5 Fascinating And Inspirational Books For Teens

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While heart teens might not be doing things like using magic to battle the forces of evil in their everyday lives, they definitely know what adversity is about. Sometimes, the hidden challenges—like learning to accept yourself and live with the unfairness of a heart condition—can be the most difficult ones. 

That’s why books for young adults can be such a comfort. The best ones portray characters who go through trials of their own, but learn to find victory and stay true to their values. And the plots provide kids with a fascinating escape from the everyday world.

Here are 5 inspirational books for teens to read. In each book or series, the characters face—and ultimately triumph over—incredible challenges and adversity.

1. Harry Potter Series (by JK Rowling)

Harry Potter is a young boy who lives a more or less ordinary—but unhappy—life with his aunt, uncle, and cousin. At the start of the series, he finds out that he is actually a wizard when he is rescued from his extended family and brought into the world of magic. As the truth about his past unfolds, he sets out to defeat a dark wizard responsible for his parents’ deaths.

The Harry Potter series takes place in a richly woven magical world, but the story’s ultimate themes—the danger of discriminating against those who are different, the power of good and love over evil, the importance of being true to yourself—ring true regardless of whether you’re a wizard or a muggle.

2. Stargirl (by Jerry Spinelli)

Fitting in is the most important thing on everyone’s mind at Mica Area High School—except for the new student, Stargirl.

Stargirl dares to be herself, and at first her classmates seem to welcome the change from routine and conformity. But then the charm of being different seems to wear off, and Stargirl is faced with a decision: Is it time to just be “normal?” Her choice will impact the lives of everyone she comes in contact with.

The message of this book might resonate with heart teens who are struggling to balance being true to who they are with a desire to fit in with their peers.

3. Percy Jackson & The Olympians Series (by Rick Riordan)

Percy Jackson struggles with focus and self-control. When monsters start appearing at his otherwise mundane boarding school, he finds out that his issues might stem from the fact that his father is the Greek god Poseidon. So, his mother sends him to Camp Half Blood, where he bonds with other children who are also half-human, half-god.

Unfortunately for Percy, a war is brewing in the Underworld. However, he has friends on his side to help him put a stop to the turmoil.


4. The Giver (by Lois Lowry)

Jonas lives in a utopian society where everyone is assigned a role to fulfill upon turning 12 years old. For Jonas, that role is to receive memories from a person called the Giver.

But the Giver’s memories of the community don’t paint quite as perfect a picture as Jonas had imagined. So, he finds himself struggling to act like everything is okay just to keep his friends and family from knowing the truth.

As the struggle increases, he realizes he must choose to remain in a world where ignorance is bliss or risk leaving that familiarity behind for the sake of the truth.

Young people are faced with tough decisions about goodness and truth as they grow up, and in that sense, Jonas’ story is one that teens can relate to.

5. Going Bovine (by Libba Bray)

High school student Cameron thinks he’ll be able to coast through life with minimal effort—until he is diagnosed with a fatal illness. While he’s in the hospital, an angel appears and tells Cameron that he can save his own life if he first embarks on a mission to find the mysterious Dr. X.

Together with his hospital roommate and an odd cast of characters they encounter along the way, Cameron goes on a wild ride that ultimately leaves everyone wondering: Is this really happening or not?

While this story takes many unusual twists and turns, the overarching message of making the most of your life is one that teens who have spent their fair share of time in the hospital can appreciate.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Also read: 6 Inspirational Children’s Books to Read With Your Heart Kid


Sean Akers

Hi, I’m Dr. Sean Akers, and I’m a Licensed Clinical Pediatric Psychologist at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha. I serve as the primary psychologist for the heart transplant team as well as the coordinator of the Consult Liaison Service. My job is to provide heart kids and their families with support throughout their journey.

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