9 English Coming-of-age Novels You Should Read Now

One of the most popular and universally appealing genres among books is coming-of-age novels. Tales that delve into the life-changing experiences of youngsters and the hurdles they face as they blossom from a child to an adolescent or an adolescent to an adult have always been fascinating to read. This week, you can take a look at some of our picks for English coming-of-age novels that you should read:

To Kill A Mocking Bird

Coming-of-age Novels You Shouldn’t Miss: To Kill A Mocking Bird

This book, authored by Harper Lee, was a sensational hit when it had released. It is certainly worth noting that this book is said to resonate with the current generation, despite being published more than half a century ago. Through this novel, Harper Lee paints vivid visuals of colorism and Black Justice in the 1930s from the perspective of an innocent little girl, Jean Louise. The series of events and the unexpected twists lead to the protagonist realizing that no matter what people seem like outside, it only matters what they are like inside. This is precisely what makes this novel a timeless classic.

You can buy it here.

Great Expectations

Coming-of-age Novels You Shouldn’t Miss: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

This novel by Charles Dickens revolves around themes such as ambition and self-improvement, explored in a moral, social, and educational context. What is remarkable about this tale is that it portrays the early childhood, adolescence, and the transition to manhood of Pip, the narrator. Dickens tells us how Pip sheds his superficial self and embarks on a journey of moral regeneration. How he turns over a new leaf when he realizes that the more one runs behind glam and sophistication, the more miserable one gets drives the rest of the plot. Similar to how Uncle Scrooge from A Christmas Carol (I guess it was a part of our English syllabus in 10th grade) realizes the importance of relationships and familial bonds, Pip learns his lesson the hard way too.

You can buy it here.

The Book Thief

Coming-of-age Novels You Shouldn’t Miss: The Book Thief

An internationally best-selling novel, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, is a heart-wrenching novel that depicts emotions in their rawest forms from cover to cover. This book would surely take you on a roller-coaster ride of feelings as you read on about the intriguing story of a girl’s life under Nazi rule. One thing this book was especially noticed for was that the narrator is not a person but the worst reality, Death, itself. By the way, if you happen to be an emotional wreck, you’d probably only have time to make a grab for the tissue box, and you might want to think twice before starting this book.

You can buy it here.

Catcher In The Rye

Coming-of-age Novels You Shouldn’t Miss:The Catcher in the Rye

16-year-old Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of this book, may strike a chord with a lot of adolescents today especially in terms of the reclusion, the alienation, and the loneliness they experience in the teenage phase of their lives. When this book by JD Salinger was launched in 1951, it had created quite an uproar. Catcher In The Rye was panned by critics and later even banned as the book was said to have contained obnoxious and offensive language and multiple sexual references which were thought to mislead the American youth back then.

You can buy it here.

You Might Also Like: 8 Books You Can Read To improve Yourself

To Sir, With Love

Coming-of-age Novels You Shouldn’t Miss:To Sir, With Love

A semi-autobiographical account of an African-American teacher told in the most eloquent manner. E.R Braithwaite, through his brilliant narration, reveals being denied several jobs in England due to his ethnicity and skin color, despite having a Master’s degree from Cambridge University. Ultimately, he ends up teaching a tough bunch of students who display casual racism and hooliganism. It is enthralling to read how this teacher earns their respect by deviating from the curriculum and teaching them concepts in a way that interests them. This was later adapted into a two-series drama film which first released in the 60s followed by its sequel in 1996.

You can buy it here.

The Kite Runner

Coming-of-age Novels You Shouldn’t Miss:THE KITE RUNNER

Khalid Hosseini’s debut book, The Kite Runner, is one to treasure. It narrates a wonderfully crafted tale of a young boy, Amir, whose only aim was to be seen as worthy in his father’s eyes. His quest for redemption drives him to win a kite flying tournament. The win, however, reveals Amir’s selfish streaks and how he failed to stand up for the people in his life. Eventually, Amir becomes wracked with guilt and this drives an inner turmoil in him which paves the path for his journey towards protecting the ones who are dear to him. Not only is the narration compelling, but the well-drawn characters get etched in your memory and stay with you long after you finish reading the book.

You can buy it here.

Fireflies In December

Coming-of-age Novels You Shouldn’t Miss: Fireflies in December

This book is set in the 1930s and has been compared to Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mocking Bird as they both address racial tension from the eyes of a strong-willed young girl. This book is all about the stigma of an English family who offers shelter to a child of another race whose family got killed in the war. The family ends up getting ousted by the community and this impacts their 13-year-old biological child who tries to put on a brave face despite dealing with an amalgam of emotions such as fear and confusion.

You can buy it here.

Black Swan Green

Coming-of-age Novels You Shouldn’t Miss: Black Swan Green

David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green recounts the tale of a teenager whose family is broken as his parents decide to part ways. Jason Taylor, the hero of this novel discovers that the only way he can express himself is through composing poetry. He starts writing poems under a pen name while facing several issues such as bullying at school, being a misfit and battling a speech impediment. An autobiographical novel, this one takes us on a ride with Jason which culminates with his transformation from a sensitive teenager to a confident boy prepared to face the future. It is one of the best coming-of-age novels.

You can buy it here.

Little Women

Coming-of-age Novels You Shouldn’t Miss: LITTLE WOMEN

This is indeed a much-loved classic in the coming-of-age genre. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is a book enjoyed equally by a 12-year-old and a 25-year-old. Through the lives of four sisters of the March family, it explores the struggles of a woman while she is in a conflict between self-love and responsibility towards family. Although these four sisters are completely different in temperament, they share a special bond with each other which is quite fascinating for the reader.

You can buy it here.

That was our list of coming-of-age novels. Share your recommendations in the comments section.


Tell us what you're thinking

Subscribe to our newsletter

We'll send you a monthly newsletter with our top articles of the month

Latest Posts