15 Best Books Of 2018 For Tweens And Teens To Read In 2019

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Best Books For Teens And Tweens

By Regan McMahon

From fantasy and sci-fi, romance, and historical novels to biographies, mysteries, and thrillers, the year's best books explore both everyday personal issues — loss, grief, friendship drama, school, and family life — and timely topics like war, racism, and religious prejudice.

Check out our picks for fiction and nonfiction, from middle-grade chapter books to edgy young adult novels, to find great the best new books for tweens and teens.

RELATED: 14 Incredible Titles To Add To Your 2019 Reading And Bookclub List

1. The Parker Inheritance

By Varian Johnson (8+).

Present-day kids investigate a town tragedy dating back to the Jim Crow South of the 1950s in this fast-paced mystery with wonderful characters. 

Buy on Amazon.

2. The Journey of Little Charlie

By Christopher Paul Curtis (9+).

This masterful historical novel by the Newbery Medal-winning author of Bud, Not Buddy is narrated by a poor, white 12-year-old South Carolina sharecropper in 1858 who's coerced into helping a brutal slave catcher. The vivid story offers hope for both individual and societal change. 

Buy on Amazon.

3.  The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

By M.T. Andersen (10+).

An annoying, snooty little elf is sent on a risky peace mission to the kingdom of the goblins in a captivating fantasy filled with comically creepy violence, grotesque illustrations, an unlikely friendship, and clever takes on war and cultural misunderstandings.

Buy on Amazon.

4. The Book of Boy

By Catherine Gilbert Murdock (10+).

This historical fantasy follows the journey of a hunchback and a pilgrim through medieval France and Italy to collect mystical treasures. It's a beautifully crafted tale that deals with religious themes and prejudices of that time.

Buy on Amazon.

5. The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler

By John Hendrix (10+).

This gripping, vivid graphic novel tells the true story of a German Lutheran pastor and theologian who joined an assassination plot against Hitler after wrestling with the question of his duty to God vs. country. It's also a great fact-packed resource for kids studying World War II. 

Buy on Amazon.

6. Harbor Me

By Jacqueline Woodson (10+).

Six students from diverse backgrounds are given space at school to share their stories and open up to one another as they discuss their lives touched by immigration and class issues, police brutality, driving under the influence, parent death, and more. 

Buy on Amazon.

7. Louisiana's Way Home

By Kate DiCamillo (10+).

This harrowing tale of abandonment and family curses in a Southern small town in the '70s is offset by determination, music, joy, kind strangers, and irresistible 12-year-old narrator Louisiana, a character introduced in DiCamillo's Raymie Nightingale.

Buy on Amazon.

RELATED: 10 Books To Add To Your Fall Reading List (That You Won't Be Able To Put Down)

8. Rad Girls Can: Stories of Bold, Brave, and Brilliant Young Women

By Kate Schatz (10+).

These profiles of 49 girls and groups around the world who achieved great things before the age of 20 offer inspiration to young readers to change the world for the better.  

Buy on Amazon.

9. Dry

By Neal Schusterman and Jarrod Schusterman (12+).

This gripping, suspenseful disaster novel vividly shows the perils of climate change as complex and surprising characters fight to survive in a Southern California that's suddenly run out of water.

Buy on Amazon.

10. Children of Blood and Bone: Legacy of Orisha, Book 1

By Tomi Adeyemi (13+).

In an action-packed fantasy set in an alternate version of West Africa, strong female characters fight to save and keep magic in their kingdom. 

Buy on Amazon.

11. Dread Nation

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By Justina Ireland (13+).

This alternative-history zombie thriller takes place after the U.S. Civil War ends — not with the South's surrender but when the dead rise up on the battlefields and soldiers on both sides come together to battle the undead — or, at least, force black and indigenous folks to fight them.

Buy on Amazon.

12. The Hazel Wood

By Melissa Albert (13+).

A teen girl is on a quest to find her grandmother and rescue her mother in a magical world in this witty, suspenseful, and insightful contemporary fantasy that uses elements of European fairy tales to tell a gripping supernatural story.

Buy on Amazon.

13. The Poet X

By Elizabeth Acevedo (13+).

This stunning, beautiful, and uncomfortably realistic coming-of-age novel in verse follows a teen's struggle to lead her life outside the narrow boxes where society, religion, and her mother have decided she belongs. 

Buy on Amazon.

14. A Very Large Expanse of Sea

By Tahereh Mafi (13+).

A Muslim teen girl busts stereotypes in a post-9/11 high school and finds romance in this heartfelt, poignant, and bitterly funny novel by the Iranian American author of Whichwood

Buy on Amazon.

15. Munmun

By Jesse Andrews (14+).

In this edgy satire set in a world where how big you are is determined by how much money you have, the poor main character is the size of a rat. It's a clever exploration of race, wealth, and power by the author of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

Buy on Amazon.

RELATED: 15 Best Mystery Book Series For Adults

Regan McMahon has been reviewing children's books for more than a decade. Read more of her reviews on Common Sense Media.

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This article was originally published at Common Sense Media. Reprinted with permission from the author.