Reads for a New Beginning: High School

Congratulations, Class of 2023! You did it. You’ve achieved one of your first great milestones: graduating middle school. You are now on your way to the next, high school! For many, this will mean a time of many firsts; first date, first solo trip, first time driving, first job.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” so explore this universe of new beginnings, independence and challenges. Take chances, make mistakes and have fun! Below are some books that might inspire you on summer break:

After the social disaster that was his middle school life, Dan isn’t looking forward to the class trip to Europe with his fellow classmates. This memoir will resonate with many readers who follow along as Dan opens himself up to new fun experiences (and failures) and discovers that there’s always A First Time for Everything.

!Ay, Mija¡ is based on the author’s experiences during their solo summer trips to Mexico. This graphic novel memoir touches on the many insecurities they faced, including body issues, language barriers, identity and religion as they try to define who they are and where they belong. The calming color palette and art, reminiscent of Talavela art, used in the book beautifully compliments their Mexican culture.

Finding your path and making a mark can be a difficult journey. Learn to use what you love to Ignite your Spark and take your fears and forge ahead to “make good trouble” as a Rising Troublemaker.

If you're interested in preparing your own meals or snacks, The Complete Cookbook for Teen Chefs offers beginner, intermediate and advanced recipes that also include vegetarian options. The easy-to-follow format offers pictures for reference, simple ingredient list and instructions that will have you enjoying dishes like acai smoothie bowls and buffalo chicken dip.

How to Money offers a guide to finance with sections focusing on earning, managing and using money. Get tips about things like budgets, bank accounts and credit to secure your financial future.

Looking for more suggestions? Make sure to browse the Self-Care and Well-Being for Teens and Chicago Teen Interns’ Favorite Books of 2022 book lists.