Bad Boy Can be Good for a Girl by Tonya Lee
StoneThings change by Patrick Jones
Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler
Beastly by Alex Flinn
TwistedHoney baby sweetheart by Deb Calletti
Playing with Matches by Brian Katcher
Played by Dana Davidson
Wild Roses by Deb Calletti
Inexcusable by Chris Lynch
Breaking up is Hard to Do short story collection edited by Nikki Burnham
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn
Touch by Francine Prose
Story of Girl by Sara Zarr
Who am I Without Him? short story collection by Sharon Flake
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Someone to Love Me by Anne Schraff (A Bluford High Novel)

Posted to YALSABK by:
Naomi Bates
Librarian, Northwest High School
Justin TX

Teach Me, by R.A. Nelson
Boy Toy, by Barry Lyga
How It's Done, by Christine Kole Maclean
A Season of Eden, by JM Warwick
Skim, Tamaki
Prey, Lurlene McDaniel
Treacherous Love, Beatrice Sparks
GONE by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson

Book Recommendations for Troubled Family (abusive father)

One For the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (2012)
Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick. But the day she becomes a foster child, and moves in with the Murphys, she's blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed, and she feels like an alien in their cookie-cutter-perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong--until her mother wants her back and Carley has to decide where and how to live. She's not really a Murphy, but the gifts they've given her have opened up a new future.

What Jamie Saw, by Carolyn Coman (1995)
Having fled to a family friend's hillside trailer after his mother's boyfriend tried to throw his baby sister against a wall, nine-year-old Jamie finds himself living an existence full of uncertainty and fear. (baby Nin is caught, miraculously, by his mother)

When danger hits home: survivors of domestic violence (Oct 2008)

By: Zoldak, Joyce
Presents the experiences of people who have survived domestic and child abuse, telling how their lives have changed as a result.

When Daddy hit Mommy (Sep 2010)

By: Stewart, Sheila, 1975-

Discusses domestic violence, including its causes, its effects on the family, how to get help, life in a shelter, and help for the abuser, and provides a story about a girl whose father gets violent.

Okay for now (Apr 2011)

By: Schmidt, Gary D.

While Doug struggles to be more than the thug that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer, as they explore Audubon's art.

Gossamer (Apr 2006)

By: Lowry, Lois

While learning to bestow dreams, a young dream giver tries to save an eight-year-old boy from the effects of both his abusive past and the nightmares inflicted on him by the frightening Sinisteeds.

Coping with domestic violence (Jan 2011)

By: Miles, Liz

Discusses family abuse, including the different types of abuse, how to stay safe, and how to cope with violence and abuse in the home.

Stay safe!: how you can keep out of harm's way (Oct 2008)

By: Nelson, Sara Kirsten

Provides children with information about ways to avoid accidents, keep themselves safe, and react appropriately to dangerous situations.

Camp of the angel (Apr 2003)

By: Arrington, Aileen

Although teachers, counselors, and social workers try to help, it is a stray cat that finally enables eleven-year-old Jordan to stand up to the father who has beaten her and her brother for years.

Pictures of Hollis Woods, by Patricia Reilly Giff
A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.

Spike the Ugliest Dog in the Universe, by Debra Frasier
When Spike, the winner of the Ugliest Dog in the Universe contest, is abandoned by his owner, Joe, the boy next door, is determined--against all odds--to adopt him. Things look grim until Spike foils a neighborhood catnapping plan--and saves the day.

Words with Wings, by Nikki Grimes
Gabby's world is filled with daydreams. However, what began as an escape from her parents' arguments has now taken over her life. But with the help of a new teacher, Gabby the dreamer might just become Gabby the writer, and words that carried her away might allow her to soar. Written in vivid, accessible poems, this remarkable verse novel is a celebration of imagination, of friendship, of one girl's indomitable spirit, and of a teacher's ability to reach out and change a life.

All the Right Stuff, by Walter Dean Myers
The summer after his absentee father is killed in a random shooting, Paul volunteers at a Harlem soup kitchen where he listens to lessons about "the social contract" from an elderly African American man, and mentors a seventeen-year-old unwed mother who wants to make it to college on a basketball scholarship.

Staying safe by saying no (Aug 1999)

By: MacGregor, Cynthia

Explains the significance of saying "no" in potentially dangerous situations, particularly with strangers.

A safe place (Apr 1997)

By: Trottier, Maxine

To escape her father's abuse, Emily and her mother come to a shelter where they find a safe place to stay with other women and children in similar circumstances.

I know a place (Mar 1992)

By: Ackerman, Karen, 1951-

A child describes a place where all the rooms have warmth, comfort, and love, and it turns out to be home.

"Thank You, Bear," by Greg Foley, "How Kind" by Mary Murphy, and the recent Mo Willems easy readers about Elephant and Piggie - all model very gentle communication between friends. Maybe reading books like that to the baby together would be a way for the 7 year old to engage in thinking about healthy ways to talk about feelings.

Hershey Herself by Cecilia Galante (2008)
When twelve-year-old Hershey must run away with her mother to a women's shelter, she wonders how, among other things, she'll compete in the town talent show with her best friend, Phoebe; who will take care of her cat, Augustus Gloop; and if she'll survive being on a new bus route with her sworn enemy.

A really wonderful family is portrayed in Kevin Henkes' The Year of Billy Miller. It'd be a good book for the 12-year -old to read aloud to the 7-year-old. Billy is an anxious second grader.

One Square Inch by Claudia Mills concerns a mother with what appears to be OCD who nearly destroys her two kids' lives. I don't think there's a father but there's a supportive grandfather.

Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson is another one with a mother who has problems and deserts her son at a camp ground. It becomes a sort of wild adventure story as the boy tries to make his way home without getting his mother in trouble.

Waiting to Forget by Sheila Welch is about two kids with a neglectful mother who allows an abusive boyfriend to live with them. It's fairly strong, but a child who has been through some of this stuff will understand the feelings and reactions of the 12-year -old main character. Such a reader would probably be thankful she herself has a caring mother.

Nancy Werlin's Rules of Survival, quite an intense but wonderful book.
"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."

Bauer, Joan. CLOSE TO FAMOUS. New York: Puffin, 2012, 2011.
12-year-old Foster McFee & her mother escape from her mother’s abusive boyfriend & end up in the small town of Culpepper, West Virginia, where they use their strengths & challenge themselves to build a new life, with the help of the friends they make there.

Dessen, Sarah. LOCK & KEY: A NOVEL. New York: Viking, 2008.
When she is abandoned by her alcoholic mother, high school senior Ruby winds up living with Cora, the sister she has not seen for 10 years, & learns about Cora’s new life, what makes a family, how to allow people to help her when she needs it, & that she too has something to offer others.

Schor, Howard, et al. A PLACE FOR STARR: A STORY OF HOPE FOR CHILDREN EXPERIENCING FAMILY VIOLENCE. (Poetry) Indianapolis, IN: Kidsrights, 2002.
Starr and her little brother Tyler hide under the bed when her father gets upset and becomes violent--until their mother takes them to a shelter.

Woolston, Blythe. THE FREAK OBSERVER. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Lab, 2010.
Suffering from a crippling case of post-traumatic stress disorder, 16-year-old Loa Lindgran tries to use her problem solving skills, sharpened in physics & computer programming, to cure herself.

Brown, Isobel. DOMESTIC CRIME. Broomall, PA: Mason Crest Publishers, 2003.
Demonstrates that the high level of crime committed in the home, usually by people close to their victims, is not a feature of modern life in just a few countries, but has been a worldwide problem from the beginning of time. It looks, too, at the way societies are trying to redeem the situation.

Cotner, June, comp. TEEN SUNSHINE REFLECTIONS: WORDS FOR THE HEART & SOUL. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.
An interfaith collection of poems, prayers, and reflections that address challenges faced by teens, and that includes words from Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and teenaged authors.

Johnson, Julie Tallard. SPIRITUAL JOURNALING: WRITING YOUR WAY TO INDEPENDENCE. Rochester, VT: Bindu Books, 2006.
A guide for teens and young adults on the power of creative journaling and its role in enhancing self-discovery and self-awareness

Discusses domestic abuse, its warning signs, & healthy ways of dealing with it.

Provides checklists, journaling ideas, & other positive ways of dealing with being physically, sexually, &/or emotionally abused, emphasizing the importance of talking about what has happened & getting help.

Books by Diana Wynne Jones - she had a difficult childhood and wrote in a way about kids with difficult family members but in a fantasy setting where they have a lot of agency - any of her books might fit well because of this theme in her work, but maybe the Pinhoe Egg, Conrad's Fate, or Howl's Moving Castle. Jones also wrote picture books for younger readers and short stories.

Books by Margaret Mahy

Books by Madeline L'Engle

Little House on the Prairie books

Aware Bears series, by various authors

Boxcar Children series, by Gertrude Warner

For Mom:

Sweet devotion (Feb 2004)

By: Mason, Felicia

Starting a new life in the quaint town of Wayside, Oregon, caterer Amber Montgomery, a victim of spousal abuse, meets her match in Police Chief Paul Evan when a Community Christian Church youth camping trip forces them to face their fears, leading to a second chance at love.

I am my mother's daughter: making peace with mom-- before it's too late (Apr 2006)

By: Krasnow, Iris

Offering a close-up look at mother-daughter relationships, a journalist draws on her own experience, as well as the wisdom of others, to provide advice and strategies on how to overcome the guilt, resentment, and anger that can destroy a family.

Grace notes (May 2002)

By: Allen, Charlotte Vale, 1941-

Early in her marriage, Grace Loring became the victim of her husband's unpredictable rages. Taking her infant daughter, Grace fled to the safety of her brother Gus's home in Vermont. Now, Grace is a successful author with her own web site. Accustomed to abused women writing to ask for advice, Grace is contacted by a troubled young woman named Stephanie Baine. When Stephanie's e-mails abruptly stop, Grace fears the worst. Then the e-mails resume, and Grace learns that everything she believed about Stephanie may not be true.

The good daughter (Feb 2013)

By: Porter, Jane, 1964-

"Love was given to all, except herself. Kit Brennan has always been the most grounded of her sisters. A Catholic school English teacher for seventeen years and a constant giver, her decisions have been sound--just not very satisfying. Her fortieth birthday is right around the corner, causing Kit to consider some wilder notions, like skipping right past the love and marriage to raising a child all by herself. A girls' weekend away is just the reprieve Kit needs from school, Mr. Wrongs, and life-changing decisions. It's there that she meets a man who's dangerous; a man who challenges who she thought she was, or rather should be. Kit wants to indulge herself this once, but with one of her students in crisis and the weight of her family's burdens weighing heavy on her heart, Kit isn't sure if now is the time to let her own desires take flight."

The season of second chances (Mar 2010)

By: Meier, Diane

A world of possibilities opens up for Joy Harkness when she sets out on a journey that's going to show her the importance of friendship, love, and what makes a house a home, in this story that illustrates how coming-of-age can happen at any age.

Compiled by
Linda D. Landi YALSABK 01/23/2014