6 Best Non-Fiction Books For Teens In 2024, As Per Expert

✔ Research-backed

If your teenager enjoys reading inspirational stories, we have compiled a list of the best non-fiction books for teens. Non-fiction books are suitable for teens as they can help them find their direction in life and develop a more positive attitude while simultaneously improving their literary proficiency and fostering a love of reading. Teens love real-life stories as they can motivate them to find their voice and make a difference. Knowing about other people’s lives and success stories can encourage your teen to do better. Elisabeth Daly, an English teacher and book blogger, says, “Non-fiction texts can help teenagers understand the environment and society in which they live by making real-world connections. This can help improve their analytical and social skills.” Our list includes some best-selling non-fiction books for teens that will help your teen relate and stay engaged for hours.

So, explore this list consisting of various types of non-fiction books and choose one that suits your teen’s interests.

In This Article

6 Best Non-Fiction Books For Teens

1. Best Book With Stories And Drawings: This Star Won’t Go Out:

The book presents a wonderful collection of personal stories, drawings, letters, and journal entries of Esther Earl. The non-fiction read is an inspiration for John Green’s most popular novel ‘The Fault In Our Stars’. ‘The Star Won’t Go Out’ is an inspirational book focusing on Esther, who was a prolific writer, a deeply spiritual person, and a ‘nerdfighter. Take a look at this video where a reviewer offers her expert commentary on the book.

protip_icon Did you know?
Esther’s parents run a charity named “This Star Won’t Go Out”, that provides financial assistance to children struggling with cancer.

2. Best Book About Perseverance: Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation):

Unbroken narrates the story of courage of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete and pilot in World War II, who survives greater than a month starving in a life raft in the Pacific Ocean. On reaching land, Louis, unfortunately, becomes a prisoner of war. This good non fiction books for teens narrates the breathtaking story of Louis’ survival and perseverance, making it one of the best non-fiction books for curious minds.

3. Best Book About Will Power: Laughing At My Nightmare:

The non-fiction book ‘Laughing At My Nightmare’ narrates the personal story of a twenty-year-old Burcaw who has spinal muscular atrophy. The book narrates the fascinating story of how a health disorder puts Burcaw into a wheelchair and makes it difficult or impossible for him to carry out the most mundane routine tasks without assistance. Teens can learn how the health condition shapes the boy’s life and his incredible will power of learning to laugh it off.

Item Weight: 12.2 ounces
My Personal Experience

"I have been following Shane for quite some time now. His positive attitude despite his physical challenges has been quite inspiring, and the book conveys the same. Although it does have some explicit language, it's a gripping read and showcases how a positive attitude can help one overcome anything."

protip_icon Quick tip
You can use a disability-themed non-fiction book to sensitize teens about the various difficulties faced by people with disabilities.

4. Best Book About Patience: Staying Strong: A Journal:

The literary non-fiction book features the incredible story of the singer and actress popular as Lovato. The book also features a variety of quotes to motivate and inspire the readers and convey expressions, such as happiness and sadness. This is one of the most interesting non fiction books for teenagers. The inspiring non-fictional narrative teaches you to have patience when you have nothing and an attitude when you have everything in your life.

Item Weight: 9.6 ounces
protip_icon Did you know?
Self-affirmations can reduce chronic stress and improve problem-solving capabilities (1).

5. Best Inspirational Book:  Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina:

The book narrates the true story of Michaela DePrince, a Sierra Leonean war orphan, who had to bear mistreatment due to a skin condition. At age four, American parents happen to adopt her. DePrince was fond of dancing so her adoptive parents enrolled her for dance lessons. The book narrates the orphan’s inspirational journey from nobody to a member of the Dutch National Ballet, and is counted among the best inspiring books for teenagers.

6. Best Book With Useful Advice: 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens:

Teens often roll their eyes at parental advice. So Sean Covey’s ‘7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens’ offers neutral third-party advice to teens on everything, ranging from self-image in social media to pleasures and pitfalls in finding the way during the most enjoyable and difficult years of life respectively. Other than offering inspirational advice to teens, Covey’s nonfiction book is also an incredible read for you to understand your growing teen, her temperament, and her attitude toward life. This review video offers a detailed explanation of this must-read non-fiction book for teens.

Item Weight: 14.4 ounces
Our Tester's Experience

""The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" has been an excellent read for my 12-year-old. The varied perspective on life situations has helped him navigate some challenging personal obstacles. I love that with this book, he gets to experience something that was part of my teens, too. Also, don't forget to get the workbook companion!"

*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

How To Choose The Right Non-Fiction Books For Teens?

Consider these factors when choosing the best non-fiction book for teens.

  1. Topic: Consider your child’s interests to choose a suitable title. From contemporary people to historical icons, you can pick a book your child will be drawn towards.
  2. Reviews: Check the reviews and recommendations to find the right book for your teen. The reviews and testimonials from fellow readers can help you get an idea of whether your child will like the book or not. You can also opt for parent-recommended books to ensure it is appropriate for your child.
  3. Length: Ensure the book is not so long that your teen loses interest quickly. It should be crisp and precise to make an interesting and engaging read.
  4. Ease of understanding: Choose a book written in simple language for easy understanding. However, it should be challenging enough to help develop your child’s comprehension skills and vocabulary.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Wedetso Chirhah is a product writer and reviewer specializing in books, children’s products, and more. He enjoys creating engaging and relatable content for readers, hoping to help them find the best products for their convenience. Here, he has conducted a rigorous assessment of the content of various books and considered reader reviews to highlight the best teenage non-fiction books that will help them gain inspiration, find direction, and develop a more positive outlook towards life. He has included a brief description of each book to help you choose the right one.

The Bottom Line

Nonfiction books, as well as inspirational biographies and stories, can assist in shaping the mindset of your teen. They add value to their knowledge and allow the teen to learn things they can’t by reading school textbooks. Our top picks include Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation, an awe-inspiring tale of perseverance, and Laughing At My Nightmare, which showcases how willpower can help one overcome the toughest challenges. However, before purchasing a book for your teen, read the summary to understand whether it is something they would be interested in. You should also assess whether or not the circumstances described in the book are relatable.

Infographic: What Are The Various Kinds Of Non-fiction Books For Teens?

Non-fiction books for teens offer a captivating window into the real world, providing knowledge, inspiration, and relatable experiences. Explore the infographic to discover the various types of non-fiction books and their impact on teenagers, helping you choose the most suitable one for your teen’s personal growth.

Different Types Of Non-fiction Books For Teens (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. J. David Creswell et al.;(2013); Self-Affirmation improves problem-solving under stress

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Elisabeth Daly is a state-certified high school English teacher. Over her two decade career, she has taught students in grades 9-12 at both public and private high schools, and worked as an adjunct professor at her local community college.

Read full bio of Elisabeth Daly