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Contemporary Novels Booklist  

This guide contains contemporary novels owned and recommended by the FSW Libraries, as well as websites with both recommendations and reviews.
Last Updated: Dec 6, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Recommended Novels: 100 to 150 pages

Use the keywords below to find novels in the Library's Catalog:
  • fiction
  • graphic novels
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Shopgirl - Steve Martin
Call Number: PS 3563.A7293 S56
ISBN: 0786891076
Genre: Love Story/True Life; Summary: Mirabelle, an aspiring artist, must choose between two different men: a socially inept roadie and a wealthy entrepreneur.

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The First Part Last - Angela Johnson
Call Number: PS 3553 .J646 F57 2005
ISBN: 1442403438
Genre: True Life; Summary: Sixteen-year-old Bobby struggles to raise his infant daughter.

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Kissing Doorknobs - Terry Spencer Hesser
Call Number: PS 3553 .A447 K58 1999
ISBN: 0440413141
Genre: True Life; Summary: Fourteen-year-old Tara’s increasingly strange compulsions take over her life.

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David Boring - Daniel Clowes
Call Number: PN6727.C565 D38
ISBN: 0375714529
Genre: Suspense/Graphic Novel; Summary: David grapples with murder, obsession, sex, and war in the big city.

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The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros
Call Number: PS3553.I78 H6 1994
ISBN: 067943335X
Genre: True Life; Summary: Esperanza Cordero, a girl coming of age in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, uses poems and stories to express thoughts and emotions about her oppressive environment.


Recommended Novels: 150 to 250 pages

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Coraline - Neil Gaiman
Call Number: PS 3553 .G356 C673 2002
ISBN: 0060825456
Genre: Horror; Summary: Coraline enters an alternate universe that eerily mimics her own, but with sinister differences.

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Girl with a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier
Call Number: PS3553.H4367 G57
ISBN: 0452287022
Genre: Historical Fiction; Summary: Griet, a young servant, is immortalized in Vermeer’s most famous painting.

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Out of the Dust - Karen Hesse
Call Number: PZ80.O88 H47 1999
ISBN: 0590371258
Genre: Historical Fiction; Summary: Fifteen-year-old Billie Jo describes the hardships of living on her family’s wheat farm in Oklahoma during the Great Depression.

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Project X - Jim Shepard
Call Number: PS3569.H39384 P76
ISBN: 1400033489
Genre: Suspense; Summary: Two disturbed adolescents’ obsessions with social status have disastrous consequences.

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The Devil's Arithmetic - Jane Yolen
Call Number: PZ80.D48 Y65 2004
ISBN: 0142401099
Genre: Time Travel; Holocaust; Summary: Hannah resents the traditions of her Jewish heritage until time travel places her in the middle of a small Jewish village in Nazi-occupied Poland.

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The Giver - Lowis Lowry
Call Number: PS3562.O923 G58 2006
ISBN: 0385732554
Genre: Science Fiction; Summary: Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

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Everyman - Philip Roth
Call Number: PS3568.O855 E94 2006
ISBN: 061873516X
Genre: Suspense/True Life: A thrice-married philanderer spends his last days lamenting his lost prowess, envying his older brother, and refusing to apologize for his many years of bad behavior.

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Cut - Patricia McCormick
Call Number: PZ80 .C88 M33 2002
ISBN: 0439324599
Genre: True Life; Summary: Thirteen-year-old Callie realizes why she cuts herself while confined to a mental hospital.

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Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson
Call Number: PS3551.N374 S64
ISBN: 014131088X
Genre: True Life; Summary: A traumatic event has a devastating effect on Melinda’s freshman year in high school.

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How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff
Call Number: PS229 .H69 R67 2004
ISBN: 0553376055
Genre: True Life/War Story; Summary: When fifteen-year-old New Yorker Daisy visits her aunt and cousins in England, a war breaks out that rips apart the family, leaving Daisy to take the helm.

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Looking for Alaska - John Green
Call Number: PS 3553 .G82 L66 2005
ISBN: 0525475060
pages, Suspense/True Life: Sixteen-year-old Miles searches for answers after a fatal car crash during his first year at an Alabama prep school.

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Al Capone Does my Shirts - Gennifer Choldenko
Call Number: PS 3553 .C455 A4 2004
ISBN: 0399238611
Genre: Historical Fiction; Summary: Moose Flannigan finds trouble on Alcatraz Island where his father works as a prison guard in 1935.

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Whale Talk - Chris Crutcher
Call Number: PS 3553 .C788 W434 2001
ISBN: 0440229383
Genre: True Life/Sports; Sumamry: TJ forms the All Night Mermen, a makeshift swim team comprised of seven social misfits.

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Tenderness - Robert Cormier
Call Number: PS 3553 .C676 T443 1997
ISBN: 0385731337
Genre: Suspense/Crime; Summary: A teenage runaway cannot resist the charm of a serial killer.

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Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Call Number: PS3566.A4554 F54 2005
ISBN: 0393327345
Genre: Suspense; Summary: A waiter who enjoys spitting in people's soup starts a fighting club that quickly becomes popular.

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Dreaming in Cuban - Cristina Garcia
Call Number: PS3557.A66 D74 2004
ISBN: 0345381432
Genre: True Life; Summary: This novel chronicles three generations of Cuban women who seek spiritual homes for their passionate, often troubled souls.


