The 19 Best Books for Teens of 2022

From cookbooks to mysteries, these books will pique your teen's interests

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Whether they are reluctant readers or true bookworms, teens' book choices can vary widely. They may prefer self-help, cookbooks, fiction, non-fiction, graphic format, or activity books. Fostering a love or even tolerance of reading in your teen can open the door to a world of fictional adventures, helpful life hacks, cool activities, and so much more.

Reviewed & Approved

"Children of Blood and Bone" is a story influenced by the author’s West African background that tackles injustice, discrimination, and a struggle for change. For an innovative activity book, we recommend "The Story Seeds Podcast."

Consider your teen's interests as that will give you a good place to start, but don't forget to look at the age recommendation of the book (if there is one). We carefully considered book format, material, interests, age recommendations, and value when reviewing products.

Here are the best books for the teen in your life.

Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

Courtesy of Amazon

"Children of Blood and Bone" ranks high on our list because the story is influenced by the author's West African background and deals with important topics. An epic phenomenon, this is the first book in the series, and is a refreshing spin on the fantasy genre. It tackles injustice, discrimination, and a struggle for change. This captivating book racked up accolades and if your teen becomes a fan, book two in the series is also available. 

The Story Seeds Podcast

The Story Seeds Podcast

 Courtesy of Story Seeds

For reluctant readers or those who crave engagement, try this innovative activity book created by the makers of the Story Seeds podcast, known for diverse and award-winning children’s authors making stories dreamed up by kids. With the activity book, kids scan a QR code, listen to a podcast episode, and then launch into their very own creative journey with writing tips, STEAM projects, poetry prompts, and much more.

The How-To Cookbook for Teens

The How-To Cookbook for Teens

Courtesy of Walmart

Cooking is a useful life skill and tons of fun for teens. This beginner-friendly book is packed with 100 simple recipes in an easy-to-follow format that uses everyday, affordable ingredients. Parent reviewers love that this book motivates teens to cook and is well-suited for them to do it all by themselves. Bon appetit! 

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens"

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

Courtesy of Barnes and Noble

With over 3 million copies sold, this self-help book provides teens with a useful and realistic roadmap to achieve goals and dreams. Made for modern times, it’ll arm teens with the tools to make tough decisions while improving self-esteem, building friendships, and making thoughtful choices. 

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

Courtesy of Amazon

This best-selling, award-winning, and highly praised YA novel is an important read. The story of a police shooting told through a young girl’s eyes is a highly relevant, impactful, and fast-moving story. Heartbreakingly topical, this book is suitable for teens as well as their parents. 

The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street

Courtesy of Amazon

A classic for good reason, this story is told in a series of smaller, in-depth, descriptive stories, so it may be a new format for teen readers. The main character, a young Latina girl in Chicago, is coming of age in this 110-page book and, like all teens, is deciding who and what she will become. Relatable and intriguing, this is a title that your kiddo will want to read more than once.

Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day

Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day

Courtesy of Amazon

Being a teen can be a wild, emotional ride fueled by increased hormones. However, with a little practice, teens can change their mindset, improve their relationships with friends and family, and increase their self-esteem with short, 10-minute exercises. Through guided exercises, breathing techniques, and practice prompts, this beneficial book can help kids who may feel overwhelmed or those interested in mindfulness.

One of Us is Lying

One of Us is Lying

Courtesy of Amazon

A juicy, super-readable thriller, this book features five junior high school students who walk into detention. One of them doesn’t make it out alive. With minimal bad language and important themes, this page-turner would be fun for a family or teen group book club. 

Hey, Kiddo

Hey, Kiddo

Courtesy of BookShop

Fans of author Jarrett J. Krosoczka will know him for his Lunch Lady and Jedi Academy books. This graphic novel memoir goes into the author’s childhood as he grappled with a family facing addiction struggles and finding art to help him survive. New and long-time fans of graphic novels will appreciate the depth of this impactful story.

How to Be a Person

How to Be a Person

This masterful guide features essential life skills for kids, authored by an expert parenting writer and etiquette columnist. Sweetly illustrated in a graphic novel form, there are 65 useful skills to learn, ranging from how to make a bed to how to apologize sincerely.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Courtesy of Amazon

For fans of The Hunger Games, this prequel will send them right back to the world of tributes and competition. Reviewers praise this strong addition to the trilogy which may just inspire your teen to reread the whole series.

