No matter our social or geographical differences we’ve all gone through the same young teenage angst, which is why “coming-of-age” stories resonate with so many of us. The books below have this theme in common, and though these are all realistic fiction titles, you can easily find the “coming-of-age” saga within any genre. So...
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Everything I Was by Corinne Demas
Thirteen-year-old Irene helps in her grandfather's plant nursery, makes new friends, and begins to learn what she really wants and needs after her father, having lost his job as an investment banker, moves her and her mother to his father's farmhouse upstate.
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Like Mandarin by Kristen Hubbard
When shy, awkward fourteen-year-old Grace Carpenter is paired with the beautiful and wild Mandarin on a school project, an unlikely, explosive friendship begins, but all too soon, Grace discovers that Mandarin is a very troubled, even dangerous, girl.
Palace Beautiful by Sarah Deford Williams
When sisters Sadie and Zuzu Brooks move to Salt Lake City, they discover a secret room in the attic of their new house, with a sign that reads "Palace Beautiful" and containing an old journal. Along with their neighbor, dramatic Belladonna Desolation (real name: Kristin Smith), they take turns reading the story of a girl named Helen living during the flu epidemic of 1918. The journal ends with a tragedy that has a scary parallel to Sadie and Zuzu's lives, and the girls become obsessed with finding out what happened to Helen after the journal ends. Did she survive the flu? Is she still alive somewhere? Or could her ghost be lurking in the nearby graveyard?
In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth
When a small mistake costs Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart.
Fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different—dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy—her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan’s life, meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure they all need to move on.