Teenage Trauma: Coming-of-Age Thrillers

Nine-year-old Michele Amitrano discovers what he believes to be the dead body of a boy in an abandoned house. Upon further investigation he discovers that the boy is still alive and being held prisoner. I’m Not Scared, a gripping coming-of-age story by the Italian writer, Niccolo Ammaniti, has gained popularity in the English translation. Here are other novels which feature a young protagonist who learns about life by an involvement in some perilous adventure or mystery. All of these titles are located in the Adult Fiction section of the Library unless otherwise noted.


Ballard, J.G. Empire of the Sun. 1984.

Durand, Loup. Daddy. 1988. Also available: Large Type

Enger, Leif. Peace Like a River. 2001. Also available: Large Type, CD

Gilstrap, John. Nathan’s Run. 1996.

Godfrey, Rebecca. The Torn Skirt. 2001.

Grimes, Martha. Hotel Paradise. 1996. (Adult Mystery GRI). Also available: Large Type

Kellerman, Jonathan. Billy Straight. 1998. (Adult Mystery KEL).
Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook

Kelton, Elmer. Cloudy in the West. 1997. (Adult Western KEL).

King, Stephen. “The Body” (a short story in Different Seasons.) 1982.
Also available: eBook

Koontz, Dean R. Fear Nothing. 1998. Also available: Large Type

Lansdale, Joe R. The Bottoms. 2000. (Adult Mystery LAN).

Lott, Brett. The Hunt Club. 1998.

McCammon, Robert. Boy’s Life. 1991.

Spragg, Mark. An Unfinished Life. 2004. Also available: Large Type, CD, Digital Player

Tremain, Rose. The Way I Found Her. 1997.

Wilhelm, Kate. The Good Children. 1998. Also available: Large Type, eAudiobook