Best Memoirs for Kids and Teens

Kids crave authentic stories, and what's more authentic than the story of a life written by the person who lived it? These compelling memoirs and autobiographies reveal the challenges and triumphs of ordinary people, often in extraordinary situations -- from war, poverty, and physical disability to athletic stardom, social activism, and the search for love and acceptance. These books can help build empathy, make kids feel less alone in their struggle, and inspire young readers as they see what people went through to get where they are. For more stories of kids' lives, check out our Coming-of-Age Books and Books with Stories of Extraordinary Women

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Chasing Space Young Reader's Edition Book Poster Image
Stellar memoir of an elite athlete and astronaut's journey.
By Leland Melvin, Laurie Caulkhoven
(2017)
(2017)
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Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name: My Story from First Pitch to Game Changer Book Poster Image
Inspirational memoir of Little League history maker.
By Mo'ne Davis, Hilary Beard
(2015)
(2015)
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Real Friends Book Poster Image
Painfully honest, hopeful memoir of coping with frenemies.
By Shannon Hale
(2017)
(2017)
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El Deafo Book Poster Image
Charming, funny comics memoir of growing up deaf.
By Cece Bell
(2014)
(2014)
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Sisters Book Poster Image
Funny, moving memoir should appeal to younger comics fans.
By Raina Telgemeier
(2014)
(2014)
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Be Prepared Book Poster Image
Smart, funny account of summer camp discomfort.
By Vera Brosgol
(2018)
(2018)
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Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court Book Poster Image
Thoughtful memoir by basketball star and civil rights icon.
By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Raymond Obstfeld
(2018)
(2017)
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Brown Girl Dreaming Book Poster Image
Captivating poems depict coming-of-age in tumultuous 1960s.
By Jacqueline Woodson
(2014)
(2014)
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The Dumbest Idea Ever Book Poster Image
Funny, affecting memoir of growing up crazy for comics.
By Jimmy Gownley
(2014)
(2014)
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Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith Book Poster Image
Inspiring autobiography by Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.
By Gabrielle Douglas, Michelle Burford
(2013)
(2012)
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I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World Book Poster Image
Inspiring memoir of teen Nobel laureate shot by Taliban.
By Malala Yousafzai, Patricia McCormick
(2014)
(2014)
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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March Book Poster Image
Vivid recollections of a teen girl in the Selma march.
By Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Elspeth Leacock, Susan Buckley
(2015)
(2015)
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Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Book Poster Image
Inspiring wartime journal reveals teen's inner life.
By Anne Frank
(2011)
(1947)
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March Forward Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine Book Poster Image
Must-read memoir of a childhood in the segregated South.
By Melba Pattillo Beals
(2018)
(2018)
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Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen Book Poster Image
Candid, chatty memoir is powerful voice for trans kids.
By Jazz Jennings
(2016)
(2016)
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The Boy on the Wooden Box Book Poster Image
Moving memoir of boy Holocaust survivor on Schindler's list.
By Leon Leyson, Leon Leyson, Marilyn J. Harran
(2013)
(2013)
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Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings Book Poster Image
Poignant memoir-in-verse recalls Cuban American's childhood.
By Margarita Engle
(2015)
(2015)
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How I Discovered Poetry Book Poster Image
Poet's moving memoir in free verse charts '50s childhood.
By Marilyn Nelson
(2015)
(2014)
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I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives Book Poster Image
Moving, eye-opening memoir of cross-cultural friendship.
By Martin Ganada, Caitlin Alifrenka, Liz Welch
(2015)
(2015)
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Invisible Girl Book Poster Image
Searing memoir of growing up in troubled family offers hope.
By Mariel Hemingway, Ben Greenman
(2015)
(2015)
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March: Book One Book Poster Image
Powerful graphic novel captures spirit of desegregation.
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
(2013)
(2013)
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#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line Book Poster Image
Compelling story of how Parkland shooting inspired activism.
By David Hogg, Lauren Hogg
(2018)
(2018)
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Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution Book Poster Image
Devastating portrait of brutal political movement.
By Ji-Li Jiang
(2004)
(1997)
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Ryan Higa's How to Write Good Book Poster Image
YouTuber's engaging memoir has solid writing advice, too.
By Ryan Higa
(2017)
(2017)
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Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina Book Poster Image
Ballerina's frank, inspiring tale of perseverance and hope.
By Michaela DePrince
(2015)
(2014)
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Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance Book Poster Image
Uplifting memoir of teen Olympic medalist, ex-foster kid.
By Simone Biles, Michelle Burford
(2017)
(2016)
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Marzi Book Poster Image
Sensitive graphic-novel memoir of '80s Polish childhood.
By Marzena Sowa
(2011)
(2011)
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Night Book Poster Image
Unforgettable memoir of teen who survived the Holocaust.
By Elie Wiesel
(2016)
(1956)
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Positive: Surviving My Bullies, Finding Hope, and Living to Change the World Book Poster Image
Brave memoir about HIV offers new perspective and hope.
By Paige Rawl
(2014)
(2014)
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We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story Book Poster Image
Funny memoir of a boy trying to get his first girlfriend.
By Josh Sundquist
(2014)
(2014)
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Binge Book Poster Image
YouTuber's funny, frank memoir recalls casual sex, drinking.
By Tyler Oakley
(2016)
(2015)
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Black Boy Book Poster Image
Moving autobiography reveals brutality of Jim Crow South.
By Richard Wright
(2011)
(2007)
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Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey Book Poster Image
Clever, heartfelt graphic memoir great for girls and boys.
By Ozge Samanci
(2015)
(2015)
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Hey, Kiddo Book Poster Image
Big-hearted memoir of rocky childhood with addicted mom.
By Jarrett J. Krosoczka
(2018)
(2018)
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book Poster Image
Poetic autobiography reveals impact of racial prejudice.
By Maya Angelou
(2011)
(1969)
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My Family Divided: One Girl's Journey of Home, Loss, and Hope Book Poster Image
Heartbreaking, inspiring memoir of popular actress.
By Diane Guerrero, Erica Moroz
(2018)
(2018)
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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Book Poster Image
Unforgettable story of young boy forced to become a killer.
By Ishmael Beah
(2016)
(2007)
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