Contemporary Realistic Fiction: 2004-2011
Contemporary Realistic Fiction for Grades K-8 in the EMC
Asterisk (*) indicates subject category list
Abeele, Veronique van den. Still My Grandma. 2007
A young girl describes her special relationship with her grandmother, both before and after Grandma contracts Alzheimer's Disease.
*Grandmothers, Alzheimer’s Disease
Adoff, Jaime. Jimi and Me. 2005
After his father's tragic death, twelve-year-old Keith James moves from Brooklyn to a small midwestern town where his mixed race heritage is not accepted, but he finds comfort in the music of Jimi Hendrix and the friendship of a white classmate.
*Jimi Hendrix, Racially Mixed People, African Americans, Grief, Fathers and Sons
Alexie, Sherman. Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. 2007
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
*Spokane Indians, Indians of North America-Washington (state), Indian Reservations, Race Relations, Diaries
Almond, David. My Name is Mina. 2011
Creative, intelligent, nine-year-old Mina keeps a journal in her own disorderly way that reveals how her mind is growing into something extraordinary, especially after she begins homeschooling under the direction of her widowed mother.
*Eccentrics and Eccentricities, Home Schooling, Mothers and Daughters, Single-Parent Families, Family Life-England, England
Almond, David. Savage. 2008
A boy tells about a story he wrote when dealing with his father's death about a savage kid living in a ruined chapel in the woods--and the tale about the savage kid coming to life in the real world.
Al-Windawi, Thura. Thura’s Diary: My Life In Wartime Iraq. 2004
Nineteen-year-old Thura al-Windawi traces the days leading up to the bombings in Iraq, the war, and the chaos that followed, describing her life and the reality of war for Iraqi families.
* Al-Windawi, Thura-Diaries, Iraq War-2003-2011, Women-Iraq-Diaries
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Twisted. 2007
After finally getting noticed by someone other than school bullies and his ever-angry father, seventeen-year-old Tyler enjoys his tough new reputation and the attentions of a popular girl, but when life starts to go bad again, he must choose between transforming himself or giving in to his destructive thoughts.
*Family Problems, Interpersonal Relations, High Schools, Schools, Coming of Age, Ohio
Brisson, Pat. I Remember Miss Perry. 2006
When his teacher, Miss Perry, is killed in a car accident, Stevie and his elementary school classmates take turns sharing memories of her, especially her fondest wish for each day.
*Teachers, Death, Grief, Schools
Brisson, Pat. Mama Loves Me from Away. 2004
When a mother and daughter are separated by the mother's incarceration, they find a special way to keep their loving relationship alive.
*Birthdays, Mothers and Daughters, Imprisonment
Brown, Susan Taylor. Hugging the Rock. 2006
Through a series of poems, Rachel expresses her feelings about her parents' divorce, living without her mother and her changing attitude towards her father.
*Mothers and Daughters, Children of Divorced Parents, Divorce, Fathers and Daughters, Novels in Verse
Burgess, Melvin. Doing It. 2004
Three teenage friends, Dino, Jonathon, and Ben, confront the confusions, fears, and joys of adolescent male sexuality.
*Interpersonal Relations, Sex, Schools, Family Problems, England
Caletti, Deb. The Nature of Jade. 2007
Seattle high school senior Jade's life is defined by her anxiety disorder and dysfunctional family, until she spies a mysterious boy with a baby who seems to share her fascination with the elephants at a nearby zoo.
*Coming of Age, Elephants, Zoos, Family Problems, Anxiety, Seattle (Wash.)
Cameron, Peter. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful. 2007
Eighteen-year-old James living in New York City with his older sister and divorced mother struggles to find a direction for his life.
*Conduct of Life, Interpersonal Relations, Self-Perception, New York (NY)
Carey, Mike. Re-Gifters. 2007
"Meet Jen Dik Seong -- or "Dixie" as she's known to her friends. She's living on the ragged edge of LA's Koreatown, and her only outlet is the ancient martial art of hapkido. In fact, she's on the verge of winning a championship -- until she falls for fellow hapkido fan/California surfer boy Adam and gets thrown spectacularly off her game. As she struggles to win the tournament -- not to mention Adam's affections -- Dixie learns that in love and in gift-giving, what goes around comes around"--Cover, P. .
*Comic Books-Strips-Etc., Korean Americans-Comic Books-Strips-Etc., California-Comic Books-Strips-Etc.
Carmichael, Clay. Wild Things. 2009
Stubborn, self-reliant, eleven-year-old Zoe, recently orphaned, moves to the country to live with her prickly half-uncle, a famous doctor and sculptor, and together they learn about trust and the strength of family.
*Family Life, Self-Reliance, Trust, Orphans, Uncles, Sculptors, Cats, Human-Animal Relationships
Christopher, Lucy. Flyaway. 2011
While her father is in the hospital, thirteen-year-old Isla befriends Harry, the first boy to understand her love of the outdoors, and as Harry's health fails, Isla tries to help both him and the lone swan they see, struggling to fly, on the lake outside Harry's window.
*Sick, Hospitals, Swans, Wildlife Rescue, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters
Cochran, Bill. The Forever Dog. 2007
Mike and his dog Corky plan to be best friends forever, so when Corky becomes sick and dies, Mike is angry about the broken promise.
*Dogs, Death, Promises
Coffelt, Nancy. Fred Stays with Me. 2007
A child describes how she lives sometimes with her mother and sometimes with her father, but her dog is her constant companion.
*Dogs, Divorce, Parenting-Part time
Cottrell Boyce, Frank. Millions. 2004
After their mother dies, two brothers find a huge amount of money which they must spend quickly before England switches to the new European currency, but they disagree on what to do with it.
*Money, Saints, Visions, Brothers, Conduct of life, Grief, England
Cottrell Boyce, Frank. The Unforgotten Coat. 2011
When two Mongolian brothers inexplicably appear one morning in her sixth grade class, Julie, who lives in a town near Liverpool, England, named Bootle, becomes their new friend and "Good Guide," navigating them through soccer, school uniforms, and British slang.
*Mongols-England, Refugees, Emigration and Immigration, Bootle (Sefton, England), England
Creech, Sharon. Replay. 2005
While preparing for a role in the school play, twelve-year-old Leo finds an autobiography that his father wrote as a teenager and ponders the ways people change as they grow up.
