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Best Coming Of Age Books

Recommendations from 17 articles, Barack Obama, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys and 37 others.
31 books on the list
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A Tree Grows In Brooklyn book cover
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
Betty Smith - 2006-05-30 (first published in 1943)
Goodreads Rating
The American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century."A profoundly moving novel, and an honest and true one. It cuts right to the heart of life... If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn you will deny yourself a rich experience... It is a poignant and deeply understanding story of childhood and family relationships. The N...
I Capture the Castle book cover
I Capture the Castle
Dodie Smith - 1999-03-15 (first published in 1948)
Goodreads Rating
I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great cha...
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents book cover
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
Julia Alvarez - 2010-01-12 (first published in 1991)
Goodreads Rating
"Poignant . . . Powerful . . . Beautifully captures the threshold experience of the new immigrant, where the past is not yet a memory." —The New York Times Book Review Acclaimed writer Julia Alvarez’s beloved first novel gives voice to four sisters as they grow up in two cultures. The García sisters—Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofía—and their famil...
Purple Hibiscus book cover
Purple Hibiscus
A Novel
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 2012-04-17 (first published in 2003)
Goodreads Rating
Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They're completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Alt...
Red at the Bone book cover
Red at the Bone
A Novel
Jacqueline Woodson - 2020-09-01
Goodreads Rating
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER One of OPRAH MAGAZINE'S "BEST BOOKS OF 2019" A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR "A spectacular novel that only this legend can pull off." -Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, in The Atlantic"An exquisite tale of family legacy....The power and poetry of Woodson's writing...
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe book cover
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Benjamin Alire Sáenz - 2012-02-21
Goodreads Rating
A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, th...
A Prayer for Owen Meany book cover
A Prayer for Owen Meany
John Irving - 1990-01-01 (first published in 1989)
Goodreads Rating
Eleven-year-old Owen Meany, playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire, hits a foul ball and kills his best friend's mother. Owen doesn't believe in accidents; he believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul is both extraordinary and terrifying. At moments a comic, self-deluded victim, but in ...
Goblin Emperor book cover
Goblin Emperor
Addison - 2019-02-12
Goodreads Rating
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.Entirely unschooled in the art of...
Recommended by
John Scalzi
My Brilliant Friend book cover
My Brilliant Friend
Neapolitan Novels, Book One
Elena Ferrante - 2012-09-25 (first published in 2011)
Goodreads Rating
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship...
Black Swan Green book cover
Black Swan Green
David Mitchell - 2007-02-27 (first published in 2006)
Goodreads Rating
From award-winning writer David Mitchell comes a sinewy, meditative novel of boyhood on the cusp of adulthood and the old on the cusp of the new.Black Swan Green tracks a single year in what is, for thirteen-year-old Jason Taylor, the sleepiest village in muddiest Worcestershire in a dying Cold War England, 1982. But the thirteen chapters, each a s...
Recommended by
Gretchen Rubin
Ghost Wall book cover
Ghost Wall
Sarah Moss - 2019-12-31
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Half the World by Joe Abercrombie
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Little Women by
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones