The Best YA Books for Younger Readers as Voted by You

The Best YA Books for Younger Readers as Voted by You

#20 Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery

Although Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew asked for an orphan boy to help them around the farm, they’re surprised to receive the fiery red-headed Anne instead. With a talent for getting into trouble and a wild imagination, Anne gets herself into all sorts of situations in this beloved classic. But with a big heart and a quick wit too, it’s easy to love Anne and the mischief she gets up to at Green Gables.

“I loved all the books in the Anne of Green Gables series.” – Pauline Chatfield

Author Lucy Maud Montgomery followed her first novel with a series of sequels based on her famous orphaned character Anne.

#19 Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

When identical twins Cath and Wren head off to university, Wren decides it’s time to let loose and no longer be tied to her twin in everything they do. While Wren is out partying and meeting boys, Cath shuts herself away with her fanfiction. But with so many new experiences to be had and new people to meet, can Cath open her heart and learn more about the love she writes about in the real world.

@WHSmith #WHSYAFirstReads Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, for anyone who’s ever geeked out about any TV show or film or book series!! – Molly

A perfect coming-of-age story of a girl forced to leave her comfort zone and explore the unknown.

#18 Gone – Michael Grant

In a world without adults, chaos ensues in a small Californian town. No one know how the adults disappeared and those who have been left behind are trapped by an energy barrier with no help. As some of the inhabitants start to develop supernatural powers, it becomes crucial to form gangs, pick sides and do anything necessary to survive.

@WHSmith #WHSYAFirstReads The GONE series by Michael Grant. All the adults disappear in a blink leaving the children to survive alone. – Plus None

Michael Grant is the master of fear and counts Stephen King as a fan. Gone is the first in a fantastic series that is sure to keep young readers hooked.

#17 Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires) – Rachel Caine

When college freshman Claire rents a room in a formidable old house to escape the sneering popular girls in her dorm, she finds herself in the midst of one of the town’s deepest secrets. Although most of its inhabitants are unaware, Morganville is controlled by vampires, and Claire’s lifeless roommates are just the beginning of her immersion into their world.

#WHSYAFirstReads I loved the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine! I still have the books 🙂 @WHSmith – RiverIsSaved (Lauren)

A gripping story of romance, friendship, fantasy and adventure that will keep fans reading book after book.

#16 The Book Thief – Mark Zusak

An absorbing story with a challenging subject matter, The Book Thief is narrated by Death during 1939 Nazi Germany. Nine year old Liesel has been taken in by a foster family as the destruction of war rips her family apart. Throughout the atrocities of the Nazi regime, Liesel strives to maintain her innocence and soon discovers the power of reading. But with the Nazi’s seeking to destroy many books, Liesel takes it upon herself to steal and protect them.

“Loved THE BOOK THIEF n I now have it in my ‘class library’, for all my darling, 11-18 year olds to read n enjoy. Such a beautiful novel. Unforgettable.” – Daisy Jane

War, loss, love, death and freedom are all explored in this modern classic, making it a challenging but thought-provoking read for every age.

#15 The Fault in our Stars – John Green

John Green’s story of 16 year old cancer patient Hazel who falls in love with a boy at her support group is a heart-breaking and life-affirming read. Augustus and Hazel have many obstacles in life and an uncertain future that makes every day all the more meaningful and important.

“@WHSmith #WHSYAFirstReads fault in our stars by John green got my 12 year old back into books” – Lydamore

Beautifully written, The Fault in our Stars has attracted many young readers to YA and romance.

#14 Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J Maas’ Throne of Glass fantasy series continues to grip young readers as we follow trained assassin Celaena as she fights for freedom and liberty.

Serving a life sentence at 18 years old, Celaena is offered a chance of freedom by Captain Westfall. But in exchange for her freedom, she will need to represent the prince in a tournament against gifted thieves and assassins, in which they will fight to the death.

Win or lose, Celaena must risk it all for a chance to escape.

#13 Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices) – Cassandra Clare

It’s hard to have a conversation about compelling YA without mentioning Cassandra Clare. Her incredibly detailed world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders is now onto its third series and fans adore her unforgettable characters and rich plots.

Clockwork Angel is the first in The Infernal Devices series, a prequel to The Mortal Instruments. The story follows Downworlders and Shadowhunters in the London Institute in 1878 and explores many of the ancestors of characters from the first series.

Orphaned teenager Tessa Gray leads the story with her search for her brother Nathaniel who has disappeared. Soon she is plunged into the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders, discovering the power to shapeshift and falling into a dangerous love triange with two Shadowhunters.

#12 The Maze Runner – James Dashner

When Thomas emerges into The Glade from an elevator box in the ground, the only thing he knows is his name. But the other boys in The Glade are not surprised, this is how everyone arrives there; a new boy each month along with supplies and weapons.

