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 teen 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 clean teen books that are great for tweens, teens, 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 teen 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. The categories we’ve incorporated so far are general clean teen books (for standalone novels and complete series as well as unfinished series), clean books with elevated violence only, and clean “tween” books (YA books with a younger feel). We hope to add a category featuring classics teens will love, and we welcome category suggestions from our readers. If you have a category in mind, please let us know in the comments!

For now, we’ll get started with a few of our favorite clean teen books 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. Don’t forget to check out our book reviews and recaps for more information on a particular book.

(**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!**)

General Clean Teen Books:
(Standalone Novels and Completed Series)

The Lunar Chronicles

Heartless

The Crown’s Game

The Reckoners Series

Matched Series

The Heir Chronicles

The Ascendance Trilogy

The Riyria Revelations

River of Time Series

The Selection Series

The Siren

It Started with Goodbye

The Doon Series

Curio

Everland Series

Vega Jane Series

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

Silver in the Blood

Atlantia

Hunted

Book of a Thousand Days

The Books of Bayern

The Storyteller’s Daughter: A Retelling of Arabian Nights

The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy

Hagenheim Series

The WaterFire Saga

General Clean Teen Books:
(Unfinished Series–at least one book yet to be published)

The Stormlight Archive

Clash of Kingdoms

The Winternight Trilogy

Everless Series

Mirage Series

The Traitor’s Game

The Lady Janies

Clean Teen Books with Elevated Violence only:

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:

Ender’s Game (*violence warning*)

Partials Sequence (*violence warning*)

The Hunger Games (*violence warning*)

Maze Runner (*violence warning*)

Clean “Tween” Books:

If you have a tween or a young teen, then this category is for you! Even if the books mentioned above are clean, your young reader might not be ready to read about older characters or the issues facing them. These are the clean books we’ve found which have a younger feel to them.

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series

Septimus Heap Series

TodHunter Moon Series

Magisterium Series

The Palace Chronicles

Wildwood Series

A Curse as Dark as Gold

Heir to the Sky

The Two Princesses of Bamarre

Fairest

Ella Enchanted

A Tale of Two Castles Series

A Twisted Tale Series

Princess Academy Series

Kingdom Keepers Series

Kingdom Keepers: The Return Series

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 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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43 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.

  2. Jennifer E Smith books (This Is What Happy Looks Like, Geography of you and Me eat al), Morgan Matson (Amy & Rogers Epic Detour, Since You’ve been Gone).

    1. I agree that there is a fair amount of language in this series, and two of the main characters do end up having sex in one of the later books, although it is not graphically described or anything, but it is very clear that it happens.

  3. Ally Carter – Embassy Row Series
    Meg Cabot – Heather Wells Mysteries – Size 12 Is Not Fat, size 14 Is Not Fat Ether, Big Boned.

  4. River of Time Series by Lisa Tawn Bergren – Waterfall – Cascade – Torrent.
    Front Lines by. Micheal Grant.
    The Runnung Dream by Wendy Van Draanen.
    Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch.
    The Keeper Cronicles Deries by Becky Wallace (Storyspinner, Skylighter)
    The.Night Circus by Erin Morgensten
    Amy & Rogers Epic Detour Morgan Matson
    A Girl Called Featless by Catherine Linka
    The Goos Girl by Shannon Hale
    Michael Vey Series. BY Richard Paul Evans
    Shelter, seconds Away, Found by Harlan Coben
    Charlotte Holmes Series – A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavalarro
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    Red QueebySeries by Victoria Aveyard

    1. I do love the Night Circus, but it should be mentioned that that book does have a sex scene in it.

  5. Hey..YES!! I’m a YA author and have 12 and 13 year old girls who want to read YA. It’s SO difficult without reading everything first.

    My two YA Sci-fi series are completely clean. Some violence, but not graphic.

    The Configured Trilogy- by Jenetta Penner
    The Starfire Wars- by Jenetta Penner

  6. Hi!!! First of all I LOVE your website. I stumbled across it when I realized I really didn’t remember half of One Dark Throne when I started my fresh new just-in copy of Two Dark Reigns and you’ve saved me. Thank you! To this list, I’d like to add The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill which is, in my opinion, the most “clean book” I’ve had in years! I loved it 🙂 also, I read The Novice by Taran Matharu, and it does have fighting so there’s the warning for that, but in the first book, there’s not really any sign of romance,which I greatly appreciated 🙂
    I hope this helps you!

