- Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library - https://www.hwpl.org -

20th Century Fiction (Teen)


Choldenko, Gennifer.  Chasing Secrets.  Y FIC Choldenko
Thirteen-year-old Lizzie and her secret friend Noah, who is hiding in her house, plan to rescue Noah’s father from the quarantined Chinatown, and save everyone they love from contracting the plague that is spreading in 1900 San Francisco.

Donnelly, Jennifer.  A Northern Light.  YPB D
In 1906, sixteen-year-old Mattie, determined to attend college and be a writer against the wishes of her father and fiance, takes a job at a summer inn where she discovers the truth about the death of a guest. Based on a true story.

Lee, Stacey.  Outrun the Moon.  Y FIC Lee
On the eve of the San Fransisco Earthquake of 1906, Mercy Wong–daughter of Chinese immigrants–is struggling to hold her own among the spoiled heiresses at prestigious St. Clare’s School. When tragedy strikes, everyone must band together to survive.

Peck, Richard.  The Teachers Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts.  Y FIC Peck
In rural Indiana in 1904, fifteen-year-old Russell’s dreams of quitting school and joining a wheat threshing crew are disrupted when his older sister takes over the teaching at his one-room schoolhouse after mean old Myrt Arbuckle “hauls off and dies

Angus, Sam.  Soldier Dog.  Y FIC Angus
With his older brother fighting in the Great War, fourteen-year-old Stanley runs away to join the army and is assigned to the War Dog School, and given a Great Dane named Bones to train.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson.  Uprising.  Y FIC Haddix
In 1927, at the urging of twenty-one-year-old Harriet, Mrs. Livingston reluctantly recalls her experiences at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, including miserable working conditions that led to a strike, then the fire that took the lives of her two best friends, when Harriet, the boss’s daughter, was only five years old.

Harlow, Joan Hiatt.  Joshua’s Song.  J FIC Harlow
Needing to earn money after his father’s death during the influenza epidemic of 1918, thirteen-year-old Joshua works as a newspaper boy in Boston, one day finding himself in the vicinity of an explosion that sends tons of molasses coursing through the streets.

Hesse, Karen.  Letters From Rifka.  JPB H/ J FIC Hesse
In letters to her cousin, a young Jewish girl chronicles her family’s flight from Russia in 1919 and her own experiences when she must be left in Belgium for a while when the others emigrate to America.

Meyer, Carolyn.  Anastasia, the Last Grand Duchess.  J FIC Dear America
A novel in diary form in which the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II describes the privileged life her family led up until the time of World War I and the tragic events that befell them.

Miller. Sarah.  The Lost Crown.  Y FIC Miller
In alternating chapters, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia tell how their privileged lives as the daughters of the Tsar in early twentieth-century Russia are transformed by World War and revolution.

Morpurgo, Michael.  Private Peaceful.  Y FIC Morpurgo
When Thomas Peaceful’s older brother is forced to join the British Army, 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.

Rasheed, Leila.  Cinders & Sapphires.  Y FIC Rasheed  (At Somerton SERIES)
The intertwined lives of the prominent Averley family and the servants of Somerton Court are forever changed when an old secret comes to light.  SEQUEL: Diamonds & Deceit (2014).

Schlitz, Laura Amy.  The Hired Girl.  Y FIC Schlitz
Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs chronicles her life in a journal when she leaves her family’s farm in Pennsylvania to work as a hired girl in Baltimore in the summer of 1911.

Whelan, Gloria.  Angel on the Square.  Y FIC Whelan
In 1913 Russia, twelve-year-old Katya eagerly anticipates leaving her St. Petersburg home, though not her older cousin Misha, to join her mother, a lady in waiting in the household of Tsar Nicholas II, but the ensuing years bring world war, revolution, and undreamed of changes to her life.

Wilson, John.  Wings of War.  YPB Wilson
A Canadian boy learns to fly from his uncle, and then decides to join the English Royal Flying Corps as a fighter pilot in World War I.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott.  The Great Gatsby.  Y PB F  //  PB Fic F
Tells the tragic love story of Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan.

