Library Picks for High Schoolers

If you haven’t read these books already, pick them up over the summer, and enjoy!

A Separate Peace

At a prep-school during WWII, Phineas and Gene become unlikely best-friends and rivals. The story is a moving examination of young friendship, impulse, and how our childhoods inform the rest of our lives.

Ender’s Game / Speaker for the Dead

These two books that follow the same character couldn’t be more different. Ender’s game is a brilliant and thrilling introduction to Science Fiction, following a children’s battle school that is the only hope for humanity. Speaker for the Dead is a mystery about coming to terms with cultural differences that can seem outlandish and foreign.

The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings

Virtually every fantasy and science fiction author is indebted to these books that can inspire a life-long love of reading and creativity. Read them!

Catcher in the Rye

A classic book you’re supposed to “get” when you’re young. Holden Caulfield is young, disillusioned boy stuck as a child and trying to come to grips with the adult world.

The Great Gatsby

A fun but disparaging portrait of 1920’s America and a story about unrequited love and relentless ambition. Gatsby’s life is a facade that parallels the veneer of wealth in the USA.

Lord of the Flies

A plane crash abandons young boys on a deserted island. Their struggles to co-inhabit the island and create a society reveal mid post-war pessimism about human nature.

Brave New World / 1984

These two books use strikingly different dystopias to express fears about the future, governmental power, personal apathy and technology. Its scary to read how many of their predictions come true.

Of Mice and Men

A beautiful and touching tale of two friends and their dream of making it in the west.


To Kill a Mockingbird

Chances are, someone has already told you to read this classic. Harper Lee uses the Racism of the American South to set her story of morality, redemption and justice. At the center of it all is a classic coming-of-age story.


A anti-war book that will remind you that books can be hilarious. It’s sheer absurdity makes war seem ridiculous.