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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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…
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:
21 . Point Horror