11 Awesome YA Book-Inspired Tattoos

We book nerds aren't exactly known for our tattoos, but that doesn't mean we don't want to wear our favorite books on our bodies forever. It's a common misconception, though, and one that has an easy explanation. See, up until recently, text-based tattoos were not the style du jour. And, given that most people who get tattoos are over 18, the idea of someone getting a YA-book-inspired tattoo might not spring instantly to mind.

Today, bookish tattoos are becoming increasingly more visible. From Ryan Gosling's Giving Tree tattoo to Lena Dunham's Eloise ink, the public is slowly becoming accustomed to seeing book nerds representing their favorite titles in tattoos large and small.

Of course, Gosling and Dunham picked children's books for their pieces. But, if you are looking for something both iconic and meaningful, you can't go wrong with a YA tattoo. The sparse illustrations and quotable passages in The Hunger Games or Harry Potter books make them perfect for tattoo inspiration. The 11 tattoos on this list are some of the most inventive, YA-fiction-based tattoos I've seen recently, and I absolutely love them. If you have a YA-inspired tattoo, be sure to share it with me on Twitter!

His Dark Materials

I feel like Philip Pullman's trilogy just hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. The owner of this Iorek Byrnison tattoo doesn't care that His Dark Materials isn't as popular as Harry Potter, though.


Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl was one of my favorite books as a kid. Even if the title character was a bit of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, this should still be on your radar if you're looking for YA tattoo inspiration.

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables tattoos are pretty rare, from what I've seen, so this gorgeous portrait is a lucky find.

Hufflepuff Pride

Hufflepuffs are finally having their day. What better way to celebrate than with an adorable badger tattoo like this one?

Ramona Quimby

I don't know what I love most about this Ramona Quimby tattoo. Is it the disheveled, not-gonna-take-it-anymore scream? The contrast of the dainty frame? That perfect placement? Whatever it is, this tattoo is everything.


I didn't expect to actually find any Redwall tattoos when I went looking for them, so this gem was a huge surprise. Do you love it as much as I do?

The Catcher in the Rye

Most people with Catcher in the Rye tattoos opt to get a rendition of one of the book's two most famous covers, but not this person. This rendering of Holden Caulfield is classic enough to be recognizable, but it's got just enough quirk to really pop.

Nancy Drew

Everyone's favorite redheaded detective stands out in this bold and stylized portrait, where she's just about to discover the skeletons in someone's closet.

The Abhorsen Series

This Garth Nix fan opted for a rune from the YA writer's Abhorsen series when she chose her tattoo.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Most of the Lemony Snicket tattoos I've seen have the V.F.D. eye and maybe a short quote, but not this one. Eschewing Brett Helquist's depictions of Violet Baudelaire, this reader went with a more distinguished wedding portrait of the character.

Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH

In this beautiful tattoo of the titular Mrs. Frisby, her image is identifiable while eschewing Don Bluth's "Mrs. Brisby" version in favor of a more realistic style. The background and swoopy shape make this mouse tattoo the mouse tattoo to end all mouse tattoos.

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