10 Coming Of Age Novels For Teens - MumsVillage

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10 Coming Of Age Novels For Teens

Having gone through 8-4-4 system and read a lot of set books, I have a tonne to say about novels. I read all the books by Intrigue, Silhouette and Mills and Boon publishers in the school library and they were a lot. Coupled by raging hormones, boredom, writing love letters and learning how to write for the English Paper 2  and Paper 3 exams, these books proved to be quite a resource.

Apart from young adult novels like the legendary Sweet Valley High, set books that have been done in the years past are a great resource for your grammar(Sarufi), Composition (Insha) and Literature (Fasihi). Novels can prepare your child for high school and are also quite enjoyable are :

Kiswahili Novels And Set books

Kidagaa Kimemwozea by Ken Walibora

Damu Nyeusi na hadithi nyinginezo by Ken Walibora and Said A. Mohammed

Kiu by Mohamed S. Mohamen

Mayai Waziri Wa Maradhi by KW Wamitila

Kifo Kisimani by Professor Kithaka Wamberia

Utengano by Said A. Mohammed

Mstahiki Meya by Timothy M. Arege

Kitumbua Kimeingia Mchanga by Said A. Mohamed


English Novels And Set Books

An Enemy of The People by Chinua Achebe

The River Between by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o

When The Sun Goes Down And Other Stories

The River And The Source by Margaret Ogola

Coming To Birth by Majorie Oludhe

Half A Day and Other Stories

The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht

The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

Encounter from Africa And Other Stories.

Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare

Shreds of Tenderness by John Ruganda

Betrayal in The City by Francis Imbuga

Aminata by Francis Imbuga


These English and Swahili novels will prepare your teenager for high school if they’re not already there and build a reading culture in them. Past school set books are really great with teaching literature and instill some history in your child in terms of writers, great novels, bad  novels and immerses them in different cultures based on where the stories are set. If they do choose to pursue literature in future, they have a strong foundation from these novels

For our budding young readers and writers who love reading and always have a book in hand, here are great books to consider and by various writers.

1. Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel by an English novelist Jane Austen.Pride and Prejudice is a literal favourite among scholars and the general public and depicts the importance of marrying for love and not for money.  Set in the regency era in Britain, it employs comedy in it;s writing, depiction of marriage, education, money and wealth

2. Sense And Sensibility By Jane Austen

If you enjoyed Pride and Prejudice then you will love Sense and Sensibility and Jane Austen’s writing voice. The title; Sense and Sensibility describes the three Dashwood sisters, who are the main characters in the book, particularly Elinor.

3. Sweet Valley High By Francine Pascal

These are a series of Young Adult novels that can be classified into fantasy adventure or soap opera novels. Almost every school library has these and if they don’t have go to Kenya National Library. The story revolves around a set of twins who live in  Sweet Valley and their experience in Sweet Valley High.

4. My Life With A Criminal by John Kiriamiti

It’s a sequel to My Life in Crime, a fictional account of the writer’s criminal activities that led to his arrest on the eve of his wedding. My life With A Criminal is told from Millie’s point of view.

5. Nancy Drew by Carolyne Keene

The Nancy Drew Series are a must read for any mystery loving young adult. Nancy Drew is the main character in these novels often solving crimes and mysteries that police can’t solve. She’s a teenage amateur detective who lives with her father, a criminal lawyer Carson Drew and a family house keeper, Hannah Gruen. Her two best friends, Ned and George, often assist her to solve crimes.

6. Hardy Boys

If you loved Nancy Drew, you’ll love Hardy Boys and might have come across The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mystery series. The novels revolves around two fictional characters, Joe and  Frank Hardy who are also amateaur detectives and solve crimes that have proved tough for adults.

7. Moses Series by Barbara Kimenye

The series revolves around Moses who is enrolled in a boarding school for trouble some boys. Popular novels in the series are;  Moses and The Kidnappers, Moses and the Penpal, Moses on the Move, Moses and the Ghost among others.

8. Sweet Dreams Book Series by Debra Spector, Laurie Lykken, Suzzane Rand, Janet quin-Harkin and Barbara Conklin

What is a list without this series. Novels in this series include;  P.S I Love You, Laurie’s Song, The Popularity Plan and more.

9. The  Estrangement By Elechi Amadi

The novels depicts the effect of the Biafran War through it’s major characters; Alekiri, Christie, Ibekwe and Major Dansuku who live through the war and have to pick up personal and professional pieces after the war.

10. The Concubine By Elechi Amadi

This novel tells of a beautiful woman Ihuoma who is unknowingly married to the gods and has to suffer watching her 2 husbands die before realising that she’s destined to be alone.


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