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.
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)
General Clean Teen Books:
(Unfinished Series–at least one book yet to be published)
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*)
Mortal Engines (*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.
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! 🙂