64 Coming-of-Age Books for the Ages


There’s just something about coming of age stories that I’ve always loved. They tend to be raw and honest, funny yet heartbreaking books. Everyone only “comes of age” once in their lifetime, so it’s fun to read others’ stories again and again. A couple of my personal favorites are Skippy Dies by Paul Murray and Winger by Andrew Smith.

We polled our booksellers across the country and below is a list of some of their favorites. What book would you add to this list?

  1. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
  2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  3. Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami
  4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
  5. Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  7. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
  8. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
  9. The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides
  10. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
  11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
  12. Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  13. David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
  14. Hard Love, by Ellen Wittlinger
  15. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
  16. The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende
  17. Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb
  18. Paper Towns, by John Green
  19. Robin: Year One, by Chuck Dixon
  20. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros
  21. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
  22. The Body (a short story), by Stephen King
  23. Apt Pupil (a short story), by Stephen King
  24. Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You, by Peter Cameron
  25. The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
  26. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  27. Alanna: The First Adventure, by Tamora Pierce
  28. Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
  29. Palo Alto, by James Franco
  30. This Boy’s Life, by Tobias Wolff
  31. Coming Home, by Rosamunde Pilcher
  32. Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  33. Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury
  34. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
  35. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
  36. Youth in Revolt, by C.D. Payne
  37. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
  38. The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
  39. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
  40. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
  41. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
  42. The Case of the Missing Marquess, by Nancy Springer
  43. Of Human Bondage, by Somerset Maugham
  44. Space Station Seventh Grade, by Jerry Spinelli
  45. James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
  46. A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  47. Divergent, by Veronica Roth
  48. The Catch Trap, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  49. Magic’s Pawn, by Mercedes Lackey
  50. Into the Land of the Unicorns, by Bruce Coville
  51. Rumble Fish, by S.E. Hinton
  52. The Rachel Papers, by Martin Amis
  53. The Fortress of Solitude, by Jonathan Lethem
  54. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, by Michael Chabon
  55. Tunnel in the Sky, by Robert A. Heinlein
  56. Nuts, by Gahan Wilson
  57. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
  58. The Pigman, by Paul Zindel
  59. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
  60. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
  61. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
  62. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  63. The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
  64. Lark and Termite, by Jayne Anne Phillips


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