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Top 10 Books for Teens

From Philip Pullman's latest to a YouTube sensation, these young adult releases are fab, lo-fi stocking fillers


Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls 

Set in 1914, this is a compelling novel about the suffragette movement, and three girls from very different backgrounds who come together to fight for Women’s Rights under the shadow of approaching War.

Charlotte Says by Alex Bell 

Teen horror for older readers, a historical tale involving creepy dolls and ghost children, and a prequel to the popular Frozen Charlotte. (Scary)


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green 

The latest novel from the acclaimed author (Fault in our Stars, Paper Towns), this is the tale of Aza, a 16 year old with mental health issues, and her pursuit of fugitive billionaire Russell Picket. Fantastic insight into teenage issues, and excellent characterisation.

147 Things by Jim Chapman 

The YouTube sensation shares his view on life, the universe and everything. Filled with weird and wonderful facts, ideal for dipping into. Non fiction.


A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke

Magical northern fantasy, set in the land of Skane, a brutal and hard place, ruled by the Goddess who lights the skies in mysterious colours. Osa, the books heroine, is the only person who can prevent a terrible calamity. Beautiful world building and writing.

The Red Ribbon by Lucy Alderton 

14 year old Ella is a dressmaker, and on her first day in the Upper Tailoring Studio she steps into a world of silks and seams, buttons and bows. But Birchwood is no ordinary place, and the decisions Ella makes are a matter of life and death. Shocking and emotional, a new take on the horrors of Auschwitz.


Le Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman (The Book of Dust #1)

Malcolm Polstead and his daemon Asta live by the river in Oxford. Across the water, in Godstowe Priory the Nuns are sheltering a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua. This is the stunning and long awaited “equel” to the story of Lyra told in “His Dark Materials”, and a must read for fans of that trilogy, and those who love Oxford.

Ink by Alice Broadway

One of the teen hits of the year, Ink is a dystopian fable set in a world where your life’s achievements are tattooed onto your skin, to be made into a book at your death. When Leora’s father dies she discovers his ink has been edited. Gritty, dark, and mysterious. The author grew up in Thame and went to Lord Williams’ School so there’s a lovely local angle too.


The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness 

This book was first published 10 years ago but still really resonates. Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Here everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts, all the time, it is a never-ending stream of Noise. Then 12 year old Todd finds a spot of silence in the world, and discovers a secret so terrible that he must run for his life. The award winning first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, soon to be a major film.

Thornhill by Pam Smy 

Part graphic novel, part prose, this is an exquisite book telling the tale of two different girls at different times. Mary, an orphan in the Thornhill Institute for Children, and Ella, whose house backs onto the abandoned Institute. A spooky tale of revenge.

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