This is the "Home" page of the "Real Problems Literature List" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Real Problems Literature List  

This list is not a complete list of the books we have in this genre. Please ask a librarian for further recommendations. This list was created with the help of Nicole Lawrence in 2016.
Last Updated: Mar 22, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
Home Print Page

Authors A-L

Cover Art
The Crossover - Kwame Alexander
Call Number: Fic Alexander
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

Cover Art
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Jesse Andrews
Call Number: Fic Andrews
How do you deal with a new friendship when one of you has cancer? Well, you could make a movie together...

Cover Art
Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
Call Number: Fic Asher
High school student Clay Jensen receives a box in the mail containing seven cassette tapes recorded by his crush, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide, and he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

Cover Art
Kids of Appetite - David Arnold
Call Number: Fic Arnold
Teens Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco sit in separate police interrogation rooms telling about the misfits who brought them together and the journey that was sparked by a message in an urn of ashes.

Cover Art
Hate List - Jennifer Brown
Call Number: Fic Brown
Sixteen-year-old Valerie, whose boyfriend Nick committed a school shooting at the end of their junior year, struggles to cope with relating to her family again and integrating herself back into high school life, unsure whether her role in the shooting makes her a hero or a villain. She helped Nick create the hate list he used to pick his targets.

Cover Art
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Call Number: Fic Chbosky
Charlie, a freshman in high school, explores the dilemmas of growing up through a collection of letters he sends to an unknown receiver.

Cover Art
How to Keep Rolling after a Fall - Karole Cozzo
Call Number: Fic Cozzo
Mean girl Nikki Baylor, accused of a cyberbullying incident that nearly resulted in a classmate's suicide, is expelled from school, abandoned by her friends, and distrusted by her parents. Everybody hates her. Then she meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player, and a chance to put her mistake behind her appears.

Cover Art
Sweetbitter - Stephanie Danler
Call Number: Fic Danler
"A year in the life of a young woman who comes to New York to discover herself"--Provided by publisher.

Cover Art
Playlist for the Dead - Michelle Falkoff
Call Number: Fic Falkoff
After his best friend, Hayden, commits suicide, fifteen-year-old Sam is determined to find out why--using the clues in the playlist Hayden left for him.

Cover Art
Looking for Alaska - John Green
Call Number: Fic Green
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks. But all that changes after a fatal car crash kills Alaska, the girl he is falling in love with.

Cover Art
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
Call Number: Fic Lockhart
Spending the summers on her family's private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer.


Authors L-Z and Nonfiction

Cover Art
Cut - Patricia McCormick
Call Number: Fic McCormick
While confined to a mental hospital, thirteen-year-old Callie slowly comes to understand some of the reasons behind her self-mutilation, and gradually starts to get better.

Cover Art
I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson
Call Number: Fic Nelson
Something rocked the close relationship between the twins, Jude and Noah. Now they are barely speaking to each other. Can they find a way back to the brotherly love they had for each other?

Cover Art
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver
Call Number: Fic Oliver
After she dies in a car crash, teenage Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.

Cover Art
By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead - Julie Anne Peters
Call Number: Fic Peters
High school student Daelyn Rice, who has been bullied throughout her school career and has more than once attempted suicide, again makes plans to kill herself, in spite of the persistent attempts of an unusual boy to draw her out.

Cover Art
Rani Patel in Full Effect - Sonia Patel
Call Number: Fic Patel
Rani Patel, almost seventeen and living on remote Moloka'i island, is oppressed by the cultural norms of her Gujarati immigrant parents but when super attractive Mark tempts and draws her into new sexually abusive experiences she choses to ignore the red flags until it's too late.

Cover Art
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock - Matthew Quick
Call Number: Fic Quick
Leonard Peacock is a loner, outcast, and misfit. Today is his 18th birthday and he has a plan to make it special. He's going to kill the bully who used to be his best friend and then he's going to commit suicide. That's the plan, but first he wants to thank the only teacher who made a difference in his life.

