This list is a collection of young adult novels by popular authors. They deal with a lot of common issues young adults face in life. They are easier reads meant for entertainment. If you are looking for a more rigorous text see the College Bound list.

Abelove, Joan. B., Go and Come Back. New York: DK Ink, 1998.
In the Amazon, tribes still live according to their ancient ways. Alicia is a young woman of the tribe. When two outsiders come to study the tribe, the outsiders learn that primitive ways contain more wisdom then they originally thought.

Abelove, Joan. Saying It Out Loud. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 1999.
A heart-wrenching story about a mother and daughter dealing with death in the early 1960’s. Mindy’s senior year of high school should be a time of getting ready for college and spending happy times with her friends. Instead, she has to visit her dying mom in the hospital, who doesn’t even recognize her anymore. With the help of her best friend, Gail, and a new kid in town named, Bobby, Mindy learns to take care of herself and become a woman. Every mother and daughter should read this novel.

Almond, David. Skellig. New York: Delacorte Press, 1998. 182 p. ISBN 0-385-32653-x
His baby sister is seriously ill. His parents have just moved into a dilapidated old house. So Michael retreats to the run down garage and finds a mysterious creature that is something like a bird and something like an angel. Sharing his secret with his new friend, Mina, they carry the creature to another location and watch as it begins to become healthier, changing Michael’s world forever.

Anderson, Laura Halse. Speak. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999. 198 p. ISBN 0-374-37152-0
Ninth grader Melinda Sordino hasn’t even started school and already she’s an outcast. Her best friends won’t talk to her, even strangers glare at her. All because she called the cops during a summer party. Melinda becomes withdrawn and stops speaking to people, until the end, when she realizes she must speak the truth about what happened during that party.

Avi. The Man Who Was Poe. New York: Orchard Books, 1989.
Edmund and his sister are all alone in their apartment. Their mother is missing and their aunt has been gone for three days. Edmund is worried they will starve before Aunty returns. He leaves Sis to go and find some food. When he returns, Sis has disappeared. He asks a man on the street to help him. Edmund doesn’t know that the stranger is Edgar Allan Poe, the famous mystery writer. Will Poe help him or will his latest story interfere?

Avi. Nothing But The Truth. New York: Avon, 1991.
Track and English don’t mix for Phil Malloy. A “D” keeps him off the track team and his new teacher is the cause. Can you believe that humming the National Anthem caused so much trouble? It affects both the lives of Phil and his teacher. Can Phil live with the truth?

Avi. Perloo: The Bold. New York: Scholastic Press, 1998.
Dying Granter Jolaine proclaims Perloo to be the next Granter of the Montmers. Jolain’s only son and his assistant, Senyous, trick Perloo. They take charge and declare war with their enemy, the Felbarts. How can Perloo save his tribe? The only fighting skill he has is throwing snowballs!

Avi. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. New York: Avon 1990.
Charlotte Doyle is a 13 year-old girl aboard the Seahawk. She is the only passenger, and she’s the only female on the ship. A harsh-speaking captain and a crew on the verge of mutiny are just the beginning. Just when Charlotte thinks she’s found someone she can trust, the man is found dead.

Avi. Who Was That Masked Man, Anyway? New York: Avon, 1992.
Frankie and Mario plot through radio episodes of the Captain Midnight, The Shadow, the Lone Ranger, Sky King, The Green Hornet, and finally Buck Rogers. Frankie’s Mom and Dad are “Wild Goosed.” Tom and Esmerelda get the gold ring. But Frankie is still in the 6th grade!

Bauer, Joan. Backwater. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999.
Historians are never appreciated, especially in Ivy’s family. They believe that being a lawyer is what really counts. Aunt Fiona thinks a forty-seven minute video can record the Breedlove’s family history, but Ivy wants to know each person’s story and why they should be remembered. She sets out on an adventure with Mountain Mama to find the last missing piece of her family tree: Josephine, a woman living in the woods with her birds and being the woman she is meant to be!

Bauer, Joan. Hope Was Here. New York: Putnam, 2000.
“Somehow I knew my time had come when Bambi Barnes tore her order book into little pieces, hurled it in the air like confetti, and got fired from the Rainbow Diner in Pensacola right in the middle of lunchtime rush.” Sixteen-year-old Hope leaves New York City for Wisconsin—and finds herself working in the Welcome Stairways Diner. This funny/sad book will make you hungry!

Bauer, Joan. Rules of the Road. New York: Putnam, 1998.
Jenna Boller is an excellent shoe salesman, who understands the importance of quality. At sixteen, however, she is not an experienced driver and is surprised to find herself behind the wheel of her boss’s white Cadillac chauffeuring her across the country to Texas. Although her primary purpose is to escape close contact with her alcoholic father, Jenna soon finds herself trying to save Mrs. Gladstone from a hostile takeover organized by Mrs. Gladstone’s own son.

Bauer, Joan. Squashed. New York: Laurel-Leaf, 1994.
Sixteen-year-old Ellie Morgan has a green thumb when it comes to growing pumpkins. But, she always comes in second in the contest to the despicable Cyril Pool. This year she is determined not to let that happen. As she concentrates on her pumpkin, she gradually gains confidence. Ellie single-handedly fights off pumpkin thieves and beauty queens; and unexpectedly lands a boyfriend. Finally, even in celebrity, Ellie remains true to herself.

