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Grades 7-8 Realistic Fiction

*Avi. Nothing but the Truth: A Documentary Novel
It's against the regulations to hum the national anthem in school. Philip decides to disobey the rule, and the whole nation watches what happens.

Avi. A Place Called Ugly
Fourteen-year-old Owen must come to grips with the impending destruction of his family's summer rental home, a home filled with ten summers
of memories.

Axline, Virginia, Dibs: In Search of Self
A five-year-old battled to regain the world of emotional communication.

Baldwin, James, Go Tell It on the Mountain
From the rural south to the urban ghettos of the north, the attitudes of two generations of an embattled family are starkly contrasted.

Bauer, Joan, Rules of the Road
The cantankerous old woman who owns a chain of shoe stores hires a high school employee to travel throughout the United States makingunannounced visits to her stores.

Bauer, Joan. Squashed
Sixteen-year-old Ellie attempts to grow the biggest pumpkin in Iowa, as well as capture the attention of the new boy in town.

Bell, William. Forbidden City: A Novel of Modern China
Alex Jackson and his father, a TV cameraman, become caught in the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.

Bennett, James, Dakota Dreams
Fifteen-year-old Floyd Rayfield has lived in a series of foster homes. He runs to a Sioux Indian reservation where he is taken in and taught, through a "vision quest," what it means to be a member of the Sioux family.

Bennett, Jack, Voyage of the Lucky Dragon

Blessing, Richard, A Passing Season
Craig Warren likes English but has to hide his literary talent to avoid razzing from his football teammates.

Blos, Joan W., Brothers of the Heart
Fourteen-year-old Shem spends six months in the Michigan wilderness alone with a dying Indian woman who helps him, not only to survive, but to mature to the point where he can return to his family.

Bond, Nancy, The Voyage Begun
Set in the not-so-distant future when the nation's energy supply is almost depleted, this develops 16-year-old Paul's involvement with a disreputable old boat builder, a gang of destructive looters, and a fiercely independent girl.

Borland, Hal, When the Legends Die
Thomas Black Bull, a Ute Indian boy growing up in Colorado, is torn between the old ways of his people and the complexities of the white man's civilization.

Budhos, Marina Tamar. Ask Me No Questions
After living illegally in New York City, a family from Bangladesh is forced to seek asylum.

Bradley, Marian Zimmer, Firebrand
A skillful blending of archaeological and anthropological facts with the Greek legends and personal imagination.

Brady, James, The Marines of Autumn: A Novel of the Korean War
A fictionalized account of the Marines' retreat from the Chosin Reservoir.

Bridgers, Sue Ellen, All Together Now
During a pivotal summer of maturation in her grandmother's small-town home during her father's tour of duty on the Korean front, Casey Flanagan observes the power of love-her own for her best friend and ballplayer Dwayne Pickens, 30 years old with the mind of a 12-year-old, and her grandparents', still affectionate after decades together.

Bridgers, Sue Ellen, Notes for Another Life (7~12)
Through the love of their grandmother, a sister and brother learn to cope with their father's mental illness and their mother's absence.

Brooks, Bruce, The Moves Make the Man
A black basketball player and an emotionally troubled white shortstop in North Carolina form a precarious friendship.

Brooks, Martha, Traveling on into the Light and Other Stories
A thought-provoking collection of stories about the journey to adulthood.

Burnett, Frances Hodgson, The Secret Garden
Mary and Colin, a self-centered girl and a pampered invalid boy, learn compassion and generosity within the walls of an abandoned garden.


Burnford, Sheila, The Incredible Journey
A Labrador retriever, a terrier and a Siamese cat travel 250 miles through the Canadian wilderness to get home.

Buss, Fran Leeper, and Daisy Cubias, Jourrney of the Sparrows
Maria makes the dangerous trip across the border to the U S where jobs are scarce and she must evade immigration officers.

Canales, Viola. The Tequila Worm
Winning a scholarship to boarding school, Sofia explores life beyond the barrio, requiring leaving her family to navigate a strange world of rich, privileged kids.

Cannon, A. E., Amazing Gracie
When her mother remarries, Gracie's life changes; she moves away from her best friend, gets a weird six-year-old stepbrother and watches her mother sink into total depression.

Carter, Forrest, The Education of Little Tree
A remembrance of the boyhood and unique education of a Cherokee boy in the 1930's.

