We love reading classics as much as the next person but there are a whole bunch of recent YA novels that we could easily swap in for a fresh perspective. We’ve made some suggestions below but we also recommend checking out the Complementing the Classics brochure put together by Penguin Classroom.
In addition to Lord of the Flies, read:
By Rory Power
400 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780525645610 | Delacorte BFYR
This fresh debut about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you’ve read before. But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence.
In addition to The Outsiders, read:
Patron Saints of Nothing
By Randy Ribay
352 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780525554929 | Kokila
Jay plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to university in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to learn the truth.
In addition to The Great Gatsby, read:
A Sky Painted Gold
By Laura Wood
384 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593127223 | Random House BFYR
It is the summer of 1929 and budding writer Lou meets the Cardew siblings: the bubbly Caitlin and her handsome brother, Robert. Lou is swept into their glittering whirlwind of moonlit parties, unrivaled glamour, and whispered secrets. As she falls deeper into the world of high society, Lou must find a way to stay true to herself…and her heart.
In addition to Little Women, read:
Jo & Laurie
By Margaret Stohl and Melissa De La Cruz
384 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984812018 | Putnam BFYR
1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration. But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo turns him down. Until Laurie comes home with a girlfriend…will Jo risk losing the love of her life forever?
In addition to Anne of Green Gables, read:
Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M Montgomery
By Melanie J. Fishbane
400 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780143191261 | Penguin Teen Canada
Lucy Maud Montgomery has a dream: to go to college and become a writer. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. Life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father until she discovers her stepmother’s plans for her which threat Maud’s future happiness.
In addition to Dracula, read:
By Renée Ahdieh
448 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524738174 | Putnam BFYR
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. For Celine, it’s a safe haven – until she becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien. When a body is found in Sébastien’s lair, Celine battles her attraction and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own secret.
In addition to The Scarlet Letter, read:
He Must Like You
By Danielle Younge-Ullman
336 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265691 | Penguin Teen Canada
After dumping a pitcher of sangria on an overly handsy customer, Libby has to navigate the fallout of her outburst, plus deal with her rage at the guys who’ve screwed up her life – and her increasing crush on the one guy who truly gets her. A story about consent, rage, and revenge, and the potential we all have to be better.
In addition to The Giver, read:
By Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher
320 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984815712 | Putnam BFYR
It’s 2032, and in this near-future America, all citizens are chipped and everyone is tracked. It’s almost impossible to survive as an undocumented immigrant, but that’s exactly what sixteen-year-old Vali is doing. Then Vali’s mother’s counterfeit chip starts malfunctioning and the Deportation Forces raid their town, forcing them to flee.