Looking for a good read for your young teen? Or maybe you are 13 and are looking for a few books to add to your read list (we would also love to hear your book recommendations in the comments). This list of books for 13 year olds – boys and girls features a great selection across different genres and with both female and male protagonists. Enjoy!
Books for 13 Year Olds – Boys and Girls
The books on this list are loosely grouped into genres, we say loosely as most of the titles would fit in many genres, so we encourage you to go through the whole list.
These are the current most popular titles, all great books for 13 year olds
- The Hobbit
- Harry Potter Series
- Courage to Soar – Simone Biles
- Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
- The Hunger Games
- The Queens Poisoner
Fantasy and Fiction Books
1. Children of Eden: A Novel by Joey Graceffa. The book is set in the future, where the Earth is poisonous and dead and the only place that is habitable is Eden. This is a world where population measure control are in place and only the first born child is allowed to live. Rowan is a second child, thus marked for death. She is hidden… She can not attend school or make friends. And can’t get the eye implants that would mark her as a member of Eden… One night changes it all.
2. Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey. The King and Queen have almost lost hope of having a child, but luck has smiled upon them and Aurore was born. The whole kingdom celebrates the new arrival, but not everybody is so happy about it… This is a story about a Sleeping Beauty, but told in a unique way, a way you have never read it before.
What all these books have in common is that they take place somewhere in history, some more factual than others, some with a dash of romance…
The Boy In Striped Pajamas
1. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. The story is set in 1942 where a young boy Bruno and his family have to move due to his father’s promotion. After the move, Bruno has no friends and not much to do. He is an explorer by nature and soon gets interested in the big long fence that separates him and his family from the other, strange people. There he finds a friend, who lives behind this fence, and a great friendship with devastating consequences begins.
Time Enough for Drums
2. Time Enough for Drums Mass Market by Ann Rinaldi follow Jemina, a 16 yer old girl in a story placed before the American revolution in 1776.
The Coffin Quilt
3. The Coffin Quilt: The Feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys by Ann Rinaldi. Two families, the McCoys, and Hatfields have long been fighting and now live for revenge (the reason for the hat between families being the ownership of a few pigs). When Rosanna, the oldest daughter of the McCoys, falls in love and runs away with a handsome Johnse Hatfield, it just adds up to the hatred between the families. Her older sister Fanny, the protagonist of the story, who before only knew fear and anger towards the Hatfields, becomes the voice of reason as she learns to overcome fear to find her own way out of the hatred.
Port Chicago 50
4. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin. It was the time of World War II and also the time of prejudice against foreigners and people of color. On July 17, 1944, there is a massive explosion at the docks, killing more than 300 sailors and injuring many more. Weeks later the men refuse to go back to work due to unsafe conditions and once the dust settles 50 of them are charged with mutiny. This is a well tailored story about prejudice the black men and women faced, even though many of them gave their lives in service to their country.
The Boy With Two Lives
5. The Boy with Two Lives by Abbas Kazerooni When he was 10, Iranian boy named Abbas, arrived in England after waiting for three months in Istanbul to get a visa. He was all by himself and could not expect that his troubles are far from over. He is sent off to a boarding school, where he has to adapt to the language and culture foreign to him. With abusive guardian, no support and homelessness the struggles just don’t want to stop . Will he be capable of adapting and to survive all by his own?
Charles and Emma
6. Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman This book follows Darwin’s personal life and how Emma influenced his work. One day he drew a line and wrote the pros and cons of getting married, he did like the idea of marriage but was concerned it will take him away from his revolutionary work. The book also tackles how people with two really different viewpoints, one deeply religious, while other a man of science, can see past these differences and make things work.
Mystery and Adventure Books for 13 Year Olds
There is something strange going on and our protagonist have to uncover the secrets or embark on adventures. From howling adventures that will send shivers down your spine to “everyday” adventures. Quite a popular genre of books for 13 year olds.
