Books for 10th Graders (List)

Welcome to our curated list of books for 10th graders! Whether you’re a high school student yourself or a parent looking for suitable reading materials for your sophomore student, we’ve got you covered.

This list includes a variety of engaging and educational books that are perfect for 10th grade students. From contemporary fiction to classics, there’s something here for everyone. Let’s dive in and discover the must-read books for 10th grade!

Books for 10th Graders

Key Takeaways:

  • High school reading materials for 10th graders
  • Curated selection of literature for sophomore students
  • Recommended books for the 10th grade English curriculum
  • Popular novels for 10th graders across different genres
  • Engaging and educational books for 10th grade students

Thriller and Mystery Books for 10th Graders

Are you a 10th grader intrigued by suspenseful and mysterious stories? Look no further! We have compiled a list of thrilling books that will keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the very end.

Dive into the world of crime, secrets, and unexpected twists with these captivating thrillers and mystery novels for 10th grade students.

1. “One of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus

If you’re a fan of murder mysteries, this book is a must-read. Set in a high school, “One of Us Is Lying” tells the story of five students who enter detention but only four walk out alive.

With secrets, lies, and a web of interwoven relationships, this suspenseful thriller will keep you guessing until the shocking truth is revealed.

2. “Dragon Hoops” by Gene Luen Yang

For those who enjoy graphic novels, “Dragon Hoops” is a perfect choice. This captivating story follows a high school basketball team as they strive for victory and face unexpected challenges.

Blending elements of mystery, sports, and personal growth, “Dragon Hoops” will keep you hooked from start to finish.

Immerse yourself in the thrilling world of these gripping books that will captivate your imagination, test your detective skills, and leave you wanting more.


“Reading is like playing a thrilling game of cat and mouse. The suspense keeps you eagerly turning the pages, desperate to uncover the truth.”

In the table below, you’ll find a summary of our recommended thriller and mystery books for 10th graders:

Book Title Author Genre
“One of Us Is Lying” Karen M. McManus Suspense, Mystery
“Dragon Hoops” Gene Luen Yang Graphic Novel, Mystery

These books offer gripping stories and intriguing plots that will keep you engaged and entertained. Whether you prefer a classic whodunit or a modern thriller, these novels are sure to satisfy your craving for suspense and mystery.

Romance Novels for 10th Graders

For those in 10th grade who enjoy romance, there are plenty of captivating love stories available.

These YA romance novels will transport readers into worlds filled with blossoming relationships, heartwarming moments, and unforgettable characters.

Whether you’re looking for a contemporary tale or an exploration of deeper themes, these romance books for 10th graders are sure to satisfy.

Book Title Author Genre
I Kissed Shara Wheeler Casey McQuiston LGBT YA Romance
Eleanor & Park Rainbow Rowell Contemporary Romance

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston is a compelling LGBT YA novel that explores the complexities of young love and self-discovery.

Set in a small town, the story follows two girls as they navigate their feelings for each other amidst societal expectations and personal growth.

The book beautifully captures the emotional journey of the characters and the challenges they face in accepting themselves and their love.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell tells the story of two misfit teenagers who find solace in each other’s company.

As their friendship deepens into first love, they also struggle with issues such as domestic abuse, bullying, and the complexities of family relationships.

This heartwarming and honest portrayal of young love resonates with readers and tackles important themes that are relevant to 10th grade readers.

These YA romance novels not only provide entertaining stories but also explore important themes and emotions that resonate with 10th grade readers.

Whether it’s self-discovery, acceptance, or first love, these books offer a glimpse into the complexity of relationships and the power of love.

Thriller and Diverse Books for 10th Graders

When it comes to diverse and thrilling books for 10th graders, “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” by Tiffany D. Jackson stands out as a powerful young adult novel that combines elements of both.

Set in 1990s Brooklyn, this gripping story tackles themes of grief, identity, and the power of music.

As readers delve into the pages of this engaging thriller, they will also be exposed to diverse characters that reflect the beauty of our multicultural world.

Through the twists and turns of this thrilling narrative, 10th graders will be captivated by the dynamic characters who bring the story to life.

With its emphasis on diversity and inclusion, “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” will not only entertain readers but also broaden their perspectives and foster empathy.

