Finding the right books for teens can be a challenging but worthwhile endeavour. While we live in a world pervaded by our devices, we should not discount the value of a good book. Personal tastes or current trends have often dictated my reading choices. For example, my motivation to finish reading Dune was due to the imminent arrival of the movie adaptation. Yet now and then, some books give the boost I need to go about my week or motivate me to continue my journey. Here are five books for teens that will inspire and comfort readers alike.
Chicken Soup for the Soul
When I was preparing for my Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), I picked up the Singapore instalment of this book out of curiosity. At the time, the pressure of the looming exam was unbearable, forcing me close to my breaking point. I opened the page to find that the first story was from someone who had failed his PSLE, detailing how he and his family dealt with the disappointment and how he continued to live. He went on to lead a happy and fulfilling adulthood, reflecting upon how the experience changed his life and that one failure, no matter how major, did not define him.
The beauty of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series is its diversity, covering stories from all walks of life, countries, and backgrounds. The anthologies compiles accounts from various individuals whose stories speak of enduring suffering, overcoming struggle, and finding meaning in life. They serve as a reminder that we are not alone in the difficulties we face. If others could overcome their pain and adversity, we can find the strength to do the same. This series of inspirational books is not to be missed.
The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens
This self-help book is designed to help today’s teens navigate a challenging and confusing difficult digital age. Designed from the ground up to remain engaging to teens, Covey smartly utilizes cartoons and quizzes to convey his points effectively. The book tackles pertinent issues to every teenage reader, such as establishing self-esteem, dating decisions, and maintaining familial relationships. It also acknowledges the painful parts of adolescence and how teenagers can struggle during these frustrating times. As such, it is a good starting point for teenagers to begin navigating a daunting period of their life and finding their way to happiness and fulfilment.
What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens: Discover Yourself, Design Your Future, and Plan for Your Dream Job
Though I continue to belabour the point on preparation, I’ve come to discover the value of planning as I continue my education. Nonetheless, the future remains a daunting prospect. With so many unknowns in our rapidly changing world, this self-help book highlights potential avenues for teenagers to forge their own paths. The book emphasizes the importance of early career planning, using it as a guiding principle for deciding on education paths, managing internships, and finding a career that matches who you are.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
My emotional state as a teenager was difficult to manage. A lot of advice I received was very toxic and unhelpful, focusing on ignoring my problems rather than solving them. This self-help book provided valuable tips on how to reframe my mental state and way of thinking. It pointed out that adversity was necessary for growth and that accepting it was merely the first step. This book was a breath of fresh air from stale, repeated advice and helped break my cycle of self-pity and despair, helping to put my struggles into perspective. The lessons within are humorous, quirky, yet poignant enough to inspire any reader of any age. It is my personal recommendation to anyone looking for a good self-help book.
The Alchemist is a short fiction story that doesn’t speak of self-help, but its themes and lessons make it an inspirational book all the same. Its timeless lessons remain meaningful even within the digital age. The book focuses on a few central ideas throughout its story. These include how we should all look to better ourselves, how lives are improved by pursuing one’s passion, and how fear holds us back from true happiness. As a simple and short read, it retains teenagers’ interest while using allegory to convey its poignant meaning effectively.
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