New Realistic Fiction for Kids

All That's Missing by Sarah Sullivan

Reading Level Grades 4-6

11-year-old Arlo has lived with his only relative, his grandfather Poppo, since Arlo was two.   But in the last couple of years Poppo's mind has started slipping.  Arlo now takes care of his grandfather  making sure no one knows how bad Poppo is getting. 

On the night Poppo is found trapped in a dumpster, life as Arlo knows it disappears.  After one night in the children's home, Arlo knows he must escape.  Armed with $68 and courage he sets out on a journey to find his missing grandmother, the one he has just recently learned is alive.

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Books by Sarah Sullivan

Other stories of kids seeking family are:

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt and

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

33 Minutes by Todd Hasak-Lowy

Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8

...until Morgan Sturtz kicks my butt

Sam Lewis and Morgan Sturtz were best friends all through elementary school, but by seventh grade Sam is the brainy, nerdy, small kid while Morgan is is the popular football player who struggles in school.  Readers know something has happened to warrant the promised "butt kicking," but don't find out until later in the book. Hask-Lowy takes readers through a boring social studies class, a classic food fight, a fire drill and the cover "butt kicking." Sam is a smart, likeable narrator. "If you know someone was going to kick you someplace, would you not hope for that place to be your butt?"

There are so many books about the changing friendships among girls.  Here's one about boys that girls will enjoy, too.

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Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

Reading Level:  Grades 6 -9

Told in free verse, this is the story of Kasienka, who has just left her native Poland for a tenament in England.  Her mother was determined to follow her father who left the family two years before and hasn't been heard from since.  Kasienka is miserable in her new life.  At her middle school the popular girls bully her and at home her mother is determined to continue the exhausting, fruitless search for her father.  Only when she's swimming does Kasienka feel good and empowered.

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Also by Sarah Crossan

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