Top Ten Tuesday | Books I wish I’d had as a teen

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where book bloggers are invited to share their top ten lists centered on a certain theme.

This week’s prompt was “books I wish I’d had as a kid,” and I’ve decided to talk about books I wish I’d had in my teen years! I’m a teen services librarian and it means so much to me when I see teens fall in love with books. I love YA books and am constantly discovering books I wish I’d had at that age!

My Top ten


1. Color Outside the Lines edited by Sangu Mandanna: Growing up as a biracial kid, I didn’t see a lot of families that looked like mine. A book about mixed race couples would have meant so much to me!


2. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed: Not only do I wish I’d had more books with Jewish rep as a teen, but I wish I had books like this one that show teens can be involved with politics and make a difference!


3. Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram: I definitely could have used a book like this that speaks so honestly to mental health!


4. Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson: I love that this book features mentorship between women and girls–a topic I wish I’d heard more on as a teen girl!


5. We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson: Even in adulthood, this YA book about mental health & queerness means so much to me. I’m constantly recommending it to everyone I know and saying how much I wish I’d had this book as a teen!


6. The Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson: This was one of the first books I found that was about being multiracial and it is literally the book I wish I’d had growing up, when I never felt like I fit in anywhere.


7. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman: This YA contemporary about a biracial Asian American girl who is crushed by being rejected from her dream school would have really hit home for me–it’s an experience I had and I really wish I’d had a book like this to help me get through it.


8. Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert: This YA contemporary follows Yvonne as she tries to figure out the right path for her and what she really wants. Honestly, isn’t this the book that every teen girl needs?


9. American Panda by Gloria Chao: Just like Mei, I started college at 17 and struggled a lot! It would have meant so much to see a character going through the same thing.


10. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy: Ramona reminds me so much of myself–a teen girl trying to stay strong and forcing herself to grow up fast. Plus Ramona’s path to understanding her queerness as fluid really hits more for me!


What’s a book you wish you’d had as a teen?

Happy reading! (1)

35 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Books I wish I’d had as a teen

  1. American Panda was a great book! As someone in an interracial relationship, I was so excited for Color Outside the Lines; I just wish that most of the stories didn’t have endings that were kind of depressing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are so many books that I wish I had as a teen too, especially diverse books because YA was still very white and straight when I was a teen. But it’s a great thing that teens these days have these books 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh definitely! Mine were definitely Rick Riordan and Derek Landy, their series both ran through the entirety of my teen years so they were pretty big staples for me.


  3. I love that YA books these days cover so much territory—different ethnicities, lifestyles, backgrounds, disabilities, hobbies, etc. I agree that it’s important for kids to be able to see themselves in books and with such a diverse selection these days, that shouldn’t be too tough! I know my daughter, who is bi-racial, gets excited whenever she sees a character who looks like her depicted on a book cover or in a t.v. show/movie. I’m white, so I never really recognized the importance of representation until I adopted her.

    Happy TTT!



  4. For me, Claire Kann’s books would have been life-changing 💜 Let’s Talk About Love was the first book I ever read with an ace main character and helped me to understand myself that much more.

    Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell also would have been a welcome lesson in toxic relationships 💗

    The Upside of Unrequited would also have been so welcome as a story of a plus sized MC as a love interest, not the best friend (so rare when I was a teen). There’s Something About Sweetie for the same reason too 💜


  5. Really great post! I can only imagine what growing up with these types of books would have been like, especially I can relate with you having wanted one about mentors. By the way, I found you thanks to Destiny @HOwling Libraries. She listed your post as a favorite in her April Wrap Up and I had to come check it out. 🙂 Glad I did.

    Starfish is waiting for me on my bookshelf as we speak. I’m not sure just when I’ll get to it but or sure this year, maybe this summer. I heard of it through another blogger…SilverWolfReads that’s who.

    Thanks to this post I’ve now added Color Outside the Lines; Darius the Great is Not Okay; Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson (recently heard her on Minorities in Publishing podcast); & We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. Thank you so much for sharing. While I am not biracial my niece is so I’m interested in being able to relate with her more and also maybe finding a book that she might need or want to read. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words!! I’m so glad I could share these titles with you and I think that is so awesome that you’re making an effort to read & understand her experiences more. I try my best to share diverse books as much as I can on my blog, so I hope you’ll come back or follow to get more recommendations!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Will do! The world is telling us, screaming at us to respect and appreciate diversity. We’re all residents of this planet and all our experiences and work matters. I hope to do a better job reading more diverse works myself and hope to write a post this week promoting authors of color, such as Nnedi Okorafor. I just finished Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1) by her and am starting Akata Warrior (Akata Witch, #2). I do recommend it and hope you enjoy her work and promote as well.

        Great job promoting diverse books. I look forward to doing my part to help promote work by authors of color.


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