Readers, it’s September and I’m declaring it Fall Reading Season in my corner of the world, even if the weather here isn’t quite on board yet. I’m ready to ditch my beach reads in favor of something more reflective, melancholy, and nostalgic as we usher in the cooler months.
There’s something about crisp fall weather, combined with back-to-school season that brings to mind my favorite coming-of-age novels. Coming-of-age stories feature young protagonists learning big life lessons and finding their place in the world as they journey to adulthood.
Some coming-of-age novels are comforting and sweet, while others tackle tough themes and traumatic events that shape the characters’ lives. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite coming-of-age novels with memorable characters and timeless themes. This list includes a mix of nostalgic comfort reading and hard-but-hopeful stories.
We’re also celebrating the coming-of-age theme this fall in Book Club with our main picks, our flight picks, and our Book School content. Members keep telling us that right now Book Club is their island of delight in a difficult time. Take a look at our calendar to see the incredible author events and literary discussions we have planned for this season. Plus, new members get access to all of our past Book Club content, including yesterday’s Fall Book Preview! Click here to get started.
20 classic and contemporary coming of age novels
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Have you read any great coming of age novels lately? Tell us about them—or what you’re currently reading—in the comments.