17 Best Books For 13- And 14-Year-Olds To Read In 2023

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The best books for 13- and 14-year-olds should be engaging and make children think. Unfortunately, some children of these ages usually spend time playing video games or watching Netflix. Thus, reading is a habit that must be encouraged, and you could do this by gifting them books. And whether it is books for 14-year-olds or books for 13-year-olds, ensure you choose those that can hold children’s attention.

Elisabeth Daly, a book blogger and English teacher, says, “The teenage years are a critical time to engage readers. Inculcating a reading habit in teens can be challenging, but you can indulge them by introducing them to different book genres. This list has a variety of books that continue to engage 13- and 14-year-olds.

Children may be inclined to different genres—while some may be more inclined towards fiction, others may prefer autobiographies and non-fiction. Thus, choosing a book that suits them is a challenging task. To help you pick the best ones for them, we have compiled some of the books you can consider. Read on.

Fiction Books

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Image: Image: J.k. Rowling

Author: J.K. Rowling

It is quite likely that your teenager is already on board the Hogwarts express. But if they are not and would love to explore the world of Harry Potter, then start with where it all started. ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ is the first book in the series. In this tale, we meet the young wizard Harry Potter and how he lands at the prestigious wizardry school of Hogwarts. Teenagers will love the elements of imagination and will relate to Harry’s journey of self-discovery.

2. Holes

Holes (Holes Series) Paperback Image: Image: Louis Sachar
Price at the time of publication: $8.99


Author: Louis Sachar

A young boy named Stanley attends a boys camp organized on an old, dry lake bed. The warden there is a mysterious character. He instructs each boy to dig five feet deep holes every day. But digging is more than a camp activity, and the warden is looking for something. Will Stanley uncover the truth before it’s too late? Your teenager will love reading this mystery.

3. The Martian: Classroom Edition

Price at the time of publication: $6.99


Author: Andy Weir

This is the classroom-reading appropriate version of the acclaimed novel. The story is about an astronaut named Mark Watney who is stranded on the planet Mars after a mission to the red planet goes wrong. Mark is considered dead by his team members, but the astronaut perseveres and fights against all the odds for survival.

4. Jasper Jones

Price at the time of publication: $9.99


Author: Craig Silvey

Jasper Jones is an outcast teenager who arrives at 13-year-old Charlie’s doorstep one night, asking for help. Charlie agrees to help, and the next thing we know is that the duo is on a trail in the jungle. They discover something in the forest that night, which changes their lives. ‘Jasper Jones’ is an excellent coming of age book that will be more appreciated by 14-year-olds.

Quick tip
When picking a book for teenagers, look for options that are entertaining, inspire the reader to accept their individuality, and offer positive views on life.

5. Eragon

Price at the time of publication: $10.99


Author: Christopher Paolini

Eragon is a teenage boy who discovers something that looks like a blue stone in the forest. However, it turns out to be a dragon’s egg, and a dragon hatchling comes out of it one day. The dragon turns out to be a part of a bigger picture. Soon, Eragon’s life is filled with magic, mystery, and he is entrusted to finish the dark side using a sword and the dragon.

6. Coraline

Coraline Image: Image: Neil Gaiman
Price at the time of publication: $6.49


Author: Neil Gaiman

It is considered to be one of the best books for adolescents and teens. The story is about a young girl who moves into a new house with her parents. There are fourteen doors in the house, but the fourteenth one is locked. Coraline unlocks the door to find a house exactly like hers on the other side. There is even a second version of her parents. But there is more than what meets the eye in this mysterious place, and Coraline is determined to find out.

7. The Inheritance Games

The Inheritance Games Image: Image: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Price at the time of publication: $8.79


Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games is one of the bestsellers, with over 1.5 million copies sold. The protagonist, Avery Grambs, has some plans, such as surviving high school, winning a scholarship, and moving ahead. But, everything changes when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies, leaving her his entire fortune. To receive the fortune, she has to move into the sprawling Hawthorne house occupied by the family that Tobias had dispossessed, who had expected to inherit his wealth. It is the story of Avery, who is stuck in this dangerous world of wealth and tricks she must navigate to survive.

8. The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) Image: Image: Rick Riordan


Author: Rick Riordan

It is the fifth book in the Percy Jackson series. Percy Jackson is the head of a mythical group called the Olympians. The Olympians are amid a battle with the evil group called the Titans. Kronos, the head of the Titans, is all set to invade New York City and Percy Jackson and the Olympians have to save the city from the evil forces.

9. The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book Image: Image: Neil Gaiman
Price at the time of publication: $6.49


Author: Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens wanders into a graveyard as a toddler where the spirits develop a liking for him and decide to raise him as one of their own. Nobody grows into a young boy who wants to see the world beyond the graveyard. And when he does, he finds out the bitter truth that there are dangers far greater than spirits lurking in the open world.

10. We Were Liars

We Were Liars Image: Image: Ellen Raskin
Price at the time of publication: $8.99

Author: E. Lockhart

The novel is a shocking and interesting tale about the distinguished and respected Sinclair family, who hides their secrets and lies by hiding them behind handsome appearances. This story is set on a private island where the Sinclair family spends the summer. It revolves around a mysterious two years ago when Cadence Sinclair, the narrator, was 15 years old. As the story progresses, Cadence experiences a rollercoaster of hardships, uncovers secrets and lies about her family, and in the end, the shocking truth of the tragedy is revealed.