Bauer, Joan. Sticks. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, 1996.
Mickey Vernon has six weeks to get ready for the ten-thirteen year olds’ nine-ball pool championship at his grandma’s pool hall. He has to beat Buck, the town bully. Without his father around to help him practice, a family friend, Joseph Alvarez, comes to Mickey’s rescue. Can his mother forget the past and accept Joseph? Will an injury ruin Mickey’s chance at winning?

Bauer, Joan. Thwonk. New York: Delacorte Press, 1995.
Aspiring photographer, Allison Jean McCreary, can’t believe her luck. She finds a stuffed cupid doll that just happens to come to life and will grant her one wish! A.J. knows exactly what wish she will choose. She wants Peter Terris, the senior class hunk, to fall madly in love with her. She’s been admiring him from afar for five long months and now A.J. wants him all to herself. The cupid doll hits Peter in the heart with an arrow and now he can’t let A.J. out of his sight. Is love all that it’s cracked up to be?

Bauer, Marion Dane. On My Honor. New York: Dell, 1986.
Joel and Tony are best friends. Tony is a daredevil and Joel just goes along for the fun. When the two boys go for a bike ride to Starved Rock, they’re in for an adventure. It’s Tony’s idea to stop at the river for a swim on the way. But Tony doesn’t know how to swim.

Bitton-Jackson, Livia. I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing up in the Holocaust. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997.
When the German army enters into her hometown in the year 1944, Elli’s life changes forever. Suddenly, she is forced to leave her house behind, all her friends and possessions, and move into a crowded ghetto. This event marks only the beginning as Elli and her family struggle to survive the cruelty of the Nazis.

Buffie, Margaret. The Warnings. New York: Scholastic, 1989.
Sixteen-year-old Rachel McCaw is very angry with he father for leaving her with her great aunt to live. She must control her anger for an evil spirit in the house is drawing strength from her emotions. She senses his presence by visions that she has never understood and refers to as “warnings.” Help and understanding come from a much unexpected source.

Cameron, Ann. The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods. New York: Frances Foster Books, 1998.
Amanda Woods has a mother who believes social position is more important than human goodness; an older sister who lives up to every superficial standard their mother can pose; a kind father who feels he should not interfere in his wife’s raising of the two girls; and no friends. But Amanda K. Woods, with a good word from a friend, a new teacher, and a little advice on fitting in with the girls at school finds that focusing on the clear, sharp qualities of her middle initial can make all the difference in the world.

Chevalier, Tracy. Girl with a Pearl Earring. New York: Dutton, 1999.
In 1664, Griet goes to work as a maid in Delft, Holland in the home of the town’s most famous painter, Vermeer. She won’t even admit it to herself, but she’s in love with him, and everyone knows it by the way he “captures” her.

Christiansen, C. B. I See the Moon. New York: Atheneum, 1994.
Bitte’s twelfth summer brings changes for her and her family--changes which confuse and sadden her, but which ultimately teach her the meaning of love. Her sister Kari is pregnant, and Bitte dreams of being an aunt. A tender story.

Coman, Carolyn. What Jamie Saw Arden, NC: Front Street, 1995.
Jamie is nine years old and living in fear. He doesn’t understand why Van, his mother’s friend, threw his baby sister across the room. Now they have to move away. They are on the run. Will Jamie and his family escape before Van comes back?

Conly, Jane Leslie. Crazy Lady! New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993.
Vernon Dibbs is a junior high school kid who is still dealing with the death of his mother when he makes two unlikely friends--the neighborhood outcasts. Maxine, called the crazy lady, is an alcoholic trying to care for her retarded son Ronald.

Cooney, Caroline B. The Face on the Milk Carton. New York: Dell, 1990.
“That’s me!” Janie exclaimed at the lunch table. Is the girl on the milk carton really Janie? Follow Janie and Reeve in this tangled web of lies to solve the mystery of Janie’s life.

Cooney, Caroline B. The Voice on the Radio. New York: Delacorte, 1996.
In this sequel to The Face on the Milk Carton, Jamie’s boyfriend, Reeve, goes away to college. When he needs to fill some empty air space while working on a radio show, he starts telling Jamie’s story about being kidnapped. Things get out of hand when listeners phone in to hear more “jamies”. Jamie must deal with it when she pays a surprise visit to Reeve and hears him elaborating on one of these on his radio show.

Cooper, Susan. King of Shadows. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1999.
Nat Fields is attending a Shakespeare workshop in London for young actors. When he takes sick, he wakes up to find himself in the year 1599 and meeting the real live William Shakespeare.

Cormier, Robert. The Chocolate War. New York: Laurel-Leaf Books, 1974.
When Jerry refuses to sell chocolates for a fund-raiser in his Catholic school, it turns him first to a hero then quickly to an outcast. Archie, the manipulative leader of the Vigils, intimidates Jerry. The good guy doesn't always win.

Cormier, Robert. Fade. New York: Delacorte, 1988.
At first, Paul Moreaux thought the power to disappear or "fade" was a gift. One person in each generation of his family inherited this trait. Uncle Aldelard explained it to him, as Paul would one day explain it to the next generation "fader." Paul did not understand why his uncle seemed so sad, or secretive about "fading," but he was soon to find out if the ability to fade was a gift or a curse.

Cormier, Robert. Heroes. New York: Delacorte Press, 1998. 135 p. ISBN 0-385-32590-8
Francis Cassavant returns home from World War II at the age of eighteen and he has no face. It was blown away by a grenade in a battle in France. He does have a gun, and a mission- to find, and kill, the former childhood hero he feels betrayed him.

