7 Books Every Teen Should Read Before They Leave Home

7 Non-Fiction Books Every Teen Should Read Before They Leave Home

Our teens LOVE fiction books - whether reading or listening, but non-fiction books that they will read can be hard to find.  We have found 7 books we constantly are recommending every teen read before they leave home.  So, we thought we would share them with you as well. By clicking on any links in this post, you understand they are affiliate links to Amazon.  It doesn't cost you a thing and helps cover the cost of the blog.

Read to the end to see a neat twist on how we had our teens tell us about what they read. :)

A book about working with change as it comes

We started short and simple, Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson.  A quick read with profound wisdom.  The book is written in a parable format and a great story about making the most out of change.

We figure life is AMAZING at throwing curveballs, let’s help her be in a mindset that is prepared for such occasions.


A book about creating good habits for success

The next book we had her read was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens, by  Sean Covey.  As we read this book, we found ourselves constantly saying, “where was all this info when I was a teen?!”

The book is written with teens in mind and keeps chapters entertaining but to the point.  There are also challenges at the end of each chapter to drive the point home. Good stuff!

The publisher gives a great summary, “Imagine you had a roadmap—a step-by-step guide to help you get from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future. Your goals, your dreams, your plans…they are all within reach. You just need the tools to help you get there.

That’s what Sean Covey’s landmark book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, has been to millions of teens: a handbook to self-esteem and success.”  We couldn’t agree more!

A classic book about how to be the most dynamic you in life.

How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie is a LONG, hard read, but WORTH IT!  This book was life-changing for me.  It helped me understand the best way to be a good friend and how to lead without my team feeling shoved or abandoned.  Carnegie was SUCH a great teacher.  He pulls from real-life examples to drive the point home and they really do help the ideas stick.

To this day, my daughter will point out a real-life examples that parallel this book.  She says if she handled it well or what she would do differently next time.

A book on how to actually be wealthy in life – not just look it.

The last one is The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley.  A great book about living below your means and succeeding!  It is amazing how simple it is to live below your means when you don’t care what other’s think of you.  Thomas Stanley did an amazing job helping us learn that just because you look rich doesn’t mean you are rich.  And the same is true of those who look … normal.  I am hoping it helps my kiddos keep more money in the bank for their future.

Another good one on this subject is Everyday Millionaires by Chris Hogan.  It is the culmination of a survey done on over 1000 millionaires and debunks a lot of myths about what current day millionaires look like.

A book on seeing a need and filling it

The Legend of The Monk and The Merchant by Terry Felber was an immediate fave for my husband and it is why this book made the list.  He credits it for helping our teens think outside the box on fixing problems.  It is also a great example of getting a mentor and taking their time and wisdom seriously.

A book on winning by giving

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann is a family favorite.  Here is a link to a teacher's guide for our teens. (!!!) We have listened to it many times!  It was a paradigm shift for us as a family.  It helped us see that we were go-getter, heads down and closed fists, but when you switch to a go-giver you keep an eye on those around and approach them with an open hand. 

And we have seen first hand how living as a go-giver really does lead to great opportunities.

(LOL, way cooler than I can explain here, but it is a quick read/listen and TOTALLY WORTH IT!)

The School Assignments

After our teens finished each book they would write a short summary on what they learned, create a PowerPoint presentation of the highlights, and then present it to us.  It was a great way to see their takeaways from each book. The class made for a nice and easy semester-long composition course before summertime. And the lessons learned have lasted through the years.

I love the freedom of homeschooling. :)

I would love to hear your recommendations as well – if I had picked more books I would have made it a full year course!  Which non-fiction books would you recommend a teen read before they hit the real world?

Now you may be wondering where is #7? Well, wait no more.

A book not for assignments, but to keep them grounded

Last but certainly not least, I would say the Bible. (I am linking to my favorite version for the past 10 years.) This is not to fulfill this assignment, but to help them know their compass before they leave home.  Help your teen get God's word in their heart.  Whether that is having them memorize scripture, taking Bible classes as part of their school or encouraging them to gathering together with other teens and talking about the scripture in a small group.

You've got this! :)

On the journey with you,

-melissa. :)


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