List of books written by children or teenagers

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This is a list of notable books by young authors and of books written by notable writers in their early years. These books were written, or substantially completed, before the author's twentieth birthday. The list is arranged alphabetically by author.

  • Alexandra Adornetto (born 1993) wrote her debut novel, The Shadow Thief, when she was 13. It was published in 2007. Other books written by her as a teenager are: The Lampo Circus (2008), Von Gobstopper's Arcade (2009), Halo (2010) and Hades (2011).
  • Jorge Amado (1912–2001) had his debut novel, The Country of Carnival, published in 1931, when he was 18.
  • Prateek Arora wrote his debut novel Village 1104 at the age of 16. It was published in 2010.
  • Daisy Ashford (1881–1972) wrote The Young Visiters while aged 9. This novella was first published in 1919, preserving her juvenile punctuation and spelling. An earlier work, The Life of Father McSwiney, was dictated to her father when she was 4. It was published almost a century later in 1983.
  • Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (born 1984) had her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, published in 1999. Subsequent novels include Demon in My View (2000), Shattered Mirror (2001), Midnight Predator (2002), Hawksong (2003) and Snakecharm (2004).[1]
  • Marjorie Bowen (1885–1952) wrote the historical novel The Viper of Milan when she was 16. Published in 1906 after several rejections, it became a bestseller.
  • Oliver Madox Brown (1855–1874) finished his novel Gabriel Denver in early 1872, when he was 17. It was published the following year.
  • Pamela Brown (1924–1989) finished her children's novel about an amateur theatre company, The Swish of the Curtain (1941), when she was 16 and later wrote other books about the stage.[2]
  • Celeste and Carmel Buckingham wrote The Lost Princess when they were 11 and 9.
  • Flavia Bujor (born 1988) wrote The Prophecy of the Stones (2002) when she was 13.
  • Lord Byron (1788–1824) published two volumes of poetry in his teens, Fugitive Pieces and Hours of Idleness.
  • Taylor Caldwell's The Romance of Atlantis was written when she was 12.
  • Félix Francisco Casanova (1956–1976), Le Don de Vorace, was published in 1974.
  • Hilda Conkling (1910–1986) had her poems published in Poems by a Little Girl (1920), Shoes of the Wind (1922) and Silverhorn (1924).
  • Abraham Cowley (1618–1667), Tragicall History of Piramus and Thisbe (1628), Poetical Blossoms (published 1633)
  • Maureen Daly (1921–2006) completed Seventeenth Summer before she was 20. It was published in 1942.
  • Juliette Davies (born 2000) wrote the first book in the JJ Halo series when she was 8 years old. The series was published the following year.
  • Samuel R. Delany (born 1942) published his The Jewels of Aptor in 1962.
  • Patricia Finney's A Shadow of Gulls was published in 1977 when she was 18. Its sequel, The Crow Goddess, was published in 1978.
  • Ford Madox Ford (né Hueffer) (1873–1939) published in 1892 two children's stories, The Brown Owl and The Feather, and a novel, The Shifting of the Fire.
  • Anne Frank (1929–1945) wrote her diary for two-and-a-half years starting on her 13th birthday. It was published posthumously as Het Achterhuis in 1947 and then in English translation in 1952 as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. An unabridged translation followed in 1996.
  • Miles Franklin wrote My Brilliant Career (1901) when she was a teenager.
  • Alec Greven's How to Talk to Girls was published in 2008 when he was 9 years old. Subsequently he has published How to Talk to Moms, How to Talk to Dads and How to Talk to Santa.
  • Faïza Guène (born 1985) had Kiffe kiffe demain published in 2004, when she was 19. It has since been translated into 22 languages, including English (as Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow).
  • Sonya Hartnett (born 1968) was thirteen years old when she wrote her first novel, Trouble All the Way, which was published in Australia in 1984.
  • Alex and Brett Harris wrote the best-selling book Do Hard Things (2008), a non-fiction book challenging teenagers to "rebel against low expectations", at age 19. Two years later came a follow-up book called Start Here (2010).
  • Georgette Heyer (1902–1974) had The Black Moth published when she was 19.
  • Susan Hill (born 1942), The Enclosure, published in 1961.
  • S. E. Hinton (born 1948), The Outsiders, first published in 1967.
