15 Good Books For 10th Graders Update 05/2022

Good Books For 10th Graders

Welcome to Amy’s Bookshelf! Here, teachers will find carefully curated book lists for each grade level from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Moving forward, new lists filled with book recommendations will be published weekly. Sometimes, these lists will be organized around a specific theme, like a holiday or seasonal event. Other times, they will feature rockstar books – books practically guaranteed to get your students reading.

Before jumping into reading recommendations, a few words about how books are selected.

First, it is so important that teachers prioritize reading interest over reading level. Students will often choose to read well above or below their reading level if they are particularly interested in a book or topic. Teachers only hurt students by limiting them to a specific selection of titles grouped according to an arbitrary number or level. Think of the books on these lists as starting places for you and your students, but if a student wants to read up (or down), that is a-ok.

Also, please note that these lists lean heavily toward modern selections as opposed to the classics many teachers are familiar with. A true renaissance is happening in children’s literature today, and the books coming out are truly exciting. One of the factors that makes this such an exciting time for kid lit is how diverse the selections are in terms of genre, characters and subject matter. These lists will feature fiction and nonfiction selection as well as graphic novels, novels written in verse, and more.

Any book list or classroom library worth its salt includes books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters, racially diverse characters, characters with disabilities, characters in the foster care system, characters from a wide variety of socioeconomic and religious backgrounds, and so on. Importantly, the diversity of the characters doesn’t always need to be the focus of the literature – in other words, a book featuring a black character or gay character doesn’t need to be about those individuals exploring their blackness or their gayness; those characters can have kid problems that apply to all children regardless of their race or sexual orientation. Similarly, students should be encouraged to read stories featuring people of diversity all year long – not just during a month set aside to celebrate a specific heritage.

One final note: today’s children’s literature does not shy away from frank discussions of gender, race, sex, sexuality, abuse, mental illness, and more – nor should it. I will not censor books from these lists based on these controversial areas. What books you recommend will depend on the specific district you work in and your clientele. I want you and your students to read as much as possible without fear.

So that you know, Bored Teachers may get a small cut of the sales that happen through the Amazon links on this page.

Tenth Grade

A wide range of books are on this list for 10th graders, from graphic novels to memoirs to nonfiction texts to historical fiction and everything else you can think of, all in one place. Early in high school, teens should read a lot to learn more about the world around them. There are historical novels on this list, as well as dystopian stories set in the future. Political and current events of the day are now being used by authors to make their stories more interesting to read.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

by Mackennzi Lee

A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Monty is the son of a British lord who lived in the 1700s. To make things even worse for his parents, he was sent home from the boarding school for fighting and having sex with other boys. For the tour, Monty is sent with his best friend, Percy, and his sister, Felicity. The tour is meant to help shape him up. Pirates and alchemy get in on the action. This is one of the best books of 2018. It’s worth reading.

Looking for Alaska

by John Green

John Green is a well-known young adult author, and his first book, Looking for Alaska, is thought to be his best. He is the heart of this book. At boarding school, Miles meets a woman who is fascinating, dangerous, and unstable. She pulls him out of his comfort zone and breaks his innocence.

I’ll Give You the Sun

by Jandy Nelson

Noah and Jude are twins. It’s told from two different points of view. As soon as they meet, they can’t get enough of each other until a terrible accident comes along. The twins haven’t spoken to each other for a long time when the story is told to the reader. It talks about growing up, first love, family, and the power of art to heal the soul. “Must-read.”

The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

When she writes, she doesn’t share it with anyone because her strict family wouldn’t like it. A chance to join the Slam Poetry Club then lets her know that she can’t be stopped. This won the Printz Award, as well as the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, and a lot of other awards, like that.

Far From the Tree

by Robin Benway

Far From the Tree

During high school, Grace, who is an adopted child, gets pregnant and gives her own child up for adoption. Because of this, she wants to know more about her own biological family. She soon finds out that she has two other biological siblings. Each of the three teenagers has a demon that he or she has to deal with. Together, they learn what it means to be a family.


by Neal Shusterman

When people live in a world where death isn’t a thing, overpopulation quickly becomes an issue. “Scythe” is the name of a new job that people start doing. Scythes are hired to get rid of people at random, which is called “culling.” Citra and Rowan, both teenagers, are chosen to be apprentice scythes. They both take the job because it gives their families protection from gleaning. This is the start of a three-part story.


by Ellen Hopkins

Kristina is the perfect teen, until she gets hooked on crank and her life goes haywire. This book in verse tells the story of how she went downhill. Dark and hard to read.

Shoe Dog: Young Readers Edition

by Phil Knight

When Phil Knight went to school, he was a track star. He went on to become the person who made Nike shoes. This is his story, and it’s great for sports-obsessed teenagers.


by Marie Lu


Virtual reality video game Warcross has taken over the world. People all over the world are playing it. People who are very good at playing Warcross can even play in the world championships. By mistake, Emika Chen gets into the championship game. Her life changes forever as one of those elite players picks her to play for them.

The Sun is Also a Star

by Nicola Yoon

Daniel likes Natasha on the day before Natasha is sent away. To get back together, Daniel, a scientist at heart, wants Natasha to love him again with all of her heart through science. When you read this book, the love story is the main point. There is also a real discussion about immigration that looks at issues that young people face in the real world.


by William Ritter

He needs someone to help him, and Abigail fits the bill. They are investigating a serial killer, and Jackaby, who has a unique ability to see the supernatural, starts to think that the killer might not be a person at all and could be something else. Four parts are in this series. This is the first one, and there are three more.

Little and Lion

by Brandy Colbert

Suzette was shipped off to an East Coast boarding school while her parents struggled to help her brother with his newly diagnosed bipolar disorder. She didn’t want to leave, and now that summer is here, she’s both happy and sad to be home. Suzette had a hard time at boarding school, but her only friend was her girlfriend, until they were caught. It’s not yet safe for Suzette to be open about her bisexuality, so she made things a mess and now she wants to make them right again.


by Natalie C. Parker


Pirate Caledonia Styx is orphaned and in charge of her own crew of female pirates when her family is killed in a brutal way. She is now in charge of the group. Now, she wants to get back at her. When a young man from the enemy army shows up and wants to join her crew, she starts to wonder if he could be the key to their campaign of vengeance against them.

They Both Die at the End

by Adam Silvera

Only the Death-Cast company knows when everyone will die. Phone call: You get the call after midnight on your death day. You will die today. You don’t know how or when, but you know that you have less than 24 hours left to live. Teens Rufus and Mateo both get the call on the same day. They both go to the Last Friend app to look for a friend for their last day on Earth. They both die at the end.

Carve the Mark

by Veronica Roth

It’s a fantasy story about a starcrossed love that pits the children of two warring groups against each other. Cyra and Akos live in their own countries, which are at war with each other for global power. Akos is taken and made to serve Cyra’s family. In the whole wide world, Cyra is a monster that can cause pain with just one touch. As Akos gets closer to Cyra, he realizes that her ability is also a curse.

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