Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Stuff for the Teen Age

Top Ten Favorite Back to School Books


Listen, I know you have a lot to read right now.  Maybe you are finishing up your summer reading, maybe you got your first assignments for English class. But I just can't help but ask for you to consider some of my favorite books about going to high school.  Some are funny, some are really dark but they are all great reads.  Take a look!

10. I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Leib

This book is only number 10 because our favorite evil genius is in middle school instead of high school.  But this has to be one of the funniest books I've read in a while.  AND it makes fun of required reading... I'm just saying...

9. New Rules of High School by Blake Nelson

Back to school from a guy's point of view.  Max has had the perfect high school experience until he approaches his senior year and changes everything. 

8. The Wave by Todd Strasser

A classic!  So classic that it was made into an afterschool special in the '80s.  When students can't seem to understand how the Germans blindly followed the Nazi party, one teacher makes up his own group. He never expects such violent results. 

7. Buddha Boy by Kathe Koja

The new kid in school has some strange habits, including begging for change in the school's cafeteria.

6. The Geography Club by Brent Hartinger

There are newer, flashier books about LGBT teens in high school these days, but this is a classic. A group of teens want to meet up after school, but have to keep their purpose a secret.  So they start the Geography Club.

5. Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Camelot comes to life in Cabot's supernatural high school story.

4. Tales of the Madmen Underground (An Historical Romance 1973) by John Barnes

Kurt has one goal for his last year of high school: be f*&&ing normal.  He tries his best but his alcoholic mother, five part time jobs, and manitory group therapy is getting in the way.

3. Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything by E. Lockhart

If you were mysteriously turned into a fly one night... where would you go?  How about the boys' locker room?

2. Hate List by Jennifer Brown

When she made the Hate List with her boyfriend, she never dreamed that he would turn it into a hit list.

1. The DUFF by Kodi Keplinger

Two things, first DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Second, this is the steamiest book I've read in a long long time!


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

1. awesome choices 2. you

1. awesome choices 2. you rock 3. DUFF is my #1 choice too

Nice job!

I'm a huge fan of #10. I don't know if that's because Josh Leib is such a funny writer or because I, too, am a genius of unspeakable evil. And The DUFF is now going to the top of my reading list -- thanks for the recommendation! If you're into dark and thought-provoking back-to-school stories, I'll also recommend Inventing Elliot by Graham Gardner. It's about a bullying victim who tries to reinvent himself when he transfers to another school, with results that he never expected. And if you like books that make fun of required reading, you'll LOVE King Dork by Frank Portman. Actually, there are many reasons to love that book, but the required reading angle is definitely one of them.

I loved The Hate List!

I loved The Hate List!

Post new comment