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Fun back-to-school books for teenagers

You Know Me Well

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+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • That Asian Kid

    Author: Savita Kalhan

    Interest level: 12+

    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…

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  • Watch Us Rise

    Author: Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan

    Interest level: 13-16

    Reading age: 10+

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  • 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…

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  • Orangeboy

    Author: Patrice Lawrence

    Interest level: 15+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • 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…

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  • You Must Be Layla

    Author: Yassmin Abdel-Magied

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • You Must Be Layla

    Author: Yassmin Abdel-Magied

    Interest level: 9+

    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…

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  • The Poet X

    Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • The Poet X

    Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

    Interest level: 13+

    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…

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  • Geek Girl

    Author: Holly Smale

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Geek Girl

    Author: Holly Smale

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 12+

    Everyone at school knows Harriet Manners is a geek.

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  • Second Best Friend

    Author: Non Pratt

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Second Best Friend

    Author: Non Pratt

    Interest level: 13+

    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…

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  • Eleanor & Park

    Author: Rainbow Rowell

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

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  • 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

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  • Flirty Dancing

    Author: Jenny McLachlan

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • 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…

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  • Booked

    Author: Kwame Alexander

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Booked

    Author: Kwame Alexander

    Interest level: 12+

    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 …

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  • You Know Me Well

    Author: Nina LaCour & David Levithan

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • You Know Me Well

    Author: Nina LaCour & David Levithan

    Interest level: 12+

    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…

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  • The Silent Striker

    Author: Pete Kalu

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • 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. …

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  • Waiting for Callback

    Author: Perdita and Honor Cargill

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • 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…

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  • Big Bones

    Author: Laura Dockrill

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Big Bones

    Author: Laura Dockrill

    Interest level: 12+

    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…

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  • Never Evers

    Author: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • 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…

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  • Invisible Emmie

    Author: Terri Libenson

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Invisible Emmie

    Author: Terri Libenson

    Interest level: 10+

    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…

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  • The Harder They Fall

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 12-15

    Reading age: 10+

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  • 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…

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