recommended reading for ages 13-16


A must-read for young and not-so-young adults

Jennifer Minicus | 2007
written for ages 13-16 | highly recommended
Nazi Germany seen from an original perspective.


Mercenaries and slaves

Tim Golden | 2003
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
A tragic story about revenge.


Is acting a real job?

Tim Golden | 1995
written for ages 13-16 | highly recommended
Ralph seeks a career in the theatre.


Unwanted children sold as slaves

Tim Golden | 2000
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
The plight of illegitimate children in 17th-century England was bleak.


Deathbed confession leads to mystery

Tim Golden | 1995
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
Brother Cadfael is on the case.


A fountain in the desert

Clare Cannon | 2012
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
An engaging and cultured story for young teens that actually makes them think.


Romance in teen fiction

Clare Cannon | 2012
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
There’s nothing quite like a good romance. But what makes a literary romance ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for teens?


Inside a male brain

Clare Cannon | 2008
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
Shusterman's account seems about right to me.


Hope lends beauty to even the bleakest tale

Clare Cannon | 2011
written for ages 13-16 | highly recommended
This remarkable story teaches history, humanity and hope. Why did I avoid it for so long?!


Historical Fiction for Teens

Clare Cannon | 2012
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
A series that puts heart into history.


Bright Island

Jennifer Minicus | 2012
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
A coming of age story for young teen girls.


Spindle's End

Tim Golden | 2001
written for ages 13-16 | highly recommended
A modern retelling of an old fairy tale for young adults.


The Sleeping Sword

Tim Golden |
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
Bun Bendle sustains a head injury in a diving accident and is left blind.


Airborn Series

Tim Golden | 2007
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
An enjoyable adventure


City Boy

Jennifer Minicus | 2004
written for ages 13-16 | highly recommended
Anyone who has ever experienced puppy love should read this Pulitzer Prize winning novel.


The Rag and Bone Shop

Tim Golden | 2003
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
Jason, a shy 12-year-old, is questioned about the death of his friend Alicia, not realizing that the interrogator is already convinced of his guilt.


The Yearling

Jennifer Minicus | 2002
written for ages 13-16 | highly recommended
I have a weakness for coming of age stories.


Book Reviews

Video Review: 5 Novels for Teens that Build Character

Clare Cannon |
written for ages 13-16 | highly recommended
Need a book to inspire your teen to be a better person? Try these.


Small Acts of Amazing Courage

Clare Cannon | 2011
written for ages 13-16 | highly recommended
One of those little books that is well worth reading.


Look to the Lady

Tim Golden | 2006
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
This first book in the Albert Campion mystery series wets the reader's appetite for suspense.

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Reading Matters is MercatorNet’s blog about children’s literature. Our goal is to enable parents and educators to find quality books for young people. For an explanation of our evaluation system, click here. We welcome reader input and new reviewers. We love comments on the book reviews. Write to us at jennifer.minicus@mercatornet.com.


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 our picks for
2-7 years 13-16 years
7-10 years 15-18 years
9-12 years 18 and over
11-14 years all ages

 our standards
highly recommended: you must read this!
recommended: age-appropriate and entertaining
acceptable: not outstanding but not problematic
some reservations: contains potentially problematic scenes or concepts
not recommended: not appropriate for intended readers


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