Reading Level: Grades 7-9
The Ng family has a lot of status. Everyone in the family has at least one A or B level Talent (as rated by BERM - the Bureau of Extra-Sensory Regulation and Management.) Everyone except Natalie, the family disappointment. She has one D level Talent...she speaks and understands cat. Natalie does her best to keep classmates from learning of her embarrassing talent, only using it to talk to the family cat in the privacy of her bedroom.
And that's how things remain until the day her friends Oscar and Melly shows her a video of a celebrity blogger being attacked by her own cat. The cat is screaming, " Help me! Hellllpppme! Kill the imposter!"
Against her better judgement, Natalie allows her star-struck friends to drag her into a mystery that involves Chicago, a remake of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and one very cranky pink cat.
Books by Kimberly Pauley
Other humorous fantasy novels featuring harried heroines include:
Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby
Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough and
Devilish by Maureen Johnson
Other stories of humans who can talk to animals include:
What the Dog Said by Randi Reisfeld
The Exceptionals by Erin Cashman
The Boy Who Spoke Dog by Morgan Clay and
Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
Reading Level: Grades 6 - 9
Before the war life spans have been extended to up to 200 years. In order to ensure that the new extreme elderly could support themselves the government made it illegal for anyone under the age of 19 to hold a job. When the spore bombs were launched by the enemy during the war, only children and the elderly had been vaccinated against this man-made plague. As a result the only people left alive in the United States are the Starters (children under 19) and the Enders (adults over 65). Callie and her brother are among the unlucky children who had no living grandparents and are forced to live illegally on the street trying to avoid being swept up into one of the horrible forced labor camps for unclaimed minors. Then Callie hears about The Body Bank, where Enders pay huge fees to possess a Starter's body for a few hours or more via computer chips implanted in the Starter's brain. Callie thinks this is her way out. She only has to rent her body three times and then the big payoff will come. But can it really be that easy?
Reading Level: Grade 4-6
An unwanted orphan girl...an unhappy man...a forbidding estate...a secret...a neglected garden. Is this a description of Burnett's Sercet Garden? No, but it is a literary reflection of that beloved classic.
More books by Ellen Potter
Other tales of orphan girls include:
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Maggie & Oliver, or, A Bone of One's Own by Valerie Hobbs
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver and
Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
Reading Level: Grades 3 - 6
When Lily's mother realizes that the mothers in novels for children her daughter's age all die horrible deaths she becomes obsessed with avoiding that fate, especially since Lily has now been a main character in four Pals in Peril novels. Unfortunately in her desperate attempt to avoid anything that might endager her life, she throws herself quite literally right into the arms of zombies, ghosts and vampires. Can the Pals rescue her before it is too late and she becomes just another fictional mother statistic?
Reading Level: Grades 7+
Marcelo, a high school junior with a somewhat undefined precise location on the autism spectrum, is wildly looking forward to spending his summer working with the ponies at his school, Paterson. He will be the stable man for the school, and in the fall will be promoted to training the ponies to work with all types of disabled students. Marcelo is really looking forward to his summer and senior year at Paterson.
But his father, Arturo, has other plans. Arturo wants Marcelo to work at Arthuro's law firm, in the mail room - and Arturo wants Marcelo to switch to public school in the fall.
Marcelo is not given much choice about working at the law firm, but he is told that if he spends three summer months working at his father's law firm - in the "real world" - Arturo will let him choose whether to return to Paterson or continue at public school.
For Marcelo, three months in the "real world" sounds incredibly difficult as he does not know all the rules of living in that world. But working at the law firm is what Marcelo will have to do to ensure his return to Paterson, and so he accepts his father's offer.
As Marcelo's summer progresses, he begins to become more comfortable interacting with others, but when he uncovers a disturbing photograph relating to one of his father's big cases, Marcelo is unsure how to proceed.
Other books about teens on the autism spectrum:
Mindblind by Jennifer Roy
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon