Kathryn A. Martin Library

Realistic Fiction

Adventure/Survival Stories

Paulsen, Gary. (1985). Dogsong : a novel. New York, N.Y. : Bradbury Press. INTR-FIC P3324DO

A fourteen-year-old Eskimo boy who feels assailed by the modernity of his life takes a 1400-mile journey by dog sled across ice, tundra, and mountains seeking his own "song" of himself.

Paulsen, Gary. (1987). Hatchet : a novel. New York : Bradbury Press. INTR-FIC P3324HA

After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.

Taylor, Theodore. (2005). Ice drift. Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt. INTR-FIC T2463ic

Two Inuit brothers must fend for themselves while stranded on an ice floe that is adrift in the Greenland Strait.

George, Jean Craighead. (1972). Julie of the wolves. New York : Harper & Row. INTR-FIC G3485JU

While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.

Fox, Paula. (1991). Monkey island. New York : Orchard Books. INTR-FIC F793MON

Forced to live on the streets of New York after his mother disappears from their hotel room, eleven-year-old Clay is befriended by two men who help him survive.

George, Jean Craighead. (2000). My side of the mountain trilogy. New York : Dutton Children's Books/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC G3485MZ

The trilogy about Sam Gribley's adventures begins with My Side of the Mountain when Sam, a nature-loving boy runs away from the city to live off the land. His home is a tree; his hunting partner, a young peregrine falcon named Frightful. In the second book in the trilogy On the Far Side of the Mountain, Sam's younger sister, Alice comes to share his retreat and his adventures. In the concluding third book Frightful's Mountain, Frightful makes his journey towards independence.

George, Jean Craighead. (1959). My side of the mountain. New York : Dutton. INTR-FIC G3485MY

Diary of a young boy living close to nature.

Holman, Felice. (1974). Slake's limbo. New York : Scribner. INTR-FIC H7477SL

Thirteen year-old Aremis Slake, hounded by his fears and misfortunes, flees them into New York City's subway tunnels, never again--he believes--to emerge.

 

Mystery Stories

Konigsburg, E. L. (1967). From the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. New York : Atheneum. INTR-FIC K82FR

Claudia and her brother Jamie run away from home and find a place to live in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, then find that they still have a couple of problems to deal with.

Joosse, Barbara M. (1998). Ghost trap : a Wild Willie mystery. New York : Clarion Books. INTR-FIC J813GH

When Wild Willie's best friend Kyle moves back to the neighborhood the boys suspect that Kyle's new house is haunted.

 

Animal Stories

DiCamillo, Kate. (2000). Because of Winn-Dixie. Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press. INTR-FIC D5452BE

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.

Blades, Ann. (1971). Mary of Mile 18. Plattsburgh, N.Y. : Tundra Books. PRIM-FIC B6327MA

Mary's father tells her she cannot keep a wolf puppy since the only animals kept by families in the cold North are those that work or provide food.

Henry, Marguerite. (1947). Misty of Chincoteague. Chicago : Rand McNally. INTR-FIC H523MI

Paul and his sister Maureen's determination to own a pony from the herd on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, is greatly increased when the Phantom and her colt are among the ponies rounded up for the yearly auction.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. (1991). Shiloh. New York : Atheneum ; Toronto : Collier Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International Pub. Group.  INTR-FIC N333SH

When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog's real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.

 

Short Stories

Duder, Tessa. (1989). In lane three, Alex Archer. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co. INTR-FIC D845IN

Fifteen-year-old Alex struggles to overcome personal trauma and hardship as she competes with her arch rival for a place on the New Zealand swimming team participating in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

 

Humorous

Blume, Judy. (1986). Superfudge. New York : Dell Pub. Co.INTR-FIC B658SU

Peter describes the highs and lows of life with his younger brother Fudge.

 

Romance

Oneal, Zibby. (1985). In summer light. New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking Kestrel. INTR-FIC O5843in

With the help of an attractive graduate student, Kate endures a summer with her overpowering artist father and gains the courage to pursue her own artistic goals.

Greene, Bette. (1974). Philip Hall likes me. I reckon maybe. New York : Dial Press. INTR-FIC G799P

Eleven-year-old Beth thinks that Philip Hall likes her, but their on-again, off-again relationship sometimes makes her wonder.

MacLachlan, Patricia. (1984). Unclaimed treasures. New York : Harper & Row. INTR-FIC M1615UN

Willa, who wants to feel extraordinary, thinks that she's in love with the father of the boy next door until she realizes that her "ordinary" true love is the boy himself.

 

Growing Up

Blume, Judy. (1970). Are you there God? : It's me, Margaret. New York : Dell. INTR-FIC B658AR

Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God.

Bauer, Joan. (2000). Hope was here. New York : Putnam. INTR-FIC B3444HO

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.

George, Jean Craighead. (1972). Julie of the wolves. New York : Harper & Row. INTR-FIC G3485JU

While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.

Bauer, Marion Dane. (1986). On my honor. New York : Clarion Books. INTR-FIC B3447ON

When his best friend drowns while they are both swimming in a treacherous river that they had promised never to go near, Joel is devastated and terrified at having to tell both sets of parents the terrible consequences of their disobedience.

Hamilton, Virginia. (1993). Plain City. New York : Blue Sky Press. INTR-FIC H2218PL

Twelve-year-old Buhlaire, a "mixed" child who feels out of place in her community, struggles to unearth her past and her family history as she gradually discovers more and more about her long-missing father.

