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HOL
Asphalt Angels (age 12+)
by Ineke Holtwijk
realistic ... adventure ... survival ... growing up
Publisher comments: Thirteen-year-old Alex is the main character in Asphalt Angels, an unsparing look at a band of street kids trying to survive in Rio de Janeiro without family, money, or resources. Theirs is a life of deprivation and despair, lightened by luck and tenacity and the bonds these desperate children must form with one another. Alex is thrown into the streets by his stepfather when his mother dies. Hazards abound: drug-dealing, theft, glue-sniffing, harassment, brutality, even murder. It's not easy steering clear of them, yet Alex manages to survive, eventually making a home with 14 other boys in a house, working in an office, and attending night school. Asphalt Angels grew from the real-life drama the author observed while on assignment. In an afterword, she reports that 10,000 children sleep in Rio's streets, and more than that number roam them by day, victims of inadequate nutrition, education, and shelter, and prey to drugs and violence. Alex is based on a real boy; his name was changed for this story.
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WEA
Memory Boy: A Novel (age 12+)
by Will Weaver
action ... adventure ... family ... survival ... science fiction
Catalog: Sixteen-year-old Miles and his family must flee their Minneapolis home and begin a new life in the wilderness after a chain of cataclysmic volcanic explosions creates dangerous conditions in their city.
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RIC
Friedrich (age 12+)
by Hans Peter Richter
bigotry ... war ... survival ... historical
Catalog: A young German boy recounts the fate of his best friend, a Jew, during the Nazi regime.
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SER
Escape from Warsaw (age 12+)
by Ian Serraillier
bigotry ... war ... survival ... historical
Publisher comments: In 1942 Warsaw, World War II is raging, and people live in fear from day to day. Ruth, Bronia, and Edek have to fend for themselves when both of their parents are taken by the Nazis. Can they survive? A gripping story based on true accounts.
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PRE
Malka (age 12+)
by Mirjam Pressler
adventure ... bigotry ... war ... survival ... historical
Publisher comments: When the round-ups start in the Polish village, Malka's mother knows she must get her daughters across the Hungarian border to safety-a place where Jews can live in peace. But escape proves harder than they could have ever imagined. Raw and bleeding feet, bad weather, fear and homesickness fill their nights, until little Malka falls very ill, and must be left behind to be brought across when the threat has passed. But the threat doesn't pass. Separated from her family, Malka finds herself in a terrifying world full of strangers, starvation, and constant fear of Nazi round-ups. Completely alone, she struggles to stay hidden in alleyways and old cellars, unaware that miles away, a broken-hearted mother is searching frantically for her lost little girl . . . A shocking and unforgettable story of a child's heroic fight to stay alive during one of the most intense moments in human history.
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ORL
The Lady with the Hat (age 12+)
by Uri Orlev
bigotry ... war ... survival ... historical ... family
Publisher comments: Yulek, a seventeen-year-old Holocaust survivor, finds himself tragically alone at war's end. Hoping to begin again, he makes his way to Palestine, where he meets a sad and beautiful Jewish girl named Theresa. Saved from the Nazis by Catholic nuns, Theresa, like Yulek, is uncertain about her place in the postwar world. Together they struggle to rediscover the joy of living. Meanwhile, a mysterious English woman sets out on her own search for the long-lost nephew that she has spotted in a newspaper photo of Jewish refugees. Perhaps by finding him, she will also find some long-hidden part of herself.
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MAT
After the War (age 12+)
by Carol Matas
bigotry ... war ... survival ... historical
Publisher comments: After World War II, Ruth, a 15-year-old survivor of Buchenwald has nowhere to turn. Recruited by Brichah, an underground organization that helps people get to Palestine, Ruth risks her life to lead a group of children there, using secret routes and forged documents.
