11 Must Read Biographies for Your Teen


The young readers are the future leaders of the nation. So, it’s important to shape their mind in a way that keeps them ready for the future. Every generation is responsible for doing something new but it is also equally important to know their history. Stories of great leaders,  survivors or hard times and inspirational stories is a way to let the teenagers know that it takes to grow and build the world they have now.

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biographies for teens

Reading biographies is helpful but it is equally important to note which book a your teenager is reading. So,  here is a list of some amazing biographies from different times in history which will not just inspire teenagers but also give them life lessons regarding the choices they make, they coping mechanism in difficulties, and the importance to voice for any change. Let’s have a look:

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11 Best Biographies for a Teenager to Read

The Boy who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose

Written in 2015, the book is a recap of the story of Danish resistance group during World War II, the Churchill club,  and it’s founder and leader, Knud Pedersen. The Germans were infuriated by the rebellious actions of the group and it also sparked the Danish rebellion which lead to the release of the boys from the temporary captivity of the Germans.  The book won the Boston Globe Book Nonfiction Honor.



Ten Days a Madwoman by Deborah Noyes

This is an account of the daring life of a girl, Nellie Bly who has ambitious goals. Being a woman reporter of the nineteenth century,  she did not stop herself to articles about cleaning and fashion,  instead set to expose the feigning insanity at the asylum on Blackwell’s Island. She wrote an account about the horrific treatment of the patients at the clinic. It’s a must read.


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Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle

This amazing poetic memoir by Engle won the Puta Belprè Author Award. It has also been finalised in the YALSA nonfiction and has been honoured with the Walter Dean Myers Award. It talks about the struggle of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold war. Her heart lies in Cuba but she belongs to the United States. It’s all about how a child copes with being a part of such unrest. It is a very simple book written in poetic form. So,  it will not just be worthwhile but equally interesting.


Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance by Simone Biles and Michelle Burford.

Simone Biles’ daycare field trips in her hometown Spring led her to the world of Gymnastics. With the help of her talent,  willingness,  passion and hardwork,  she became one of the top gymnasts in the world. She won the Olympic Gold in Rio de Janeiro four times. Inspiring? Suggest it to your teenage star.



How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana and Abigail Pesta

This book has several titles to its name and is highly recommended for teenagers. It is a story of a girl who survived through the hard times of the war and as a refugee in a base camp in Burundi. She presents her perspective on Race in America even after coming from a different background.


Becoming Kareem: Growing up on and off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

It’s a New York Times Bestseller and the first memoir for youngsters by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He jots down not only his career as a basketball player but also the stages of development of his identity as an adult and a player amidst the difficulties of racism and prejudice prevalent in the 1960s.


The Keeper: The Unguarded Story of Tim Howard Young Readers’ Edition by Tim Howard

This heartwarming account will surely inspire  teenagers as it’s about Time Howard, an ordinary person with an extraordinary talent and a disability. Even after suffering from Tourette Syndrome, this kid from Tourette fought and grew through all odds to become one of the World’s premier goalkeepers. If your child loves football,  then this is a must read for him.



The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater

This book talks largely about race, gender, class, crime and punishment. It can make your child socially aware. It’s about a teenager in skirt(girl) being set on fire by another teenager with a lighter (a boy) in a bus in California. One act of recklessness sent the black boy Richard into jail for a life imprisonment and left Sasha a white life severely burnt.


Florence Nightingale: A life inspired by Lynn M. Hamilton and Wyatt North

This account about the selflessness of Florence Nightingale, a celebrity in Britain who left her life of comfort to help soldiers during wartime. She served her Nation with all her heart and gave her life in this service. She is a person everyone should learn from, also your child. Gift her this next time.


I will always write back: One letter changed two lives by Caitlin Alifirenka

An assignment turned into a life changing incident, interesting? Catalina chooses Zimbabwe to write a letter to an unknown student as a part of her assignment and it reaches Martin. This letter gives birth to a lifelong friendship and changed both their lives. I won’t give much detail,  why don’t you grab this one from your nearby book shop!



Lion: A long way Home by Saroo Brierley

It’s Brierley story of a life full of struggles. He got lost on a train when he was five years old. From being homeless to being in an orphanage to exploring life to finding back his home; his life is a worthy read.



So, these are some of the amazing biographies for teenagers. This is a great chance to shape them as individuals and also get them into a habit of reading. All these books are a must read but talking  about my personal favorite,  I would suggest “I am Malala”. Cheers!! Happy Reading!