Cormier, Robert. I Am The Cheese. New York: Dell, 1977.
“The farmer in the dell” takes on new meaning in this search for the truth about Adam Farmer. Is this rhyme the mantra of sanity or is it the chant of fantasy? Can Adam find his identity from horror?

Cormier, Robert. Tenderness. New York: Delacorte Press, 1997. 229p.
A young boy is released from a juvenile detention center after serving a five-year sentence for the murder of two girls. He is haunted by his memories and feelings of enjoyment when he committed the acts. Will another girl now become his next victim?

Creech, Sharon. Chasing Redbird. New York: HarperCollins, 1997.
Thirteen-year-old Zinnia Taylor lives in Kentucky with her large family. “Zinny” is worried that she may have caused her aunt’s death when she showed Aunt Jessie a snake. One day, she finds the remains of an overgrown trail and decides to go off on her own and clean it up. As she untangles the vines, Zinny uncovers family secrets, and discovers herself at the same time.

Crutcher, Chris. Athletic Shorts: 6 Short Stories. New York: Greenwillow, 1991.
These stories feature old and new characters. We meet Angus Bethune, a fat kid. Then, Johnny beats his dad at wrestling and suffers the consequences. Petey wrestles an opponent no one wants to face. Telephone Man begins to understand there's more to people than the color of their skin. Lional (lion) is angry. And Louie must face his own bigotry.

Crutcher, Chris. Chinese Handcuffs. New York: Greenwillow, 1989.
Dillon’s brother committed suicide. Spend time with Dillon as he and Jennifer experience the ups and downs of life. Does Jennifer escape the secret life of abuse? Does Dillon become her savior? Does Jennifer’s Dad escape retribution?

Crutcher, Chris. Ironman. New York: Greenwillow, 1995.
Coach Redmond knew what buttons to push to ignite Bo’s anger getting Bo into a whole lot of trouble again. With the help of his friends, can Bo beat the odds and his Dad for a win?

Crutcher, Chris. Running Loose. New York: Greenwillow, 1983.
Louie Bank is on top of the world! He is a senior with a starting spot on the football team and the girl of his dreams. His world is turned upside down when his coach tells the team to play dirty football against a minority player and when Becky is taken from him.

Crutcher, Chris. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. New York: Greenwillow, 1993.
Eric “Moby” Calhoun is a great swimmer who is just a shade past heavy. He is best friends with Sarah Byrnes. When Eric takes a class in Contemporary Issues, Eric discovers that dealing with issues is never easy, especially when the issues revolve around sex, religion, and the existence of God. Can “Moby” help Sarah find safety from a cruel father and find the real Eric within?

Curry, Jane Louise. A Stolen Life. New York: Margaret K. McElderry, 1999. 198p.
In 1758, Jamesina Mackenzie’s father and brothers are away, and Jamie must take care of her family in the highlands of Scotland. But “searchers” kidnap her and other children, where they are placed on a boat that sails for America, where Jamie and the other children will work as slaves. A Junior Literary Guild selection.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy. New York: Delacorte Press, 1999.
Bud, not Buddy is on the lam. The Amos’ locked him in the shed and there is no way he is going back to the Home. Bud, not Buddy’s mom died four years ago, and she left him a suitcase filled with four flyers, a blanket, and some rocks with dates written on each one. He heads for Grand Rapids, Michigan and with a little luck, Bud, not Buddy might just find what he is looking for, Herman E. Callaway and his band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!

Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963. New York: Delacorte, 1995.
The hilarious "Weird Watson's" are an African American family from Flint, Michigan who just don't know what to do about their "official juvenile delinquent" son, Byron. The family decides to drive to Birmingham so Byron can stay with Grandma Sands and get his life back in shape. Their lives are forever changed when Joetta is put in danger by a violent act of hate in the segregated south.

Cushman, Karen. The Midwife’s Apprentice. New York: Clarion, 1995.
A story about a girl called Dung Beetle? That’s what Cushman gives us in this witty novel set in medieval England. Beetle is an orphan who serves as apprentice to the village midwife in exchange for food and shelter. Birthing babies is difficult, and there’s a lot to learn, but Beetle’s hardest lesson is learning to have confidence in herself.

Dahl, Roald. The Vicar of Nibbleswicke. New York: Puffin, 1991.
Robert Lee grew up to be Reverend. He has a disability that reappears under the duress of his first assignment as Vicar. God, dog, Prewt, Twerp, knit, stink—these were such simple mistakes for a dyslexic. But to ask the parish folk to krap by the side of the road was just a bit much. Walking backwards made him an endearing figure in Nibbleswicke. (This book was written for the Dyslexia Institute of Great Britain)

Duncan, Lois. Ransom. New York: Dell Publishers, 1966. 172p.
Five high school students are kidnapped on the school bus ride home. Their kidnappers think they are rich kids. How will their parents get the money and save the group before it is too late?


Early, Margaret. Romeo and Juliet. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1998.
Everyone will enjoy this simple retelling of Shakespeare’s love story. After Romeo is banished for killing Tibult. Juliet is heart-broken. This tragic play is relived in narrative form and is very easy to understand.

Ferguson, Alane. Secrets. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.
Twelve-year-old T.J. hangs out at the zoo; he is convinced that his father doesn’t understand him and is too busy to care. A worker takes a sudden interest in T.J. and tries to convince him that she is his real mother. In this fast-paced, heart-wrenching story, T.J. must decide. Does he choose to live with a woman who needs him or a man who loves him?

