about it here. Suffice to say, I highly recommend you read it first and be comfortable with the content for your child.

 

As I said, I absolutely love these books, but I wouldn't be giving them to my youngest (who is 10) for quite a few years yet.

Edited by chocolate-chip chooky
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, there's an insane amount in the vein of Maze Runner/dystopian/future stuff series...

 

Hunger Games

Divergent

Uglies (great series - low sex content, thoughtful about relationships and body image issues)

Legend (okay, not too much sex or violence)

Under the Never Sky

Cinder

Feed by MT Anderson (really, anything by Anderson is great and thought-provoking)

 

One I would avoid is The Selection, which, while it keeps the actual sex to a minimum, is just so trashy. It's like The Bachelor but trashier. And Matched, which is pretty chaste, but unbelievably poorly constructed as a series.

 

Fantasy...

Miss Peregrine's (movie coming out soon too)

Graceling (great series, a tiny bit of sex, nothing graphic)

Shadow and Bone

Girl of Fire and Thorns (though, I haven't read the later ones and have heard they include more sexual content)

A Great and Terrible Beauty

 

In the John Green vein... these you should look up and decide for yourself. Like Green's books, many contain some sexual content, but all of these are ones I think are healthy relationships...

 

Eleanor and Park (I worship at the ground Rainbow Rowell treads upon)

The Beginning of Everything

I'll Give You the Sun

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Anna and the French Kiss (more of a romance, but not too bad)

Boy Meets Boy (also a total romance, but a sweet, pretty chaste gay romance)

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

 

There's also some great YA historical fiction... Try...

 

Code Name Verity (and Rose Under Fire)

A Northern Light

 

There's a lot more out there... I tried to stay away from anything too dark or grown up (well, Rose Under Fire is dark, but historic and fantasy can be dark but fantastical). But... kids get there.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yes, I LOVE Eleanor and Park. It's one of my favourites. But once again, I'd HIGHLY recommend you read it first, before handing it to a child/young teen. There's some adult content in there for sure. 

 

I also like some of David Levithan's books. His cowritten book with John Green (Will Grayson Will Grayson) is another of my favourites, but the same message again - read it first yourself.

 

How many favourites am I allowed?   :001_smile:      I quite like YA fiction.  ;)

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The read ahead thing depends a little... I mean, everyone says read ahead, read ahead and absolutely for some things and ages, yes, do, and all through there's such a beautiful thing about reading a book together and being able to share it. But we all have lives and book lists too and at 13 there's very little I would actively stop a kid from reading. And I wouldn't call 13 a young child. Suggestions get curated, sure, but at that age many of us in the pre-YA explosion era were firmly into genre fiction and I don't think it killed us. Reviews and commonsense media and some other sites will generally let you know what you're looking at if you want to guide but aren't going to freak out if something not perfect slips through the cracks.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am an AVID reader of all kinds of genres including Dickans and the classics but one of my favorite genres is YA, no joke! I will totally own up to loving all kinds of terribly written young adult series. There is something special about lots of them :)

 

Check this series out! One of my new recent favs.

 

Andrea Host "touchstone" series, starts with Stray then Lab Rat 1.

 

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13323039-the-touchstone-trilogy

 

A typical teenage girl goes for an amazing sci fi adventure. She names her new planet Pandora, realizes just how much she had taken for granted back home on Earth, overcomes her new societies' prejudices and discrimination, and discovers her strengths as part of an elite team of problem solving teenagers. Although they are amazingly gifted these teens still struggle with acceptance, bullies, making friends, and being awkward. Haha! You get a kind of Australian culture exposure, her humor and voice is really unique.

 

There is some normal crushing and at the end of book 2 there is a pretty passionate sex scene - at least they had not just met, but still... honestly I was highly disappointed not to just be crushing anymore LOL! I've only read books 1 & 2 as overdrive had not provided the third in the series. Possibly book 3 continues the sex or who knows maybe they end up regretting it :P

 

but I can say the concept and unlikely heroine was great IMHO.

 

Just skim the end of book 2 and be sure it passes for "some sex is ok" By your standards, & again I have no idea where book 3 goes.

 

If she reads it tell her not to read the description, go into it blind and don't give up on it it's a unique plot line and WAY better as a full on mystery.

Edited by Shred Betty
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that took a while :)

 

And Matched, which is pretty chaste, but unbelievably poorly constructed as a series.

 

Although I have to say, I admire the author's decision to revolve her entire dystopia around a love triangle rather than have a love triangle take over the trilogy.

 

at that age many of us in the pre-YA explosion era were firmly into genre fiction and I don't think it killed us.

 

Yeah, I definitely read Flowers in the Attic at that age. (Didn't like it that much, though. Had a friend who was obsessed with that series, but I thought they were all a bit repetitive to the point where the shocking revelations weren't.)

