Teen Boys: Realistic Fiction

Avi. Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel. (Orchard Books, 1991)

Don Calame. “Swim the Fly” (Series)
Swim the Fly. (Candlewick, 2009)
Beat the Band. (Candlewick, 2010)  
Call the Shots. (Candlewick, 2012)
When I recommend a teen angst novel, or a series of them, with all the old standbys - dorky
guy who doesn't have a chance with the way too hot girl with the big gorilla-ish boyfriend
who is sure to beat the snot out of the dorky guy - well, you know it is special. Swim the Fly,
Beat the Band, and Call the Shots are unapologetically teen angst novels that are just so over
the top funny they have to be experienced. And it is guy humor, too; bathroom and bodily
function jokes, stupid pranks, and insanely complex schemes that go horribly wrong. So
laugh it up with three loser friends who have vowed that this is the summer they will see...
well, you’ll figure it out.

Lesley Choice. Running the Risk. [Orca Soundings] (Orca, 2009)
You're sixteen. You live in a nice neighborhood. Your father is an accountant for God's sake.
You KNOW what it means to be careful, to be safe. Until someone puts a gun in your face...

Barbara Snow Gilbert. Paper Trail. (Front Street, 2000)
"The distinctive  crack of a Sako TRG-21 sniper rifle shattered the glossy stillness of the
April morning...
Silence. Worse than sounds...
He should look. Sometimes even Soldiers of God missed."
A hair-raising thriller of a boy caught up in the web of the Patriot Movement of anti-
government militias.

John Green. An Abundance of Katherines. (Dutton Juvenile, 2006)

Pete Hautman.
Godless. (Simon & Schuster, 2004)

Gordon Korman.
Jake Reinvented. (Hyperion, 2003)

Gordon Korman.
The Juvie Three. (Hyperion, 2008)

Kris Kroatin.
Heavy Metal and You. (Push, 2005)

Laura Langston.
Last Ride. [Orca Soundings] (Orca Books, 2011)
Five thousand pounds of roaring, customized, racing machine. That's all Tom Shields has
between him and the ghost of his dead friend, tens of thousands of dollars of debt, and the
despair of the only girl he cares about. It isn't enough.
Last Ride is raw, gutsy, and full of
street-level reality.

Chris Lynch. Angry Young Man. (Simon & Schuster, 2011)
Chris Lynch gets right to the ideals that get left out of too many teen books: honor,
responsibility, loyalty, all the things that aspiring young men so often need to explore.
Alexander is different, and that is fine with him. After all, “normal” is mean, brutal, heartless,
and cruel. But when he finally sees a chance to stop fuming and actually do something to
change the world, does he know any way to do it other than becoming the things he

Chris Lynch. Pieces. (Simon & Schuster, 2013)
When a beautiful woman places your hand on her hip and tells you to feel your brother's
kidney, yeah, things get wierd. Darkly funny and oddly disturbing, Chris Lynch's quick read
will keep you so off balance you'll be clutching for the seasickness pills.

Norah McClintock. Guilty. (Orca, 2012)
Two teens, their lives devastated by the adults in their lives. Her father killed his mother…
twice. His father sent her father to prison, and when he got out took him away again by killing
him. In the shattering aftermath, there are few parents left, and precious little comfort, but
enough guilt for everyone.

Walter Dean Myers. Dope Sick. (Amistad, 2009) [Magical Realism]
Why would the acknowledged master of realistic fiction for guys turn his hand to magical
realism? Maybe because he finally found a story that was too real to handle. Lil'J is strung
out, he's been shot, he is hiding on the scariest streets of New York City, wanted for shooting
a cop. Lil'J just flat needs a miracle.

Walter Dean Myers. Handbook for Boys. (Amistad, 2002)

Walter Dean Myers.
Monster. (Amistad, 1999)

Walter Dean Myers.
Shooter. (Amistad, 2004)

Walter Dean Myers.
Sunrise Over Fallujah. (Scholastic, 2008)

Gary Paulsen.
The Car. (Harcourt Brace & Company, 1994)

Matthew Quick.
Boy21. (Little, Brown, 2012)
Everybody has secrets. Nobody talks. So when Boy21, the greatest basketball prospect
since Koby Bryant shows up in a mob infested New Jersey slum, claiming to be from outer
space, all you really know for sure is that the truth is more explosive than the lies.

Robert Rayner. Off Limits. (Lorimer, 2012)
If it’s forbidden, it’s in here, so be forewarned. Deal with it; teens have to every day.

Robert Rayner. Scab. (Lorimer, 2010)
Just think how bad your life would have to be as a high school senior if you preferred your
camera to people. Then think how amazing you would be as a photographer. But what are
the costs of holding onto a camera instead of reaching out to living, breathing people,
especially those who need you?

Neal Shusterman. The Schwa Was Here. (Dutton, 2004)

Neal Shusterman.
Antsy Does Time. (Dutton, 2008)

Jerry Spinelli.
Maniac Magee. (Little, Brown, 1990)

Todd Strasser.
Boot Camp. (Simon & Schuster, 2007)  

Todd Strasser.
Give a Boy a Gun. (Simon Pulse, 2002)

Todd Strasser.
If I Grow Up. (Simon & Schuster, 2009)

Todd Strasser.
The Wave. (Laurel Leaf, 1981)

Todd Strasser.
Wish You Were Dead. (Egmont, 2009)
When queen bee Lucy Cunningham dissappears from a well-to-do, and supposedly safe,
community there are plenty of suspects. Cyber-stalkers, loners, goths, losers, cheating
boyfriends, even Lucy herself might have orchestrated the dissappearance. All the
undercurrents of modern teen life bubble to the surface as fear grips a community that
maybe wanted to believe those kinds of things wouldn't happen to THEIR kids.

Greg Trine. The Second Base Club. (Henry Holt, 2010)
The perfect next title for those who loved Don Calame's Swim the Fly, a lighter, more
whimsical look at the high school jungle through a boy's eye.

Richard Uhlig. Boy Minus Girl. (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2008)

Ned Vizzini.
It's Kind of a Funny Story. (Hyperion, 2006)

Jake Wizner.
Spanking Shakespeare. (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2007)
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