See also the Smooch
Aidinoff, Elsie. The Garden.
This retelling of the tale of the Garden of Eden is from Eve's point of view, as Serpent teaches her everything from her own name to why she should eat the forbidden fruit. Eve is then left with Adam and the knowledge that her choice has made mankind free.
Avi. The True Confessions of Charlotte
"Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to
trial, and found guilty," but Charlotte Doyle is such a girl.
In this suspenseful tale of Charlotte's voyage to America aboard the
Seahawk, almost everything goes wrong. The captain, though nice at
first, is a cruel and evil man, and the crew has mutiny on their minds.
Barrett, Tracy. Anna of Byzantium
Based on the real life Anna Comnena, heiress to the Byzantine emperor,
until her younger brother is designated the next emperor. Great
historical fiction, with loads of intrigue and plotting.
Bauer, Joan. Rules of the Road (other books by this
author are also good)
Jenna Boller isn't that pretty or all that good in school, but boy can
she sell shoes. When Mrs. Gladstone, the president of Gladstone
Shoes, chooses Jenna as her driver on a business trip to visit the other
Gladstone Shoe stores, Jenna becomes involved in a race to save the
company and find herself.
Billingsley, Franny. Folk Keeper
Corinna has disguised herself as a boy and taken on the job of Folk
Keeper, the person who placates the fairy-like Folk and directs their
anger away from spoiling crops and souring milk. When she gets a new
position, though, her self-taught Folk Keeper abilities may not be
enough to save the crops, the milk or even herself.
Brashares, Ann. Sisterhood of the
Four best girlfriends spend the biggest summer of their lives enchanted
by a magical pair of pants.
Bray, Libba. Great and Terrible Beauty.
After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.
Brooks, Martha. True Confessions of a
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.
Castellucci, Cecil. Boy Proof.
She always knows the right answers, she's always in control, and she's far too busy to be bothered with friends. Then Egg meets a boy named Max, a boy who's smart and funny and creative and cool...and happens to like Egg. Could this be the end of the world - at least as Egg knows it?
Creech, Sharon. Chasing Redbird.
Zinnia's uncovering of an overgrown trail inadvertently involves her
family in a set of well-concealed family skeletons in this powerful
story of a girl's search for meaning.
Cushman, Karen. Catherine Called Birdy
The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a
journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her
longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to
avoid being married off.
Danziger, Paula. P.S. Longer Letter Later.
Twelve-year-old best friends Elizabeth and Tara-Starr continue their
friendship through letter-writing after Tara-Starr's family moves to
another state. Sequel: Snail Mail No More
Davidson, Dana. Jason &
Preppy Jason and brainy Kyra are paired together for a science project. An unlikely couple, they become close friends and eventually fall in love, much to the surprise of everyone in school.
Donnelly, Jennifer. Northern Light.
Mattie Gokey has a word for everything. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can't write down in stories. Yet when the drowned body of a young woman turns up at the hotel where Mattie works, all her words are useless. Based on the story that inspired Theodore Dreiser's
An American Tragedy.
Fletcher, Susan. Shadow Spinner
When Marjan, a 13-year-old crippled girl joins the Sultan's harem in
ancient Persia, she gathers for Shahrazad the stories that will save the
queen's life. A story about courage and the ultimate sacrifices for
Fredericks, Mariah. The True Meaning of
When Jess and Sari, best friends since seventh grade, begin their
freshman year of high school and Sari becomes obsessed with a senior
boy, Jess wonders if their friendship will survive.
George, Jean Craighead. Julie of the Wolves.
After running away from home and an unwanted arranged marriage,
13-year-old Julie becomes lost in the Alaskan wilderness and is adopted
by a pack of wolves.
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Lily's Crossing
In the summer of 1944, 10-year-old Lily Mollahan grows increasingly
irritated with the war overseas and its threat closer to home.
