The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig
The Endless Steppe is, first of all, an excellent history lesson. It spells out some of the consequences of the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939: the deportation of Polish citizens, the wartime separation of families, and the hardship of labor camps. Although the Rudomins' Judaism is not a major theme of the book, The Endless Steppe also provides glimpses of anti-Semitism and bitter class-consciousness. Behind the engrossing story of Esther Rudomin and her family lies a sense of the tragedy and paradox of political conflicts.
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Island of the Blue Dolphins is a Newberry award-winning novel, about a woman who lives alone on the Island of the Blue Dolphins for eighteen years. The story begins with a twelve-year-old girl named Karana who is part of a tribe in a village called Ghalas-at.
Island Map - http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/score_lessons/dolphin/mapfolder/maptest.htm
Explore Karana's island - http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/score_lessons/dolphin/home2.shtml
the real Karana story - http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/score_lessons/dolphin/teacher/karana.shtml
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The novel is the story of a traumatic time in the life of a recently orphaned fourteen-year-old boy named Ponyboy Curtis. He lives on the East Side, a member of the lower class and a gang of "greasers." Quiet and dreamy, Ponyboy has conflicts with his older brother and guardian, Darrel, who keeps the family together. The greasers—whom Ponyboy distinguishes from "hoods"—are the heroes of the tale. Set against them are the upper-class socials, or Socs, who enjoy drinking, driving nice cars, and beating up greasers. The circumstances of this social situation result in the death of three teens. The story explores the themes of class conflict, affection, brotherly love, and coming of age in a way that young people readily appreciate. This novel's portrayal of disaffected youth has been criticized for its violent content, but it is now regarded as a classic of juvenile literature. It can be considered one of the first examples of the "young adult" genre, and after its publication literature for teens gained a new realism, depth, and respect for its audience.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
The Westing Game is a mystery masterpiece. It has a twisting plot and many characters. Most of the characters live in Sunset Towers. The key to the game (the story) is who is the Westing Heir. The characters work in pairs to use clues from Samuel Westing's will to try to find out if he or she is the Westing heir. The characters' jobs or interests help them with the game. You will be surprised how good this story is! See if you can beat The Westing Game.