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Ten Realistic Fiction Novels

September 18, 2009

I’ve got a heavy reading load this semester, so I think what I’m going to do for a little while is post some lists of books in various genres. I don’t want to call them Top Ten lists or Best of, because then I’ll end up agonizing over what to choose and nothing will get done. So here are ten realistic fiction books that I enjoyed. Feel free to comment with your own suggestions!

1. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart – A unique and fun story about a girl who is determined to show her boyfriend and his friends that she is at least as smart and capable as they are. Empowering and clever.

2. Someday this Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron – The very real, funny and honest voice of James, the main character, turns this simple story into a fascinating tale of a boy struggling to relate to the world around him. Read my review here.

3. The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty – Best friends Lydia, Emily and Cassie are forced to take part in a pen pal assignment with a neighboring school and the result is a story full of pranks and adventures, mystery, humor and romance. Told mostly through letters and journal entries.

4. The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman – A boy named Antsy befriends Calvin Schwa, who is mostly unnoticed, almost invisible to those around him, and through their adventures Antsy learns to find his own way of being seen. Funny and poignant.

5. Forever Rose by Hilary McKay – In the fifth and final of McKay’s books about the quirky and loveable Casson family, Rose struggles to solve the family’s problems and bring everyone together for Christmas. It’s a lot more interesting than that summary sounds, I promise.

6. Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman – A fun and fast-paced story about the son of a mob boss who falls for the daughter of an FBI agent.

7. Teen Idol by Meg Cabot – When teen heartthrob Luke Striker comes to her town to research a part, Jenny is assigned to show him around and of course, chaos ensues. Predictable but cute and an enjoyable, quick read.

8. So Yesterday by Scott Westerfield – A satirical story about the development of fads that is chock full of random, interesting pieces of trivia and features a largely nonsensical but highly entertaining plot.

9. Dancing on the Edge by Han Nolan – This one is more serious, but utterly bizzare – Miracle’s mother died before she was born and after the disappearance of her father, Miracle struggles to prove to herself that she is real and alive. For the first half of the book, I didn’t really get it, but it all starts to make more sense in the second half, as Miracle becomes a little more grounded in reality.

10. Armaggedon Summer by Bruce Coville and Jane Yolen – The story of two teens whose parents are followers of a preacher who believes that the end of the world is approaching and that a select group of people will be saved if they gathered on a particular mountain when the time comes. Jed and Marina aren’t sure what they believe, but they find themselves dragged along for the ride anyway.

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