The Glade is surrounded by a mile high concrete wall, and outside it is a maze patrolled by strange deadly monsters called grievers which the gladers try to solve in order to escape. But not long after Thomas arrives, a girl is delivered with a note that says “she is the last one ever”. From here on everything changes, and escaping the maze becomes even more vital than ever.

#11 Divergent – Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth’s Divergent series explores the qualities that make us human, with her dystopian world where each person must choose a faction to live within. Candor is for the honest, Abnegation for the selfless, Erudite for the smart, Amity for the peaceful and Dauntless for the brave.

Before choosing day each person is tested to find out which faction they’re most apt for. Tris’s results are unconclusive, causing her to be sent home early and her results overwritten so that no one will know that she is divergent. She eventually chooses to leave Abnegation and join Dauntless on choosing day.

But the more Tris learns about the faction system, the more corrupt and dangerous she realises it has become.

#10 The Babysitters Club – Ann M. Martin

The Babysitters Club series follows a group of teenagers who run a club that offers babysitting services to local parents. Originally the club was formed of Kristy, Mary, Claudia and Stacey but it eventually grew to include ten members.

“Babysitter club were also amazing. I loved getting a big series of books I could work through – Bethan Brown

Often working through specific issues around teenage life with a resolution at the end of each book, the series provides useful examples of right and wrong while also addressing challenges in life such as divorce, step-parents, siblings, jealousy, death, boys, illness, schoolwork and more.

#9 Goosebumps – R. L. Stine

R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps series is the perfect first step into horror books, following various children as they encounter the creepy and supernatural. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, scarecrows, mummies, zombies, even lawn gnomes! You name a creepy monster and we’re betting there’s a relevant Goosebumps book to get stuck into.

“@WHSmith the goosebumps series, great books, lots of fun adventures #WHSYAFirstReads” – Tamalyn

Although the books are full of scary monsters, R. L. Stine has been careful to avoid death and violence and describes his books as “scary books that are also funny”.

#8 Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) – Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan’s adventure novels, based on the gods of Olympus, tell the story of his best-known character Percy Jackson. Not long after discovering he is a demigod son of Poseidon, Percy finds out that the gods are accusing him of stealing Zeus’s master lightning bolt. With the gods on the brink of war, Percy must journey to the underworld where he believes Hades has the lightning bolt.

“@WHSmith #WHSYAFirstReads has to be Percy Jackson series they are fun and exciting and leave you wanting to read the next one and the next” – TheBlueOne

A gripping and adventurous series, the Percy Jackson books are often recommended for reluctant readers.

#7 The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

Perhaps one of the most adventurous and charming stories of all time, The Hobbit is our first introduction to Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Gollum. Bilbo Baggins is an unassuming and reluctant hero who enjoys the quiet life in his Hobbit hole in the Shire. That is until Gandalf the Grey shows up, in need of someone to help him on a quest to rid Smaug the dragon and help a group of dwarves claim back their treasure.

“@WHSmith #WHSYAFirstReads The Hobbit is a great childrens book :)” – Helen G

Originally written for his own children, J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic is ideal for young readers, although it is of course enjoyed by all ages!

#6 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis

The first in The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe introduces us to Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy as they discover the fantasy realm of Narnia at the back of a wardrobe.

“Harry Potter, The Hobbit, The Chronicles Of Narnia… I started reading those when I was about six to eight, and they were good stepping stones to more complex literature.” – Alex Zion

Meeting all sorts of mythical beasts, talking animals and magical characters along the way, this imaginative classic is full of adventure.

#5 Northern Lights – Philip Pullman

Another captivating fantasy novel, Northern Lights is set in a parallel universe where the mythical, supernatural and magical exists. We follow Lyra and her daemon Pan’s journey to uncover the mysterious events surrounding the Northern Lights.

“I have always read a lot of books including the greats such as Roald Dahl but my favourite book at the age of 13 was northern lights and I then went on to read the next 2 and have now passed them down to my daughter.” – Shelley Frampton

The first in a trilogy of books, Northern Lights is a wonderful series to begin a love of YA fantasy.

#4 Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses series describes a world with an alternative history, where the continents are still intact and the early people of Africa gained an advantage over the Europeans. Although slavery has been abolished when the story begins, historically the Europeans (Noughts) had been enslaved by the Africans (Crosses) and segregation is still in place to keep the Crosses in control.

“I recommend the noughts and crosses book my malorie Blackman I recommend this book because it shows how racism is the worst in the world to do to someone and it shows black people rich and white people poor #whsyafirstreads” – Louise Gregory

“Noughts & Crosses -Malorie Blackman. I read this book when I was 13 in my English lessons at School, and finished it before my class had reached Chapter two. I then went on to read the next three books which follow. It’s such a fabulous story, and a fabulous read. #WHSYAFirstReads” – Sammie Lister

An educational and poignant perspective on racism and discrimination.

