The Best Junior High Fiction of 2003

Calling all junior high students! Click a title to check the Skokie Public Library catalog for the status of the book in the Youth Services collection. Titles marked with * are available on audio.

Pssst...a list of The Best Junior High Fiction of 2002 is also available in the Librarians' Kid Picks Archive!


Brooks, Martha. True Confessions of a Heartless Girl. 2003.
Jr. High BRO
An eclectic group of strangers come together in a small town to find a way to a new life. They have no idea how much Noreen, the "heartless" teen who comes to join them, will change their lives.
Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light. 2003. *
Jr. High Fiction DON
Mattie does not waver in her desire to be a writer -- not an easy proposition for a 16-year-old girl in 1906. Mattie decides to go work as a waitress at a resort for the summer. She inadvertently becomes involved in a murder investigation there. Does this crime affect Mattie's decisions about her future?
Goodman, Alison. Singing the Dogstar Blues. 2003.
Jr. High Fiction GOO
Seventeen-year-old Joss has been doubly honored. She has been chosen to study time travel and she has been chosen to be the first human to partner with a new student of the alien race that has come to live with the people of Earth. In order to make this work, Joss and her partner Mavkel must go back in time to solve the puzzle of Joss's life. Can these two form a comfortable partnership? Will they find the answers in time?
Hobbs, Will. Jackie's Wild Seattle. 2003.
Jr. High Fiction HOB
What could be more fun than spending the summer helping to save animals? Well, how about spending the summer with an uncle that you don't get to see often? Fourteen-year-old Shannon and her brother Cody have this adventure while visiting an uncle in Seattle who works with a group called Jackie's Wild Seattle.
Holt, Kimberly Willis. Keeper of the Night. 2003. *
Jr. High Fiction HOL
Life in Guam has a different rhythm. Isabel, who is 13 years old, shows a lot of strength as she helps her family through a truly rough year after her mother's suicide.
Horvath, Polly. The Canning Season. 2003.
Jr. High Fiction HOR
Ratchet's Mother drops her off one summer at the home of her remarkable great aunts Tilly and Penpen. They are great storytellers and tell Ratchet stories about the past and her family. This eclectic group gets larger as they add more unusual characters to the mix. They all have quite a summer together.
Oates, Joyce Carol. Freaky Green Eyes. 2003.
Jr. High Fiction OAT
Fifteen-year-old Frankie finds inner strength as she comes to terms with first her mother's disappearance and then the reality of her parents' relationship.
Osa, Nancy. Cuba 15. 2003.
Jr. High Fiction OSA
Chicagoan Violet Paz decides to allow her family to throw her a traditional "quince" party. This ends up being more than she bargained for. Violet spends the year learning about her family and having a sense of humor as she prepares for both the speech team competition and her party.
Pattou, Edith. East. 2003.
Jr. High Fiction PAT
Rose is the youngest and most adventurous girl in a large and ailing family. When a white bear comes and offers to take her to live with him in exchange for prosperity for the ailing family, everyone is happy. Little does Rose know that this is the beginning of something special.
Peck, Richard. The River Between Us. 2003. *
Jr. High Fiction PEC
This is the story of the Pruitt family at the start of the Civil War. The family lives in Illinois and decides to take in two mysterious women who have come up north from New Orleans to escape the war.
Sedgwick, Marcus. The Dark Horse. 2003.
Jr. High Fiction SED
The life of Sig and his tribe the Stron are changed one day when he rescues a little girl who is very much like the wolves that have been taking care of her. They name her Mouse and she begins to live with the tribe. A stranger appears along with a mysterious box and the two children must piece together the mystery that is Mouse's life.
Simmons, Michael. Pool Boy. 2003.
Jr. High Fiction SIM
When Brett Gerson's life is changed by his father's arrest for insider trading, he must find the strength to rebuild his life with a new perspective. He does this through working with an elderly pool cleaner with a lot of wisdom to pass on.