“Reading books with diverse characters is crucial for the personal growth and development of young readers. It allows them to connect with characters who may have different experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives than their own. In doing so, 10th graders can gain a deeper understanding of the world around them and cultivate empathy for others.”

As students explore the pages of “Let Me Hear a Rhyme,” they will find themselves immersed in a thrilling world where mystery, music, and diversity intertwine.

This powerful combination makes it an ideal choice for 10th graders seeking a captivating and thought-provoking read.

Key Features:

  • Diverse characters that reflect the multicultural world we live in.
  • Themes of grief, identity, and the power of music.
  • A gripping narrative set in 1990s Brooklyn.

Diverse Books for 10th Graders

Book Title Author Genre
“Let Me Hear a Rhyme” Tiffany D. Jackson Thriller, Young Adult, Diversity

With its thrilling storyline and diverse characters, “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” is a must-read for 10th graders who are eager to explore the world of books while expanding their understanding of different cultures and perspectives.

Horror and Historical Fiction Books for 10th Graders

For 10th graders who enjoy a thrilling scare or exploring the past through captivating stories, there are some fantastic books to dive into.

Whether you’re a fan of horror or have an interest in historical fiction, these books will keep you hooked from beginning to end.

Horror Books for 10th Graders

If you’re looking for a spine-tingling read, “The Monstrumologist” by Rick Yancey is a young adult horror series that will send shivers down your spine.

Set in the late 19th century, this gripping tale follows a young apprentice who assists a monstrumologist in hunting down terrifying creatures.

Historical Fiction Novels for 10th Grade Students

Transport yourself to the Great Depression with “Out of the Dust” by Karen Hesse. This award-winning historical fiction novel takes you on a journey through the life of a young girl named Billie Jo, who strives to find hope and strength in the midst of poverty and dust storms.

Both of these books provide gripping narratives that will keep you on the edge of your seat and transport you to different worlds.

Whether you prefer the thrill of horror or the depth of historical fiction, these books offer unforgettable reading experiences for 10th graders.

Classic Novels for 10th Graders

As part of the 10th grade English curriculum, it is essential for students to explore classic literature. The timeless stories and profound themes found in these novels provide valuable insights into history, society, and the human condition.

Here are two must-read classics that every 10th grader should have the opportunity to experience:

The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin

The Voyage of the Beagle is a captivating account of Charles Darwin’s five-year journey around the world as a naturalist on the HMS Beagle.

In this seminal work, Darwin meticulously documents his observations and discoveries, laying the foundation for his groundbreaking theory of evolution.

Through vivid descriptions and scientific analysis, Darwin invites readers to explore the wonders of the natural world and ponder the interconnectedness of life on Earth.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Invisible Man is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that delves into the experiences of an unnamed African American protagonist struggling with identity, racism, and social inequality in 20th century America.

Through the lens of the protagonist’s journey from the segregated South to the bustling streets of Harlem, Ralph Ellison exposes the pervasive racism and oppression that pervaded society during that era.

This classic novel challenges readers to confront the complexities of race, individuality, and the search for self amidst a backdrop of social and political turmoil.

These classic novels not only enhance literary skills but also provide students with the opportunity to explore historical contexts and engage with important social issues.

The Voyage of the Beagle and Invisible Man offer unique perspectives and invaluable insights that will broaden students’ perspectives and enrich their understanding of the world.

Dystopian and Science Fiction Books for 10th Graders

As 10th graders explore the world of literature, dystopian and science fiction novels offer thrilling and thought-provoking reading experiences.

These genres challenge readers to consider the future of society, scientific advancements, and the consequences of human actions. Here are two exceptional books that will captivate 10th grade students:

“Rootless” by Chris Howard

Chris Howard’s “Rootless” takes readers on a journey through an ecologically devastated world, where trees are extinct and humanity struggles to survive.

Set in a dystopian future, this eco-mystery novel follows 17-year-old Banyan as he embarks on a dangerous quest to find a mythical tree rumored to bring hope and restoration.

Through vivid storytelling, Howard addresses pressing environmental issues and explores themes of resilience, sacrifice, and the intrinsic relationship between humanity and nature.

“Shipbreaker” by Paolo Bacigalupi

In “Shipbreaker,” Paolo Bacigalupi introduces readers to a world devastated by climate change, where vast oceans have swallowed coastlines and corporations rule over scavenger crews. The story follows 16-year-old Nailer, who strips old oil tankers for a living.