#3 City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Series) – Cassandra Clare

We did say Cassandra Clare was an important name in YA, and so it’s no big surprise that two of her Shadowhunter series have made their way into the top 20. The Mortal Instruments was the first series to be released, starting with City of Bones in which we meet 15 year old Clary. Thrown into the chaotic world of Shadowhunters, Clary soon finds family, friends and herself in danger as she learns more and more about this new world.

“I found the best books to get into were in series, that way you can really get hooked from one book to another. My ultimate favourites were the Mortal Instruments starting with the City of Bones.” – Becky Jane Antrobus

“@WHSmith #WHSYAFirstReads The mortal instruments series by @cassieclare are brilliant, amazing story and characters” – Ria

#2 The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen and her fight for survival against the Capital has certainly been one of the most talked about YA books in recent years. After volunteering to take part in the annual Hunger Games in order to save her sister from participating, Katniss is forced to play along with the dark and manipulative world in which the Capital maintains fear and control in the districts by forcing teens to fight to the death until only one of them remains.

@WHSmith #WHSYAFirstReads Always gotta start with The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins! Perfect balance of action and romance – Georgia

Leaving behind her mother, sister and close friend Gale, Katniss must use and manipulate the viewers who watch the Hunger Games like reality TV in order to have any chance of surviving.

And the Best YA Book for Younger Readers as Voted by You is…



#1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are widely thought of as the series that reignited the popularity of young adult reading in the 90’s, although readers of all ages were captivated by the boy who lived. Countless authors name Harry Potter among their favourite books to read as a teenager, and it seems that readers feel the same, having voted Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as the best YA book for younger readers.

@WHSmith Harry Potter would be my suggestion for sparking their imagination! #WHSYAFirstReads – Rachel Dann

@WHSmith #WHSYAFirstReads Harry Potter!!! It teaches us about bravery,friendship and how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times – Benedict Weasley

@WHSmith The Harry Potter books! They are absolutely fantastic books that I still enjoy reading today #WHSYAFirstReads – Jacqueline Fawcett

@WHSmith #WHSYAFirstReads STILL think the harry potter books are brilliant for all ages! – Katie Hooper

@WHSmith Harry Potter is the king #WHSYAFirstReads – Emilys’ Stuff

@WHSmith #WHSYAFirstReads the obvious one comes to mind is Harry Potter as I read them when I was 12 – Amelia

Full of magic, adventure, bravery and good VS evil, Harry Potter has plenty of excitement to keep young readers interested, whilst offering important messages on topics such as friendship, loss, discrimination, love and much more. Perfect for any young reader moving from children’s books into YA.

Take a look through the top 150 books that you recommended as the best YA books for younger readers here:

1 . Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J. K. Rowling

2 . The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins

3 . City of Bones Cassandra Clare

4 . Noughts & Crosses Malorie Blackman

5 . Northern Lights Philip Pullman

6 . The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis

7 . The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien

8 . The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan

9 . Goosebumps R. L. Stine

10 . The Baby Sitters Club Ann M. Martin

11 . Divergent Veronica Roth

12 . The Maze Runner James Dashner

13 . Clockwork Angel Cassandra Clare

14 . Throne of Glass Sarah J. Maas

15 . The Fault In Our Stars John Green

16 . The Book Thief Markus Zusak

17 . Glass House (The Morganville Vampires) Rachel Caine

18 . Gone Michael Grant

19 . Fangirl Rainbow Rowell

20 . Anne of Green Gables Lucy Maud Montgomery

21 . Point Horror

22 . The Princess Diaries Meg Cabot

23 . The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events) Lemony Snicket

