12 Best Books for Teen Boys: Tips to Navigate the Twists and Turns of Life as a Teenager

Stuff every teen boy needs to know...

by Nancy Reynolds

This post: 12 Best Books for Teen Boys: Tips to Navigate the Twists & Turns of Life as a Teenager

Written by: Marybeth Bock

The teen years can be really challenging – both for teens and parents. With all that’s going on in the world, life as a teenager seems particularly difficult right now, with elevated rates of teen anxiety and depression to prove it. 

What makes it particularly challenging is that our teen boys are at an age where they aren’t always willing to accept parents’ well-intentioned advice. (And, when we do, it’s typically met with an “Okaaaay, mom… I knnooooowww!”)

I’ve learned through experience that it can be helpful to simply hand over a book to your teen. It gives them the information without explaining, lecturing or nagging. It lets them know we care. It helps them dive into things they want and need to know at their pace. Mostly, it helps them gain valuable information and insight from someone other than us… experts, best-selling authors, and others. 

So, even if your teen rolls his eyes or pretends he doesn’t care when you hand him one of these best books for teen boys, give him time. Chances are he’ll start skimming through it when you’re not looking… trust me on this one! 

Glance through this list of best books for teen boys – chances are, you’ll find one that not only helps him learn how to navigate life’s twists and turns, but also inspires and motivates him to be the best he can be. 

12 Best Books for Teen Boys: Tips to Navigate the Twists & Turns of a Life as a Teenager

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#1 Dad’s Great Advice for Teens: Stuff Every Teen Needs to Know About Parents, Friends, Social Media, Drinking, Dating, Relationships, and Finding Happiness

As soon as author Marc Fienberg found out he was going to become a dad, he started writing down a list of things he wanted his kids to know as they got older. His list quickly grew and on each of his children’s thirteenth birthdays he printed and bound up all that advice in a book that he called Great Advice from Your Father. It was a huge hit with his kids and their friends, so he decided to take the best of that advice and publish it as this bestselling book. With humor and wisdom, he offers all kinds of great advice for teens.


#2 The Manual to Manhood: How to Cook the Perfect Steak, Change a Tire, Impress a Girl & 97 Other Skills You Need to Survive

For every teen guy out there who wants to know it all, but is afraid to ask, author Jonathan Catherman offers this collection of one hundred step-by-step instructions on almost everything a young man needs to know, including how to: “wear cologne correctly, grill a steak, tie a tie, manage money, talk to a girl, plan a date, write a résumé, ask for a reference, clean a bathroom, throw darts, change a tire, behave during a traffic stop, fold a shirt, clear a sink drain, and find a stud in a wall.” With great illustrations and supporting social media links, this all-in-one reference tool is the perfect gift for a teen’s birthday or graduation.


#3 Shoot Your Shot: A Sport-Inspired Guide to Living Your Best Life

A former standout basketball player who competed against Division I, overseas, and NBA players, author Vernon Brundage Jr.’s life path took him in a direction off the court to inspire and motivate others to become their greatest selves. In addition to being an author, Vernon is also an experienced youth and young adult speaker who has identified the key principles that the world’s most elite basketball players have applied to their lives. He explains in detail how anyone can use those same exact principles to help themself navigate through life, accomplish their goals, and realize their dreams. More than simply a book about sports, it can help your teen become their best self. 


#4 Greenlights (52K positive reviews!)

This number 1 New York Times bestselling memoir, written by Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, has inspired millions of readers with its unflinching honesty, unconventional wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction. McConaughey has been keeping diaries for the last 35 years and used those to write this book about “successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.” This book offers valuable advice for any teenage boy.


#5 The Teenage Guy’s Survival Guide: The Real Deal on Going Out, Growing Up and Other Guy Stuff

Why do crushes make a person go crazy? Where is the best place to break up? And, what the heck is up with those bad teenage mustaches? With chapters covering everything from dating, kissing, and shaving to moods, peer pressure, bullying and drugs, The Teenage Guy’s Survival Guide offers the real deal on everything guys want to know about. Author Jeremy Daldry tackles the various issues adolescent boys face with irreverence and true understanding – without giving them a nervous breakdown. 


