Book picks similar to
Lily by Diane Schwemm


Taking Sides

Norma Klein - 1982
    She wonders what living with Dad will be like, even though she's always felt closer to her father. But is it right to love one parent more than another?There are other adjustments Nell has to sharing a room with five-year-old Hugo...and having hamburgers and tuna fish a lot. And what if Dad marries the woman he's been dating? Nell can't imagine what it would be like to have helpless Arden for a stepmother.

Bad Alice

Jean Ure - 2003
    Duffy suffers mildy from Tourette's Syndrome - he only knows his gran and one of her neighbour's kids, a loud, insensitive kid called Stephen - what's he going to do for six whole weeks! Then Duffy meets Alice, a girl his age who lives next door, a girl who Nan disapproves of and everyone in the town thinks is mad; a girl who makes Duffy feel accepted and liked. Alice is volatile, and direct and Duffy tells her all about his little sister, his Tourette's and his absent father who left his mum because of him. Alice is more cryptic about her own home life. Everyone knows her adoptive father, Big Norm; he's the most popular man around; a devout Evangelist who runs a care home - Duffy's nan adores him. Yet Alice and her adopted sister are half in awe, half frightened of their dad; desperate for his approval, yet somehow resentful of him, too. It isn't until Alice shows Duffy the story she's been writing, written in the style of Alice in Wonderland, that the scales finally fall from his eyes.Big Norm has been abusing Alice, to what extent it isn't clear, but she's terrified, and he has to help her. Duffy convinces Alice to face her situation in the real world, not just in a story, and to tell his nan what's been going on. When the truth is out, Alice is taken into care, and Duffy faces the fact he may never see her again, but 'bad Alice' touched his life - he will never forget her.


Todd Strasser - 2002
    Lauren would love to be part of the popular crowd at school, and when an attractive new girl seems to befriend her and offers a chance at popularity, Lauren does not recognize how she is being manipulated.

Kristy's Big News

Ann M. Martin - 1999
    Now, years later, he's called with some surprising news: He's getting married! Kristy and her brothers Sam and Charlie must head to California for the wedding--and to meet their new stepmom. Kristy doesn't know what to expect. It's been a long time since she's seen her father. And now she's supposed to be his bridesmaid!What will Kristy do?

The Girls of Firefly Cabin

Cynthia Ellingsen - 2019
    In the vein of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the story follows four tween girls, their individual struggles, and the bonds they forge during an unforgettable summer at camp. Publication is slated for spring 2019.

Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me

Julie Johnston - 1994
    Fifteen-year-old Sara Moone, abandonded at birth and shunted from one foster home to another, finds that she cannot remain aloof from her latest family.

Hershey Herself

Cecilia Galante - 2008
    They don't. I almost don't go in. But then I think of Baby Ella. And Mom. I push open the door.... When twelve-year-old Hershey must run away with her mother to a women's shelter, she wonders how, among other things, she'll compete in the town talent show with her best friend, Phoebe; who will take care of her cat, Augustus Gloop; and if she'll survive being on a new bus route with her sworn enemy.

Lost Goat Lane

Rosa Jordan - 2004
    Things can't get much worse at home. Her mother works long hours to make the mortgage payments on their tiny farm. Her older brother Justin talks about running away, and her younger brother Chip has a way of getting into trouble when Kate is supposed to be minding him. Now Kate faces a long, hot, boring Florida summer with no friends and nothing to do but chores. The day Kate's goat Sugar runs away, things start to get more interesting - and a lot more complicated. She and her brothers meet the Wilsons, a tight-knit African American family. Kate is drawn to Ruby, the Wilsons' glamorous grown daughter who has returned home from New York City. Ruby hasn't got much time for white trash but the two eventually form an unlikely bond as partners in Ruby's fledgling candy business. And as Kate begins to spend more time with Ruby, she awakens to the undercurrents of prejudice that run through their small town.

Truth or Dare

Barbara Dee - 2016
    It's thanks to the loyal supportive friendship of Marley, Abi, Makayla, and Jules that Lia's doing okay after her mom dies in a car crash. But the summer before seventh grade, Lia's feeling out of sync with her friends. And after a vacation up in Maine, Lia returns home to find her friends...well, different. For one thing, they're arguing more than ever. Also, they're competing. And some of them are making her feel like a "late bloomer." When her friends launch into an extended game of Truth or Dare, Lia tells a lie about her summer just to keep up with them. Then she tells another lie. And another. Soon, it's hard to remember what's a lie and what isn't. Friendships are threatened, boys are getting kissed (or note), and Lia's wondering if there's anyone to confide in. In this funny, touching coming-of-age story, Lia learns that it's possible to face the hardest truths--as long as you have the right people by your side.

Only the Lonely

Laura Dower - 2001
    Middle school is a whole new world and with her parents divorce and new classmates, life is all about changes.

No Alligators in Sight

Kirsten B. Feldman - 2013
    After a string of bad decisions on Lettie’s part, their father ships them to their barely remembered mother for the summer, where they will learn hard lessons about themselves, their family, and their future by way of the Florida swamp. Throughout Lettie keeps her biting humor flowing, her razor-sharp pen at the ready, and her eye on her quest for a “normal” life.

Turtle on a Fence Post

June Rae Wood - 1997
    But it's hard for her to share her troubles, and harder still for her to feel that she really belongs with her prissy Aunt Queenie and Uncle Bert. Slowly, with the help of a cantankerous World War II veteran who is burdened by his own sad memories, Delrita learns that home is where the heart is.This is the eagerly-awaited sequel to The Man Who Loved Clowns, winner of the Mark Twain and William Allen White Awards. School Library Journal, in a starred review, called it "an engrossing story with characters that readers come to care about very deeply".

Red Ink

Julie Mayhew - 2013
    Her mother, Maria, never did introduce Melon to a 'living, breathing' father. The indomitable Auntie Aphrodite, meanwhile, is hundreds of miles away on a farm in Crete, and is unlikely to be jumping on a plane and coming to East Finchley anytime soon. But at least Melon has 'The Story'. 'The Story' is the Fourakis family fairytale. A story is something. RED INK is a powerful coming-of-age tale about superstition, denial and family myth.


Tim Bowler - 2004
    "Special hands. Strong and sensitive. You can do anything you want with hands like these. So don't ever put them to bad use.""Luke has good hands. Everybody says so. Good for playing the piano -- just like his father did before he died. And good for climbing -- climbing trees, climbing toward the stars, in search of some peace away from family troubles.Now Skin and his gang want Luke to do some climbing for them. They want him to climb into Mrs. Little's house to look for something to steal. They want him to prove he's a real part of the gang.But nobody is ready for what Luke discovers when he does climb into the house. He encounters something so unexpected that it changes everything -- something that unlocks secrets and helps Luke find out exactly who he is and what it is that he's been searching for.


Susan Richards Shreve - 2001
    now in an After Words edition!Alyssa Reed's life is a mess. Her parents can't stop fighting. Her mother won't stop crying. Alyssa's father has decided to move the family to a new town, and to move himself to a separate apartment. Nobody gave Alyssa a choice.So Alyssa decides to take control. She renames herself Blister and starts fighting back in her own way. Blister will take on her new school with a new identity, a new wardrobe (stolen from her father's girlfriend), and a raw, new attitude that nobody can ignore. Not even the cheerleaders.Look out world -- here comes Blister!