books for high schoolers

9 Books for High Schoolers Everyone Should Read

Books play a significant role in our life. It’s hard to imagine what the world would be like without books because they provide us with everything we need to have a happy and meaningful life. We are exposed to so many things when reading.

First of all, we gain knowledge that nobody would ever share with us personally. Second, we are exposed to many pearls of wisdom, insights, and new information. Finally, books help us be creative and develop our imagination. 

Thanks to books, we can experience so many things and different lives even though we are still young.

Today students tend to use books more for academic and professional purposes. Due to the amount of work and assignments young people are given in colleges and universities, unfortunately, there is almost no time left for such a pleasant activity as reading.

If you are the one who faces the same problem when studying, you can turn to essaypro reviews to pick the service which would assist you in the most difficult tasks you are assigned to. 

Nine Books Which Are Hard to Imagine Our Life Without

Books for High Schoolers

Have you ever read a book which you thought was the best thing you have experienced in life? And it’s because the story in it provided you with unbelievable perception and view on various matters which were relevant for you, and you also had a chance to talk to people who lived different lives in the books. Of course,…not…maybe…it all happened in your imagination.

However, it may seem as real as in our everyday life because the books contain everything we experience in reality: love, fear, knowledge, life lessons, and helpful advice.

Sometimes, we can find the most help in the books rather than talking to people we closely know. But what are the books that can influence us and our lives would never be the same again after reading them?

1984 by George Orwell

You have probably already heard such a phrase as “Big Brother is always watching.”

This line starts haunting those familiar with this epic and classic novel which influenced many people’s minds and attitudes to totalitarianism and the society living in “freedom.”

The main character of the story, Winston Smith, starts noticing some strange things in his community that made him rethink the idea of a regime called the Party.

The story is about the future, which is inevitable for everyone where people are controlled and monitored by Big Brother. It seems to be a nightmare.

This piece of literature by Orwell makes us think about what freedom really is and what price people have to pay to get it. 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This is an incredible story of a little boy traveling towards various asteroids in search of the meaning of life. Before getting back to Earth, he meets different creatures with their individual attitudes and thoughts. Some of them are too narrow-minded, others are eccentric. However, each of them teaches our characters a lesson and makes them develop their unique soul.

This story is very short, but it teaches us a lot of meaningful and valuable lessons. As adulthood is not an easy period, we all remain children somewhere deep inside with vulnerable souls and free spirits. 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Are you looking for something more philosophical but at the same time easier to perceive?

This book is suitable for those who are in search of their purpose in life. Like the main character, we all face some obstacles on the way to our goals. However, no matter how hard our journey is, we tend to strive and do our best to reach our own “treasure. 

The book’s main character is bewildered by numerous difficulties in his life, but he uses all his energy and inspiration never to give up. This is the main lesson we gain from the story. 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is a classic novel that describes the life of people in Alabama during the Great Depression.

Social issues are raised when the author tries to present racism, sexual harassment, and other biases that the community often encounters at all times. However, there is always a hero who sets an example of acting with courage and dignity in the world of iniquity.

The story has such a role model, and it’s a good example of what people should strive to be. It also tackles one of the key turning point in American history and even the world  (America is not the only country that used to have systems of slavery).

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most important piece of American literature. It is books for high schoolers because everyone should atleast read this timeless piece once in their lifetime.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Books for High Schoolers

If you are more up to stories about the Jazz Age, this one is the right fit. Even if you are not, it’s really worth reading.

It won’t leave anyone indifferent by the unique plot, and incredible description of a life people used to have during that time. You will be impressed by the main character, a young man who is in constant pursuit of the love of his life.

The story teaches us that money is not the meaning of life and it can’t buy happiness. It reveals the Great American Dream, which implies that material things and money are the most valuable possessions in our lives, all while teaching us and making us realize that these type of things are not and should not be your sole source of happiness.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

To make this list a bit interesting, here is another book about the war; but this time, it is a book that your english teacher in high school would never ask you to read or write a book report about.

