Further Reading

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Solitary Existence

The Skin I'm In
Sharon Flake
Meleeka has very dark skin. She's also tall, skinny and very badly dressed. In order to get some kind of protection from the merciless teasing of the other kids, Meleeka does homework and tests for Charlene, the class bully. Char insists Meleeka help her vandalize a teacher's classroom. When Meleeka is the only one caught, a teacher with a disfigured face lends a sympathetic ear.

I Am David
Anne Holm
David has always lived in a Communist concentration camp. He seizes an opportunity to escape. He has only a compass and a loaf of bread to help him on his journey. He only knows he should try to get to Denmark even if he has to walk the entire way. The film of the same name is based on this book.

Stuck In Neutral
Terry Trueman
Shawn has cerebral palsy. He is so severely disabled he cannot even swallow for himself. Trapped inside his uncooperative body, Shawn's mind is clever, active and imaginative. Because taking care of Shawn places so much stress on the family, Shawn becomes convinced his father intends to murder him. Shawn doesn't want to give up life, yet in his present state, he doesn't know how to reach his father.

The Outsiders
S. E. Hinton
The outsiders are the Greasers, the tough lower class boys who have an ongoing feud with the Socs, the boys from affluent homes who have everything. Ponyboy, a Greaser, watches while his friends are taunted. Young Johnny is beaten by the Socs. Now he carries a switchblade. Ponyboy relates the fatal consequences during an intense meeting with the Socs.

The Girls
Amy Goldman Koss
Maya doesn't know what she's done to be excluded from the group of girls led by Candace but she's stunned to discover that the other three girls are sleeping over at Darcy's and she isn't invited. Neither Darcy, or Brianna or Renee really understands why Candace has suddenly decided Maya is not an outsider, but they follow her lead with little comment. Inside each girl is wondering why Candace turned on Maya. Maybe each girl's own place in the group isn't quite as secure as she thought?

Patricia McCormick
Callie is in a psychiatric treatment center for girls. Her roommate dubs her ST because Callie gives every one the silent treatment as she refuses to speak. Callie's thoughts, addressed to an unnamed therapist, recount what Callie wishes she could say. Amanda, a self-mutilator, bursts into group therapy one day. Callie realizes she experiences the same overwhelmingly frightening feelings Amanda does. Callie believes her only solution is to run away.

Shattering Glass
Gail Giles
Rob decides to make Simon Glass, the class geek, the most popular boy in school. Along with his henchmen Coop, Young and the Bobster, Rob changes Simon's wardrobe, gets him a stylish new haircut and teaches him the social nuances of elite high school life. Simon's wit begins to make an impression on his classmates, but he reveals a darker side. As he begins to defy Rob's manipulations, a confrontation turns deadly.

The Hidden Children
Howard Greenfeld
Thousands of Jewish children, many of them only toddlers and far too young to understand the situation are hidden from the Nazis. Some are placed in orphanages and told they are Catholics. Others are sent to live with people they have never seen before, often without any blood relatives nearby. The children learn to lie, to never reveal their true identities or religion. They are also taught to be very, very quiet. Now long after World War II these hidden children talk about their lives and their lost childhoods.

Totalitarian Societies

The Breadwinner
Deborah Ellis
Parvana's father is arrested by the Taliban and put in prison because he has a foreign education. Parvana's mother cannot get a job because women are forbidden to work outside the home. A woman cannot even go outside unless a male relative accompanies her. Parvana's family, living in a bombed-out apartment building, becomes desperate for food. Parvana cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy so she can earn money for food.

The Darkest Evening
William Durbin
Jake's idealist father is anxious to help build a new socialist Finnish state inside the Soviet Union. Leaving comfortable Minnesota, the family is rudely awakened to the trials of Communist living. Jake's father protests their conditions and their lack of supplies in letters to the government. He is arrested. Jake realizes the only hope for the rest of the family is to escape to Sweden. During the dark winter nights, Jake leads his mother and little sister on a harrowing ski trip to safety.

