For many high schoolers, reading for pleasure has become non-existent. The days of hastily flipping through the pages of new Harry Potter books and eagerly awaiting “free reading time” has, for many, been replaced with checking the number of likes on Instagram, the numerous summative assessments, and keeping up streaks on Snapchat.

Recent studies from Common Sense Media show that teenagers are less likely to read for fun at seventeen than at thirteen. This decline is most easily explained by technological advances, but also a change in social habits and maturity. 

But don’t let this stop you from reading. Numerous studies have shown that not reading results in poor language and communication skills. Plus, if you find the right book, reading can be really fun. Here are five of The Bite’s recommendations to get you excited about picking up a book (all available at the AISB library):

1. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

In the classic detective novel Murder on the Orient Express, celebrated author Agatha Christie tells a story featuring Belgian private detective Monsieur Hercule Poirot, who investigates the murder of millionaire Samuel Ratchett. Located upstairs in the Secondary Library, Murder on the Orient Express is one of the 50+ works in the Hercule Poirot series. If you love murder mysteries, the incredible feeling of anticipation and well-written novels, this is the book for you. A reader, J. Hicks, said that it was “A unique spin on a classic closed room mystery, with amazing finesse and quick pace. Highly enjoyable, and worth reading (and re-reading)!”

Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5

Location: Mystery

2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Perfect for lovers of fantasy and science fiction, Madeleine L’Engle tells the story of Meg Murry, Charles Wallace, and Calvin as they go on an adventure in time with Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which to rescue Meg’s father from the evil forces of IT. The first of the Time quintet, Newbery Honor A Wrinkle In Time is filled with meaningful messages, descriptive stories, and relatable characters. After reading Einstein’s writing on relativity, L’Engle said, “I used a lot of those principles to make a universe that was creative and yet believable.” 

Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5

Location: Sci-fi

3. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Around the World in Eighty Days is one of the most famous books among those written by classic world-renown author of adventure fiction and the pioneer of science fiction, Jules Verne. In Around the World in Eighty Days, the meticulous and habit-prone Phileas Fogg of London and his new French valet Passepartout (who was hoping for a quiet life serving a boring man) attempt to travel the globe in a mere eighty days on a £20,000 bet set by his friends at the Reform Club. A well-known novel among 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days is ideal for readers who simply want to be lost in an adventurous, captivating story filled with suspense, comedy, and will guide the reader through the adventures and misadventures of the interesting Phileas Fogg. A reader, Martina, wrote a review saying, “I’m not much of a classic literature fan, but this tale of adventure, wagers, loyalty, love, and world travel took me away with it.” 

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Location: Classics

4. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

National Book Award winner Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman explores the life of a 15 year old boy called Caden Bosch who suffers from schizophrenia, a long-term mental disorder involving withdrawal from reality into fantasy and delusion. He is torn between the real world and his voyage on a ship headed for Challenger Deep, the deepest point on earth. Challenger Deep will challenge your heart and your brain as you try to understand what a teen with schizophrenia goes through. Puck, a reader, said that, “This book is incredible. It’s the brave and harrowing, but above all brutally honest story of what it feels like to suffer from schizophrenia. Alongside Caden we confront it all: the delusions, the mania, the constant fear and doubts – but also the lights on the horizon and the support from friends and family.”

Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5

Location: Schadenfreude

5. The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin

The Notorious Benedict Arnold is one among the many works of young adult nonfiction that Steve Sheinkin has written. It it, Sheinkin tells the true story of America’s best known traitor and his early life, his heroic and reckless actions, and his motives for betraying his nation. The Notorious Benedict Arnold is filled with adventures, unexpected twists, and true first-person accounts. A reader, Edward Sullivan, said that, “Benedict Arnold is a fascinating character and Sheinkin brings him vividly to life in this lively, informative and quite engaging portrait. This is a biography written specifically for a teenage audience but any adult reader who enjoys a gripping, good story with a compelling character will enjoy it, too. I certainly did!”

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Location: Non-Fiction/Biography