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LEV
Room in the Heart (age 12+)
by Sonia Levitin
bigotry ... war ... survival ... historical
Catalog: After German forces occupy Denmark during World War II, fifteen-year-old Julie Weinstein and fifteen-year-old Niels Nelson and their friends and families try to cope with their daily lives, finding various ways to resist the Nazis and, ultimately, to survive.
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KOS
The Thought of High Windows (age 12+)
by Lynne Kositsky
bigotry ... war ... survival ... historical ... growing up
Publisher comments: Young, Jewish and on the run from the Nazis, Esther is one of a group of children who manage to flee Germany at the beginning of World War II. But as the war rages on and Esther bears witness to its horrors, her pain and isolation grow, until only the highest windows bring the promise of release.
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ISA
Torn Thread (age 12+)
by Anne Isaacs
bigotry ... war ... survival ... historical
Publisher comments: Twelve-year-old Eva and her sister have been forced to leave their home in Poland and are imprisoned in a Nazi labor camp. There they must spin thread on treacherous machinery to make clothing and blankets for the German Army. As Eva struggles amid ever worsening dangers to save her life and that of her sick sister, readers witness how two teenagers strive to create home and family amidst inhumanity and chaos. Written in exquisite prose, this story of heartbreak and hope that is rich in detail and symbolism will deeply move readers of all ages.
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GRA
Resistance (age 12+)
by Janet Graber
bigotry ... war ... survival ... historical
Catalog: In German-occupied Normandy, France, fifteen-year-old Marianne worries that her mother is exposing the family, especially Marianne's deaf younger brother, to great danger by volunteering for more perilous assignments in the resistance movement.
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FRI
Escaping Into the Night (age 12+)
by Dina D. Friedman
bigotry ... war ... survival ... historical
Publisher comments: Halina Rudowski is on the run. When the Polish ghetto where she lives is evacuated, she narrowly escapes, but her mother is not as lucky. Along with her friend Batya, Halina makes her way to a secret encampment in the woods where Jews survive by living underground. As the group struggles for food, handles infighting, and attempts to protect themselves from the advancing Germans, Halina must face the reality of life without her mother. Based on historical events, this gripping tale sheds light on a little-known aspect of the Holocaust: the underground forest encampments that saved several thousand Jews from the Nazis.
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CHO
Daniel Half Human and the Good Nazi (age 12+)
by David Chotjewitz
bigotry ... identity ... friendship ... war ... survival ... historical
Publisher comments: All his life, Daniel has been hiding. He just doesn't know it. Until the spring of 1933, he's enjoyed a comfortable German boyhood with his well-to-do family, in school, at soccer. Daniel's even enjoyed jail...for one exciting night...with his best friend, Armin, after they've been caught painting a swastika on a wall in the hated Communist section of Hamburg. In their cell, the boys cut their wrists, mingle blood, and swear lasting brotherhood. Then, a thunderclap: Daniel learns to his horror that his mother is Jewish, that he is therefore half-Jewish and, in Aryan eyes, half-human. Daniel keeps the truth a secret. He and Armin still talk of joining the Hitler Youth. But Armin's father, an out-of-work longshoreman and a Socialist, forbids it. Armin joins anyway, with fateful consequences for Daniel's family. Throughout World War II, and until the story's haunting final scene, each friend holds the life of the other in his hands.
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BOY
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: A Fable (age 12+)
by John Boyne
war ... survival ... historical ... friendship
Publisher comments: Berlin 1942. When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
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BEN
Anne Frank and Me (age 12+)
by Cherie Bennett
war ... survival ... historical
Publisher comments: In one moment Nicole Burns's life changes forever. The sound of gunfire at an Anne Frank exhibit, the panic, the crowd, and Nicole is no longer Nicole. Whiplashed through time and space, she wakes to find herself a privileged Jewish girl living in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II. No more Internet diaries and boy troubles for Nicole-now she's a carefree Jewish girl, with wonderful friends and a charming boyfriend. But when the Nazi death grip tightens over France, Nicole is forced into hiding, and begins a struggle for survival that brings her face to face with Anne Frank.
