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Speak Read-alikes

Anderson, Laurie Halse, Twisted

After finally getting noticed by someone other than school bullies and his ever-angry father, seventeen-year-old Tyler enjoys his tough new reputation and the attentions of a popular girl, but when life starts to go bad again, he must choose between transforming himself or giving in to his destructive thoughts. Lexile 680 FIC ANDERSON


Cole, Brock, The facts speak for themselves.

At the request of her social worker, thirteen-year-old Linda gradually reveals how her life with her unstable mother and her younger brother led to her rape and the murder she witnessed. Lexile 600  FIC COLE.

Coman, Carolyn,  Many stones.  After her sister Laura is murdered in South Africa, Berry and her estranged father travel there to participate in the dedication of a memorial in her name. Lexile 830 FIC COMAN.

Corrigan,Eireann, Splintering.  Relates, in a series of poems from different perspectives, the events and aftereffects of an intruder's violent attack on a family. Lexile 970 FIC CORRIGAN

Dessen,Sarah, Just listen. Isolated from friends who believe the worst because she has not been truthful with them, sixteen-year-old Annabel finds an ally in classmate Owen, whose honesty and passion for music help her to face and share what really happened at the end-of-the-year party that changed her life. Lexile 810 FIC DESSEN

Frank,E.R., Wrecked. After a car accident seriously injures her best friend and kills her brother's girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Anna tries to cope with her guilt and grief, while learning some truths about her family and herself.  Lexile 680 FIC FRANK

Hyde,Catherine Ryan, Becoming Chole .     A gay teenage boy and a fragile teenage girl meet while living on the streets of New York City and eventually decide to take a road trip across America to discover whether or not the world is a beautiful place. Lexile 600 FIC HYDE

King,A.S. , Please ignore Vera Dietz.  When her best friend, whom she secretly loves, betrays her and then dies under mysterious circumstances, high school senior Vera Dietz struggles with secrets that could help clear his name. Lexile 830 FIC KING

Klass, David, You don’t know me. Fourteen-year-old John creates alternative realities in his mind as he tries to deal with his mother's abusive boyfriend, his crush on a beautiful, but shallow classmate, and other problems at school. Lexile 970 FIC KLASS

Konigsburg,E.L., Silent to the bone. Thirteen-year-old Branwell loses his power of speech after being wrongly accused of gravely injuring his baby half-sister, and only his friend Connor is able to reach him and uncover the truth about what happened. Lexile 810 FIC KONIGSBURG

Lynch,Chris, Inexcusable. High school senior and football player Keir sets out to enjoy himself on graduation night, but when he attempts to comfort a friend whose date has left her stranded, things go terribly wrong. Lexile 810 FIC LYNCH

McCormick,Patricia, Cut. 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. Lexile 660 FIC McCormick

Nolan,Han, Dancing on the edge. A young girl from a dysfunctional family creates for herself an alternative world which nearly results in her death but which ultimately leads her to reality. Lexile 850 FIC NOLAN

Sones,Sonya, Stop pretending: what happened when my big sister went crazy.

A younger sister has a difficult time adjusting to life after her older sister has a mental breakdown. FIC SONES

Werlin,Nancy, The Rules of survival. Seventeen-year-old Matthew recounts his attempts, starting at a young age, to free himself and his sisters from the grip of their emotionally and physically abusive mother. Lexile 660 FIC WERLIN

Zarr,Sara, Story of a girl. During the summer after her sophomore year, Deanna Lambert tries to come to terms with the reputation with which she was slapped in the eighth grade when she was caught by her father in the backseat of a car with a high school senior, and struggles with her still-strained relationship with her father and her changing feelings for her best friend, Jason. Lexile 760 FIC ZARR


Hatchet by Gary Paulsen readalikes

Bauer, Joan. Backwater. While compiling a genealogy of her family of successful attorneys, sixteen-year-old history buff Ivy Breedlove treks into the mountain wilderness to interview a reclusive aunt with whom she identifies and who in turn helps her to truly know herself and her family. Lexile: 810, FIC BAUER

Easton, Kelly. Aftershock. In shock and unable to speak after being in a car accident in Oregon which killed his parents, seventeen-year-old Adam journeys across the country to his home in Rhode Island. FIC EASTON

