Coming-of-Age Books

Few kids' books are as powerful as stories about characters coming of age. Readers see kids like them -- or totally different from them -- grow, change, and learn things about themselves over the course of the book. Whether they're learning hard truths about loss and prejudice, dealing with challenging family circumstances, or finding out what it means to grow up and be independent, the kids in these books are memorable, their struggles relatable. To find more real-world stories, check out our Books to Help Your Kid Survive Middle School, Teen Romance Novels, and Books About Racism and Social Justice.

The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle Poster Image
BOOK

The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle

age 8+

Girl bikes across the U.S. in quirky road-trip adventure.

By: Christina Uss (2018)
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Blended Poster Image
BOOK

Blended

age 8+

Honest, warm story of family, identity, police brutality.

By: Sharon M. Draper (2018)
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The Counterclockwise Heart Poster Image
BOOK

The Counterclockwise Heart

age 8+

Imaginative, action-packed fantasy in medieval-type setting.

By: Brian Farrey (2022)
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Escape from Aleppo Poster Image
BOOK

Escape from Aleppo

age 8+

Gripping, moving tale of Syrian teen fleeing war-torn city.

By: N.H. Senzai (2018)
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Extraordinary Birds Poster Image
BOOK

Extraordinary Birds

age 8+

Foster kid learns to trust in beautiful, heartfelt story.

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Full of Beans Poster Image
BOOK

Full of Beans

age 8+

Plucky boy finds conscience, hope amid Great Depression.

By: Jennifer L. Holm (2016)
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A Good Kind of Trouble Poster Image
BOOK

A Good Kind of Trouble

age 8+

Girl learns to be brave in triumphant coming-of-age tale.

By: Lisa Moore Ramée (2019)
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The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez Poster Image
BOOK

The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez

age 8+

Rich, authentic characters are heart of thoughtful novel.

By: Peter Johnson (2014)
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The Season of Styx Malone Poster Image
BOOK

The Season of Styx Malone

age 8+

Heartwarming story of friendship and adventure.

By: Kekla Magoon (2018)
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Stef Soto, Taco Queen Poster Image
BOOK

Stef Soto, Taco Queen

age 8+

Warm, funny tale of family, tacos, and middle school.

By: Jennifer Torres (2017)
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Bud, Not Buddy Poster Image
BOOK

Bud, Not Buddy

age 9+

Well-crafted tale of orphan boy's search for home.

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The Crossover Poster Image
BOOK

The Crossover

age 9+

Soaring, poignant, novel in verse hits all the right spots.

By: Kwame Alexander (2014)
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Gertie's Leap to Greatness Poster Image
BOOK

Gertie's Leap to Greatness

age 9+

Spunky 5th-grader learns life lessons in warmhearted tale.

By: Kate Beasley (2016)
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Front Desk, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Front Desk, Book 1

age 9+

Immigrant kid tackles racism, bullying in powerful tale.

By: Kelly Yang (2018)
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Junonia Poster Image
BOOK

Junonia

age 9+

Sweet coming-of-age story teaches empathy, kindness.

By: Kevin Henkes (2011)
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Merci Suárez Changes Gears: Merci Suárez, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Merci Suárez Changes Gears: Merci Suárez, Book 1

age 9+

Upbeat coming-of-age story explores culture, class, aging.

By: Meg Medina (2018)
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The Mighty Miss Malone Poster Image
BOOK

The Mighty Miss Malone

age 9+

Unforgettable 12-year-old girl battles the Great Depression.

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Song for a Whale Poster Image
BOOK

Song for a Whale

age 9+

Compelling tale of deaf girl's search for a whale.

By: Lynne Kelly (2019)
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The Space Between Lost and Found Poster Image
BOOK

The Space Between Lost and Found

age 9+

Heartfelt story of a girl losing her mom to Alzheimer's.

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Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers Poster Image
BOOK

Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers

age 9+

Powerful coming-of-age tale promotes friendship, activism.

By: Celia C. Pérez (2019)
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