*Conduct of Life, Family Life, Fathers and Sons, Theater, Schools
Cummings, Priscilla. Red Kayak. 2004
Living near the water on Maryland's Eastern Shore, thirteen-year-old Brady and his best friends J.T. and Digger become entangled in a tragedy which tests their friendship and their ideas about right and wrong. For grades 6-9.
*Conduct of Life, Friendship, Boats and Boating, Death, Eastern Shore (Md and Va)
Demas, Corinne. Saying Goodbye to Lulu. 2004
When her dog Lulu dies, a girl grieves but then continues with her life.
*Grief, Death, Dogs, Pets
Donnelly, Jennifer. Revolution. 2010
An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy--Louis Charles, the lost king of France.
*Louis XVII of France-1785-1795, Grief, Emotional Problems, Family Problems, Musicians, Diaries, Paris (France), France, France-History-Revolution-1789-1799
Dowell, Frances O’ Roark. Chicken Boy. 2005
Since the death of his mother, Tobin's family life and school life have been in disarray, but after he starts raising chickens with his seventh-grade classmate, Henry, everything starts to fall into place.
*Self-Esteem, Family Problems, Grandmothers, Friendship, Chickens, Schools
Draper, Sharon. November Blues. 2007
A teenaged boy's death in a hazing accident has lasting effects on his pregnant girlfriend and his guilt-ridden cousin, who gives up a promising music career to play football during his senior year in high school.
*Pregnancy, High Schools, Schools, African Americans
Edwards, Michelle. Stinky Stern Forever. 2005
Pa Lia and her classmates share memories of Stinky Stern, the second-grade bully.
*Bullies, Death, Schools
Elliott, Zetta. Bird. 2008
Bird, an artistic young African American boy, expresses himself through drawing as he struggles to understand his older brother's drug addiction and death, while a family friend, Uncle Son, provides guidance and understanding.
*Novels in Verse, Death, Drug Abuse, Drawing, Family Life, African Americans
Ellis, Deborah. I am a Taxi. 2006
Living with his family in a prison in Bolivia due to his parents' convictions for drug trafficking, twelve-year-old Diego does his best to live a normal life, but when his mother receives additional fines, Diego risks everything to earn quick money.
*Coca Industry-Bolivia, Jungles-Bolivia, Bolivia
Felin, M. Sindy. Touching Snow. 2007
After her stepfather is arrested for child abuse, thirteen-year-old Karina's home life improves but while the severity of her older sister's injuries and the urging of her younger sister, their uncle, and a friend tempt her to testify against him, her mother and other well-meaning adults persuade her to claim responsibility.
*Child Abuse, Family Problems, Haitian Americans, Stepfathers, New York (state)
Flake, Sharon. Who Am I Without Him? 2004
Short stories about girls and the boys in their lives.
*Youth-Sexual Behavior, African American Families
Flinn, Alex. Nothing to Lose. 2004
A year after running away with a traveling carnival to escape his unbearable home life, sixteen-year-old Michael returns to Miami, Florida, to find that his mother is going on trial for the murder of his abusive stepfather.
*Runaways, Wife Abuse, Murder, Mothers and Sons, Trials (murder), Miami (Fla.)
Flores-Galbis, Enrique. 90 Miles to Havana. 2010
When unrest hits the streets of Havana, Cuba, Julian's parents must make the heartbreaking decision to send him and his two brothers away to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation. But when the boys get to Miami, they are thrust into a world where bullies seem to run rampant and it's not always clear how best to protect themselves.
*Refugees, Brothers, Cuba
Frank, E.R. Wrecked. 2005
After a car accident seriously injures her best friend and kills her brother's girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Anna tries to cope with her guilt and grief, while learning some truths about her family and herself.
*Traffic Accidents, Death, Grief, Guilt, Brothers and Sisters, Self-Acceptance, Family Problems
French Terrel S. Operation Redwood. 2009
In northern California, Julian Carter-Li and his friends old and new fight to save a grove of redwoods from an investment company that plans to cut them down.
*Environmental Protection, Redwoods, Trees, Friendship, Grandmothers, California-Northern
Frost, Helen. Hidden. 2011
When fourteen-year-olds Wren and Darra meet at a Michigan summer camp, both are overwhelmed by memories from six years earlier when Darra's father stole a car, unaware that Wren was hiding in the back.
*Interpersonal Relations, Camps, Memory, Kidnapping, Secrets, Friendship, Michigan
Fusco, Kimberly Newton. Tending to Grace. 2004
When Cornelia's mother runs off with a boyfriend, leaving her with an eccentric aunt, Cornelia must finally confront the truth about herself and her mother.
*Emotional Problems, Stuttering, Mothers, Aunts
Garden, Nancy. Endgame. 2006
Fifteen-year-old Gray Wilton, bullied at school and ridiculed by an unfeeling father for preferring drums to hunting, goes on a shooting rampage at his high school.
*Bullies, High Schools, Schools, Family Problems
Gerdner, Linda. Grandfather’s Story Cloth. 2008
Ten-year-old Chersheng helps his beloved grandfather cope with his failing memory, brought on by Alzheimer's disease, by showing him the story quilt Grandfather made after fleeing his homeland, Laos, during wartime.
*Grandfathers, Alzheimer’s Disease, Memory, Quilts, Laotian Americans, Family Life, Hmong Language Materials-Bilingual, Hmong Language-Children’s Books
Giles, Gail. What Happened to Cass McBride? 2006
After his younger brother commits suicide, Kyle Kirby decides to exact revenge on the person he holds responsible.
*Revenge, Suicide, Crime, Family Problems
Going, K.L. Saint Iggy. 2006
Iggy Corso, who lives in city public housing, is caught physically and spiritually between good and bad when he is kicked out of high school, goes searching for his missing mother, and causes his friends to get involved with the same dangerous drug dealer who deals to his parents.
*Conduct of Life, Drug Abuse, Family Problems, Poor
Gourlay, Candy. Tall Story. 2011
Sixteen-year-old Bernardo, who is eight feet tall and suffers from a condition called Gigantism, leaves the Philippines to live with his mother's family in London, much to the delight of his thirteen-year-old half sister Andi, a passionate basketball player.
