Category Archives: Contemporary

Out of My Mind (#1)

by Sharon M. Draper

Unconditional Recommendation: 11-year-old Melody overcomes the limitations of her cerebral palsy to communicate with others and finally share the thoughts and smarts that have been locked away inside her mind.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Out of My Mind, Book One
Pages: 295
Published: 2010

Genre: Contemporary

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Waiting for Normal

by Leslie Connor

Conditional Recommendation: 12-year-old Addie perseveres in her optimism and hope for a normal life while living in a little trailer with an unreliable mom who keeps abandoning her.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 290
Published: 2008
Genre: Contemporary

Award: Schneider Family Book Award for Middle School Book (2009)

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The Tiger Rising

by Kate DiCamillo

Conditional Recommendation: With the help of a feisty friend and a caged tiger, a 12-year-old boy learns how to process his bottled-up grief.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 128
Published: 2001
Genre: Contemporary

Awards: Charlie May Simon Children’s Book Award Nominee (2004), National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature (2001)

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Front Desk (#1)

by Kelly Yang

Conditional Recommendation: Chinese immigrants Mia Tang and her family work hard to run a motel and achieve the American Dream while confronting obstacles like prejudice with determination, hope, and kindness.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Front Desk, Book One
Pages: 320
Published: 2018
Genre: Contemporary, Autobiographical Fiction

Awards: 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature

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Flipped

by Wendelin Van Draanen

Unconditional Recommendation: A humorous, honest story of first love, growing up, and changing perspectives told from alternating point of views.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 212
Published: 2001

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Comedy

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Save Me a Seat

 by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Conditional Recommendation: Joe has always lived in New Jersey and Ravi is from India but together they must navigate fitting in, dealing with a bully, and the first week of school as 5th graders.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 240
Published: 2016

Genre: Contemporary

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The Running Dream

by Wendelin Van Draanen


Unconditional Recommendation:
An inspiring story about healing after accidents, learning to live with a disability, and relying on the support of family, friends and teammates through the process; this tale will place you firmly in someone else’s shoes and warm your heart all the way to the finish line.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Stand-alone
Hardcover: 340 pages
Publisher: Alred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books (2011)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Award: Schneider Family Book Award

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