Godbersen, Anna.  Bright Young Things.  Y FIC Gobersen  (Bright Young Things SERIES)
In the spring of 1929, eighteen-year-old Cordelia Grey and her stage-struck friend Letty Larkspur run away from their small Ohio town to seek their fortunes in New York City and soon find themselves drawn into situations and relationships, particularly with the dazzling Astrid Donal, that change their lives forever.  SEQUELSBeautiful Days (2011) & The Lucky Ones (2012).

Levine, Gail Carson.  Dave at Night.  Y FIC Levine
When orphaned Dave is sent to the Hebrew Home for Boys where he is treated cruelly, he sneaks out at night and is welcomed into the music- and culture-filled world of the Harlem Renaissance.

Ritter, John H.  Choosing Up Sides.  Y FIC Ritter
In 1921 thirteen-year-old Luke finds himself torn between accepting his left-handedness or conforming to the belief of his preacher-father that such a condition is evil and must be overcome.

Ylvisaker, Anne.  The Luck of the Buttons.  J FIC Ylvisaker
In Iowa circa 1929, spunky twelve-year-old Tugs vows to turn her family’s luck around, with the help of a Brownie camera and a small-town mystery that only she can solve.

Brockenbrough, Martha.  The Game of Love and Death.  Y FIC Brockenbrough
In Seattle in 1937 two seventeen-year-olds, Henry, who is white, and Flora, who is African-American, become the unwitting pawns in a game played by two immortal figures, Love and Death, where they must choose each other at the end, or one of them will die.

Choldenko, Gennifer.  Al Capone Does My Shirts.  Y FIC Choldenko  (SERIES)
A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards’ families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.  Al Capone Shines My Shoes (2009), Al Capone Does My Homework (2013).

Cormier, Robert.  Frenchtown Summer.  Y FIC Cormier
A series of vignettes in free verse in which the writer reminisces about his life as a twelve-year-old boy living in a small town during the hot summer of 1938.

Cummings, Priscilla.  Saving Grace.  J FIC Cummings
When Grace’s family is evicted from their Washington,  D.C., apartment just before Christmas 1932, and she and her younger brothers are sent to the Mission, Grace wonders what will become of her sick older brother, her pregnant mother, and her out-of-work father.

Curtis, Christopher Paul.  Bud, Not Buddy.  Y FIC Curtis //  YPB C
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.

Disher, Garry.  The Bamboo Flute. Y FIC Disher
In a rural Australian community in 1932, twelve-year-old Paul has his predictable life brightened when a drifter helps him make a flute and teaches him how to play it.

Fusco, Kimberly Newton.  The Wonder of Charlie Anne.  J FIC Fusco
In a 1930s Massachusetts farm town torn by the Depression, racial tension, and other hardships, Charlie Anne and her black next-door neighbor Phoebe form a friendship that begins to transform their community.

Hesse, Karen.  Out of the Dust.  YPB H/Y FIC Hesse (SUMMER READING)
In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family’s wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.

Lee, Harper.  To Kill a Mockingbird.  Y FIC Lee /  PB Lee //  FIC Lee
To kill a mocking bird is an adult novel about two children, Scout and Jem Finch, and their father Atticus, a Southern lawyer appointed to defend a black man on a rape charge. It is a novel about the conscience of a small Alabama town.

Peck, Richard.  A Long Way From Chicago.  Y FIC Peck // YPB Peck
A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.  SEQUELSA Year Down Yonder (2000), A Season of Gifts (2009)

Peck, Robert Newton.  Nine Man Tree.  Y FIC Peck
In Depression-era Florida, young Yoolee assumes the responsibility of protecting his family from an unspeakable horror stalking the swamplands.

Peck, Robert Newton.  A Part of the Sky.  Y FIC Peck
When 14-year-old Rob’s father dies, he is left to care for his mother and aunt, and to run his family’s small, struggling farm. Times are hard, but Rob is determined that he won’t give the farm up during the Depression.

