Realistic Fiction


Alvarez, Julia. Finding Miracles.
Milly Kaufman is an ordinary American teenager living in Vermont--until she meets Pablo, a new student at her high school. His exotic accent, strange fashion sense, and intense interest in Milly force her to confront her identity as an adopted child from Pablo's native country. As their relationship grows, Milly decides to undertake a courageous journey to discover the story of her birth.

Anderson, LaurieSpeak.
Melinda Sordino is about to start her first year in high school as an outcast after calling the cops at a summer party where teens were drinking.  The alcohol was not her reason for calling the cops -- can she find her voice to tell the truth?

Bauer, Joan. Hope Was Here.
When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.

Brooks, Martha. Being With Henry.
Drifting aimlessly, seventeen-year-old Laker Wyatt meets lonely eighty-three-year-old Henry; how they come to grow and care for each other makes a sometimes funny and ultimately moving novel about truth and family and the courage it takes to search for these in unexpected places.

Budhos, Marina. Ask Me No Questions.
Fourteen-year-old Nadira, her sister, and their parents leave Bangladesh for New York City, but the expiration of their visas and the events of September 11, 2001, bring frustration, sorrow, and terror for the whole family over something most people take for granted-citizenship and acceptance in their country.

Coy, John. Crackback.
When Miles Manning, a successful high school football player, discovers his teammates are using steroids, he's faced with a tough decision: Is he willing to do what it takes to win? Football is his life, and his family, especially his dad, is pinning its hopes on him. It's a lot of pressure for a high school junior to bear. 

Creech, SharonWalk Two Moons.
After her mother leaves home suddenly, 13-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother's route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose family is struggling with their own secrets.

Cushman, Karen. Loud Silence of Francine Green.
Francine Green doesn't speak up much, and who can blame her? - nobody's interested in her opinions. But when outspoken, passionate Sophie Bowman transfers into Francine's class at All Saints School for Girls, Francine finds herself thinking about things that never concerned her before-and eventually, Francine discovers that she not only has something to say, she is absolutely determined to say it.

Draper, SharonTears of a Tiger.
The death of a high school basketball star in an automobile accident affects the lives of his close friend, who was driving the car, and many others in the school.

Ferris, Jean. Of Sound Mind.
Tired of interpreting for his deaf family and resentful of their reliance on him, high school senior Theo finds support and understanding from Ivy, a new student who also has a deaf parent.

Fleischman, Paul Whirligig.
After Brian decides to take his own life, he wakes up the next morning in a hospital to discover that he has taken the life of another person.

Frank, E. R. America.
Teenage America, a part-black, part-white, part-anything boy who has spent many years in institutions for disturbed, antisocial behavior, tries to piece his life together.

Giles, Gail. Shattering Glass.
When Rob, the charismatic leader of the senior class, turns the school nerd into Prince Charming, his actions lead to unexpected violence.

Going, K.L. Saint Iggy.
When Iggy Corso gets kicked out of high school, there's no one for him to tell. His mother has gone off, his father is stoned on the couch, and the phone's been disconnected, so even the social worker can't get through. Leaving his public housing behind, Iggy ventures into the world to make something of his life. It's not easy, but Iggy is . . . Iggy, and he has the kind of wisdom that lets him see what no one else can. 

Green, John. Looking for Alaska.
Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event. He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is the gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.

Hesser, Terry Spencer. Kissing Doorknobs.
Fourteen-year-old Tara describes how her increasingly strange compulsions begin to take over her life and affect her relationships with her family and friends.

Johnson, Angela Heaven.
Fourteen-year-old Marley's seemingly perfect life in the small town of Heaven is disrupted when she discovers that her father and mother are not her real parents.

Johnson, Angela. First Part Last.
Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.

Kadohota, Cynthia. Kira-Kira.
Chronicles the close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister becomes terminally ill.

Kerr, M.E.  Night Kites.
Seventeen-year-old Erick's comfortable and well-ordered life begins to fall apart when he is forced to keep two secrets: the identity of his new girlfriend and the nature of his brother's debilitating disease.

Koja, Kathe. Straydog.
Rachel, a teenager with a healthy dose of both aptitude and attitude, begins to feel at home volunteering at an animal shelter.

Konigsburg, E.L. Silent to the Bone.
When he is wrongly accused of gravely injuring his baby half-sister, thirteen-year-old Branwell loses his power of speech and only his friend Connor is able to reach him and uncover the truth about what really happened.

