When you walk into a bookstore, what section do you make a beeline for? Personally, I head straight to Teen Nonfiction. Admittedly, it’s been a little while since I was actually a teenager. But I still always feel the pull to see what brightly-colored copies I want to add to my shelf.
Teen nonfiction, like that for adults, is a broader category than it may at first sound. Memoirs, essay collections, advice, how-to guides, history, and even cookbooks can be included. However, each book is written with the under-twenty crowd in mind. That means that the memoirs are often written by well-known young people (Olympic gymnasts and YouTubers abound!), and any guidance or instruction given is done so with the realities of being a teenager kept in mind.
These books can be enjoyable and valuable for more than just their intended audience. Being a teenage girl is wild, at times super stressful, but also incredibly cool. Life as you know it—you, as you’ve known yourself—changes in both palpable and incomprehensible ways. You are a human on the verge. Because of that, the stories we tell and the things we write about that time period are supercharged with the goodness of what it is to be alive: discovery, learning, growth, adventure, and through it all, hope. Things that light us up, no matter how far removed we are from our teen years.
If you haven’t made your way to this section of the bookstore lately, here are six teen nonfiction titles I recommend adding to your reading list.