11. The Downstairs Girl

The Downstairs Girl Image: Image: Ellen Raskin
Price at the time of publication: $7.79

Author: Stacey Lee

Set in New South, the book is about Jo Kuan, a 17-year-old girl working as a maid for the cruel daughter of one of Atlanta’s wealthiest men during the day and as a pseudonymous author of an advice column in the newspaper at night. When her column gains popularity, she uses her power to write on important societal issues. But, she faces backlash when she challenges the ideas about gender and race using her column, with her opponents trying to uncover the identity of Miss Sweetie. Amidst these challenges, she learns about her past and is forced to decide whether she is ready to unveil her real self or continue to stay in the shadows.

12. Refugee

Refugee Image: Image: Alan Gratz
Price at the time of publication: $15


Author: Alan Gratz

The story revolves around three children- Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud and their families who aim to flee their violent countries. They are separated by decades and continents but are all on a difficult journey with their families in search of refuge. These characters face the most harrowing dangers during this journey, ranging from almost drowning in the waters to facing betrayals from those whom they trusted. But there is one thing common between them: the hope for a better tomorrow. In the end, all three of them find an interesting connection that will bring their stories together.

Quick fact
Tolkien, the author of “The Hobbit,” started creating the 11 languages, mythology, and middle earth long before he thought of the characters.

13. Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl Image: Image: Eoin Colfer


Author: Eoin Colfer

Artemis is a twelve-year-old millionaire. But the boy is in no way humble and always has some devious ideas on his mind. One day, Artemis discovers a world of fairies and kidnaps one of them. However, these fairies are more powerful than he thinks and also have access to high-tech equipment. The kidnapping marks the beginning of the war between Artemis and the fairy world.

14. The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give Image: Image: Angie Thomas
Price at the time of publication: $11.99


Author: Angie Thomas

The main character of the book is Starr Carter, a 16-year-old Black girl, who balances her life between her poor neighborhood and the fancy suburban school where she attends. The twist in the novel comes when her childhood friend Khalil is murdered by a white policeman. She wrestles with police brutality, racism, and activism, and her whole world shatters after this incident. Khalil’s death becomes national news, and Starr is the only witness to the incident. What Starr does or does not do brings new twists to the story.

15. Moby Dick

Moby Dick Image: Image: Herman Melville
Price at the time of publication: $12.99


Author: Herman Melville

Captain Ahab loses a leg in a sea accident caused by a giant white whale. Ahab vows revenge against the whale and decides to hunt it down. He assembles a crew and sets sail to find the elusive whale named Moby Dick. But will Ahab succeed in the mission or will the giant whale get the best of him again? Moby Dick was written more than 150 years ago and makes a thrilling story to read even today.

Quick fact
Moby Dick is a great book to help your child understand the consequences of greed, ego, and different perspectives. Beyond adventure and action, it symbolizes morality and man’s place within nature.

16. Far From The Tree

Price at the time of publication: $10.99


Author: Robin Benway

It is a contemporary novel that revolves around three teen characters- Grace, Joaquin, and Maya, who discover they are siblings. When Grace, an adopted only child, gets pregnant at the age of 16 years, she puts her baby up for adoption and goes out to find her biological mother. To make things simpler for Grace, her parents reveal they do not know the whereabouts of her birth mother, but they know that she has an older biological half-brother and a younger sister. Grace begins searching for her biological family and finds Maya and Joaquin, who are her siblings. As the siblings start to bond, they must begin searching for their birth mom.

17. A Study In Charlotte

Price at the time of publication: $5.01


Author: Brittany Cavallaro

The story is about James Watson, who is always intrigued by Charlotte Homes because their great-great-great grandfathers make one of the most infamous pairs. Charlotte and James end up studying at the same Connecticut boarding school, where Charlotte clears her intentions that she is not looking for friends. However, as the story progresses, a student with whom they are connected dies under mysterious circumstances. They have no option but to come together as they are being framed for the murder. This enthralling tale will take your child on a ride.

How To Choose The Right Books For 13- And 14-Year-Olds?

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a suitable book for a 13- or 14-year-old.

  1. Interests:Select books about themes your child is interested in. If they enjoy history, look for historical fiction or non-fiction books. If they like science, try finding books about space or the environment.
  1. Length:Most 14-year-olds find it challenging to concentrate on a book for too long. Ensure the selected book has an appropriate length to keep your child engaged.
  1. Difficulty:Ensure the book is challenging enough for the 14-year-old reader but not so difficult that they get frustrated and give up. A suitable book should help enhance their language skills and vocabulary.
  1. Age-appropriateness:While most children in this age group are ready for more complex storylines, it is best to ensure the book is appropriate for their age and avoid anything violent, scary, or mature.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Wedetso Chirhah, our product writer, specializes in writing about books and children’s products. He is an avid reader himself and has a knack for identifying the best books for each age group. Using his experience, he has curated this list of the best books for 13- and 14-year-olds. He has provided a brief description of each of these books to help you choose the right book based on your child’s preferences.

These are just a few of the best books for 13- and 14-year-olds. Starting with some of the best-selling classic fantasy novels, such as The Hobbit and Harry Potter, most of the books have been adapted into films, which may entice your children to read. If a book is exciting and your child is a bookworm, they will most likely finish a book in a day or two. So either prepare to buy many books or get them a library membership. Regardless of what you do, emphasize that your kids’ read books instead of using their electronic devices.

Infographic: Points To Remember Before Buying Books For 13 And 14-Year-Olds

In addition to educational books, reading fiction, non-fiction, magazines, and other books can provide children with several advantages, primarily less screen time. But there are a few crucial factors to consider when selecting books for 13 and 14-year-olds. So, look at the infographic below for some key points to remember.

Things To Consider Before Buying Books for 13 And 14-Year-Olds [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

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