Fitzhugh, Louise. Harriet the Spy. New York: Harper & Row, 1964.
Anyone who reads this novel will never forget Harriet M. Welsch, the neighborhood spy, and her infamous notebook. Harriet’s notebook gives us glimpses into the mind of a future writer. The story is often comical, especially when Harriet’s notebook gets into the hands of her sixth-grade classmates. But underneath the laughter there’s a powerful story about change.

Fleischman, Paul. A Fate Totally Worse Than Death. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 1995. 124 p. ISBN 1-56402-627-2
In this parody of teenage horror novels, three self-centered females of Cliffside High come to believe that the new exchange student, Helga, is really the ghost of a girl whose death they caused the year before. Thinking that their premature aging is a result of a spell she has cast on them, they plot the death of one of her male admirers, thinking this will please her.

Fletcher, Susan. Shadow Spinner. New York: Atheneum, 1998.
Shahrazad is Marjan’s hero. Her tales of intrigue have halted the Sultan’s vengeful practice of killing each young woman the day after he marries her. But Shahrazad needs Marjan’s help, first to give her a new tale to keep the Sultan’s interest, and then to find out how the successful tale ends. Marjan dreams of escaping from her foster home and living a life of ease in the beautiful harem, but finds the granted wish terrifying, bewildering, and extremely dangerous.

Forrester, Sandra. Dust from Old Bones. New York: Morrow Junior
Simone has never given much thought to being of mixed race in the Creole country of Louisiana. But then her cousin declares she wants to go to the balls to find a handsome white protector. Simone's eyes open wide and her view on the world changes with the arrival of an aunt from Paris.

Fox, Paula. The Slave Dancer. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970.
On his way to purchase candles for his Mother, Jesse is snatched away to a slave ship. His value lays in his ability to pipe a tune, a tune for the dancing of the slaves. Slavery at its worst during a dark period of American history. Does Jesse survive the sailing?

Freeman, Suzanne. The Cuckoo’s Child. New York: Hyperion, 1997.
Do you know what the Cuckoo does with her young? She lays her eggs in another bird’s nest and escapes to the wide expanse of the blue sky. Can Mia learn to fly from someone else’s nest?

Gray, Dianne E. Holding Up the Earth. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
Hope has a new foster mom, again. Together, they pack up and head for Sarah’s family farm in Nebraska. Hope discovers a diary of a pioneer girl, who is enduring her own hardships.

Greene, Bette. Summer of My German Soldier. New York: Dial Press, 1973.
I was so attached to 12-year-old Patty Bergen and outraged by the injustices of her Arkansas World War II community. She is a character to admire--bright and compassionate. Unloved by both her selfish parents and abused by her father, Patty finds love from the family housekeeper and in a young German prisoner of war whom she hides and cares for. A heartbreaking novel.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.
Sixteen-year-old Tish can't believe that her abusive father and her neglectful mother would leave her and her seven-year-old brother all alone. Too ashamed to tell anyone, she describes her agony in her journal she keeps for English class, but marks her entries “Do Not Read.” How will Mrs. Dunphrey ever learn the truth?

Hahn, Mary Downing. Look For Me By Moonlight. New York: Clarion, 1995.
While visiting a remote inn in Maine run by her father and stepmom, Cynda is mesmerized by the mysterious Vincent. So blinded by attraction, Cynda fails to notice the signs that he is not what he seems. She must free herself from Vincent's destructive power before she and her family are doomed. This is an eerie tale of a romance turned deadly.

Hahn, Mary Downing. Stepping on the Cracks. New York: Clarion, 1991.
Sixth graders Margaret and Elizabeth both have older brothers fighting in World War II. They are fighting their own war with the class bully, Gordy. They discover his brother has deserted and is hiding in the woods. He doesn’t want to be in the army because he is against killing. When he gets pneumonia, they must decide whether or not they should help him.

Hautman, Pete. Stone Cold. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998.
Denn Doyle succeeds in his lawn business by working hard and attending to details. When he applies himself to learning poker, he finds these characteristics transfer to playing cards. He graduates from teenage games to the local adult casino, winning more and more money, but losing every other interest in his life. Eventually even the money brings him no joy; his obsession with gambling is an end in itself, and his only pleasure comes from picking up a fresh hand of cards…

Heneghan, James. Wish Me Luck. New York: Foster, 1997.
When the bombing is too close in Liverpool, Jamie Monoghan’s parents decide to evacuate him to Canada aboard the ship City of Benares with over one hundred other children. Plans go awry when the ship is torpedoed by a German U-Boat.

Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. New York: Scholastic Press, 1997.
During the Great Depression in the Oklahoma dust bowl, fourteen year old Billie Jo must endure the affects of an accident that killed her mother and scarred her own hands. She must also fight through the terrible dust storm that tears up the crops and fills the house with sand to find herself.

Hesser, Terry Spencer. Kissing Doorknobs. New York: Delacorte, 1998.
When Tara is 10, she becomes obsessed with counting cracks in sidewalks. This leads to counting and organizing her food, kissing doorknobs, scratching her eczema, and worrying about everything. Tara and her family battle her obsessions. Years pass before Tara receives proper treatment.