Levithan, David. Are We There Yet?
Sixteen-year-old Elijah is completely mellow and his 23-year-old brother Danny is completely not, so it's no wonder they can barely tolerate one another. So what better way to repair their broken relationship than to trick them into taking a trip to Italy together? Soon, though, their parents' perfect solution has become Danny and Elijah's nightmare as they're forced to spend countless hours together. But then Elijah meets Julia, and soon the brothers aren't together nearly as much. 

Lipsyte, RobertOne Fat Summer.
An overweight 14-year-old boy experiences a turning-point summer in which he learns to stand up for himself.

McCormick, Patricia. Sold.
Lakshmi's father brings her to a shopkeeper in town and tells Lakshmi that she is going to go work as a maid in India so that her wages can be sent home. Glad to help support her family, Lakshmi undertakes the long journey and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon discovers the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

McGhee, Alison. All Rivers Flow to the Sea.
To seventeen-year-old Rose, it seems it keeps happening - that car crash on a mountain road, her older sister, Ivy, behind the wheel and now in a coma with only a respirator keeping her alive. Mom refuses to believe that Ivy is gone and won't even visit, so it's up to Rose and family friend to make the daily vigil to Ivy's bedside. More and more, she has the frightening sense that there are rivers inside her threatening to overflow their banks. In an effort to feel something - anything - else, she takes to meeting a series of boys at the gorge while her mind drifts away like a hovering bird, watching her actions below.

Mack, Tracy. Birdland.
Fourteen-year-old, tongue-tied Jed spends Christmas break working on a school project filming a documentary about his East Village, New York City, neighborhood, where he is continually reminded of his older brother, Zeke, a promising poet who died the year before.

Nolan, Han. Dancing on the Edge.
"Miracle" McCloy, her name says it all: how she was pulled from the dead body of her mother; how she is the daughter of a man who melted; and how she survives setting her future on fire while in search of the past.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. Habibi.
Fourteen years old and just kissed for the first time, Liyana isn't sure she wants to join her family as her father plans to take them to Jerusalem to see the people and places he knew before he came to St. Louis, Missouri.

Peters, Julianne. Far From Xanadu.
In a small Kansas town, sixteen-year-old Mary-Elizabeth "Mike" Szabo tries to come to terms with her father's suicide and her own homosexuality.

Qualey, Marsha. Just Like That.
Things change so suddenly. One day Hanna has a long-term boyfriend; the next she realizes she doesn't have strong feelings for him and breaks up. One day Hanna trusts her two best friends completely; the next, all of that trust is toppled. One day she feels rooted in a family and a community; the next she begins to question everything, including herself. And when Hanna meets a guy named Will, things are suddenly more complicated than ever. Just like that.

Sones, Sonya. Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy.
A younger sister has a difficult time adjusting to life after her older sister has a mental breakdown.

Spinelli, JerryStargirl.
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever. 

Stein, Tammar. Light Years.
Maya leaves Israel to study astronomy at the University of Virginia, running from the violence, guilt, and memories of her past - of her life as a soldier, her ambiguous devotion to Israel, and her love for her boyfriend, who was tragically killed in a suicide bombing. Now, in Virginia, amid the day-to-day pressures of classes, roommates, and fraternity parties, Maya attempts to reconcile her Israeli past with her American future.

Tashijan, Janet. Gospel According to Larry.
Seventeen-year-old Josh, a loner-philosopher who wants to make a difference in the world, tries to maintain his secret identity as the author of a web site that is receiving national attention.

Thomas, RobSlave Day.
This story relates the events of a southern high school's "Slave Day" auction and fund raiser, which leads students, teachers, and even community members to rethink their approaches to their lives.

Voigt, CynthiaHomecoming.
Abandoned by their mother, four children begin a search for a home and an identity.

Whitney, Kim Albon. See You Down the Road.
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.

Williams, Lori AureliaWhen Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune.
Shayla, an aspiring writer growing up in a poor section of Houston, can't figure out the new girl next door, Kambia Elaine, who tells fantastic stories.  She slowly realizes that Kambia Elaine needs help, but Shayla doesn't know where to find it.

Wittlinger, EllenHard Love.
After starting to publish a zine in which he writes his secret feelings about his lonely life and his parents' divorce, sixteen-year-old John meets an unusual girl.

Wolff, Virginia Euwer. Make Lemonade.
In order to earn money for college, fourteen-year-old LaVaughn babysits for a teenage mother.

Zusaks, Markus. Getting the Girl.
Tired of being the underdog, Cameron Wolfe hungers to become something worthwhile and finally finds a girl with whom he can share his words and feelings--his popular brother Rube's ex-girlfriend.

Revised February 2007

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Updated on 09/01/2015 09:10 AM
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