Perez, Ashley Hope.  Out of Darkness.  Y FIC Perez
Loosely based on a school explosion that took place in New London, Texas, in 1937, this is the story of two teenagers: Naomi, who is Mexican, and Wash, who is black, and their dealings with race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.

Rawls, Wilson.  Where the Red Fern Grows: The Story of Two Dogs and a Boy.  Y PB R/ Y FIC Rawls
The story of a young boy’s love for two hunting dogs and his coming of age in Oklahoma in the 1930′s.

Taylor, Mildred D.  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  Y FIC Taylor/Y PB T
A black family living in the South during the 1930′s are faced with prejudice and discrimination which their children don’t understand.


Adler, David A.  Don’t Talk to Me About the War.  J FIC Adler
In 1940, thirteen-year-old Tommy’s routine, playing stickball in his Bronx, New York, neighborhood, talking with his friend Beth, and listening to the Dodgers games on the radio changes as his mother’s illness and his increasing awareness of the war in Europe transform his world.

Avi.  Don’t You Know There’s A War On?  Y FIC Avi
In wartime Brooklyn in 1943, eleven-year-old Howie Crispers mounts a campaign to save his favorite teacher from being fired.

Avi, 1937.  Who Was that Masked Man, Anyway?  J FIC Avi
In the early forties when nearly everyone else is thinking about World War II, sixth-grader Frankie Wattleson gets in trouble at home and at school because of his preoccupation with his favorite radio programs.

Blundell, Judy.  What I Saw and How I Lied.  Y FIC Blundell
In 1947, with her jovial stepfather Joe back from the war and family life returning to normal, teenage Evie, smitten by the handsome young ex-GI who seems to have a secret hold on Joe, finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies whose devastating outcome change her life and that of her family forever.

Cormier, Robert.  Heroes : A Novel.  Y FIC Cormier
After joining the army at fifteen and having his face blown away by a grenade in a battle in France, Francis returns home to Frenchtown hoping to find –and kill–the former childhood hero he feels betrayed him.

Cushman, Karen.  The Loud Silence of Francine Green.  Y FIC Green
In 1949, thirteen-year-old Francine goes to Catholic school in Los Angeles where she becomes best friends with a girl who questions authority and is frequently punished by the nuns, causing Francine to question her own values.

Gaeddert, LouAnn Bigge.  Friends and Enemies.  Y FIC Gaeddert
In 1941 in Kansas, as America enters World War II, fourteen-year-old William finds himself alienated from his friend Jim, a Mennonite who does not believe in fighting for any reason, as they argue about the war.

Giff, Patricia Reilly.  Lily’s Crossing.  Y FIC Giff // Y PB G
During a summer spent at Rockaway Beach in 1944, Lily’s friendship with a young Hungarian refugee causes her to see the war and her own world differently.

Hesse, Monica.  Girl in the Blue Coat.  Y FIC Hesse
In 1943 Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, teenage Hanneke–a ‘finder’ of black market goods–is tasked with finding a Jewish girl a customer had been hiding, who has seemingly vanished into thin air, and is pulled into a web of resistance activities and secrets as she attempts to solve the mystery and save the missing girl.

McCoy, Mary.  Dead to Me.  Y FIC McCoy
In 1948 Hollywood, a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets, sixteen-year-old Alice tries to find a young runaway who is the sole witness to a beating that put her sister, Annie, in a coma.

Sepetys, Ruta.  Between Shades of Gray.  Y FIC Sepetys
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author’s family, includes a historical note.

Sepetys, Ruta.  Salt to the Sea.  Y FIC Sepetys
As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war’s final dangers, only to find themselves aboard a ship with a target on its hull.

Wein, Elizabeth.  Code Name Verity.  Y FIC Wein
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.  COMPANION: Rose Under Fire (2013).

Wolff, Virginia Euwer.  Bat 6.  YPB W
In small town, post-World War Oregon, twenty-one 6th grade girls recount the story of an annual softball game, during which one girl’s bigotry comes to the surface.

