5 books written by kids and teens that warrant a read

Finding success as a writer doesn’t always come with age. 

Even though many of today’s most well-known authors were out of their teenage years when they published the novels that brought them great success, there have been many teens, even children, who became bestselling authors because of the stories they penned.

Young authors have written books spanning across genres, from works of poetry to self-help. 


Some authors create worlds of fantasy that encapsulate readers — while others simply have written about the experiences unfolding before their eyes. 

Below are five bestselling books that were written by kids and teens.

  1. “Heartsongs”
  2. “How to Talk to Girls”
  3. “Eragon”
  4. “The Diary of Anne Frank”
  5. “The Outsiders” 

1. “Heartsongs”

Mattie J.T. Stepanek produced a collection of poems as a child. 

Stepanek, who died in June 2004 due to dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy complications, according to the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation, had published work that included poems he had written as young as 3 to 13 years old when he died. 

The first of these books was originally published in 2001 and included poems he penned and his finger paintings from ages 3 to 5. 

His second work, “Journey Through Heartsongs,” included poems and finger paintings he created from the age of 3 to 10. 

Memorial for Mattie J.T. Stepanek

His next collections, “Hope Through Heartsongs” and “Loving Through Heartsongs,” came out in 2002 and 2003. 

“Reflections of a Peacemaker: A Portrait Through Heartsongs” was the final collection of poems released.


There was also a book titled “A Book Just Peace: A Message of Hope” that came out in 2006. 

This book included essays, letters, photographs and select email correspondence between the child and former President Carter.

2. “How to Talk to Girls”

You don’t have to be full of life experience to write a self-help book — and Alec Greven proved it. 

What started out as an elementary school project turned out to be so much more. 

Greven, a 9-year-old at the time, became a New York Times bestselling author when he wrote “How to Talk to Girls.” 

In the book, Greven gives adorable advice that readers of all ages can appreciate. 

Greven’s success earned him two appearances on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and many others.


He had more books following his debut title: “How to Talk to Moms,” “How to Talk to Dads,” “How to Talk to Santa” and “Rules for School.” 

3. “Eragon”

“Eragon” by Christopher Paolini is the first book of “The Inheritance Cycle” series. 

Christopher Paolini book

When he started writing the first of five fantasy books in the series, he was 15 years old. 

His parents self-published the book at first, but it was republished a year later, in 2002. In 2006, the dragon fantasy book was adapted into a film.

The five-book series also includes “Eldest,” “Brisingr,” “Inheritance” and the newest 2023 novel, “Murtagh.”

4. “The Diary of Anne Frank”

The diary kept by Anne Frank has been translated into more than 70 languages today.

The diary recounts her life from June 1942 to March 1944 while her family was hiding in the Secret Annex due to the Nazis invading the Netherlands. 

Frank was 12 years old when she started writing in the diary. 

The Dutch version of the book was first published in 1947 by Otto Frank, Anne’s father, after they were discovered and arrested in 1944. Otto Frank was the only member of the Secret Annex to survive. At the time, about 3,000 copies were printed.

 Today, “The Diary of Anne Frank” has sold more than 30 million copies. 

5. “The Outsiders”

“The Outsiders,” a book about two rival teen gangs in Oklahoma, was published in 1967.

S.E. Hinton speaking at event

When Susan Eloise Hinton began writing the book, she was 15 years old. She was 18 when the book was published.

She penned the book under the name S.E. Hinton to keep her gender concealed from readers. 


“The Outsiders” is considered to be one of the first books written for the young adult genre, which is widely popular today. 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle

In 1983, a movie was released based on the popular book. 

Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise all starred in the film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. 


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