Teens and Adults


I’ve spoken to several School groups, Moms’ groups, and others around the country about how to help kids love books.  I’ve published some articles and have written (and am hoping to publish!) young adult novels.  I truly believe anyone can develop a love of books.  One great thing you can do to help is to make reading fun. Read bedtime stories- even to your teens.  (Who wouldn’t be happy to hear a chapter of an amazing novel each night?) Give books as birthday presents. Let your kids see you reading and hear you talking about how amazing your book is.  Pretty soon they’ll be begging for a piece of the action.  =)

*Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
A classic story of women looking for husbands, and husbands putting up with wives and daughters.  Very funny.  Highly recommended. Please say you’ve read it.
Divergent and Others in the series by Veronica Roth

Sixteen year old Tris must decide between staying with her family or becoming who she feels she is meant to be. This dystopian story is gripping, insightful and thought-provoking.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

An orphan boy finds a dragon egg in the mountains behind his home.  First in a series.


Watership Down  by Richard Adams
            Classic story of society and survival told with rabbits. Yes, rabbits.


*The Romantic Obsessions and Humiliations of Annie Schelmier by Louise Plummer
If you know a teenage girl who thinks she doesn’t like to read, hand her this.  A laugh-till-you-cry story with substance.


*Stolen  by Lucy Christopher
            Some mature content. A girl is drugged and kidnapped. Gripping. I mean, Really Gripping. 

Don’t pick it up if you have anything else to do for the next several hours.


Blood Red Road  by Moira Young
            A warrior teen searches for her kidnapped twin brother.


Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn  by Mark Twain
            A classic. (In case you weren’t sure) Tom stages his own death, then attends the funeral.  Huck escapes with a run-away slave.  A must-read.


*Harry Potter  by J.K. Rowling
            Need we say more?
*The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings  by J.R.R. Tolkein
I hope you already know all about these.  Middle Earth is a great place to loose yourself.
The Moon-Spinners  (and most others) by Mary Stewart
Suspenseful mystery in Greece.  Stewart has written many mysteries– all quite good.


The Crystal Cave (Arthurian Saga) also by Mary Stewart
            Enchanting, true-to-the-best retellings of King Arthur and Merlin


*The Goose Girl  (and all others) by Shannon Hale
A wonderful retelling of an old folk tale.  The crown princess looses her throne to her handmaid and hides as a goose girl while planning to reclaim her title.


Enna Burning also by Shannon Hale
A very intense story of a girl who has learned to communicate with fire and is almost consumed by the power she struggles to control.
*The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery  (And Anne of Green Gables, of course)
The Blue Castle is my favorite of hers.  A good old-fashioned romance in which people are not who you think they are.  And Anne, (spelled with an “e”) is not to be missed.
Beauty, by Robin McKinley
            A very good retelling of Beauty and the Beast in full novel form. Very well-written.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens  by Sean Covey
            Same habits as the adult version, but in teen-friendly form. The workbook helps kids apply what they learn.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

For everyone who wants to be successful in life.


Across Five Aprils  by Irene Hunt

            Story of the Civil War told by a young boy who has family serving on both sides.
*The Scarlet Pimpernel  by Baroness Orczy
            The French Revolution was never so much fun!  This is the original spy adventure book that all

others came after.  Fast-paced, fun to read, and a good look at the French revolution. Adventure,

intrigue and romance!


*The Bronze Bow  by Elizabeth George Speare
Newbery award winning story of a young man living in Jerusalem at the time of Christ, looking for a military Messiah.  Highly recommended for teen boys- but everyone will love it.

Kidnapped  and Treasure Island  by Robert Lewis Stevenson

            Two swashbuckling pirate stories!  Both classics, both wonderful fun!
The Epic of Gilgamesh  (written about 2500 BC—shortened versions are great.)

One of the oldest-known stories recorded, about a king and a wild man who become friends.

I have included the link to the picture book version as well. Because I am a great believer in picture books, even for adults.

Beowolf, A monster is terrorizing the village and Beowolf rises to the occasion. And old English epic poem.  The link is for the audio CD, because it was meant to be heard, not read.   A very “boy” story, written between the 8th and 11th centuries.

The Princes of Ireland  by Edward Rutherford

            The story of Irish history told through the lives and perils of one Irish family followed from the druids to the middle ages.  Fascinating and well-written.


Princess Ben  by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
            It’s not often that a “princess tale” is written on a college reading level.  But then, Ben is no ordinary princess—even for modern readers.  Magic, romance, humor- this has it all.


Evil Genius  (and sequels) by Catherine Jinks

            The first book is a bit bloody, but gripping!  Cadel is a child genius whose life is not what he thought it was.  Computer hacking, kidnapping, murder… you name it, it’s here.


Graceling  and  Fire  by Kristin Cashore
            Magical realism at its best. A girl who is “graced” with special abilities fights true evil.
The Hunger Games  (and sequels) by  Suzanne Collins
            Just read them.  (I’m often asked if these books are disturbing.  If you can handle Harry Potter 4, you will have no problem here. If HP4 was too much, this might be too.)


How I Live Now  by Meg Rosoff
            Mature content. It’s easier to say what this book is not about.  It’s not about war, anorexia, intimacy out of wedlock, or mental telepathy. Although all those things do come into play.  After reading that, please don’t discount this book.  One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read.  Inspiring and thought-provoking.


Do Hard Things  by Alex & Brett Harris
            Encourages teens to join the “Rebeloution” against low expectations! Written by teens for teens.  But a good read for adults as well.


*These books are likely to become all-time favorites.  If you don’t know where to start, pick one of these.  =)