Hinton, S. E. That Was Then, This Is Now. New York: Dell, 1971.
Life is about choices. Bryon and Mark make those choices. Some were very bad and some were OK. Were there choices the right ones? And can they live with those choices - choices about drugs, gangs, loyalty, and relationships?

Hobbs, Will. Kokopelli’s Flute. New York: Avon, 1997.
Tep (short for the name of a bean) and his family live in New Mexico. He goes up to the ancient pueblo to observe a lunar eclipse and finds Kokopelli’s flute in the ruins. Tep blows the flute and turns into a packrat every night when the sun goes down! He uses his “packrat skills” to try and save his mother from the hantavirus and to catch the pothunters who disrupt the ancient dwellings.

Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas. The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. New York: Philomel, 1999. 214p.
Can Seikei the son of a merchant ever hope to become a Samurai? It is not permitted to rise out of one's class in society. Sekei is determined to try and ends up entangled in a mystery with a stolen jewel.

Holm, Jennifer L. Our Only May Amelia. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. 251p.
Twelve-year-old May Amelia is the only girl in a large Finnish-American farming family of seven children. She is also the only girl living on Washington’s Nasel River in 1899. May Amelia prefers adventure and wearing her overalls to acting like a proper young lady. Everyone says May is A Miracle, so why is her Pappa always yelling at her? (2000 Newbery Honor Book Historical fiction)

Holt, Kimberly Willis. When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. New York: Henry Holt: 1999. 227p.
Antler, Texas and Toby Wilson are ordinary until Zachary Beaver, the world’s fattest boy, comes to town in his trailer. Then the summer spices up as Toby must deal with his star struck mother who leaves for Nashville, and the friendship he lets sour while helping Zachary.

Howe, James. The Watcher. New York: Atheneum, 1997. 173 p.
Did you ever just watch someone from a distance and picture what their life must be like? You might think you know them. Evan and Chris see the watcher, but they don’t know much about her. They don’t know she has a secret that could destroy her. Can they save her?

Keillor, Garrison and Jenny Lind Nilsson. The Sandy Bottom Orchestra. New York: Hyperion, 1996.
Rachel Green has problems. Her mother has the whole town gossiping because of her feud with “Mayor Broadbutt.” Her best friend doesn’t want to hang out with her anymore. Her father, the ice cream executive, has decided to conduct the Sandy Bottom Orchestra at the Fourth of July celebration. To top it all off, Rachel must play her violin at the concert with a bunch of musicians who are lunatics! Why can’t she just have a normal summer like other fourteen year olds?

Klaus, Annette Curtis. Blood and Chocolate. New York: Delacorte Press, 1997. 264p.
Beautiful Vivian, a werewolf, falls in love with a boy and struggles with telling him the truth about herself. Another conflict looms when the townspeople begin to be mysteriously attacked and Vivian can't remember where she's been.

Konigsburg, E.L. Silent to the Bone. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.
Branwell calls 911. Something has happened to Nikki, his baby sister. But when the operator comes on line, Bran can’t speak. The authorities take him into custody. Nikki is in a coma and they suspect Bran. But did he hurt her? How can he explain what happened if he is silent to the bone?

Korman, Gordan. Go Jump in the Pool! New York: Scholastic, 1979.
Bruno and Boots are students at a school for boys, Macdonald Hall. The York Academy swim team beats the Macdonald team every year. Bruno finds a way to raise money to get a pool for Macdonald Hall, but the headmaster, “The Fish,” doesn't agree with their fundraising tactics.

Korman, Gordan. The War with Mr. Wizzle. New York: Scholastic,1982.
Mr. Wizzle comes to Macdonald Hall with some bright ideas for changing the school’s dress code and issuing demerits. Naturally, Bruno and Boots are furious. They vow to do something about Wizzle before the semester ends. But they can’t do it alone. They ask for help from the girls at Miss Scrimmage’s Finishing School.

Lee, Marie G. Finding My Voice. New York: Houghton-Mifflin, 1992.
High school senior Ellen Sung is Korean and living in a small town in Minnesota. Attempting to cope with strict parents who expect her to get into Harvard, she tries to balance spending time with her friends and studying; and must deal with the racist attitudes of her small town school mates. She begins a romance with a popular boy and must gain the confidence to speak up to her parents and her hostile classmates.

Levine, Gail Carson. Dave at Night. New York: Harper Collins, 1999. 281 p. ISBN 0-06-028154-5
Set in 1926 on the edge of Harlem, Dave’s father dies and his stepmother doesn’t want him. His immigrant relatives are too poor to take care of him so Dave is sent to an orphanage, the Hebrew Home for Boys. At the Home Dave confronts the cruel superintendent who has taken his most prized possession, the Noah’s Ark carved by his father. He befriends the other “elevens” and vows to escape after he recovers his Ark. Sneaking out at night he meets Solly, a fortune teller, and Irma Lee, a young black heiress, and is welcomed into the music and culture- filled world of the Harlem Renaissance. His new friends eventually learn the truth about him and prove to be his salvation.

Lowry, Lois. Gathering Blue. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
“Mother? There was no reply. She hadn’t expected one. Her mother had been dead, now, for four days, and Kira could tell that the last of the spirit was drifting away.” Kira lives in a futuristic community who gets rid of the weak, and Kira is physically flawed. A gripping story.

Lowry, Lois. A Summer to Die. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977.
Thirteen-year-old Meg envies her older, prettier sister Molly. With opposite personalities, the two don’t get along very well. In the course of one summer, Meg begins to love Molly, but then has to lose her to leukemia. Through her relationship with an elderly neighbor, Will Banks, Meg learns to accept Molly’s death and to accept herself.

