Inside: Here are 12 of the best teen-approved book series that they won’t want to put down.
Whether you have a tween or teen that loves to read or you’re trying to inspire their inner bookworm, there are so many great options out there when it comes to book series for teens and tweens.
Yes, it’s true, most teens may want to spend more time on their phones or playing video games, and it can get harder and harder to convince them to pick up a book.
We get it. We’re parenting through these ages as well. Teens are way more likely to grab an electronic device instead of a book, but you can change that by suggesting a great book series that will leave them wanting more!
These series are all captivating, addictive reads that will get your teen excited about reading again! We’ve hit several young adult (YA) genres from Dystopia to Fantasy and Sci-fi , so there is something for all different interests!
Psst – if your teen or tween is resistant to old fashion books, devices can actually be used for more than watching Tik Tok videos. Try getting them a kindle paperwhite (no games or other distractions) or download the kindle app on their phone and get a kindle unlimited subscription. Or try an audible subscription and they can listen to books from their phone or other device. You could even listen to books together if you’re still driving your kids to school and other activities or during family trips.
Best book series to recommend to your teens
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games is one of the most popular ya books of all time. Collins creates a future post-apocalyptic vision of our own world. The Capitol is the harsh Government of the twelve districts of Panem, which was once North America. As punishment for a revolution in the past, the Hunger Games are created to discourage future rebellions. One boy and one girl (aged twelve to eighteen) are chosen from each district to fight to the death on live television until only one child remains.
The main characters are the “tributes” from district 12, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, who form a friendship and maybe more as they work together to thwart The Capitol along with a growing resistance movement across a multi-book saga that will capture the attention, heart, and soul of any reader.
This trilogy is recommended for ages 11+. (As a note, though, there is considerable violence in these books, which would not be ideal for younger readers who are more sensitive to such topics). Bonus is watching the movie trilogy after you finish the book series.
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
With more than 24 million copies sold, this series is one your teen won’t be able to put down. The Mortal Instruments are the three divine items given by the Angel Raziel to Jonathan Shadowhunter, the first of the Nephilim . Raziel gave them to the Nephilim not only for individual use but also in case of dire emergency, when he would heed their call only once; when used all together, the Instruments would summon the Angel.
The series follows Clarissa Fray, who interacts with a group of Nephilim known as Shadowhunters while also discovering her own heritage and her family history. The Shadowhunters protect the world of mundane/human people, who are also called mundanes or “mundies”, from dark forces beyond their world.
This book series falls in the young adult genre and is recommended for ages 13+.
The Skinjacker Series by Neal Shusterman
Not every child who dies goes on to the afterlife. Some are caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It’s a magical, yet dangerous place where bands of lost kids run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.
Allie and Nick don’t survive the car crash, and end up in Everlost, where coins are more valuable than anyone knows, fortune cookies tell the truth, monsters are real, and the queen of lost souls lives in a once-beloved tower. Nick and Allie have to learn to survive in a world with different rules, and figure out who they can trust—and who they must oppose at all costs. At stake is nothing less than the fate of Everlost and the living world they have left behind.
In this gripping trilogy with so many plot twists, New York Times best-selling author Shusterman explores questions of life, death, and what just might lie in between. Recommended for ages 12+.
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Your tween or teen girl will find herself transported into a world of breathless fairy-tale romance, glittering gowns, and fierce intrigue. For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance to escape a rigid caste system, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
Well, make that thirty-four girls. For America Singer, being selected is the worst fate she can imagine. It means turning her back on her secret love, leaving her family, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want.
Then America meets Prince Maxon, and she suddenly isn’t sure where her loyalties lie or anyone else’s for that matter. This five-book series is recommended for ages 13+.
