Brief Novels: Short and Sweet
Short and Sweet
Books for Ages 12-15
Avi. Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel, 1991. (Y-LPeD-Avi/Y-PRD-Avi) A ninth-grader's suspension for singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" during homeroom
becomes a national news story.
Blume, Judy. Blubber; 1974. (Y-LPeD-Blume/Y-P-BLU)
Jill goes along with the rest of the fifth-grade class in tormenting a classmate and then
finds out what it’s like when she, too, becomes a target.
Blume, Judy. It’s Not the End of the World; 1972. (Y-Blume) When her parents divorce, a sixth grader struggles to understand that sometimes people
are unable to live together.
Bunting, Eve. Blackwater; 1999. (Y-P-BUN)
When a boy and girl are drowned in the Blackwater River, thirteen-year-old Brodie must
decide whether to confess that he may have caused the accident.
Cabot, Meg. All-American Girl; 2002. (Y-Cabot/Y-LPeD-Cabot)
A sophomore girl, who stops a presidential assassination attempt, is appointed Teen
Ambassador to the United Nations and catches the eye of the very cute First Son.
Cabot, Meg. Ready or Not; 2005. (Y-Cabot/Y-LPeD-Cabot)
Now a high school junior, Samantha tries to decide whether she is ready to have sex with
her boyfriend, who happens to be the President’s son. Sequel to All-American Girl.
Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street; 1991. (Y-PRD-CIS) For Esperanza, a girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, life is an endless
landscape of concrete and tenements, and she tries to rise above the hopelessness.
Cormier, Robert. The Rag and Bone Shop; 2001. (Y-Cormier/Y-PRD-COR) Trent, an ace interrogator, works to procure a confession from an introverted 12-year-
old accused of murdering his 7-year-old friend in Monument Massachusetts.
Cushman, Karen. The Midwife’s Apprentice; 1995. (Y-PRD-CUS) In medieval England, a homeless girl is taken in by a midwife, and eventually gains the
three things she most wants: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.
Danziger, Paula. The Cat Ate My Gymsuit; 1974. (Y-Danziger/Y-LPeD-Danziger/Y-PRD-DAN)
When an unconventional teacher who helped her conquer her feelings of insecurity is
fired, a junior high student uses her courage to campaign for the teacher’s reinstatement.
Flake, Sharon. Money Hungry; 2001. (Y-Flake/Y-PRD-FLA)
All thirteen-year-old Raspberry can think of is making money so that she and her mother
never have to worry about living on the streets again.
Flake, Sharon. Begging for Change; 2003. (Y-Flake/Y-PRD-FLA) Raspberry tries to sort out her confused feelings of disgust, shame, and love for her
homeless, drug-addicted father and worries she may have inherited his lying and stealing
ways. Sequel to Money Hungry.
Flake, Sharon. The Skin I’m in; 1998. (Y-P-FLA Romance) Maleeka, unvcomfortable because her skin is extremely dark, meets a new teacher with a
birthmark on her face and makes some discoveries about how to love who she is.
Fleischman, Paul. Seek; 2001. (Y-Fleischman/Y-LPeD-Fleischman/Y-PRD-FLE)
Rob becomes obsessed with searching the airwaves for his long-gone father, a radio
Fox, Paula. The Slave Dancer;p 1973. (Y-LPeD-Fox/Y-PRD-FOX) Kidnapped by the crew of an Africa-bound ship, a thirteen-year-old boy discovers he is
on a slaver and his job is to play music for the exercise periods of the human cargo.
Giles, Gail. Dead Girl’s Don’t Write Letters; 2003 (Y-Giles/Y-P-GIL)
Fourteen-year-old Sunny is stunned when a total stranger shows up at her house posing
as her older sister Jazz, who supposedly died out of town in a fire months earlier.
Giles, Gail. Shattering Glass; 2002. (Y-Giles)
When Rob, the charismatic leader of the senior class, turns the school nerd into Prince
Charming, his actions lead to unexpected violence.
Glenn, Mel. Split Image: A Story in Poems; 2000. (Y-Glenn) A series of poems reflect the thoughts and feelings of various people about the seemingly
perfect Laura Li and her life inside and out of Tower High School.
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Among the Hidden; Simon & Schuster Books for Young
Readers: ?, 1998. (Y-LPeD-Haddix)
In the future where the law limits a family to only two children, Luke lives in isolation
and fear on his family’s farm until another third convinces him the government is wrong.
Hautman, Pete. Invisible; 2005. (Y-Hautman)
Doug and Andy are unlikely best friends, a loner obsessed by his model trains and the
other a popular, who grew up together and share a bond that nothing can sever.
Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker; 2001. (Y-Horowitz/Y-P-HOR) After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, 14-year-old Alex Rider is
coerced to continue his uncle’s dangerous work for Britain’s intelligence agency, MI-6.
Horowitz, Anthony. Point Blank; 2002. (Y-Horowitz)
Alex continues his work as a spy for the British MI-6. This time he is investigating an
exclusive school for boys in the French Alps. Sequel to Stormbreaker.
Horowitz, Anthony. Skeleton Key; 2003. (Y-Horowitz) Reluctant teen spy Alex Rider, on a routine mission gets caught up in Chinese gangs,
illegal nuclear weapons, and the suspect plans of his Russian host, General Sarov. Sequel
to Point Blank.
Horowitz, Anthony. Eagle Strike; 2004. (Y-Horowitz) After a chance encounter with an assissin, Alex investigates international pop star and
philanthropist Damian Cray whose new videos game venture hides sinister motives.
