No empire-line dresses, no three-headed aliens, no
smug vampires, no goblins, and no talking rabbits.
characters making tough decisions about life right now.

The crossover
by Kwame Alexander (2014)

by Roald Dahl (1984)
First book in his autobiographical series

by Deborah Ellis (2000)
First book in the Breadwinner series

Joey Pigza swallowed the key
by Jack Gantos (1998)
First book in the Joey Pigza series

Two weeks with the queen
by Morris Gleitzman (1989)

by Robert Hoge (2015)

by Gary Paulsen (1989)
First book in the Hatchet series

Feather boy
by Nicky Singer (2002)

Becoming Joe DiMaggio
by Maria Testa (2002)


I am not Esther
by Fleur Beale (1998)

My life with the liars
by Caela Carter (2016)

The chicken dance
by Jacques Couvillon (2007)

The wanderer
by Sharon Creech (2000)

Out of my mind
by Sharon M. Draper (2010)
The heaven shop
by Deborah Ellis (2004)

by Alex Gino (2015)

When friendship followed me home
by Paul Griffin (2016)

Spilled water
by Sally Grindley (2004)

A song only I can hear
by Barry Jonsberg (2018)

My life as an alphabet
by Barry Jonsberg (2013)

See you at Harry's
by Jo Knowles (2012)
by Andy Mulligan (2010)
by R.J. Palacio (2012)
My sister lives on the mantlepiece
by Annabel Pitcher (2011)

The dogs of winter
by Bobbie Pyron (2012)

by Kim Slater (2014)

Drums, girls, and dangerous pie
by Jordan Sonnenblick (2004)

One crazy summer
by Rita Williams-Garcia (2010)
First book in the One crazy summer series

Lockie Leonard, human torpedo
by Tim Winton (1990)
First book in the Lockie Leonard series
Refugee boy
by Benjamin Zephaniah (2001)

Misery guts
by Morris Gleitzman (1991)
First book in the Misery guts series
The scarecrows
by Robert Westall (1981)