If you liked . . .
the Alice books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor,
you might like these novels, too!
The Penderwicks: A Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and…
The Penderwicks On Gardam Street (AR 5.3)
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
One Whole and Perfect Day (AR 5.4)
Esme Raji Codell
Sahara Special (AR 4.2)
Waiting for Normal (AR 3.7)
Absolutely Normal Chaos (AR 4.7)
Chasing Redbird (AR 5.0)
Granny Torelli Makes Soup (AR 4.2)
Ruby Holler (AR 4.3)
Walk Two Moons (AR 4.9)
The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvellous (AR 4.5)
P.S. Longer Letter Later (AR 4.5)
Snail Mail No More (AR 5.1)
Oy, Joy! (AR 3.8)
For Now (AR 3.9)
The Isabel Factor (AR 4.2)
Janey’s Girl (AR 4.0)
Janey’s Girl by Gayle Friesen (Kids Can Press, 1998) is a gripping novel about Claire, a fourteen-year-old girl, who travels across Canada with her mom to visit her grandmother. Their trip unlocks secrets that Claire didn’t even know existed. She is faced with a dilemma: should she figure out the mysteries of her family’s past or should she just ignore them? Throughout the novel Claire discoveries both tragic and incredible things while she’s in the town where her mom grew up, the town where all the secrets started and where they have been hidden. This is a fantastic book and it’s very addicting. I definitely recommend it. (Anna in grade eight)
Losing Forever (AR 4.1)
I recently read an amazing book called Losing Forever by Gayle Friesen. The main character, Jes, who alternates between living in a city with her mother and at a lake front called Myra with her father, faces a dilemma: her mother is getting married to a new man. There are many complications. Her mother’s fiance’s perfect daughter moves into her bedroom. Her best friend would rather spend time with her boyfriend than with her. And she and her male best friend are starting to like each other in a whole new way, but Jes is to afraid to admit it in case it ruins their friendship. I can tell you that this is one of the most compelling novels that I have read in a long time. I would read this book over and over again. If you, too, like tragic books, this is the novel for you. (Melissa in grade eight)
Brutal (AR 3.8)
Sixteen-year-old Poe is sent to live with her father when her mother decides to work in South America for a year. Poe doesn’t know her father. He left when she was only a baby. And Poe doesn’t know how she will survive in a town where cliques rule the high school and bullying is ignored. But she is determined to fight back. Winner of numerous awards, this quick read will be appreciated by readers in grade 8 and up. [Dating (Social customs); California; Fathers and daughters; Schools; Mothers and daughters; Anger]
Olive’s Ocean (AR 4.7)
The Canning Season (AR 5.6)
The Corps of the Bare-boned Plane (AR 5.8)
My One Hundred Adventures (AR 5.0)
Alice, I Think (AR 6.3)
Anastasia Again! (AR 4.5)
Anastasia At Your Service (AR 4.3)
R. P. MacIntyre
Apart. (Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2007.)
Sixteen-year-old Jessica, desperate to find her father who has unexpectedly disappeared, puts an advertisement in the Globe and Mail newspaper. Seventeen-year-old Sween writes back and a friendship develops. Instead of finding her father, has she found someone else who will love her? [New Brunswick; Mothers and daughters; Letters; Family life; Friendship; Young adult fiction]
Drawing Lessons (AR 4.4)
Cassie Binegar (AR 4.3)
The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt (AR 5.7)
Ann M. Martin
A Corner of the Universe (AR 4.5)
The Higher Power of Lucky (AR 5.9)
Lynne Rae Perkins
Criss Cross (AR 5.5)
Missing May (AR 5.3)
Positively (AR 4.4)
Thirteen-year-old Emmy, grieving over her mother who died of AIDS, resentful of having to live with her father and pregnant stepmother, and despairing about her future, finds hope at a summer camp for HIV-positive girls like herself. Includes facts about Elizabeth Glaser, one of the founders of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. – CIP [HIV (Viruses); AIDS (Disease); Death; Stepfamilies; Camps; Friendship; Loneliness; Grief]
I Capture the Castle
Eggs (AR 3.6)
Love, Stargirl (AR 3.8)
Stargirl (AR 4.2)
Each Little Bird That Sings (AR 4.5)
Sheinmel, Courtney. My So-Called Family. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008.
