The 9 Best Inspirational Books for Teens of 2021

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Our Top Picks
Reviewers says this book is chock-full of tidbits to help teenagers navigate a complicated world.
Showing teens how to make smart choices regarding the six most crucial points they’ll face.
Best for Self-Esteem:
Do Hard Things at Amazon
They also map out five concrete ways that teens can actually act to bring about personal and social change.
A fun and engaging book that offers a road map with proven principles to help teens reach any goal.
Designed to help high school and college students zero in on their favorite skills and find their perfect major or career.
A classic that should be in every teen’s bookshelf for reference.
A motivational coloring book for adults, teens, and kids.
With over 50 different activities and exercises your teen will have endless ways to express themselves.
Teens will learn 20 different lessons on how they can tackle racism, like how to speak up and what will happen if nothing is done.

Best Overall Book for Teens: You Don't Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way: What I Wish Someone Had Told Me

You Don't Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way

If you’re looking for a book that covers it all, check out “You Don’t Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way” by Laya Saul. Covering topics like sexual abuse, pain, facing obstacles, peer pressure, drugs, and many others, Saul provides teens chapters with bite-sized inspiration in the form of stories, ideas, quotes, and questions to get them thinking critically.

Reviewers says this book is chock-full of tidbits to help teenagers navigate a complicated world. It's a great read for parents and teachers who want to better understand their teens, too.

Best Book for Decision Making: The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens

The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make

With all the decisions a teenager makes on a daily basis, it’s obvious that coming to important conclusions over and over again can become exhausting. Of course, some decisions will be more important than others, and that’s where “The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make” by Sean Covey comes into play.

Also the author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens," Covey uses his expertise in this book as well, showing teens how to make smart choices regarding the six most crucial points they’ll face during their teenage years.

Covey uses real-life stories from around the world to show teens how to succeed in school, make good friends, get along with parents, wisely handle dating and sex issues, avoid addictions, build self-esteem, and more. Covey also uses quotes, quizzes, and cartoons to keep teens interested and inspired.

Best for Self-Esteem: Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations

Do Hard Things

With everything the average teenager has to balance and endure, it should come as no surprise that most deal with low self-esteem at least on occasion.

Whether it’s a bad grade, a party invite that wasn’t extended, or a rejection from their college of choice, self-esteem is an area where teens could benefit from added support and resources.

That’s why we love “Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Again Low Expectations” by Alex and Brett Harris. The Harris twins use biblical insights, history, and modern examples to help redefine the teen years as a launching pad for life, not a vacation from responsibility.

While motivation is great, they also map out five concrete ways that teens can actually act to bring about personal and social change.

This book is an Amazon Best Seller because it was written by teens, for teens, and works hard to use humor, personal anecdotes, and practical examples to really reach teens in a way that will resonate.

Best About Success: The Success Principles for Teens: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

The Success Principles for Teens

There isn’t a teen out there who doesn’t want to be successful—it just might take a little bit of hand-holding to get there. “The Success Principles for Teens: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” by Jack Canfield and Kent Healy can do that.

Together with Healy, Canfield (creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series) has created a fun and engaging book that offers a road map with proven principles to help teens reach any goal they desire.

After reading 23 of the most important success strategies that thousands of other teens have used throughout history, your teen will be armed with the tools he or she needs to succeed.

Best Career: What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens: Discover Yourself, Design Your Future, and Plan for Your Dream Job

What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens

Considering a career path while you're still a teenager seems daunting, even for those of us who have come out on the other side unscathed. “What Color Is Your Parachute? For Teens” by Carol Christen and Richard N. Bolles helps teens face those career questions head-on.

Designed to help high school and college students zero in on their favorite skills and find their perfect major or career, the newly updated book includes activities and advice on information interviewing, social media, internships, and more.

One reviewer, a school teacher, said they bought a copy of this book for each of their students and they find the material helpful and engaging.

Best for Positivity: The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking

Making any big decision or getting through any difficult stage of life usually boils down to one thing: thinking positively. “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is a classic that should be in every teen’s bookshelf for reference.

Dr. Peale's book has sold over five million times thanks to its helpful tips on finding a fulfilling, happy life.

The objectives of the book include getting people to believe in themselves and everything they do, building new power and determination, developing the power to reach their goals, and improving personal and professional relationships.

Best Artistic: Good Vibes Coloring Book: A Motivational Coloring Book for Adults, Teens and Kids

Good Vibes Coloring Book

The fun-loving, artistic teen who loves to doodle will probably get a kick out of “Do Your Best Forget the Rest,” a motivational coloring book for adults, teens, and kids.

Readers can color the background pictures while poring over 30 quotes that will provide a little inspiration for everyday life.

One of the best parts about this book is that there are two copies of every picture, so they can be shared with others.

What's more, coloring has been proven to help decrease stress and increase relaxation, so your teen can wind down and find some zen while using this quirky and fun book.

Best Workbook: The Ultimate Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens

The Ultimate Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens

Building strong self-esteem is a hallmark struggle for teens and it's not uncommon at all. Between peaking hormones and critical peers, a teen's self-esteem can be quite fragile. The Ultimate Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens is designed to help them build strong self-confidence through hands-on activities and helpful advice.

With over 50 different activities and exercises like checklists and journal prompts, your teen will have endless ways to express themselves. The workbook also includes inspiring stories from other teens to help remind them that they aren't alone.

Best for Activism: This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work

This Book Is Anti-Racist

Delve into the harsh, but realistic, world of racism and how to take action with this inspirational book by Tiffany Jewell. Jewell does more than just explaining the history of racism; she teaches teens how to use their voice and take action against racism in today's society.

Reviewers say the New York Times Best Seller helps younger generations learn how to be thoughtful and anti-racist. Teens will learn 20 different lessons on how they can tackle racism, like how to speak up and what will happen if nothing is done.

Check out our Best Overall book, You Don't Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way by Laya Saul (view on Amazon), if you're wanting a book to cover a variety of topics. Saul covers topics like sexual abuse, pain, facing obstacles, peer pressure, drugs, and more while providing teens chapters with bite-sized inspiration in the form of stories, ideas, quotes, and questions to get them thinking critically. There's also The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (view on Amazon) which is a classic for any teen to have on their bookshelf. The book helps people believe in themselves, their goals, relationships, and many other objectives.

Why Trust Verywell Family?

Katrina Cossey has been a digital content producer and news and feature writer for more than six years. She has covered topics ranging from local and national news as well as writing and researching parenting content. Katrina is a fan of coloring books, like the Good Vibes Coloring Book (view on Amazon), for relieving any stress or anxiety.

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