With a variety of physical and mental changes on the cards, the teenage years can certainly be tough. But these books are sure to help reassure, inform and uplift young readers, and remind them that although growing up may be hard, they're certainly not alone. Featuring phenomenal fiction and non-fiction must-haves, see below for the best books about teenage problems.
Gemma Cairney | 15+
Popular radio and TV personality Gemma Cairney provides frank advice on the big, bad and beautiful elements of growing up in this fantastic book. From mental health to relationships to family difficulties, she covers a range of common teen issues with honesty and compassion, drawing on both her own life experiences and the insight she has gained into the lives of teenagers from her role as Radio 1's agony aunt. The book also features eye-catching illustrations and tips from experts, all presented in a fun journal style. Plus, there's space for readers to write down their own thoughts about life's tough questions.
Juno Dawson | 13+
We all need to care for our mental health just as much as our physical health. In this frank, funny and factual book, Juno Dawson leads the way alongside clinical psychologist, Dr. Olivia Hewitt. Covering topics from anxiety and depression to addiction, self-harm and personality disorders, Juno and Olivia write clearly and reassuringly about a range of issues facing young people's mental health and discuss how to manage them. Featuring real-life stories from young people around the world and witty illustrations from Gemma Correll, teens are sure to feel comforted, uplifted and informed after reading this invaluable book.
Jandy Nelson | 14+
This radiant novel will leave teen readers laughing and crying - maybe all at once! Jude and her twin Noah were extremely close, but then a tragedy drove them apart. Now, they're barely speaking. When Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as a captivating new mentor, she realises both of them may need her just as much as she needs them. What the twins don't realise is that each of them has only half the story. If they can just find their way back to one another, perhaps they'll have a chance to remake their world...
4. Bullies, Cyberbullies and Frenemies
Michele Elliott | 11+
This heartening self-help book will benefit any teen struggling with bullying or anyone who simply wants to know more about it. It answers many compelling questions, such as: can you do anything to stop being bullied? How can you learn to make friends and respect yourself? This essential guide is hugely encouraging and informative, and will help teens develop their self-esteem and overcome bullies of all kinds.
David Levithan | 13+
This original and gripping novel follows A, who wakes up in a different body every day, completely unpredictably. He's learnt not to interfere or get too attached. However, when he wakes up in Justin's body and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon, everything changes. He quickly realises he's found the one person he wants to spend eternity with... Witty and honest, this novel will open readers' eyes to a new perspective on life.
Ben Sedley | 14+
Thoughts can be painful. Sometimes the pain is sadness, sometimes worry, sometimes anger or shame or grief or a feeling that can't be explained in words. Young people don't want to be told that they'll 'grow out of it'; they want to feel their emotions are valid and that others understand how painful life can be. Comforting and compassionate, this unique book encourages teens to accept their emotions rather than struggle against them. It reveals how to reconnect with what is truly important, enabling teens to clarify their personal values and make steps towards living in line with those values.
Stephen Chbosky | 14+
Freshman Charlie isn't the biggest geek in school, but he's by no means popular. Shy, introspective, wise yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and run away from it. Now he must attempt to navigate uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixtapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But Charlie can't stay on the side-line forever. He has a unique perspective from the fringes of life, but it's time to step onto the dancefloor. This profound tale vividly evokes the rollercoaster days of growing up.
Benjamin Zephaniah | 10+
Benjamin Zephaniah's striking debut novel follows Martin, a young man whose life is completely changed when his face is badly scarred in a joyriding accident. Moving, compelling and brilliantly written, Benjamin Zephaniah breaks new boundaries in this shocking yet uplifting book.
Sheri Van Dijk | 13+
Let's face it: life provides plenty of reasons to get angry, sad, anxious and frustrated - and those feelings are okay. But sometimes, it can feel like your emotions are spinning out of control, interfering with school, relationships and your overall quality of life. This brilliant workbook offers new ways to manage your feelings so you'll be ready to handle anything life throws at you, helping you to learn the skills required to ride life's ups and downs with grace, confidence and control. It features easy techniques for staying calm and mindful, managing strong emotions, reducing the pain of difficult feelings and getting along with friends and family.
Teresa Toten | 13+
When Adam meets Robyn at a support group for kids with obsessive compulsive disorder, he's drawn to her almost before he can take a breath. He's determined to defend and protect her - to play Batman to her Robin - whatever the cost. But when you're 14 and dealing with daily problems like divorced parents, step-siblings and, of course, OCD, it's hard to imagine yourself falling in love... This wonderful novel is warm, open, funny and gripping, sure to captivate readers from first page to last.
Books about teen issues
- Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be by Gemma Cairney
- Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson
- I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
- Bullies, Cyberbullies and Frenemies by Michele Elliott
- Every Day by David Levithan
- Stuff That Sucks by Ben Sedley
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- Face by Benjamin Zephaniah
- Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens by Sheri Van Dijk
- The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten