Gentle Reads: Books That Won't Make You Blush
Click on the title to go to the Plymouth Library Catalog and see if a copy is available.
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Fever, 1793
In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.
Armstrong, William. Sounder
Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy grows in courage and understanding by learning to read and with the help of his devoted dog Sounder.
Auch, Mary Jane. Ashes of Roses
Sixteen-year-old Margaret Rose Nolan, newly arrived from Ireland, finds work at New York City's Triangle Shirtwaist Factory shortly before the 1911 fire in which 146 employees died.
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice
Wealthy Mr. Darcy and spirited Elizabeth Bennett dislike each other at first sight, and each must contend with their pride and prejudices while Elizabeth's mother plots economically advantageous marriages for all her daughters.
Bauer, Joan. Backwater
While compiling a genealogy of her family of successful attorneys, sixteen-year-old history buff Ivy Breedlove treks into the mountain wilderness to interview a reclusive aunt with whom she identifies and who in turn helps her to truly know herself and her family.
Bauer, Joan. Hope Was Here
When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.
Blackwood, Gary. The Shakespeare Stealer
A young orphan boy is ordered by his master to infiltrate Shakespeare's acting troupe in order to steal the script of "Hamlet," but he discovers instead the meaning of friendship and loyalty.
Bergren, Lisa. Waterfall
Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds-- until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy.
Bruchac, Joseph. Code Talker
At the age of six Ned Begay was sent to boarding school where he was taught English and forbidden to speak Navajo.But then he enlisted in Marines during WWII where he and other Navajos sent coded messages in their native language. Now he tells his story about combat in Hawaii, Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal and other islands in the Pacific to his grandchildren .
Cabot, Meg. All-American Girl
A sophomore girl stops a presidential assassination attempt, is appointed Teen Ambassador to the United Nations, and catches the eye of the very cute First Son.
Creech, Sharon. Walk Two Moons
After her mother leaves home suddenly, thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother's route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose mother also left.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.
Dowell, Frances O'Roark. Ten Miles Past Normal
Because living with "modern-hippy" parents on a goat farm means fourteen-year-old Janie Gorman cannot have a normal high school life, she tries joining Jam Band, making friends with Monster, and spending time with elderly former civil rights workers
Erdrich. Louise. The Birchbark House
Omakayas, a seven-year-old Ojibwe girl lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847 and learns about her past.
Fletcher, Susan. Walk Across the Sea
In late nineteenth-century California, when Chinese immigrants are being driven out or even killed for fear they will take jobs from whites, fifteen-year-old Eliza Jane McCully defies the townspeople and her lighthouse-keeper father to help a Chinese boy who has been kind to her.
Greene, Bette. Summer of My German Soldier
Sheltering an escaped prisoner of war is the beginning of some shattering experiences for a twelve-year-old Jewish girl in Arkansas.
Hobbs, Will. Leaving Protection
Sixteen-year-old Robbie Daniels, happy to get a job aboard a troller fishing for king salmon off southeastern Alaska, finds himself in danger when he discovers that his mysterious captain is searching for long-buried Russian plaques that lay claim to Alaska and the Northwest.
Holt, Kimberly Willis. Part of Me: Stories of a Louisiana Family
Ten stories connect generations of a family living in the Louisiana bayous. Books and stories also connect the family starting with Rose who came from rural Texas to live with her estranged grandfather in 1939 and who lies about her age so she can drive the bookmobile to her great grandson Kyle who hates reading but who needing a summer job, finds one in the library.
Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker
After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6.
Horvath, Polly. Everything On A Waffle
Eleven-year-old Primrose Squarp tells of her parents’ disappearance at sea, and her living arrangement with her Uncle Jack. Primrose's only refuge is at a local restaurant, where the owner, Miss Bowzer, serves everything on waffles; and I mean everything: bacon, eggs, steak, chili—even waffles!
Ives, David. Scrib
In 1863, a 16-year-old boy nicknamed Scrib travels around the West making his living writing and delivering letters, an occupation that leads to him nearly getting killed, being jailed as a criminal, joining up with the notorious Crazy James Kincaid, and delivering a letter from President Abraham Lincoln to a Paiute Indian.
Larson, Kirby. Hattie Ever After
In 1919, having failed to prove up her late uncle Chester's homestead on the Montana prairie, seventeen-year-old Hattie grabs the opportunity to go to San Francisco as wardrobe mistress for a traveling variety show to become first a cleaning woman at the San Francisco Chronicle and later a female reporter at the paper. Hattie Ever After is a sequel to Larson’s award-winning tale of the orphan girl who worked so hard to try to homestead alone in Hattie Big Sky.
Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody. Lily B. On the Brink of Cool
13-year-old Lily has the most boring life in the world. Her dad never drives a mile over the speed limit and her mom actually makes the beds in hotels so the maid won’t think they’re untidy. Lily knows that she’ll never become a famous writer with a boring family like that, so when she has a chance to spend time with the glamorous LeBlancs’, she jumps for it, even though her parents and even her best friend do not approve.
Kindl, Patrice. Goose Chase
Rather than marry a cruel king or a seemingly dim-witted prince, an enchanted goose girl endures imprisonment, capture by several ogresses, and other dangers, before learning exactly who she is.
Levine, Gail Carson. Ella Enchanted
In this novel based on Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that makes her obey any order given her, including who she should marry.
Lewis, C.S. The Chronicles of Narnia - Seven books in this series.
Maas, Wendy. A Mango-shaped Space
Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the loss of something important to her.
McCaffrey, Anne. Dragonsong
Forbidden by her father to indulge in music in any way, a girl on the planet Pern runs away, taking shelter with the planet's fire lizards who, along with her music, open a new life for her.
McKinley, Robin. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
Kind Beauty grows to love the Beast at whose castle she is compelled to stay and through her love releases him from the spell which had turned him from a handsome prince into an ugly beast.
Morpurgo, Michael. Private Peaceful
When Thomas, Peaceful's older brother is forced to join the British Army during WW I, Thomas decides to sign up as well, although he is only fourteen years old, to prove himself to his country, his family, his childhood love, Molly, and himself.
Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Wisdom's Kiss: a Thrilling and Romantic Adventure, Incorporating Magic, Villany, and a Cat
Princess Wisdom, who yearns for a life of adventure beyond the kingdom of Montagne, Tips, a soldier keeping his true life secret from his family, Fortitude, an orphaned maid who longs for Tips, and Magic the cat form an uneasy alliance as they try to save the kingdom from certain destruction. Told through diaries, memoirs, encyclopedia entries, letters, biographies, and a stage play.
Dowell, Frances O'Roark. Ten Miles Past Normal
Because living with "modern-hippy" parents on a goat farm means fourteen-year-old Janie Gorman cannot have a normal high school life, she tries joining Jam Band, making friends with Monster, and spending time with elderly former civil rights workers.
Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn
Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth's surface.
Paterson, Katherine. Jacob Have I Loved
Feeling deprived all her life of schooling, friends, mother, and even her name by her twin sister, Louise finally begins to fight back.
Peck, Richard. A Long Way from Chicago
A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother. Sequel is A Year Down Yonder
Pratchett, Terry. Only You Can Save Mankind
Johnny Maxwell, 12, thinks he's a loser. His parents are on the verge of splitting up and he's not very good at the computer games that his friends like. But when his friend gives him a copy of the game Only You Can Save Mankind strange things start to happen, like it's hard to tell the difference between what is real and what's a game.
Shaw, Tucker. Flavor of the Week
Cyril, an overweight boy who is good friends with Rose but wishes he could be more, helps his best friend Nick woo her with culinary masterpieces which Cyril himself secretly creates. Includes recipes from the story. Includes a great recipe for cookies!
Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.
Vail, Rachel. If We Kiss
Fourteen-year-old Charlie feels guilty because she has a crush on her best friend's boyfriend, and her loyalties become even more confused when she discovers that her mother is dating the boyfriend's father.
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Flipped
In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.
Whelan, Gloria. Listening for Lions
Left an orphan after the influenza epidemic in British East Africa in 1918, thirteen-year-old Rachel is tricked into assuming a deceased neighbor's identity to travel to England, where her only dream is to return to Africa and rebuild her parents' mission hospital.
Wrede, Patricia. Dealing with Dragons
Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons' kingdom.
Zevin, Gabrielle. All these Things I've Done
In a future where chocolate and caffeine are contraband, teenage cellphone use is illegal, and water and paper are carefully rationed, sixteen-year-old Anya Balanchine finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight as heir apparent to an important New York City crime family.
Christian Fiction & Series
Carlson, Melody., On my own, by Caitlin O'Conner bk. 1 of Diary of a Teenage Girl Series
In her first year at college, Caitlin's diary reflects on her homesickness, the challenges of rooming with a non-Christian, and evolving friendships, old and new.
Clipston, Amy. Reckless Heart
Under pressure to care for her siblings and household and work two jobs, sixteen-year-old Lydia gets tipsy on beer at a youth gathering, but keeping that secret from her Amish community on top of everything else may cause her to lose all that matters.
Gunn, Robin Jones. Sierra Jensen Series
_______. Christy Miller Series
Lewis, Beverly. SummerHill Secrets
Fifteen-year-old Merry Hanson, living amongst the Amish in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, relies on her Christian faith to guide her through such challenging situations as the physical abuse of her schoolmate, an arson investigation, a car accident, and an abandoned baby.
McGee, Krista. Starring Me
Seventeen-year-old Kara must decide if she wants to give up her acting career when she learns that her audition for a television variety show starring a big-time celebrity hinges on her relationship with God.
Moore, Stephanie Perry. Payton Skky Series
Rushford, Patricia H. Jennie McGrady Mystery Series
Shoemaker, Tim. Code of Silence: Living a Lie Comes with a Price
When thirteen-year-olds Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy witness a robbery that leaves a man in a coma, they find themselves tangled in a web of mystery and deceit that threatens their lives.
Viguié, Debbie. The Summer of Cotton Candy
Forced by her father to get a summer job, seventeen-year-old Candace makes the most of selling cotton candy in an amusement park, despite a botched nametag, vindictive co-workers, lewd patrons, and growing distant from her best friend. First of the Sweet Seasons novels
Questions or Comments? Contact Barb Dinan, Teen Librarian