 

As for a list, I suddenly remembered that realistic fiction isn't exactly my strong suit. I'll have to go pester my own 13 year old, but right now I think she's in a murder mystery phase. I blame my mother.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're concerned about too much sex, I'd suggest you read the John Green books first.

 

I absolutely LOVE all of his books and I've read them multiple times myself.

But there is quite a lot of adult content, which can be a bit graphic in places.

 

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking about a scene from Looking for Alaska .... I'm blushing just thinking about writing about it here. Suffice to say, I highly recommend you read it first and be comfortable with the content for your child.

 

As I said, I absolutely love these books, but I wouldn't be giving them to my youngest (who is 10) for quite a few years yet.

Thank you so much!!! I just finished reading the fault in our stars. I was of course sobbing by the end but didn't love the writing style but can see why a teen would. There were things I was uncomfortable with - when her friend talks about riding him...

 

But just looked up the other two on commonsensemedia. The Alaska one will not be read for a long time (it says 16+!) I looked and she isn't reading paper Towns too quickly. I opened up the page she's on and first word I see is f@ggot. Yikes. I'm going to talk to her about the book and see what she is feeling so far and if she really wants to keep reading it.

 

Thanks for the heads up. I'm usually Sooooo on top of these things. Not sure why I have in on these without really looking into it :(

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with most of the recommendations above (including the avoidance of most Greene books for now).  However, I disagree about The Selection series.  It's certainly not classic lit, but for a fun teen read, I think the series is fine.  Although there is romance, there is no sex.  Strong language is kept to a minimum.  The female protagonists in the novels are positive role models, to boot.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some recommendations:

I Am Malala (non-fiction)

London Calling by Edward Bloor

Tangerine by Edward Bloor 

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates (this is probably my favorite young person book I've read this summer)

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (I haven't read this yet, but my 16yo DD loved it, so it is on my list)

 

Others my kids have enjoyed:

Anything by N.D. Wilson

Percy Jackson series (Greek, Roman, and Norse )

The Harry Potter series

The Uglies series

Scarlett Pimpernel series

Divergent series

Hunger Games series

Delirium series (very similar to Divergent)

Fahrenheit 451

The Giver

Mrs. Mike

Christy

 

My older girls enjoyed some of the Sarah Dessen books, like Keeping the Moon, when they were in high school, but they might be too old for your daughter. I seem to remember they contained fairly mature content.

 

My kids tended to find one author they love and read every book that they could find by that author. Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Emma Orczy, and ND Wilson have been some of their favorites.

 

Something that can be fun is to find some books that she missed when she was younger, books like From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler, Black Beauty, Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Wheel on the School, etc... and read those now for fun.

 

Edited because I always mess up :)

 
Edited by Aretemama
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, yeah, Sarah Dessen is a good pick for that age.

 

I didn't think Paper Towns was any worse than Fault in Our Stars - less actual sex, more breaking and entering. Alaska is definitely darker.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much!!! I just finished reading the fault in our stars. I was of course sobbing by the end but didn't love the writing style but can see why a teen would. There were things I was uncomfortable with - when her friend talks about riding him...

 

But just looked up the other two on commonsensemedia. The Alaska one will not be read for a long time (it says 16+!) I looked and she isn't reading paper Towns too quickly. I opened up the page she's on and first word I see is [email protected]<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* */</script> Yikes. I'm going to talk to her about the book and see what she is feeling so far and if she really wants to keep reading it.

 

Thanks for the heads up. I'm usually Sooooo on top of these things. Not sure why I have in on these without really looking into it :(

 

I find the YA category to be ever so broad. 

 

A lot of it I wouldn't give to my youngest until around age 15-16 or so. But I'll have to judge that at the time and consider her maturity and worldliness. There's just stuff in there I'm not ready for her to be exposed to.

But then, some YA is absolutely fine in my opinion. I'm thinking of the Theodore Boone series by John Grisham. It's categorised YA for completely different reasons - it involves court cases for murder.

 

We all have our own ideas of what's okay for our own children and what's not. And this is a really tricky age to find appropriate books, TV, movies etc. These kids are outgrowing the 'kid' stuff but I don't necessary consider them to be young adults either. So tricky. 

 

As Farrar said up-thread, it's near impossible to pre-read everything. There just aren't enough hours in the day. I'm really lucky because I have two older daughters (22 and 19), one of which is an avid reader. She's also nicely protective of her younger sister and lets her (and me) know if something is suitable or not (and why). If she's not sure, then I read it first or we just go with caution and leave it for a later year.

 

But, wow, I love some of these books. John Green's An Abundance of Katherines is one of my all-time favourite books. I love the style, the humour....the maths. A funny book with maths! I just wouldn't let my daughter read it for many years yet.

 

Good luck! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...