Great Books for Teens


Guy Books

Bowden, Mark. Black Hawk Down.

Black hawk down
High School, Nonfiction. In this gripping account of modern war, based on real events of 1993, a hundred U.S. soldiers were dropped by helicopter into the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia. The mission was supposed to take an hour, but by morning, eighteen Americans were dead, and seventy more injured.

Bradley, James. Flags of Our Fathers.

High School, Nonfiction. In this unforgettable chronicle of perhaps the most famous moment in American military history, James Bradley has captured the glory, the triumph, the heartbreak, and the legacy of the six men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima.

Chotjewitz, David.  Daniel Half Human and the Good Nazi.

In 1933, best friends Daniel and Armin admire Hitler, but as anti-Semitism buoys Hitler to power, Daniel learns he is half Jewish, threatening the friendship even as life in their beloved Hamburg, Germany, is becoming nightmarish.

Cormier, Robert. Heroes.

After joining the army at fifteen and having his face blown away by a grenade in a battle in France, Francis returns home to Frenchtown hoping to find--and kill--the former childhood hero he feels betrayed him.

Crane, Stephen.  Red Badge of Courage.

Red Badge of Courage
A fictional psychological portrait of a young Civil War soldier named Henry Fleming, tracing the thread of his emotions and reactions to events that during a battle of the Civil War.

Elliott, L. M. Under a War-Torn Sky.

After his plane is shot down by Hitler's Luftwaffe, nineteen-year-old Henry Forester of Richmond, Virginia, strives to walk across occupied France, with the help of the French Resistance, in hopes of rejoining his unit.

Fleischman, Paul. Bull Run.

In this brilliant fictional tour de force that can be read as a novel or performed as readers' theater, Newbery Award-winning author Paul Fleischman recreates the first great battle of the Civil War from the points of view of 16 participants--Northern and Southern, male and female, black and white.

Geras, Adele.  Troy.

Told from the point of view of the women of Troy, portrays the last weeks of the Trojan War, when women are sick of tending the wounded, men are tired of fighting, and bored gods and goddesses find ways to stir things up.

Heller, Joseph. Catch 22.

As revealing today as when it was first published, this brilliant novel by the author of Picture This expresses the concerns of an entire generation in its black comedy. World War II flier John Yossarian decides that his only mission each time he goes up is to return—alive!

Hughes, Dean. Soldier Boys.

As the United States enters World War II, two boys are eager to get into the action. Spencer, 16, leaps into Army paratrooper training, needing to prove some things to his father--and to himself. Half a world away, Dieter, 15, succeeds as a model member of the Hitler Youth, rising through the ranks to defend the Fatherland. Spencer and Dieter are destined to meet on the battlefield.

Jinks, Catherine. Pagan's Crusade.

Looking for work as a squire, 16-year-old Pagan Kidrouk seeks out the Templar Knights in medieval Jerusalem. This first of four adventures is loaded with action, details of medieval life, and a healthy helping of sarcasm. Illustrations.

Kass, Pnina Moed. Real Time.

Sixteen-year-old Thomas Wanninger wants to find out what his grandfather, a Nazi officer, did during World War II. Thomas is going to Israel to work on a kibbutz, where he will have access to a Jerusalem archive that may hold the information he seeks. His life is one of many to be affected by a terrorist attack that occurs on the day he arrives.

Lawrence, Iain. B for Buster.

In this gripping story, 16-year-old Kak dreams of flying with the Allied bombers in World War II. Underage but desperate to escape his abusive parents, he enlists in the Canadian Air Force and is soon sent to a squadron in England. But he does not expect the experience to be as harrowing as it becomes.

Mazer, Harry.  The Last Mission.

In 1944 a 15-year-old Jewish boy tells his family he will travel in the West but instead, enlists in the United States Air Corps and is subsequently taken prisoner by the Germans.

Mazer, Harry. A Boy at War.

In the chaos of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a boy searches for his father who was on a ship that was bombed.

Morpurgo, Michael.  Private Peaceful.

As the enemy lurks in the darkness, Thomas struggles to stay awake through the night. He has lived through the terror of gas attacks and watched friends die by his side. But in the morning, Thomas will be forced to confront an even greater horror. Each minute that passes brings Thomas closer to something he can't bear to to think about--the moment when the war and its horrific consequences will change his life forever.

Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels. 

This 1989 Coretta Scott King Award winner is the story of one young man's tour of duty in Vietnam as well as a testament to the thousands of young people who lived and died during the war.

O'Brian, Patrick. Master and Commander.

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars.  "The best sea story I have ever read."-Sir Francis Chichester

Spillebeen, Geert. Kipling's Choice.

This moving historical novel examines the last days of Rudyard Kipling's son, John who was killed in his first battle of World War I.

Sutcliff, Rosemary.  The Shining Company.

In 600 A.D. in northern Britain, Prosper becomes a shield bearer with the Companions, an army made up of three hundred younger sons of minor kings and trained to act as one fighting brotherhood against the invading Saxons.

Wulffson, Don. Soldier X.

In 1943 sixteen-year-old Erik experiences the horrors of war when he is drafted into the German army and sent to fight on the Russian front.