From The Fault in Our Stars to The Diary of a Young Girl – Old and New: The Best Coming-of-Age Stories
We all grow up a little differently. We all face challenges, even though they may be different ones. But that’s what makes coming-of-age stories so great. We can all relate. Add these coming-of-age stories to your reading list.
Published in 2012, John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” earned a Goodreads reader’s choice award in the same year. Characters Hazel and Augustus meet in a cancer support group. While Hazel’s outlook on life looks grim at first, the story changes once Augustus comes into her life. This coming-of-age story tackles hard subjects, like illness and falling in love. Critics have called the book ambitious, heartbreaking and thrilling. Check out Goodreads to add this book to your reading list.
Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is a sequel to another great coming-of-age tale: “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Even though the story was published in 1885, the legendary story lives on and still speaks to kids today. Huck’s iconic voyage takes readers on an adventure from boyhood to manhood. Although the book has been at the center of many controversies, it remains an American coming-of-age classic.
It’s hard to forget the elementary-aged girl Matilda Wormwood. She’s smart beyond belief, and she’s even got special powers. Although the lead character stays the same age throughout the show, she grows from a timid and shy girl into a brave and confident heroine, making "Matilda" one of the most notable coming-of-age tales. The much-loved story can now be seen on stage at Broadway theaters across the country. If you want to experience the show, check out Telecharge for helpful information and ticket prices.
Anne of Green Gables
Written by L.M. Montgomery, the children’s novel “Anne of Green Gables” has captured the hearts of readers for years. The story follows Anne Shirley through her journey from orphanages to Green Gables, passing through multiple bends in the road. Kate Bolick, writing for the The New York Times, states: “It isn’t easy to dislike the children’s classic…” It’s hard to argue, since the book has led to a series and millions of copies have been sold since the story was published.
Shy, introspective, intelligent: these are traits that we can relate to. That’s what makes Charlie of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” so great. He’s a geek beyond his teen years and he’s awkward. Written by Stephen Chbosky, the story follows the main character through his teen life, including first dates, family drama and provocative issues like sex and drugs. In 2012, the coming-of-age story was made into a movie, which is now available on Netflix and DVD.
The Diary of a Young Girl
Discovered in an attic where she spent the last years of her young life, Anne Frank’s diary, “The Diary of a Young Girl” is a world classic. In the diary, 14-year-old Anne documented the tragedies she experienced when the Nazi’s were occupying Holland. Facing boredom, hunger and cruelty, the story follows Anne and her family over the course of two years before her life was tragically cut short.