*Giants, Size, Basketball, Culture Conflict, Brothers and Sisters, London (England), England, Philippines
Green, John. Abundance of Katherines. 2006
Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.
*Interpersonal Relations, Self-Perception, Mathematics
Green, John. Looking for Alaska. 2005
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.
*Interpersonal Relations, Boarding Schools, Schools, Death
Griffin, Paul. The Orange Houses. 2009
Tamika, a fifteen-year-old hearing-impaired girl, Jimmi, an eighteen-year-old veteran who stopped taking his antipsychotic medication, and sixteen-year-old Fatima, an illegal immigrant from Africa, meet and connect in their Bronx, New York, neighborhood, with devastating results.
*Interpersonal Relations, Hearing Impaired, People with Disabilities, Veterans, Mental Illness, Illegal Aliens, Africans-United States, Bronx (New York, NY)
Grimes, Nikki. Dark Sons. 2005
Alternating poems compare and contrast the conflicted feelings of Ishmael, son of the Biblical patriarch Abraham, and Sam, a teenager in New York City, as they try to come to terms with being abandoned by their fathers and with the love they feel for their younger stepbrothers.
*Fathers and Sons, Stepbrothers, Ishmael (biblical figure), African Americans, Self-Perception, Bible-History of Biblical Events, New York (NY)
Grimes, Nikki. Planet Middle School. 2011
A series of poems describes all the baffling changes at home and at school in twelve-year-old Joylin's transition from tomboy basketball player to not-quite-girly girl.
*Novels in Verse, Coming of Age, Basketball, Friendship, Middle Schools, Schools, Family Life
Grimes, Nikki. Road to Paris. 2006
Inconsolable at being separated from her older brother, eight-year-old Paris is apprehensive about her new foster family but just as she learns to trust them, she faces a life-changing decision.
*Foster Home Care, African Americans, Brothers and Sisters
Grindley, Sally. Spilled Water. 2004
After her father's death, Lu Si-Yan's uncle sells her to a rich family who expect her to work as their servant until she is old enough to marry their son, but when she runs away things only get worse.
*Household Employees, Factories, Family Life-China, Arranged Marriage, China
Halpin, Brendan. Donorboy. 2004
Rosalind had two mommies. Now, thanks to a tragic accident involving foodstuffs, she has none. And Sean, the sperm donor responsible for half her DNA (and nothing else), is taking custody. Rosalind finds herself adjusting to a new life that seems both hateful and surreal-she's an orphan with a new father, surrounded by friends she is beginning to despise and well-meaning adults who succeed only in annoying her. Sean made a donation fifteen years ago, and his life since has not gone according to plan. Thirty-five, single, and still grieving the loss of his own mother twenty-seven years ago, he decides to take on the overwhelming task of caring for an unhappy teenager he doesn't know. Told entirely through e-mail, instant messaging, journal entries, and other random communications, Donorboy is the comic, compellingly readable novel of how these two people learn to converse, cook, write heavy-metal songs, and nail windows shut on their way to becoming a family. Brendan Halpin has written a universal story of how we laugh, cry, and occasionally punch our way to a new life in the face of tragedy.
*Accidents, Father and Daughters, Custody of Children, Mothers, Death, Teenage Girls
Han, Jenny. Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream. 2011
Korean American fourth-grader Clara Lee longs to be Little Miss Apple Pie, and when her luck seems suddenly to change for the better, she overcomes her fear of public speaking and enters the competition.
*Luck, Schools, Family Life, Korean Americans
Han, Jenny. Shug. 2006
A twelve-year-old girl learns about friendship, first loves, and self-worth in a small town in the South.
Hautman, Pete. Invisible. 2005
Doug and Andy are unlikely best friends--one a loner obsessed by his model trains, the other a popular student involved in football and theater--who grew up together and share a bond that nothing can sever.
*Best Friends, Friendship, Railroads-Model, Models and Modelmaking, Schools, Mental Illness
Henkes, Kevin. Bird Lake Moon. 2008
Twelve-year-old Mitch and his mother are spending the summer with his grandparents at Bird Lake after his parents separate, and ten-year-old Spencer and his family have returned to the lake where Spencer's little brother drowned long ago, and as the boys become friends and spend time together, each of them begins to heal.
*Divorce, Grief, Lakes, Friendship, Family Life-Wisconsin, Wisconsin
Henkes, Kevin. Junonia. 2011
The week of her tenth birthday, Alice and her parents go to Sanibel Island, Florida, just as they do every year, but this time some of the people who are always there are missing and some new people have come, which unsettles Alice, who wants things to be exactly the same as they always are.
*Shells, Seashore, Change, Sanibel Island (Fla.)
Hest, Amy. Remembering Mrs. Rossi. 2007
Although she loves her father, their home in New York City, and third-grade teacher Miss Meadows, Annie misses her mother who died recently. Eight-year-old Annie lives in a sunny apartment in Manhattan with her father, Professor Rossi. Life would be pretty good if only Annie didn't so achingly miss her mother. When Mrs. Rossi died suddenly, she left not only Annie but also a class full of students - who pour out their hearts in a scrapbook Annie will treasure forever. With tenderness and humor, Amy Hest reveals the struggles of a father and daughter as they forge a new life together.
*Death, Parent and Child, New York (NY)
Howe, James. Addie on the Inside. 2011
Outspoken thirteen-year-old Addie Carle learns about love, loss, and staying true to herself as she navigates seventh grade, enjoys a visit from her grandmother, fights with her boyfriend, and endures gossip and meanness from her former best friend.
*Novels in Verse, Identity, Self-Acceptance, Grandmothers, Schools, Interpersonal Relations
Howe, James. Kaddish for Grandpa in Jesus’ Name, Amen. 2004
Five-year-old Emily tries to understand her grandfather's death by exploring the Christian and Jewish rituals that her family practices during and after his funeral. "When I was new, my grandpa was very old." When Emily was two, her grandpa sang songs to her. When she was four, he read her stories. When Emily was five, her beloved grandfather dies. Her family decides to remember him in two ways; with a Christian funeral, because Grandpa was a Christian, and a Jewish service, because Emily's family is Jewish. Both ways are beautiful. But Emily finds a way of remembering her grandpa that is just as beautiful and meaningful...and that's all her own. In this tender story for all families a young girl learns how to say goodbye to her grandpa without letting go of his memory.
