The Harry Potter Series
If you’re a grown-up and still haven’t read the Harry Potter novels, ahhh! You don’t know what you’re missing. J.K. Rowling’s tale of the English boy wizard and his arch nemesis, the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, is nothing short of transcendental. As he grows into a confident teen, Harry struggles with the same issues all peers face: the pressure to fit in, anxiety and stress over grades and homework, and the power of friendship—albeit, with a side of wizardry thrown in for good measure. (And once you read the books, these Harry Potter jokes will make a lot more sense to you.)
His Dark Materials
This trio of coming-of-age fantasy novels by Philip Pullman begins with The Golden Compass, which many critics consider to be one of the finest pieces of young adult literature ever published. Adults will find this award-winning trilogy spellbinding as they follow the adventures of Lyra and Will, two children who travel through vibrant parallel universes that are at once similar to and quite different from our own. Even though it’s targeted at children, the series’ complex themes related to morality, identity, and fate versus free will entice readers of every age. These are the best short books you’ll ever read.