Youth Fiction Grades 7 and up

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The Arrival by Shaun Tan

  • In this wordless graphic novel, a man leaves his homeland and sets off for a new country, where he must build a new life for himself and his family. The magic is in the way the art creates a world that is as alien for the reader as it is for the man in the book, so that we feel what it's like to arrive in a world we don't understand. (01/08)

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

  • “When a twelve-year-old evil genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology, and a particularly nasty troll”. Enjoyed by grade 6-7 students being tutored for reading skills and comprehension. Another title enjoyed by a tutoring student, this one with Asperger’s Syndrome, was Harry Potter.

Astro City by

  • In this city a number of superheroes mingle among the regular folk. This series of comics compiled into a book will appeal to many adolescent readers who will find this series engagingly written and drawn.(10/07)

Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White

  • When Woodrow's mother suddenly disappears, he moves to his grandparents' home in a small Virginia town where he befriends his cousin and together they find the strength to face the terrible losses and fears in their lives. Strong characterization and setting, and a mystery that creates engagement and drives character development. (03/07)

Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

  • A graphic novel that draws on Sleeping Beauty and Chaucer to create a feminist, humourous nouveaux fairy tale accessible for junior high students but with layers that make it suitable for high school and adult readers.(10/07)

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

  • Unlike his comics, this novel by Neil Gaiman is suitable for grade six + and makes for a pleasantly creepy read. Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own.

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede

  • Bored with traditional palace life and to escape from an unwanted marriage, a princess goes off to live with a kindly dragon and rejects all attempts to be saved by princes. Great fun for girls grades 5-9.

The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer

  • An intriguing look into a possible future set in Zimbabwe in 2194, where three children are kidnapped and put to work in a plastic mine. Reads like an adventure story. Also recommended is Farmer’s book The House of the Scorpion, set in a future opium-growing country between Mexico and the United States, where clones provide the labour. Junior/senior high. (12/05)

Fire, Bed and Bone by Henrietta Branford

  • A unique historical novel of 13th century England and the Peasants Revolt, told from a dog’s perspective. Upper elementary/Junior high.

Garbage King by Elizabeth Laird

  • In contemporary Ethiopia, a homeless boy escapes from a farmer who has enslaved him and meets another runaway: a rich boy escaping his father’s unreasonable expectations.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

  • This is the first volume of the His Dark Materials Trilogy, a complex fascinating fantasy series that takes place on an alternate earth, in a time that seems similar to the late 19th century. Here science and magic vie for power in a story that's at once an adventure, and a exploration into philosophy and scientific inquiry. The science that is subtly embedded is revealed in the book The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materialsby Mary Gribbin. (02/07)

Go and Come Back by Joan Abelove

  • Cultural misunderstanding works both ways, as a young girl in the Amazon observes the peculiar habits of two young American female anthropologists who have come to live with her tribe. Probably most suitable for junior high. (12/05)

Holes by Louis Sachar

  • This is a great novel about a boy under a family curse, a pair of stolen baseball runners and a detention centre for boys in a dry Texas desert (once the largest lake in Texas), where the boys dig holes all day long. The hero, Stanley Yelnats, soon realizes that they aren't just digging holes for pure pleasure - the warden wants something buried long ago in the desert. Stanley embarks on a series of adventures to rescue another in-mate, and in doing so, discovers friendship and self-worth - along with breaking the age-old curse on his family. Intended for Grades 7 - 9, but strong younger readers will enjoy it too.

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Bates

  • When Lord Death comes to claim sixteen-year-old Keturah while she is lost in the King's Forest, she spins a story (like Scheherade) and is granted a twenty-four hour reprieve in which to find her one true love. Written by an award-winning Alberta author and nominated for the 2006 National Book Award in the States.(11/06)

Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes (not in Doucette though we have many other titles by Hughes)

  • In a futuristic world with high unemployment, ten graduates of the class of 2154 are assigned to unemployment and ostracism. Then they learn about a secretive contest that promises to raise their status should they win, but they discover that "The Game" is really a government plot to colonize other planets with the youth of their world. Might be interesting to compare to The Giver and Ender's Game. Suggested for junior high along with Keeper of the Isis Light,Guardian of Isis and Isis Pedlar by the same author. (05/12)(01/07)

