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Non-fiction books to help teens understand the world around them

An image of the cover of Politics for Beginners by Alex Frith, Rosie Hore, Louie Stowell and Kellan Stover

Non-fiction books can be a great tool to help teenagers explore and investigate problems in their lives and around the world.

These fantastic books explore the issues facing young people today - from the demonization of the working class to gang culture to sexuality, while others help explain how the world has ended up where it has.

  • Mind Your Head

    Author: Juno Dawson with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt Illustrator: Gemma Correll

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Mind Your Head

    Author: Juno Dawson with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt Illustrator: Gemma Correll

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    In this upfront and accessible book, Juno Dawson tackles all things mental health. Packed with practical advice, guidance from cli…

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  • How to Be a Bawse

    Author: Lilly Singh

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • How to Be a Bawse

    Author: Lilly Singh

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Lilly Singh is a phenomenally successful YouTuber known as Superwoman, and that's a name rightly earned if this book is anything t…

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  • Managing Your Money

    Author: Jane Bingham and Holly Bathie Illustrator: Nancy Leschnikoff and Freya Harrison

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Managing Your Money

    Author: Jane Bingham and Holly Bathie Illustrator: Nancy Leschnikoff and Freya Harrison

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    This clear, concise non-fiction guide to managing money for young people explores a range of topics, including setting a budget, o…

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  • What is Humanism?

    Author: Michael Rosen

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 8

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  • What is Humanism?

    Author: Michael Rosen

    Interest level: 8+

    Reading age: 8

    What is the purpose of life? Where do moral values come from? Can you be good without God or religion? This straightforward book l…

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  • What is Gender?

    Author: Juno Dawson

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • What is Gender?

    Author: Juno Dawson

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    An informative, no-nonsense guide looking at the concept of gender and the different issues surrounding it, featuring personal sto…

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  • Persepolis

    Author: Marjane Satrapi Translator: Blake Ferris

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Persepolis

    Author: Marjane Satrapi Translator: Blake Ferris

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

    Persepolis is Satrapi's history of Iran and her life in Iran and France as she tries to retain her Iranian culture but also grow u…

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  • Politics for Beginners

    Author: Alex Frith and Rosie Hore and Louie Stowell Illustrator: Kellan Stover

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10-12

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  • Politics for Beginners

    Author: Alex Frith and Rosie Hore and Louie Stowell Illustrator: Kellan Stover

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10-12

    It's increasingly important for young people to learn about politics and how they can get involved. This engaging book introduces …

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  • I am Malala

    Author: Malala Yousafzai

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • I am Malala

    Author: Malala Yousafzai

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    This is the real life story of one of the most incredible and inspirational young people in the world. Reading this book might jus…

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  • Don't Pick on Me!

    Author: Rosemary Stones

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Don't Pick on Me!

    Author: Rosemary Stones

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    This book explores why some people bully, why others are bullied and what you can do to change things

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  • Hope in a Ballet Shoe

    Author: Michaela and Elaine De Prince

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Hope in a Ballet Shoe

    Author: Michaela and Elaine De Prince

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

    Michaela takes the reader with her from the joys and struggles of her early life in Sierra-Leone to the challenges and delights of…

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  • You Are Awesome

    Author: Matthew Syed Illustrator: Toby Triumph

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • You Are Awesome

    Author: Matthew Syed Illustrator: Toby Triumph

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 9+

    An accessible, funny self-help manual for pre-teens and teenagers, based on Carol Dweck’s growth mindset theory: how to train your…

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  • Girl Hearts Girl

    Author: Lucy Sutcliffe

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Girl Hearts Girl

    Author: Lucy Sutcliffe

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    A real-life memoir about a young person coming to terms with her sexuality and her 'coming out', as well as her first relationship…

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  • The Reason I Jump

    Author: Naoki Higashida

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • The Reason I Jump

    Author: Naoki Higashida

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

    An invaluable tool for family members trying to understand autistic behaviour but also a fascinating and powerful read in its own …

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