8 teen books you need to read, as chosen by Paisley Grammar pupils

In the third instalment of our Pupils Recommend series, Paisley Grammar School pupils tell us the titles that have had them hooked over the previous months! 

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

The Art of Being Normal cover
The book The Art of Being Normal is written by Lisa Williamson. Leo longs to be invisible and David longs to be a girl. When David starts slowly making friends with Leo he discovers they are not as different as they might have assumed. I think this is an inspirational book that is passionate and powerful about the message that Lisa (author) was trying to get across. I think that it is important that everybody considers reading this book because it makes you understand life in somebody else’s shoes.

Tess McCormack (S1)

Noughts and Crosses cover
Noughts and Crosses
by Malorie Blackman

My book review is on the book Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. Noughts and Crosses is about a girl called Sephy who is a Cross and a boy called Callum who is a Nought. Callum and Sephy have known each other since they were very young and as they get older they fall in love, but can’t be together because Noughts and Crosses “aren’t supposed to be together”. As the book goes on Sephy and Callum fight to be together. I love this book because it shows if you are black or white skinned it doesn’t matter and that young people can fight for what they believe in. I rate this book 5 stars.

Fiona Bebbington (S1)

Maze Runner cover
Maze Runner series by James Dashner

I recently read the Maze Runner series. One of my friends recommended it to me, as she had read them already. I tried to not read the books at home, as I wanted to save them for when we read in English. About halfway through the first book, I started reading the book all the time, as I really wanted to find out what happened to Thomas and his friends. All the books were real page turners and I wish there were more in the series.

Emma Brough (S1)

Gladiator: Fight For Freedom cover
Gladiator: Fight for Freedom
by Simon Scarrow

For ten years, young Marcus lived peacefully on a farm in the countryside of Greece. But one day his father is murdered and he and his mother are taken away and sold into slavery. After that Marcus’s life becomes a living hell. He and his mother are tragically separated from each other.  He must escape from Poricino’s Gladiator School, free his mother and kill the man who did all of it. This is one of my favourite books.

Jack Young (S1)

Auslander cover
by Paul Dowswell

Auslander, is set in WW2 Germany. It is about a boy called Ptor (Peter) who is a German who lives in Poland. His parents die because of a tank accident meaning he is in an orphanage but a German commander looking for perfect German specimens saves him. The story is about his life with this German family. I would highly recommend this great book to anyone who likes the war genre. It is a good read but you need to be patient to understand it!

Darren Rae (S1)

The Eagle Trail cover
The Eagle Trail
by Robert Rigby

The Eagle Trail is a book about a boy called Paul whose dad has been killed and the Gestapo arrested his mum. This book is set in WW2 Europe; Paul is escaping the German army because they think he knows about his father’s job. Paul is escaping to England along the Eagle Trail to Spain, but things go wrong. This is a good book for people who like the WW2 genre. I would rate it 4.5 stars!

Darren Rae (S1) 

Murder Most Unladylike cover
A Murder Most Unladylike
by Robin Stevens

A Murder Most Unladylike is about two girls called Daisy and Hazel, who attend Deepdean School for girls and start a Detective Society. When Hazel finds the murdered body of their Science teacher, Miss Bell, she returns 5 minutes later to find it gone. With rumours spreading around the school, Daisy and Hazel must uncover which teacher killed Miss Bell and why, as well as prove there was a murder in the first place. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books about murder, or mystery books, or books overflowing with plot twists, or books that you cannot put down.

Rafe Potts 

We were Liars cover
We Were Liars
by E Lockhart

This is the first YA novel I have read by E Lockhart. It tells the story of a group of cousins who spend idyllic summers on an island owned by their grandparents. The young people may appear to live privileged lives, but things soon begin to fall apart. The story centres on Cadence and the accident she has which causes her to lose her memory. The novel has a very dream like quality and the way the book ended was unusual, sad and not what I was expecting. I cannot recommend it enough.

Mrs Gordon (librarian)


Giving pupils a voice is an excellent step to take towards creating a reading culture in school. If you'd like to take part in our Pupils Recommend series, please email our Schools Resource Developer Chris Leslie at chris.leslie@scottishbooktrust.com

if you'd like more ideas to create a reading culture, you can read the rest of our blog posts on the subject, or check out our Creating A Reading Culture resource. Alternatively, you can check out this video which supports the First Minister's Reading Challenge to find out more about the essential principles of building a reading culture (you can also watch the video on this page - it's the second one down - if you can't access YouTube). 

Louise Gordon, pupils from Paisley Grammar School

Louise Gordon is the librarian at Paisley Grammar School in Renfrewshire.