Recommended Novels: 250 to 350 pages

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Blood and Chocolate - Annette Curtis Klause
Call Number: PS 490 .K678 B566 2007
ISBN: 0385734212
Genre: Fantasy/Love Story; Summary: A teenage werewolf must battle her packmates after she falls in love with a human boy.

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Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes - Chris Crutcher
Call Number: PS 3553 .C788 S8 1993
ISBN: 0060094893
Genre: True Life:; Summary An obese boy and disfigured girl suffer the emotional scars of years of mockery at the hands of their peers.

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My Dreams Out in the Street - Kim Addonizio
Call Number: PS3551.D3997 M9
ISBN: 0743297733
Genre: True Life/Love Story; Summary: Rita, a homeless junkie, searches the streets of San Francisco for her husband who mysteriously disappeared one day.

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Bucking the Sarge - Christopher Paul Curtis
Call Number: PS 3553 .C878 B9 2004
ISBN: 0440413311
Genre: Humor; Summary: Fourteen-year-old Luther runs the Happy Neighbor Group Home For Men in Flint, Michigan, while dreaming of getting away from his mother and going to college.

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The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
Call Number: PS3611.I44 S38 2002
ISBN: 0670032379
Genre: True Life; Summary: Fourteen-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their Georgia peach farm, flees to South Carolina to solve the mystery of her dead mother’s past.

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Monster - Walter Dean Myers
Call Number: PS 230 .M66 M94 2004
ISBN: 0064407314
Genre: True Life/Crime; Summary: While on trial as an accomplice to murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and the courtroom in movie script style.

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The Chocolate War - Robert Cormier
Call Number: PZ80 .C46 C67 2000
ISBN: 0440944597
Genre: Suspense/Bullying; Summary: A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school’s annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies.

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Waiting - Ha Jin
Call Number: PS3560.I6 W34 2000
ISBN: 0375706410
Genre: Love Story/Suspense; Summary: Lin Kong misses countless opportunities in life by trying to do his duty as defined by his traditional Chinese parents and the Communist Party in China.

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Gil’s All Fright Diner - A. Lee Martinez
Call Number: PS3613.A78638 G55
ISBN: 0765311437
Genre: Horror/Humor; Summary: When their truck runs out of gas, Earl and Duke wind up at an all-night diner in Rockwood, a small desert town that has a bit of a zombie problem.

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The Farming of Bones - Edwidge Danticat
Call Number: PS3554.A5815 F37
ISBN: 0140280499
Genre: Historical Fiction; Summary: Amabelle experiences violence and loss while living under an oppressive regime in the Dominican Republic in 1937.

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Ball Don't Lie - Matt de la Peña
Call Number: PS 3566 .P453 B355 2005
ISBN: 0385734255
Genre: True Life/Sports; Summary: Seventeen-year-old Sticky's past jeopardizes his dream of playing professional basketball.

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How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents - Julia Alvarez
Call Number: PS3551.L845 H66 2005
ISBN: 0452287073
Genre: True Life; Summary: Fifteen tales vividly chronicle a Dominican family's exile in the Bronx, focusing on the four Garcia daughters' rebellion against their immigrant elders.


Recommended Novels: 350 pages or more

Cover Art
I am the Messenger - Markus Zusak
Call Number: PS 3553 .Z83 I36 2005
ISBN: 0375836675
Genre: Suspense; Summary: After capturing a bank robber, nineteen-year-old cab driver Ed begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help.

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A Great and Terrible Beauty - Libba Bray
Call Number: PS 3553 .B739 G743 2004
ISBN: 0385732317
Genre: Fantasy; Summary: Sixteen-year-old Gemma goes to a finishing school in Victorian England, where she taps into her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.

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Blankets - Craig Thompson
Call Number: PN6727.T467 B53
ISBN: 1891830430
Genre: Love Story/Graphic Novel; Summary: Craig is lost, lonely, and confused until he meets Raina and her clique of friendly misfits at a religious camp.

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The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Call Number: PS3619.E26 L68
ISBN: 0316044938
Genre: Suspense/Crime; Summary: Fourteen-year old Susie Salmon relates the horrid details of her death, and her family’s grief, while watching from heaven.

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The Work of Wolves - Kent Meyers
Call Number: PS3563.E93 W67
ISBN: 0156031426
Genre: Suspense/True Life: Carson, a loner and horse-trainer, gets dangerously involved with the wife of his wealthy neighbor, Magnus.

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The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
Call Number: PS3556.R352 C67 2002
ISBN: 0312421273
Genre: True Life/Humor; Summary: The Lambert family is quirky, bitter, and out of control.

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Gardens in the Dunes - Leslie Marmon Silko
Call Number: PS3569.I44 G37
ISBN: 0684811545
Genre: Historical Fiction; Summary: A cosmopolitan white woman adopts Indigo, an orphaned American Indian girl from Arizona.

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In the Time of the Butterflies - Julia Alvarez
Call Number: PS3551.L845 I5 1995
ISBN: 0452274427
Genre: True Life; Summary: a tale of courage and sisterhood set in the Dominican Republic during the rise of the Trujillo dictatorship.

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