In Spite of Killer Bees by Julie Johnston

  • When 14-year-old Aggie and her two older, constantly quarreling sisters inherit a broken-down mansion from their estranged grandfather, meeting the seemingly unsurmoutable conditions of his will requires that the girls learn what family really means and how to balance dreams and reality. Aggie is a thoroughly believable and appealling character, independent-minded, creative and hopeful, and Johnston's writing demonstrates that she's one of Canada's very best young adult authors. (12/06)

Isbael Factor by Gayle Friesen

  • Friendship from the perspective of the girl who's not the 'leader' in the friendship. Fifteen-year-old Anna is looking forward to spending the summer at camp with her friend Zoe as Counselors-in-Training, until Zoe breaks her arm and Anna must go alone and learn to be herself.(10/07)

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

  • A Newbery award winning classic novel of a young native girl surviving alone for eighteen years on an island off the California coast. Has been criticized as an inaccurate portrayal of native attitudes toward animals but still a powerful survival story. Upper elementary/junior high. (12/05)

Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond

  • A tremendously atmospheric and gripping novel, set in a former mining community. Kit and his friends take part in a game of "Death," in which the chosen one remains alone in the darkness of an old mine, to join spirits with boys killed in a coal mine accident in 1821.

Lesia's Dream by Laura Langston

  • In 1914 Lesia and her family flee the Ukraine and immigrate to Canada dreaming of a life free from hunger and poverty and rumors of war. However, the family's fortune goes from bad to worse when World War I breaks out, and Lesia's brother and father are interned as "enemy aliens". Fits in nicely with the grade 7 Social Studies curriculum.

The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan

  • A picture book better suited for use with older children and teens. As one reviewer said it “asks important questions: What does it mean to see things differently? What is important to notice? The lost thing suggests that what cannot be fit neatly into a box has great potential to wake us (if we pay attention) and help us see the world anew.”

The Magic Circle by Donna Jo Napoli

  • Told from the perspective of the witch, this story provides a completely different look at the fairytale story of Hansel and Gretel. After learning sorcery to become a healer, a good-hearted woman is turned into a witch by evil spirits whose power she fights until her encounter with Hansel and Gretel. An absorbing tale that also incorporates details about medieval religious beliefs and views on witchcraft. (10/07)

Maniac Magee: A Novel by Jerry Spinelli

  • Fondly remembered by one student from her own school years – uses humour and sports to expose racism. Upper elementary/junior high. (12/05)

Meridian: Flying Solo

  • The first of a series of high-quality graphic novels about the loved only child of the Minister of Meridian, who grows up with an entire floating city as her playground. But when her father dies,she ends up in a power struggle with her wicked uncle. Strong female heroine and the first of four books in the series.

Spindle's End by Robin McKinley

  • A fresh retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty in which the protagonist is made into a fully developed character: a flesh-and-blood girl who's been spirited away from the castle in infancy for her own protection and has grown into a strongminded young woman apprenticed to the local blacksmith. But what will happen as her 21st birthday approaches? Find out the twist McKinley provides, and if you like retold fairytales, look also for the works of Donna Jo Napoli.(10/07)

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

  • In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever. Raises issues around identity, originality and bullying.(10/07)

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan

  • Having been kicked out of every school, Jake ends up at the chaotic, creative home school of the Applewhites where he discovers his talents. Upper elementary/junior high. (12/05)

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

  • Touching and emotional. Well written. For junior/senior high. And if you want a real tear-jerker, try Creech’s Love That Dog , a novel written in poetry - about writing poetry. (12/05)

Whale Rider by Niti Tame Ihimaera

  • Empowering for young girls. A young Maori girl fights to have her talents recognized in her patriarchal society. (12/05)

Non-fiction Grades K-3 Fiction K-3 (Picture Books)
Non-fiction Grades 4-6 plus Fiction K-3 (Chapter Books)
Youth Non-fiction Grades 7 and up Fiction Grades 4-6
Poetry/Novels in Poetry Youth Fiction Grades 7 and up
Suitable for All Grades Young Adult Grades 10 - 12
Books suitable for French Immersion Students
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