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)

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

Dustbin baby
by Jacqueline Wilson (2001)

Lola Rose
by Jacqueline Wilson (2003)

Rules of the road
by Joan Bauer (2000)
First book in the Rules of the road series
Don't call me Ishmael!
by Michael Gerard Bauer (2006)
First book in the Ishmael series

I am not Esther
by Fleur Beale (1998)

The thing about jellyfish
by Ali Benjamin (2015)

Shark girl
by Kelly Bingham (2007)
First book in the Shark girl series
Tiger eyes
by Judy Blume (1981)
Walking naked
by Alyssa Brugman (2002)

My life with the liars
by Caela Carter (2016)

See you in the cosmos
by Jack Cheng (2017)

The wanderer
by Sharon Creech (2000)

Apple and Rain
by Sarah Crossan (2014)

by Sarah Crossan (2015)

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

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 Catherine MacPhail (2000)

So much to tell you
by John Marsden (1987)
First book in the So much to tell you series
by Patricia McCormick (2000)

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)

by Maya Van Wagenen (2014)

Keep your hair on
by Elizabeth Vercoe (2003)

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)

That dolphin thing
by Ian Bone (2001)
The goats
by Brock Cole (1987)
The life and times of Gracie Faltrain
by Cath Crowley (2004)
First book in the Life and times of Gracie Faltrain series
The taming of Lilah May
by Vanessa Curtis (2011)
First book in the Lilah May series
From your friend, Louis Deane
by Garry Disher (2000)
A summer to die
by Lois Lowry (1977)
Girl in the attic
by Valerie Mendes (2002)
Feeling sorry for Celia
by Jaclyn Moriarty (2000)
First book in the Ashbury/Brookfield series
Loving Richard Feynman
by Penny Tangey (2009)