*Funeral Rites and Ceremonies, Death-Religious Aspects, Grandfathers, Judaism, Christianity
Johnson, Angela. Bird. 2004
Bird, a thirteen-year-old girl with a mission, has run away in pursuit of her stepfather. She's sure she'll be able to convince him to return home--to fill the hole he left in their family. And while she hides near his sister's farmhouse, she becomes entwined in the lives of three people who also have holes to fill: Ethan, whose heart troubles have kept him too sheltered from kids his own age; Jay, whose brother has died unexpectedly; and Mrs. Pritchard, whose house has been too empty since her husband was moved to a nursing home. Through the unique voices of the three kids, an eloquent, affecting story unfolds--the story of how one individual's warmth and kindness can heal so many hurts. Bird will leave you thoroughly uplifted.
*Runaways, Stepfathers, Interpersonal Relations, African Americans, Alabama
Johnson, Harriet McBryde. Accidents of Nature. 2006
Having always prided herself on blending in with "normal" people despite her cerebral palsy, seventeen-year-old Jean begins to question her role in the world while attending a summer camp for children with disabilities.
*People with Disabilities, Camps, Cerebral Palsy, North Carolina-History-20th Century
Johnson, Maureen. Key to the Golden Firebird. 2004
As three teenaged sisters struggle to cope with their father’s sudden death, they find they must reexamine friendships, lifelong dreams, and their relationships with each other and their father.
*Grief, Sisters, Fathers and Daughters, Automobile Driving, Alcoholism, Softball, Philadelphia (Pa)
Jones, Traci L. Silhouetted by the Blue. 2011
After the death of her mother in an automobile accident, seventh-grader Serena, who has gotten the lead in her middle school play, is left to handle the day-to-day challenges of caring for herself and her younger brother when their father cannot pull himself out of his depression.
*Family Problems, Depression-Mental, Grief, Theater, Middle Schools, Schools, African Americans
Kephart, Beth. Undercover. 2007
High school sophomore Elisa is used to observing while going unnoticed except when classmates ask her to write love notes for them, but a teacher's recognition of her talent, a "client's" desire for her friendship, a love of ice skating, and her parent's marital problems draw her out of herself.
*Love-Letters, Poetry, Letters, High School, Schools, Family Problems, Ice Skating
King, A.S. Please Ignore Vera Dietz. 2010
When her best friend, whom she secretly loves, betrays her and then dies under mysterious circumstances, high school senior Vera Dietz struggles with secrets that could help clear his name.
*Best Friends, Friendship, Secrets, Death
Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley’s Journal. 2007
Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.
*Middle Schools, Friendship, Diaries, Humorous Stories
Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw. 2009
Middle-schooler Greg Heffley nimbly sidesteps his father's attempts to change Greg's wimpy ways until his father threatens to send him to military school.
*Middle Schools, Schools, Family Life, Diaries, Humorous Stories
Koertge, Ronald. Margaux with an X. 2004
Margaux, known as a “tough chick” at her Los Angeles high school, makes a connection with Danny, who, like her, struggles with the emotional impact of family violence and abuse.
*Emotional Problems, Sexual Abuse, Family Violence, Los Angeles (Calif.)
Koja, Kathe. Blue Mirror. 2004
Seventeen-year-old loner Maggy Klass, who frequently seeks refuge from her alcoholic mother’s apartment by sitting and drawing in a local café, becomes involved in a destructive relationship with a charismatic homeless youth named Cole.
*Emotional Problems, Artists, Homeless Persons, Runaways, Mothers and Daughters, Alcoholism
Laird, Elizabeth. A Little Piece of Ground. 2006
During the Israeli occupation of Ramallah in the West Bank of Palestine, twelve-year-old Karim and his friends create a secret place for themselves where they can momentarily forget the horrors of war.
*Arab-Israeli Conflict, West Bank
Levithan, David. The Realm of Possibility. 2004
A variety of students at the same high school describe their ideas, experiences, and relationships in a series of interconnected free verse stories.
*Interpersonal Relations, Conduct of Life, High Schools, Schools
Ludwig, Trudy. Just Kidding. 2005
With help from his father, older brother, and teacher, D.J. learns how to handle a classmate who claims that his mean-spirited "teasing" is just a joke.
*Bullies, Teasing, Self-Confidence, Interpersonal Relations, Schools
Lyga, Barry. Boy Toy. 2007
After five years of fighting his way past flickers of memory about the teacher who molested him and the incident that brought the crime to light, eighteen-year-old Josh gets help in coping with his molester’s release from prison when he finally tells his best friends the whole truth.
*Sexual Abuse Victims, Emotional Problems, Baseball, Psychotherapy, Memory, High School, Schools
Marchetta, Melina. Saving Francesca. 2004
Sixteen-year-old Francesca could use her outspoken mother's help with the problems of being one of a handful of girls at a parochial school that has just turned co-ed, but her mother has suddenly become severely depressed.
*Sexism, Catholic Schools, Schools, Depression-Mental, Family Life-Australia, Sydney (N.S.W), Australia
Matthies, Janna. The Goodbye Cancer Garden. 2011
When a mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, she and her family plant a garden and watch it grow through the seasons as she undergoes treatments and gets better.
*Cancer, Gardening, Gardens, Family Life
McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. Under the Mesquite. 2011
Throughout her high school years, as her mother battles cancer, Lupita takes on more responsibility for her house and seven younger siblings, while finding refuge in acting and writing poetry. Includes glossary of Spanish terms.
*Coming of Age, Responsibility, Family Life, Cancer, Mexican Americans-Texas, Texas
McCormick, Patricia. Sold. 2006
Thirteen-year-old Lakshmi leaves her poor mountain home in Nepal thinking that she is to work in the city as a maid only to find that she has been sold into the sex slave trade in India and that there is no hope of escape.
*Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Slavery, Novels in Verse, Nepal, India
McKay, Hilary. Indigo’s Star. 2004
Spurred on by his youngest sister, Rose, twelve-year-old Indigo sticks up for himself and an American boy who has replaced him as the primary target of the school bullies. It's back to school for the start of a new term, and the eccentric Cassons are up to their old tricks! Indigo, having just recovered from a bout of mononucleosis, must return to school after missing an entire semester. Only his younger sister and loyal sidekick, Rose, knows why he's dreading it so much. As it turns out, the school bullies are eagerly awaiting Indigo's return so that they can pick up where they left off -- flushing his head in the toilet. But Indigo hasn't counted on meeting Tom, an American student who is staying with his grandmother in England for the year. With his couldn't-care-less attitude and rock-and-roll lifestyle, Tom becomes Indigo's ally, and together they work to take back the school. Meanwhile, eight-year-old Rose is desperately trying to avoid wearing horrible glasses, nineteen-year-old Caddy is agonizing over her many suitors, Saffy is working overtime with her best friend, Sarah, to protect Indigo from the gang, and with their father, Bill, in London at his art studio, their mother, Eve, is just trying to stay on top of it all! In this hilarious, heartwarming companion to her award-winning Saffy's Angel, Hilary McKay shows us a new side of the Cassons and reminds us that nothing is stronger than the bonds of family.
*Bullies, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Family Life-England, England
Monninger, Joseph. Baby. 2007
Fifteen-year-old Baby’s last chance at foster care is with the Potters, and while she likes them and enjoys learning to race their sled dogs, she feels she should go back on the streets with her boyfriend if she cannot find the mother who has deserted her again.
*Teenage Girls, Foster Parents, Children of Alcoholics, Sled Dogs, Sled Dog Racing, Dogs, Street Life, New Hampshire
Moriarty, Jaclyn. Murder of Bindy Mackenzie. 2006
Class brain Bindy Mackenzie has alienated her entire high school but when she realizes someone is trying to kill her, she has to make friends in order to get help.
*Interpersonal Relations, High Schools, Schools, Australia
Moss, Peggy. Say Something. 2004
A child who never says anything when other children are being teased or bullied finds herself in their position one day when jokes are made at her expense and no one speaks up.
*Bullies, Assertiveness (psychology), Schools
Moundlic, Charlotte. The Scar. 2011
When his mother dies, a little boy is angry at his loss but does everything he can to hold onto the memory of her scent, her voice, and the special things she did for him, even as he tries to help his father and grandmother cope.
*Death, Grief, Mothers
Na, An. Wait for Me. 2006
As her senior year in high school approaches, Mina yearns to find her own path in life but working at the family business, taking care of her little sister, and dealing with her mother's impossible expectations are as stifling as the southern California heat, until she falls in love with a man who offers a way out.
*Self-Actualization, Mothers and Daughters, Sisters, Korean Americans, Hearing Impaired, California
Neri, Greg. Chess Rumble. 2007
Branded a troublemaker due to his anger over everything from being bullied to his sister's death a year before, Marcus begins to control himself and cope with his problems at home and at his inner-city school when an unlikely mentor teaches him to play chess.
*Chess, Behavior, Family Problems, Schools, Inner Cities
Newman, Leslea. The Best Cat in the World. 2004
A young boy deals with the loss of his beloved cat Charlie, eventually accepting the arrival of another, very different cat.
Nicholls, Sally. Ways to Live Forever. 2008
Eleven-year-old Sam McQueen, who has leukemia, writes a book during the last three months of his life, in which he tells about what he would like to accomplish, how he feels, and things that have happened to him.
*Leukemia, Authorship, Family Life, Death
O’Connor, Barbara. How to Steal a Dog. 2007
Living in the family car in their small North Carolina town after their father leaves them virtually penniless, Georgina, desperate to improve their situation and unwilling to accept her overworked mother's calls for patience, persuades her younger brother to help her in an elaborate scheme to get money by stealing a dog and then claiming the reward that the owners are bound to offer.
*Homeless Persons, Family Problems, Conduct of Life, Interpersonal Relations, Brothers and Sisters, Dogs, North Carolina
Pearson, Mary E. A Room on Lorelei Street. 2005
To escape a miserable existence taking care of her alcoholic mother, seventeen-year-old Zoe rents a room from an eccentric woman, but her earnings as a waitress after school are minimal and she must go to extremes to cover expenses.
*Freedom, Family Problems, Interpersonal Relations, Alcoholism, Lodging Houses, Texas
Peet, Mal. Tamar. 2007
In England in 1995, fifteen-year-old Tamar, grief-stricken by the puzzling death of her beloved grandfather, slowly begins to uncover the secrets of his life in the Dutch resistance during the last year of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, and the climactic events that forever cast a shadow on his life and that of his family.
*Grandfathers, Guilt, World War 1939-1945-Underground Movements-Netherlands, Netherlands-History-German Occupation 1940-1945, England
Perkins, Mitali. Bamboo People. 2010
Two Burmese boys, one a Karenni refugee and the other the son of an imprisoned Burmese doctor, meet in the jungle and in order to survive they must learn to trust each other.
Perkins, Mitali. Rickshaw Girl. 2007
In her Bangladesh village, ten-year-old Naimi excels at painting designs called alpanas, but to help her impoverished family financially she would have to be a boy--or disguise herself as one.
*Painting, Sex Role, Rickshaws, Family Life-Bangladesh, Bangladesh
Peters, Julie Anne. Between Mom and Jo. 2006
Fourteen-year-old Nick has a three-legged dog named Lucky 2, some pet fish, and two mothers, whose relationship complicates his entire life as they face prejudice, work problems, alcoholism, cancer, and finally separation.
*Mothers and Sons, Lesbians, Family Problems, Prejudices
Philbrick, W.R. The Young Man and the Sea. 2004
After his mother's death, twelve-year-old Skiff Beaman decides that it is up to him to earn money to take care of himself and his father, so he undertakes a dangerous trip alone out on the ocean off the coast of Maine to try to catch a huge bluefin tuna.
*Fathers and Sons, Grief, Fishing
Qamar, Amjed. Beneath My Mother’s Feet. 2008
When her father is injured, fourteen-year-old Nazia is pulled away from school, her friends, and her preparations for an arranged marriage, to help her mother clean houses in a wealthy part of Karachi, Pakistan, where she finally rebels against the destiny that is planned for her.
