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Hate List


BROWN, Jennifer

Level 1

ABUSE | RELATIONSHIPS | SCHOOL

This is not so much a novel about bullying and a high-school shooting as about a girl who has lived through a catastrophe and is trying to find her way back. Val has got a distinctive voice, worth listening to—the way she describes all the little pleasures and the many hurtful incidents make this quite a powerful first novel.

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Nicholas Dane


BURGESS, Melvin

Level 1

ABUSE | GROWING UP | SCHOOL

Set in the 1980s, this is a gripping novel about institutional and sexual abuse and the horrendous experiences of boys who haven’t got much hope of a decent life.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower


CHBOSKY, Stephen

Level 1

GROWING UP | OUTSIDERS | RELATIONSHIPS | SCHOOL

In this book, Chbosky has covered practically every theme that’s likely to be found in a young adult novel —love, sex, death, abuse, coming of age, friendship, drugs, etc. And gives some interesting insights into what it was like growing up in the 1990s, with an interesting protagonist, whose angst and efforts to cope with this world are true to life.

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What I Was


ROSOFF, Meg

Level 1

FRIENDSHIP | OUTSIDERS | SCHOOL

This is a strange novel, with lyrical moments contrasting with cruel incidents. The environment (the grey seascape) plays an important part, and even if some parts of the plot may seem a little contrived, this is an exceptional portrayal of friendship in a hostile world.

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Stargirl


SPINELLI, Jerry

Level 1

FRIENDSHIP | OUTSIDERS | SCHOOL

This is a truly charming novel with a great heroine: a real celebration of individuality and difference. Most teenagers will recognise the pressure to conform.

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