New Realistic Fiction for Kids

Now is the Time for Running by Michael Willams

Reading Level: Grades 7+

25 year-old Innocent is the big brother but 15-year-old Deo has always been expected to take care of him because Innocent is "different".

When the president's soldiers come to their Zimbabwe village bent on finding all who voted for the opposition, Innocent talks back to the soldiers and is dragged away. While the soldiers are distracted, Deo slips away and finds his brother staked out to die. As Deo cuts his badly beaten brother loose, shots ring out. Everyone in the village is killed except Deo and Innocent.

Deo knows they must get to safety, but how can one boy and one injured, disabled man survive in a land of heartless soldiers, dangerous refugees and wild animals?

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More books by Michael Williams

Other tales of the struggle for survival in a war-torn land include:

Parvana's Journey by Deborah Ellis

A Long Walk to Water: a Novel by Linda Sue Park and

A Time of Miracles by Anne-Laure Bondoux

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Reading Level: Grade 6-8

13-year-old Sarah, a new scholarship student at the exclusive Glades Academy, is miserable. In a school where kids judge each other by the amount of money and things their parents have, Sarah the daughter of the lunch lady doesn't stand a chance.

Teachers are no help. Sarah wouldn't even be on this stupid overnight field trip if Mr. Vickers hadn't insisted the trip would help her make friends. Surprise, surprise...the four other girls on the trip spend their time snubbing Sarah and talking behind her back.

After a morning of cruelty, Sarah has had it. She pretends to be sick enough to stay behind...but not need a doctor. Sarah has no intention of spending the afternoon in her musty bunk. Instead she agrees to join on a joy ride through the Everglades 15-year-old Andy, son of a local fisherman, on his air boat. He even lets her drive!

When the boat runs aground deep in the heart of the Everglades, far from any cell phone reception, Sarah and Andy must save themselves...or die.

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More books by Ginny Rorby

Other tales of survival include

Downriver by Will Hobbs

Are You Going to Kiss Me Now by Sloane Tanen and

Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy

The Star Maker by Laurence Yep

Reading Level: Grades 2-4

When Artie promises his mean cousin that he will give everyone firecrackers on the next Chinese New Year celebration, he immediately regrets it. How will he ever come up with enough money to buy all those firecrackers? Sympathetic to Artie's problem is Uncle Chester - a fun loving everyman who is wildly popular in Chinatown where Artie's family lives. Uncle Chester promises Artie that he will help - but when Uncle Chester's seemingly endless money starts to run out, Artie begins to worry.

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More books by Laurence Yep

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