Lynch, Chris. White Church. New York: Harpercollins, 1999. 247p.
Lilly, Pauly, and Oakley. A love triangle, or is it a friendship triangle, or do they really know themselves? All they know for certain is that Pauly is a little off center and off balance. It takes both Lilly and Oakley to try to keep Pauly from spinning out of control, or perhaps they are the cause of his troubles.


Matas, Carol. In My Enemy’s House. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.
The Nazis are in Poland, shooting Jews and taking prisoners. Marisa, with her blond hair and blue eyes, gets a chance to live. But to survive, she must take the papers of a Polish Catholic girl, go to Germany and live with a Nazi family. Powerful story.

McCullers, Carson. The Member of the Wedding. New York: Bantam, 1958.
In this work of high repute, McCullers tells of 12-year-old Frankie Addams, who is trying to understand and accept her brother’s upcoming wedding. More broadly, Frankie is struggling to find out who she really is and confronting feelings of acute isolation. A thought-provoking novel with vivid characterization and beautiful prose.

McKinley, Robin. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast. New York: Harper & Row, 1978.
A great book to get lost in, especially for fairy tale lovers. This novel has the expected magic, romance, and of course, happy ending. It is rather long, but engaging; the tale is told from Beauty’s point of view, which gives a fresh perspective and makes Beauty a believable character.

Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels. New York: Scholastic, 1993.
Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967. Vietnam wasn’t his war, his hazard, but he survived. Many of his friends didn’t and this is the story of the year spent in mud, blood, and sweat - a black man’s lot in the life of war.

Myers, Walter Dean. Hoops. New York: Dell, 1983.
Basketball. It wasn’t a game. It was life. And Cal paid the price for mine. So said Lonnie of his mentor. It was for the future that I played. Was it worth the price?

Myers, Walter Dean. Scorpions. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.
Jamal is faced with some hard decisions when his older brother is sent to prison for killing someone. Does he join his brother's old gang? Should he stay in school? His best friend, Tito, tries to help him stay out of trouble and make the right choices.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Alice on the Outside. New York: Atheneum. 1999. 169pp.
In this continuing saga about Alice, Naylor weaves several plots together—sex, lesbianism, prejudice, and going alone to the dance. Naylor tells it to young girls straight. She sets her stories in Montgomery County, Maryland—fun for readers to recognize places.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Outrageously Alice. New York: Atheneum, 1997.
In this ninth book about Alice, she is now in eighth grade. She doesn't want to be ordinary; she wants action, and she gets plenty of it. She spikes her hair green. She goes to her first bridal shower party where they model slinky lingerie. Patrick kisses her in a dark closet. Alice realizes that "everything is up in the air…she wants…an event to change the course of human destiny."

Nelson, Theresa. Earthshine. New York: Orchard Books, 1994.
Twelve-year-old Slim lives with her father, who is dying of AIDS. The story is told from Slim’s point of view; there are some inconsistencies in her speech, occasionally making her not very believable. But Nelson has a way of subtly endearing the reader to her characters; she expertly weaves important themes, and she handles disturbing issues discreetly.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. Habibi. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. 259 p.
Liyana’s parents announced they would move across the ocean to Palestine. She would begin high school in a foreign land where she didn’t quite fit in. She was a half and half… half American half Arab, but she learns to be a part of the new world she encounters as she finds her whole identity.

Paterson, Katherine. The Great Gilly Hopkins. New York: Harper, 1978.
Sassy Gilly is sent to yet another foster home where she is forced to live with people she despises--the coarse and obese Maime Trotter, wimpy William Ernest, and a nearly blind elderly man who always comes for dinner. Her life with Trotter is the opposite of the life she wants to have with her real mother, and she schemes to escape. But life doesn’t always turn out as planned, as Gilly learns.

Paulsen, Gary. Brian’s Winter. New York: Dell, 1995.
What if Brian Robinson, the hero of Hatchet, had not been rescued before the onslaught of winter? Could he survive the cold, the animals, and the loneliness? Who would rescue him?

Paulsen, Gary. The Crossing. New York: Dell, 1987.
Manny Bustos, an orphan scrounging on the streets of Juarez living in cardboard boxes, decides to go to America for a better life. He crosses the Rio Grande into Texas and meets a Vietnam war veteran named Robert S. Locke. Is a tragic ending the only possibility?

Paulsen, Gary. Foxman. New York: Dell, 1995.
He was sent to his aunt and uncle in the wilderness of Minnesota. There he finds friendship, family, and the kindness of an old trapper. Can the fire of life consume the hurt of a life alone? What lessons are to be taken back to the city after the fire of life dies?

Paulsen, Gary. Grizzly. New York: Dell, 1995
Montana and the life of a rancher are an adventure waiting to happen for Justin McAllister. When his aunt and uncle leave him in charge of the ranch, he takes matters into his own hands and decides to go after a grizzly that has been terrorizing the ranch. Can he survive a face-to-face meeting with the bear?

Paulsen, Gary. Harris and Me. New York: Harcourt Brace 1993. 157p.
The joys of trying to ride pigs, stealing your mother’s washing machine motor, and peeing on an electric fence are a few of the things a city boy experiences one summer in the country. These two "gooners" somehow manage to stay alive despite their wild attempts at fun when no adults are around.

