Six books your teachers recommend you read before becoming an adult

Photo Illustration by Olivia Oliver

Photo Illustration by Olivia Oliver

Books have the incredible ability to shape, prepare and impact our lives. Each story, character, setting and plot can open our eyes to a vast amount of ideas and worlds. Teachers here recommended books they believe teenagers should read before they enter the world of adulthood. While the books that inspire your teachers may not inspire you, it can be nice to delve into different novels you may not have picked up otherwise. 

Aesop’s Fables

Aesop’s Fables 

Suggested by Marisol Rodriguez De Lort

Marisol Rodriguez De Lort, a Spanish language and culture teacher, recommends the book Aesop’s Fables by Aesop for teenagers to read before they become adults. This book consists of fables starring primarily animals and plants. Each fable has a lesson or moral that emulates human behaviors and experiences. 

Rodriguez De Lort describes what this book consists of.

“The content in this collection of stories transcends all cultures, languages, and time,” Rodriguez De Lort said.

The ethics and morals in each story have impacted her own life decisions, both professionally and personally. 

“This collection of stories has a special place in my heart, mind and soul because it illustrates the ethical decisions that as humans we have to take or at least consider throughout our lives,” she explained.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Suggested by Daniel Fredgant

English teacher Daniel Fredgant recommends Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to teens. It’s the first novel in J.K. Rowling’s seven-book fantasy series about Harry Potter, a young boy that discovers he’s a wizard and begins to attend the Hogwarts wizardry school. There, he meets friends and enemies and learns of a powerful wizard that is after the sorcerer’s stone. Fredgant said the book is well written and engaging and explores many important themes that are relatable to students, such as friendship, courage and triumphing over hardship. 

“It teaches me about what it is to be a human and helps me feel connected to people who are different from and similar to me,” he said.

The Secret

The Secret

Suggested by Chuck Jones

Health teacher Chuck Jones recommends The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. It’s a self-help book that explains how positive thoughts attract positive things into your life and how you can use that positive energy to accomplish anything you want. Jones explains that this book will help students get into the right mindset to be successful in life and reach their dreams. Jones read this book after he went to high school, but he wishes instead that he had read it during that time. 

“I would have been more equipped to be successful earlier in my life. We all will have obstacles that get in the way of our success, but this book tells you how to navigate through life and gives you the secret to success,” Jones said.

The Broken Earth Trilogy

Broken Earth trilogy

Suggested by Cinti Tuan 

Cinti Tuan, design foundations and photography teacher, recommends the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. This science fiction series is about a woman hiding her secret powers during the world’s end, all the while searching for her kidnapped daughter in the first book. It covers themes of power and oppression. For Tuan, the strong female characters and insightful commentary on how society works are standout qualities. 

“N.K. Jeminsin’s words are everything! Her characters reveal how we are all greater than the sum of our identities,,” Tuan remarked. “She invites us to be intentional about the choices we make when we grasp for power.”

Why Not Me?

Why Not Me?

Suggested by Darshanpreet Gill

Darshanpreet Gill, a biomedical science teacher, recommends the book Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. In this memoir, Kaling shares personal and relatable anecdotes of her life, from work, to love, creating friendships and seeking a place in Hollywood when no one looks like you. 

Gill explains that there are many important quotes in this book that teenagers, especially female teenagers should hear. Gill explains how women, especially women of color, have been led to believe that they have to be perfect before they ask for anything, and “above criticism in every way before we criticize anything else,” which she thinks is completely wrong. 

“The way that Mindy Kaling writes and lives her life–where she both maintains her right to be an imperfect, boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed, blurter and be taken seriously as a writer, producer and actor because she put in the work and has raw, undeniable talent–is such an inspiration to me,” Gill described. “She’s shown me, again and again, that you can be many things at once and do not need to uncomplicate yourself to make yourself more easily digestible for others

Any book that peaks your interest

Suggested by Natalie Gardner 

Natalie Gardner, a biology and forensic science teacher, wasn’t a big reader growing up. What she recommends to students is to pick up any book that sounds interesting to you. 

“Pick up a book and let yourself experience it and the endorphins released when you finish it. It just takes one good book to get the ball rolling,” Gardner says. 

When she finished reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, of the books that she had read for fun, it changed her mindset, and she realized books were not to be avoided. Now, Gardner is an avid reader in her adulthood.

“I think reading has helped me become a more emotionally intelligent person, seeing the world through other people’s perspectives and challenging my worldview,” Garnder said.


There is a seemingly endless amount of books to read before you become an adult. What is important to remember is to read something you will enjoy. What books one will enjoy ranges greatly from person to person, and that’s okay. These six books are just a few that have inspired teachers, and you may want to consider reading before you exit your childhood and enter adulthood.