Staying with her grandmother in Rockaway while her father heads for
France and fighting, Lily becomes increasingly intrigued by another
child, a Hungarian refugee. "Albert could really be a Nazi
spy," she fantasizes. Imagination is one thing, lying another, and
as her vacation draws on, Lily learns what the power of love, family,
and friendship can accomplish.
Griffin, Adele. The Other Shepards.
"Their three older siblings were killed in an accident years before
they were born, yet Holland and Geneva Shepard are still coping with the
effects of this family tragedy. Encouraged by a mysterious mural
painter, the sisters run away to the Caribbean adventure that helps them
abandon old ghosts and unite as a family."
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Just Ella (other books by
this author are also good)
A retelling of the Cinderella story, in which Ella finds out that
sometimes "happily ever after" isn't.
Hanley, Victoria. The Seer and the Sword.
(Sequel: Healer's Keep)
Princess Torina, who has the ability to see the future, and her friend
Landen, who seeks a sword that belongs to his conquered kingdom, are
separated when a treacherous murderer gains power, but from exile each
works to restore peace and the rightful rulers. (Fantasy)
Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust
In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships
of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl
years of the Depression.
Hogan, Mary. The Serious Kiss.
Relates the angst-ridden life of fourteen-year-old Libby Madrigal as she tries to deal with her unhappily married alcoholic father and overeating mother, moving to a new town, and finding the perfect boy to "seriously" kiss.
Holt, Kimberly Willis. My Louisiana Sky (other books
by this author are also good)
Tiger Ann Parker's parents are different. They are more like
children than adults, but they love her just as much as regular parents,
and Tiger's grandmother holds the family together. The only
problem is that in a small town like Sattier, Louisiana, it's hard to be
different, especially if you are in seventh grade.
Ji-li Jiang. Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the
With the detention of her father during the Cultural Revolution, Ji-li
was faced with the most dreadful decision of her life: denounce him and
break with her family, or refuse to testify and sacrifice her future in
her beloved Communist Party. (nonfiction)
Kindl, Patrice. Owl in Love.
Falling in love, making friends, and trying to figure out who and what
she is bring Owl nearly to the end of her wits
Konigsburg, E.L. The View from Saturday
How could a group of four sixth graders beat out teams of seventh and
eighth graders to win the statewide academic bowl championship?
The answer is not so simple. It involves sea turtles, a crazy
wedding, a teacher who needs to figure out how she chose her team, and a
Levine, Gail Carson. Ella Enchanted
Ella is "cursed" with the gift of obedience by a well meaning
fairy. She must comply whenever anyone issues her a direct order.
Now she must learn how to break the curse, or else put the prince (and
the kingdom) at risk.
Lowry, Brigid. Guitar Highway Rose.
Rosie is bored ; she wants something different. Then she meets Asher, who has dreadlocks and a guitar, and breaks the school dress code every single day. When Asher decides to run away, Rosie goes with him. Their lives are turned upside down as they take to the road to discover the world and learn the darker and lighter sides of their own identities.
Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars. (other books by this
author are also good)
In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie
learns how to be brave when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the
Moriarty, Jaclyn. Feeling Sorry for Celia.
Letters between friends, refrigerator notes from a madcap mother, and darkly comic epistles from the heroine's internal voice of self-doubt tell Elizabeth's story as she is outgrows a friend, discovers a great new friend, kisses the sexiest guy alive, and runs in a marathon.
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Alice In-Between.
When motherless Alice turns thirteen she feels in-between, no longer a
child but not yet a woman, and discovers that growing up can be both
frustrating and wonderful. (Other books from the "Alice"
series would also be good choices.)
Paterson, Katherine. Jacob Have I Loved.
Feeling deprived all her life of schooling, friends, mother, and even
her name by her twin sister,Louise finally begins to find her identity.
Pattou, Edith. East.
A young woman journeys to a distant castle on the back of a great white
bear who is the victim of a cruel enchantment.
Peck, Richard. A Year Down Yonder.
