Teen

Buckle Up! The Best
YA Road Trip Books

by Janssen Bradshaw

Photo credit: Photolyric, E+/Getty Images

Nothing says freedom and adventure like a road trip, especially when you’re a teenager. There’s just something about being behind the wheel of a car with the windows rolled down and the music cranked up that makes it seem like anything is possible. These eight books explore what it’s like to hit the highway with a destination in mind, and everything that can happen while you’re trying to get there.

  • Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

    by Morgan Matson

    Amy’s life is in tumult. Her dad died in a car accident and now she and her mom are moving across the country. When she and a family friend she barely knows embark on a road trip to Amy’s new home in Connecticut, Amy is less than thrilled. Gradually, though, she starts to come to terms with both her new life and her father’s death. The scraps of receipts, postcards, and other road trip artifacts add extra detail to this book.

  • The Miles Between

    by Mary E. Pearson

    When Destiny and her classmates find themselves with access to a car, they set off on an impromptu road trip to Langdon. Her passengers assume they’re just heading to Langdon for a day of excitement, but Destiny knows better — Langdon holds a deep secret for her.

  • In Honor

    by Jessi Kirby

    When Honor’s brother Finn is killed in Iraq, she is devastated, and when his last letter arrives a few days later, she takes it as his final request, setting off on a road trip to California to fulfill it. But she won’t be alone on her journey. Rusty, Finn’s former best friend who turned his back on Finn when he enlisted, is coming with her.

  • The Year We Were Famous

    by Carole Estby Dagg

    If you like road trip novels that are based in fact, this book is for you. Inspired by the author’s great-aunt and great-grandmother, this is the story of Helga and Clara, who in 1986 walked 4,600 miles in seven months to earn $10,000 and save their home from foreclosure.

  • Perfect Escape

    by Jennifer Brown

    Many of us wouldn’t choose our sibling for a road trip companion. Kendra definitely wouldn’t. She’s spent her life living in her brother Grayson’s shadow as he deals with severe OCD. But when her perfect facade is threatened by a cheating scandal at school, she hits the road with Grayson, in the hopes of outrunning her problems and forcing Grayson to deal with his issues.

  • Reunited

    by Hilary Weisman Graham

    A road trip with three former best friends just sounds like a recipe for disaster. But when their all-time favorite band announces a reunion show in Texas, Alice, Summer, and Tiernan decide to put aside their differences and go. Of course, a road trip can either bring people together or drive them further apart, and it’s not clear which kind of road trip this one will be.

  • An Abundance of Katherines

    by John Green

    After being dumped by the nineteenth Katherine in a row, former child prodigy Colin sets out on an epic road trip with his best friend to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, in hopes of finally figuring out this thing called love. Like all John Green books, you’ll laugh, cry, and fall in love with the wonderfully offbeat characters.

  • Open Road Summer

    by Emery Lord

    What’s more fun than road tripping with your best friend all summer long? Road tripping with your country-music superstar best friend on her tour bus! And with both Reagan and her famous friend Lilah nursing broken hearts, it’s the perfect time for them to hit the road. That is, until Matt Finch joins the tour as the opening act ...

Comments
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  • janmaus

    This article is short on boy books, although anything by John Green is a good choice–such a good one that this is the single title in the article which my boys have already read. In our family, we love audiobooks for shared listening on vacations. They are perfect for road trips–we often look for books that are set in places we want to visit, and it really builds interest in the destination.

  • Sam Kozbial

    I love all that is John Green (sorry haters), and adored Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. A&EED was a lot deeper and more emotional than I thought it would be