Childress, Alice, A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich
An honest and realistic portrayal of a 13-year-old boy's addiction to heroin is seen by himself and those surrounding him.

Childress, Alice, Rainbow Jordan
A young girl faces problems of poverty, and a variety of conflicting role models.

• Cleaver, Bill and Vera Cleaver, Where the Lilies Bloom
A determined and resourceful 14-year-old maintains the independence of her orphaned family, each of whom is well portrayed, by gathering medicinal herbs in the Appalachian mountain area where they live.

Collier, James Lincoln, When the Stars Begin to Fall
A young boy, bucking the town's judgment of "white trash," courageously fights a major industrial polluter of their dying river.

Conford, Ellen, The Alfred G. Graebner Memorial H.S. Handbook of Rules and Regulations
A computerized high school with all its mix-ups and frustrations. Funny, first-person narrative.

Conroy, Pat. The Water Is Wide
A teacher's extraordinary experience with the Gullah people off the coast of Georgia.

Covington, Dennis, Lizard
Sent to live at a Louisiana school for retarded boys because of his deformed appearance, Lucius Sims finds a way to escape - and learns to respect himself, too.

Craven, Margaret, I Heard the Owl Call My Name
Moving account of a young vicar, fatally ill, working among the Indians.

Creech, Sharon. Walk Two Moons
Two stories are interwoven in this novel about family, loss, and love.

Cresswell, Helen, Ordinary Jack: Being the First Part of the Bagthorpe Saga (5-8)
In a family of madly achieving geniuses, Jack's burgeoning inferiority complex is taken in hand by his uncle, who dreams up a scheme whereby Jack will become the family prophet-with broadly comic results.

Crew, Linda, Children of the River
The Cambodian-American experience is conveyed through the story of teenage Sundara, who flees with her aunt's family from the Khmer Rouge terror in the mid 1970s to a small Oregon town.

Cross, Gillian, Born of the Sea
A young girl has a great adventure traveling to a lost Incas city and the Kallawaya tribe.

Crutcher, Chris The Sledding Hill (NEW)
As it details the life history of a banned book from a teenager's perspective, The Sledding Hill is a brilliant chronicle about censorship in literature and its effect on personal freedom.

Crutcher, Chris, Athletic Shorts: 6 Short Stories
Tales of love, death, bigotry and heroism-of real people with the courage to stand up to a world that often puts them down.

Crutcher, Chris. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
Eric "Moby" Calhoune, the fattest boy in high school, tries to help his badly scarred best friend, Sarah Byrnes, deal with a horrific event in her past.

Cummings, Priscilla, Red Kayak
Always in trouble, Arnold jokes his way through school to hide the pain of repeating seventh grade, being friendless and fatherless and protecting a mother others consider crazy.

Curtis, Christopher Paul, Bucking the Sarge
No one messes with “The Sarge,” a slum landlord. Her son, forced into her devious schemes, simply wants to win the science fair and live an honest life.

Danziger, Paula, Amber Brown Goes Fourth
Amber Brown has new sneakers, new notebooks and new pencils, but the spunky fourth grader doesn't have what she really needs - a new best friend to replace her pal Justin.

Danziger, Paula, The Cat Ate My Gymsuit
In this riotous tale, Marcy goes to great lengths to avoid gym, while staunchly defending an English teacher she feels has been wrongly dismissed.

Danziger, Paula, The Divorce Express
A humorous look at the problem of two-family teens.

Davis, Jenny, Checking on the Moon
Thirteen-year-old Cab spends the summer with her grandmother in a dangerous, decaying neighborhood on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, helping the area's despairing residents and leaning to rely on her own resourcefulness.

Davis, Jenny, GoodBye and Keep Cold
Edda Combs reflects on her childhood and the events that shaped her life in the coal-mining hills of Kentucky.

Davis, Terry. If Rock and Roll Were a Machine.
With the help of two adults and his interest in motorcycles, a high school junior regains his sense of self that had been destroyed by his fifth-grade teacher.

DeMille, Nelson. The Charm School
A very exciting Russian spy story with KGB agents studying American ways so that they can infiltrate our society

Dickinson, Peter. AK
Paul Kagomi is a child guerrilla, orphaned by war in Africa who places his trust in his AK, his gun.

Dickinson, Peter. A Bone from a Dry Sea
In two parallel stories, a prehistoric child prepares her people for evolutionary advances, and a present-day girl visits her father on a dig in Africa, where they discover important fossil remains.

