A Guide to Enneagrams and Books

Personality tests have been all the rage for the past several years. For me, personality tests offer a sense of validation as to why I feel specific emotions and make certain decisions. 

The Enneagram Test has increased in popularity over the past couple of years.  I love this test because each personality is represented by a different number, with each number exploring both your fears and desires and how those affect the way you see the world. So, whether you are a fellow Enneagram nerd or you simply want new books to read, here are some recommendations for a book corresponding with each type. 

Enneagram Books for Teens

Type One: The Reformer 

Description: Principled, purposeful, self-controlled, perfectionist 

Book Recommendation: All American Boys– Jason Reynolds

Type Ones are all about seeking justice and striving for a better world. All American Boys, co-authored by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, follows the perspectives of two teens: one Black and one White. When Rasad is at the store and gets mistaken for shoplifting, Quinn watches in horror as a police officer who happens to be his friend’s older brother, beats Rashad. This book explores the current societal issues with racial profiling, police brutality, and white privilege. Readers will definitely scream their frustrations at the lack of fairness this book reflects with our world.

Type Two: The Helper 

Description: Demonstrative, generous, people-pleasing, possessive  

Book Recommendation: The Nightingale– Kristin Hannah

Known for their eagerness to help and make a difference, Kristin Hannah’s, The Nightingale is the perfect novel to capture a Type Two’s heart. This novel follows two sisters, Isabelle and Vianne, during Nazi-occupied France throughout WWII. This story highlights their courage, detailing the impact Isabelle made to help Jews from within France. While this isn’t the happiest story, it shows the strength of women, the impact just one act of service can make, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Type Three: The Achiever 

Description: Adaptive, excelling, driven, image-conscious

Book Recommendation: On the Come Up– Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas shook the literary stage with her debut, The Hate U Give, and her second novel,  On the Come Up, did not shy away from discussing difficult topics. This novel follows sixteen-year-old Bri on her journey to making a name for herself as a rapper. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he became famous, Bri is determined to fill his shoes by showing off her drive, resiliency, and dedication. This novel discusses the image and stereotypes of Black artists, explores the struggles of poverty, and highlights the journey of overcoming obstacles stacked against you.

Type Four: The Individualist

Description: Expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, temperamental

Book Recommendation: Eliza and her Monsters- Francesca Zappia

Type Fours are all about self-expression, feeling understood, and finding new avenues for creativity. Eliza and Her Monsters is a Young Adult novel that follows Eliza, a high school student who is known on the Internet for her comic series. While she is famous online, in real life, Eliza deals with depression and social anxiety, making it difficult for her to make friends and feel understood. This novel is a wonderful exploration of the impact our mental health has on us each day while showing the power of creativity.

Type Five: The Investigator 

Description: Perceptive, innovative, secretive, isolated

Book Recommendation: Truly Devious– Maureen Johnson 

For the Type Five, or anyone who is a fan of a boarding school mystery, Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious is the book for you. Set at Ellingham Academy in Vermont, this YA mystery series follows Stevie who was admitted to this school due to her knowledge of all things true crime. Other students attending Ellingham Academy were admitted for their own special skills including music, art, and inventing. Stevie works to solve two mysteries: the 1930s disappearance of the founder’s wife and daughter and a murder that takes place shortly after Stevie’s arrival. Type Fives will love working to put the pieces of this mysterious puzzle together.

Type Six: The Loyalist

Description: Engaging, responsible, anxious, suspicious 

Book Recommendation: The Starless Sea– Erin Morgenstern 

As a fellow Type Six, I can attest to the need to escape from my own thoughts sometimes. Thankfully, novels like The Starless Sea provide the perfect voyage away from the chaos of the world. When Zachary discovers a book of short stories at his campus library, he is shocked to read a story from his own childhood. This story tells of a time Zachary found a secret door but was too afraid to open it. After discovering this story, Zachary is determined to figure out everything he can about this mysterious book. His quest introduces him to new friends, vengeful foes, and an underground labyrinth full of secret stories. This book is the perfect escape for Type Sixes and a unique way to celebrate the power of words.

