Teen Spotlight: Clean Reads

One of the most frequent requests we get during our Summer Reading Program is for recommendations of teen titles for advanced middle school readers. Books that will give them more advanced, but not too mature, content (i.e. no sex, excessive violence). We call this category of books clean reads, and we have many our go-to recommendations for different genres:

Realistic Fiction:

Ally Carter is always a go-to for clean reads, especially for those who like to read about strong, female characters. Carter’s series include the Gallagher Girls (about teenage girls being trained as spies), the Heist Society (about art thieves), and Embassy Row (about the granddaughter of a diplomat). These books are fun, action packed, and full of girl power!

Mike Lupica is an excellent choice for readers interested in athletics. His teen books feature stories about a variety of sports, including football, basketball, and baseball.


For some cute romance, without the mature content, try Kasie West, Emma Mills, or Jennifer E. Smith!

Science Fiction:

For readers interested in intergalactic action and adventure, try the Illuminae Files series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, or the 5th Wave series by Rick Yancey. Both do have genre-typical violence, but little to no romance.


If you’re interested in Lord of the Rings style quest fantasy, try the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan (the first three books in the series are linked below). If you enjoy these books, you can also try the Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney. Again, these books will feature genre-typical violence, but little or no romance, as does the next series mentioned below.

If you’re more interested in Harry Potter or Percy Jackson style fantasy, try the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott (the first three books in the series are linked below).

For more clean read suggestions, check out our Clean Reads booklist!


Teen Spotlight: Clean Reads

  COVID-19 UPDATE:  All Pickerington Public Library locations are following the color levels approved by the Library Board of Trustees. Orange level: Library is open to browse and borrow all materials. Curbside service available. By appointment or reservation: Computers, study tables and business center. Conference rooms. In-person notary and proctoring. Virtual technology trainer appointments. Virtual events and classes. What to know when you arrive: Limited restroom access. *Safety protocols in place; masks required, no food or drink allowed.