*Family Life, Household Employees, Self-Actualization (psychology), Sex Role, Poverty, Pakistan
Quattlebaum, Mary. Jackson Jones and Mission Greentop. 2004
His plot in a community garden brings 10-year-old Jackson Jones more zucchini than he cares to see and the unwanted attention of a bully, but when a company plans to destroy the garden, Jackson turns his attention to trying to save it.
*Community Gardens, Gardening, Bullies, Single-Parent Families, African Americans
Rapp, Adam. Punkzilla. 2009
“Punkzilla” is on a mission to see his older brother “P”, before “P” dies of cancer. Still buzzing from his last hit of meth, he embarks on a days-long trip from Portland, Ore. to Memphis, Tenn., writing letters to his family and friends. Along the way, he sees a sketchier side of America and worries if he will make it to see his brother in time.
*Runaways, Drug Abuse, Brothers, Runaway Teenage Boys, Cancer Patients, Bus Travel, Thieves, Domestic Fiction, Oregon, Portland (Or), Tennessee, Memphis (Tenn.)
Rapp, Adam. Under the Wolf, Under the Dog. 2004
Sixteen-year-old Steve struggles to make sense of his mother’s terminal breast cancer and his brother’s suicide.
*Depression-Mental, Family Problems, Grief, Drug Abuse, Suicide, Cancer, Death, Illinois
Raschka, Christopher. The Purple Balloon. 2007
Easy-to-read text reveals that dying is hard work, for the old and especially the young, and how good it is that so many people help when a person dies, from medical staff to clergy and friends to family members.
*Death, Terminally Ill
Reedy, Trent. Words in the Dust. 2011
Zulaikha, a thirteen-year-old girl in Afghanistan, faces a series of frightening but exhilarating changes in her life as she defies her father and secretly meets with an old woman who teaches her to read, her older sister gets married, and American troops offer her surgery to fix her disfiguring cleft lip.
*Family Life-Afghanistan, Cleft Lip, Sex Role, Literacy, Afghanistan
Reinhardt, Dana. How to Build a House. 2008
Seventeen-year-old Harper Evans hopes to escape the effects of her father's divorce on her family and friendships by volunteering her summer to build a house in a small Tennessee town devastated by a tornado.
*Interpersonal Relations, Divorce, Stepfamilies, Voluntarism, Tennessee
Russell, Ching Yeung. Tofu Quilt. 2009
Growing up in 1960s Hong Kong, a young girl dreams of becoming a writer in spite of conventional limits placed on her by society and family.
*Authorship, Novels in Verse, Sex Role, Hong Kong (China)-History-20th Century
Ryan, Amy Kathleen. Zen and Xander Undone. 2010
Two teenaged sisters try to come to terms with the death of their mother in very different ways.
*Sisters, Grief, Death, Family Problems, Interpersonal Relations
Sacher, Louis. Small Steps. 2006
Three years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is trying hard to keep his life on track, but when his old pal X-Ray shows up with a tempting plan to make some easy money scalping concert tickets, Armpit reluctantly goes along.
*Juvenile Delinquents, Cerebral Palsy, People with Disabilities, Singers, Interpersonal Relations, African Americans
Sanchez, Alex. So Hard to Say. 2004
Thirteen-year-old Xio, a Mexican-American girl, and Frederick, who has just moved to California from Wisconsin, quickly become close friends, but when Xio starts thinking of Frederick as her boyfriend, he must confront his feelings of confusion and face the fear that he might be gay.
*Homosexuality, Mexican Americans, Interpersonal Relations, Schools, California
Scott, Elizabeth. Living Dead Girl. 2008
"Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared. Once upon a time, my name was not Alice. Once upon a time, I didn't know how lucky I was. When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends: her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over. Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her. This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget"--Book flap.
Shea, Pegi Deitz. The Carpet Boy’s Gift. 2006
Yearning for freedom and schooling for himself and the other children who toil in a carpet factory in Pakistan to repay loans from the factory owner to their parents, Nadeem is inspired by a former carpet boy named Iqbal to lead the way.
*Masih Iqbal 1982-1995, Child Labor, Rug and Carpet Industry-Pakistan, Child Abuse, Pakistan
Schmatz, Pat. Bluefish. 2011
Everything changes for thirteen-year-old Travis, a new student who is trying to hide a learning disability, when he meets a remarkable teacher and a sassy classmate with her own secrets.
*Learning Disabilities, Secrets, Teachers, Middle Schools, Schools
Schmidt, Gary D. Okay For Now. 2011
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him until he finds an ally in Lil Spicer--a fiery young lady. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon's birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.
*Family Life-New York(state)-New York, Family Problems, Schools, Junior High Schools, Friendship, Theater-New York(state)-New York, Coming of Age, Broadway(New York, NY)
Schmidt, Gary D. Trouble. 2008
Fourteen-year-old Henry, wishing to honor his brother Franklin's dying wish, sets out to hike Maine's Mount Katahdin with his best friend and dog. But fate adds another companion--the Cambodian refugee accused of fatally injuring Franklin--and reveals troubles that predate the accident.
*Traffic Accidents, Death-Juvenile, Dogs-Juvenile, Families-Massachusetts-Juvenile, Cambodian Americans-Juvenile, Prejudices-Juvenile, Refugees-Juvenile, Massachusetts- Juvenile, Mount Katahdin (Me)-Juvenile
Schumacher, Julie. Grass Angel. 2004
Rather than go to a spiritual retreat in Oregon with her mother and brother, eleven-year-old Frances insists on staying in Ohio with her odd aunt, but she soon begins to worry that the retreat may really be a cult.
*Family Life, Aunts, Best Friends, Friendship, Summer, Ohio
Senzai, N.H. Shooting Kabul. 2010
Escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the summer of 2001, eleven-year-old Fadi and his family immigrate to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Fadi schemes to return to the Pakistani refugee camp where his little sister was accidentally left behind.
*Afghan Americans-California-San Francisco Bay Area, Afghan Americans, Refugees, Emigration and Immigration, San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)
Shang, Wendy Wan-Long. The Great Wall of Lucy Wu. 2011
Eleven-year-old aspiring basketball star and interior designer Lucy Wu is excited about finally having her own bedroom, until she learns that her great-aunt is coming to visit and Lucy will have to share a room with her for several months, shattering her plans for a perfect sixth-grade year.
