Real life books
This section covers a huge range of material. It covers children behaving badly, bullying etc, or quite ordinary children caught up in real events which are too big to handle.
Fly Me Home by Polly Ho-Yen
Far from home, in a strange and uncomfortable new country, Leelu finds a little bit of magic to help her settle in with her family and new friends.
What not to do if you turn Invisible by Ross Welford
Feeling a bit invisible? Acne and loss of confidence? Well you could try doing what Ethel Leatherhead does. But it won't help.
The Children of Castle Rock by Natasha Farrant
Boarding school Great Orienteering Challenge offers multiple opportunities to argue, fall out and make friends...work as a team, earn a magnificent Finder’s Fee for a stolen artwork, and save the school from closure.
Contagion by Teri Terry
Missing person hunt bumps into much bigger, sinister, deadly epidemic, end-of-the-world scenario. Seriously disturbing.
The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
Courage, resourcefulness and teamwork...yes obviously, required to survive in the Amazon jungle. But also a sense of passing wonder at the beauty of it all.
Gone Wild by Robert Muchamore
Reality TV teenage stars grow up in the spotlight. Antics and anguish.
The Recruit by Robert Muchamore
Child intelligence agents operating in an adult world of crime and terrorism. Dangerous work.
Stung by Joss Stirling
Is there a mole in the Young Detective Agency? Are Kate and Nathan on the same side? And can they find the answers?
Gone by Michael Grant
A world with no adults...just children, some with superpowers. How long will they last?
Flash Flood by Chris Ryan
Ben finds himself in dangerous waters when London floods.
Turbulence by Jan Mark
Sandor Harker crashes round the Winchester family like a loose cannon on a rolling pitching deck.
Hurricane Force by Malcolm Rose
Jake Patmore discovers some uncomfortable truths about scientific research when he delves into the past in search of the real story of his father's untimely death.
Hite by K Saksena
Lee needs to build up his self-confidence so that he can deal with the bullies in his life.
The Wrong Hands by Nigel Richardson
Graham Sinclair, BOY HERO, hits the headlines and needs a support team to help him cope. Unfortunately he's not very good at choosing, perhaps because nobody's ever treated him properly, on account of his deformed hands.
Glint by Ann Coburn
Ellie has to be brave to search for her missing brother, so she does what Argent would do, their favourite fantasy character from childhood games.... Two stories in one.
Noodle Head by Jonathan Kebbe
Marcus King, Noodle Head,takes on the establishment.
Divided City by Theresa Breslin
You can either adopt the bigotry of your culture, handed down through the generations. Or not.
Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci
Is Egg a loner or lonely? And does she even know the difference?
Boy Soldier by Andy McNab and Robert Rigby
Danny gets his military training the hard way - on the run with his ex-SAS grandfather.
The Diamond Girls by Jacqueline Wilson
The Diamond Girls need someone with a heart of gold more than they realize...
Freaky Green Eyes by Joyce Carol Oates
Something's going on in Franky's family, and Franky is in denial.
Underworld by Catherine MacPhail
Work as a team with your own worst enemy? Would you? Could you? If your life depended on it?
A Kind of Wild Justice by Bernard Ashley
Ronnie's on his own. He lives in a kind of No Man's Land of fear and bewilderment.
Best Friends by Jacqueline Wilson
Can Gemma and Alice's friendship survive their separation? Another Jacqueline Wilson special.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Autistic boy deals with life head-on when he solves a murder mystery in his own street.
Bullies at School by Theresa Breslin
Siobhan is being bullied, but she's also only a breath away from becoming a bully herself.
Predator's Gold by Philip Reeve
Compelling sequel to Mortal Engines. Love, jealousy, betrayal, anger, loyalty and bravery. Brilliant!
Midnight by Jacqueline Wilson
Violet learns how to stand up for herself.
Ryland's Footsteps by Sally Prue
Is Ryland bound to follow in his father's footsteps, or is there another way?
Warehouse by Keith Gray
It's a place to go, when you need some space and time to sort yourself out. No questions asked.
