Realistic Fiction

 

Sometimes we just want to read about what's familiar or what's possible. Here are some suggestions for books that feature a high level of realism. You won't find many dragons or wizards or outer space adventures here, but you will find stories about things that really could happen. Books are suggested for First Grade, but since every Reader is different, you might find something interesting at another level. For more suggestions, you can always ask a librarian.

And two boys booed by Judith Viorst

On the day of the talent show, a boy is ready to sing his song, and he isn't one bit scared because he has practiced a billion times, plus he's wearing his lucky blue boots and his pants with all ten pockets. But as all of the other kids perform before him, he gets more and more nervous. 

Barkus by Patricia MacLachlan
Also available in: e-book

Barkus is a large and very smart dog who comes to live with seven-year-old Nicky when Nicky's Uncle Everton goes traveling--and soon he is a family and school favorite.

For more Barkus, check out Dog Dreams.

Dan versus nature by Don Calame
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Boys don't knit (in public) by Tom (Children's fiction writer) Easton

Enjoyed Holes by Louis Sachar? Then try one of these:

Dead end in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

Three times lucky by Sheila Turnage

Washed ashore as a baby in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo LoBeau, now eleven, and her best friend Dale turn detective when the amnesiac Colonel, owner of a café and co-parent of Mo with his cook, Miss Lana, seems implicated in a murder.

Teen Fiction

Far from the tree by Robin Benway

Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovers that she is the middle child in her biological family after she gives up her own child for adoption, and she struggles to bond with her stoic older brother and outspoken younger sister.

Poetry

“The benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them.”  –A. Bashivi, M. D. Slade, B. R. Levy. (Social Science & Medicine. Vol 164. Sept, 2016)

 Jeremy Black offers a historian's interpretation from the perspective of the late 2010s, assessing James Bond in terms of the greatly changing world order of the Bond years--a lifetime that stretches from 1953, when the first novel appeared, to the present. Black argues that the Bond novels--the Fleming books as well as the often-neglected novels authored by others after Fleming died in 1964--and films drew on current fears in order to reduce the implausibility of the villains and their villainy.  Class, place, gender, violence, sex, race--all are themes that Black scrutinizes through the ongoing shifts in characterization and plot. His well-informed and well-argued analysis provides a fascinating history of the enduring and evolving appeal of James Bond.

Also available in: e-book

"In An Extraordinary Time, acclaimed economic historian Marc Levinson recounts the global collapse of the postwar economy in the 1970s. While economists struggle to return us to the high economic growth rates of the past, Levinson counterintuitively argues that the boom years of the 1950s and 1960s were an anomaly; slow economic growth is the norm-no matter what economists and politicians may say. Yet these atypical years left the public with unreasonable expectations of what government can achieve. When the economy failed to revive, suspicion of government and liberal institutions rose sharply, laying the groundwork for the political and economic polarization that we're still grappling with today. A sweeping reappraisal of the last sixty years of world history, An Extraordinary Time describes how the postwar economic boom dissipated, undermining faith in government, destabilizing the global financial system, and forcing us to come to terms with how tumultuous our economy really is"--.

Did you enjoy Sealed With a Secret by Lisa Schroeder? You might like one of these:

Macarons at midnight by Suzanne Nelson

When Lise meets a boy at a bakery's midnight taste test, she becomes determined to find him again, but when they reconnect, he is not at all what she expected.

Switched at birthday by Natalie Standiford

Lavender sees herself as the miserable but tough outsider at school, while Scarlet knows she is talented and popular, but insecure on the inside--then, on their mutual thirteenth birthday, they wake up in each other's bodies and are forced to learn what it means to walk in someone else's shoes.

Enjoy John Green's books? Then, try one of these:

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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.

Every day by David Levithan

Every morning A wakes in a different person's body, in a different person's life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.

If you enjoyed The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian  by Sherman Alexie, you might like one of these:

Seventh-grader Lewis "Shoe" Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and whites--and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.

Ball don't lie by Matt de la Peña

Seventeen-year-old Sticky lives to play basketball at school and at Lincoln Rec Center in Los Angeles and is headed for the pros, but he is unaware of the many dangers-- including his own past-- that threaten his dream.

Maybe you want to read Sisters. Or maybe you love her work on The Baby-Sitters Club. Maybe you have no idea who Raina Telgemeier is, but you want a bright and fun graphic novel, and the ones your friends talk about are always checked out. Here is a list of Telgemeier's books (including alternative formats to check out), the popular titles that are just like Telgemeier, and some other suggestions for when those aren't available. Good luck, and happy reading.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Also available in: e-book

From sixth grade through tenth, Raina copes with a variety of dental problems that affect her appearance and how she feels about herself.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Also available in: e-book

Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.

A successful, retired businesswoman decides to write her own obituary with the help of a young journalist..

Corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers have nothing in common, except they both have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses. While sharing a hospital room together, they decide to make a Bucket List of all the things they have ever wanted to do before they die. In the process of completing the list, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find the joy in life.

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