Realistic Fiction

In a Heartbeat

Author: 
Loretta Ellsworth

Reading Level: Grades 6+

Eagan has been figure-skating practically since she could walk, and she's good. Really good. It's just not feasible that she could ever hurt herself while skating. But she does. Coming down from a triple axel, Eagan lands too close to the boards, smacking her head.

Amelia has lived the past few years of her life quietly, without moving much or making too much of a fuss about anything. Amelia has a heart defect, and needs a transplant. One morning, she gets a phone call. The hospital has a heart for her.

Eagan's heart.

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Calli Be Gold

Author: 
Michele Weber Hurwitz

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

Quiet Calli Gold feels out of place in her family of achievers. Her older brother Alex is the star of his school's basketball team. Her older sister Becca is an ice skater. The family calender is loaded with post-it notes, blue for Alex's games and practices, pink for Becca. Calli's color is yellow. There only two yellow post-its up for the whole month, appointments for the dentist and a haircut.

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Sassy: Little Sister is Not My Name!

Author: 
Sharon M. Draper

Reading Level: Grades 2-4

Sassy Simone Sanford feels invisible in her family. Her older brother, sister and her parents call her "Little Sister." Sassy hates that nickname. It sounds like she's a baby. Sassy is anything but a baby. She's a bubbly kid with a quirky fashion sense. Her friends appreciate her, she just needs her family to see her for who she is.

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Dogtag Summer

Author: 
Elizabeth Partridge

Reading Level: Grades 5-7

11-year-old Tracy has been in America for six years. She doesn't remember much about her years in Vietnam. Not until she and her friend Stargazer discover her father's old ammo box in the garage. Stargazer breaks off the lock and opens the box. Her father finds them just as they pull out the military dogtag. His cold, hard anger sends Stargazer running for home.

During that steamy summer of 1980, powerful memories come back to haunt both Tracy and her father, memories that may force them apart forever.

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Blank Confession

Author: 
Pete Hautman

Reading Level: Grades 8-10

If the kid had just waited five minutes Detective George Rawls wouldn't have caught the case. He was on his way out when he was told that a kid had just walked through the door and confessed to murder.  Small, slight 16-year-old Shayne Blank isn't like any killer the detective has ever encountered.

Switching between the stark interview room and the memories of Shayne's friend Mikey, the author pulls the reader into a tantalizing mystery that is almost impossible to put down.

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The Summer Before Boys

Author: 
Nora Raleigh Baskin

Reading Level: Grades 4-7

Julia and Eliza are best friends. They are also family. Even though they are the same age, Julia is Eliza's aunt. Of course, Eliza doesn't call her best friend "Aunt Julia" but still...they are more tied together in ways most friends are. That was never a problem...until the summer they turned twelve

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The Romeo and Juliet Code

Author: 
Phoebe Stone

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

Because of Hitler's unrelenting bombing of London, many families chose to move their children away from the city. When her parents decide to bring 11-year-old Felicity across the ocean to live with her father's extended family in Maine, Felicity finds herself thrust into the middle of a dark family secret.

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Small as an Elephant

Author: 
Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Reading Level: Grades 3 - 6

Jack and his mother go camping in Maine over Labor Day weekend, but when Jack wakes up on their first morning, his mother is gone, along with her tent and the car. Jack's mother has done this before, so he's worried... but knows she'll come back eventually. But the end of the weekend looms closer, and Jack's food money has long since run out.  

Jack knows that if he tells anyone his mother has disappeared again, he'll be taken away from her, so he starts heading home, alone.  

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