Dickinson, Peter. Emma Tupper's Diary
On a visit to northern Scotland with her madcap cousins, fourteen-year-old Emma suggests a TV-filmed monster hoax to attract tourists

Dickinson, Peter. Eva.
What is would be like to be the hybrid that results when the brain-patterns and memory of a dying girl are transferred into the brain of a chimpanzee.

Dickinson, Peter. Shadow of a Hero
When the Berlin Wall topples and Eastern Europe opens up, exiled Varinians look to Letta’s grandfather to lead them in their country's fight for independence.

*Donnelly, Jennifer, A Northern Light (NEW)
Mattie Gokey, 16, a talented writer, promised her dying mother that she would always take care of her father and younger siblings. She is stuck on a farm, living in near poverty, with no way of escaping, even though she has been accepted at Barnard College. (one in a series)

Donovan, John, Family (6-9)
A group of laboratory apes escape to form a family in the wild until forced to throw themselves on the mercy of humankind, which is questioned in the book and so deepened in the reader.

Donovan, John, I'll Get There: It Better Be Worth the Trip
In a touching, first-person story of adolescence, 13-year-old David Ross, stunned and uprooted by the sudden death of his grandmother, turns to his dog and a close friend for comfort in dealing with his divorced parents, an alcoholic mother and a preoccupied father available only on Saturdays.

Dowell, Frances O’Roark. Chicken Boy
Seventh-grader Tobin McCauley lives in a very dysfunctional household and has a friend who believes that the study of chickens will reveal the meaning of life.

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. The Hound of the Baskervilles
For generations, a curse has hung over the Baskerville family. Now, as another life is claimed by the mysterious and terrifying beast, Sherlock Holmes and Watson set out to solve the most bewildering and bloodcurdling case of their careers.

Duncan, Lois. Don't Look Behind You
Seventeen-year-old April Corrigan's world is turned upside down when her family is taken under the FBI's Witness Protection Program.

Fine, Anne. Flour Babies
A school project that involves caring for a six-pound sack of flour as if it were a baby helps Simon put his life into perspective - why his father left and how strong his mom is, raising him alone.

Fleischman, Paul, The Borning Room
Life and birth (triumph and tragedy) occur throughout generations of an Ohio farm family in their Borning Room.

Fleischman, Paul, Whirligig
Brent Bishop, a high school junior responsible for a fatal drunk driving accident, is given an unusual punishment, suggested by the victim’s mother.

Fox, Paula, Monkey Island
Awakening in a welfare hotel to find his mother gone, 11-year-old Clay takes to the streets of New York City and finds shelter with two homeless men who help him survive.

Fox, Paula, The Moonlight Man
A warm and poignant story of a young teenage girl's attempts to understand her elusive and undependable father.

Freedman, Nancy and Benedict Freedman, Mrs. Mike
Love story set in the great Canadian wilderness.

Fusco, Kimberly, Tending to Grace (NEW)
A story of the rejected kid who finds a family with a rough solitary older adult, this quiet, beautiful first novel makes the search for home a searing drama.

Fyson, J. G. Friend Fire and the Dark Wings
This novel, set in paleolithic times, develops an exciting plot out of the difficult concepts of communication before the development of speech, the discovery of fire, and the realization that other humans exist.

George, Jean Craighead. Water Sky
When teenager Lincoln Stonewright flies to Barrow, Alaska, to stay with his father's Eskimo (Inupiat) friends, he finds that they believe he is the boy to whom the great whale Nukik will give itself, ending two years of unproductive whaling.

Gipson, Fred, Old Yeller
Travis gets help from a big, ugly, yellow dog.

Golding, William, Lord of the Flies
Story of the return to the wild of a group of British schoolboys marooned on an island.

Grant, Vicki,
Pigboy (NEW)
Dan Hogg's school trip to a heritage farm--where taunts about his last name are funny to everyone but him--goes from miserable to dangerous when an escaped convict appears.

Green, Constance C, Beat the Turtle Drum (5-7)
Kate's world is turned upside down when her beloved young sister dies in a freak accident.
Green, John,
Looking for Alaska (NEW)
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.

Greenfield, Eloise, Sister

Grunwald, Lisa, Summer
Intimate summers with her artistic family on a Massachusetts island have always been perfect, so how can college freshman Jennifer bear her dying mother's last summer?

Guy, Rosa, The Friends (NEW)
Her loneliness draws Phyllisia, a well-to-do West Indian girl, into a mismatched friendship with Edith, a poor classmate, in Harlem.

