Contemporary Realistic Fiction for Teens

  • Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me     FIC CHA

    By Kristen Chandler

    Two teenagers become close as the citizens of their town fight over the packs of wolves that have been reintroduced into the nearby Yellowstone National Park.


    Waiting for Normal                                                             FIC CON

    By Leslie Connor

    Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.


    Payback Time                                                                        FIC DEU

    By Carl Deuker

    Overweight, somewhat timid Mitch reluctantly agrees to be the sports reporter for the Lincoln High newspaper because he is determined to be a writer, but he senses a real story in Angel, a talented football player who refuses to stand out on the field--or to discuss his past.


    Paper Towns                                                                         FIC GRE

    By John Green

    One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q's neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.


    Somewhere in the Darkness                                             FIC MYE

    By Walter Dean Myers

    A teenage boy accompanies his father, who has recently escaped from prison, on a trip that turns out to be an often painful time of discovery for them both.


    The Wednesday Wars                                                           FIC SCH

    By Gary D. Schmidt

    During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.


    Hate List                                                                                FIC BRO

    By Jennifer Brown

    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.


    Along for the Ride                                                                 FIC DES

    By Sarah Dessen

    Auden gets a chance to recapture the carefree teen life she missed while her parents were going through a divorce when she goes to spend the summer with her dad and his new family in a charming beach town and meets fellow insomniac Eli, an intriguing loner fighting demons of his own.


    The Outsiders                                                                         FIC HIN

    By S.E. Hinton

    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."


    The Dairy Queen                                                                  FIC MUR

    By Catherine Gilbert Murdock

    After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.


    A Mango-Shaped Space                                                      FIC MAS

    By Wendy Mass

    Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the death of her beloved cat, Mango.


    The First Part Last                                                                 FIC JOH

    By Angela Johnson

    Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.


    Before I Fall                                                                             FIC OLI

    By Lauren Oliver

    After she dies in a car crash, teenaged Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.


    The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight              FIC SMI

    By Jennifer E. Smith

    Hadley and Oliver fall in love on the flight from New York to London, but after a cinematic kiss they lose track of each other at the airport until fate brings them back together on a very momentous day.


    The Cardturner                                                                      FIC SAC

    By Louis Sachar

    When his wealthy uncle, a champion bridge player who has lost his vision, asks seventeen-year-old Alton to be a card turner for him, Alton has no idea how much he will ultimately learn from his eccentric relative. Includes appendix by Syd Fox with information about bridge.