Saturday, March 26, 2011

Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Contemporary Realistic Fiction
"Contemporary" means it could happen in our time.
"Realistic" means it really could happen.
"Fiction" means it really didn't happen.  It is a made-up, fictional story.

Here are a few recommendations for the Basic 8 Book #2 book:
(No, I haven't read them all, but have checked out recommendations from generally reliable sources for those I haven't.  I'll star* those I have read and recommend.)

Most of you should be reading at a seventh grade level: at least 735L to 1065L and above

*Absolutely Normal Chaos -- Sharon Creech  900L
Alice, I Think by Susan Juby 950L
Amazing Gracie -- Ann Cannon  680L
* Anything But Typical -- about autism
*Baby by Patricia MacLachlan  670L
*Beardance by Will Hobbs  890L
*Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan  830L
*Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer  640L
Chicken Boy by Frances Dowell   860L
*Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin
Crazy Lady -- Jane Leslie Conly
Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs
Does My Head Look Big in This -- 
*Downriver by Will Hobbs
Fifteen -- Beverly Cleary
Firegirl by   Tony Abbott  670L  (5th grade +) Pages: 145
*Flipped -- Wendelin Van Draanen  720L
*Freak the Mighty (Also titled The Mighty) by Rodman Philbrick  1000L
** Hope was Here -- Joan Bauer
*Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key -- Jack Gantos  (and other books in the Joey Pigza series)
Kira-Kira by Cythia Kadohata
*The Loser's Guide to Life and Love by A.E. Cannon
Lush by Natasha Friend
*Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
The Misfits by James Howe
Monster by Walter Dean Meyers
*Mockingbird --
MOONGLASS by Jessi Kirby -- I haven't read this one yet, so though it's rated in some places as appropriate for 12 and up, I can't guarantee it.
Nobody Else Has to Know by Ingrid Tomey 
Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes 
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer    750L 
One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
Out of Nowhere by Ouida Sebestyen 
 Perfect by Natasha Friend
*P.S. Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More --  Paula Danziger and Martin
*Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff   -- 650L
Probably Still Nick Swansen by Virginia Euwer Wolff
*Ruby Holler -- Sharon Creech
*Rules by Cynthia Lord
Schooled by Gordon Korman 
*Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Sticks by Joan Bauer
*Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman (language)
*Summer of the Swans  -- Betsy Byars
*The Cat Ate My Gymsuit -- Paula Danziger
This Can't Be Happening at McDonald Hall by Gordon Korman (Funny!) 
True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff
*Walk Two Moons --  Sharon Creech
*When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
*Whirligig by Paul Fleischman
*Wringer by Jerry Spinelli

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett

Recommended Contemporary Realistic Fiction (from Ms. Dorsey) :
Lupita Manana by Patricia Beatty

Crossing over the border is a dangerous business...
...But Lupita must cross from Mexico to America. After her father dies in a fishing boat accident in the seas near their small Mexican village, Lupita's family is left in poverty. Lupita and her big brother, Salvador, must smuggle themselves into the United States to earn money to support their mother and young siblings. America is not the land of opportunity they had hoped. A new language, hard labor, and the constant threat of la migra -- the immigration police--make every day a difficult challenge. But for feisty Lupita, there is always hope for a better manana -- tomorrow.
 -- Review from

Return to Sender  by Julia Alvarez

After Tyler's father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to hire migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure. Tyler isn’t sure what to make of these workers. Are they undocumented? And what about the three daughters, particularly Mari, the oldest, who is proud of her Mexican heritage but also increasingly connected her American life. Her family lives in constant fear of being discovered by the authorities and sent back to the poverty they left behind in Mexico. Can Tyler and Mari find a way to be friends despite their differences?

In a novel full of hope, but no easy answers, Julia Alvarez weaves a beautiful and timely story that will stay with readers long after they finish it.   -- Blurb from the hardcover edition.