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BAT
Two Suns in the Sky (age 12+)
by Miriam Bat-Ami
war ... survival ... friendship ... historical
Publisher comments: During World War II, a 15-year-old girl meets a young Jewish refugee in a New York shelter and soon learns the history behind her city through interaction with her new friend, as well as the barriers that exist when different cultures unite.
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CRE
Children of the River (age 12+)
by Linda Crew
realistic ... growing up ... family ... identity ... survival
Publisher comments: Sundara fled Cambodia with her aunt's family to escape the Khmer Rouge army when she was thirteen, leaving behind her parents, her brother and sister, and the boy she had loved since she was a child. Now, four years later, she struggles to fit in at her Oregon high school and to be "a good Cambodian girl" at home. A good Cambodian girl never dates; she waits for her family to arrange her marriage to a Cambodian boy. Yet Sundara and Jonathan, an extraordinary American boy, are powerfully drawn to each other. Haunted by grief for her lost family and for the life left behind, Sundara longs to be with him. At the same time she wonders, Are her hopes for happiness and new life in America disloyal to her past and her people?
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HOF
Green Angel (age 12+)
by Alice Hoffman
survival ... illness/loss
Publisher comments: Left on her own when her family dies in a terrible disaster, fifteen-year-old Green is haunted by loss and by the past. Struggling to survive physically and emotionally in a place where nothing seems to grow and ashes are everywhere, Green retreats into the ruined realm of her garden. But in destroying her feelings, she also begins to destroy herself, erasing the girl she'd once been as she inks darkness into her skin. It is only through a series of mysterious encounters that Green can relearn the lessons of love and begin to heal enough to tell her story.
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MAR
The Tomorrow Series (age 12+)
by John Marsden
adventure ... action ... friendship ... survival ... war
Publisher comments: When Ellie and six of her friends return home from a camping trip deep in the bush, they find things hideously wrong: their families gone, houses empty and abandoned, pets and stock dead. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in the town has been taken prisoner. As the horrible reality of the situation becomes evident they have to make a life-and-death decision: to run back into the bush and hide, to give themselves up to be with their families, or to stay and try to fight. This reveting, tautly-drawn novel seems at times to be only a step away from today's headlines.
title: Tomorrow, When the War Began
title: The Dead of Night
title: A Killing Frost
title: Darkness Be My Friend
title: Burning For Revenge
title: The Night is For Hunting
title: The Other Side of Dawn
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MIK
Touching Spirit Bear (age 12+)
by Ben Mikaelsen
growing up ... survival ... adventure ... action
Publisher comments: Within Cole Matthews lie anger, rage and hate. Cole has been stealing and fighting for years. This time he caught Alex Driscal in the, parking lot and smashed his head against the sidewalk. Now, Alex may have permanent brain damage, and Cole is in the biggest trouble of his life. Cole is offered Circle Justice: a system based on Native American traditions that attempts to provide healing for the criminal offender, the victim and the, community. With prison as his only alternative, Cole plays along. He says he wants to repent, but in his heart Cole blames his alcoholic mom his, abusive dad, wimpy Alex (everyone but himself) for his situation. Cole receives a one-year banishment to a remote Alaskan island. There, he is mauled by mysterious white bear of Native American legend. Hideously injured, Cole waits for his death. His thoughts shift from from anger to humility. To survive, he must stop blaming others and take responsibility for his life. Rescuers arrive to save Cole's but it is the attack of the Spirit Bear that may save his soul.