When he discovers a luxurious shipwreck and a wealthy girl aboard, Nailer faces life-changing choices that challenge his loyalty and moral compass.

Bacigalupi’s vivid portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world highlights themes of social inequality, environmental degradation, and personal growth.

These dystopian and science fiction novels for 10th graders offer compelling narratives that engage readers and encourage thoughtful reflection.

They invite students to consider the potential consequences of our present actions and the importance of making informed choices for a sustainable future.

Comparative Summary of “Rootless” and “Shipbreaker”

“Rootless” by Chris Howard “Shipbreaker” by Paolo Bacigalupi
Main Themes Environmental issues, humanity’s relationship with nature, resilience Social inequality, environmental degradation, personal growth
Setting Ecologically devastated future world Post-apocalyptic world affected by climate change
Protagonist Banyan, a 17-year-old on a quest for a mythical tree Nailer, a 16-year-old ship breaker
Tone Eco-mystery, atmospheric Thrilling adventure, nuanced
Key Messages Importance of nature, sacrifice for a greater cause Social justice, the power of individual choices

Comparing “Rootless” and “Shipbreaker” reveals their unique approaches to dystopian and science fiction storytelling. While both novels tackle environmental issues, they emphasize different aspects such as human resilience and social inequality.

The settings and protagonists offer distinct perspectives on survival and personal growth. Whether through eco-mysteries or thrilling adventures, these books provide 10th graders with an immersive exploration of complex themes and imaginative worlds.

Historical Fiction and War Stories for 10th Graders

Explore the gripping world of historical fiction and war stories with these captivating books recommended for 10th grade students.

From the trenches of World War I to the deserted islands of adventure, these novels offer powerful narratives that transport readers to different eras and connect them to the past.

“All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque

Step into the shoes of Paul Bäumer, a young German soldier in World War I, as he confronts the harsh realities of war. This moving novel explores the devastating effects of conflict on a generation and challenges the glorification of war.

“Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe

Embark on a thrilling adventure with Robinson Crusoe, a marooned sailor who must rely on his wits and resourcefulness to survive on a deserted island. This classic tale of resilience and self-discovery has captivated generations of readers.

These historical fiction and war stories encourage critical thinking and foster empathy by shedding light on the human experience during tumultuous times. Delve into these novels to gain a deeper understanding of history and the lasting impact of war.

Book Author Key Themes
“All Quiet on the Western Front” Erich Maria Remarque War, Loss, Comradeship
“Robinson Crusoe” Daniel Defoe Survival, Adaptability, Isolation

Poetry and Biography Books for 10th Graders

Expand your literary horizons with these captivating poetry and biography books for 10th graders. Perfect for students looking to explore new genres and gain insights into the lives of inspiring individuals.

From powerful poetry collections to captivating biographies, these books offer engaging and thought-provoking reading experiences.

Poetry Books

Immerse yourself in the world of poetry with these highly acclaimed collections:

  1. And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou: Experience the raw power of Angelou’s words as she explores themes of hope, resilience, and empowerment. This poetry collection resonates with readers of all ages and encourages self-expression and personal growth.

Biography Books

Discover the fascinating lives and achievements of extraordinary individuals through these compelling biographies:

  1. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe: Dive into the world of test pilots and astronauts in this riveting biography. Wolfe’s captivating storytelling and meticulous research provide an insider’s view into the early years of the U.S. space program, exploring themes of ambition, courage, and the pursuit of excellence. A must-read for 10th grade students interested in history and the wonders of space exploration.

Whether you’re drawn to the power of poetry or intrigued by the lives of remarkable individuals, these books will captivate and inspire 10th grade readers.

Explore the poetic expressions of Maya Angelou and gain a deeper understanding of the incredible achievements of test pilots and astronauts. Enrich your reading experience with these poetry and biography books!

Coming-of-Age and Friendship Novels for 10th Graders

Reading coming-of-age books can be a transformative experience for 10th graders. These stories often explore the challenges and triumphs of growing up, providing young readers with valuable insights and perspectives on their own journey.