*Haddon, Mark, the curious incident of the dog in the night-time
A murder mystery of sorts--one told by an autistic fifteen-year-old.

Hall, Lynn, Danza!

Hamilton, Virginia, The Planet of Junior Brown (5-8)
The powerfully original story of friendship among a troubled teenage pianist, a street-wise classmate, and a janitor who constructs a 10-planet revolving solar system in their secret retreat.

Hathorn, Libby, Thunderwith
Rejected after her mother's death by her father's new wife in the Australian outback, Laura seeks solace in a strange dog she discovers.

Hayes, Daniel, The Trouble with Lemons
When Tyler and Lymie discover a body floating in the quarry where they are taking a forbidden midnight swim, they fear for their lives.

Hemingway, Ernest, The Old Man and the Sea
A Cuban fisherman loses a giant marlin to the sharks.

Henegan, James. Torn Away
Declan, 13, is a terrorist. Now caught he must choose between continuing to live a life based on the quest for vengeance and beginning a life based on family ties and love.

Henry, Sue
, Murder on the Iditarod Trail
Money, dogs and reputations are at stake during the intense competition of the Iditarod. As mushers are murdered, state trooper Jensen looks at the race with new eyes.

Hentoff, Nat. The Day They Came to Arrest the Book
A small but vocal group claims that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is racist, sexist and unwholesome. Barney, editor of the school paper, wants to save Huck Finn.

Hiaasen, Carl. Flush
Noah and his sister Abbey play sleuth to prove that a casino is illegally dumping raw sewage into Florida’s waters.

Hicyilmaz, Gaye. The Frozen Waterfall
In a vivid portrayal of immigrant life, twelve-year-old Selda moves with her Turkish family to Switzerland.

Hilton, James, Good-Bye, Mr. Chips
Story of the delightful schoolmaster who captivated an English school.

Hinton, S. E., The Outsiders
Story of a rough and swinging gang of long-haired teenagers from the wrong side of the tracks.

Honeycutt, Natalie, Ask Me Something Easy
Addie feels like an outsider s her older sister, Dinah, and their angry mother cling to each other following the parents' divorce.

Howe, James, 13 : Thirteen Stories that Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen (NEW)
In this wide-ranging collection, familiar authors for young adults contribute short fiction about 13-year-old characters who are experiencing bewildering feelings, making discoveries, or undergoing the embarrassments typical of the age. Each contribution closes with a painfully awkward photograph of the author at 13, a wonderful reminder that the authors, too, shared the pain.

Hunt, Irene, Across Five Aprils
One family in the Civil War loses sons to both sides of the conflict

Hunter, Mollie, A Stranger Came Ashore (5-8)
The Selkie legend is woven into an exciting tale of a seal-man's entrance into the lives of lovely Elspeth and her protective younger brother, Robbie.

Hyde, Catherine Ryan, Pay It Forward
Eighth grader Trevor rises to his social studies teacher’s challenge to do something that will change the world.

Jekel, Pamela. Columbia
The history of the Pacific Northwest from prehistoric times to the mid-twentieth century.

Johnson, Harriet McBryde
. Accidents of Nature
Seventeen-year-old Jean has cerebral palsy and has never known another disabled person before she arrives at Camp Courage.

Johnston, Norma, The Keeping Days
Set in 1900, this romantic tale relates seven months in the life of Tish Sterling, who is struggling to become a writer Just to find her place in her family while experiencing the throes of first love.

Jones, Diana Wynne, Castle in the Air
Abdullah is whisked away to a magic kingdom when he falls asleep on a magic carpet he has just bought, but is he really sleeping?

Jones, Ron, The Acorn People
Poignant tale of five handicapped boys at a summer camp.

*Kadohata, Cynthia, Kira-Kira (NEW)
The strong love within a Japanese family from the point of view of younger sister Katie, told in the oppressive social climate of the South of the 1950s and 1960s

Kerr, M. E., Gentlehands
Buddy Boyle tries to impress rich, socially elite Skye Pennington by introducing her to his refined and cultured grandfather and discovers that

Keyes, Daniel, Flowers for Algernon
Heart-rending tale of a retarded man who becomes a genius through a bold experiment.

