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Best Kids Books

The Best Books for Ninth Graders

By the time your reader hits ninth grade, their literary journey is really in their own hands—the best way to support a healthy reading habit is to help make sure really good books are within reach. 

Finding books with the right mix of intrigue, character development, and fast-paced action to keep your ninth grader engaged can be quite the challenge. Luckily, the experts at Literati have done the research for you. Here are Literati’s top picks for ninth grade readers.

Book cover for The Inheritance Games

The Inheritance Games

By Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to suddenly inherit a giant fortune? For Avery Grambs, it’s not exactly a smooth transition into billionaire-status. Instead, she must face a series of riddling challenges to receive an even more mysterious sum of money. This unputdownable mystery is packed with riddles, deadly stakes, and a mansion’s worth of secret passageways. Readers will enjoy solving the puzzle along with Avery, while tons of twists, turns, and interpersonal drama provide a solid introduction to more complicated narratives.

Book cover for Blood Metal Bone

Blood Metal Bone

By Lindsay Cummings

After being wrongly accused of her brother’s murder, Sonara gets a second chance at uncovering the truth. This YA thrillride blends sci-fi and fantasy while keeping readers on the edge of their seats—a perfect read for ninth graders with a budding interest in either genre. With adrenaline-pumping pages and a fearless female lead at its center, Blood Metal Bone is an immersive story that remains a favorite among teens.

Book cover for Dry


By Jarod Shusterman and Neal Shusterman

In this captivating survival story, one teen must make crucial decisions for her family in order to survive a devastating drought. Readers won’t be able to take their eyes off of this vivid, near-future dystopia as they’re challenged to understand the reasoning and motivation behind certain characters’ reactions. Full of tension and pulse-pounding suspense, Dry is a distressing reminder of our current climate reality and a gripping “what if” exercise for your eighth grader.

Book cover for I Have a Bad Feeling About This

I Have a Bad Feeling About This

By Jeff Strand

A mix of horror and humor set in survival camp? Sign us up! This hilarious, genre-blending story is sure to get—and hold—your ninth grader’s attention with its quick, action-packed chapters and laugh-out-loud storytelling approach. The bizarre survival story at the center of this book dials up the entertainment factor, while presenting readers with a funny, relatable main character. Even the most reluctant of readers will find something to love in I Have a Bad Feeling About This.

Book cover for I Killed Zoe Spanos

I Killed Zoe Spanos

By Kit Frick

If your teen is yet to be impressed by the thriller genre—or YA fiction in general—you’re going to want to hand them this rollercoaster of a mystery. In I Killed Zoe Spanos, two teens’ lives become linked: one has confessed to a murder, while the other believes there are secrets to uncover. As three different perspectives unravel, readers can put together their own theories. Their inability to see these twists coming might just get them hooked on YA mysteries.

Empower a Lifelong Learner with Literati 

Helping your child fall in love—and stay in love—with books is all about making sure stories are readily available, true to their interests, and appropriate to their reading level. Literati book clubs are designed to match readers with the best books for them. Curated book boxes are personalized on an individual basis, and are tailored to your reader’s interests and level as they grow. 

Your highschooler might have a sense of what’s popular, but what about that just-right book? The one that makes them discover, rediscover, or solidify a real passion for cozying up with a thrilling read? Literati is here to help them find it. Start with Literati’s personalization quiz and watch your reader take into the wide world of literary possibilities.

Authored by Charlie DeTar
October 1, 2022
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