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
1. The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Book One by Paige McKenzie A seventeen-year-old Sunshine Griffith just moved from Austin to live in the new house in Ridgemont. She and her mother Kate have always been connected and Sunshine was always loved and carried about. But the situation soon turns to be scarier than anyone could have ever expected. Sunshine feels the darkens and some really strange things start to happen in the new house… Creepy…
2. Dodger by Terry Pratchett (you really should read at least on of his books if you love a good laugh and magic). The story of this book is placed in early Victorian London. A seventeen-year-old boy Dodger is a sewer scavenger and quite a content one. On one stormy night, he hears a scream and finds a young woman being beaten by some thugs. After the rescue, his life totally changes as Dodger falls in love with the mysterious woman, which motivates him to rise – and on his rise meet many intriguing historical figures.
Life of Pi
3. Life of Pi – Black & White by Yann Martel. A teenager Pi Patel is passionate about animals and so is his father who works as a zookeeper. When his family emigrates to North America they aboard a Japanese cargo ship and also take some animals from the zoo with them. The ship sinks and suddenly Pi is left in a life-saving boat with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
The Maze Runner
4. The Maze Runner (Book 1) by James Dashner. Tomas suddenly woke up surrounded by strangers and all he could remember was his name. There were boys besides him who also remembered nothing but their names. Surrounded by a limitless, ever-changing maze, they themselves in a life and death situation, which no one before survived. This book is intense,and once you start reading it it will be hard to put down.
The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time
5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Christopher John Francis Boone is a special boy. He is really good at math,he knows every country in the world and their capitals and much more, but hasn’t got any social skills. One day a neighbour’s dog Wellington was killed and now Christopher is on a mission to solve his mysterious death.
6. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. When Taylor Markham was eleven years old, she was abandoned by her mother. Later on, she attended a boarding school and ran away. But she didn’t come far as they tracked her down. Now Taylor is seventeen and is living with Hannah, who took her under her wing. One day Hannah secretly disappears and now it’s on Taylor to solve the mystery.
Realistic Fiction Books for 13 Year Olds
Interesting life situations, some funny, others tragic.
The Sun is Also a Star
1. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. Natasha is a girl who doesn’t believe in fate or destiny. She is a practical young woman whose parents are being deported to Jamaica. Daniel is a boy on it’s way to Yale where he is supposed to study to become a doctor. Natasha soon meets Daniel, who upon meeting her starts to believe in fate, a total opposite of Natasha. What will happen to Natasha’s family and will she get along with Daniel? What will Daniel do? The characters tell their story in alternating chapters which are a thrill to read.
1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. An outcast Melinda doesn’t have any friends, because she called the cops when an end-of-summer school party was taking place. She is becoming more and more isolated and even stops speaking. But there are things that need to be spoken out. There are reasons for the silence, that has to be broken.
2. The Romantics by Leah Konen. Gael Brennan seems to have no luck. His parents separated and his girlfriend broke up with him. Gael is a romantic soul and longs for love. But things just don’t go as he wants them to. Love can be a tricky thing.
The First Part Last
3. The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
An urban teenage boy named Bobby is now sixteen and just got news – he’s going to be a father. He and his girlfriend Nia are expecting a baby. But they are both still in school. Now the social worker wants them to give a baby up for adoption and Bobby and Nia find themselves in a devastating situation.
Fat Kid Rules the World
4. Fat Kid Rules the World by K. L. Going. At seventeen Troy weights 296 pounds. He is, literally, one step away from killing himself and committing a suicide in front of the oncoming train. But Troy’s plans soon fade as he meets a guy named Curt who distracts him and saves his life. Now their great friendship has begun and with that a change in Troy’s life.
5. Monster by Walter Dean Myers. Steve is a sixteen year old who is accused of a murder in a robbery of a Harlem drugstore. He is now waiting for the trial. Was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time?
More Books to Be Added