*Kidd, Sue Monk. The Secret Life of Bees
A white girl in the South during Civil Rights times runs away from her abusive father and lives in a household of black women

Kingsolver, Barbara, Animal Dreams
When Codi returns after 14 years to the small Arizona town of her childhood, she finds a new career, a cause to fight for and a man to love again.

Kingsolver, Barbara. The Bean Trees
A Young heroine made two main promises to herself: to change her name and to get a long way from her home in the hills of Kentucky. Somewhere along the way she acquires a young Indian child.

Kingsolver, Barbara. Pigs in Heaven—sequel to The Bean Trees

Kipling, Rudyard, Captains Courageous
A spoiled rich boy is thrust into the tough world of the Grand Banks fishermen

Konigsburg, E. L., Father's Arcane Daughter
The children of a very wealthy family are freed from their overprotective environment when a woman posing as their older missing sister enters their lives.

*Konigsburg, E. L. The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
Margaret Rose Kane confronts a catastrophe in a rousing tale of art, history, and fierce preservation of individuality

Korman, Gordon, Abduction (Kidnapped, Book 1) (NEW)
Aiden teams up with the FBI to track down his sister Meg who was kidnapped while they were walking home from school.

Lee, Marie G. Finding My Voice
Ellen Sung, the only Korean-American student in a small school, must deal with prejudice from some of her classmates and pressure from her strict parents to follow her scholarly older sister to Harvard.

L'Engle, Madeleine. The Arm of the Starfish
What is expected to be a quiet summer of work with a famous marine biologist becomes a time of international intrigue for teenager Adam Eddington.

L'Engle, Madeleine. Troubling a Star
A young girl unwittingly becomes involved in high-risk political and ecological intrigue, set against the starkly beautiful background of Antarctica.

Lee, Harper, To Kill a Mockingbird

Levoy, Myron, Alan and Naomi
After reluctantly agreeing to befriend Naomi, a disturbed war refugee who has crumbled under the memory of seeing her father beaten to death by Nazis, Alan breaks through her defenses and begins truly to like her—only to lose her when a violent incident shatters her fragile sanity.

Lipsyte, Robert, The Brave
Sonny Bear, half-white and half-Moscondaga Indian, wants to be a boxer but has difficulty controlling his anger until he meets Alfred Brooks, New York City cop and former contender.

Lipsyte, Robert, One Fat Summer
Hard work changes the self-image of overweight Bobby Marks.

Lockhart, E., Dramarama (NEW)
Spending their summer at Wildewood Academy, an elite boarding school for the performing arts, tests the bond between teens Sadye and her best friend Demi.

Lowell, Pamela, Returnable Girl (NEW)
After being abandoned, thirteen-year-old Ronnie Hartman tries to connect with her new foster parent, but trouble at school and a letter from her mother interfere with her relationship with the woman who wants to adopt her.

Lowry, Lois, A Summer to Die
Meg, 13, envies her older sister's popularity and prettiness and finds it difficult to copwithMolly's degenerating illness and eventual death.

Lupica, Michael Heat (NEW)
When Michael Arroyo is on the baseball diamond, everything feels right. He's a terrific pitcher who dreams of leading his South Bronx All-Stars to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.

MacLachlan, Patricia, Journey
Journey’s grandparents find a way to restore his family to him after his mother abandons him and his sister.

Magorian, Michelle, Good Night, Mr. Tom
When children are evacuated from London during World War II, Tom Oakley, a taciturn near-recluse who has never recovered from the deaths of his wife and child, takes in and forms a mutually healing relationship with eight-year-old Willie, a sickly, quiet boy who bears the marks of brutal beatings.

Martel, Yann, Life of Pi (NEW)
An extraordinary tale of a teenager in India, where his father is a zoo keeper. Deciding to immigrate to Canada, his father sells off most of the zoo animals, electing to bring a few along with the family on their voyage to their new home.

Marshall, Catherine, Christy
Christy, at 19 a teacher in the Smoky Mountains, comes to know and love the wild mountain people.

Marshall, Catherine, Julie

Mass, Wendy A Mango-Shaped Space (NEW)
Combining an engaging main character, a medical mystery, and a special pet make this novel a must-read for all who are sure their life is stranger than anyone else's.

Mathis, Sharon, Listen for the Fig Tree
Blind and the daughter of an alcoholic mother, Muffin Johnson still finds hope and strength in celebrating the African holiday of Kwanza.

Mazer, Harry, Snowbound
Stranded for 11 days in a blizzard in New York State, a teenage boy and girl manage to survive by overcoming their mutual antagonism and learning to cooperate.