Paulsen, Gary. Hatchet. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987.
Brian survives the plane crash. With only a hatchet in his belt, can Brian survive the wilderness to get to safety? What will he do when he meets a bear, gets injured, or even poisoned? Will he be found before the first snowflakes fall?

Paulsen, Gary. Project: A Perfect World. New York: Dell, 1995.
Jim's father is offered a job of a lifetime. When the family moves to Folsum, New Mexico, life changes and perfection is the only way of life. Can Jim solve the puzzle before he and his family fall into the sameness?

Paulsen, Gary. The River. New York: Delacorte, 1991.
Brian Robinson survived the wilderness adventure of a lifetime. And now he is being asked to experience it again, but this time with an adult who is a survival psychologist. The government wants to know how Brian did it - survive. But nature takes the lead and Brian is responsible for the survival of two lives. Can he do it again?

Paulsen, Gary. The Schernoff Discoveries. New York: Delacorte Press, 1997.
Take exploding pens, chocolate cakes, first dates, bowling pins, and 672 golf balls and what do you get? The life of Harold Schernoff, the school genius, and his best friend, a guy who hates school and whose parents are alcoholics. You'll laugh out loud as you read about these two best friends and their freshman year adventures during the 1950's in Minnesota.

Paulsen, Gary. The Winter Room. New York: Bantam, NY, 1989.
You can hear the sounds, smell the odors, and feel the color of seasons changing. Eldon tells the tale of Minnesota farm life. He specially enjoys the season of winter and the gathering of the family to share the tales of family in the “winter room.” Uncle David tells a tall tale that requires the return, momentarily, of the strength and skill of his youth. And the tall tales have new meaning after Uncle David tests his abilities.

Peck, Robert Newton. A Day No Pigs Would Die. New York: Dell, 1972. 139 p. ISBN 0-440-92083-3
A thirteen-year-old boy tells of the many hardships and adventures of living on a Vermont farm. Robert relates the harrowing adventure of birthing twin calves, the excitement of attending the Rutland Fair, the joy of raising his pet pig, Pinky, and the love he has for his father, a man who slaughters pigs for a living. However, maturity comes early when Robert learns the fate of his pet and his father.

Philbrick, Rodman. The Last Book in the Universe. New York: Scholastic, 2000.
“If you’re reading this, it must be a thousand years from now. Because nobody around here reads anymore. Why bother, when you can just probe it? Put all the images and excitement right inside your brain and let it rip.” Spaz and Ryter, thief and victim, set out on a life-threatening adventure.

Pierce, Tamora. Alanna: The First Adventure. New York: Random House, 1983. 216p.
A medieval fantasy story about a girl named Alanna and her twin brother Thom. When sent off to be schooled as a knight and a sorcerer, the two trade places. Alanna goes to great lengths to hide her true identity from the boys at the castle.

Pierce, Tamora. In the Hand of the Goddess. New York: Random House, 1984. 209p.
In the second book of the trilogy, Alanna becomes a knight and fights in her first battle. Her magical powers are put to the test against the evil sorcerer, Duke Roger. Her true identity is in great jeopardy.

Potok, Chaim. The Chosen. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967.
Reuven and Danny become friends after a baseball accident. They form a lifelong friendship even though they are from different cultures within a culture. Here is the difference between Hasidic and Conservative Judaism and how families and friends bump along in life.


Rinaldi, Ann. A Stitch in Time. New York: Scholastic, 1994. 292p.
The first book of the trilogy that follows three generations of the Chelmsford family of Salem, Massachusetts. The oldest daughter, Hannah, tells the first story and how she struggles to keep her family together. All the family secrets and problems are sure to tear them apart.

Rinaldi, Ann. The Blue Door. New York: Scholastic, 1996. 261p.
Fourteen-year-old Amanda is sent by grandmother to stay with relatives that she has never met. On her trip north, she is involved in a perilous encounter that leaves her with nothing. She decides to work in her grandfather's mill until she can give them proof of her true identity.

Rinaldi, Ann. Broken Days. New York: Scholastic, 1995. 263p.
In the second book of the Chelmsford trilogy, Ebie Chelmsford, is fourteen years old. The War of 1812 is on the horizon and the family is faced with more trying situations.

Rinaldi, Ann. The Coffin Quilt. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999. 228 p.
In the 1880’s, young Fanny McCoy witnesses the bad blood between the West Virginia Hayfield’s and the McCoy’s of Kentucky. When Roseanna McCoy runs off with Johnse Hatfield, the killing and feuding increase. Fanny tries to make sense of the feuding and the strange mountain superstitions of her family, as she grows from a child of seven to a young woman of sixteen.

Rinaldi, Ann. Keep Smiling Through. Florida, Harcourt Brace, 1996. 188p.
Kay Hennings is the youngest child in a family of five living with their father and stepmother during the 1940's. The depression makes life hard but not as hard as living with her mean stepmother. Kay learns that doing the right thing isn't always easy.

Rinaldi, Ann. The Last Silk Dress. New York: Bantam, 1988. 331p.
Susan Chilmark is living in Richmond with her family during the time of the Civil War. She wants to make a contribution to the south's war efforts. Susan and her friend, Connie, collect silk dresses from all the women to make a hot air balloon for the south to use to spy on the north.

Rinaldi, Ann. Wolf by the Ears. New York: Scholastic, 1991. 252p.
Harriet Hemings is a slave at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello plantation. She desperately wants to know if Jefferson is her true father. Harriet is faced with the difficult decision of whether to leave Monticello as a free person or remain and stay a slave.

