New Coming-of-Age Titles for Required High School Reading

Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace are excellent coming-of-age novels, but it's time to introduce high school students to more modern, relevant LITERATURE to study. Read this NPR story for a new vision, and come up with some more good ideas. Remember, we're not talking YA novels, we're talking "new classic" coming-of-age literature. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...
1

by
4.21 avg rating — 1,370,119 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
4.03 avg rating — 510,217 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,228,239 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
4.32 avg rating — 6,877,763 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
4.06 avg rating — 1,168,329 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
4.47 avg rating — 7,770,057 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
3.89 avg rating — 832,136 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
4.19 avg rating — 3,486,335 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9

by
3.83 avg rating — 2,119,369 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
3.99 avg rating — 1,853,474 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
4.31 avg rating — 62 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
4.08 avg rating — 242,417 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13

by
4.35 avg rating — 145,369 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
3.83 avg rating — 245,389 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
4.30 avg rating — 1,205,026 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
4.08 avg rating — 1,102,125 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17

by
3.97 avg rating — 398,427 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
3.68 avg rating — 140,083 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
19

by
4.18 avg rating — 3,926,821 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
4.16 avg rating — 523,020 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
4.34 avg rating — 1,041,835 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
3.84 avg rating — 941,463 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
3.85 avg rating — 596,223 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24

by
4.01 avg rating — 601,868 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
3.56 avg rating — 479,826 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
3.89 avg rating — 54,846 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
4.23 avg rating — 295,219 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28

by
3.88 avg rating — 80,544 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.08 avg rating — 113,183 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
30

by
4.07 avg rating — 471,940 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31

by
3.84 avg rating — 245,925 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32

by
4.07 avg rating — 681,737 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
4.39 avg rating — 1,023 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34

by
3.93 avg rating — 4,102,089 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35

by
3.61 avg rating — 29,160 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
36

by
3.92 avg rating — 1,419,147 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
4.23 avg rating — 52 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
3.55 avg rating — 2,880 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
3.88 avg rating — 17,645 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
3.93 avg rating — 757,303 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
41

by
3.83 avg rating — 530,282 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
42

by
4.27 avg rating — 3,300,560 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
3.71 avg rating — 231,785 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44

by
4.16 avg rating — 180,603 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
3.95 avg rating — 33,903 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
3.92 avg rating — 63,726 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47

by
3.49 avg rating — 44,690 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
48

by
4.13 avg rating — 1,744,424 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
49

by
4.01 avg rating — 1,264,183 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
4.11 avg rating — 18 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
3.49 avg rating — 259 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
3.87 avg rating — 138,663 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
53

by
3.72 avg rating — 66,621 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
3.68 avg rating — 179,720 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
3.55 avg rating — 985 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
56

by
3.68 avg rating — 36,526 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
3.30 avg rating — 1,342 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
58

by
4.06 avg rating — 104,720 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
4.26 avg rating — 40,467 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
3.92 avg rating — 34,267 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
3.88 avg rating — 40,009 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
3.74 avg rating — 14,919 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
63

by
4.03 avg rating — 3,486 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
64

by
3.93 avg rating — 49,384 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
3.67 avg rating — 185,741 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.36 avg rating — 22 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 21 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.65 avg rating — 2,753 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
4.08 avg rating — 182 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
4.10 avg rating — 93 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.87 avg rating — 97 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
4.59 avg rating — 70 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.91 avg rating — 216 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75

by
4.08 avg rating — 141,598 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75

by
3.92 avg rating — 18,536 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
77

by
4.03 avg rating — 33,021 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
78

by
3.63 avg rating — 7,237 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
4.06 avg rating — 149,971 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80

by
3.94 avg rating — 18,352 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80

by
4.01 avg rating — 107,026 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
82

by
3.70 avg rating — 781 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
4.23 avg rating — 2,230 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
84

by
3.76 avg rating — 570,007 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
3.86 avg rating — 5,785 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
86

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 80,551 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.61 avg rating — 18 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
4.32 avg rating — 85 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.68 avg rating — 22 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.97 avg rating — 33 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.98 avg rating — 571 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
4.17 avg rating — 86,230 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
4.32 avg rating — 59 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.62 avg rating — 21 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
4.05 avg rating — 19 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.65 avg rating — 74 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.56 avg rating — 195 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 7 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
4.09 avg rating — 8,052 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 7 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
170 books · 509 voters · list created October 18th, 2008 by Colleen (votes) .
55 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Colleen 1209 books
52 friends
Luanne 458 books
76 friends
Tara 861 books
271 friends
Andy 700 books
18 friends
Brent 818 books
57 friends
Stephy 3386 books
14 friends
Levina 650 books
14 friends
Taylor 364 books
6 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Tamora (new)

Tamora Pierce At the risk of ticking someone off, 4 of the 15 writers here are women, when we are 50% of the population. Already we are skewing to the same ratios as the former booklists.


message 2: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Tamora, you could spark an interesting debate. As an English teacher, I think it is important to consider some diversity of authorship, though I don't believe I take into consideration an equal mix of author gender in my reading habits and recommendations--it's all about the writing and reviews. I do believe that required reading material should present a gender balance of protagonists, however, as boys tend to read only boy protagonists while girls will ready any good story...I am adding some more excellent coming-of-age literature with female authors/protagonists in mind.


message 3: by Tamora (new)

Tamora Pierce Colleen wrote: "Tamora, you could spark an interesting debate. As an English teacher, I think it is important to consider some diversity of authorship, though I don't believe I take into consideration an equal mix..."