sequel: Ghost of Spirit Bear
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MYE
Sunrise Over Fallujah (age 12+)
by Walter Dean Myers
realistic ... adventure ... action ... survival ... war
Publisher comments: Operation Iraqi Freedom, that's the code name. But the young men and women in the military's Civil Affairs Battalion have a simpler name for it: war. In this novel, Walter Dean Myers looks at a contemporary war with the same power and searing insight he brought to the Vietnam war of his classic, Fallen Angels. He creates memorable characters like the book's narrator, Birdy, a young recruit from Harlem who's questioning why he even enlisted; Marla, a blond, tough-talking, wisecracking gunner; Jonesy, a guitar-playing bluesman who just wants to make it back to Georgia and open a club; and a whole unit of other young men and women and drops them incountry in Iraq, where they are supposed to help secure and stabilize Iraq and successfully interact with the Iraqi people. The young civil affairs soldiers soon find their definition of "winning" ever more elusive and their good intentions being replaced by terms like "survival" and "despair." Caught in the crossfire, Myers' richly rendered characters are just beginning to understand the meaning of war in this powerful, realistic novel of our times.
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PFE
Life As We Knew It (age 12+)
by Susan Beth Pfeffer
letters/journal ... science fiction ... adventure ... nature ... survival
Publisher comments: Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove. In her journal, Miranda records the events of each desperate day, while she and her family struggle to hold on to their most priceless resource--hope.
sequel: The Dead and the Gone
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PRA
Nation (age 12+)
by Terry Pratchett
survival ... growing up ... adventure ... fantasy ... humor
Publisher comments: The sea has taken everything. Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away. But when much is taken, something is returned, and somewhere in the jungle Daphne, a girl from the other side of the globe — is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave. Together the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe. Drawn by the smoke of Mau and Daphne's sheltering fire, other refugees slowly arrive: children without parents, mothers without babies, husbands without wives, all of them hungry and all of them frightened. As Mau and Daphne struggle to keep the small band safe and fed, they defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down.
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ASA
Samurai Girl Series (age 12+)
by Carrie Asai
survival ... mystery ... action ... adventure
Publisher comments: When I was six months old, I dropped from the sky, the lone survivor of a deadly Japanese plane crash. The newspapers called me Heaven. I was adopted by a wealthy family in Tokyo, pampered, and protected. For nineteen years, I thought I was lucky. I'm learning how wrong I was. They say your life begins on your wedding day. Here's what happened on mine: I lost the person I love most. I learned that everything I knew about my family was a lie. Now I'm being hunted. I must fight back, or die. My life ended that day. The old Heaven is gone. I am samurai girl.
title: The Book of the Sword
title: The Book of the Shadow
title: The Book of the Pearl
title: The Book of the Wind
title: The Book of the Flame
title: The Book of the Heart
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SMI
Peak (age 12+)
by Roland Smith
family ... adventure ... action ... growing up ... survival
After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he's left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father's renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings. He wants Peak to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit--and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But it's also one that could cost him his life. Roland Smith has created an action-packed adventure about friendship, sacrifice, family, and the drive to take on Everest, despite the incredible risk.
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COM
What Jamie Saw (age 12+)
by Carolyn Coman
survival ... family
Publisher comments: A story of survival: how nine-year-old Jamie, his mother, and his baby sister Nin leave a violent, abusive situation, move to a small trailer in the woods, and slowly learn how to trust the people around them, and each other.
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ADA
Watership Down (age 12+)
by Richard Adams
voyages/journeys ... survival ... adventure
This stirring tale of adventure follows the journey of a group of brave creatures from their once-idyllic home to a place they hope will offer them a safer life.
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PAU
Hatchet (age 12+)
by Gary Paulsen
growing up ... survival ... adventure
Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother has given him as a present and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart ever since his parents' divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity, or despair it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.
sequel: The River
sequel: Brian's Winter
sequel: Brian's Return
sequel: Brian's Hunt
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O'D
Sarah Bishop (age 12+)
by Scott O'Dell
war ... survival ... family ... historical
Left alone after the deaths of her father and brother who take opposite sides in the War for Independence, and fleeing from the British who seek to arrest her, Sarah Bishop struggles to shape a new life for herself in the wilderness.

Sat Aug 25 11:55:25 2012
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