The Changeover by Margaret Mahy
Well, the story is magic, but the romance is real.
Lola Rose by Jacqueline Wilson
The bitter-sweet end of family life, seen through the eyes of Jayni.
Last Chance by Patrick Cave
Julian quietly collapses under the burden of looking after his sisters after his father walks out.
The Crew by Bali Rai
Local crew solve mystery on their own doorstep, but not in your averageFamous Five style. A tougher kind of world.
Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
America in the Depression. Bud on the road, searching for his father.
Carried Away by Michael Harrison
Easily led boy follows mad girl into trouble.
Happy by Keith Gray
Will dreams of success as a performer/songwriter, but what makes anyone decide to pursue their dreams?
Stop the Train by Geraldine McCaughrean
There's no point settling a township in the middle of the desert if the train won't stop at your station . . .
Going For Stone by Philip Gross
Star-struck, young, on the streets: they're all desperate to get to the Academy. But who, exactly, runs the Academy? And why?
Secrets by Jacqueline Wilson
You need a friend, to tell all your secrets to. And to help you keep a big secret . . .
The Devil's Toenail by Sally Prue
It's that old conundrum - if the devil himself were to pop up and offer you a bit of help with your earthly problems, would you really want it?
Starseeker by Tim Bowler
Luke is in trouble. His father's dead, his mother would like to remarry, and he's in with the wrong sort at school. And that's just what's going on outside his head. Inside, there's a lot to master before his musical genius can really take off. Brilliant book!
Mondays Are Red by Nicola Morgan
Luke, weak and confused by his recent illness, is almost consumed by his own determination to survive and recover.
Goodbye Marianne by Irene N Watts
Marianne escapes from Germany to Britain as a refugee just before the outbreak of the Second World War, but has to leave her parents behind.
Daisy Chain War by Joan O'Neill
Growing up pains in Ireland during the Second World War.
In the Middle of the Night by Robert Cormier
Denny lives with guilt. But it isn't his own guilt, it's his father's. Every year the phone calls come, seeking to remind Denny's father of the tragedy which triggered the calls. This year, Denny wants it to be different . . .
The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin
David's a killer, by accident. He's nervous now. Nervous of ghosts, nervous of his strange cousin and the limits that she might push him to. But most of all, he's nervous of himself. A terrifying read.
Fly, Cherokee, Fly by Chris d'Lacey
Darryl finds an injured racing pigeon hiding under a bush in the local park, and takes it home. As he cherishes the damaged bird, he learns a lot about life, bullies, pigeon fanciers and pigeons.
Remembrance by Theresa Breslin
A love story and a horror story, beautifully told, about life and death during the Great War.
Not Just Rescuing by Helen Flint
How to make the most of life if you find yourself spending a summer holiday in an animal rescue station.
Feather Boy by Nicky Singer
Bully victim learns that courage in one particular matter can have a big effect on other difficult relationships in life.
Up On Cloud Nine by Anne Fine
Stolly lives his life up on cloud nine. Most of the time, it's just funny, but when he goes too far and thoughtlessly injures himself, it is time to stop and think about who is hurting most - Stolly, or his friends and family.
You Don't Know Me by David Klass
John's mind games help him to survive the brutal treatment he receives from the man who is not his father.
Hitler's Daughter by Jackie French
If Hitler had really had a daughter, how could she have loved him? And how could she live a normal life after his death at the end of the war?
Harpies by David Belbin
On holiday on a Greek island, Cassie becomes pre-occupied by the mythical harpies. Have they really come back to seduce the boys away, including her own brother, or is she just feeling left out of the action? And where is Ben anyway?
Dustbin Baby by Jacqueline Wilson
April has nothing to link herself with her real mother, not even her name. The only way she can feel she is close to her mother is to work her way back through her early memories to the point when they were separated. On her fourteenth birthday she finds herself standing in the dustbin alley, where it all began . . .