#6 Man Stuff: Things a Young Man Needs to Know

This book is brimming with stuff every teen guy needs to know to become a man. “Want to know how to rock the junior high dance?” “Do you know men’s room etiquette?” “Do you know how to cook a few things so you don’t starve?” “Want to learn how to properly introduce yourself so you can make a killer introduction?” Man Stuff: Things a Young Man Needs to Know covers it all!


#7 The Executive Functioning Workbook for Teens: Help for Unprepared, Late and Scattered Teens

In The Executive Functioning Workbook for Teens, author Sharon A. Hansen, MSE LPC-IT, provides an evidence-based, easy-to-use, and practical workbook written directly for a teen audience. This book is designed to provide teens with the skills they need to get better organized, retain information, communicate effectively, and perform well in both school and in everyday life. Based on proven-effective cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the book offers activities that will help teens better understand their challenges and cope with them effectively. (This book is great teen girls, too!)


#8 Relentless Optimism: How a Commitment to Positive Thinking Changes Everything

Written by author Darrin Donnelley, Relentless Optimism is part of the popular six-book “Sports for the Soul” series. It’s so easy for our teens to feel pessimistic these days, even when they may know that research proves that optimistic people live longer, healthier, and happier lives. This book shows that it requires discipline, commitment, and a proper understanding of what optimism truly means in a world that is constantly throwing out new challenges. This inspirational fable about a minor league baseball player is a great read for any teen who has ever questioned whether positive thinking really “works” and may have found it difficult to eliminate the voices of fear, doubt, and cynicism.


#9 Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Author James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, is known for his ability to break down complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life. In this bestseller, he draws on “the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible – something every parent of teen boys (and girls) wishes for! A great read for any teen boy!


#10 Guy’s Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket: 101 Real-World Tips for Teenage Guys

The Guy’s Guide offers tons of spiritual, practical and even humorous advice for navigating the challenges of the teen years with confidence and wisdom. In fact, 101 real-world tips to make life a little easier, including “Realize that most choices usually begin five years ago,” “Losing your temper feels good for about 17 seconds. Keeping your cool feels even better,” and never forget, “Today’s nerd is tomorrow’s boss.” 


#11 The DBT Skills Workbook for Teens: A Fun Guide to Manage Anxiety and Stress, Understand Your Emotions and Learn Effective Communication Skills

The teen years are a crucial period for developing and maintaining social and emotional habits essential for mental well-being. The problem is, this is so much easier said than done! Considering all the distractions and peer pressure teens deal with that we never had to deal with at their age, it’s hard to know how to help them. The techniques your teen can learn in this book can make their journey into adulthood a lot smoother. Things like coping with stress, learning how to navigate relationships, overcoming rejections and failures and life skills to become confident and resilient – they’ll find it all here!


#12 Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… and Maybe Even the World

On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world,” he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire teen boys to achieve more, even in life’s darkest moments.


Here are a few other books teen boys might find interesting!

Before I Had the Words: On Being a Transgender Young Adult

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

Trust the Grind: How World-Class Athletes Got To The Top (Motivational Book for Teens, Gift for Teen Boys, Teen and Young Adult Football, Fitness and Exercise)

8 Things Every Boy Should Know About Being A Man


Marybeth Bock, MPH, is Mom to two young adults and one delightful hound dog. She has logged time as a military spouse, childbirth educator, college instructor, and freelance writer. She lives in Arizona and thoroughly enjoys research and writing – as long as iced coffee is involved. Her work can be found on numerous websites and in two books. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.



If you enjoyed reading: “12 Best Books for Teen Boys: How to Navigate Life, Accomplish & Realize Dreams,” check out these posts!

Best Books for High School Grads | The 25 All-Time Best Books to Give High School Graduates

40 Best Books for Teens for Gifts and Stocking Stuffers

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