Sequel to Skeleton Key.
Horowitz, Anthony. Scorpia; 2005. (Y-Horowitz/Y-P-HOR) After being told his father was an assassin, Alex goes to Italy to find out more and
becomes involved in a plan to kill thousands of English school children. Sequel to Eagle
Horowitz, Anthony. Ark Angel, 2006. (Y-Horowitz) After recovering from a near fatal gunshot wound, teen spy Alex Rider embarks on a new
mission to stop a group of eco-terrorists from sabotaging the launch of the first space
hotel. Sequel to Scorpia.
Johnson, Angela. First Part Last; 2003. (Y-Johnson/Y-LPeD-Johnson/Y-PRD-JOH) Bobby’s carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care
for his adored baby daughter.
Klaus, Annette Curtis. The Silver Kiss; 1990. (Y-PRD-KLA) A mysterious teenage boy harboring a dark secret helps Zoe come to terms with her
mother’s terminal illness.
Koertge, Ronald. Stone & Spaz; 2002. (Y-Koertge) A troubled youth with cerebral palsy struggles toward self-acceptance with the help of a
drug-addicted young woman.
Korman, Gordon. So of the Mob; 2002. (Y-Korman/Y-LPeD-Korman) Vince’s life is constantly complicated by the fact that he is the son of a powerful Mafia
boss, a relationship that threatens his relationship with the daught of an FBI agent.
Korman, Gordon. So of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle; 2004. (Y-Korman)
Vince goes away to college to escape his past, but soon his brother and a series of
“uncles” appear at his dorm. Before long he is caught up in criminal activity once again.
Lowry, Lois. The Giver; 1993. (Y-LPeD-Lowry/Y-PRD-LOW)
Given his lifetime assignment, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only
one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he
Myers, Walter Dean. The Beast; 2003. (Y-Myers) A visit to his Harlem neighborhood and the discovery that the girl he loves is using drug
gives Anthony a new perspective on both his home and his life at a prep school.
Myers, Walter. Dean. Monster; 1999. (Y-Myers/Y-LPeD-Myers) While on trial as an accomplice to murder, Stever records his experiences in prison and
in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to comes to terms with his life.
Nixon, Joan Lowery. Nightmare; 2003. (Y-LPeD-Nixon) Emily is sent to a camp for underachievers where she discovers a murderer on the staff
who might provide an explanation for her recurring nightmares.
Rylant, Cynthia. God Went to Beauty School; 2003. (Y-Rylant)
A novel in poems that reveal God’s discovery of the wonders and pains in the world he
Shan, Darren. Cirque du Freak: The Saga of Darren Shan; 2001. (Y-Shan)
Two boys who are best friends visit in illegal freak show, where an encounter with a
vampire and a deadly spider forces them to make life-changing choices.
Smith, Roland. Zach’s Lie; 2001. (Y-Smith/Y-PRD-SMI)
When Jack is befriended by his school’s custodian and a Basque girl, he begins to adjust
to his family sudden move to Nevada after entering the Witness Security Program.
Smith, Roland. Jack’s Run; 2005. (Y-Smith)
Kidnapped by drug czar Alonzo Asnar and held hostage, Jack and his sister Joanne
attempt a daring escape while their parents, aided by some old friends, set out to rescue
them. Sequel to Zach’s Lie.
Sones, Sonya. One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies; 2004. (Y-Sones/Y-
Ruby leaves her best friend, boyfriend, aunt, and mother’s grave in Boston and flies to LA
to live with her father, a movie star who divorced her mother before she was born.
Sones, Sonya. What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know; 2007. (Y-Sones)
Robin Murphy is so unpopular at high school that his name is slang for "loser." When he
begins dating Sophie, her reputation plummets. He finds acceptance in a drawing class.
Sequel to What My Mother Doesn’t Know.
Sones, Sonya. What My Mother Doesn’t Know; 2001. (Y-Sones/Y-PRD-SON)
Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right.
Stine, R.L. Dangerous Girls; 2003. (Y-Stine)
After Destiny and her twin sister Livvy are turned into partial vampires at summer camp,
they try to find the “Restorer,” someone who can return them to normal.
Trueman, Terry. Inside Out; 2003. (Y-Trueman)
A sixteen-year-old with schizophrenia is caught up in the events surrounding an
attempted robbery by two other teens who eventually hold him hostage.
Trueman, Terry. Stuck in Neutral; 2000. (Y-Trueman/Y-LPeD-Trueman)
Shawn McDaniel, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy, relates his perceptions of his
life, family, and condition as he believes his father is planning to kill him.
Williams-Garcia, Rita. Every Time a Rainbow Dies; 2001. (Y-P-WIL) After seeing a girl raped and becoming obsessed with, Thulani finds the motivation to
move beyond his interest in his pigeons and his grief over his mother’s death.
Wolff, Virginia Euwer. Make Lemonade; 1993. (Y-Wolff/Y-LPeD-Wolff) In order to earn money for college, fourteen-year-old LaVaughn babysits for a teenage
Wolff, Virgina Euwer. True Believer; 2001. (Y-LPeD-Wolff)
Living in the innercity amidst guns and poverty, LaVaughn learns from old and new
friends and inspiring mentors that life is what you make of it – an occasion to rise to.
Sequel to Make Lemonade.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Hush; 2002. (Y-Woodson/Y-PRD-WOO)
Twelve-year-old Toswiah finds her life changed when her family enters the witness