*Individuality, Family Life, Chinese Americans, Great Aunts, Schools
Sheth, Kashmira. Blue Jasmine. 2004
When twelve-year-old Seema moves to Iowa City with her parents and younger sister, she leaves friends and family behind in her native India but gradually begins to feel at home in her new country.
*Immigrants, East Indian Americans, Family Life-India, Interpersonal Relations, India, Iowa City (Iowa)
Shusterman, Neal. The Schwa was Here. 2004
A Brooklyn eighth-grader nicknamed Antsy befriends the Schwa, an "invisible-ish" boy who is tired of blending into his surroundings and going unnoticed by nearly everyone. Anthony, also known as "Antsy," is fascinated by "The Schwa Effect"--the fact that no one ever sees Calvin Schwa. Even when acting weird and dressed like a total freak, The Schwa is only barely noticed. The two boys form a partnership and get away with all kinds of mischief, from conducting experiments at school to confounding opponents on the basketball court. When The Schwa senses that even Antsy is beginning to lose sight of him, he vows to do something that will make him so visible, no one will ever forget him. Any kid who's ever felt unnoticed will identify with Schwa and Antsy and their quest for notoriety.
*Self-Perception, Friendship, Brooklyn (New York, NY)
Sones, Sonya. One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies. 2004
Fifteen-year-old Ruby Milliken leaves her best friend, her boyfriend, her aunt, and her mother's grave in Boston and reluctantly flies to Los Angeles to live with her father, a famous movie star who divorced her mother before Ruby was born.
*Fathers and Daughters, Moving-Household, Actors and Actresses, Grief, Interpersonal Relations, Homosexuality, Los Angeles (Calif.)
Staples, Suzanne Fisher. Under the Persimmon Tree. 2005
During the 2001 Afghan War, the lives of Najmal, a young refugee from Kunduz, Afghanistan, and Nusrat, an American-Muslim teacher who is awaiting her husband’s return from Mazar-i-Sharif, intersect at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan.
*Afghan War 2001, Refugees, Afghanistan-History-2001, Peshawar(Pakistan)-History-20th Century
Suma, Nova Ren. Dani Noir. 2009
Imaginative thirteen-year-old Dani feels trapped in her small mountain town with only film noir at the local art theater and her depressed mother for company, but while trying to solve a real mystery she learns much about herself and life.
*Motion Pictures, Mothers and Daughters, Divorce, Remarriage, Conduct of Life, Mystery and Detective Stories
Tamaki, Mariko. Skim. 2008
"Skim" (Kimberly Keiko Cameron) is a not-slim would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls' school. When her classmate Katie is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. The popular clique stars a club to boost school spirit, but Skim sinks into an ever-deepening depression.
*Goth Culture (subculture), Girls’ Schools, Suicide
Telgemeier, Raina. Smile. 2010
From sixth grade through tenth, Raina copes with a variety of dental problems that affect her appearance and how she feels about herself.
*Youth-Dental Care, Girls-Dental Care, Self-Esteem in Adolescence, Beauty-Personal, Graphic Novels, Dental Care-Cartoons and Comics, Self-Esteem-Cartoons and Comics, Beauty-Personal-Cartoons and Comics, Cartoons and Comics
Tinkham, Kelly. Hair for Mama. 2007
When Marcus's mother has chemotherapy for her cancer and loses her hair, he tries to find new hair for her to make her well again.
*Cancer, Hair, Mothers and Sons, Photographs, African Americans
Urban, Linda. Hound Dog True. 2011
Mattie, a shy fifth-grader, wants to hide out at her new school by acting as apprentice to her Uncle Potluck, the custodian, but her plan falls apart when she summons the courage to speak about what matters most and finds a true friend.
*Bashfulness, Friendship, Janitors, Family Life, Schools, Moving-Household
Van Draanen, Wendlin. Secret Identity. 2004
Fifth-grader Nolan Byrd, tired of being called names by the class bully, has a secret identity--Shredderman!
*Heroes, Teasing, Bullies, Schools
Vejjajiva, Jane. The Happiness of Kati. 2006
With the impending death of her mother, Kati, a young Thai girl, completes the puzzle of her past and discovers the reason that her mother gave her up as a baby. Nine-year-old Kati has always lived with her grandparents in the house by the river. Every day she goes to school, brings offerings to the monks, and plays with Tong, the abbot's nephew. She is happy enough, but something -- someone -- is missing. Kati has not seen her mother for nearly five years, and no one will tell her where she is, until the day she receives some shocking news from Grandmother: Her mother is very ill with Lou Gehrig's disease and has suffered from it for many years. Would Kati like to go see her? And so Kati travels to the house by the sea to spend the last weeks of her mother's life with her. There she learns the reason why her mother gave her up and also finds that she has a decision...to meet the father she's never known. A singular story of love, hope, and renewal, set against the lushly exotic background of Thailand, The Happiness of Kati is a profoundly touching novel that reminds us of how very brave, and very wise, children can be.
*Mothers and Daughters, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Volponi, Paul. Rooftop. 2006
Still reeling from seeing police shoot his unarmed cousin to death on the roof of a New York City housing project, seventeen-year-old Clay is dragged into the whirlwind of political manipulation that follows.
*Death, Race Relations, African Americans, Drug Abuse, Rehabilitation, Family Life-New York(State)-New York, New York(NY)
Watkins, Steve. Down Sand Mountain. 2008
In a small Florida mining town in 1966, twelve-year-old Dewey faces one worst-day-ever after another, but comes to know that the issues he faces about bullies, girls, race, and identity are part of the adult world, as well.
*Family Life-Florida, Schools, Self-Actualization (psychology), Race Relations, Bullies, Florida-History-20th Century
Weeks, Sarah. So B. It. 2004
After spending her life with her mentally retarded mother and agoraphobic neighbor, twelve-year-old Heidi sets out from Reno, Nevada, to New York to find out who she is.
*Identity, Mothers and Daughters, Mental Illness
Werlin, Nancy. Rules of Survival. 2006
Seventeen-year-old Matthew recounts his attempts, starting at a young age, to free himself and his sisters from the grip of their emotionally and physically abusive mother.