During the recession of 1937, fifteen-year-old Mary Alice is sent to
live with her feisty, larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois and
comes to a better understanding of this fearsome woman.
Pierce, Tamora. Alanna: The First Adventure.
Hoping to become a knight, 11-year-old Alanna, disguises herself as a
boy to become a royal page.
Plummer, Louise. Unlikely Romance of Kate
Hi, I'm Kate Bjorkman. What do you do if you've lived a real romance with a great guy and he loves you as much as you love him? Simple, I wrote a romance novel with help from THE ROMANCE WRITER'S PHRASE BOOK. Nothing is made up. I want truth and conflict even in romance. I'm betting you'll want the same.
Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass.
Slowly and silently children are disappearing all over England, lured
away or snatched by the Gobblers. Lyra and the other children at
Oxford have heard of the Gobblers but don't really believe in them yet -
it's just an old wives tale, a story. Then one day the Gobblers
take Lyra's best friend Roger, and she is thrown into a search that
takes her to the farthest North and introduces her to strange and
powerful things. Little does she know that her quest involves much
more than finding Roger - the entire fate of her world may rest on her
shoulders. For good readers who like fantasy.
Rinaldi, Ann. The Coffin Quilt
A suspenseful novel based on the true story of the feud between the
Hatfields and the McCoys.
Sachar, Louis. Holes.
As further evidence of his family's bad luck, which they attribute to a
curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is wrongfully convicted of
stealing and sent to a horrible correctional camp in the Texas desert
where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of
Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl.
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.
Staples, Suzanne Fisher. Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind.
The daughter of a desert dwelling Pakistani family, Shabanu's life
depends on her learning to obey. Shabanu is willful and a free
spirit, but the time is drawing near for her to marry the boy her family
has chosen for her. Will she learn to be obedient, or will she
follow her heart and put her family in danger?
Stein, Tammar. Light Years.
After a life as a soldier and the death of her boyfriend Dov in a suicide bombing, Maya leaves Israel to study astronomy at the University of Virginia, running from the violence, guilt, and memories of her past and attempting to reconcile her Israeli past with her American future.
Voigt, Cynthia. Izzy Willy-Nilly.
A car accident causes fifteen-year-old Izzy to lose one leg and face the
need to start building a new life as an amputee. (Most other books
by this author would also be appropriate.)
Whelan, Gloria. Homeless Bird.
When thirteen-year-old Koly enters into an ill-fated arranged marriage,
she must either suffer a destiny dictated by India's tradition or find
the courage to oppose it.
Wilson, Diane Lee. I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade.
Oyuna has a crippled foot that brings bad luck to her family in Kublai
Khan's Mongolia. Oyuna's grandmother believes differently, though,
and tells Oyuna that she can make her own luck. One day, when
Oyuna was nearing her 13th birthday, Kublai Khan's soldiers raid her
village and try to take her stepbrother. Oyuna disguises herself
as a boy and goes in her stepbrother's place. But will the Khan's
soldiers let her stay once they realize she is a girl?
Wolff, Virginia Euwer. Bat 6
In 1949, two classes of sixth grade girls prepare for the annual Bat 6
softball game - an event they've looked forward to their whole lives. A
new girl arrives at the beginning of the school year who changes
Wrede, Patricia. Dealing With Dragons.
Cimorene, princess of Linderwall, is a classic tomboy heroine with
classic tomboy strengths--all of which are perceived by those around her
as defects. Tired of etiquette and embroidery, she runs away from
home and finds herself in a nest of dragons. She would rather keep
house for the dragon Kazul than be bored in her parents' castle. With
her quick wit and her stubborn courage, Cimorene saves the mostly kind
dragons from a wicked plot hatched by the local wizards.
Young, Karen Romano. The Beetle and Me: A Love Story.
Surrounded by her busy extended family and their many cars,
fifteen-year-old Daisy pursues her goal of single-handedly restoring the
car of her dreams, the old purple Volkswagen Beetle from her childhood.