Holt, Kimberly Willis.  My Louisiana Sky.  Y FIC Holt
Growing up in Saitter, Louisiana, in the 1950s, twelve-year-old Tiger Ann struggles with her feelings about her stern, but loving grandmother, her mentally slow parents, and her good friend and neighbor, Jesse.

Larson, Rodger.  What I Know Now.  Y FIC Larson
In 1957 in California, having fallen in love with a young man who has come to his house to build a garden, a fourteen-year-old gay boy finds his life and his world view changing.

Lipsyte, Robert.  One Fat Summer.  YPB L (SUMMER READING)
An overweight fourteen-year-old boy experiences a turningpoint summer in which he learns to stand up for himself.

Robinet, Harriette.  Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues.  J FIC Robinet
Twelve-year-old Alfa Merryfield, his older sister, and their grandmother struggle for rent money, food, and their dignity as they participate in the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott in the summer of 1956.

Sepetys, Ruta.  Out of the Easy.  Y FIC Sepetys
Josie, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a French Quarter prostitute, is striving to escape 1950 New Orleans and enroll at prestigious Smith College when she becomes entangled in a murder investigation.

White, Ruth.  Belle Prater’s Boy.  Y FIC White
When Woodrow’s mother suddenly disappears, he moves to his grandparents’ home in a small Virginia town where he befriends his cousin and together they find the strength to face the terrible losses and fears in their lives.

Curtis, Christopher Paul.  The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963.  Y FIC Curtis / Y PB C
The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

Magoon, Kekla.  The Rock and the River.  Y FIC Magoon
In 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Sam Childs is caught in a conflict between his father’s nonviolent approach to seeking civil rights for African Americans and his older brother, who has joined the Black Panther Party.

Moore, Yvette.  Freedom Song.  Y FIC Moore
In the sixties, when Sheryl’s Uncle Pete joins the Freedom Riders down South, she organizes a gospel concert in Brooklyn to help him.

Nelson, Theresa. And One For All.  Y FIC Nelson
Geraldine’s close relationship with her older brother Wing and his friend Sam changes when Wing joins the Marines and Sam leaves for Washington to join a peace march.

Shimko, Bonnie.  The Private Thoughts of Amelia E. Rye.  Y FIC Shimko
Growing up in a small town in upstate New York during the 1960s, a young girl, unwanted by her mother, searches for love and acceptance.

Talley, Robin.  Lies We Tell Ourselves.  Y FIC Talley
In 1959 Virginia, Sarah, a black student who is one of the first to attend a newly integrated school, forces Linda, a white integration opponent’s daughter, to confront harsh truths when they work together on a school project.

Tash, Sarvenaz.  Three Day Summer.  Y FIC Tash
During the three days of the music festival known as Woodstock, Michael Michaelson of Somerville, Massachusetts, and Cora Fletcher, a volunteer in the medical tent who lives nearby, share incredible experiences, the greatest of which is meeting each other.

Weil, Cynthia.  I’m Glad I Did.  Y FIC Weil
In 1963 sixteen-year-old JJ Green, a songwriter interning at New York City’s famous Brill Building, finds herself a writing partner In Luke Silver, a boy who seems to connect instantly with her music, and they start cutting their first demo with Dulcie Brown, a legend who has fallen on hard times, with a secret past.

Wiles, Deborah.  Countdown.  Y FIC Wiles  (The Sixites Trilogy)
Franny Chapman just wants some peace. But that’s hard to get when her best friend is feuding with her, her sister has disappeared, and her uncle is fighting an old war in his head. Her saintly younger brother is no help, and the cute boy across the street only complicates things. Worst of all, everyone is walking around just waiting for a bomb to fall. It’s 1962, and it seems the whole country is living in fear.  SEQUELS: Revolution (2014).

Dumas, Firoozeh.  It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel.  Y FIC Dumas
Eleven-year-old Zomorod, originally from Iran, tells her story of growing up Iranian in Southern California during the Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis of the late 1970s.