24 . Twilight Stephenie Meyer

25 . The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ Sue Townsend

26 . The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien

27 . The Enchanted Wood Enid Blyton

28 . Alanna: The First Adventure (The Song of the Lioness) Tamora Pierce

29 . Double Love (Sweet Valley High) Francine Pascal

30 . The Spook’s Apprentice Joseph Delaney

31 . A Monster Calls Patrick Ness

32 . I Capture the Castle Dodie Smith

33 . Sabriel Garth Nix

34 . Eragon Christopher Paolini

35 . Am I Normal Yet? Holly Bourne

36 . Will Grayson Will Grayson John Green and David Levithan

37 . The Knife of Never Letting Go Patrick Ness

38 . Marked (House of Night) P. C. Cast and Kristen Cast

39 . Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging Louise Rennison

40 . Cherub Robert Muchamore

41 . The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame

42 . Pride & Prejudice Jane Austen

43 . Private Peaceful Michael Morpurgo

44 . More Than This Patrick Ness

45 . Maggot Moon Sally Gardner

46 . Wild Magic (The Immortals) Tamora Pierce

47 . Kasper in the Glitter Philip Ridley

48 . Holes Louis Sachar

49 . Diary of a Young Girl Anne frank

50 . Watership Down Richard Adams

51 . The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime Mark Haddon

52 . The Lost Hero Rick Riordan

53 . War Horse Michael Morpurgo

54 . Stormbreaker Anthony Horowitz

55 . To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee

56 . Artemis Fowl Eoin Colfer

57 . Delirium Lauren Oliver

58 . The Magicians’ Guild Trudi Canavan

59 . The Saddle Club – Horse Crazy Bonnie Bryant

60 . The Enemy Charlie Higson

61 . Heap House Edward Carey

62 . The Giver Lois Lowry

63 . The Storm Begins Damian Dibben

64 . How to Look for a Lost Dog Ann M. Martin

65 . The Forest of Hands and Teeth Carrie Ryan

66 . True Grit Charles Portis

67 . The School of Good and Evil Soman Chainani

68 . Mind Your Head Juno Dawson

69 . Little House in the Big Woods Laura Ingalls Wilder

70 . Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Ransom Riggs

71 . Death Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes) Andrew Lane

72 . The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky

73 . Matched Ally Condie

74 . Soulmates Holly Bourne

75 . Skulduggery Pleasant Derek Landy

76 . I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls) Ally Carter

77 . Horrible History

78 . Eve & Adam Michael Grant

79 . Carry On Rainbow Rowell

80 . Dorothy Must Die Danielle Paige

81 . Looking for JJ Anne Cassidy

82 . Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

83 . Flirty Dancing Jenny McLachlan

84 . The Wrath and the Dawn Renée Ahdieh

85 . Love Bomb Jenny McLachlan

86 . Mortal Engines Philip Reeve

87 . The Colour of Magic Terry prattchett

88 . Little Women Louisa May Alcott

89 . Famous Five Enid Blyton

90 . The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain

91 . A Study in Scarlet Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

92 . The Selection Kiera Cass

93 . TimeRiders Alex Scarrow

94 . Hush, Hush Becca Fitzpatrick

95 . The Invasion (Animorphs) K. A. Applegate

96 . Raven’s Gate Anthony Horowitz

97 . I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education & Was Shot by the Taliban Malala Yousafzai

98 . Slated Teri Terry

99 . Paper Aeroplanes Dawn O’Porter

100 . Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles) Marissa Meyer

101 . Inkheart Cornelia Funke

102 . Roxy’s Baby Catherine MacPhail

103 . Where Rainbows End Cecilia Ahern

104 . The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew) Carolyn Keene

105 . The Family From One End Street Eve Garnett

106 . Wolf Brother Michelle Paver

107 . The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler Gene Kemp

108 . Goodnight Mister Tom Michelle Magorian

109 . Howl’s Moving Castle Diana Wynne Jones

110 . Fallen Lauren Kate

111 . Mill on the Floss George Eliot

112 . Stone Cold Robert Swindells

113 . Flambards K.M.Peyton

114 . The Night Circus Erin Morganstern

115 . Across the Barricade Joan lingard

116 . Ring of Bright Water Gavin Maxwell

117 . Coraline Neil Gaiman

118 . Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds Joy Adamson

119 . If Only They Could Talk James Herriot

120 . Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

121 . Warriors: The Prophecies Begin Erin Hunter

122 . Invisible Girl Kate Maryon

123 . Ways to Live Forever Sally Nicholls

124 . First Term at Malory Towers Enid Blyton

125 . Looking for Alaska John Green

126 . The World of Norm: May Contain Nuts Jonathan Meres

127 . Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life James Patterson

128 . The Brilliant World of Tom Gates Liz Pichon

129 . The Private Blog of Joe Cowley Ben Davis

130 . Cirque Du Freak Darren Shan

131 . Carrie Stephen King

132 . Murder Most Unladylike: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery Robin Stevens

133 . Slammed Colleen Hoover

134 . Spellhorn Berlie Doherty

135 . 1984 George Orwell

136 . Danny, the Champion of the World Roald Dahl

137 . The Scorpio Races Maggie Stiefvater

138 . Switched Amanda Hockings

139 . Girl, Missing Sophie McKenzie

140 . The Graveyard Book Neil Gaiman

141 . Mary Poppins P. L. Travers

142 . The Letter for the King Tonke Dragt

143 . XIII: The Series Jean Van Hamme

144 . Hopeless Colleen Hoover

145 . Kamchatka Marcelo Figueras

146 . A Great and Terrible Beauty Libba Bray

147 . Hairy Maclary Lynley Dodd

148 . Whale Rider Witi Ihimaera

149 . Dark Waters Catherine MacPhail

150 . Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney