January 11, 2016 | strande
Sometimes we just want to read about what's familiar or what's possible. Here are some suggestions for books that feature a high level of realism. You probably won't find many dragons or wizards or outer space adventures here. Grade levels are suggested, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level. Under each grade is a link for even more titles.
A little girl collects wildflowers while walking through town with her father.
Stella brings her two fathers to school to celebrate Mother's Day.
Ruby wants to build a fort, but her three brothers refuse to help, so when the fort is finished Ruby will not let them join her-- until the boys come up with a few embellishments by way of making peace.
A boy and his grandfather cross a language and cultural barrier using their shared love of art, storytelling, and fantasy.
A spunky young girl from Colombia loves playing with her canine best friend and resists boring school activities, especially learning English, until her family tells her that a special trip is planned to an English-speaking place.
While staying with their aunt for a year, three nine-year-old cousins keep busy baking and selling cookies, putting on a poetry and singing performance, and trying to encourage a romance between their aunt and one of their former customers. This is the first in the Cobble Street Cousins series.
Keena Ford chronicles her many mishaps as she begins second grade.
Every day, nine-year-old Yasmin borrows a book from Book Uncle, a retired teacher who has set up a free lending library next to her apartment building. But when the mayor tries to shut down the rickety bookstand, Yasmin has to take her nose out of her book and do something.
Justin K. (for Krzeszewski), nicknamed Justin Case, has fairly standard third-grade worries (former best friends, rope climbing in gym) and pretty typical joys (current best friends, making it to the top of the rope). He expresses all of these in diary form throughout a school year, and his traditional nuclear family, which celebrates both Jewish and Christian holidays, supports him during all of the multiplication tables, violin lessons, soccer games, and dog messes.
When Ms. Wurtz leaves a blank book in the Writer's Corner with a note encouraging those who find it to "talk to each other" in its pages, the student's entries spark a classroom-wide battle.
Three generations of the Nickel family reunite when fourth-grader Anna, her Mom and Dad, and four-year-old sister Isabella relocate to Oakwood, Kansas.
When ten-year-old Ava uses her writing talents to help her older sister overcome her shyness, both girls learn the impact their words and stories can have on the world around them.
Knowing herself to be a girl despite her outwardly male appearance, George is denied a female role in the class play before teaming up with a friend to reveal her true self.
When Danny gets caught trying to cross his name off the "Geek" list in the girls' bathroom, he's sent to detention where he falls in with a group of bullies. Danny enjoys his new "bad boy" status until he's drawn into a theft involving a comic book from Danny's favorite store. Can he steal it back before they get caught -- and break off with the bullies before he gets in too deep?
An eccentric like all Helmsleys, eleven-year-old Archer escapes his overprotective mother and recruits two friends, Oliver and Adelaide, to help him plan a rescue of his long-lost grandparents, world-famous explorers who disappeared atop an iceberg in the Antarctic.
Struggling with Asperger's, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.
When his father, who is in the United States illegally, becomes injured and unemployed, eleven-year-old Sandro is determined to help his parents raise money for his little sister's heart surgery by collecting scrap metal to recycle for cash.
Eighth-grader Theo Rollins' growth spurt has Coach Mandrake trying to transform him into a basketball star, but training time is hurting the science club's chances of winning the "Aca-lympics," and being accused of stealing could mean Theo is off both teams. The Streetball Crew series continues in Steeling the Game.
After her mother dies, twelve-year-old Talia McQuinn goes to the Arctic with her father, a whale researcher. Over the course of one summer, and through several unlikely friendships, Talia learns that stories have the power to connect us, to provide hope, and to pull us out of the darkness.