Top Life Changing Books for Teens(World Book Day 2014)

Happy World Book Day! This is one of my favourite days of the year, as conversations I had today surrounded books, my teachers were dressed up in school and I spent the whole day laughing, and every where I looked there was a young child celebrating reading. Future book-blogger perhaps? There's no problem in preparing for the next generation, right?
A few months ago, I shared a post with you about the 'Writes of Passage' Initiative, set up by World Book Day and newly appointed Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman, to find the top life changing books for teenagers. I've loved this idea since I first had an email from the Press Office in November, and have been waiting to see the compiled list of the '50 books that will change your life' which was released today after months of voting. This was not just your usual 'nominate your favourite reads' though - instead it was set out in categories, completely organised and asking you to think about how they affected your life. You could nominate the books that: make you cry, teach you about love, change the way you think, thrill you, transport you, scare you, make you laugh and make you understand YOU.
I've been anticipating the results for quite a long time now, as I nominated most of my favourite novels, all of which have made me feel at least one of these emotions. Whilst 'The Hunger Games' has scared me, 'Throne of Glass' has transported me and 'The Knife of Never Letting Go' has changed the way I think. I got a sneak-peak at the results before they were announced this morning, and I definitely think the best books have been chosen. I've read most of the top-ten, although the rest are on my wish-list, and this initiative has definitely shown how important reading is and, for me, it definitely shows how young people can handle complex and tough-topics in literature, rather than people thinking we are not capable of that.

Not only teenagers voted though, instead adults joined in, and this list represents every genre - from Fantasy to Dystopia, and Classic to Contemporary. Of course, I'm extremely excited about the book that made the top:
  1. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  2. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green 
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee 
  4. Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling
  5. 1984, George Orwell 
  6. The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
  7. A Streetcat Named Bob, James Bowen
  8. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
  10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Out of these, I've read the top three - along with the first two Harry Potter books by J.K Rowling. This list is so varied, you can't get topics as different as the likes of 'The Hunger Games' when compared to 'A Streetcat Named Bob' or 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' and 'The Lord of the Rings.' I loved this list - and definitely think it's time I finally picked up '1984' by George Orwell, as I'm wondering myself why I haven't read it. These books deal with extremely different problems in our society, such as: poverty, hunger, famine, war, conflict and racial-abuse. The fact that these are the life-changing books for young people gives me more faith in humanity; hopefully, we won't make some of the mistakes that can cause the situations these characters are in.
The longer list of 50 books includes 'The Knife of Never Letting Go' by Patrick Ness - one of my absolute favourite reads - as a book that will help you understand YOU, and Holly Smale's 'Geek Girl' as a book that will make you laugh. 'The Mortal Instruments' and 'Divergent' also made appearances - and just seeing how many of the books on this list have been made into films is interesting - nine of the top ten have been adapted!
You can find the full list HERE!
What is your top life-changing teen book?
Tell me in the comments!


  1. I'm not ashamed to admit I've read every single book on that list. :')

    In terms of life-changing, Harry Potter definitely shaped my childhood… I mean, if you strip away all the magic and fantasy, it really is a beautiful coming-of-age series. Nowadays, I guess 1984 is one of the most life-changing books I've read; like the rest of Orwell's novels/essays, it has changed my views on society and also where I stand politically to such an extent. The same goes for The Handmaid's Tale and Brave New World. :)

    I Capture the Castle, The Catcher in the Rye and The Bell Jar are all coming-of-age novels that have affected the way I act in general. I've also read and re-read Wuthering Heights a crazy amount of times, with both that and Jane Eyre teaching me the transgressive nature of life.

    I guess it's silly to try and think of one single book because – as far as I know – one book can only do so much to one person's life. It's a combination of different genres and authors that shape our views on the world… perhaps somebody could have that *one* special book, but if they're an avid reader, there'll always be other novels too.

    1. EVERY SINGLE BOOK? That's such an achievement. I wish I had. My wish-list is longer than ever, and most of them are classics such as 1984 and The Bell Jar.

      Like I mentioned above, I SO want to read 1984! I've heard many people say similar things - and, I picked up The Bell Jar at my local library a few days ago and am really excited to read if after your recommendations!

      I love what you have said in this comment - I completely understand about having that one book you hate seeing a bad review off, and then liking a few others too.

      Thanks, Ruby!

      -Sophie :)


Thank you so much for taking the time to read - and comment on - this blog post! I read and reply to every comment, so feel free to ask any questions and I'll answer!

See you soon!

Sophie Louise