Great Reading Lists for Teenagers

One of the best ways you can prepare your teenager for college is to encourage them to read.  As a practical matter, a teenager who reads is not only likely to achieve better grades in high school, but also earn higher scores on the SAT or ACT.

I understand how hard it can be to get many teenagers to read. One of my children is a reader and the other is not. What should help is giving teenagers lots of choices by compiling a summer reading list. One of my favorite places to get ideas for books for children of any age and any reading level is the California Reading List.

The California Department of Education has compiled great reading lists for students of different reading levels from kindergarten to 12th grade.

For teenagers, the site contains 13 reading lists. Here are just a few of the titles from the state’s recommended teen reading lists:

If you’re interested in learning more about how to find wonderful colleges at affordable prices, I’d suggest you read my book, The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price. Lynn O’Shaughnessy

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  1. Hi Karen,

    Thanks for visiting my college blog! I would look at the state’s reading list for fifth graders for your son. Also, you should be able to get recommendations from the clerk in the children’s section of your local bookstore or spend time looking on at kids’ books.

    Hope that helps.

    Lynn O’Shaughnessy

  2. Hi Lynn:
    I have really missed your column in the U-T and came across some clippings of your writing from a few years ago. Anyway, thought I’d see what you were up to and stumbled on to your blog.
    We have two boys, one a sophomore in college and one in 7th grade at a parochial school that is probably more challenging than he really needs, but he is there none the less until high school when he will switch to public. Both of our boys have dyslexia and looking at this reading list, do you have any recommendations on what might work for a boy in seventh grade, but reading at a fifth grade level? I realize reading is not your specialty, but you are dialed to children and education, so thought you may have some insights there too. Thanks!

    1. Hi Karen-

      I came across your blog comment quite by chance and wanted to share with you some information on helping your children with dyslexia. I also have a 7th grader with dyslexia and realized he was dyslexic when he was quite young. I found an amazing program that is different from the others and was so effective that I decided to change career paths and help other children with this amazing program. If you want- check out

      Good Luck!
      Nicki Cates

  3. A recently published adventure/suspense novel aimed at the 13+ year olds worth considering for the summer reading list is Dangerous Days by J. William Turner