Achieving Dreams–Inspirational Teen Reads

Running DreamThe Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

YA VAN DRAANEN, W.

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.

StargirlStargirl by Jerry Spinelli

YA SPINELLI, J.
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.

CardturnerThe Cardturner by Lois Sachar

YA SACHAR, L.

When his wealthy uncle, a champion bridge player who has lost his vision, asks seventeen-year-old Alton to be a cardturner 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.

DairyQueenDairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

YA MURDOCK, C.

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.

deadlineDeadline by Chris Crutcher

YA CRUTCHER, C.

Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life’s purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as “Hey-Soos.”

CurveballCurveball: the Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

YA SONNENBLICK, J.

After an injury ends former star pitcher Peter Friedman’s athletic dreams, he concentrates on photography which leads him to a girlfriend, new fame as a high school sports photographer, and a deeper relationship with the beloved grandfather who, when he realizes he’s becoming senile, gives Pete all of his professional camera gear.

SharkGirlShark Girl by Kelly Bingham

YA BINGHAM, K.

After a shark attack causes the amputation of her right arm, fifteen-year-old Jane, an aspiring artist, struggles to come to terms with her loss and the changes it imposes on her day-to-day life and her plans for the future.

saywhatyouwillSay What You Will by Cammie McGovern

YA MCGOVERN, C.
Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized. When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

LockKeyLock and Key by Sarah Dessen

YA DESSEN, S.

When she is abandoned by her alcoholic mother, high school senior Ruby winds up living with Cora, the sister she has not seen for ten years, and learns about Cora’s new life, what makes a family, how to allow people to help her when she needs it, and that she too has something to offer others.

hatchetHatchet by Gary Paulsen

YA PAULSEN, G.

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.