Gansworth, Eric L.  If I Ever Get Out of Here.  Y FIC Gansworth
Seventh-grader Lewis “Shoe” Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whites–and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.

Holt, Kimberly Willis.  When Zachary Beaver Came to Town.  Y FIC Holt
During the summer of 1971 in a small Texas town, thirteen-year-old Toby and his best friend Cal meet the star of a sideshow act, 600-pound Zachary, the fattest boy in the world.

Lynch, Chris.  Gold Dust.  Y FIC Lynch  //  Y PB L
In 1975, twelve-year-old Richard befriends Napolean, a Caribbean newcomer to his Catholic school, hoping that Napolean will learn to love baseball and the Red Sox, and will win acceptance in the racially polarized Boston school.

Medina, Meg.  Burn Baby Burn.  Y FIC Medina
During the summer of 1977 when New York City is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam, seventeen-year-old Nora must also face her family’s financial woes, her father’s absence, and her brother’s growing violence.

Paterson, Katherine.  Park’s Quest.  J FIC Paterson
Eleven-year-old Park makes some startling discoveries when he travels to his grandfather’s farm in Virginia to learn about his father who died in the Vietnam War.

Strykowski, Marcia.  Call Me Amy.  Y FIC Strykowski
For Amy Henderson, 1973 has been a lonely year, until she helps rescue an injured seal pup and forms an unlikely alliance, and in the process faces challenges that change her life.

Dickinson, Peter.  Shadow of a Hero.  Y FIC Dickinson
In 1989, Letta, an English teenager, learns of her heritage from her grandfather, great-grandson of the legendary hero of Varina, as he becomes involved in the nationalistic political struggles in Eastern Europe.

Farmer, Nancy.  A Girl Named Disaster.  Y FIC Farmer
While journeying to Zimbabwe, eleven-year-old Nhamo struggles to escape drowning and starvation and in so doing comes close to the luminous world of the African spirits.

Kurtz, Jane.  The Storyteller’s Beads.  Y FIC Kurtz
During the political strife and famine of the 1980′s, two Ethiopian girls, one Christian and the other Jewish and blind, struggle to overcome many difficulties, including their prejudices about each other, as they make the dangerous journey out of Ethiopia.

Rowell, Rainbow.  Eleanor & Park.  Y FIC Rowell
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try

Creech, Sharon.  Chasing Redbird.  Y PB C  //  Y FIC Creech
Thirteen-year-old Zinnia Taylor uncovers family secrets and self truths while clearing a mysterious settler trail that begins on her family’s farm in Kentucky.

Filipovic, Zlata.  Zlata’s Diary : A Child’s Life in Sarajevo.   YPB F / YB Filipovic (SUMMER READING)
In September 1991, shortly before war broke out on the streets of Sarajevo, 11-year-old Zlata Filipovic began to keep a diary. In a voice both innocent and wise, she wrote of the horrors of war–the deaths of friends, a shortage of food, and days spent in fear–and issued a compelling plea for peace that has moved parents and children, and will continue to awaken the conscience of the world.

Gantos, Jack.  Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key.  Y FIC Gantos // Y PB G  //  LT Y FIC Gantos (SUMMER READING)
To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription medications wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired.

Jensen, Cordelia.  Skyscraping.  Y FIC Jensen
In 1993 in New York City, high school senior Mira uncovers many secrets, including that her father has a male lover. 

Moore, Martha.  Angels on the Roof.  Y FIC Moore
During a trip to her childhood home in Texas, a mother tries to prevent her teenage daughter from finding out the truth about her father.

Qualey, Marsha.  Hometown.  Y FIC Qualey / YPB Q
Just before the 1991 Gulf War begins, sixteen-year-old Border Baker moves to a small town with his father, a Vietnam War draft resister.

Soto, Gary.  Buried Onions.  Y FIC Soto
When nineteen-year-old Eddie drops out of college, he struggles to find a place for himself as a Mexican American living in a violence-infested neighborhood of Fresno, California.