Maybe because the genre sort of lean into the popular fiction or YA book type, or maybe because it uses a few curse words (in German) from here and there, or maybe the fact the death imagery is too much to handle for a high schooler like you, or maybe because there’s not much to criticize or write a book report about. We don’t know!

However, what we do know is that even though the characters are in part made up, the subplots, origins, and events are all historically accurate.

It is a great book for students who are currently studying the throes of war and it is a great topic of conversation in class or on the school bus with your friend.

To give you a quick summary of the book, it describes what Nazi Germany looked like through the eyes of a young girl who had recently discovered her newfound interest in books. She found out that her foster family is hiding a Jew in their basement, who happens to have an affinity for books as well.

What makes this historical fiction extra interesting and fun to read is that the story was narrated by Death itself. This means that the entire book is like a looking glass to the world of a little girl, how books influence her towards adolenscence, and how she survived the Nazi regime. 

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The Lord of the Flies is like a coming-of-age story. But instead of hearts and butterflies, you get punched with the harsh realities and the ever disappointing tendencies of man.

The story follows a group of schoolboys who get stranded on an uncharted island. With no adult supervision, they celebrate and rejoice in the freedom that they so longingly want. However, free from any adult figure and left unsupervised, the entire order collapse and the hope of being rescued is becoming more and more unlikely as time passes by. Eventually, their uncivilized and animalistic tendencies start to take over.

Some see this book as too violent for young reader while others seem to enjoy it. In fact, there are several people who read this book in high school and the moral of the story still stuck with them even after they graduate.

Other schools in the US have decided to remove this from the curriculum, but there are still some who are firm that the book is a masterpiece and something high school students can both resonate and learn something from.

Harry Potter Book Series by J.K. Rowling

The Harry Potter Book Series is a global phenomenon for a reason.

Apart from the awesome movie installments, the book leaves a significant impact on the readers as well. Reading the book feels like dining in a restaurant where you are a regular customer and almost everyone who works there already knows your name and usual order.

The characters created by J.K. Rowling have given us a slice of what their every life as the wizard is like. Though the book usually revolves around the Golden Trio, you can already tell that just by the way J.K. Rowling describes the other characters, that they have their own interesting stories to tell.

We believe that the Harry Potter series deserves a slot on the books which are hard to live without because an entire generation was once immersed in the story of “the boy who lived.”

If you are unfamiliar with the Harry Potter series, then we highly suggest you check it out.

The Republic by Plato

Books for High Schoolers

One of the many authors or scholars that have an all-encompassing influence even on other disciplines is Plato.

Although the Republic is not something people often read for leisure, although it is philosophically and intellectually stimulating, is definitely one of those books which are hard to imagine our life without.

The Republic is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato that has helped and influenced scholars to determine the nature of justice, the right behavior”, as well as the characteristics of a just man and a just city-state.

If you are in your senior year and an upcoming liberal arts college student, then you should definitely check out this masterpiece written by Plato. It is one of those books that your professor in Philosophy would often talk about or quote on.

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

To include a nonfiction book in this list, we have also included Hawking’s incredible attempt to describe where we are now in the universe. If you love science or just like to ponder how infinitesimally small we are in the vast universe, then you would probably love this book as well.

It is worth mentioning though that if you are not a science nerd or only know so little about science in high school, you would still enjoy this book. Hawking wrote this book in an attempt to introduce theoretical cosmology (and modern physics) to general readers.

So even if you are an upcoming liberal arts student major, you would still enjoy this book. We have included this book in this list because it is one of those landmark pieces in both the field of literature and science.

Bonus Tip: If you love science and want to read more books like these, then you should check out some of Brian Greene’s work as well. Like Hawking, he tried to introduce complex science concepts into fun analogy and easily-digestible content, which are suitable even for younger readers as well.


We hope that some or even one of these books would tickle your lost or unfound love for reading. We hope you find refuge in between the lines of words, phrases, and sentences found in these books.

Because no matter how busy your life gets, these books, words, stories, would always be there, waiting for you to read them. For them to transform you, take roots in your imagination, influence your daily life, and change how you view the world from a different fresh set of eyes.

To briefly recap, here are some of the many books you can add to your high school reading list

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!
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