Thirteen-year-old Leah doesn’t have a father. She has a mother, a half-brother, a stepfather and a donor. Determined to find out more about her past, Leah secretly contacts Lyon’s Reproductive Services and discovers she has more siblings and more courage than she had ever imagined. An easy-to-read novel, this story will appeal to readers eleven to fourteen years old who enjoy the Alice stories by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
Recently I read a great book called Something to Blog About by Shana Norris (Amulet Books, 2008). It is the story of a girl named Libby Fawcett who is faced with the everyday challenges of being a teen. And if that’s not frustrating enough, her worst enemy, Angel, lights her hair on fire in the front of Seth, the guy she likes. But when she finds out her mother is dating her worse enemy’s dad, she thinks nothing else can go right, so she starts an online blog in which she talks about her day-to-day challenges including a major conflict: Should she try to break up her mother’s relationship or let her mother by happy? At the end of the story, she chooses to let her mother date Angel’s father. But what would have happened if she made a different decision? (Melissa in grade eight)
Black Sheep by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout (Hyperion Books for Children, 2007) is the story of Kendra Bishop who has strict parents. Feeling unloved, she writes a letter to a T.V. producer, asking for the opportunity to switch places with another teen. When the show ends up picking her, Kendra wonders if she made the right choice. Before she can do anything, she is already flying to her new home in Monterey, California, for the next month. Her new family is unique and different from what she expected. Kendra faces many challenges such as trying to make a good impression and fighting with the producer who will do anything for high ratings. In this new family, Kendra only wants privacy and some space. As Kendra falls for their teenage boy, Mitch, things get a whole lot more complicated. And as the producer gets bossier by the day, Kendra begins to wonder if her own family back home isn’t so bad after all. (Megan in grade eight)
Hi Ms Rosen,
The Alice series was so funny. It really got me thinking about Alice and her decisions. The ups and down she faces are so realistic and could happen to any girl anywhere. I really like teen novels like these and was hoping you could recommend some others like these.
If you could, that would be great!
[For a novel about a teenager who is moody and self-centered, read Alice, I Think by Susan Juby.
For novels about teenagers who are facing problems with parents and friends, read the novels by Gayle Friesen, especially The Isabel Factor, Janey’s Girl and For Now.
For novels about girls who are beginning to think about dating, try these novels:
Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins
The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt by Patrica MacLachlan
For novels about teenagers who are trying to understand the complications of growing up, read these novels:
My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath
Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer ]
The main character in Ten Ways to Make My Sister Disappear
by Norma Fox Mazer was 10-year-old Sprig who went through many different events which affected her in many different ways. I’ll tell you about three of the events.
The very first one was when Sprig and her family took her father to the airport. He was an architect/engineer specializing in public buildings and usually away from home only for a day or two, but not this time. This time he had to do a job in Afghanistan! Sprig was worried and upset. She cried every night when she talked to him on the telephone.
The second important event was when Sprig saved the life of Ms. Ruthie, her elderly neighbour. Sprig was surprised, when she went to visit, to see her in her house coat and hair rollers.She went inside the house but knew right away that something was wrong. Ms. Ruthie was freezing cold and feeling dizzy. When Sprig suggested calling a doctor, Ms. Ruthie said, “ No I’m just fine, just a little bit of a cold.” But she wobbled as she went back to her bed. Sprig tidied up the house but after a while, she got worried and phoned 9-1-1. It turned out that Ms. Ruthie was having a stroke! Sprig was on the news and Ms. Ruthie told everyone how she was her hero. Everyone was very proud of her. but Sprig didn’t feel proud of herself. She thought she had waited too long to phone 9-1-1.
The last, but not least important, event in the book was when Sprig and her older sister Dakota went to Russell’s party. Russell kissed her two cheeks and those kisses were like those French kisses. Sprig wasn’t sure what they meant. Sprig also saw Bliss, her ex-best friend, at this party. They’d had a fight and Sprig wanted to make things better, so she apologized with chocolate kisses and made everything better between them. But then she found Dakota crying under the kitchen table. Dakota never cried! When Sprig asked what was wrong, Dakota didn’t want to tell her. Sprig walked out but then went back, crawled under the table and wrapped her arms around her sister. After a while, Dakota told Sprig about the problem and the two girls went home.
Sprig had to go though some pretty difficult events, but she coped very well. In a way, she sort of reminds me of my nine-year-old sister, and Dakota reminds me of myself. That’s probably one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much. (Lauren in grade eight)