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Children's Literature

Books in BU's Juvenile Collection

Realistic Fiction

An abundance of Katherines / John Green.  2006.  Fic G7965a.   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.

After ever after / Jordan Sonnenblick.  2010.  Fic S6992a.  Although Jeff and Tad, encouraged by a new friend, Lindsey, make a deal to help one another overcome aftereffects of their cancer treatments in preparation for eighth-grade graduation, Jeff still craves advice from his older brother Stephen, who is studying drums in Africa.

After Tupac & D Foster/ Jacqueline Woodson.  2008.  Fic W898a.   In the New York City borough of Queens in 1996, three girls bond over their shared love of Tupac Shakur’s music, as together they try to make sense of the unpredictable world in which they live.

Also known as Harper / Ann Haywood Leal.  2009.  Fic L435a.   Writing poetry helps fifth-grader Harper Lee Morgan cope with her father’s absence, being evicted, and having to skip school to care for her brother while their mother works, and things look even brighter after she befriends a mute girl and a kindly disabled woman.

Annie on my mind / Nancy Garden.  2007/1982.  Fic G218a.   Liza tries to put aside her feelings for Annie after the disaster at Foster Academy, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of others.

Anything but typical / Nora Raleigh Baskin.   2009.  Fic B31513a.   Jason, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer, relates what his life is like as he tries to make sense of his world.

Artichoke’s heart / Suzanne Supplee.  2008.  Fic S9595a.   When she is almost sixteen years old, Rosemary decides she is sick of being overweight, mocked at school and at Heavenly Hair--her mother’s beauty salon--and feeling out of control, and as she slowly loses weight, she realizes that she is able to cope with her mother’s cancer, having a boyfriend for the first time, and discovering that other people’s lives are not as perfect as they seem from the outside.

Ask me no questions / Marina Budhos.  2006.  Fic B9276a.   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.

Because Of Winn Dixie / Kate Dicamillo.  2000.  Fic D545b.   Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.

Becoming Naomi León / Pam Muñoz Ryan.  2004.  Fic R989b.  When Naomi’s absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father.

Black and white / Paul Volponi.  2005.  Fic V933b.   Two star high school basketball players, one black and one white, experience the justice system differently after committing a crime together and getting caught.

Breathless / Jessica Warman.  2009.  Fic W2777b.   At boarding school, Katie tries to focus on swimming and becoming popular instead of the painful memories of her institutionalized schizophrenic older brother.

Bucking the Sarge
/ Christopher Paul Curtis.  2004.  Fic C9783b.   Deeply involved in his cold and manipulative mother’s shady business dealings in Flint, Michigan, fourteen-year-old Luther keeps a sense of humor while running the Happy Neighbor Group Home For Men, all the while dreaming of going to college and becoming a philosopher.

Catalyst / Laurie Halse Anderson.  2002.  Fic A5474c.   Eighteen-year-old Kate, who sometimes chafes at being a preacher’s daughter, finds herself losing control in her senior year as she faces difficult neighbors, the possibility that she may not be accepted by the college of her choice, and an unexpected death.

Chanda’s secrets / Allan Stratton.  2004.  Fic S911c.   A girl’s struggle amid the African AIDS pandemic, Chanda, is an astonishingly perceptive girl living in the small city of Bonang, a fictional city in Southern Africa. When her youngest sister dies, the first hint of HIV/AIDS emerges, Chanda must confront undercurrents of shame and stigma.

Cuba 15 / Nancy Osa. 2003. Fic 0798c.   Violet Paz, a Chicago high school student, reluctantly prepares for her upcoming “quince,” a Spanish nickname for the Hispanic girl’s fifteenth birthday.

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time / Mark Haddon.  2004.  Fic H127c.  Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor’s dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.

A Day No Pigs Would Die / Robert Newton Peck.  1972. Fic P3677d.   To a thirteen-year-old Vermont farm boy whose father slaughters pigs for a living, maturity comes early as he learns “doing what’s got to be done,” especially regarding his pet pig that cannot produce a litter.

Dicey’s song / by Cynthia Voigt.  1983.  Newbery Award. Fic V891d.  Now that the four abandoned Tillerman children are settled in with their grandmother, Dicey finds that their new beginnings require love, trust, humor, and courage.

The disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks: a novel / E. Lockhart.  2008.  Fic L8161d.  Sophomore Frankie starts dating senior Matthew Livingston, but when he refuses to talk about the all-male secret society that he and his friends belong to, Frankie infiltrates the society in order to enliven their mediocre pranks.

Double Helix / Nancy Werlin. 2004. Fic W489d.   Eighteen-year-old Eli discovers a shocking secret about his life and his family while working for a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose specialty is genetic engineering.

The Facts Speak for Themselves / Brock Cole.  1997.  Fic C6886f.   At the request of her social worker, thirteen-year-old Linda gradually reveals how her life with her unstable mother and her younger brother led to her rape and the murder she witnessed.

Fat Kid Rules The World / K. L. Going. 2003. Fic G6145f.   Seventeen-year-old Troy, depressed, suicidal, and weighing nearly 300 pounds, gets a new perspective on life when a homeless teenager who is a genius on guitar wants Troy to be the drummer in his rock band.

Freewill / Chris Lynch. 2001. Fic L9865f.   A teenager trying to recover from the tragic death of his father and stepmother believes himself to be responsible for the rash of teen suicides occurring in his town.

Going bovine / Libba Bray.  2009.  Michael L. Printz Award.  Fic B8272g.   In an attempt to find a cure after being diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s (aka mad cow) disease, Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen-year-old boy, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital.

Guantanamo boy / Anna Perera.   2011.  Fic P4374g.   Six months after the events of September 11, 2001, Khalid, a Muslim fifteen-year-old boy from England is kidnapped during a family trip to Pakistan and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he is held for two years suffering interrogations, water-boarding, isolation, and more for reasons unknown to him.

Hatchet / Gary Paulsen. 1987.  Newbery Honor Book. Fic P332hat.   After a plane crash, thirteen –year-old Brain spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given to him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents’ divorce.

Hate list / Jennifer Brown.  2009.  Fic B8785h.  Sixteen-year-old Valerie, whose boyfriend Nick committed a school shooting at the end of their junior year, struggles to cope with integrating herself back into high school life, unsure herself whether she was a hero or a villain.

The Higher Power of Lucky / by Susan Patron; with illustrations by Matt Phelan.  2006.  Newbery Award.  Fic P314h.  Fearing that her legal guardian plans to abandon her to return to France, ten-year-old aspiring scientist Lucky Trimble determines to run away while also continuing to seek the Higher Power that will bring stability to her life.

Holes / Louis Sachar. 1998. Newbery Award.  Fic S1208h.  As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune, which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

Hoot / Carl Hiaasen. 2002. Fic H623h.  Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.

If I stay: a novel / Gayle Forman. 2009. Fic F7238i.  While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weighs whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.

Jacob Have I Loved / Katherine Paterson.  1980. Newbery Award. Fic P2965j.  Feeling deprived all her life of schooling, friends, mother, and even her name by her twin sister, Louise finally begins to find her identity.

Jellicoe Road / Melina Marchetta.  2008.  Fic M317o.  Abandoned by her drug-addicted mother at the age of eleven, high school student Taylor Markham struggles with her identity and family history at a boarding school in Australia.

Justin Case: school, drool, and other daily disasters / Rachel Vail.  2010.  Fic V129j.   Justin didn’t get the teacher he wanted, he’s not in the same class as his best friend, and his little sister, Elizabeth, is starting kindergarten at his school. Elizabeth doesn’t seem nervous at all, but Justin is very nervous about third grade.

Keeper of the Night / Kimberly Willis Holt.  2003.  Fic H7585k.  Thirteen-year-old Isabel, a girl living on the island of Guam, and her family try to cope with the suicide of Isabel’s mother.

Keeping You a Secret / Julie Anne Peters. 2003. Fic P4818k.  As she begins a very tough last semester of high school, Holland finds herself puzzled about her future and intrigued by a transfer student who wants to start a Lesbigay club at school.

Kit’s wilderness / David Almond.  2000.  Fic A452k.  Thirteen-year-old Kit goes to live with his grandfather in the decaying coal mining town of Stoneygate, England, and finds both the old man and the town haunted by ghosts of the past.

Lockdown / Walter Dean Myers.  2010.  Fic M9969ℓ.  Teenage Reese, serving time at a juvenile detention facility, gets a lesson in making it through hard times from an unlikely friend with a harrowing past.

