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

Move over, Ramona -- here comes Clementine.
By Sara Pennypacker
(2007)
(2006)
Continue reading
Gripping, moving tale of Syrian teen fleeing war-torn city.
By N. H. Senzai
(2018)
(2018)
Continue reading
Plucky boy finds conscience, hope amid Great Depression.
By Jennifer L. Holm
(2016)
(2016)
Continue reading
Rich, authentic characters are heart of thoughtful novel.
By Peter Johnson
(2014)
(2014)
Continue reading
Delightful page-turner with rock-solid values.
By Andrew Clements
(2005)
(2005)
Continue reading
Spunky 5th-grader learns life lessons in warmhearted tale.
By Kate Beasley
(2016)
(2016)
Continue reading
Sweet coming-of-age story teaches empathy, kindness.
By Kevin Henkes
(2011)
(2011)
Continue reading
Unforgettable 12-year-old girl battles the Great Depression.
By Christopher Paul Curtis
(2012)
(2012)
Continue reading
Terrific tale of misfit taking bold step to remake his life.
By Tim Federle
(2013)
(2013)
Continue reading
A heartwarming story of hope triumphing over pain.
By Kimberly Willis Holt
(2015)
(2015)
Continue reading
Poignant, smart look at track star running from his past.
By Jason Reynolds
(2016)
(2016)
Continue reading
Gripping story of three sibs fending for themselves in 1974.
By Sheila O'Connor
(2012)
(2012)
Continue reading
Brave misfit tames fears in inspiring, surprising novel.
By Rebecca Stead
(2012)
(2012)
Continue reading
Gripping, unnerving story of teen boy contemplating revenge.
By Jason Reynolds
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
Moving tale of girl whose brother died in school shooting.
By Kathryn Erskine
(2010)
(2010)
Continue reading
Tragedy, triumph, and wisdom in funny, heartfelt tween tale.
By Kate DiCamillo
(2016)
(2016)
Continue reading
Gripping story, great intro to China's Cultural Revolution.
By Ying Chang Compestine
(2008)
(2007)
Continue reading
Horse helps city boy heal in moving self-discovery tale.
By Christine Kendall
(2016)
(2016)
Continue reading
Sweet, quirky road story sparkles with warmth and wisdom.
By Jack Cheng
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
Tales of injustice masterfully blend with a dash of magic.
By Pam Munoz Ryan
(2015)
(2015)
Continue reading
Sympathetic, realistic portrait of boy with ADHD.
By Jack Gantos
(2003)
(1998)
Continue reading
Moving tale of facially different boy with inner beauty.
By R.J. Palacio
(2012)
(2012)
Continue reading
Heartbreaking, powerful tale amid diamond mines of Zimbabwe.
By Michael Williams
(2015)
(2014)
Continue reading
Poignant story of race, identity, and doing the right thing.
By Jacqueline Woodson
(2014)
(2002)
Continue reading
To Kill a Mockingbird Book Poster Image
Stunning classic examines racism -- and justice.
By Harper Lee
(2004)
(1960)
Continue reading
Exciting, smart, cool version of comic book superhero teen.
By Jason Reynolds
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
A troubled boy discovers his self-worth through art.
By Gary D. Schmidt
(2011)
(2013)
Continue reading
Popular series start shows positive girl friendships.
By Ann Brashares
(2003)
(2001)
Continue reading
Poignant tale of rock star's son fleeing fame, finding self.
By Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
Challenging ideas, big issues buoy story of Harlem teen.
By Walter Dean Myers
(2012)
(2012)
Continue reading
Richly imagined dark fantasy explores the price of beauty.
By Dhonielle Clayton
(2018)
(2018)
Continue reading
Fame and fandom collide with privacy in engaging tale.
By Francesca Zappia
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
Compelling story of teen sisters neglected by their parents.
By Sara Zarr
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
A poetic -- and classic -- coming-of-age story.
By Sandra Cisneros
(2005)
(1991)
Continue reading
Captivating tale of five teens who meet by chance.
By Carolyn Mackler
(2015)
(2015)
Continue reading
Sweet, funny coming-of-age story about all kinds of love.
By Margo Rabb
(2015)
(2015)
Continue reading
Powerful, insightful tale of self-awareness, power of art.
By Renee Watson
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
Funny, gritty, and powerful novel of growing up on the rez.
By Sherman Alexie
(2007)
(2007)
Continue reading
Orphan refugee finds new family in beautifully bizarre tale.
By Andrew Smith
(2015)
(2015)
Continue reading
Riveting coming-of-age tale set in dangerous summer of '77.
By Meg Medina
(2016)
(2016)
Continue reading
One of the greatest novels of the 20th century.
By J. D. Salinger
(2005)
(1969)
Continue reading
Absorbing, realistic, hopeful tale of teen in the projects.
By Fred Aceves
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
Heartrending love story told by teen dying of cancer.
By John Green
(2012)
(2012)
Continue reading
Empowering, stereotype-shattering coming-of-age story.
By Erika L. Sanchez
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
Unforgettable story of a girl's 1,000-mile journey home.
By David Arnold
(2015)
(2015)
Continue reading
Nothing Book Poster Image
Witty jibe at consumer frenzy older kids will get.
By Jon Agee
(2008)
(2007)
Continue reading
Powerful coming-of-age tale deals with abuse, addiction.
By Sonia Patel
(2016)
(2016)
Continue reading
Luminous story of pregnant teen's summer in Spain.
By Beth Kephart
(2012)
(2012)
Continue reading
Funny, moving memoir of eccentric childhood in New York.
By Nicolaia Rips
(2016)
(2016)
Continue reading
Memorable story of friendship, loss, and family secrets.
By Nina LaCour
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
Quirky, well-written tale of aspiring teen actress in LA.
By Leila Howland
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
Dark, funny coming-of-age with lots of mature content.
By Frank Portman
(2006)
(2006)
Continue reading
Controversial coming-of-age classic with sex, drugs, abuse.
By Stephen Chbosky
(2011)
(1999)
Continue reading

Other great lists from our editors