*Child Abuse, Brothers and Sister, Emotional Problems
Whelan, Gloria. Chu Ju’s House. 2004
In order to save her baby sister, fourteen-year-old Chu Ju leaves her rural home in modern China and earns food and shelter by working on a sampan, tending silk worms, and planting rice seedlings, while wondering if she will ever see her family again. One girl too many . . . When a girl is born to Chu Ju's family, it is quickly determined that the baby must be sent away. After all, the law states that a family may have only two children, and tradition dictates that every family should have a boy. To make room for one, this girl will have to go. Fourteen-year-old Chu Ju knows she cannot allow this to happen to her sister. Understanding that one girl must leave, she sets out in the middle of the night, vowing not to return. With luminescent detail, National Book Award-winning author Gloria Whelan transports readers to China, where law conspires with tradition, tearing a young woman from her family, sending her on a remarkable journey to find a home of her own.
*Runaways, Sex Role, China-History-1976
White, Ruth. Buttermilk Hill. 2004
When Lindy's parents divorce and gradually begin to make new lives for themselves she finds all the changes difficult, but in time she starts to find her own way.
*Divorce, Family, North Carolina
Whitney, Kim Ablon. See You Down the Road. 2004
Sixteen-year-old Bridget, member of an Irish Traveller community in the United States, questions the traditions of her family's nomadic and criminal way of life and begins to wonder if she wants to continue living it.
*Irish Travellers (nomadic people), Irish Americans, Family Life, Individuality, Sex Role, Conduct of Life
Wild, Margaret. Harry and Hopper. 2011
One day when Harry comes home from school, his faithful companion Hopper isn't there to greet him, in a touching story about the process of healing after losing a beloved pet.
*Grief, Death, Dogs, Friendship, Family Life
Wiles, Deborah. Each Little Bird that Sings. 2006
Comfort Snowberger is well acquainted with death since her family runs the funeral parlor in their small southern town, but even so the ten-year-old is unprepared for the series of heart-wrenching events that begins on the first day of Easter vacation with the sudden death of her beloved great-uncle Edisto.
*Funeral Homes, Death, Grief, Family Life-Southern States, Southern States
Williams, Mary. Brothers in Hope: the Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. 2005
Eight-year-old Garang, orphaned by a civil war in Sudan, finds the inner strength to help lead other boys as they trek hundreds of miles seeking safety in Ethiopia, then Kenya, and finally in the United States.
*Refugees, Self-Actualization (psychology), Orphans, War, Sudan
Williams, Michael. Now is the Time for Running. 2011
When soldiers attack a small village in Zimbabwe, Deo goes on the run with Innocent, his older, mentally disabled brother, carrying little but a leather soccer ball filled with money, and after facing prejudice, poverty, and tragedy, it is in soccer that Deo finds renewed hope.
*Refugees, Brothers, People with Disabilities, Survival, Homeless Persons, Soccer, Blacks-Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Wilson, Jacqueline. The Illustrated Mum. 2005
Ten-year-old Dolphin is determined to stay with her family, no matter what, but when her sister goes to live with her newly-discovered father, sending their mother further into manic-depression, Dolphin's life takes a turn for the better.
*Mothers and Daughters, Manic-Depressive Illness, Sisters, Single-Parent Families, Tattooing, England
Wolitzer, Meg. The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman. 2011
Twelve-year-olds Duncan Dorfman, April Blunt, and Nate Saviano meet at the Youth Scrabble Tournament where, although each has a different reason for attending and for needing to win, they realize that something more important is at stake than the grand prize.
*Interpersonal Relations, Individuality, Ability, Scrabble (game), Contests
Woodson, Jacqueline. Behind You. 2004
After fifteen-year-old Jeremiah is mistakenly shot by police, the people who love him struggle to cope with their loss as they recall his life and death, unaware that 'Miah is watching over them.
*Death, Grief, Interpersonal Relations, African Americans, New York (NY)
Woodson, Jacqueline. Beneath a Meth Moon. 2012
"A young girl uses crystal meth to escape the pain of losing her mother and grandmother in Hurricane Katrina, and then struggles to get over her addiction"
*Methamphetamine, Drug Abuse, Grief, Runaways, Hurricane Katrina 2005, Iowa, Pass Christian(Miss)
Woodson, Jacqueline. Feathers. 2007
When a new, white student nicknamed "The Jesus Boy" joins her sixth grade class in the winter of 1971, Frannie's growing friendship with him makes her start to see some things in a new light.
*Race Relations, African Americans, Schools, Deaf, Family Life, Religion
Wyeth, Sharon Dennis. Orphea Proud. 2004
While reciting her poetry at a club in Queens, New York, seventeen-year-old Orphea recounts her childhood in Pennsylvania, leaving after her parents and the girl she loves die, and learning about her family and herself while living with her great-aunts on a Virginia mountaintop.
*Family Life, Poetry, Lesbians, Artists, Entertainers, Racially Mixed People, Queens (New York, NY)
Zarr, Sara. How to Save a Life. 2011
Told from their own viewpoints, seventeen-year-old Jill, in grief over the loss of her father, and Mandy, nearly nineteen, are thrown together when Jill's mother agrees to adopt Mandy's unborn child but nothing turns out as they had anticipated.
*Interpersonal Relations, Adoption, Mothers and Daughters, Pregnancy, Grief, Family Life-Colorado, Denver (Colo.)
Zarr, Sara. Sweethearts. 2008
After losing her soul mate, Cameron, when they were nine, Jennifer, now seventeen, transformed herself from the unpopular fat girl into the beautiful and popular Jenna, but Cameron’s unexpected return dredges up memories that cause both social and emotional turmoil.
*Love, Popularity, Schools, Family Problems, Weight Control, Self-Esteem, Psychological Abuse, Utah
Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn. Reaching for Sun. 2007
Josie, who lives with her mother and grandmother and has cerebral palsy, befriends a boy who moves into one of the rich houses behind her old farmhouse.
*Cerebral Palsy, People With Disabilities, Friendship, Grandmothers, Single-Parent Families
Zusak, Markus. I Am the Messenger. 2005
After capturing a bank robber, nineteen-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help, and he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness.
*Self-Esteem, Heroes, Taxicab Drivers