Realistic Fiction for Teen Readers

Looking for a good read that deals with real world problems?  Check out this list below for some excellent realistic fiction novels for teen readers!

The Impossible Knife of Memorythe impossible knife of memory book cover by Laurie Halse Anderson

YA ANDERSON, L.

Hayley Kincaid and her father move back to their hometown to try a “normal” life, but the horrors he saw in the war threaten to destroy their lives.

Eleanor and Park book cover by Rainbow Rowell

YA ROWELL, R.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Thirteen Reasons Why13 Reasons Why book cover by Jay Asher

YA ASHER, J.

When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

the fault in our stars book cover by John Green

YA GREEN, J.

Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.

absolutelytruestoryThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

YA ALEXIE, S.

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

monsterMonster by Walter Dean Myers

YA MYERS, W.

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

okay for now book cover by Gary D. Schmidt

YA SCHMIDT, G.

As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him until he finds an ally in Lil Spicer–a fiery young lady. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.

AskPassengersAsk the Passengers by A.S. King

YA KING, A.

Imagining that she is sending love to passengers in airplanes flying overhead, Astrid Jones, a teen from a small town torn by gossip and narrow-mindedness, struggles with her family’s dysfunction and hides her love for another girl.

The Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Perks of Being a Wallflower book cover by Stephen Chbosky

YA CHBOSKY, S.

A coming of age novel about Charlie, a freshman in high school who is a wallflower, shy and introspective, and very intelligent. He deals with the usual teen problems, but also with the suicide of his best friend.

HateListHate List by Jennifer Brown

YA BROWN, J.

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.

TruthAbtForeverThe Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

YA DESSEN, S.

The summer following her father’s death, Macy plans to work at the library and wait for her brainy boyfriend to return from camp, but instead she goes to work at a catering business where she makes new friends and finally faces her grief.

LoveLettersDeadLove Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

YA DELLAIRA, A.

When Laurel starts writing letters to dead people for a school assignment, she begins to spill about her sister’s mysterious death, her mother’s departure from the family, her new friends, and her first love.

WhatWeSawAtNightWhat We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard

YA MITCHARD, J.

After glimpsing an older man in a room with a dead girl, sixteen-year-old Allie, who has a life-threatening allergy to sunlight, discovers she is the lone key to stopping a serial killer.

Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer

YA MAZER, H.

Wounded in Iraq while his Army unit is on convoy and treated for many months for traumatic brain injury, the first person Ben remembers from his earlier life is his autistic brother.

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

YA REYNOLDS, J.

Ali lives in Bed-Stuy, a Brooklyn neighborhood known for guns and drugs, but he and his sister, Jazz, and their neighbors, Needles and Noodles, stay out of trouble until they go to the wrong party, where one gets badly hurt and another leaves with a target on his back.

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Gripcurveball the year I lost my grip book cover 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.

Swim the FlySwim the Fly book cover by Don Calame

YA CALAME, D.

Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year’s goal is to see a real-live naked girl for the first time. Given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask a girl out on a date this is quite a challenge. But catching a girl in the buff starts to look easy compared to Matt’s other summertime aspiration: to swim the 100-yard butterfly as a way to impress Kelly West, the sizzling new star of the swim team.

Wingerwinger book cover by Andrew Smith

YA SMITH, A.

Two years younger than his classmates at a prestigious boarding school, fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West grapples with living in the dorm for troublemakers, falling for his female best friend who thinks of him as just a kid, and playing wing on the Varsity rugby team with some of his frightening new dorm-mates.

jkt_9780545334747.inddTake a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

YA EULBERG, E.

Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts high school in New York City, preparing for the senior recital and feeling the pressure to perform well and take the next step in their careers and their lives–whether they want to or not.

13 Little Blue Envelopes13 Little Blue Envelopes book cover by Maureen Johnson

YA JOHNSON, M.

When seventeen-year-old Ginny receives a packet of mysterious envelopes from her favorite aunt, she leaves New Jersey to criss-cross Europe on a sort of scavenger hunt that transforms her life.