Additionally, novels about friendship can teach students the importance of meaningful connections and empathy. Here are two highly recommended books in this genre:

“An Abundance of Katherines” by John Green

“An Abundance of Katherines” follows the story of Colin Singleton, a highly intelligent 17-year-old prodigy who has a unique talent for dating girls named Katherine.

After experiencing yet another heartbreak, Colin embarks on a road trip with his best friend Hassan, searching for a “Eureka” moment to understand the nature of relationships and find his true purpose.

This thought-provoking novel by renowned author John Green beautifully captures the complexities of friendship, love, and self-discovery. It encourages readers to reflect on their own journeys of finding meaning and embracing change.

“Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller

“Attention must be paid,” – Arthur Miller

“Death of a Salesman” is a timeless classic that delves into themes of family dynamics, the pursuit of the American Dream, and the disillusionment that can accompany it.

The play tells the story of Willy Loman, a traveling salesman who is desperately trying to achieve success and validate his existence.

Through the lens of Willy’s relationships, particularly with his sons Biff and Happy, Arthur Miller masterfully portrays the complexities and conflicts that can arise within a family.

This thought-provoking work highlights the importance of strong bonds and examines the consequences of societal pressures and expectations.

Both “An Abundance of Katherines” and “Death of a Salesman” provide valuable insights into the journey of self-discovery and the significance of friendships.

These novels are sure to captivate 10th graders, leaving a lasting impact as they navigate their own paths.

Crime and Adventure Books for 10th Graders

For 10th-grade students who enjoy thrilling and action-packed stories, there are some fantastic crime and adventure books to explore.

“Mister Death’s Blue-Eyed Girls” by Mary Downing Hahn is a gripping crime novel based on a true murder that took place in 1955. Readers will be drawn into the suspenseful narrative as they follow the characters’ journey to uncover the truth behind the crime.

“Airborn” by Kenneth Oppel is an exhilarating adventure-filled tale set in a captivating world of airships.

This novel takes readers on a thrilling journey through the skies with daring characters and unexpected twists that will keep them on the edge of their seats.

Whether it’s solving mysteries or embarking on thrilling adventures, these crime and adventure books are sure to captivate and entertain 10th-grade students.


What are some recommended books for 10th grade students?

Some recommended books for 10th grade students include “One of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus, “Dragon Hoops” by Gene Luen Yang, “I Kissed Shara Wheeler” by Casey McQuiston, and “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell, among others.

What genres of books are included in this list?

This list includes a range of genres such as thrillers, mysteries, romance, diverse literature, horror, historical fiction, classics, dystopian fiction, science fiction, war stories, poetry, biographies, coming-of-age novels, crime novels, and adventure books.

Are there any classic novels included in this list?

Yes, this list includes classic novels such as “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe, and “The Voyage of the Beagle” by Charles Darwin.

Are there any books that explore diverse themes and characters?

Yes, there are several books on this list that explore diverse themes and characters, such as “I Kissed Shara Wheeler” by Casey McQuiston and “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” by Tiffany D. Jackson.

Are there any books on this list that combine different genres?

Yes, “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” by Tiffany D. Jackson combines elements of thriller and diversity, while “Shipbreaker” by Paolo Bacigalupi is a science fiction adventure set in a post-apocalyptic world.

Are there any books on this list that explore historical events?

Yes, “Out of the Dust” by Karen Hesse is set during the Great Depression, while “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque is set during World War I.

Are there any books on this list that explore social issues?

Yes, classics like “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison and contemporary novels like “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell touch on social issues such as racism, domestic abuse, and bullying.

Are there any poetry books included in this list?

Yes, “And Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou is a volume of powerful poetry that explores themes of hope and resilience.

Are there any must-read books for the 10th grade English curriculum?

Yes, classics like “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison and “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe are often included in the 10th grade English curriculum.


In conclusion, this list of books for 10th graders offers a diverse selection of engaging and educational reading materials that cater to different interests and genres. Whether students enjoy thrillers, romance, classics, or historical fiction, there is something for everyone to immerse themselves in.

By reading these books, 10th grade students can expand their horizons, enhance their vocabulary, and develop critical thinking skills.

These stories provide opportunities for self-reflection, empathy, and understanding of different perspectives, contributing to personal growth and intellectual development.

We hope that this collection of recommended books for 10th graders sparks a love for reading among students and encourages them to explore new worlds, characters, and ideas. Happy reading!

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