SMILE by Raina Telgemeier (Graphic Novel for Middle Grade-Scholastic) This Eisner Award winner is based on a true story where the author, as a child, suffers extreme dental injuries and endures treatment complications and social angst.
SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson (Young Adult- Puffin) A friendless girl learns to heal after she is raped at a party.
AMERICAN BORN CHINESE by Gene Luen Yang (Graphic Novel for Young Adult-Square Fish) Three male characters hope to gain peer acceptance by being someone they're not.
OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA by Jennifer Holm (Middle Grade-Harper Trophy) Inspired by the diaries of the author's great-aunt, this Newbery Honor book is about about a tomboy with seven brothers who wishes hard for a baby sister. Check out my author interview.
BEFORE I DIE by Jenny Downham (Young Adult-David Fickling) A terminally-ill girl seeks to accomplish a bunch of things on her to-do list, including having sex and finding love.
MIDDLE GRADE IS WORSE THAN MEATLOAF by Jennifer Holm (Middle Grade- Ginee Seo) The book chronicles a girl's school year told through report cards, bank statements, notes, and school essays.