Welcome to the heroic parenting years of tweenhood: a magical—and occasionally moody—time when your kids might be tempted to read more social media posts than story arcs. So how can you ensure reading is an activity their growing minds look forward to?
By handing them the best YA chapter books, with storylines far more enticing than captions!
Fantasy meets horror? Exciting. A supernatural romance? Engrossing. When your not-so-little one decides they enjoy reading simply because it’s engaging, they’ll gain valuable lessons without even realizing it. Between epic proportions of young love, heroism, and the clashes of good and evil in these esteemed young adult chapter books, your reader will sharpen their moral compass and hone their uniquely brilliant points of view.
by V. E. Schwab
Amidst an orphaned childhood at the Merilance School for Girls, Olivia Prior receives a letter from her estranged uncle summoning her to his estate called Gallant. She’s looking forward to meeting him—until she realizes he’s dead. With only the servants and an unwelcoming cousin for company, Olivia must unmask the secrets of Gallant and its haunted residents. Twists, turns, and questions plague every corner—along with a hair-raising ghostly realm. This fast-paced thriller turns curious teens into problem-solving masters Nancy Drew would be happy to crack a case with.
Revenge of the Witch (Last Apprentice #1)
by Joseph Delaney
The local villages depend on a special kind of security guard. They call him The Spook, and it’s his job to protect their borders from supernatural threats. It’s time to crown a new Spook for the town—but after 29 applicants, no apprentice is quite suited for the task. Well, except for Thomas Ward. But he’s only 12 years old! He couldn’t possibly… could he? Readers who enjoy fantasy and horror with a sprinkle of witty raillery will find friendship, bravery, and wicked fun with Tom in his enchantingly haunted world.
Black Brother, Black Brother
by Jewell Parker Rhodes
If your burgeoning reader prefers a more real-life setting, Black Brother, Black Brother offers that and more. This gripping story follows Donte, a Black student at an all-white boarding school, as he wades the familiar (but mostly unfamiliar) waters of teenhood. Donte bravely overcomes racial injustices, masters his favorite sport, and maintains brotherly bonds across racial divides. This book is ideal for young athletes, but an incredibly moving read for any teenager, shining light on powerful topics like equality, family, and tenacity. (It also makes for compelling dinner table conversations.)
The Inheritance Games
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
16-year-old Avery learns that she’s the benefactor of a 46 million dollar inheritance. The challenge? Receiving said inheritance. To acquire her fortune, she’ll have to jump through a lot of hoops, like living in a stranger’s home for a year. With no understanding of why she was gifted such a large sum, she begins to hunt down clues in search of answers. The first novel in this mystery series, The Inheritance Games will offer your teen the opportunity to develop their puzzle-solving skills in lockstep with the inquisitive narrator.
By C. J. Redwine
Experience the classic trope of good versus evil with a novel that checks off plenty of boxes in the fantasy genre: magic, dragons, and romance—oh my! And did we mention Shadow Queen is also a riveting retelling of Snow White? Enter: the princess, Lorelai Diederich, currently hiding from her evil stepmother, Queen Irina. Lorelai dreams of revenge against Irena, who murdered her father to become ruler of the kingdom. With all of its thrilling twists and turns, it’s no wonder this novel is considered one of the best YA chapter books in school libraries and beloved by animal-adoring middle schoolers everywhere.
We Are Not Free
By Tracy Chee
For your history buff, pick up this deeply moving young adult historical fiction novel that Time magazine named one of the best of all time. Mere months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, 14 Japanese-American teens face an unjust fate when they’re forced from their homes in San Francisco into detention camps—simply because of their Japanese heritage. Chee masterfully employs a different narrator in each chapter, where your teen can learn to distinguish between first-, second-, and third-person points of view. We Are Not Free takes a candid look at the effects of racism and war and delicately incorporates the many vibrant hues of resilience. (For even more historical fiction, check out these titles.)
Discover the Best YA Chapter Books with Literati Book Clubs
The exciting and heartfelt novels like the best YA chapter books listed above are sure to send your tweens and teens straight to the book nook after homework, where they’ll expand their vocabulary, worldly perspective, and fact-discernment skills. At Literati, we consider it our job to find the book that ignites their lifelong love of reading.
When you become a Literati book club member, our dedicated team members will send a selection of books tailored to your child’s interests and reading level. With a supply of curated books on hand, they’ll expand their cultural horizons and think more complexly about challenges that come their way. Jumpstart your reader’s journey with our personalization quiz today.