This post contains affiliate links. Book Riot can earn a commission when you buy through these links.
Sometimes you were born into a family and sometimes you need to start your own. This becomes even clearer once we come of age and define our own values, which are sometimes separate from those who raised us – or when we discover a family when we don’t have one around. These 15 year old books showcase some of the best examples of found families across genres. So if you’ve ever felt alone, get one of these books for a little comfort reading.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
In this found family fantasy book, six strangers are gathered together because of their special talents with a very important mission: an assault against an enemy alien nation. Although these six young people come from very different walks of life, they must learn to trust and depend on one another if they are to make it out alive.
Akata witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Sunny is trapped between worlds – she’s Nigerian, albino, and she doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere until she discovers she has magical powers and has to join three other students with magic to track down a dangerous criminal who ready to turn around on them. If you like the Harry Potter found family aspect of Harry Potter, then this book is an absolute must!
The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis
In this Western-inspired fantasy, when one of them kills an evil man, five young women live in a “welcome home” and they all have to flee to survive. With no one but themselves and no goal but rumors of a safe haven that may not even exist, they must fight human and inhuman monsters to survive.
Die Entarteten by J. Albert Mann
Four abandoned young women from Boston in 1928 find themselves in one of the worst places – a school for “moronic” girls where they are all imprisoned. London is the newest inmate and she quickly falls in love with Maxine, Rose and Alice. They have their backs on each other and look out for each other, but London is determined to run away. But the longer she stays, the harder it is to leave her friends and she has to find a way for them to all escape.
Every heart a door by Seanan McGuire
In this first book in the Wayward Children series, Nancy fell from our world to another … but then she came back. Lost and confused, she is sent to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, a school for children who have gone to other worlds but come back and need help adjusting. Throughout the series, an eclectic group of teenagers find solace in each other in search of their lost worlds.
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis and Brooke A. Allen
Jo, April, Mal, Ripley and Molly are five BFFs who live in Cabin Roanoke at their summer camp for “hardcore lady types” where strange and supernatural happenings are the norm. During their numerous hijinks and mishaps, they never forget what is most important – friendship to the extreme. This is a fun cartoon series about friends as close as family!
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
In this first part of a trilogy, Lee has a secret: she can sense when gold is around. At the beginning of the gold rush, she finds her parents killed and has to flee to California to stay one step ahead of her killer. Along with her best friend, she and the rest of her company form a close bond as they head west as they escape danger, and Lee tries to hide her gift to protect her new family – but it might be the only way to keep them all alive.
The gilded wolves by Roshani Chokshi
If you’re into high-stakes family fantasy books, get this excellent magical book set in Paris in 1889. Séverin Montagnet-Alarie is a wealthy hotelier who is offered the opportunity to track down a dark artifact in exchange for its true heritage. So he put together a team of unlikely people to help him and together they uncover dark secrets.
The Raven Boys from Maggie’s stepfather
Blue has always been told that she is destined to kill the boy she falls in love with, but that always seemed a distant worry until she meets Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah: the Raven Boys. They are on a mission led by Gansey to find a lost Welsh king and Blue joins them, unaware of the dangers ahead. This series is as much about Blue finding the Raven Boys as it is about the Raven Boys finding each other.
Dress Code for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens
Billie lives in a small town where she feels like an outcast as the preacher’s daughter … but at least she has a solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee. But when Janie Lee admits she has a crush on Woods, Billie realizes she does too … and she likes Janie Lee too. This is a complicated book about friendship, family, and small town life with a solid group of friends at heart.
Illuminae files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
In this action-packed science fiction series, a group of teenagers are thrown together in a hidden corner of the galaxy when a seedy company attacks an illegal mining company on a small planet. From necessity and tragedy, this unlikely group must learn to trust and take care of one another as they struggle to outsmart their enemies.
On a ray of sunshine by Tillie Walden
Two timelines play out in this breathtaking and dreamy graphic novel: In the present, Mia is the newest member of the close-knit crew of restorers, whose job it is to destroy abandoned space stations across the galaxy and reuse them. But Mia is haunted by her past. Years ago when she was in a space station boarding school, she found a friend who disappeared one night. Mia wants to find her, no matter what danger – and her newly found family might be able to help.
Mariam Sharma hits the street from Sheba Karim
On this road trip adventure, Mariam looks forward to spending her summer again after her first year of college and meeting her two best friends, Ghazala and Umar. But when Ghazala does something that infuriates her parents, the three decide to skip town and make their way to New Orleans for a formative journey that will make them rethink their family.
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker
Caledonia Styx has no one after a warlord kills her family. She is building a new life aboard the Mors Navis, where she leads a crew of others who are orphaned and abandoned. But when her best friend is almost killed only to be rescued by a defector who wants to join them, Caledonia must decide whether she is ready to risk her found family for revenge.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
When Mila Flores’ best friend dies, she is devastated – and there is no way she believes for a second that Riley died by suicide. So she performs a ritual to bring Riley back – and in the end, she also brings back two mean high school girls. Now the four must team up and rely on each other to find out who really killed all three – and Mila must figure out how to open up to new friendships and opportunities.
Looking for better recommendations for YA books? We have everything for you – and here you will find even more family books for readers of all ages. If you are hoping for more recommendations on specific topics, e.g. For example, for family YA books found, see TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. TBR is a great service that provides quarterly personalized book recommendations based on what you want to read more about. All you have to do to get started is complete our reader survey. You will then be matched with an experienced bibliologist who will select three books for you and write you a letter of recommendation. Receive your letter of recommendation by email in about two weeks, or receive your letter and recommended books in 3-4 weeks from our partner Print: A Bookstore in Portland, Maine! Find out more and get started today!
What’s going on in YA? Newsletter
Sign up for What’s going on in YA? all things to preserve young adult literature.
Thanks for registering! Keep an eye on your inbox.