The Lunar Chronicles by Melissa Meyer
This was one of my daughter’s favorite book series in eighth grade. The Lunar Chronicles are futuristic retellings of classic fairy tales. In the first book, Cinder, a teenage cyborg (half-human, half-machine) must deal with a wicked stepmother, start a rebellion against the evil Queen Levana, and decide how she feels about a handsome prince. Follow Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles from the beginning with Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest: Levana’s Story, Stars Above (a collection of stories set in the Lunar Chronicles universe), and the epic conclusion, Winter.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner five-book series is an incredible read for teens. The books follow along a group of teens stranded in a deadly world where they must attempt to uncover the mystery of the maze they’re trapped inside, while also working to find any clues about their own forgotten pasts. Perfect for ages 13+.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
In Divergent, society has been divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice (Tris) must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice sets the stage for this book series and the secrets that unfold about who or what is really behind this divided order and the role Tris has in uncovering those secrets as well as some of her own. Recommended for ages 14+.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Hobbits, wizards, and magic are what fill the pages of this trilogy of books. Have your teen take a journey into a land that only exists in dreams – or nightmares. Bonus if you read these together and you remind your teen about how you read these in high school. Recommended reading for ages 12+.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Is there anything better than a book series that combines vampires, wolves, and love with a forbidden romance? This best-selling book is a hit for its complex storyline and engrossing character relationships! The reading age for this series is 12+.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
With 13 books in this series, it’s one that will capture your teen’s attention for quite some time! They’ll learn some truly unique stories and read about some amazing adventures. They just may find that they’re not too old to let their imagination run wild. Great reading for ages 9+.
Theodore Boone Set by John Grisham
Written by John Grisham, this riveting book set will introduce your teen to a legal thrill that is relative to the age in their life. These book sets are great for mystery and suspense and full of fun legal jargon for them to learn and research as well. Ages 9+ can enjoy reading these books but our young teens enjoyed them too.
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
While many would say that this is a great book series for teenage girls, it’s really one that teen boys and girls can read. This coming-of-age story is especially suited for teens in high school and above as it does have topics that are more grown up in it. Recommended for 14+.
Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan
Ranger’s Apprentice is a 12-book series filled with Vikings, Knights, Diplomats, terrifying beasts and much more, but the most intriguing individuals in the world of Araluen are the Kings Rangers. These Elite scouts and archers are few in number but extraordinary in reputation and mystique, even believed by some to possess magical abilities. The story follows Will, an orphan who finds himself apprenticed to Halt, who is not only a national hero, but also the greatest Ranger Araluen has ever seen.
The Ranger’s apprentice series, while an adventure series, has many touching moments of bonding and loyalty as well as frequent comedic relief which will have your teen intermittently laughing and crying. These moments will connect them with the exemplary characters in the novel, while putting them in touch with their own emotions, and teaching them a few lessons about friendship, loyalty, and personal growth along the way.
The online recommendation is 10+ for this book series.
The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone is currently one of the most prominent fantasy novels for young adults, with Bardugo bringing her own dark twist to the genre. With a diverse ensemble of characters, the story works to reveal the dark underbelly of a world “blessed” with powerful gifts. By deep diving into deception and scandal, Bardugo highlights the importance of connection and morality. For fans of the Hunger Games and Harry Potter, Shadow and Bone is an essential YA read for ages 13+.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?
Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
This enchanting collection includes paperback editions of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before; P.S. I Still Love You; and Always and Forever, Lara Jean.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Harry Potter books are some of those classic books that every teenager should read. This is also a super fun series that families can read together. With many books in the Harry Potter series, teens will enjoy immersing themselves in the pages and being a part of the magical world. Great for ages 9+.
While all of the book recommendations listed above are great for teens, don’t forget that means that they’re perfect for adult readers, too. This could be a really great chance to bond with your teen by reading and enjoying some of the same books as them.
Use this as a way to show interest in something that they’re interested in and bond over their love of reading. Books have a way of bringing the imagination and family together.
Hunger Games Trilogy Series Books 1 – 3 Collection Classic Box Set by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire & Mockingjay)The Selection 5-Book Box Set: The Complete SeriesThe Maze Runner Series Complete Collection Boxed Set (5-Book)Divergent Series Four-Book Paperback Box Set: Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, FourJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set: The Hobbit and The Lord of the RingsTwilight Saga 6 Book Set (White Cover)A Series of Unfortunate Events Lemony Snicket 13 Books Collection Pack Set (Includes the Bad Beginning, the Reptile Room, the Wide Window, the Miserable Mill, the Austere Academy, the Grim Grotto, the Penultimate Peril, the End)Theodore Boone Series Books 1 – 7 Collection Box Set by John Grisham (Theodore Boone, Accused, Activist, Fugitive, Abduction, Scandal & Accomplice)Pretty Little Liars Box Set: Books 1 to 4The Ranger’s Apprentice Series (Complete 12 Book Set)The Shadow and Bone Trilogy Boxed Set: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and RisingHarry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)