Type Seven: The Enthusiast 

Description: Spontaneous, versatile, distractible, scattered 

Book Recommendation: The Sun is Also a Star– Nicola Yoon

Do you believe in fate? That’s the million-dollar question in this YA contemporary from author Nicola Yoon. In this novel, we follow Natasha, a logic-minded high schooler whose family is twelve hours away from being deported back to Jamaica. On her quest to stop this, Natasha meets Daniel, a poet who struggles to meet the high expectations of his family. The two end up spending the day together, proving that fate and destiny may not be far-fetched concepts. Type Sevens will eat up this free-spirited and exciting story that also delves into some big life questions.

Type Eight: The Challenger

Description: Self-confident, decisive, willful, confrontational 

Book Recommendation: Hunger– Roxanne Gay

Roxanne Gay challenges conventions of body image, sexuality, femininity, and race in her impactful memoir, Hunger. Gay’s collection of essays recounts her own experiences with self-image, sexual assault, and self-care. Hauntingly honest, Gay’s narration will challenge you to think about the way you view yourself, the way you view others, and the way this impacts your view of the world.

Type Nine: The Peacemaker

Description: Receptive, agreeable, reassuring, complacent 

Book Recommendation: I’ll Give You the Sun– Jandy Nelson 

Told in alternating timelines, Jandy Nelson’s, I’ll Give You the Sun follows twins Jude and Noah as they find themselves and repair their broken relationship. Once inseparable, Noah has always been quiet and artistic, pining for the boy living next door. Meanwhile, Jude has always been adventurous, wild, and spontaneous. Certain events set the two on different paths, and the novel explores the depths of their characters and their sibling bond. Full of heart, this story is right up a Type Nine’s alley, as both characters search for peace within themselves and each other.


Happy reading!

Enneagrams and Books for Teens

A word from LBF Founder, Deedee Cummings

They say it “takes a village” when it comes to raising kids and I couldn’t agree more. I also think this philosophy rings true when it comes to promoting a love of literacy with the next generation.

Getting books into the hands of young readers is among the dozens of reasons why I founded The Louisville Book Festival. I was raised in Louisville and I am a proud product of Jefferson County Public Schools. As a child, I loved to read, but I never found books with characters who looked like me or had a story similar to mine. I went on to work with Child Protective Services and eventually, I became a therapist, attorney, and author. My work has led me to the goal of seeing that every child in Louisville has at least twenty books at home, and hopefully, they will be able to see themselves inside of these books. There are more diverse books than ever, but still nowhere near enough.

Louisville Book Festival

This idea of this festival was born in my mind around 2017 and I mulled it over for quite some time. Then it hit me; if you want to spark change and progress, the first step needs to be made. No matter how small- just start. I knew I could no longer wait around for someone else to take the initiative and run with it.

It all came down to NINE words: If it’s meant to be, it’s up to ME.

The Things I Wanted The Louisville Book Festival to Represent

  • The nurturing, learning and growth in every attendee by providing a place where authors, illustrators, publishers, and readers can come together.
  • A way to bring books to life for the Louisville community.
  • An opportunity for readers of all ages and backgrounds to discover new stories and revisit old favorites.
  • A place to shine the spotlight on diverse books and authors.
  • An opportunity for community partners to help books come to life with hands-on activities like science experiments, cooking demonstrations, crafts, and more.
  • A place where the hard questions about equality, inclusion, peace, and love can get asked…and answered.

A Work in Progress

This project is still in its infancy, but I am happy to say we are dedicated and committed to bringing this epic literacy event to the Louisville community in the Fall of 2020. The Louisville Book Festival will help us accomplish our goal of bringing books into the lives of young readers while celebrating our city’s culture and vibrancy.

I believe literacy is a fundamental human right. There is no better place to freely explore and exchange information and ideas, as well as demonstrate for ourselves and for future generations the power of books and reading.

Louisville Book Festival

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