Books for teens

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Death of Jayson Porter, The
Jaime Adoff

Teen Adoff

Sixteen-year-old Jayson Porter wants to believe things will get better. But the harsh realities of his life never seem to change. Living in the inland-Florida projects with his abusive mother, he tries unsuccessfully to fit in at his predominately white school, while struggling to maintain even a thread of a relationship with his drug-addicted father.


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Because I am Furniture
Thalia Chaltas

Teen Chaltas

Anke’s father is abusive. But not to her. He attacks her brother and sister, but she’s just an invisible witness in a house of horrors, on the brink of disappearing altogether. Until she makes the volleyball team at school.


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Lock and Key
Sarah Dessen

Teen Dessen

When she is abandoned by her alcoholic mother, high school senior Ruby winds up living with Cora, the sister she has not seen for ten years, and learns about Cora’s new life, what makes a family, how to allow people to help her when she needs it, and that she too has something to offer others.


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Forged By Fire
Sharon M. Draper

Teen Draper

Teenage Gerald, who has spent years protecting his fragile half-sister from their abusive father, faces the prospect of one final confrontation before the problem can be solved.


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Touching Snow
M. Sindy Felin

Teen Felin

After her stepfather is arrested for child abuse, thirteen-year-old Karina’s home life improves but while the severity of her older sister’s injuries and the urging of her younger sister, their uncle, and a friend tempt her to testify against him, her mother and other well-meaning adults pursuade her to claim responsibility.


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The Last Exit to Normal
Michael Harmon

Teen Harmon

Yanked out of his city life and plunked down into a small Montana town with his father and his father’s boyfriend, seventeen-year-old Ben, angry and resentful about the changed circumstances of his life, begins to notice that something is not quite right with the little boy next door and determines to do something about it.


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Suckerpunch
David Hernandez

Teen Hernandez

Shy, seventeen-year-old Marcus and his sixteen-year-old brother, Enrique, accompanied by two friends, drive from their home in southern California to Monterey to confront the abusive father who walked out a year earlier, and who now wants to return home.


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You Don't Know Me
David Klass

Teen Klass

(“My father named me after a toilet!”) John wrestles with the certainty that no one really knows him—not in his miserable home, and certainly not at school.


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The Rules of Survival
Nancy Werlin

Teen Werlin

Seventeen-year-old Matthew recounts his attempts, starting at a young age, to free himself and his sisters from the grip of their emotionally and physically abusive mother.


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Life Is Fine
Allison Whittenberg

Teen Whittenberg

With a neglectful mother who has an abusive, live-in boyfriend, life for fifteen-year-old Samara is not fine but when a substitute teacher walks into class one day and introduces her to poetry, she starts to view life from a different perspective.


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