Guinness Book of World Records 2021

Guinness Book of World Records 2021

Courtesy of Amazon

A great gift, coffee table book, or just fun to flip through, every year the Guinness Book of World Records tracks all the zany records that are broken each year. With 12 fact-packed chapters, even the surliest teen will find a world record that will amaze them. 

Teen Trailblazers: 30 Fearless Girls Who Changed the World Before They Were 20

Teen Trailblazers: 30 Fearless Girls Who Changed the World Before They Were 20

Courtesy of Amazon

Inspire teens with some role models from history. This book features 30 young women, all of who have made great accomplishments to history before their twentieth birthdays. Each woman’s story is accompanied by eye-catching original illustrations. 

Perfect for these unprecedented times, this love story is about two teens who fall in love but can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives. Made into a best-selling movie, challenge your teen to read the book and then enjoy a movie night to discuss the story. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise

Courtesy of Amazon

For fans of the television show, this book picks up where the show left off. Told in graphic novel form, reviewers praise the book as successfully continuing the story and keeping the characters as they are in the show. Your teen will be sure to enjoy this beautifully drawn book series. 

Go Big: Make Your Shot Count in the Connected World

Go Big: Make Your Shot Count in the Connected World

The YouTube stars behind Dude Perfect have entertained and inspired millions of kids. With this book, they go behind the scenes to tell the story of their founding and share five practical principles to inspire teen fans to take their passions, skills, and dreams to the next level. 

Dear Martin

Dear Martin

Courtesy of Amazon

An important read for teens and adults, this story follows a Black teenage boy as he grows up and discovers more about the challenges of being Black in America. Lending itself to lots of discussions, this book is appropriate for a family book club or school reading. 

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

Courtesy of Amazon

A classic for good reason, this masterpiece has racked up accolades and should be appreciated by a new generation of readers. Though set in the 1930s, the coming-of-age story will still resonate with readers today, inspiring important discussions and deep thoughts. 

The Ultimate College Cookbook

The Ultimate College Cookbook

Courtesy of Amazon

Perfect for older teens, this cookbook features 60 recipes, ranging from simple breakfasts, weeknight dinners, and weekend gatherings. Each dish takes into consideration the realities of college living and is developed to be cooked in dorm-friendly appliances like microwaves, toasters, and hot plates. 

Final Verdict

For light reading that will be useful in their day-to-day lives, check out How to Be a Person by Catherine Newman (view at Amazon). Illustrated in a graphic novel form, there are 65 useful skills to learn, ranging from how to apologize sincerely to how to vacuum a room. Or, if your teen hasn’t read it in class yet, have them check out the classic To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (view at Amazon). The coming-of-age story will still resonate with readers today, inspiring important discussions and deep thoughts.

What to Look for in Books for Teens

Interests

Taking into account the interests of your teen before purchasing a book for them can ensure that they will want to give it a try. Whether they love sci-fi, romantic stories, or cool and strange facts, their interests usually drive their picks when it comes to books.

Age

Just like books for toddlers and younger kids, books for teens typically come with age recommendations. Choose a title that fits your child's age group to avoid any inappropriate themes or language.

Timeliness

There is something to be said about encouraging your teens to get into the classics. However, if your teen just isn't into Jane Eyre or To Kill a Mockingbird, it may be time to check out the newer titles to find something they may like.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I choose the right book for my teen?

    Choosing a book for your teen involves considering their interests, maturity level, and reading level. Books can offer messages of hope and healing, so also consider if there is anything larger going on in your teen’s life, like a transition phase or bullying, where a book could be a good example of how to handle a situation.

  • How do I get my teen to read more?

    Encouraging your teen to read more can be challenging, but you can help. First, if you love to read, share why with your teen, and what kinds of books you like. Setting a good example of choosing to read over television is helpful in teens modeling your behavior. Taking structure out of reading—like the kind they get in school—can help as well. While many parents restrict screen time, you might want to try offering your teen unlimited time to read to see if they take you up on it.

  • What are the benefits of reading for fun?

    Reading for fun has many benefits, including inspiring imagination and creativity, helping your teen feel more understood, and escaping from everyday life. Reading for fun also expands horizons and understanding of other cultures, people, and viewpoints.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of a 10-year-old son, 7-year-old son, and 3-year old daughter. While she doesn’t have any teen readers yet, Maya loves YA novels and can’t wait for the day when she can have a family book club.