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)
The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian
by Sherman Alexie (2008)
Go ask Alice
by Anonymous (1971)

Inventing Elliot
by Graham Gardner (2003)

The simple gift
by Steven Herrick (2000)

The outsiders
by S.E. Hinton (1967)
First book in the Outsiders series

A monster calls
by Patrick Ness (2011)

Eleanor and Park
by Rainbow Rowell (2012)

Feather boy
by Nicky Singer (2002)

   Simon vs the homo sapiens agenda
by Becky Albertalli (2015)
First book in the Simon series

Thirteen reasons why
by Jay Asher (2007)

I am not Esther
by Fleur Beale (1998)
The perks of being a wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky (1999)

See you in the cosmos
by Jack Cheng (2017)

The chocolate war
by Robert Cormier (1974)
First book in The chocolate war series

by Sarah Crossan (2017)

by Sarah Crossan (2015)
Deadly, unna?
by Phillip Gwynne (1998)
First book in the Deadly, unna? series
A place like this
by Steven Herrick (1998)

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

by Erin Lange (2012)

Letters from the inside
by John Marsden (1991)

One of us is lying
by Karen M. McManus (2017)

by Walter Dean Myers (1999)

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl
by Joyce Carol Oates (2002)
A child called "It"
by Dave Pelzer (1995)
First book in the A child called "It" series

Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the  universe
by Benjamin Alire Saenz (2012)

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

Stone cold
by Robert Swindells (1993)
Refugee boy
by Benjamin Zephaniah (2001)

by Colin Bowles (2001)
Killing God
by Kevin Brooks (2009)
Martyn Pig
by Kevin Brooks (2002)
by Michael Coleman (1998)

by Jennifer Donnelly (2010)

Winter town
by Stephen Emond (2011)

The Fearful
by Keith Gray (2005)
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
by Siobhan Parkinson (2011)
The ant colony
by Jenny Valentine (2009)

The double life of Cassiel Roadnight
by Jenny Valentine (2010)
The scarecrows
by Robert Westall (1981)