Mazer, Norma Fox, After the Rain (7-12)
After discovering her grandfather is dying, fifteen-year-old Rachel gets to know him better than ever before.

Mazer, Norma Fox, Downtown
Powerful novel of a sixteen-year-old boy who must come to terms with the past and with the radical parents who were forced to leave him as a child.

McCaffrey, Anne, Pegasus in Flight
In a future where the psychically talented are both exploited and shunned, quadriplegic Peter and slum-kid Tiria- join forces to build a new space station and infiltrate a child-smuggling ring

McKinley, Robin, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
An elegantly styled, romantic novel extends the fairy-tale characters and setting into a fully imagined world.

McMurtry, Larry, Lonesome Dove
The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic masterpiece of the American West.

Merrill, Jean, The Pushcart War (5-7)
A seriocomic tale of a war between the truck drivers and pushcart men on the streets of New York City.

Meyer, Carolyn. Rio Grande Stories
Stories about students celebrate the incredibly rich diversity of the New Mexico they have all come to call home.

Morpurgo, Michael, Waiting for Anya
In World War II France, young Jo helps Benjamin hide Jewish children from the Germans and conduct them over the mountains to safety in Spain.

Murdock, Catherine Dairy Queen (NEW)
D.J.’s family doesn’t talk much. They don’t talk about why she’s doing the bulk of the farm work, or why mom is so secretive and her brothers never call home. But a surprising decision on her part forces the conversation in this poignant coming-of-age tale.

Mosher, Richard. Zazoo (NEW)
This is a story about a young Vietnamese-born French girl, life on the canals of provincial France, the wonders of nature, and wartime memories and regrets will enthrall teens looking for something different.

Myers, Walter Dean, Street Love (NEW)
This story told in free verse is set against a background of street gangs and poverty in Harlem in which seventeen-year-old African American Damien takes a bold step to ensure that he and his new love will not be separated.

Myers, Walter Dean, Fast Sam
In an affectionate, colloquial narrative, Stuff, now 18, recalls the time when he was 13, hanging out on 116th Street and enjoying being part of a circle of dependable friends, the best of whom wore Fast Sam and Cool Clyde.

Myers, Walter Dean, Hoops
Seventeen-year-old Lonnie Jackson hopes that basketball will be his ticket out of Harlem until the savage underworld of sports and big money forces him to make a choice - one on which his very life depends.

Myracle, Lauren, Twelve (NEW)
Winnie relates the events of her twelfth year and the many changes in her relationships and in her attitude toward growing up.

Napoli, Donna Jo, Bound (NEW)
Xing Xing is a Japanese orphan living with her stepmother and stepsister. She is a beautiful, honest, and intelligent young woman who, in the end, will come to decide her own fate, but not at the expense of others. This is a Cinderella story steeped in Eastern culture and mysticism that you will treasure and ponder."

Nelson, Theresa. And One for All
In the late 1960's seventh-grader Geraldine Brennan finds herself fighting a private war against grief and anger when her brother, Wing, is killed in Vietnam.

Newton, Suzanne, I Will Call It Georgie's Blues
Fifteen-year-old Neal secretly studies to be a jazz pianist. Oneal, Zibby, In Summer Light
A seventeen-year-old girl is awakening to her artistic talents and her own self worth.

O'neal, Zibby, The Language of Goldfish
Carrie's talent for drawing seems her only hope when, fearful of the changes of growing up, she suffers a nervous breakdown. Orlev, Uri, The Man from the Other Side
Knowing the way through the sewers, Marek leads a Polish Jew, who wants to die among Jews, back to the doomed Warsaw Ghetto.

Paterson, Katherine, Bridge to Terabithia (5-7)
Jess and Leslie, two unlikely friends, share an imagined world until one drowns, leaving the other to cope with the sadness and loss in a poignant, perceptive tale.

Paterson, Katherine, Jacob Have I Loved
Feeling deprived of schooling, friends, mother, and even her name by her pretty twin sister, plain-looking Louise finally begins to find her identity.

Paterson, Katherine, Park's Quest
Park’s father died in Vietnam. Park grows up with little knowledge about his father and, in his search to learn more about him, discovers that he has an Amerasian half-sister.

Paulsen, Gary, The Cookcamp
What would cause a mother to pin a note to her five-year-old son's jacket, put him on a train and send him far away to live in the north woods?

