5 young adult novels to inspire and motivate you

Open book with golden sparkles around it

As the Corona virus situation keeps the country under lockdown, and homebound the whole day, many young people are turning to books to keep them profitably engaged. Here are five novels that you will enjoy reading, and keep you and all at home, entertained, inspired and motivated. Do give them a try!

Cover of The Book Thief

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Memminger, a girl growing up with foster parents in Nazi Germany. As she navigates the chaos of World War II, she stumbles upon a new love — books. With the help of her father, she learns how to read in her small basement, and eventually begins to share her stories with the Jewish man her family hides in their basement and her neighbours during bombing attacks in her neighbourhood. Liesel starts off as a headstrong, determined nine-year-old, but The Book Thief ends with a fifteen-year-old girl who cares deeply about the people around her and about staying true to her beliefs in the middle of truly frightening times. Liesel shows us all that courage and optimism go a long way, no matter how dangerous things are.

Cover of The Poet X

2. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X follows the journey of fifteen-year-old Xiomara, an immigrant in America. Xiomara struggles with her own identity while trying to make sense of her world and reconcile with her mother’s traditional Catholic upbringing. As a way of expressing the tension and conflict within her family, she turns to poetry. As she learns how to stand up for herself, take charge of her life and protect the people around her, she pours her experiences into her leather notebook and eventually realizes that her poetry resonates with more people than she ever imagined. Written in a unique style, this book tells a distinctive story through poetry, in a way that leaves a powerful impression. Xiomara or Poet X is an inspiration for everyone trying to find their identity and voice because “in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.”

Cover of I Am Malala

3. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala is the autobiography of Malala Yousafzai who survived being shot by the Taliban when she was fifteen for her outspokenness about every girl’s right to education. Her passion shines bright through her own voice as she narrates her experiences all the way from her childhood in the Swat valley, and her fight for girls’ education that has now become a global movement for girls’ education. Her courage in the face of the daunting Taliban and her determination to finish her education despite the obstacles makes her a role model that millions of girls, all across the world look up to. Through this book, Malala shares momentous lessons about the power of standing up for what we believe in; for she rightly says, “I raise up my voice — not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard.”

Cover of The Lunar Chronicles

4. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

For those who love adventure set in an exciting dystopian world, this series is perfect. The Lunar Chronicles is a series of four books starring Cinder, a gifted cyborg (half-human, half-machine) who suddenly finds herself in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and war with a dictator and the news that Earth’s fate hinges solely on her. Facing duty and betrayal, as she uncovers secrets about her mysterious pasts, Cinder rises to the occasion with her sharp wit, leading her team as they embark on a journey to save the world. Cinder is who every leader aspires to be — firm, but compassionate, determined but kind and of a bright, hopeful person that inspires many.

Cover of Anne of Green Gables

5. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables is the classic, truly delightful coming of age story that will appeal to every teen reader’s tastes. It features Anne Shirley, an orphan who suddenly finds herself in the home of Marilla and Matthew — two completely unexpecting foster parents. Through her scrapes and adventures growing up, we see her transform from a feather-brained eleven-year-old into a smart, responsible, loving teenager heading towards her dreams. With her dramatic personality, she teaches us to appreciate the little things in life and proves that imagination and creativity can never go amiss. Her grit, resourcefulness and ambition, along with her honest love for everything around her, make her one of the greatest female role models to exist in young adult novels.

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Nitya Agarwala
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Nitya Agarwala

Nitya Agarwala is a 16-year-old student of Stonehill International School, Bangalore.