Young adult books are often a good place to start for intermediate English learners who have difficulty reading regular popular fiction. After reading a few young adult books, many learners discover that they’re ready to move on and enjoy popular fiction. I’ll warn you, though, that many of these books are so good you’ll want to read more than just a few. And that’s okay!
1book140 is a Twitter book club and a good place to find new books to read. Club members have recently suggested nearly 40 outstanding young adult books for their members to read during February. The list is a mixture of new and classic books.
The links – to Amazon – make it possible for you to preview each of the books. Just click on the “Look Inside” link to see the preview.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Newbery medal winer)
Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (writer of the Thursday Next series)
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Up from Jericho Tel by E.L. Konigsburg
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Phantom Toll Booth by Norton Juster (illustrated by Jules Feiffer)
Eragon by Christopher Paolini (the first book in his Inheritance series)
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (part of her Shades of London series)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Just As Long As We’re Together by Judy Blume
Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume
The Sea of Trolls trilogy by Nancy Farmer.
Getting the most out of your reading experience
Most of these books are also available as audiobooks. If you really enjoy a book, get the audiobook version and listen to it, or read and listen at the same time. If you want to read and listen at the same time, be sure your audiobook is unabridged, or complete. Some audiobooks are abridged, or shortened.
If you enjoy one of these books, see if the author has written other books and read some of them. This is called narrow reading, and it’s a good strategy for language development.
If you’ve already enjoyed any of these books, write a comment and let us know about them.