The Skin I'm In by Sharon G Flake
Maleeka's life at school is a misery. She's even taunted by the black kids for being black. Here's a story about finding the strength to rise above it, and learning how to make the right friends.
Georgie by Malachy Doyle
Georgie desperately needs help to overcome his terrible past and start living a normal life again, but who is brave enough to help him?
The Girl Who Knew by Sandra Glover
Injured in a hit-and-run accident, Kits learns more about her best friend than she ever knew before. She learns that her friend is in danger, and she knows that she is the only one who can help.
Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster
A trustee of the orphanage offers to send Judy Abbott to college. But he insists on anonymity. All he asks is that she write a letter to him once a month to let him know of her progress through college. She is to address him as JohnSmith, and she is to expect no reply. So, you see, it is a rather one-sided correspondence!
True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff
Verna La Vaughn, still sees college as her way out of the poverty trap, but finds it's easy to slip on a banana skin if you keep your eyes too firmly fixed on the horizon.
Heathrow Nights by Jan Mark
Excluded from a school trip, where best to hide out for a week than in the middle of a huge crowd of people, all busy going somewhere? But a week gives plenty of time for reflection on what's gone wrong . . .
Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin
You need a lot of luck to survive the accident of birth in the eighteenth century, especially if you are born into poverty, or illegitimate, or if your path crosses that of Otis Gardiner, Coram man, trader in babies, blackmail and despair . . .
And The Stars Were Gold by Gaye Hicyilmaz
In 1940 a young Polish boy is dragged from his bed, given thirty minutes to pack, and transported with his mother and brother thousands of miles acrossEurope to Kazakhstan.
The Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo
Every day is a struggle for survival on the tiny island of Bryher in the Scilly Isles, but storms and wrecks can bring bounty as well as hardship.
Milo's Wolves by Jenny Nimmo
Laura doesn't believe that Gwendal is her long-lost brother. But what else could he be? He seems to have enemies, but he seems to have powerful friends too . . .
Joe's Story by Rachel Anderson
Short story about the choices which Joe faces when his family is threatened by illness, and worse.
Storm by Suzanne Fisher Staples
How could the loyalty of a childhood friendship withstand the onslaught of adult hypocrisy and racism?
Walkabout by James Vance Marshall
Stranded in the Australian desert after a plane crash, Mary and Peter go on a reluctant walkabout with an Aboriginal boy.
The Leap by Jonathan Stroud
Charlie has lost her best friend Max. He drowned at the mill pond. Or was he bewitched? And can she really fetch him back?
Music on the Bamboo Radio by Martin Booth
Hiding out with Chinese friends for the duration of the war after Hong Kong surrenders to the Japanese Army, Nicholas Holford becomes useful both to the Chinese Communist guerrillas and the British Army, who are working together against the Japanese.
The Friends by Rosa Guy
Two girls from different class and culture grow slowly to understand what true friendship is.
Pictures in the Dark by Gillian Cross
The otter is many things to many people. To Charlie it is a challenge, to photograph in its natural habitat. To Peter it is wild and free, something whichPeter isn't. And to Peter's father it is vermin, and must be exterminated.
Flour Babies by Anne Fine
Actually it's a 3 kg bag of flour. Simon loves his flour baby, but it is a real strain looking after it. How much worse is the real thing?
Face by Benjamin Zephaniah
Martin suffers terrible facial injuries in an accident. Can he still be his old self when he goes back to school afterwards?
The Eclipse of the Century by Jan Mark
Keith dreams about a strange place, Quantoum. But when he seeks out the place and visits, his dream becomes a nightmare.
Dreaming in Black and White by Reinhardt Jung
How it was to be a disabled child in the Third Reich.
Dead Guilty by David Belbin
Disturbing story of false accusation and betrayal. Bewildered and isolated,Jon confesses to a crime that he did not commit.
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
Away from his deprived and brutal background in London, Willie Beech is thrown a lifeline when he is evacuated to the country.
I Have Lived A Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson
The memoir of Elli Friedman, who recounts what it was like to be one of the few teenage inmates of Auschwitz.
