The TRS Books List: The 120 Most Inspirational and Diverse Books for Teens and Young People

The following booklist was created by the TRS team with input from our young followers as well as professional advisors in education and publishing.

While we believe that book lists are inherently subjective and incomplete, we made every effort possible to consider books that feature high-quality writing, are relatable to teens and young people, and present diversity of thought, point of view, gender, genre, the racial identity of both authors and characters, geography and time.

  1. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch – Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  2. Ligeia – Edgar Allan Poe
  3. The Girl with All the Gifts – M. R. Carey
  4. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  5. Circe – Madeline Miller
  6. Alice in Wonderland- Lewis Carroll
  7. 1984 – George Orwell
  8. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  9. The Red Notebook – Antoine Laurain
  10. The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
  11. The Talented Mr. Ripley – Patricia Highsmith
  12. Strange the Dreamer – Laini Tayor
  13. Black Enough – Ibi Zoboi
  14. Let Me Hear a Rhyme – Tiffany Jackson
  15. Les Fiances de l’hiver (A Winter’s Promise) – Christelle Dabos
  16. 11/22/63 – Stephen King
  17. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz
  18. Saga – Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples
  19. The Thing About Jellyfish – Ali Benjamin
  20. Riyria – Michael J Sullivan
  21. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan
  22. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  23. Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  24. The Flight of Swans – Sarah McGuire
  25. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  26. Hungry Hearts – Elsie Chapman
  27. The Weight of Our Sky – Hanna Alkaf
  28. The Wicked Deep – Shea Ernshaw
  29. Serpent and Dove – Shelby Mahurin
  30. The Cruel Prince – Holly Black
  31. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
  32. The Mysterious Benedict Society – Trenton Lee Stewart
  33. Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
  34. Heart Bones – Colleen Hoover
  35. The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare
  36. Gone-Away Lake – Elizabeth Enright
  37. The Three-Body Problem – Liu Cixin
  38. The Garden of Eden – Ernest Hemingway
  39. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee 
  40. The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
  41. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  42. Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  43. The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys – Gerard Way
  44. The Invisible Bridge – Julie Orringer
  45. Vango – Timothee de Fombelle
  46. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  47. The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
  48. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
  49. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender – Leslye Walton
  50. Almost Home – Joan Bauer
  51. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  52. Emma – Jane Austen
  53. The Witches – Roald Dahl
  54. Crime and Punishment – Fydor Doestoyevsky
  55. The Lord of the Rings – J R R Tolkien
  56. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  57. The Stand – Stephen King
  58. A Song of Ice and Fire – George R. R. Martin
  59. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
  60. The Hobit – J R R Tolkien
  61. Serenade for Nadia – Zülfü Livaneli
  62. Red at the Bone – Jacqueline Woodson
  63. The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd
  64. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
  65. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  66. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman
  67. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  68. The Maze Runner – James Dashner
  69. Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
  70. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  71. Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo
  72. Red, White, and Royal Blue – Casey McQuinston
  73. Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton
  74. The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan
  75. The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
  76. The Vanishing Half – Britt Bennett
  77. The Veldt – Ray Bradbury
  78. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
  79. The Lottery  – Shirley Jackson
  80. The Sympathizer – Viet Thanh Nguyen
  81. Pachinko – Min Jin Lee
  82. The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri
  83. The Midnight Library – Matt Haig
  84. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez
  85. Every Last Word – Tamara Ireland Stone 
  86. Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens 
  87. The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls 
  88. Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  89. East of Eden – John Steinbeck
  90. The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon
  91. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  92. Holes – Louis Sachar
  93. Fear the Dark – Chris Mooney
  94. Lolita – Vladimir Nobakov
  95. The Shining – Stephen King
  96. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
  97. A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
  98. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  99. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
  100. Gone Girl  – Gillian Flynn
  101. City of Bones – Cassandra Clare
  102. Keeper of the Lost Cities – Shannon Messenger
  103. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli and Mathilde Tamae-Bouhon
  104. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
  105. From Blood and Ash – Jennifer L. Armentrout
  106. Homegoing  – Yaa Gyasi
  107. Sign, Unburied, Sing  – Jesmyn Ward 
  108. American Street – Ibi Zoboi 
  109. The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead 
  110. Someone Knows My Name – Lawrence Hill 
  111. Memoirs of a Geisha  – Arthur Golden 
  112. Kindred  – Octavia Butler 
  113. In the Time of the Butterflies – Julia Alverez
  114. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
  115. Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison 
  116. A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
  117. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith 
  118. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks 
  119. The Night Watchman – Louise Erdrich 
  120. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – Lisa See

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