Looking for Alaska: a novel / by John Green.  2005.  Fic G7965ℓ.  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.

Maniac Magee: A Novel / Jerry Spinelli.  1990.  Newbery Award.  Fic S7567m.  After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee’s life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries.

Marcelo in the real world / Francisco X. Stork.  2009.  Fic S8851m.  Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.

Mexican whiteboy / Matt de la Peña.  2008.  Fic P3973m.   Sixteen-year-old Danny searches for his identity amidst the confusion of being half-Mexican and half-white while spending a summer with his cousin and new friends on the baseball fields and back alleys of San Diego County, California.

Muchacho: a novel / LouAnne Johnson.  2009.  Fic J679m.   Living in a neighborhood of drug dealers and gangs in New Mexico, high school junior Eddie Corazon, a juvenile delinquent-in-training, falls in love with a girl who inspires him to rethink his life and his choices.

Ninth Ward / by Jewell Parker Rhodes.  2010.  Fic R4764n.   In New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, twelve-year-old Lanesha, who can see spirits, and her adopted grandmother have no choice but to stay and weather the storm as Hurricane Katrina bears down upon them.

Nothing but the Truth: A Documentary Novel / Avi. 1991. Fic A957noth.  A ninth-grader’s suspension for singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” during homeroom becomes a national news story.

November blues / Sharon M. Draper.  2007.  Fic D766n.   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.

Olive’s Ocean / Kevin Henkes.  2003.  Fic H513o.   On a summer visit to her grandmother’s cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer.

One Whole and Perfect Day / Judith Clarke.  2007.  Fic C5988o.   As her irritating family prepares to celebrate her grandfather’s eightieth birthday, sixteen-year-old Lily yearns for just one whole perfect day together.

Our secret, Siri Aang / Cristina Kessler.  2004.  Fic K42417o.   Namelok, a Masai girl, tries to persuade her traditionalist father to delay her initiation and marriage because they will restrict her freedom and keep her from the black rhino mother and baby she is protecting from poachers.

Out of my mind / Sharon M. Draper.  2010.  Fic D766o.  Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
/ E. L. Konigsburg. 2004. Fic K823o.  Upon leaving an oppressive summer camp, twelve-year-old Margaret Rose Kane spearheads a campaign to preserve three unique towers her great-uncles have been building in their backyard for more than forty years.

The Outsiders / S. E. Hinton.  1967.  Fic H666o.  Three brothers struggle to stay together after their parents’ death, as they search for an identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society in which they find themselves “outsiders.”

Pink / Lili Wilkinson.  2009.   Fic W6869p.   Sixteen-year-old Ava does not know who she is or where she belongs, but when she tries out a new personality--and sexual orientation--at a different school, her edgy girlfriend, potential boyfriend, and others are hurt by her lack of honesty.

Prom / Laurie Halse Anderson.  2005.  Fic A5474p.  Eighteen-year-old Ash wants nothing to do with senior prom, but when disaster strikes and her desperate friend, Nat, needs her help to get it back on track, Ash’s involvement transforms her life.

Punkzilla / Adam Rapp.  2009.  Michael L. Printz Honor .  Fic R2211p.  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.

Purple Heart / Patricia McCormick.  2009.  Fic M1316p.  While recuperating in a Baghdad hospital from a traumatic brain injury sustained during the Iraq War, eighteen-year-old soldier Matt Duffy struggles to recall what happened to him and how it relates to his ten-year-old friend, Ali.

Putting makeup on the fat boy / Bil Wright.   2011.  Fic W9478p.   Sixteen-year-old Carlos Duarte is on the verge of realizing his dream of becoming a famous make-up artist, but first he must face his jealous boss at a Macy’s cosmetics counter, his sister’s abusive boyfriend, and his crush on a punk-rocker classmate.

Rickshaw girl / Mitali Perkins; illustrated by Jamie Hogan.  2007. Fic P4496r.  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.

Rules / Cynthia Lord.  2006.  Fic L86615r.  Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.

Running dream / Wendelin Van Draanen.  2011.  Fic V217147r.  When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.

Sahara Special / Esme Raji Codell. 2003. Fic C6694s.  Struggling with school and her feelings since her father left, Sahara gets a fresh start with a new and unique teacher who supports her writing talents and the individuality of each of her classmates.