I Am David by Anne Holm
Escaping from a concentration camp, David learns to live life as he tramps across Europe.
Greg by Dirk Walbrecker
Greg wakes up one morning to discover he has turned into a gigantic caterpillar!
Friedrich by Hans Peter Richter
A tale of two boys in Hitler's Germany - one boy is German, the other is a German Jew.
The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
The silver sword, a little paper-knife, is a symbol of hope to four children as they make their way across the wastes of post-war Europe from Warsaw to Switzerland in search of their parents.
Zarconi's Magic Flying Fish by Kirsty Murray
Gus, dumped on grandparents he didn't know he had, in a travelling circus that he's never heard of, finds to his surprise, that it's where he belongs.
The Machine-Gunners by Robert Westall
Children capture a German machine-gun, but their dream of defending their fortress against the German invasion turns into a nightmare.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
Anna and her family try to make a new life for themselves as refugees in Europe in 1933.
Carrie's War by Nina Bawden
Life as an evacuee with the difficult Mr Evans is bad enough. But did Carrie also bring down a curse on those she loved, living at Druid's Bottom?
Daggers by Roger J Green
Could Caroline's great Aunt Clara really have killed a man once?
Dosh by Robert Swindells
Bullying only works because the victims don't fight back - right? So, what happens if the victims join forces, and do fight back? Push and Pull, settle their differences.
Girl in Red by Gaye Hicyilmaz
Frankie is captivated by the Romanian gypsy girl who comes to live in his council block, but his mother leads the opposition fight to get them evicted.
The Cay by Theodore Taylor
Can a blind boy really survive alone on a desert island without a fresh water supply and without food save what can be fished from the sea?
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
A true story about a young American Indian girl left behind by her people when they move from their remote island home to the mainland.
Undercurrents by June Oldham
The receding water level in the reservoir reveals a submerged village. But long-submerged emotions also reappear . . .
Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
Michael is washed up onto a lonely desert island, only to find it is already occupied . . .
Raider by Susan Gates
Working together on a school project, Maddy and Flora discover the truth about a forty-year-old lie, and some truths about each other.
Humanzee by Susan Gates
Chingwe, the Missing Link, (maybe), rescued from a freak show, becomes an object of interest to scientists and fundamental Christians. Both sides feel they have a point to make. But Nemo, flea handler extraordinaire at his parent's flea circus, just wants Chingwe to enjoy a quiet old age . . .
The Sighting by Jan Mark
A family bust-up fifty years ago. What was it all about? Did uncle Tom really see aliens at the bottom of the garden?
The Shark Callers by Eric Campbell
Two boys. One calls up the sharks intentionally to hunt them, one calls them up unintentionally, and finds himself hunted.
Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
Two young girls caught in the poverty trap both realize that life has handed them a lemon.
Tag by Michael Coleman
Motto looks after Pete. Pete looks after Motto. Except neither of them is very good at the job. And tagging really isn't the answer to anything.
Kiss the Dust by Elizabeth Laird
One day Tara is an ordinary schoolgirl, next day she is fleeing for her life to an Iranian refugee camp as an enemy alien. And where next?
Tell Me No Lies by Malorie Blackman
Gemma really likes Mike and wants to be his friend, so why does she bully him?
Zlata's Diary by Zlata Filipovic
An eleven year old's life in Sarajevo during the civil war.
Little Soldier by Bernard Ashley
It's bad enough, losing your family in a civil war. How can you put all your memories to one side and start a new life, in a different country?
Junk by Melvin Burgess
Leave home at fourteen. Life over at twenty. Not dead though, still having to live it. Heroin addiction.
Elephant Ben by Geoffrey Malone
Real-life safari adventure. Ben and his gamewarden father rescue a baby elephant from a swamp. One good deed deserves another . . .
Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah
Agonizing childhood as an unloved and unwanted daughter.
Blind Beauty by K M Peyton
The horse is a winner. The girl is a loser. Can the horse make anything of her? All the excitement of the Winner's Enclosure at the Grand National.