There is a particular conversation that keeps cropping up between Stacy and I (the editors of this website…who both happen to be moms of young teens) and many of our readers: the face of YA is changing. There is no doubt about it. Young Adult books are becoming more and more mature, and the trend will probably continue in that direction as more adults are reading them. Parents and readers alike are looking for clean YA books.

Book publishers want to sell books, and when the average age of readers goes up, you can expect the content to change with it. Perhaps that’s fine for some, but according to our conversations with several librarians, we are losing readers as they hit the tween and early teen years. This is a time when they are not yet comfortable with YA books but feel too old for middle-grade books. Did you read that? We’re losing them as readers…many, perhaps, for the rest of their lives.

Our goal with this section of our website is to find books that are great for teens, tweens, or anyone looking for exciting books without sexual content and without excessive language. We have found that violence is usually not the main concern, but we will always make note if we think the violence is excessive (even if there is no sex or language).

Please join our mailing list for readers who are looking for clean YA books:

This list is different from our Book Series Recaps and Reviews newsletter mailing list. If you already get our newsletter, you should sign up here also. We never share email addresses.  You can expect three to four emails a year from our clean teen list.  We’ll let you know when we find more great clean books for teens.

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Our suggestions for Clean Teen Books:

This list is a work in progress. We hope it soon burgeons into a long list with choices covering a wide variety of reader tastes. A few of the categories we’re considering are general clean teen reads, YA books with a younger feel, clean books with elevated violence only, and classics teens will love. Is there a category you would like to suggest? If so, please let us know in the comments!

For now, we’ll get started with a few of our favorite clean YA books for teens that we’ve come across in recent years. If you see only one book listed in a series, that probably just means we haven’t read the others in the series.

(**Yes, these are affiliate links. We don’t make much money on these but we do make enough to pay for the hosting on this growing website.  Thank you!**)

The Lunar Chronicles

My Lady Jane

The Crown’s Game

The Reckoners Series


It Started with Goodbye

The Warrior Heir

The Ascendance Trilogy

Uglies Series

The WaterFire Saga

River of Time Series

Books without sex and little language but are heavy on violence:

As we mentioned above, from what we have heard, most readers and parents are concerned with sexual content over mild language and violence.  Here are a few “clean” selections that come with a strong violence warning:

Partials Sequence (*violence warning*)

The Hunger Games (*violence warning*)

Maze Runner (*violence warning*)

How can you help?

We are just getting started with this section of our website, so we need your help. Please add your own suggestions for clean YA books to the comments. Kids today want to read current literature, so while we will add some classics, we would love to have suggestions for books that have recently been published. This would be a great place to promote a new author you’ve discovered who writes clean YA fiction. Stacy and I are passionate about this subject, and we want to help these authors find their place in the publishing world. We need more authors that fit this category!

We only have so many hours in the day and cannot read all suggestions. If someone else makes a suggestion that you think should not be on our clean teen book list, please let us know and be sure to include why you feel this way. We want to partner with you and are excited to work with our readers on this project!


Check back on this page for updates to our lists of books and websites. We’ll keep the last revision date at the top of the post so you’ll always know when we’ve added new content. And we’ll recap our most recent additions in our Clean Teen Newsletter. Don’t forget to leave your suggestions in the comments and scroll up to join our clean teen mailing list. We’d love to hear from you and find more clean reads and authors in the bookish world! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Clean YA books for teens, tweens, or anyone”

  1. I recently read The Girl of Fire and Thorns… the first two are clean, but the last book has on-page sex. Just a heads up. Everless is also a great, clean book without sex. So is Heartless, by Marissa Meyer.

    1. Thank you Madeline! I will adjust the page. Sounds like The Girl of Fire and Thorns is not worthy of this list. I am going to remove it.

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