Books for My Younger Self

This week’s TTT topic is an interesting one. When I was younger, I was reading books like The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and The Outsiders. When I was a teenager, I was reading adult books, so I feel as though I never got that chance to read YA when I was the target audience. There are so many books that I have read as an adult that I think my younger self would have benefitted from and would have helped me grow as a person. The books I am talking about today are ones I would put in the hands of any teenager!

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

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Genesis Begins Again is the only middle grade on this list, which tells me I need to read more middle grade! This book is so underrated and deserves way more attention! I think that there are many young girls who will relate to Genesis and her journey toward discovering her self worth.

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

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All Boys Aren’t Blue is a memoir/manifesto, and we need more books like this written for teens! This is one of those books that could be lifesaving for the right reader. I think it is important for teens (and people of every age for that matter!) to have an understanding of intersectionality within the LGBTQ+ community.

The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert


The Voting Booth is a must-read for teens close to voting age! This book not only emphasizes the importance of voting, it also gets you excited to vote! While the goal of The Voting Booth is obvious, it never feels preachy or condescending. It is also just a sweet story, and the main character’s cat is famous in Instagram, which is fun!

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

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Long Way Down was one of the first audiobooks I listened to, and I credit it with making me fall in love with them. I wish that my younger self had the opportunity to experience audiobooks. I also wish that I was able to read Long Way Down way back then. Jason Reynolds has a special way of writing books that can lead to important discussions. I also think that I would love appreciated verse more if I had read books like this one when I was younger.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

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Although Kiko’s experiences are much different than my own, I think I would have been inspired by her journey of finding where she belongs. I was always looking for a creative outlook when I was younger, and Kiko’s passion for art would have been interesting for me. Starfish is one of my favourite YA novels, and I cannot only imagine how much more I would have loved it if I had had the chance to read it as a teen.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

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I’ll Give You the Sun is another one of my favourite YA novels and it also focuses on art. That is what my teenage heart would have wanted! I also think that this would have been one of those books that I passed along to all of my friends. Even as an adult, I find myself constantly recommending this book to people. It is so beautifully written and deeply powerful.

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

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Far From the Tree is just so beautiful, and I would want my younger self to experience that. I have always loved books about siblings, and this one is arguably my favourite. I thought that Benway did an excellent job of talking about the various struggles that teenagers face. I think any reading at any age would benefit from reading this book.

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk


I was lucky enough not to have experienced major loss when I was younger, but I was surrounded by those who had. I think that The Beauty That Remains would have helped me to look at grief in a different way and to understand that everyone handles it differently. I was also a huge music lover in those years, and I would have appreciated how this book highlights the healing power that music has.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore


If I had read Wild Beauty when I was younger, I think I would have come to understand my reading taste a lot sooner. There is so much about Wild Beauty that just works for me, from the writing to the magic realism. My teenage self would have adored this book, I just know it!

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X

The Poet X is another book that would have made me appreciated books written in verse. As a side note, the audiobook is a must listen! I truly believe that this is book should be required reading in schools. Many teenagers will see themselves in Xiomara, and those who don’t will hopefully be able to empathize with her.

While I wish that my younger self was able to experience this books, I am so glad that I was able to read them as an adult. I truly think that anyone of any age will talk something away from each of them.

What is one book you wish your younger self had an opportunity to read?

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31 thoughts on “Books for My Younger Self

  1. Great list! I’ve only read one of these books but I think all of them would’ve been such great reads as a teen. I read The Poet X last year and even as an adult I could see teen me in parts of Xiomara and it really made me wish the book existed when I was in HS! Lol

  2. I wish I had read Far From the Tree as a kid. I’m an adoptee and would have loved to have books that I could relate to in some way. Have you read Cynthia Hand’s The How and the Why? If not, you should. It’s a similar book.

  3. I was not a keen reader when I was younger, so it’s interesting to think about the books I would have recommended to my younger non-reader self. I’ll Give You the Sun would definitely be on the list. That book is just incredible and I’ve recommended it to a couple of friends who aren’t big readers and they’ve loved it as well. πŸ˜€

  4. Love your books! I almost (and should’ve) included The Poet X on my list. I read I’ll Give You the Sun and Far From the Tree and adored them both! There are so many other ones on this list that are pretty high on my tbr.

  5. This is such a great list! I read The Voting Booth a little while ago, and I loved it so much! I’m currently reading Far From the Tree, and so far it’s amazing!

  6. Great summary of Far From the Tree and what makes it a worthwhile read. I haven’t read it yet, but it looks really good, and I think my teenage self would have liked it too. I KNOW my teenage self would have loved Wild Beauty. While I’m sadly not as excited about books with magic/enchantments/legacy curses these days. I’m happy it exists for teens (and other people) who still are!

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