Print page

Fun back-to-school books for teenagers

Watch Us Rise

The holidays have passed, but here are some books to get you back into the school spirit.

Yes, the lie-ins are over but now the adventure begins: these teen books are perfect for capturing the drama but also the fun, giggles, new beginnings and the friendships that will last you a lifetime. 

  • That Asian Kid

    Author: Savita Kalhan

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

    Flip
  • That Asian Kid

    Author: Savita Kalhan

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

    Fifteen-year-old Jeevan witnesses two teachers snogging (and more) in the woods, and films it on his phone. But should he share th…

    ; Flip
  • Watch Us Rise

    Author: Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan

    Interest level: 13-16

    Reading age: 10+

    Flip
  • Watch Us Rise

    Author: Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan

    Interest level: 13-16

    Reading age: 10+

    Jasmine and her friends are fed up with casual discrimination and being pigeonholed as stereotypes. So they start a school blog ad…

    ; Flip
  • Orangeboy

    Author: Patrice Lawrence

    Interest level: 15+

    Reading age: 13+

    Flip
  • Orangeboy

    Author: Patrice Lawrence

    Interest level: 15+

    Reading age: 13+

    A boy that no one notices becomes a target on the run, when a tragic event prompts him to mix with a world of street gangs and dru…

    ; Flip
  • You Must Be Layla

    Author: Yassmin Abdel-Magied

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

    Flip
  • You Must Be Layla

    Author: Yassmin Abdel-Magied

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

    Layla's first week at her new school isn't going well - she's the only child there to wear a Muslim headscarf, and she's already b…

    ; Flip
  • Dare To Be You

    Author: Matthew Syed Illustrator: Toby Triumph

    Interest level: 9-13

    Reading age: 10+

    Flip
  • Dare To Be You

    Author: Matthew Syed Illustrator: Toby Triumph

    Interest level: 9-13

    Reading age: 10+

    As annoying as it is when someone says, ‘There’s no such thing as normal,’ everyone really is different. And this is a good thing:…

    ; Flip
  • The Poet X

    Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

    Interest level: 13-18

    Reading age: 13+

    Flip
  • The Poet X

    Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

    Interest level: 13-18

    Reading age: 13+

    Xiomara, a teenage girl of Dominican heritage, is starting to notice boys, but her strict Catholic parents have decided on no cont…

    ; Flip
  • Henry Tumour

    Author: Anthony McGowan

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 9+

    Flip
  • Henry Tumour

    Author: Anthony McGowan

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 9+

    Henry Tumour is certainly a memorable book: it's funny, shocking, and thought-provoking, too. Just be warned that the language is …

    ; Flip
  • Wink

    Author: Rob Harrell

    Interest level: 11-14

    Reading age: 11+

    Flip
  • Wink

    Author: Rob Harrell

    Interest level: 11-14

    Reading age: 11+

    Last summer, Ross was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer. He’s just started radiotherapy and, now school term has begun, he’…

    ; Flip
  • Geek Girl

    Author: Holly Smale

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 12+

    Flip
  • Geek Girl

    Author: Holly Smale

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 12+

    Everyone at school knows Harriet Manners is a geek.

    ; Flip
  • Booked

    Author: Kwame Alexander

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

    Flip
  • Booked

    Author: Kwame Alexander

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

    From fast-paced football matches to school and family drama, this novel written in verse has something for everyone and will grip …

    ; Flip
  • Second Best Friend

    Author: Non Pratt

    Interest level: 13-16

    Reading age: 13+

    Flip
  • Second Best Friend

    Author: Non Pratt

    Interest level: 13-16

    Reading age: 13+

    An electric coming-of-age story, Non Pratt deftly uses a school political race to highlight other kinds of school politics: the mi…

    ; Flip
  • Everything All At Once

    Author: Stephen Camden

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 11+

    Flip
  • Everything All At Once

    Author: Stephen Camden

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 11+

    What is secondary school for you? Friends; enemies. A haven; a jungle. Somewhere lonely; somewhere full of life. A set of walls wi…

    ; Flip
  • Eleanor & Park

    Author: Rainbow Rowell

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

    Flip
  • Eleanor & Park

    Author: Rainbow Rowell

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

    Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is a beautifully-written love story about two high school outsiders

    ; Flip
  • Flirty Dancing

    Author: Jenny McLachlan

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Flip
  • Flirty Dancing

    Author: Jenny McLachlan

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    First of four books, this is smart, funny writing, engagingly balancing the serious stuff - bullying, first love, friendship - wit…

    ; Flip
  • Look Both Ways

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Selom Sunu

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    Flip
  • Look Both Ways

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Selom Sunu

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    Ten short stories about that strange time when school finishes and children of a certain age (usually around ten years old) get to…

    ; Flip
  • Fuzzy Mud

    Author: Louis Sachar

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    Flip
  • Fuzzy Mud

    Author: Louis Sachar

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    Marshall and Tamaya take a short cut home from school one day to avoid the school bully – through the forbidden, completely …

    ; Flip
  • You Know Me Well

    Author: Nina LaCour & David Levithan

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

    Flip
  • You Know Me Well

    Author: Nina LaCour & David Levithan

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

    Mark and Kate have never spoken outside class - and little do they know how important they will become to each other. As well as b…

    ; Flip
  • The Silent Striker

    Author: Pete Kalu

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    Flip
  • The Silent Striker

    Author: Pete Kalu

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    Marcus lives and breathes football. He might even have the makings of a professional player. But Marcus' life is about to change. …

    ; Flip
  • Waiting for Callback

    Author: Perdita and Honor Cargill

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 9+

    Flip
  • Waiting for Callback

    Author: Perdita and Honor Cargill

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 9+

    Fifteen-year-old Elektra's humorous and thoughtful account of juggling school, home, friends, relationships, and her attempts to b…

    ; Flip
  • Big Bones

    Author: Laura Dockrill

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

    Flip
  • Big Bones

    Author: Laura Dockrill

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

    Big Bones is a truly refreshing read, and Bluebelle is a wonderful, honest and utterly hilarious narrator to fall in love wit…

    ; Flip
  • Liccle Bit

    Author: Alex Wheatle

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

    Flip
  • Liccle Bit

    Author: Alex Wheatle

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

    At school Lemar, also known as Liccle Bit due to his height, is like any teenage boy. He's in love with a girl who barely notices …

    ; Flip
  • Never Evers

    Author: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    Flip
  • Never Evers

    Author: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    This is a must read for anyone who has ever been on a school trip, had a crush on a pop star, or embarrassed themselves in front o…

    ; Flip
  • Invisible Emmie

    Author: Terri Libenson

    Interest level: 10-14

    Reading age: 10+

    Flip
  • Invisible Emmie

    Author: Terri Libenson

    Interest level: 10-14

    Reading age: 10+

    Thirteen-year-old Emmie is the quiet girl at school, the one nobody notices. She loves to draw – and is good at it too – and has a…

    ; Flip
  • Fire Boy

    Author: J M Joseph Illustrator: Samuel Perrett

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    Flip
  • Fire Boy

    Author: J M Joseph Illustrator: Samuel Perrett

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    A hair-raising and hilarious tale of treachery, circus tricks and some most unusual superpowers.

    ; Flip
  • The Harder They Fall

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 12-15

    Reading age: 10+

    Flip
  • The Harder They Fall

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 12-15

    Reading age: 10+

    Bali Rai once again hits home with a current and unfortunately necessary book. As always, the characters are fully fleshed out, th…

    ; Flip