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Kick-start Your Reading Habit with these 4 Teen Novels this Avid Reader Loved & Devoured

Four Fantastic Novels this Young Avid Reader Absolutely Loved Large

We at Beyond the Box Learning encourage our students to become "story eaters," or avid readers. Stories through any medium, novels, graphic novels, comics, and videos help to educate us about the world, the people who struggle with in it, and the realizations they discover as they take a stand. Of course, the other benefit is that helps to improve our writing, gain an understanding of different perspectives, and improve our vocabulary. 

When time permits, we encourage our students to write reviews of books that they absolutely loved and devoured. 

Here is Harshini, a teen writer and avid reader, who has hand-picked four fantasy and YA books for us that she could not stop reading.

Hopefully, this will kick-start your own casual reading habit! By doing so, you're more likely to pick up vocabulary words we normally don't use in our regular conversations, explore concepts and ideas in a fun way, all while being the first to read these stories before the movies are released. (Hint: Keeper of the Lost Cities for Disney!)



4 Teen Novels that will turn you into an Avid Reader

by Harshini Nagappan


From the perspective of a rising ninth grader, sometimes it can be challenging to find a book that can take up permanent residence on your nightstand.

No matter the genre, I am open to trying any book that has a good story and compelling characters. As I explored and continue to explore novels, the genre that I find exhilarating would be mystery.

Chilling crime novels and atmospheric whodunits that keep us guessing at every turn can easily capture our attention. Although it takes many parts to build a good story, I think the most important would be one that resonates with readers, creates a memorable experience, and leaves a lasting impression.

To help kick off our journey, here are 4 books for young adults that might spark that avid reader within you.


How to Succeed in Witchcraft

by Aislinn Brophy

This fantasy fiction book is perfect for young adults, covering a range of social injustices such as racial and sexual prejudice, abuse of power, economic inequality, and stereotypical prejudices. 

The focus is on the protagonist, Shay, her frenemy Ana, and Mr. B, the drama teacher and head of the scholarship committee. Shay’s goal is to win the Brockton Scholarship so she can get into her dream college.

As she competes with Ana for the scholarship, Shay realizes Ana is a potential ally when Mr. B starts to cross the line in their teacher-student relationship. In the world of magic, witches, and wizards, Mr. B is more challenging to take down than Shay and Ana can handle.

Instead, will they be able to reveal the truth to everyone and fire him for his corrupt behavior? The best part of this book is when Shay realizes she is in love with Ana!

I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 12.

Beyond Fun: Aislinn Brophy is an actor. Check out how one is supposed to pronounce their name!



Avid reader's teen novel 1
Avid reader's teen novel 2

The Name of the Star

by Maureen Johnson

This New York Times bestseller published in 2011 captures the attention of young adults that enjoy nail-biting thrillers.

A common theme in this book educates readers on experiencing one’s fears instead of running away. The book relates to Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer of London, England.

The book, from the perspective of Aurora “Rory” Deveaux, begins with a woman running to her early morning nurse shift at the hospital. This is when she literally trips over the body of the first victim of the Jack the Ripper replica. A few days after Rory joins Wexford, a London boarding school, a chain of murders take place just like it did in 1888.

If you liked this book, make sure to check out more of Maureen Johnson’s books that follow the same structure.

I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 12.

Beyond Fun:  Want to check out how Maureen Johnson clears away her brain fog and organizes her writing schedule? Check out her hilarious post on using the Kanban Style Post-it system.

This Might Get Awkward

by Kara McDowell

I can easily say I laughed a lot throughout this book about a 17-year-old girl with anxiety.

Gemma Wells is extremely introverted and keeps to herself unless she is forced to speak. Even when talking to her dad, they both just mutually text each other with emojis and GIFS. Gemma enjoys quiet beaches where she can be isolated from everyone else. When she realizes a party is being thrown by the popular kids at her school, she tries to escape quietly, but to her dismay, she is stopped by her crush: Beau Booker. In a sudden series of events, she is dragged onto a boat to go water tubing with him and his friends. 

Unfortunately, Beau falls off the boat, damages his skull, and falls into a coma. Gemma witnesses it all. After she brought him out of the water, a rumor spreads saying Gemma saved her boyfriend, Beau. She doesn’t exactly hate the overwhelming attention she receives from Beau’s effervescent family but still fruitlessly attempts to correct the inaccurate assumption.

As Gemma spends more time with Beau’s family and even his older brother Griff, she feels like she has everything she’s ever wanted. Now, Gemma’s only concern is how she will maintain her fake relationship with Beau when she actually likes Griff, all while lingering around their family.

I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 12.

Beyond Fun: Check out, this Mesa, Arizona author's website for more: Kara McDowell.

Avid reader's teen novel 3
Avid reader's teen novel 4

Keeper of the Lost Cities

By: Shannon Messenger

This series is packed with adventure as it follows the protagonist, Sophie Foster. She begins as a normal 12-year-old in San Diego who gets whisked away into the Elvin world of Atlantis and Shangri-la. Earth suddenly becomes the “Forbidden Cities” as Sophie is surrounded by unicorns, a prestigious school named after fungus, and ancient elves with pointy ears. Sophie is special because she was created by the Black Swan, a group hoping for a change in the Elvin way. In this society, the social pyramid only consists of nobility (higher class with power and influence), working class, and talentless (elves without abilities).

Because Sophie was created to help the Black Swan rid the Neverseen, she receives 5 unique abilities from her unidentified biological parents. Throughout the series there are many plot twists, a few unfortunate deaths, and some good-looking boys. 

This series has won many awards and is enjoyable for any age group. Shannon Messenger is a great author who you will also find engaging as you read her books. If you are addicted to her 10 books thus far, make sure to also read her 11th and last book of the series that is coming out at the end of 2023!

I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 9.

Beyond Fun:  For Readers and Writers who want a clue to Shannon Messenger's writing process, check out this video interview.



Each of these books have it’s own unique apple, whether it’s the thought-provoking themes of How to Succeed in Witchcraft, the gripping suspense of The Name of The Star, the laughter-inducing moments in This Might Get Awkward, or the thrilling adventures in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Dive into these captivating reads, and let them transport you to worlds filled with mystery, magic, and unforgettable characters. Happy reading and bon voyage!

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