Rylant, Cynthia. Missing May. New York: Orchard, 1992.
When Summer's Aunt May dies, she leaves behind a child and an uncle that have a difficult time dealing with May's death. With the help of Cletus Underwood they take a trip to visit a Spiritualist Church in the hope of reaching Aunt May. Love and laughter are the stuffing of this book about life and death and the hereafter for the rest of us.

Skurzynski. Gloria. Spider’s Voice. New York: Atheneum, 1999.
It’s the twelfth century, and the famous scholar, Abelard, is in love with the beautiful Heloise. Abelard rescues a small boy from slavery. Spider hears, but he can’t talk, and so, he begins to stand guard whenever the lovers are behind closed doors. Adventure, love, history--terrific.

Skurzynski, Gloria. Virtual War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. 152p. Grades 6-8.
For his entire life, Corgan has been in training to fight for the Federation in a computer virtual war. The whole world will be watching. His teammates are a girl and a mutant. Corgan lives in a sterilized box and has been raised by a computer. What are the values necessary to win a virtual war? Will honor be enough? This gripping story is especially fun for kids who play video war games.

Sleator, William. The Night the Heads Came. New York: Dutton, 1996. 154 p.
How much trouble would you be in? When Leo sneaks away to drive his artist friend Tim to the bus station, they are both abducted by aliens. Aliens that look like “giant, squishy heads and move by oozing along like slugs.” Why did the aliens only keep Leo for a couple of hours and then return him to earth, but keep Tim? Why do the aliens want Tim and his artistic talent? And worst of all- What if the “heads” come back?

Staples, Suzanne Fisher. Dangerous Skies. New York: Farrar, 1996.
On the banks of Chesapeake Bay, Buck and Tunes have always been best friends. They fish together, play together, and eventually, both grow up—alone. Tunes didn’t commit the murder, but the white people in town believe she did. Aren’t adults always fair and wise?

Sykes, Shelley. For Mike. New York: Delacorte, 1998.
Where is Mike? Clues from dreams become the focus of a hunt for the missing young man. Mike's best friend Jeff helps to solve the mystery of the missing boy. Or did Mike just run away? A "who done it" to the very end!

Thomas, Rob. Rats Saw God. New York: Aladdin, 1996.
Steve York, son of Alan York the Astronaut, is failing English and will not graduate. He bites the bullet and writes the assigned tome, 100 pages in length on any topic, for the diploma. In the writing, Steve, writing about himself and his family, finds his family, truth, direction, and a father along the way.

Trueman, Terry. Stuck in Neutral. New York: HarperCollins, 2000.
Shawn McDanel’s life is stuck in neutral, literally. His life is like one of those ‘good news-bad news jokes—which do you wanna hear first? His parents got divorced because of Shawn, and right now, his dad is really acting scary.

Voigt, Cynthia. Dicey’s Song. New York: Atheneum, 1983.
Thirteen-year-old Dicey and her three younger siblings are sent to live with their grandmother, whom they have never met. They have trouble adjusting to their new home. Dicey worries about all of them. Somehow, Dicey and Gram must reach out and hold on to the people they love.

Voigt, Cynthia. Homecoming. New York: Fawcett Juniper, 1981. 319p.
A mother abandons her four children in a mall parking lot. The oldest, Dicey, tries to keep the group together and make the right decisions for everyone. They decide to travel by foot in search of relatives they barely know.

Whelan, Gloria. Homeless Bird. New York: HarperCollins, 2000.
In India, thirteen-year old Koly marries and discovers that her new in-laws have not told her the truth. How will she survive such an unfair fate?

White, Ruth. Belle Prater’s Boy. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1996.
Gypsy and Woodrow are cousins. They begin spending time together when Woodrow moves in next door with his grandparents. Gypsy’s father died years ago and Woodrow’s mother has disappeared. The two become close friends and each has a secret just waiting to be told.

White, Ruth. Memories of Summer. New York: Farrar, 2000.
In 1955, Lyric and her sister, Summer, leave the hills of Virginia and head for Michigan where Poppy hopes to get a job making cars. Summer has always been a little odd, but that was just her way, wasn't it? But a week after school starts, Summer begins to act stranger still, and before long, Poppy and Lyric have to face the truth.

Woodson, Jacqueline. I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This. New York: Delacorte Press, 1994.
A story about race, friendship, and growing up. An African-American girl named Marie befriends Lena, a new white girl at her school. Marie is rich and privileged; Lena is poor. The girls are connected by similar experiences--they have both lost their mothers. Although Marie feels pressure from her father and her prejudiced classmates, she is drawn to Lena and eventually becomes her confidante.

Yumoyo, Kazumi. The Friends. (translated by Cathy Hirano) New York: Farrar, 1996.
During their summer vacation before going on to middle school, Kiyama, Kawabe, and Yamashita are curious about death. They want to know what happens to a person right before he dies and if he becomes a ghost. When the three friends begin watching an old man they think will die soon, he befriends them and teaches them more about life than death.

Zindel, Paul. The Pigman. New York: Harper, 1968.
For kicks, John and Lorraine call people on the phone and see how long they can keep them on the line. But then they call Mr. Pignati, he’s glad they called, and he invites them over. He’s lonely. John and Lorraine didn’t mean to hurt him. It was just for kicks.