The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.
Firegirl by Tony Abbott
A middle school boy's life is changed when Jessica, a girl disfigured by burns, starts attending his Catholic school while receiving treatment at a local hospital.
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends try to figure out whether or not a paper finger puppet of Yoda can really predict the future.
El Deafo by Cece Bell
The author recounts her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her "superpower."
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
Seven fifth-graders at Snow Hill School in Connecticut, relate how their lives are changed for the better by "rookie teacher" Mr. Terupt.
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
12-yr-old Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935, when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his new environment, in addition to life with his autistic
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
12-yr-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Eleven-year-old Melody can't walk, talk, or write because she has cerebral palsy. However, she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She's the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it.
Nest by Esther Ehrlich
On Cape Cod in 1972, 11-yr-old Chirp, named for her love of birds, gets help from her neighbor, Joey, as she struggles to cope with her mother's multiple sclerosis and its effect on her family.
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger's Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription medications wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired.
Pictures of Hollis Wood by Patricia Reilly Giff
Hollis Woods has been in so many foster homes she can hardly remember them all. When Hollis is sent to Josie, she'll do everything in her power to make sure they stay together.
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, best at gym, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, as his parents keep reminding him, but new nanny Calista helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself.
The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff
Nine-year-old Georgie Bishop struggles to grow up when he isn't getting any taller, due to his dwarfism.
Ida B...and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan
In Wisconsin, 4th-grader Ida B spends happy hours being homeschooled and playing in her family's apple orchard. Then, her mother begins treatment for breast cancer, her parents sell part of the orchard, and she is sent to public school.
Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington
Twelve-year-old Mysti Murphy of Texas wishes she were a character in a book. If her life were fiction, she'd know how to solve her problems at school, take care of her family when her dad has to spend time in the hospital, and deal with her family's secret: that her mother is agoraphobic and never leaves the house.
Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington
Twelve-year-old Sarah writes letters to her hero, To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch, for help understanding her mentally ill mother, her first real crush, and life in her small Texas town, all in the course of one momentous summer.
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm
Ellie's scientist grandfather has discovered a way to reverse aging, and consequently has turned into a teenager. This makes for complicated relationships when he moves in with Ellie and her mother.
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence, but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.
A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin
The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie's small town.
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Ally, Bree, and Jack meet at the one place the Great Eclipse can be seen in totality, each carrying the burden of different personal problems.
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Having lost both his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City. There, he meets Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life.
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Twelve-year-old genius and outsider, Willow Chance, must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.
Loser by Jerry Spinelli
Even though his classmates from first grade on have considered him strange and a loser, Daniel Zinkoff's optimism and exuberance, and the support of his loving Family, do not allow him to feel that way about himself.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.
Paperboy by Vince Vawter
When an eleven-year-old boy takes over a friend's newspaper route, his debilitating stutter makes for a memorable month.
So B. It by Sarah Weeks
She doesn't know when her birthday is or who her father is. In fact, everything about Heidi and her mentally disabled mother's past is a mystery. When a strange word in her mother's vocabulary begins to haunt her, Heidi sets out on a cross-country journey in search of the secrets of her past.