Reading with your teen daughter is a great way to bond, have some fun, and open the door for great discussions on life. All these books have positive, powerful messages about being a girl, being a person, and life in the world. Choices for younger and older teens.
To view the STUDIO 5 SEGMENT, click HERE (coming soon).
RECOMMENDED FOR YOUNGER TEENS (ages 12-14)
1. “Esperanza Rising” by Pam Munoz Ryan
Esperanza is a young Mexican girl. Her father is a wealthy land owner and her life has always been privileged. But when her father is killed, Esperanza and her mother must flee to California. To survive they must work in the fields of the San Juan Valley. At first, Esperanza is a bit of a spoiled brat, but then she starts to work hard to help her family and it changes her. A wonderful book about family, the value of work, humility and some important social issues.
2. “Angel on the Square” by Gloria Whelan
It’s the fall of 1914, and for young Katya life is magical and carefree. She’s the daughter of a lady in waiting to the empress of Russia. The royal family is her family. But as war rages outside the palace walls, normal life starts to disappear and Katya has to take charge of her own destiny. An unforgettable book. You’ll laugh and cry along with the characters. A great girl-power read.
3. “Good Night, Mr. Tom” by Michelle Magorian
This book is so touching and elegantly told. It grabbed my heart from the first page. Set in England at the beginning of WWII, this is the story of a little boy who is sent by his mother from London to the country for safety from the war. Willie’s mother is a horrid, abusive woman and Willie comes to stay with Mr. Tom as a weak, sickly boy. Mr. Tom is an older man, a recluse, and at first the two aren’t sure what to do with each other. But then they completely change each other’s lives. A powerful message about what is important in life.
RECOMMENDED FOR OLDER TEENS (ages 15+)
This is such a great, smart book for teen girls from Utah author Kristen Chandler. And it’s also fun for locals because it’s set in Salt Lake City. Myra has four younger brothers, a pregnant older sister, and overworked parents. Most of the time she’s the stable force keeping things together. But then her boyfriend breaks up with her and she starts to see herself differently. She starts to want more, including a very cool scholarship to the Galapagos Islands. A great book to talk about school, first loves, hard work, and going after what you want.
5. “My Name is Mary Sutter” by Robin Oliveira
Mary Sutter is a brilliant, headstrong midwife from Albany, New York, at the eve of the Civil War. What Mary really wants is to be a doctor, a surgeon as they called them in those days. But surgeons are men; women aren’t allowed to be doctors. That’s not going to stop Mary. Simply put, this book is amazing. It’s deeply emotional and it’s a great opening to talk about how women were viewed and treated throughout history and how women can do anything – and do it exceptionally well.
6. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston
The beloved 1937 classic from Zora Neale Hurston is an enduring Southern love story ‘sparkling with wit, beauty, and heartfelt wisdom.’ The main character Janie Crawford refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or romantic dreams. Her life is hard – three marriages, poverty, trials – but she’s fiercely independent and strives to find happiness. Captivating, beautiful, and unforgettable.