Teen Fiction That Made Me Me And That Inspires My Pupils

Aaaaand…it’s book time again, readers!  Lee-Anne is a librarian (yep…this post was always going to be good) and has listed the books she recommends to her pupils, to inspire them to read.  Which we’re all in favour of, and will no  doubt be inspired in turn.  We have a legion of readers who love this genre, who I guarentee will be racing off to their nearest library for these.  Go, read, love, and tell us what you thought! Over to you, Lee-Anne:

I have been thinking for ages about writing a post on the books that make me me but every time I started to write a list it didn’t quite feel right.

At first I thought my problem was that I couldn’t choose, I mean I have been an avid reader since I was a little one, so over the years I have read thousands of books, my nightly ritual was to read a book, some nights a whole book. On the bus, train or in the car I always had my nose in a book so how do I even begin to narrow done the ones that made me who I am today?

Then I realised that what was stopping me is the fact that I am a different sort of reader now. I have a one-year-old who demands most if not all of my free time, I don’t get to curl up on my couch and read for hours anymore and as for reading at bedtime, ha, the minute my head hits the pillow I am sleeping. I simply do not get time to enjoy reading at home.

However, in my job I am around books all the time, I am a secondary school librarian and my passion is encouraging my pupils to read, which normally means I read the books first so that I know what angle to use to encourage/force/coerce them into reading the books.

So after that long winded introduction I would like to present to you the teen books that make me me.

Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman

This is a classic Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lovers story but with added punch. It tells the story of Callum (a nought) and Sephy (a cross) who are best friends in a world where Black and White are right and wrong. The story covers racism, love, friendship, hate and trust and is such a gripping read. I encourage my pupils to read this if they enjoy romance books but want something a bit more challenging. This is the type of book that makes you glad you read.

The Declaration series by Gemma Malley

The first time I read this book I remember being disturbed that a society would treat children the way it did. It reminded me of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood, in fact I always recommend that book to senior pupils that I know enjoyed ‘The Declaration’ I don’t want to give too much away about the book but the main story is centered around a girl called Anna who lives in Grange Hall where the biggest mistake you have made is being born.

Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes

The main character in this book is a girl called Rat, who when her father dies decides to head to New York to track down her Uncle along with her brother Bob. The reason I love this book is because of Rat, she is such an endearing character and she will stay with you long after you have put the book down. It is an easy read but you will get so absorbed in the story and really begin to care for Rat and her brother.

Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicolls

I apologise in advance as this book will make you cry, big huge sobbing tears. It is about a young boy called Sam who is suffering from leukemia and wants to know all about dying. Every pupil I have given this book to always comes back saying they loved it and want a little brother like Sam.

I could honestly go on forever listing Teen books but the ones above are the ones that always make me genuinely excited to recommend to my pupils. These books are part of the reason I love my job, I get to see young readers become passionate about the joy of reading through these books and that always makes me smile.

A few more recommendations are:

Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace

Auslander by Paul Dowswell

A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Have fun reading!



Categories: Books, Books That Made Me Me
10 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I really didn’t enjoy Noughts and Crosses – so much so I left it in our hotel (in the activities bit so someone else could read it) rather than hoarding it as I usually do. I found the narrative quite clunky and the characters all really annoying. I think maybe I had too high expectations of it.
    I haven’t read any of the others so will definitely be seeking these out.

  2. Lee-Anne
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Amy, I love Noughts and Crosses but I agree that the narrative can be a bit clunky, although it didn’t put me off. I think the books get better as the series goes on.

    • Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Definitely agree that they get better. I read Noughts & Crosses when I was about 18, because my sister, who was then 12, was reading it. I think she enjoyed it a lot more than me, but I know it really did inspire her to read more, and she adored the whole series.

      I haven’t read any of the others mentioned. I am now keeping my eyes out for them!

      KL x

  3. Amanda M
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    There’s a growing swell of us secret YA fans! I definitely think we need a lapel badge…. And maybe a secret password and handshake……

  4. Emma R
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read any of these, but will definitely be keeping an eye out for them in the summer – it seems holidays are the only time I really get to read properly!

  5. Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink


    I feel like I could totally do this… Would love to hear how you got into it. xx

    • Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Yes. This please!!

      Also, I am super jealous of your students that they have you!

      KL x

  6. Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Some great suggestions here. Thanks xx

  7. Lee-Anne
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Aw thanks ladies, please do look up and read all the books, you won’t be disappointed. A job for the girls post sounds good, worried it might be a bit boring for you all though.

  8. Lee-Anne
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Katielase, not sure my pupils would agree. They probably think im just the strange woman who pushes books on them x

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

More here.

image by Lucy Stendall Photography

Find me a random post