6 Books Your Highschooler Should Be Reading Right Now

6 books your highschooler should read

With all of the classic must read books for high schoolers out there what are some newer books that are a must for teens to read? Here are six that I plan on adding to my own student’s book list. All of the teen main characters featured face unsurmountable challenges and turmoil during turbulent times. It tells of their strength of character in difficult times and the importance of friendship while facing struggles.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Between 1854 and 1929 an orphan train ran from the Cities of the East Coast to the Farmlands in the Midwest. These trains carried orphaned children that needed a home. Some would be welcomed into a loving home while others would face a childhood of servitude. This story tells of a young irish immigrant, Vivian Daly, who was a passenger on the train. As an adult she returned East and lived a peaceful live but a trunk in her attic held the secrets of her past.

17 year old Molly Ayer ends up doing community service for the elderly woman by helping her clean out her home. As she helps her sort through her belongings she discovers that the two are more alike than she could imagine and form an unlikely friendship but learn they are more alike than not.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This story tells of two girls, “Verity” and Maddie. Verity, a secret agent, is a passenger on a British spy plane that her best friend Maddie is flying into Nazi-occupied France. Their plane crashes and Verity is captured by Nazi interrogators who want her to reveal her mission or face death. As she confesses she tells of her past and how she became friends with Maddie and ends up trading secrets in hope of returning home safely. This book is a story of danger, resolve, survival and ultimately friendship.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

The author, Malala Yousafzai, is the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Her book, I Am Malala, tells of her life in Swat Valley, Pakistan that was taken over by the Taliban. Standing up for her right to an education she was shot in the head while riding the bus home from school. Her recovery took her from Pakistan to the hall of the United Nations where she became a symbol of peaceful protest.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Growing up with a troubled past, Louis Zamperini focused his rebellious spirit into becoming a runner. His talent with the sport allowed him to participate in the Berlin Olympics. During World War II he became an airman and was involved in an expedition that ended in his Army Air Force bomber crashing into the Pacific Ocean. Amazingly, Louis survived the crash and his time in the shark infested waters. Unbroken tells the testimony of his strength and determination to keep on going.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Growing up in Lithuania in 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is just like any other teen age girl. Her life changes abruptly when Soviet officers break into her home separating her brother, mom, and herself away from the father. The three are forced to go north across the Arctic Circle to a work camp in Siberia. Under orders from Stalin they are forced into hard labor in the worst of conditions. Lina documents events by drawing them and hoping the notes get to their father’s prison camp to let him know they are alive. With inconceivable strength, hope, and love Lina is able to survive.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

As World War II is ending in East Prussia thousands of refugees are searching for freedom,and many have hidden secrets. During the trek Joana, Emilia, and Forian’s paths cross on the way to the ship that holds hope for many, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Brought together by fate the trio find their strength, courage, and trust tested with each step that brings them closer to safety. Tragedy strikes as everyone on the ship must fight to survive the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff.



Joy Capps is a homeschool bookworm residing in the mountains of western North Carolina. The only one who loves books more is her 16-year-old daughter. They both enjoy perusing old bookstores for treasures and sniffing books. Her son who is 18 has special needs, is the social butterfly of the family and has never met a stranger. Although she is originally from South Dakota she now calls North Carolina her home and she and her family love exploring the great outdoors. Her family has been homeschooling since 2005.

August 14, 2018


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