Science fiction has a long, colorful history that includes plenty of teen-centric stories—many written before the young adult category even came into being. Packed with action, drama, and adventure, the genre is a smorgasbord of mind-expanding concepts that can capture and stretch the imaginations of younger readers. And it's always fun to read about unassuming teenagers saving the day, right?
From tales of futuristic tech to epics about war amongst the stars, here are some of our favorite sci-fi books for teens. Whether they're classics or contemporary works, they'll revive the curious, rule-defying kid in you.
Insane growth spurts are generally part of being a teenage boy. But when Jimmy Coates wakes up with inhuman speed, strength, and talent, he decides that his transformation is a bit too drastic. He certainly isn't alone—his men-in-black pursuers also agree.
When these nameless men start to chase him, it endangers not just Jimmy, but his friends and family too. Now, he has no choice but to confront the strange things that are happening to his body—though the question might not be who he is, but what. The first in a series, Jimmy Coates: Assassin combines the spy action of Alex Rider with a frighteningly plausible futuristic technology.
Murder in Orbit
Rusty McPhee has lived on space station ICE-3 nearly all his life and knows it better than anyone else. But the discovery of a half-decayed body in the waste disposal makes him realize that his knowledge isn’t so certain after all…
Before Rusty can investigate, the body is processed with the garbage, leaving no evidence of what he witnessed. Even more mysterious than the death itself is the fact that none of ICE-3’s inhabitants are missing…So who was the person in the waste disposal? And is there a killer on the loose?
After six months of strange behavior, David’s father mysteriously disappeared. No one has been able to find a trace of him—that is, until David spots him waving from a crowd of subway passengers. There’s just one problem: The Granite Street station was abandoned long ago, so how could his missing father be somewhere that no longer exists?
His search for answers leads him to a psychic who believes David may be looking into a different dimension. If he has any hope of saving his father, he must search the city for a portal to the other side...
Lois Lane: Fallout
In this tribute to DC Comics’ most famous intrepid journalist, Lois has spent much of her life as a transient Army brat—but her family has finally settled in Metropolis. Determined to not cause trouble for once in her life, Lois gets a job as a teen reporter, only to get caught up in a bizarre school mystery: A group of kids is using VR technology to psychologically torment one of their victims. But how, exactly?
While bullies are nothing new, this is next-level. Armed only with her reporting skills, Lois sets out to get to the bottom of everything, and to save her classmate—even if she has to get help from her enigmatic internet friend, SmallvilleGuy.
Born outside of time to parents from different centuries, Far wants nothing more than to follow in their footsteps and explore history as a time traveler. But after failing his final exam, he must find another way to achieve his dream. His best bet? Taking up black market thievery, a job that involves stealing valuables from the past.
While completing a mission aboard the doomed Titanic, Far encounters a girl who outsmarts him every step of the way—something he isn’t used to. As she leads him on a chase through time, this mysterious stranger will also hurtle Far towards a truth that puts his entire existence at risk.
One century ago, Earth was colonized under alien rule. Today, Donovan Reyes is an elite member of the planet’s security forces—all thanks to the alien technology that was fused to his body when he was child. As far as anyone is concerned, his future is bright.
But as the son of the most important human on Earth—the Prime Liason—Donovan is also an ideal hostage. His life is turned upside down when a group of anti-alien extremists, the Sapience, abduct him during a routine patrol gone wrong…Suddenly, the fate of the planet rests on one decision: Will the Sapience spare Donovan, or kill him and incite a terrible war?
Defy the Stars
Earth and Genesis are planets at war, and Noemi Vidal—a Genesis soldier—is willing to risk her life for the sake of her home. Meanwhile, Abel is a hyper-advanced android from Earth—and he’s everything the people of Genesis hate and fear.
Though their first meeting doesn’t go well, Noemi and Abel must set aside their differences when they discover a way to end the war for good. But as the pair gets further into their mission, they not only get closer to achieving interstellar peace—but closer to understanding that what they’ve always taken for truth may not be true at all.
Related: 12 Books About Robots Taking Over
This post is sponsored by Open Road Media. Thank you for supporting our partners, who make it possible for The Portalist to continue publishing the stellar stories you love.