  • Palle Huld (1912–2010) wrote A Boy Scout Around the World (Jorden Rundt i 44 dage) when he was 15, following a sponsored journey around the world.
  • George Vernon Hudson (1867–1946) completed An Elementary Manual of New Zealand Entomology at the end of 1886, when he was 19,[3] but not published until 1892.
  • Katharine Hull (1921–1977) and Pamela Whitlock (1920–1982) wrote The Far-Distant Oxus, a British children’s novel in 1937, followed in 1938 by Escape to Persia and in 1939 by Oxus in Summer.
  • Leigh Hunt (1784–1859) published Juvenilia; or, a Collection of Poems Written between the ages of Twelve and Sixteen by J. H. L. Hunt, Late of the Grammar School of Christ's Hospital in March 1801.
  • Gordon Korman (born 1963), This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall (1978), three sequels, and I Want to Go Home (1981).
  • Matthew Gregory Lewis (1775–1818) wrote the Gothic novel The Monk, now regarded as a classic of the genre, before he was twenty. It was published in 1796.
  • Nina Lugovskaya (1918–1993), a painter, theater director and Gulag survivor, kept a diary in 1932–37, which shows strong social sensitivities. It was found in the Russian State Archives and published 2003. It appeared in English in the same year,[4]
  • Joyce Maynard (born 1953) completed Looking Back while she was 19. It was first published in 1973.
  • Helen Oyeyemi (born 1984) completed The Icarus Girl while still 18. First published in 2005.
  • Christopher Paolini (born 1983) had Eragon, the first novel of the Inheritance Cycle, first published 2002.
  • Emily Pepys (1833–1877), daughter of a bishop, wrote a vivid private journal over six months of 1844–45, aged ten. It was discovered much later and published in 1984.[5]
  • Anya Reiss (born 1991) wrote her play Spur of the Moment when she was 17. It was both performed and published in 2010, when she was 18.
  • Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891) wrote almost all his prose and poetry while still a teenager, for example Le Soleil était encore chaud (1866), Le Bateau ivre (1871) and Une Saison en Enfer (1873).
  • John Thomas Romney Robinson (1792–1882) saw his juvenile poems published in 1806, when he was 13.[6]
  • Françoise Sagan (1935–2004) had Bonjour tristesse published in 1954, when she was 18.
  • Mary Shelley (1797–1851) completed Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus during May 1817, when she was 19. It was first published in the following year.
  • Mattie Stepanek (1990–2004), an American poet, published seven best-selling books of poetry.
  • John Steptoe (1950–1989), author and illustrator, began his picture book Stevie at 16. It was published in 1969 in Life.
  • Anna Stothard (born 1983) saw her Isabel and Rocco published when she was 19.
  • Jalaluddin Al-Suyuti (c. 1445–1505) wrote his first book, Sharh Al-Isti'aadha wal-Basmalah, at the age of 17.
  • F. J. Thwaites (1908–1979) wrote his bestselling novel The Broken Melody when he was 19.
  • John Kennedy Toole (1937–1969) wrote The Neon Bible in 1954 when he was 16. It was not published until 1989.
  • Catherine Webb (born 1986) had five young adult books published before she was 20: Mirror Dreams (2002), Mirror Wakes (2003), Waywalkers (2003), Timekeepers (2004) and The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle (February 2006).
  • Nancy Yi Fan (born 1993) published her debut Swordbird when she was 12. Other books she published as a teenager include Sword Quest (2008) and Sword Mountain (2012).
  • Kat Zhang (born 1991) was 20 when she sold, in a three-book deal, her entire Hybrid Chronicles trilogy. The first book, What's Left of Me, was published in 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Amelia Atwater-Rhodes at Fantastic Fiction
  2. ^ Where Texts and Children Meet by Eve Bearne and Victor Watson, Routledge, 1999
  3. ^ George Gibbs (2007-06-22). "Hudson, George Vernon 1867–1946". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
  4. ^ Nina Lugovskaya: The Diary of a Soviet Schoolgirl 1932– 1937 (Moscow: Glas Publishers, 2003), and in a fuller translation in 2007: I Want to Live. The Diary of a Young Girl in Stalin's Russia (Houghton Mifflin, 2007).
  5. ^ Journal of Emily Pepys, ed. Gillian Avery (London: Prospect Books, 1984)
  6. ^ Juvenile Poems, Thomas Romney Robinson, at the Armagh Observatory website