If you are shocked with what young adults are reading these days, join the club. The young adult books that your child may be reading could have you imagining the worst possible impact on their development. As a young adult, I was lucky to get some really great mentors and teachers who opened me up to some great personality shaping young adult books. So, I’m going to do the same and recommend some decent young adult books that I believe every young adult should read; even those who hate reading.
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mocking Bird is the story set in the times of Depression and since from the eyes of a young girl nicknamed Scout. The story focuses on her father trying to fight a case for a black man in a time when justice was only meant for the white.
This classic is inspiration 101. The character of Atticus has been the inspiration behind many lawyers even today. But this isn’t the reason I want my son to read. The story brings up some very important questions. Questions about racism, social status, courage, gender, laws, and injustice. The world as it is now with the wars and racism, I want my son to understand that all of this has been happening since ages and will continue to occur. It takes courage to stand up for other people.
I would suggest parents read the book, too and discuss it with their children. This can be good food for conversation with teenage children who are slowly closing up on the talking front.
Buy it on Souq or Amazon.
One Bird by Kyoko Mori is set in Japan and tells the story of Fifteen-year-old Megumi. Megumi’s parents are recently divorced and in the aftermath of the divorce, she is basically left to fend for her own. During this time, Megumi discovers herself. This coming of age story should teach children a lot about growing up and taking responsibility for themselves. I hope this book will teach them not take their parents for granted. Also, since this is a book set in Japan, I hope my children will pick up understanding and sensitivity to other cultures and religion.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a book centered on a boy Jacob. Jacob, on being sent to his grandfather’s children home, discovers the home linked to a world of peculiar children. Children with a mouth at the back of the head and an invisible boy. Therein starts and adventure as Jacob tries to rescue his grandfather.
This may seem like an odd choice but I think a young adult would like this book for its thrill and mystery factor. The sense of adventure will appeal to most young adults, and perhaps even adults. The book teaches us to accept people who may not appear normal. I hope this book will teach my children to value diversity. I want them to imagine and believe in things that may seem impossible to them. The late teens is a time when children are losing their faith in magic and the unknown. This book may restore that magic, at least for some time so that they can remain children for a little while longer.
Buy it on Souq
Buy it on Amazon
Prophet Muhammad: The Seal of All Prophets
This is perhaps the only non-fiction book that I will mention in this post. As a Muslim, I believe that Prophet Muhammad was one of the best persons in the history of the world. I want my children to learn about this near super-hero. He was honest, brave and a great leader. With Islamophobia ruling the world, I think Muslim children are at a great risk of losing connection with their religion. This book will hopefully tell them about the real Islam and make my children proud to be called Muslims.
Where Things come back
This is a story about a seventeen-year-old boy, Cullen who lives a pretty boring life until his cousin dies. This starts a series of events that tie up together in the end.
This book may appear a little boring to a young adult. But I think the book has a philosophical feel. It raises some very important questions. I don’t want my children not to feel that life is all fun and neither is it all boring. The book has that quality. It has also this unexpected humor that will keep the readers keep reading.
The Hunger Games
I have heard so much about this series but honestly, I haven’t read it. I had wrongly classified it among the frivolous young adult books but have recently learned otherwise. The Hunger Games exposes the developing minds of young adults to the ills of the capitalist society. It follows the life of a brave 16-year-old, Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to be part of a sick series of games, The Hunger Game. The Hunger Game is meant as an entertainment for the rich where boys and girls from poor neighboring districts are chosen to fight each other to death.
Though it is set in the future, it opens a window into the life of the poor world. My hope is that this book will make my children more sensitive to the plight of the poor. I also think this book will also appeal to them basically on its thrill factor.
Buy it on SOUQ.
6 Decent Young Adult Books I want my children to read