All-Time Favorite Teen Summer Reads
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
Go Ask Alice
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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