Shabanu: daughter of the wind / by Suzanne Fisher Staples.  1989.  Fic S794s.  When eleven-year old Shabanu, the daughter of a nomad in the Cholistan Desert of present-day Pakistan, is pledged in marriage to an older man whose money will bring prestige to the family, she must either accept the decision, as is the custom, or risk the consequences of defying her father’s wishes.

The shepherd’s granddaughter / Anne Laurel Carter.  2008.  Fic C3232s.  Amani longs to be a shepherd like her grandfather, Seedo. Like many Palestinians, her family has grazed sheep above the olive groves of the family homestead for generations, and she has been steeped in Seedo’s stories, especially one about a secret meadow called the Firdoos--and the wolf that once showed him the path there.

Somebody, please tell me who I am / Harry Mazer. 2012.  Fic M4762so.   Wounded in Iraq while his Army unit is on convoy and treated for many months for traumatic brain injury, the first person Ben remembers from his earlier life is his autistic brother.

Speak / Laurie Halse Anderson. 2004. Fic A5474s.  A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda’s freshman year in high school.

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes / Chris Crutcher.  1993.  Fic C957sta.  The daily class discussions about the nature of man, the existence of God, abortion, organized religion, suicide and other contemporary issues serve as a backdrop for a high-school senior’s attempt to answer a friend’s dramatic cry for help.

Stolen / Lucy Christopher.  2010.  Fic C556155s.  Sixteen-year-old Gemma, a British city-dweller, is abducted while on vacation with her parents and taken to the Australian outback, where she soon realizes that escape attempts are futile, and in time she learns that her captor is not as despicable as she first believed.

Story of a girl: a novel / by Sara Zarr.  2007.  Fic Z38s.  In the three years since her father caught her in the back seat of a car with an older boy, sixteen-year-old Deanna’s life at home and school has been a nightmare, but while dreaming of escaping with her brother and his family, she discovers the power of forgiveness.

Sunrise over Fallujah / Walter Dean Myers.  2008.  Fic M9969su.  Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.

Surviving the Applewhites / Stephanie S. Tolan. 2002. Fic T647su.  Jake, a budding juvenile delinquent, is sent for home schooling to the arty and eccentric Applewhite family’s Creative Academy, where he discovers talents and interests he never knew he had.

Talk-funny girl: a novel / Roland Merullo.   2011.  Fic M5759t.  Raised by parents so intentionally isolated that they speak their own hybrid dialect, abused youth Marjorie witnesses her parents’ submission to a sadistic cult leader before she is rescued by another abuse survivor who teaches her stoneworking skills.

Touch / Francine Prose.  2009.  Fic P9661t.  Ninth-grader Maisie’s concepts of friendship, loyalty, self-acceptance, and truth are tested to their limit after a school bus incident with the three boys who have been her best friends since early childhood.

Trouble / Gary D. Schmidt.  2008.  Fic S351t.  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.

True Confessions of a Heartless Girl / Martha Brooks.  2003. Fic B8735tr.  A confused seventeen-year-old girl, a single mother and her young son, two elderly women, and a sad and lonely man, with their own individual tragedies to bear, come together in a small Manitoba town and find a way to a better future.

Twisted / Laurie Halse Anderson.  2007.  Fic A5474t.  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.

The View from Saturday / E.L. Konigsburg.  1996.  Fic K823v.  Four students, each with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.

Under the mesquite / Guadalupe Garcia McCall.  2011.  Fic M1222u.  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.

Whale talk / Chris Crutcher.  2001. Fic C957w.  Intellectually and athletically gifted, TJ, a multiracial, adopted teenager, shuns organized sports and the gung-ho athletes at his high school until he agrees to form a swimming team and recruits some of the school’s less popular students.

When Heaven Fell / Carolyn Marsden.  2007.  Fic M364w.
When her grandmother reveals that the daughter that she had given up for adoption is coming from America to visit her Vietnamese family, nine-year-old Binh is convinced that her newly-discovered aunt is wealthy and will take care of all the family’s needs.

Where things come back: a novel / John Corey Whaley.  2011. Fic W5525w.  Seventeen-year-old Cullen’s summer in Lily, Arkansas, is marked by his cousin’s death by overdose, an alleged spotting of a woodpecker thought to be extinct, failed romances, and his younger brother’s sudden disappearance.

Wintergirls / Laurie Halse Anderson.  2009.  Fic A5474w.  Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend’s death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.

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