Lowry, Lois. (1987). Rabble Starkey. Boston : Houghton Mifflin. INTR-FIC L921RA

Many things change for twelve-year-old Rabble Starkey, her mother, and her best friend, Veronica Bigelow when Veronica's mother becomes mentally incapacitated and the Starkeys move in with the Bigelows.

Blume, Judy. (1971). Then again, maybe I won't : a novel. New York : Dell Publishing Co. INTR-FIC B658TH

Unable to accept or explain his family's newly acquired wealth, his growing interest in sex, and a friend's shoplifting habit, a thirteen-year-old finds the pains in his stomach getting worse and worse.

Creech, Sharon. (1994). Walk two moons. New York : HarperCollins. INTR-FIC C913W

After her mother leaves home suddenly, thirteen-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 mother also left.

Brooks, Bruce. (1992). What hearts. New York, NY : HarperCollins. INTR-FIC B8728WH

After his mother divorces his father and remarries, Asa's sharp intellect and capacity for forgiveness help him deal with the instabilities of his new world.

 

Peer Relationships

Voigt, Cynthia. (1996). Bad girls. New York : Scholastic. INTR-FIC V891B

After meeting on the first day in Mrs. Chemsky's fifth-grade class, Margalo and Mikey help each other in and out of trouble, as they try to maintain a friendship while each asserts her independence.

Paterson, Katherine. (1977). Bridge to Terabithia. New York : Crowell. INTR-FIC P296B

The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm.

Woodson, Jacqueline. (1994). I hadn't meant to tell you this. New York : Delacorte. INTR-FIC W8985I

Marie, the only black girl in the eighth grade willing to befriend her white classmate Lena, discovers that Lena's father is doing horrible things to her in private.

 

Family Relationships

Hamilton, Virginia. (1990). Cousins. New York : Philomel Books. INTR-FIC H2218CO

Concerned that her grandmother may die, Cammy is unprepared for the accidental death of another relative.

Couloumbis, Audrey. (1999). Getting near to baby. New York : Putnam. INTR-FIC C8556GE

Although thirteen-year-old Willa Jo and her Aunt Patty seem to be constantly at odds, staying with her and Uncle Hob helps Willa Jo and her younger sister come to terms with the death of their family's baby.

Paterson, Katherine. (1978). The great Gilly Hopkins. New York : Crowell. PRIM-FIC P296G

An eleven-year-old foster child tries to cope with her longings and fears as she schemes against everyone who tries to be friendly.

Paterson, Katherine. (1980). Jacob have I loved. New York : Crowell. INTR-FIC P296J

Feeling deprived all her life of schooling, friends, mother, and even her name by her twin sister, Louise finally begins to find her identity.

Conly, Jane Leslie. (1998). While no one was watching. New York : Holt. INTR-FIC C7523W

When two brothers steal a rabbit from a back yard in the rich part of town, the incident brings about their collision with other children from a background very different from their own.

Paulsen, Gary. (1989). The winter room. New York : Orchard Books. INTR-FIC P3324WI

A young boy growing up on a northern Minnesota farm describes the scenes around him and recounts his old Norwegian uncle's tales of an almost mythological logging past.

 

Special Needs

White, Ruth. (1996). Belle Prater's boy. New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. INTR-FIC W587B

When Woodrow's mother suddenly disappears, he moves to his grandparents' home in a small Virginia town where he befriends his cousin and together they find the strength to face the terrible losses and fears in their lives.

Conly, Jane Leslie. (1993). Crazy lady!. New York : Harper/Collins. INTR-FIC C7523CR

As he tries to come to terms with his mother's death, Vernon finds solace in his growing relationship with the neighborhood outcasts, an alcoholic and her retarded son.

Lears, Laurie. (1998). Ian's walk : a story about autism. Morton Grove, IL : Albert Whitman. PRIM-FIC L4387I

A young girl realizes how much she cares for her autistic brother Ian when he gets lost at the park.

Gantos, Jack. (2000). Joey Pigza loses control. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux. INTR-FIC G2115JO

Joey, who is still taking medication to keep him from getting too wired, goes to spend the summer with the hard-drinking father he has never known and tries to help the baseball team he coaches win the championship.

Clifton, Lucille. (1980). My friend Jacob. New York : Dutton. PRIM-FIC C6395MYF

A young boy tells about Jacob, who, though older and mentally slower, helps him a lot and is his very best friend.

Byars, Betsy Cromer. (1970). The summer of the swans. New York : Viking Press. INTR-FIC B993SU

A teen-age girl gains new insight into herself and her family when her mentally retarded brother gets lost.

Mazer, Harry. (1998). The wild kid. New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC M476W

Twelve-year-old Sammy, who is mildly retarded, runs away from home and becomes a prisoner of Kevin, a wild kid living in the woods.

 

 

 

For more information, contact:
Martha Eberhart, Reference Librarian
Email: meberhar@d.umn.edu
Phone: 218-726-8733
Fax: 218-726-7481
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

< Back

Revised and updated 12/12

Kathryn A. Martin Library | 416 Library Drive | Duluth MN 55812-3001
Phone: 218-726-8102
©2014 University of Minnesota Duluth
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer
Last modified: May 15, 2014
Library Site Coordinator: Kathryn A. Martin Library  

University of Minnesota Campuses
Crookston | Duluth | Morris
Rochester | Twin Cities | Other Locations