3 Great YA Books About Teen Entrepreneurs

Tirzah Price

Senior Contributing Editor

Most of Tirzah Price's life decisions have been motivated by a desire to read as many books as humanly possible. Tirzah holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has worked as an independent bookseller and librarian. She’s also the author of the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries, published by HarperTeen, and Bibliologist at TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. Follow her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.

Fence: Disarmed.

The boys of Kings Row are off to training camp in Europe! Surrounded impressive scenery and even more impressive European fencing teams, underdog Nicholas can't help but feel out of place. With the help of a local legend, though, he and the rest of the team finds it within themselves to face superior fencers, ex-boyfriends, and even Nicholas's secret half-brother, the infamous Jesse Coste. Will Aiden and Harvard end up together, though? The second installment of this original YA novel series by Sarah Rees Brennan explores never-before-seen drama inspired by C.S. Pacat's Fence comic series.

Teens never cease to amaze me with their ingenuity, and recently I’ve enjoyed exploring books about teen entrepreneurs! When I was in high school, I was a hard worker and pretty motivated both at work and in my classes, but I didn’t have the creativity and drive to be an entrepreneur like these savvy protagonists! Read on to discover three great YA books about entrepreneurs — their successes, failures, and how these teens keep going!

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Nishat has just come out to her traditional Bangladeshi parents, and it didn’t exactly go very well. Instead of acknowledging it, they’ve simply ignored her news. So Nishat focuses her attention on doing well in school. This year, her school is offering a competition to the students with the best business model, and Nishat has the perfect idea: a henna business. She’s a talented henna artist who has been creating her own designs for a while, and henna is an integral part of her culture. But when Flávia, a new girl that Nishat finds herself attracted to, also starts a henna business with her mean-girl cousin, the competition becomes heated…and then things get very personal. I loved that this is a romantic book that also doesn’t shy away from issues such as cultural appropriation and family expectations, making it a really compelling read. Adiba is a Book Riot contributor!

Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe

Henri is a first generation Haitian teen living in New York City, and he feels constant pressure — to do well in school, to earn money, and to be as charming and as likable as possible. Part of his grand plan? He walks dogs as a side hustle for an online business for uptown dog walking. But his big secret? He also runs the dog walking company, pocketing profits both ways. It’s a pretty benign hustle, all things considered, and it gets him closer and closer to his goal of attending Columbia…until a classmate named Corrine catches on to his scheme and wants something in return for her silence.

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Valerie Kwon and her cousin Charlie run the school’s most successful side business: V&C K-BEAUTY, a business that brings the best of Korean beauty products to their classmates. But their business faces some unexpected competition when Wes Jung transfers to their school. Wes dreams of attending music school, but his parents don’t support this at all. So, he decides to start selling some of the K-pop beauty products his mom gives him to “make friends.” Wes and Valerie face off, trying to ignore the spark between them as they work to be the most successful at their respective businesses.

There are some YA books about entrepreneurs you should add to your shelves, but want more 3 on a YA Theme? We’ve got you covered.