Buy engaging books that your teenager will enjoy over the holidays. This list contains books that are primarily for enjoyment as well as those that have social and historical significance.
1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
From the moment Arthur Dent woke up, it’s been the strangest day. First, a construction team attempts to demolish his home. Then he discovers that aliens exist, that his best friend Ford Prefect is from a distant planet and that the earth is about to be destroyed by an alien construction crew; and that’s all before morning tea. Take this amazing, bizarre, mind-expanding adventure through time and space with Arthur and Ford but beware; you’ll never be able to think of cricket in the same way again.
2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
An epic fantasy adventure that chronicles the battle for middle earth against the evil Lord Sauron. It’s got elves, trolls, wizards, orcs and creatures of a more sinister nature that try to wrest the ring of power from the hobbit, Frodo in an attempt to gain ultimate power and rule all of middle earth. The trilogy is the third bestselling novel ever written with 150 million copies sold.
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
An American classic dealing with important themes of acceptance, racism, oppression and injustice as told by Scout, a young girl living in depression-era Alabama. The book is told from the perspective of this young southern girl and invites us to learn life’s lessons along with her. A poignant expose’ of how society judges people by the way they look and how these judgements mould perception.
4. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
This book is best suited for the more mature teen and really challenges the concept of social norms. This crazy rollercoaster ride tells of a group of friends who shun the traditional societal stalwarts of family, work and home to take to the road. These perpetual travellers have a series of hair-raising adventures that act as a manifesto for the beatnik genre.
5. Slaughter House Five Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Vonnegut’s unconventional style has greatly influenced pop culture in our century. This is the most critically acclaimed of Vonnegut’s books; a satirical novel that tells the story of World War II through the eyes of the soldier Billy Pilgrim. Irreverent and controversial, the book has made it to the top 100 list of both Time magazines and the Modern Library.
6. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
When Bella Swan falls for Edward Cullen, she gets far more than she bargained for because Edward is a 104 year old vampire. The series consists of four books: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn which are available individually or in a box set. The series has won numerous awards most notably the 2008 British Book Award and the 2009 Kid’s Choice Award.