  7. An oldie but a goodie, Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series is clean! It has one mention of ‘the B-word,’ but it calls it ‘the B-word,’ rather than uses it.

  8. She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah by Ann Hood… Normal teen angst-your best friend is hanging out with the popular girls-genuinely engaging without 2018 problems

  9. I’m a school librarian (K-8), and I wouldn’t include Meyer’s Fairest on the clean list.
    There is sex in it, and I wouldn’t call it consensual.

    1. Thanks for letting us know, Erika! 🙂 I had forgotten about that part of the book. I removed Fairest from the list.

  10. This is an awesome idea! Good, clean stuff is so hard to find! Some of my suggestions are:
    The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine; The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson; A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter; The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist; Miss Burton Unmasks a Prince by Jennifer Moore; Chances Are by Tracy Hunter Abramson; Love, Life and The List by Kasie West; The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine; Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter; Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen; and Love at First Note by Jenny Proctor

  11. Thanks for this list! I have a tween and soon-to-be one who are voracious readers, and well above their age level in reading. It’s a challenge to find clean series for them. Can’t wait to join your list to keep up to date!
    Do you only list/review SciFi or Fantasy? If not, please list more ‘adventure’ and ‘mystery’ genre books, when you can.

    Here are a few recommendations from my kids:
    Spy School series by Stuart Gibbs
    Warriors (and others) series by Erin Hunter
    Dragonet Prophecy series by Tui Sutherland

    1. Thank you for your recommendations, Catherine. Our list, as well as our reviews and recaps, lean more toward SciFi/Fantasy because that’s what we love to read the most! I will take your advice into account. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Sara!
        Warriors series (1st is Into the Wild) and Dragonet Prophecy series both fall into Fantasy genre. 🙂

    2. My 11 year old kiddo love, love, loves all the Stewart Gibbs novels. He is currently devouring “The Mysterious Benedict Society” by Trenton Lee Stewart. John Grisham also has a “Kid Lawyer” series that I was going to try next. Agreed that adventure/mystery novels would be a good category to add. So glad I stumbled onto this website!

  12. So glad I came across this list, it’s really hard to find good YA books without mature content.
    I would like to suggest Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger to be added to this list

  13. I really appreciate you compiling this list! Even as an older teen I like to read cleaner YA novels when at all possible, but it can be hard to know before actually getting into a book what content is in it!

    Fawkes by Nadine Brandes is a really good and clean YA novel. Also I would argue that Shadow of the Fox is pretty clean except for some innuendos, BUT I will mention that there is a lot of violence in that book.

  14. Hi Sara and Stacy,
    Another suggestion for the Clean Teen Books with Elevated Violence only section: the half bad trilogy by Sally Green.

  15. I am still looking for adventure and historical fiction for my teen boys who don’t like fantasy or sci fi. They like books like Bear Grylls and thé Mapmaker series. Many of the reviewers seem to be women and the book choices are weighted accordingly !

    1. What about Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom? It’s a series about all the prince charmings

  16. Sorry, I guess that is fantasy. How about classics like Man In the Iron Mask, Three Musketeers, Treasure Island, or autobio like Unbroken? Depends on their age of course.

  17. “The Lie Tree”, and “A Face Like Glass” (both by Francis Hardinge) are both really good clean YA books. Both could be classified as children’s books, but the themes are very thought-provoking, and younger readers might not fully understand some of the deeper thoughts.

    “Thirteenth Child” by Patricia Wrede is also a very fun clean YA (maybe Tween?) read!

  18. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to everyone who has commented on this post!!! Sara & I are thrilled we have so many readers who are also passionate about clean books for teens. We have decided to start a second page of clean YA books based on all of your recommendations. So check back soon for details on this new page. We’ve also found some additional resources to check for clean YA books. We’re excited to share more books with everyone very soon. Please help spread the word about our project, and please keep your recommendations coming! 🙂

  19. Dianna Wynne Jones wrote for children, to teens and YA. All her books I’ve read so far are clean.

  20. Thanks so much for this list. I have a 9yo/4th grader who reads well above his grade level, but the content begins to be inappropriate and this is the exact kind of list I’ve been hoping for. My wife did suggest getting a couple to read myself first and leaving them laying around – he always shows interest – but I’m waist deep in a stack I’m already behind on.

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