Paulsen, Gary, The Crossing
Manny Bustos is an orphan struggling to survive amidst appalling poverty on the streets of Juarez, Mexico.

Paulsen, Gary, The Island
Fourteen-year-old Will Newton finds a “private island” where he looks deep into reality and begins to unlock the essence of himself.

Paulsen, Gary, The Monument
Rocky, a mixed-race teen, has her life changed by the unusual artist who comes to her small town to design a war memorial.

Peck, Richard, Father Figure
Jim Atwater's self-chosen role as substitute father to his eight-year-old brother is threatened when, after their mother's suicide, the two boys are sent to Florida to spend the summer with their long-lost father.

Peck, Richard. The Last Safe Place on Earth
Todd, 15, moves with his family to the safe suburbs, only to discover a world which is equally unsettling.

Peck, Richard, The Teacher’s Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts
Russell, growing up in 1904, doesn’t like school and is happy when his teacher dies. But then his sister Tansy becomes the new teacher. Peet, Mal, Keeper (NEW)
An interview between a South American sports reporter and the world's best soccer goalkeeper, the now 30-year-old "El Gato" relates how he developed his skills, achieved great fame, and won the coveted World Cup.

Perkins, Lynne. Criss Cross (NEW)
Written in a variety of styles, this innovative book follows the lives of four fourteen-year-olds in a small town. (Newbery Winner, 2006)

Pershall, Mary K. You Take the High Road
Set in Australia, the story studies the impact of loss on a teenage girl.

Peyton, K. M., Prove Yourself a Hero
After being kidnapped and held for ransom, Jonathan Meredith has a feeling of guilt and cowardice—until he gets the chance to confront his captor.

Pfeffer, Susan Beth, The Year Without Michael
Somewhere between home and ballfield, Jody's brother Michael disappeared.

Pfeffer, Susan Beth, Twice Taken
Sixteen-year-old Brooke learns that her father abducted her when she was quite young, in violation of the custody agreement with her natural mother.

Philbrick, Rodman, The Young Man and the Sea
Driven by despair over his mother’s death, his father’s paralyzing depression, and financial worries, 12-year old Skiff sets out in a tiny boat to battle an enormous tuna.

Plummer, Louise, My Name is Sus5an Smith: The 5 is Silent
When Susan leaves her small town to study art in Boston, she loses her illusions of life and love, but rediscovers herself and her independence. Potok, Chaim, The Chosen
A tale of a tiny Jewish-American section of Brooklyn.

Rawls, Wilson, Summer of the Monkeys
Jay wants to capture the monkeys to help his crippled twin sister.

Ritter, John, The Boy Who Saved Baseball (NEW)
A baseball tale of legendary dimension, featuring several larger-than-life characters and a team of ordinary young folk tackling a seemingly insurmountable challenge in defense of a worthy cause.

*Sachar, Louis, Holes
A boy mistakenly accused of theft is sentenced to a desert prison where he is forced to dig holes daily (really to help the warden search for a lost treasure).

Salinger, J. D., The Catcher in the Rye
A perceptive study of adolescent Holden Caufield.

Schami, Rafik, A Hand Full of Stars
A teenage boy in Damascus, Syria, begins to keep a journal At first, he writes of everyday events, but soon the hidden diary becomes a way for him to express his growing frustration with the harsh government.

Sebestyen, Ouida, Words by Heart
In a moving story of triumph over hatred, the first black family in a pioneer western farm community pays the tragic price of trying to make a better life.

Seierstad, Asne. The Bookseller of Kabul
A proud man, braving persecution during repressive regimes, heroically brings books to the people of Kabul. The reader gains insight into the plight of Afghan women and the realities of daily life in today’s Afghanistan.

*Smith, Betty, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
In this deeply understanding story of childhood and family relationships, young Francie comes of age in the poverty of the Brooklyn slums.

Smith, Dodie. I Capture the Castle (NEW)
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain wants to become a writer. Trouble is, she's the daughter of a once-famous author with a severe case of writer's block.

Smith, Kirsten, The Geography of Girlhood (NEW)
A coming-of-age novel in poems, in which small-town teenager Penny Morrow longs for love, courage, and a life of adventure and struggles through the absence of her mother, the mental illness of a friend, the death of someone from her past, and a romance with her sister’s ex-boyfriend.

Spinelli, Jerry. Maniac Magee
The orphan Maniac Magee desperately searches for an address, a place to call home.

