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All-Time Favorite Teen Summer Reads

  • Courtesy of Random House

    Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

    By Judy Blume

    "Margaret was so relatable. I was going through much of the same things that she was. Growing up, changing, and fitting in is never easy, but reading this made me feel less alone."

    —Cheryl S. Grant, research editor

    "I remember reading Are You There God? It's Me Margaret when I was a tween at sleepaway camp. My mom wasn't giving me too much in the way of "The Talk" and I appreciated Blume's straightforward, humorous voice about being a girl grappling with those painfully awkward adolescent years of crushing on boys and fretting over your period. I think I'll get a copy for my soon-to-be-11-year-old daughter. With middle school looming, the timing is perfect."

    —Tracy Fiske, copy editor

  • Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

    Go Ask Alice

    By Anonymous

    "There has been a lot of controversy about whether this anonymous dairy is fiction or based on a real person, but either way, the story of a lonely 15-year-old girl spiraling into drug addiction is heart wrenching. I remember it vividly years after reading it."

    —Allie Baker, editorial assistant

  • Courtesy of Hachette Book Group

    Me Talk Pretty One Day

    By David Sedaris

    "Sedaris writes with fantastic sass and wit. Every time I read—and reread—this essay collection, I laugh out loud."

    —Celia Shatzman, associate editor

  • Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Books

    The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

    By William Goldman

    "This takes the phrase 'the book is better than the movie' to a new level. William Goldman (who also wrote the film's screenplay) twists a classic medieval fable, gets rid of all the elaborate prose, and turns it into the funniest, most original, and moving swashbuckling story I've ever read. High adventure! True love! The Cliffs of Insanity! This book's got it all."

    —Cindy Heller, assistant food editor

  • Courtesy of Random House

    Wuthering Heights

    By Emily Bronte

    "No vampires or werewolves needed. Dark, brooding, bad-boy Heathcliff and tempestuous Catherine are thwarted lovers separated by class, finances, and family. The ultimate tortured romance to thrill any teen girl's heart."

    —Darcy Jacobs, executive editor

  • Courtesy of Riverhead Trade

    High Fidelity

    By Nick Hornby

    "The story of a music-obsessive reconnecting with the top five women who broke his heart is both hilarious and touching."

    —Jane Bianchi, associate health editor

  • Courtesy of Penguin Young Readers Group

    The Cat Ate My Gymsuit

    By Paula Danziger

    "My paperback copy of this literally fell apart at the spine because I read it so many times. The heroine, a smart, chubby girl named Marcy trying to figure out the world and her place in it, felt very much like a kindred spirit. (The book's title is an homage to the many excuses Marcy feeds her gym teacher to avoid phys ed.)"

    —Jonna Gallo Weppler, articles director

  • Courtesy of Hachette Book Group

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    By Harper Lee

    "We had to read this. Although I probably didn't understand its full meaning, I remember being moved. And wanting to know more about the big bad world around me."

    —Judy Prouty, home style director

  • Courtesy of Random House

    A Wrinkle in Time

    By Madeleine L'Engle

    "The best sci-fi/coming of age/beauty on the inside/power of love book ever written. I reread it not long ago and found it as powerful as ever. Can't wait for my 9-year-old to read it."

    —Paula Chin, senior editor

  • Courtesy of Random House

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    By William Shakespeare

    "During summer break, I had to read A LOT of books for school. And since I was a theater nerd, I was always excited when Shakespeare was on the list. One of my faves was A Midsummer Night's Dream, which I read before I started eighth grade. Despite the complex Shakespearean language, I couldn't stop laughing!"

    —Krista Meyerhoff, editorial assistant

  • Courtesy of Random House


    By Bram Stoker

    "When I start to wonder what all the Twilight fuss is about, I just have to remind myself how smitten I was with Dracula when I was a teen. This gothic novel that defines the vampire archetype has everything—it's a mystery, a romance, and a travelogue all in one. I remember being thrillingly frightened and totally immersed in a folkloric world of dark castles, horse-drawn carriages, stormy seas and, of course, very mysterious goings-on."

    —Lisa Kelsey, art director

  • Courtesy of Random House

    The Necklace

    By Guy de Maupassant

    "This short story is so beautiful, yet so sad. I read it countless times and always still felt the pain when reaching the shocking last two lines."

    —Margit Feury Ragland, health director

  • Courtesy of Harper Collins

    Bridge to Terabithia

    By Katherine Paterson

    "This was the first tear-jerker I ever read and a clear indication of the kind of books I was going to be addicted to later in life!"

    —Susan Hennessey, assistant photo editor

  • Courtesy of Random House

    Just As Long As We're Together

    By Judy Blume

    "My grandmother introduced me to the Judy Blume books, which my mom thought I was too young to read! One of my favorites was Just As Long As We're Together. Since I moved a lot as a kid, I could relate to the main character, whose family and friendships go through major changes—and it didn't hurt that her name is Stephanie!"

    —Stephanie Emma Pfeffer, senior associate editor

    Copyright© 2010 Meredith Corporation.

  • Michael Byers