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)

Are you there God, it's me Margaret?
by Judy Blume (1970)

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

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

by Anne Fine (1989)

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)

Girl, missing
by Sophie McKenzie (2006)
First book in the Girl, missing series
by Gary Paulsen (1989)
First book in the Hatchet series

Feather boy
by Nicky Singer (2002)

Becoming Joe DiMaggio
by Maria Testa (2002)

by Cynthia Voigt (1981)
First book in the Tillerman family series

Lola Rose
by Jacqueline Wilson (2003)

The illustrated mum
by Jacqueline Wilson (1999)

Vicky angel
by Jacqueline Wilson (2000)

by Cesca Adey (2005)

I am not Esther
by Fleur Beale (1998)

The thing about jellyfish
by Ali Benjamin (2015)
Being Bindy
by Alyssa Brugman (2004)

My life with the liars
by Caela Carter (2016)
by Cathy Cassidy (2004)

by Cathy Cassidy (2006)

The chicken dance
by Jacques Couvillon (2007)

The wanderer
by Sharon Creech (2000)

Apple and Rain
by Sarah Crossan (2014)

The weight of water
by Sarah Crossan (2012)
Zelah Green
by Vanessa Curtis (2009)
First book in the Zelah Green series

Out of my mind
by Sharon M. Draper (2010)
The heaven shop
by Deborah Ellis (2004)
The skin I'm in
by Sharon G. Flake (1998)

by Natasha Friend (2004)

The other side of Summer
by Emily Gale (2016)

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)
Paradise end
by Elizabeth Laird (2004)

Red sky in the morning
by Elizabeth Laird (1988)
Saffy's angel
by Hilary McKay (2001)
First book in the Casson family series
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)

When you reach me
by Rebecca Stead (2009)

by Maya Van Wagenen (2014)

Dandelion clocks
by Rebecca Westcott (2014)

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

Being Miss Nobody
by Tamsin Winter (2017)
Lockie Leonard, human torpedo
by Tim Winton (1990)
First book in the Lockie Leonard series

   The happiness quest
by Richard Yaxley (2018)
Refugee boy
by Benjamin Zephaniah (2001)

The life and times of Gracie Faltrain
by Cath Crowley (2004)
First book in the Life and times of Gracie Faltrain series

The secret language of girls
by Frances O'Roark Dowell (2004)
First book in the Secret language of girls series

Misery guts
by Morris Gleitzman (1991)
First book in the Misery guts series
Olive's ocean
by Kevin Henkes (2003)
Sprite Downberry
by Nette Hilton (2008)
A summer to die
by Lois Lowry (1977)
The girl in the attic
by Valerie Mendes (2002)
A term in year seven
by Anna Pershall & Mary K. Pershall (2005)
Second book in the Two weeks in grade six series
Can be read & loved without having read any previous books in this series
My big birkett
by Lisa Shanahan (2006)
Loving Richard Feynman
by Penny Tangey (2009)