Spinelli, Jerry, There’s a Girl in My Hammerlock
Whoever heard of a girl on a wrestling team? She might get hurt. Besides, it’s embarrassing and dumb!

*Staples, Suzanne Fisher Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind
Pakistani twelve-year-old Shabanu and her sister, Phulan, are the only daughters - and only children - in a fairly prosperous family of nomadic camel raisers.

*Tan, Amy, Joy Luck Club
Chronicles the lives of four Chinese women, their forty-year friendship and how the death of one brings her daughter into the fold and a new understand for each.

Taylor, Mildred D., Song of the Trees
When a lumber company wants to destroy the ancestral trees that surround their home, young Cassie and her family fight to save them.

Taylor, Theodore, The Hostage
When a marine part offers $100,000 for a live killer whale, and Jamie and his father trap one, Jamie is all set to leave his life in a poor fishing camp. But then the media and environmentalists brand the family as villains.

Taylor, Theodore, The Sniper
A boy in a Southern California canyon is in charge of his family’s “cats” while his parents are away.

Tepper, Sheri S., Beauty
In this modern retelling of the fairy tale, Beauty avoids the seeping spell and trips through time into different worlds, searching for beauty and love.

Tharp, Tim, Knights of the Hill Country (NEW)
In a small Oklahoma town, one star linebacker must decide what kind of man he wants to be--both on and off the field.

Thesman, Jean, The Rain Catchers
Abandoned by her mother and growing up in a household of women, Grayling, at 14, must deal with love, death and her relationship with her mother.

Voigt, Cynthia, Building Blocks
Twelve-year-old Brian thinks his father is a “loser” until he travels back in time and discovers there is more to his father than he realizes.

Voigt, Cynthia, Dicey 's Song
With her grandmother's help, Dicey learns to cope with life's problems.

Voigt, Cynthia, Homecoming
Four abandoned children embark on a remarkable journey from Connecticut to Maryland in search of love.

Voigt, Cynthia, Izzy, Willy-Nilly
Izzy popular, pretty, outgoing, a cheerleader until she loses her right leg, and nothing will ever be the same.

Voigt, Cynthia, Seventeen Against the Dealer
Dicey, 21, leaves college to build boats, but because of lack of skill and experience, her business fails (last in the Tillerman family series)

Voigt, Cynthia, Sons from Afar (7-12)
This volume of the Tillerman family finds Dicey's two brothers, James and Sammy, searching for their father.

Voigt, Cynthia. Tree by Leaf
Clothilde Speer is deeply burdened. Her aristocratic father returned from World War I a disfigured stranger who rejects his family. Her mother cannot cope. Impoverished, the family plans to sell the beloved Maine peninsula, Clothilde's inheritance from a great aunt.

Vrettos, Adrienne Maria, Skin (NEW)
When his parents decide to separate, eighth-grader Donnie watches with horror as the physical condition of his sixteen-year old sister, Karen, deteriorates due to an eating disorder.

Webster, Jean, Daddy Long Legs
An orphaned schoolgirl has a mysterious benefactor

Wersba, Barbara, The Dream Watcher
High school freshman Albert Scully feels a complete misfit at school and at home before his friendship with an 80-year-old self-designated actress gives him the courage to be himself.

Williams-Garcia, Rita, Fast Talk on a Slow Track
Denzel Watson has always been a star; now he faces his first taste of failure the summer before his freshman year at Princeton.

Wolff, Virginia E., The Mozart Season
Allegra Shapiro plays Mozart on her violin with the same intensity that she plays softball; her decision to enter a music competition turns her twelfth summer into the “Mozart season.”

*Yee, Lisa, Millicent Min, Girl Genius (NEW)
In a series of journal entries, eleven-year-old Millicent Min records her struggles to learn to play volleyball, tutor her enemy, deal with her grandmother’s departure, and make friends over the course of a tumultuous summer.

Yep, Laurence, Child of the Owl
A twelve-year-old girl who knows little about her Chinese heritage is sent to live with her grandmother in San Francisco's Chinatown.

Zevin, Gabreielle, Elsewhere (NEW)
Fifteen-year-old Liz Hall, the victim of a hit-and-run driver, wakes up on a ship to Elsewhere. Life on Elsewhere seems to be the opposite of life here.

Zindel, Paul, The Pigman
Two high school sophomores tell, in alternate chapters, the tragic story of their friendship with a lonely old man whom they delight and then deeply hurt.

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