Coming-of-Age Books

Few kids' books are as powerful as stories about characters coming of age. Whether they're learning hard truths about loss and prejudice or finding out what it really means to grow up and be independent, the kids in these books are the kind of memorable characters your own children are sure to relate to.

Browse Coming-of-Age Books

Clementine Book Poster Image
Move over, Ramona -- here comes Clementine.
By Sara Pennypacker
(2007)
(2006)
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The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle Book Poster Image
Girl bikes across the U.S. in quirky road-trip adventure.
By Christina Uss
(2018)
(2018)
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Escape from Aleppo Book Poster Image
Gripping, moving tale of Syrian teen fleeing war-torn city.
By N. H. Senzai
(2018)
(2018)
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Full of Beans Book Poster Image
Plucky boy finds conscience, hope amid Great Depression.
By Jennifer L. Holm
(2016)
(2016)
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The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez Book Poster Image
Rich, authentic characters are heart of thoughtful novel.
By Peter Johnson
(2014)
(2014)
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Lunch Money Book Poster Image
Delightful page-turner with rock-solid values.
By Andrew Clements
(2005)
(2005)
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Gertie's Leap to Greatness Book Poster Image
Spunky 5th-grader learns life lessons in warmhearted tale.
By Kate Beasley
(2016)
(2016)
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Junonia Book Poster Image
Sweet coming-of-age story teaches empathy, kindness.
By Kevin Henkes
(2011)
(2011)
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The Mighty Miss Malone Book Poster Image
Unforgettable 12-year-old girl battles the Great Depression.
By Christopher Paul Curtis
(2012)
(2012)
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Better Nate Than Ever Book Poster Image
Terrific tale of misfit taking bold step to remake his life.
By Tim Federle
(2013)
(2013)
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Dear Hank Williams Book Poster Image
A heartwarming story of hope triumphing over pain.
By Kimberly Willis Holt
(2015)
(2015)
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Ghost: Track, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Poignant, smart look at track star running from his past.
By Jason Reynolds
(2016)
(2016)
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Harbor Me Book Poster Image
Kids get safe space to tell their stories in moving tale.
By Jacqueline Woodson
(2018)
(2018)
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Just Like Jackie Book Poster Image
Emotional tale of girl's struggle with her family history.
By Lindsey Stoddard
(2018)
(2018)
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Keeping Safe the Stars Book Poster Image
Gripping story of three sibs fending for themselves in 1974.
By Sheila O'Connor
(2012)
(2012)
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Liar & Spy Book Poster Image
Brave misfit tames fears in inspiring, surprising novel.
By Rebecca Stead
(2012)
(2012)
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Louisiana's Way Home Book Poster Image
Harrowing, heartfelt, funny tale of '70s Southern tween.
By Kate DiCamillo
(2018)
(2018)
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Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood Book Poster Image
Dynamic, enthralling kid's-eye-view of 1970s Harlem.
By James Baldwin
(2018)
(2018)
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Mockingbird Book Poster Image
Moving tale of girl whose brother died in school shooting.
By Kathryn Erskine
(2010)
(2010)
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Raymie Nightingale Book Poster Image
Tragedy, triumph, and wisdom in funny, heartfelt tween tale.
By Kate DiCamillo
(2016)
(2016)
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Rebound Book Poster Image
Heartfelt, soaring, fast-break story of loss and growth.
By Kwame Alexander
(2018)
(2018)
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Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party Book Poster Image
Gripping story, great intro to China's Cultural Revolution.
By Ying Chang Compestine
(2008)
(2007)
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Riding Chance Book Poster Image
Horse helps city boy heal in moving self-discovery tale.
By Christine Kendall
(2016)
(2016)
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See You in the Cosmos Book Poster Image
Sweet, quirky road story sparkles with warmth and wisdom.
By Jack Cheng
(2017)
(2017)
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Tight Book Poster Image
Authentic, nuanced tale of Brooklyn boy has lots of heart.
By Torrey Maldonado
(2018)
(2018)
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Wonder Book Poster Image
Moving tale of facially different boy with inner beauty.
By R.J. Palacio
(2012)
(2012)
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Echo Book Poster Image
Tales of injustice masterfully blend with a dash of magic.
By Pam Munoz Ryan
(2015)
(2015)
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Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key Book Poster Image
Sympathetic, realistic portrait of boy with ADHD.
By Jack Gantos
(2003)
(1998)
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Diamond Boy Book Poster Image
Heartbreaking, powerful tale amid diamond mines of Zimbabwe.
By Michael Williams
(2015)
(2014)
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Hush Book Poster Image
Poignant story of race, identity, and doing the right thing.
By Jacqueline Woodson
(2014)
(2002)
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Long Way Down Book Poster Image
Gripping, unnerving story of teen boy contemplating revenge.
By Jason Reynolds
(2017)
(2017)
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Miles Morales: Spider-Man Book Poster Image
Exciting, smart, cool version of comic book superhero teen.
By Jason Reynolds
(2017)
(2017)
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Okay for Now Book Poster Image
A troubled boy discovers his self-worth through art.
By Gary D. Schmidt
(2011)
(2013)
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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Book Poster Image
Popular series start shows positive girl friendships.
By Ann Brashares
(2003)
(2001)
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Solo Book Poster Image
Poignant tale of rock star's son fleeing fame, finding self.
By Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess
(2017)
(2017)
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To Kill a Mockingbird Book Poster Image
Stunning classic examines racism -- and justice.
By Harper Lee
(2004)
(1960)
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Watched Book Poster Image
Compelling tale of Muslim teen's dilemma informing for cops.
By Marina Budhos
(2017)
(2016)
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All the Right Stuff Book Poster Image
Challenging ideas, big issues buoy story of Harlem teen.
By Walter Dean Myers
(2012)
(2012)
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American Panda Book Poster Image
Hilarious story of MIT freshman juggling culture, freedom.
By Gloria Chao
(2018)
(2018)
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The Belles Book Poster Image
Richly imagined dark fantasy explores the price of beauty.
By Dhonielle Clayton
(2018)
(2018)
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Dear Rachel Maddow Book Poster Image
Teen can't stop confessing to her hero in poignant story.
By Adrienne Kisner
(2018)
(2018)
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Eliza and Her Monsters Book Poster Image
Fame and fandom collide with privacy in engaging tale.
By Francesca Zappia
(2017)
(2017)
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Gem & Dixie Book Poster Image
Compelling story of teen sisters neglected by their parents.
By Sara Zarr
(2017)
(2017)
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The House on Mango Street Book Poster Image
A poetic -- and classic -- coming-of-age story.
By Sandra Cisneros
(2005)
(1991)
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Infinite In Between Book Poster Image
Captivating tale of five teens who meet by chance.
By Carolyn Mackler
(2015)
(2015)
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Kissing in America Book Poster Image
Sweet, funny coming-of-age story about all kinds of love.
By Margo Rabb
(2015)
(2015)
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Piecing Me Together Book Poster Image
Powerful, insightful tale of self-awareness, power of art.
By Renee Watson
(2017)
(2017)
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Summer Bird Blue Book Poster Image
Emotional novel deals with death, grief, and abandonment.
By Akemi Dawn Bowman
(2018)
(2018)
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The Alex Crow Book Poster Image
Orphan refugee finds new family in beautifully bizarre tale.
By Andrew Smith
(2015)
(2015)
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All We Can Do Is Wait Book Poster Image
Teens face tragedy in compelling, edgy coming-of-ager.
By Richard Lawson
(2018)
(2018)
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Burn Baby Burn Book Poster Image
Riveting coming-of-age tale set in dangerous summer of '77.
By Meg Medina
(2016)
(2016)
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Calling My Name Book Poster Image
Beautiful, honest look at the journey from girl to woman.
By Liara Tamani
(2018)
(2017)
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The Catcher in the Rye Book Poster Image
One of the greatest novels of the 20th century.
By J. D. Salinger
(2005)
(1969)
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The Closest I've Come Book Poster Image
Absorbing, realistic, hopeful tale of teen in the projects.
By Fred Aceves
(2017)
(2017)
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The Fault in Our Stars Book Poster Image
Heartrending love story told by teen dying of cancer.
By John Green
(2012)
(2012)
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Hold Still Book Poster Image
Stunning, hopeful story about healing from loss.
By Nina LaCour
(2017)
(2009)
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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Book Poster Image
Empowering, stereotype-shattering coming-of-age story.
By Erika L. Sanchez
(2017)
(2017)
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I Have Lost My Way Book Poster Image
Three teens meet and change one another in poignant story.
By Gayle Forman
(2018)
(2018)
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In Search of Us Book Poster Image
Teen digs into mom's past in compelling coming-of-age tale.
By Ava Dellaira
(2018)
(2018)
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More Than We Can Tell Book Poster Image
Emotional coming-of-age story tackles abuse, cyberbullying.
By Brigid Kemmerer
(2018)
(2018)
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Mosquitoland Book Poster Image
Unforgettable story of a girl's 1,000-mile journey home.
By David Arnold
(2015)
(2015)
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Rani Patel in Full Effect Book Poster Image
Powerful coming-of-age tale deals with abuse, addiction.
By Sonia Patel
(2016)
(2016)
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Small Damages Book Poster Image
Luminous story of pregnant teen's summer in Spain.
By Beth Kephart
(2012)
(2012)
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Trying to Float: Coming of Age in the Chelsea Hotel Book Poster Image
Funny, moving memoir of eccentric childhood in New York.
By Nicolaia Rips
(2016)
(2016)
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We Are Okay Book Poster Image
Memorable story of friendship, loss, and family secrets.
By Nina LaCour
(2017)
(2017)
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We'll Fly Away Book Poster Image
Teen is sentenced to Death Row in heartbreaking novel.
By Bryan Bliss
(2018)
(2018)
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A Girl Like That Book Poster Image
Compelling tale of teen rebellion, tragedy in Saudi Arabia.
By Tanaz Bhathena
(2018)
(2018)
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Hello, Sunshine Book Poster Image
Quirky, well-written tale of aspiring teen actress in LA.
By Leila Howland
(2017)
(2017)
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King Dork Book Poster Image
Dark, funny coming-of-age with lots of mature content.
By Frank Portman
(2006)
(2006)
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The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik Book Poster Image
Angsty, quirky teen's compelling search for meaning.
By David Arnold
(2018)
(2018)
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The Dangerous Art of Blending In Book Poster Image
Courageous love story told by teen suffering abuse.
By Angelo Surmelis
(2018)
(2018)
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower Book Poster Image
Controversial coming-of-age classic with sex, drugs, abuse.
By Stephen Chbosky
(2011)
(1999)
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