There has been a trend in the recent novel world for teens. There was a trend of vampires and werewolves for a short time with movies and books such as the Twilight series. It seems that the new trend has been revolved around divisions of people and trying to break free of society norms. Teens love trying to challenge authority and add in some romance and you have got them hooked.
The Hunger Games series became extremely popular recently and one movies has already been released and two more movies will follow. There are twelve districts who have to live a certain way and work under the capitol or government. Due to past war times, each district has to participate in a morbid dangerous game where they randomly give up one guy and girl for a duel to the death. The main character and companions ultimately fight to end this tradition.
So you may think that a series like this has no educational worth but look closer. First off it shows the reader an example of determination and a pursuit of passion. They are also lengthy books with a rather good difficulty of vocabulary so while the reader is being entertained, they are practicing and learning. Teens love passion, tragedy, and violence. Most can not get into a book by Shakespeare so why not have them read something that grabs their attention while exercising their brain? It does not replace their school books, just gives them extra words to jog their brain.
A series that is starting to become more popular now is the Divergent series. There are four categories of people and the town and they are each known to have different traits and jobs. For example there is one called the Dauntless and they are courageous and daring and protect the town. The main character turns out to be one of the few who does not belong to one division but can fall into more than one. A war on ideas and rules emerge and the main character fights for what she thinks is right. This is another series with society trying to make people fall into orderly groups and follow a certain way of life. The main character in both fights the norm for a new way of life.
These books do not cause teens to want to rebel but it is something that catches their eye. They love change for the good and love seeing persistence. Despite the passion and drama of the books, their are educational benefits. It gives a teen something to do besides watching repeats on television or scrolling through the internet for not so funny jokes. They get to be entertained while their brain is being developed. They are not many teenage shows or websites that develop the mind. When they choose to get hooked on a book series, it benefits their grasp on reading and broadens the horizon of their mind. Reading is not the most common hobby of a teen so when they choose to do so, it should be supported. Find a balance and let them be entertained how they want while they are learning.