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)

Inventing Elliot
by Graham Gardner (2003)

Silent to the bone
by E.L. Konigsburg (2000)

A monster calls
by Patrick Ness (2011)

Feather boy
by Nicky Singer (2002)

Becoming Joe DiMaggio
by Maria Testa (2002)

Don't call me Ishmael!
by Michael Gerard Bauer (2006)
First book in the Ishmael series

I am not Esther
by Fleur Beale (1998)

My life with the liars
by Caela Carter (2016)

See you in the cosmos
by Jack Cheng (2017)

The wanderer
by Sharon Creech (2000)

by Sarah Crossan (2015)
The heaven shop
by Deborah Ellis (2004)

Spilled water
by Sally Grindley (2004)

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

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)

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

Finding Violet Park
by Jenny Valentine (2007)

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

That dolphin thing
by Ian Bone (2001)
Augustine's lunch
by Laura Budd (2001)
The goats
by Brock Cole (1987)
by Michael Coleman (1998)
From your friend, Louis Deane
by Garry Disher (2000)
The whole business about Kiffo and the Pitbull
by Barry Jonsberg (2004)
First book in the Whole business about Kiffo and the Pitbull series

by James Moloney (1993)
First book in the Gracey series
The double life of Cassiel Roadnight
by Jenny Valentine (2010)
The scarecrows
by Robert Westall (1981)