What Are Teens Reading?
What a great question! Teen books, also known as Young Adult books, are transitional books between children's novels and adult literature. YA books have exploded in popularity since the late 90's, which means there are more options to engage 7th-12th grade readers. All our teen books are labeled "YA" but we can help narrow down what's best for your reader. Don't hesitate to contact us for recommendations!
What does a teen reader work on?
A teen reader (7th - 12th grade) is reading independently but still developing as a reader. They're developing skills like:
- Advanced Fluency: Stamina to read longer texts (example: novels) and knowing when to change approach based on text type (examples: poetry, plays)
- Advanced Vocabulary: Learning and applying academic vocabulary with progressive difficulty
- Advanced Comprehension: Fully understanding long texts, making connections to other texts, and applying background knowledge to critically examine topics
What's in a YA book?
Here are some helpful tips to know when browsing our catalog for YA books. YA is a fairly new and constantly evolving category, so parents are often curious about what their tween or teen may encounter. Below you'll find some typical hallmarks of teen fiction:
"Lower YA" Fiction (Grades 6-9)
- Tends to depict stories about changing friendships, families, and society with deeper dimension and nuance. Drama and mysteries have higher stakes.
- Romance begins to emerge.
- Their fantasy books become more epic and slightly darker for appeal.
"Upper YA" Fiction (High School & Above)
- Tends to depicts mature teen social issues. High stakes drama and peril is common.
- Serious/established romance is common.
- Their fantasy books will have more epic scope and may touch on darker themes.
- Epic Reads: A website featuring themed books lists around favorite YA topics.
- Goodreads - Young Adult Book Lists: A collection of reader-recommended YA book lists on the popular reading tracker site.
- Time's 100 Best YA Books of All Time List: A fun historical overview of YA books from Little Women to The Hunger Games.
Recommended Young Adult Reads
These links will take you to our Catalog & My Account site. Have your library card number and PIN ready to put items on hold.
- New Teen Books: Browse our newest books and on-order items for teens.
- New YA Graphic Novels: Great for engaging reluctant readers! Japanese Manga-style graphic novels are very popular with this age group.
- All Are Welcome - YA: A staff-curated list of materials on social justice topics for teens.
- Pride - YA: A staff-curated list of books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters and topics.
eBooks & eAudiobooks
These are great for teens who enjoy multitasking or reading from their device. In addition to the physical items above, teens can borrow downloadable eBooks & eAudiobooks from eBooks Minnesota and the Twin Cities Metro eLibrary on Libby.
- Get the Libby App: Download Libby by OverDrive from your app store and search for "Scott County Library" (listed under "MELSA: Twin Cities Metro eLibrary"). Sign in with your library card and PIN.
- eBooks Minnesota Middle School Collection: These always-available items can be downloaded any time. This collection includes graphic novels, nonfiction, and research materials for school.