What are the best memoirs about coming of age?

asked by Anonymous
200 contributors
11 solutions
  1. 26

    #1Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)

    Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)

    Angela's Ashes is a book written by Frank McCourt and is the first in the Frank McCourt Series. This classic book recounts the author's survival during poverty and cruelty. It is published in 1996.


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    Gregory Rodriguez
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "This book tore my heart out. I feel like after I read it as a child, I turned into an adult almost instantly. I just recently re-read it due to this list, and it really did stand the test of time. Be ready to cry."
  2. 23

    #2The Glass Castle

    The Glass Castle
    The Glass Castle is Jeanette Walls' best-selling memoir about her poverty-stricken family, which is a balanced story of despair, happiness, love, and loyalty. This novel spent seven years in NYT's bestsellers list and was adapted into a major motion picture.

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    Eric Lynch
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "I could not put this book down! Rarely do you see a book written so well from the child's perspective. If you like sad stories, give this one a shot."
  3. 21

    #3I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words. This memoir is a modern classic that will touch hearts and change minds.


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    Harold Hudson
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "It's a roller coaster ride of emotions. The events described are both heartbreaking and uplifting. I'm normally not a fan of her books and writing style but this one hit the mark."
  1. 19

    #4Running with Scissors

    Running with Scissors

    Running With Scissors is a New York Times bestselling memoir written by Augusten Burroughs, originally published in 2002. In 2006, a film adaptation of the book came out, directed by Ryan Murphy.


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    Betty Hou
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "If you love coming of age books then I highly suggest Running with Scissors. This book has it all and will definitely keep you interested."
  2. 19

    #5Just Kids

    Just Kids

    Just Kids is a memoir written by legendary punk rock icon, Patti Smith. It was originally published in 2010 by Ecco. It won the National Book Award for Nonfiction.


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    Justin Wagner
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "I think this might be an interesting read . Patti Smith is iconic, and I think a memoir about her youth and development into the artist that conceived horses would be fascinating. My question is this: would this make it onto many best of lists for this topic? Something like This Boy's Life or Angela's Ashes come to mind more readily."
  3. 17

    #6Life on the Mississippi

    Life on the Mississippi

    This Mark Twain book, the one who started to give him notoriety as a writer, is a memoir of his days working as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi, before the Civil War. It also talks about his  travel New Orleans from St. Louis, years after the war. 


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    Michael Kong
    Written on May 20, 2018
    "I recently bought the book "Life on the Mississippi" to give it as a gift to a friend of mine, and I've been happy to know that he really enjoyed reading it! The book talks about a steamboat pilot on the rivers of the Mississippi just before the Civil War, and it will bring you back to those glorious but also hard times."
  4. 16

    #7Last Night at the Viper Room

    Last Night at the Viper Room

    Last Night at the Viper Room is a biography of the American actor River Phoenix, written by Gavin Edwards. It chronicles Phoenix's life, who was well on his way to becoming a Hollywood A-lister before his untimely death.


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    Christopher Arnold
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "I wanted to read into a memoir about a celebrity about their coming of age. This selection was unfortunately tragic as it followed the launching of River Phoenix's career and coming of age in Hollywood until his unfortunate and untimely death. This really puts some things into perspective about what it is like to be young in Hollywood."
  5. 16



    Lucky is a memoir written by Alice Sebold, author of the bestselling novel The Lovely Bones. It was originally published in 1999 by Scribner. The book talks about the author's experiences with rape and assault.


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    Sarah Gutierrez
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "This isn't a great book for me, I think it's alright. Personally I think it's a decent book that has good characters but it's just not my favorite. "
  6. 13

    #9A Girl Named Zippy

    A Girl Named Zippy

    A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana is a bestselling memoir written by Haven Kimmel. It was originally published in 2001 by Doubleday. 


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    Roger Gray
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "This was an interesting book told from a historic perspectie. It's about a young girl who grew up in the town of Mooreland in the 1950s where the population was around 300. I myself was curious to see what life was like in such a small town back then so I found that it was a good read."
  7. 13

    #10Bournemouth Boys and Boscombe Girls

    Bournemouth Boys and Boscombe Girls
    Bournemouth Boys and Boscombe Girls is a funny hilarious book written by  Danny Winter and Karl Wiggins. With over 100 pages, this book is published in 2017 by Karl Wiggins.

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    Anthony Riley
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "This books is very funny."
  8. 6

    #11Eating Smoke

    Eating Smoke
    Eating Smoke: One Man's Descent Into Crystal Meth Psychosis in Hong Kong's Triad Heartland is a nonfiction book written by Chris Thrall and published by Blacksmith Books on September 16, 2011. It follows the story of Thrall in Hong Kong.


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    Marilyn Berry
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "I agree this has to be one of the best coming of age memoirs."


Best What are the best memoirs about coming of age
1Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)Books 26 Paid
2The Glass CastleBooks 23 Paid
3I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Books 21 Paid
4Running with ScissorsBooks 19 Paid
5Just KidsBooks 19 Paid
6Life on the Mississippi Books 17 Paid
7Last Night at the Viper RoomBooks 16 Paid
8LuckyBooks 16 Paid
9A Girl Named ZippyBooks 13 Paid
10Bournemouth Boys and Boscombe GirlsBooks 13 Paid

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