Cover Art
The Square Root of Summer - Harriet Reuter Hapgood; Peppermint Frog Limited
Call Number: Fic Reuter Hapgood
Gottie Oppenheimer, a seventeen-year-old physics prodigy, navigates grief, love, and disruptions in the space-time continuum in one very eventful summer.

Cover Art
All American Boys - Jason Reynolds; Brendan Kiely
Call Number: Fic Reynolds
When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend.

Cover Art
Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell
Call Number: Fic Rowell
"Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try"--Provided by publisher.

Cover Art
Safe - Susan Shaw
Call Number: Fic Shaw
When thirteen-year-old Tracy, whose mother died when she was three years old, is raped and beaten on the last day of school, all her feelings of security disappear and she does not know how to cope with the fear and dread that engulf her.

Cover Art
Winger - Andrew Smith; Sam Bosma (Illustrator)
Call Number: Fic Smith
Two years younger than his classmates at a prestigious boarding school, fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West grapples with living in the dorm for troublemakers, falling for his female best friend who thinks of him as just a kid, and playing wing on the Varsity rugby team with some of his frightening new dorm-mates.

Cover Art
The Way I Used to Be - Amber Smith; Kevin Twomey (Photographer)
Call Number: Fic Smith
She used to be good at being good but after fourteen-year-old Eden is raped by her brother's best friend, she knows she'll never be the way she used to be. Should she tell someone what happened? She knows she supposed to, but she can't.

Cover Art
Belzhar - Meg Wolitzer
Call Number: Fic Wolitzer
Jam Gallahue, fifteen, unable to cope with the loss of her boyfriend Reeve, is sent to The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in Vermont, where a journal-writing assignment for an exclusive, mysterious English class that focuses on the poetry of Sylvia Plath, transports her to the magical realm of Belzhar, where she and Reeve can be together.

Cover Art
The Sun Is Also a Star - Nicola Yoon
Call Number: Fic Yoon
The story of Natasha, Daniel, and the Universe. What does the future hold? Is it love that holds us together?

Cover Art
Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety - Christopher Willard
Call Number: 155.9 Willard
It's hard enough being a teen without having to worry about panic attacks, chronic worry and stress, and feelings of isolation. In Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety, a psychologist offers teen readers proven-effective, mindfulness-based activities to help cope with anxiety, identify common triggers (such as dating or school performance), learn valuable time-management skills, and feel calm at home, at school, and with friends.

Cover Art
A Lifetime of Secrets - Frank Warren
Call Number: 158.1 Warren
A selection of postcards sent to Frank Warren and profiled on his popular Internet site,, that reveal the writers' deepest secrets, fears, hopes, regrets, and desires.

Cover Art
Dear My Blank - Emily Trunko; Lisa Congdon (Illustrator)
Call Number: 158.128 Dear
Have you ever written a letter to someone without intending to send it? If so, you are not alone. This collection of unsent letters reveals teenagers' emotional mindsets and views on life.

Cover Art
The Burn Journals - Brent Runyon
Call Number: 362.28 Runyon
Presents the true story of Brent Runyon, who at fourteen set himself on fire and sustained burns over eighty percent of his body and describes the months of physical and mental rehabilitation that followed as he attempted to pull his life together.

Cover Art
Tweak - Nic Sheff
Call Number: 362.29 Sheff
The author describes his childhood in California when he got drunk for the first time at age eleven. He eventually adds using cocaine, Ecstasy, and smoking pot to his alcohol abuse, and follows this with an addiction to crystal meth and heroin. His first attempt at recovery ends in a relapse after eighteen months of sobriety and today, now in his early twenties, he still continues to battle his addictions.

Cover Art
Humans of New York - Brandon Stanton
Call Number: 778.9 Stanton
Blogger Brandon Stanton shares the photographs and diverse personal stories of the humans he meets on the streets of New York.


Loading  Loading...