Young Adult

Contemporary young adult fiction about teens struggling with mental illness, addiction, abuse, incarceration, homelessness, and other tough stuff.

A number of these books have been nominated for and/or won literary awards.

By-Pass, Breaking the Pattern #3

By-Pass, Breaking the Pattern #3

(Book #3) It's better when she's happy. Bobby is a geeky teen who is convinced that his new foster home is everything he has ever hoped for. His foster mom Katya is so different than any he has ever had; but as her behavior becomes more and more unpredictable and disturbing, he comes to realize that both he and Katya’s daughter Zane are in trouble ...
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Don't Forget Steven

Don’t Forget Steven

Things never have been easy for Steven. He accepts that, and just makes the best of things. He might not have parents or a happy home. Or enough to eat most days. But at least he has a couple of loyal friends who stand by him and help out when they can. At least he has school, someplace he can go to escape the abuse. But just when he thought things couldn't get much worse, they did. Steven is accused of murder. But that isn't the worst part. The really bad part is not even knowing if he did it ...
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Tattooed Teardrops

Tattooed Teardrops

(Book 1) Tamara had thought that when she got out of juvie, things would be easier. But before long, it seems like her life is spiraling into chaos. If she can’t prove to her probation officer that she is innocent of the allegations against her, she’s going back to prison, and Tamara just can’t let that happen ...
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Diversion, Breaking the Pattern #2

Diversion, Breaking the Pattern #2

(Book #2) Raised to a life of crime, Sandy is a teenage prostitute, junkie, and con artist. She always joked that her Da taught her a trade, that it hadn’t hurt her to be brought up like she was. But things keep getting more complicated, more dangerous, and Sandy doesn't want to admit even to herself that she longs for an honest, normal life ...
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Stand Alone

Stand Alone

Is Justine crazy? Everyone thinks so... Her mother. The kids at school, and the teachers and administrators too. Even the police who pick her up from her night rambles. Maybe them most of all ...
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Ruby, Between the Cracks

Ruby, Between the Cracks

(Book #1) If you asked Ruby, she'd tell you she's happy with her life.  She's tough and independent and doesn't depend on anyone else. The road that has led her here has not been easy, and she's blocked a lot of it from her memory. But things aren't as rosy as she would have everyone believe, and the road ahead of her is filled not only with gangs, drugs, and depression, but other challenges that Ruby hasn't even imagined ...
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Deviation, Breaking the Pattern #1

Deviation, Breaking the Pattern #1

(Book #1) Everyone knew that he was a good guy; geeky, responsible, hard-working.  Henry has had a lot to deal with in the past.  Now, as he should be focusing on his schooling and preparing himself for the future, he is hindered by abuse, the challenge of raising his baby brother while dealing with his mother’s deep depressions, and the return of a ghost from the past Henry has tried his best to forget ...
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