A Stone In My Hand
Cathryn Clinton
Malaak stopped talking when her father disappeared a month ago. He left Gaza City to look for work in Israel. Her mother tells Malaak that her father was killed when terrorists blew up the bus he was on. Malaak sees her father in her dreams. She learns her older brother Hamid is part of the street gangs that throw stones at the Israeli soldiers. After her brother is shot and taken to the hospital, Malakk realizes she must work for peace.

Adem's Cross
Alice Mead
When Adem's sister is killed in a demonstration, his family feels the full force of the Serb military. Soldiers attack Adem and a Cyrillic cross is carved upon his chest. The Albanian political leaders use Adem as a symbol of Serbian cruelty as they exploit the situation. Fearing for the family's safety, Adem flees his rural village hoping to connect with relatives living in Albania.

The House Of The Scorpion
Nancy Farmer
Matt he learns he is not a boy but a clone. He is a replica of El Patron, the powerful drug lord of the land called Opium. El Patron is 140 years old. He has lived this long because various body parts have been transplanted from the clones to El Patron. When Matt learns he is to be the next sacrifice, he decides to run away. After El Patron dies, Matt returns to Opium planning to make it a better place to live.

Peter Dickinson
A twelve-year-old orphan and guerrilla fighter lives in a mythical African nation torn by civil war. He buries his prized AK-47 in a secret place when a shaky peace is negotiated. However, corruption and political instability result in a brutal military coup. Retrieving his rifle, the child soldier resumes the only life he's known, fleeing the forces of dictatorship across his nation to the capital where his schoolmaster/mentor is imprisoned, or perhaps, murdered.

Tree Girl
Ben Mikaelsen
From her perch in the tree Gabi sees the guerrillas murder her teacher and the other students in her remote village in Guatemala. They also destroy the school. After her village is burned and her family massacred, Gabi decides to flee north to Mexico. She plans to search for her one surviving family member, her sister Alicia.

Behind The Bedroom Wall
Laura E. Williams
Korinne Rehme is stunned to discover her parents are hiding a Jewish woman, Sophie Krugmann and her five-year-old daughter Rachel. Korinna is caught up in the patriotism of her Hitler Youth Group. She even considers turning in her own parents until she begins to make friends with little Rachel. Korinna's friend Rita becomes suspicious of the Rehmes. Korninna's family prepares to run away just as the Gestapo destroys their home.

Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir Of The Cultural Revolution
Ji-li Jiang
Jiang believes she has a bright future in Communist China for she is a good student and a leader. The Cultural Revolution begins. The Red Guards are everywhere and many people suffer harsh abuses. Jiang's family is ostracized because her grandfather was once a landholder. When her father is arrested Jiang must chose between being loyal to her family or embracing the Cultural Revolution.

Environmental Issues

California Blue
David Klass
John Rodgers lives in a small California town where logging is the major industry. John has never fit into his father's mold. The two become even more sharply divided when John discovers a butterfly in the woods that may be a new species, which could halt logging. A violent confrontation between the townspeople and the ecologists sharpens the conflict between John and his father.

Carol Hiaasen
New kid Roy Eberhardt is pushed against the school bus window and sees a strange boy running. Roy chases the boy and discovers Mullet Fingers is trying to stop the construction of the 469th Mother Paula's All American Pancake House. The intended construction is over the nests of a group of burrowing owls. Alligators in the porta potties, tires sunk in the mud, and missing survey markers add to the confusion as Roy joins this environmental mission.

Our Secret, Siri Aang
Cristina Kessler
Namelok watches a black rhinoceros gives birth to a baby in the African bush. Each time Namelok searchs for firewood she visits the mother rhino and the baby Siri Aang. Poachers kill the mother for her horn. Namelok follows the footprints of a limping man as she tries to save Siri Aang. But a shocking discovery causes Namelok to question her family and the traditional Maasai ways.

Hole In The Sky
Pete Hautman
In the futurist world of 2038, a devastating flu has killed much of the world's population. An evil group of survivors known as the Kinka are intent on destroying the delicate ecosystem of the Grand Canyon as well as infecting any remaining human beings. Ceej and his pal Tim race to open the dam before the overflow floods the Grand Canyon. The Kinka pursues them. Their best hope for survival is the mysterious Hopi portal known as Sipapuni.

The Great Sockathon
M.C. Delaney
Eliza is a ghost who has lived in the old tree for 70 years. The tree is dying and the town fathers decide to cut it down. Eliza asks Sabrina to save the tree. Sabrina and her friends decide a wacky fundraiser is the best way to raise awareness of the tree's plight. They ask people to send the odd mates of the socks that got lost in the laundry along with a cash donation. When the chain of socks reaches all the way around the trunk of the 275-year-old tree, the girls hope they'll have enough money to purchase a brace for the tree.

Courage/Taking Risks

Francesco D'Adamo
Fatima and many other children work in Hussain Khan's carpet factory. They are trying to earn enough money to pay their family's debt. Life in the factory is brutal. The hours are long, the room is crowded, the air is hot and sweaty. There is never enough food. Fatima tries desperately to make her knots neat; to make them quickly and to follow the pattern perfectly. At the risk of his own life, Iqbal appears at the factory and tells the children they will never earn enough to pay for their family's debts.

Trouble Don't Last
Shelley Pearsall
Grumpy old Harrison clamps a hand over Samuel's mouth waking him up. Samuel is frightened but he's even more scared when he realizes Harrison plans to run away from slavery and mean Master Hackle. They race through the woods and hide in a tree. At the Ohio River they meet a wild black man who threatens to shoot them if they don't get in his boat. Crossing the Ohio is only one of the first steps in this long and perilous journey on the Underground Railroad.

Spite Fences
Trudy Krisher
Maggie takes a job as a housekeeper for Mr. George Andrew Hardy, a summer resident. Maggie learns self-respect and confidence from the notes Dr. Hardy leaves. Maggie learns Dr. Hardy is in town as part of the Civil Rights Movement. When the prejudiced townspeople mock Maggie's appearance at a Civil Rights rally, Maggie finds the courage to testify in court about the brutal beating of an African American man. Maggie then uses the philosophy of "no violence, quiet dignity" to confront her own mother's abusiveness.

The Misfits
James Howe
Despite what it says in the Pledge of Allegiance, Addie decides there really isn't a promise of liberty and justice for all. During student council elections, Addie proposes a third party as an alternate to the school's Democratic and Republican parties. Bobby helps persuade the principal a third party is legitimate. He comes up with the idea of a No-Name Party. When Addie can't find the best words for her nomination speech, chubby Bobby steps in and makes a brilliant speech telling how much names hurt.

The Year They Burned The Books
Nancy Garden
Jamie, the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper writes an editorial showing strong support for the school's new health education curriculum. Jamie earns the ire of an ultra conservatve school board member, Mrs. Buel. The school newspaper is suspended. Mrs. Buel's efforts culminate in a burning of books she deems offensive. Jamie, along with several of her newspaper cronies fights back with an underground newspaper as they try to determine if they are maybe gay or maybe straight.

Big Mouth And Ugly Girl
Joyce Carol Oates
Popular Matt was really only kidding the day he threatened to blow up the school. He was reported to the authorities. After the police questioned him, Matt is a social outcast. Springing to his defense is outsider Ursula Riggs an ugly girl who keeps to herself. Ursula knows what really happened that day, and she's the only one who can restore Matt's prestige. And in saving Matt, Ursula discovers some unusual changes in her.

Buddha Boy
Kathe Koja
Justin is safely in the middle of the social hierarchy at his school. Justin is paired with Jinsen, the Buddha Boy for a class project. This new kid is dubbed Buddha Boy because he's bald and because he always has a silly angelic smile, even when the other kids taunt him because he's begging for change in the lunchroom. Justin discovers Jinsen is an incredible artist. Justin begins hanging out with Jinsen despite being mocked by the other kids.

The Sanctuary
Ann Eskridge
Little Man wants to be part of the gang Tico and Amon have. They tell him for his initiation he has to steal a piece of junk from the pile old Mrs. Johnson has in her back yard. Mrs. Johnson catches Little Man and tells him her junk pile is a consecrated place, a memorial to the dead. As Little Man becomes better acquainted with Mrs. Johnson, he discovers the junk pile is also a sanctuary, a place of refuge where he can come to terms with the death of his long absent father.