High Lexile Books for Teens -- 1000 +

Try reading a classic! Try reading anything by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Thackeray or a Greek tragedy or something modern by Gabriel Garcia Marquez!


The Hobbit by Tolkien, J. R. R. (Lexile 1000) Find it in YA Fic Fantasy.

Bilbo the hobbit is invited to become a robber by the wizard Gandalf.
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (Lexile 1240) Find it in FIC Bradley.
The magical legend of King Arthur retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne.
The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. (Lexile 1240) Find it in SCI FI Brooks. Evil, elves, and skull bearers.


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (Lexile 1080) Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called "out-With," Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.
Rumors by Anna Godberson (Lexile 1070).  An 1890s Gossip Girl in a mash up with Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence. 
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (Lexile 1000). Find it at FIC Golden. A compelling page-turner about the life and trials of a beautiful young geisha student.
The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman (Lexile 1240). Find it at YA Cushman. The girl known only as Brat has no family, no home, and no future until she meets Jane the Midwife and becomes her apprentice.
The Rifle by Gary Paulsen (Lexile 1480). Find it in YA Paulsen. Not once in the life of the rifle did anybody ever think to see if it was loaded. The rifle was loaded.


The River King by Alice Hoffman (Lexile 1160) Find it in FIC Hoffman. Within the school, hierarchy rules, as freshman and faculty members find out where they fit in and what is expected of them. But when a body is found in the river behind the school, a local policeman will walk into this enclosed world and upset it entirely.
By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz (Lexile 1200). Find it at FIC Koontz.  Dylan O'Connor is on his way to an arts festival when he stops to get a room for himself and his twenty-year-old autistic brother. But in a nightmarish instant, Dylan is attacked by a mysterious "doctor," injected with a strange substance, and told that he is now a carrier of something that will either kill him...or transform his life in the most remarkable way. (Also try Koontz' Hideway(Lexile 1160)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. (Lexile 1180) Find it in FIC Haddon Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor’s dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.


Dracula, by Bram Stoker (Lexile 1040) Find it in adult Fic Stoker
The count doesn't count or sparkle in this, the original vampire tale.
Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King (Lexile 1020) Find it in Fic King.
The isolated Maine village of Tarker Mills is terrorized by the horrifying bloodthirsty creature stalking its inhabitants at the time of the full moon. 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.


That Summer by Sarah Dessen (Lexile 1020) Find it in YA Fiction Realistic
Haven’s hit the dreaded 6-feet-tall mark, her father just remarried, and her sister is marrying the wrong guy. Nothing is the way it should be. If only Haven could go back to “that summer,” when everything was perfect…
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (Lexile 1020). Find it in YA. Stranded in the wilderness with only the clothes on his back and a hatchet, Brian must put his bitter thoughts of his parents' divorce behind and deal with trying to stay alive.
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks (Lexile 1010).
Bee Season by Myla Goldberg (1050) gave us the word perfectimundo. Very human characters, great ending.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Either Dog Days (1010) or Third Wheel (1060). I'm not kidding, slackers!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. (Lexile 1070) Gross cover.

Science Fiction

Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix (Lexile 1070). He's an immortal prince living in an intergalactic empire, but things aren't all they're cracked up to be... Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Lexile 1170) Find it in YA FIC SHELLEY Sci-Fi. Begun when the author was only eighteen and conceived from a nightmare, Frankenstein is the deeply disturbing story of a monstrous creation which has terrified and chilled readers since its first publication in 1818.
War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (Lexile 1170) Find it in Sci Fi Wells. Oh, those mean Martians.
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (Lexile 1310) Find it in Fic Burgess. A nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology.


My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen (Lexile 1250) Gary Paulsen has owned dozens of unforgettable and amazing dogs. In each chapter he tells of one special dog. Find it in juvenile biography.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Christine Lamb (Lexile 1000).  As a young girl growing up in Palestine, Malala was writing a blog about how important education was to her.  So when the terrorists stopped her school bus, she was the one she shot in the head. She lived to tell the tale, travel the globe, and become the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Lexile 1010) Find it in 921 Walls.
Walls' memoir of surviving her childhood with her eccentric parents. Insightful, funny at times, and sad at times.
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer. (Lexile 1320) Find it in Adult Nonfiction 796.522. 
Krakauer tells the haunting story of a Mt. Everest climb gone horribly wrong. This first-person account is both compelling and horrifying.

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida (Lexile 1000). This beautifully written book by a Japanese boy is a delicate, lovely read that will give you remarkable insight into people whose brains work visually.
I Beat the Odds by Michael Oher (Lexile 1130). See the movie The Blind Side about the boy the Oher family adopted who became a football star? This is the book.Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt (Lexile 1110).  This one will break your heart, but yet, things come out OK in the end.  Just be glad you aren't growing up in Ireland.