10 Teen Novels About European Adventures

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European Adventures: 10 Novels for Teens

Visit France, Portugal, Italy, England, and Ireland with these ten great teen reads set in Europe.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
In an American school in Paris Anna meets Etienne St. Clair, for whom she develops strong feelings, despite his complicated personal life.

The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle
Adam Eddington unwittingly steps into a web of intrigue when he takes a job working with scientist Dr. O’Keefe on the island of Gaea, off  the coast of Portugal.

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
Determined to learn the origin of a painting whose subject she greatly resembles, Violet decides to study abroad in Italy for the summer, where she unwittingly puts herself in grave danger.

Heaven is Paved with Oreos by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
On a trip to Rome to help her grandmother complete a pilgrimage she started many years before, Sarah learns more than she bargained for about her family history.

Heist Society by Ally Carter
When Katarina Bishop’s father is accused of stealing paintings from an Italian billionaire, she uses her talents as an art thief to track down and steal back the paintings in question to prove her dad’s innocence.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Two kids find themselves aboard an airship in this steampunk retelling of the events of World War I.

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
On the class trip to England, Julia finds herself partnered up with the class clown, whom she begins to like despite the fact that she believes she is meant to be with her crush Mark.

Thames Doesn’t Rhyme with James by Paula Danziger
Kendra Kaye and Frank Lee enjoy young love as they explore France with the help of a scavenger hunt prepared by their parents.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
When Ginny’s aunt dies, she leaves behind thirteen blue envelopes that take Ginny on a scavenger hunt across Europe.

Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood
After she is dumped, Morgan takes a bike trip through Ireland on which she experiences strange encounters with characters from Irish folklore.

About Katie Fitzgerald

Katie Fitzgerald holds degrees in English and library science, and has worked in small town and big city libraries, serving both children and teens. You can read her book reviews and posts about story time, picture books, and early literacy at Story Time Secrets. Also follow her blog on Facebook for kidlit quotations, story time suggestions, and interesting links.


  1. How great to hand a teen these books and let them explore the world while reading them.

  2. There’s no greater adventure than the Library Adventure! I have the fondest memories of my hometown library, all the time I spent there, and all the books I read. Delightful!!
    Lexa Cain’s Blog

  3. Samantha says:

    What about I Am David by Anne Holm? 🙂 My all-time favorite novel! It’s set in the 50s about a boy who escapes a labor camp and heads to Denmark. Great plot, great character development, (crummy movie that didn’t even follow the plot, but oh well)

  4. Gordon P says:

    I’m a little disappointed that four or five of these ten books have some element of “romance” in them. It would seem that this is used by the authors as some kind of bait to get teens to read their books. Can’t they just write a good story that can stand on its own?

    • I didn’t realize until after the list was published that I had included so many romances, but I think their prevalence on the list is more of a reflection of my personal reading tastes than anything else. I was a big romance reader as a teen and that has carried over into my adult reading of teen books. That said, I agree that romance seems to be the most common theme in realistic YA fiction these days, and it would be nice to see some more variety. While I would stand by these titles as good stories, I think most of them would be just as good without the romantic elements.

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