I never thought much about this before I was asked to compile a 9 - 12 required reading list for a homeschooled friend. Checking the lists posted by various schools online, I was appalled to see how many books, particularly in grades 11 and 12, were written by white, European/North American men who died before the turn of the 20th century. In the end, I gave my friend two lists, a more standard one with as many of the traditional works, but a higher load of works still considered literary, but written by female and/or non-white authors, and my own list, still compiled with a view to recognized literary merit (I didn't want anyone at any college to look down their noses at my friend for being ill-read!), but with a higher ratio of female and/or non-white authors, as well as a stronger selection of plays and poetry.

This is required reading, so the boys will have to read the books with girl characters, and if the books are carefully chosen, they may end up liking them. My feeling is that the perception that "boys won't read books with female protagonists" means boys are never given that chance to expand their horizons--I speak as a writer with an audience that's 30% boys, for all that I have principally girl heroes (admittedly, they're surrounded by boys). I also feel that the idea that girls will read anything feels as if girls must settle, when they should be give strong characters and writers of their own sex as role models.

Luckily for us, there are a lot of good, new, literary books out there that give both boys and girls a chance to expand their horizons in terms of writing and characters!

Tammy Pierce


message 4: by Janni (new)

Janni My feeling is that the perception that "boys won't read books with female protagonists" means boys are never given that chance to expand their horizons--I speak as a writer with an audience that's 30% boys, for all that I have principally girl heroes (admittedly, they're surrounded by boys). I also feel that the idea that girls will read anything feels as if girls must settle, when they should be give strong characters and writers of their own sex as role models.

Word. That. That exactly explains why I get uneasy when I hear people worrying about making sure there are more "boy books" out there, while not worrying about the quality of the "girl books" hardly at all, because girls will read anything so we don't have to fret about them.

And the number of parents--it's always the parents, not the kids--who won't pick up a book for their sons unless they know the main character is a boy first is more than a little troubling.


message 5: by Tamora (new)

Tamora Pierce Janni wrote: "My feeling is that the perception that "boys won't read books with female protagonists" means boys are never given that chance to expand their horizons--I speak as a writer with an audience that's ..."

Every time someone tells me there are no books for boys, I point them to the very long list of books I compiled when I got sick of hearing that (it's on my website). The first time I posted it, I added, "And let's not forget the 800-pound GORILLA, Harry [CENSORED:] Potter!"

You're right about the parents. They have to be educated, too--they're the ones who pass on the stereotypes. You'd think they'd want their kids to read whatever was available so they wouldn't hear "I don't have anything to read."


message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 17, 2009 03:19PM) (new)

It'd be nice if the gender, sexual proclivities, nationality, ethnicity, religion, time, or whatnot of the author was never introduced and we could simply read good literature. Period.

However, where an author comes from or the time they come from is sometimes as or more important then the work itself.

Just because something was written by a white European/NA man who died a long time ago isn't a good enough reason (for me) to toss out a solid piece of literature. After all, if we can toss out the really old white dudes why can't we toss out the not so old yet old white females?

Maybe there is some argument to expanding boys parameters...yet, I find that odd as when little children are given toys boys do tend to go one direction (cars) and girls tend to go in another (dolls) direction.

The sexes are wired differently. Why would their choice in books be the same?

Girls tend to be better readers. If the majority of girls willl read anything and the majority of boys won't I don't see it as catering to boys and girls settling. I see it as girls getting a broader overview while boys are trying to find their way in the reading world.

Anything that gets kids to read, well, maybe not anything...is good in my books and I don't care what sex or color the author is.


message 7: by Jack (last edited May 19, 2012 03:33PM) (new)

Jack I've been assigned both The Outsiders and Persepolis for school. They're amazing books, both, and I was very happy to have some more "modern" coming-of-age stories in the mix.


message 8: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Tara, Persepolis is another great modern title and more so in that it's a graphic novel. Hope you add more to this list.


message 9: by Alejandro (new)

Alejandro The NPR link is bad, so here it is: http://www.good.is/post/stop-teaching...


message 10: by Kate (new)

Kate Many of these are hardly "new classics" - The Great Gatsby and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, for instance. I've removed books that would be considered classics in general as opposed to modern classics.


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 26, 2020 05:11AM) (new)

Janni wrote: "My feeling is that the perception that "boys won't read books with female protagonists" means boys are never given that chance to expand their horizons--I speak as a writer with an audience that's ..."

Hey Janni, check out "I am Sikunder!" A hyperactive boy's story, told by a boy for boys...and girls...the book children dont want their parents to read. bit.ly/I-am-Sikunder


back to top



Related News

If it's been a while since you last picked up a young adult novel, you might be surprised to learn that it's not all vampire romances and teen...

Anyone can add books to this list.