George, Jean Craighead. Julie of the Wolves.While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack. Lexile 860 FIC GEORGE
George, Jean Craighead. My Side of the Mountain. Young Sam Gribley leaves New York City and spends a year living by himself in a remote area of the Catskill Mountains.  Lexile: 810 FIC GEORGE
Hobbs, Will. Far North.After the destruction of their float plane, sixteen-year-old Gabe and his Dene friend, Raymond, struggle to survive a winter in the wilderness of the Northwest Territories of Canada. Lexile: 820 FIC HOBBS
Hobbs, Will. Crossing the Wire. Fifteen-year-old Victor Flores journeys north in a desperate attempt to cross the Arizona border and find work in the United States to support his family in central Mexico.  Lexile: 670  FIC HOBBS
London,Jack. The Call of the Wild . The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd, that is forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack. Lexile: 1120 FIC LONDON
Mikaelson, Ben. Touching Spirt Bear. After his anger erupts into violence, fifteen year-old Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the Native American Circle Justice, and he is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life.
Lexile: 670. FIC MIKAELSON
O'Dell,Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins.Records the courage and self-reliance of an Indian girl who lived alone for eighteen years on an isolated island off the California coast when her tribe emigrated and she was left behind. Lexile:1000 FIC O'DELL
O'Dell, Scott. Sarah Bishop.Left alone after the deaths of her father and brother who take opposite sides in the War for Independence, and fleeing from the British who seek to arrest her, Sarah Bishop struggles to shape a new life for herself in the wilderness. Lexile:760. FIC O'DELL
Paterson,Katherine. Lyddie.Impoverished Vermont farm girl Lyddie Worthen is determined to gain her independence by becoming a factory worker in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s. Lexile:860. FIC Paterson
Paulson,Gary. The River.Because of his success surviving alone in the wilderness for fifty-four days, fifteen-year-old Brian, profoundly changed by his time in the wild, is asked to undergo a similar experience to help scientists learn more about the psychology of survival. Sequel to "Hatchet."  Lexile:960 FIC PAULSEN
Smelcer,John. The Trap.In alternating chapters, seventeen-year-old Johnny Least-Weasel, who is better known for brains than brawn, worries about his missing grandfather, and the grandfather, Albert Least-Weasel, struggles to survive, caught in his own steel trap in the Alaskan winter. Lexile:1100 FIC SMELCER
Smith,Roland. Peak. A fourteen-year-old boy attempts to be the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest. Lexile:780. FIC SMITH
Speare,Elizabeth George. Sign of the Beaver.Left alone to guard the family's wilderness home in eighteenth-century Maine, a boy is hard-pressed to survive until local Indians teach him their skills. Lexile:770. FIC SPEARE
Taylor,Theodore. The Cay.When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, an adolescent white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old black man are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion. Lexile:860. FIC TAYLOR
Taylor, Theodore. Timothy of the Cay. Having survived being blinded and shipwrecked on a tiny Caribbean island with the old black man Timothy, twelve-year-old white Phillip is rescued and hopes to regain his sight with an operation. Alternate chapters follow the life of Timothy from his days as a young cabin boy. Lexile:860. FIC TAYLOR
White,Robb. Deathwatch.Needing money for school, a college boy accepts a job as guide on a desert hunting trip and nearly loses his life. Lexile:990. FIC WHITE

A Child Called It readalikes

Cassidy, Anne,Looking for JJ.Seventeen-year-old Alice, released from prison with a new identity after serving six years for murdering a child, tries to keep her anonymity from the British tabloids, while haunted by memories of her past trauma. Lexile 730 FIC CASSIDY 

Conroy, Pat, The Great Santini .Bull Meecham is all Marine, a fighter pilot, and absolute ruler of his family. Ben, his oldest son has to fight against a father who doesn't give in. Lexile 970 FIC CONROY
Crutcher, Chris, Chinese Handcuffs.Still troubled by his older brother's violent suicide, eighteen-year-old Dillon becomes deeply involved in the terrible secret of his friend Jennifer, who feels she can tell no one what her stepfather is doing to her. Lexile 1040 FIC  CRUTCHER

Crutcher,Chis,Staying fat for Sarah Byrnes.

The daily class discussions about the nature of man, the existence of God, abortion, organized religion, suicide and other contemporary issues serve as a backdrop for a high-school senior's attempt to answer a friend's dramatic cry for help.Lexile920 FIC CRUTCHER 

Dressen, Sarah, Lock and Key.When she is abandoned by her alcoholic mother, high school senior Ruby winds up living with Cora, the sister she has not seen for ten years, and learns about Cora's new life, what makes a family, how to allow people to help her when she needs it, and that she too has something to offer others. Lexile 840 FIC DRESSEN 
Fitch, Janet, White Oleander .Astrid, the only child of a single mother, struggles to find a place for herself in a world full of foster homes and impossible circumstances, after her mother is jailed for murder.  FIC FITCH
Frank,E.R., Friction. Alex, suffering a bit of a crush on her eighth-grade teacher Simon, becomes confused about what is true when a new girl at Forest Alternative claims Simon has been molesting her and Alex.Lexile 630  FIC FRANK

Konigsberg, E.L.,Silent to the Bone. Thirteen-year-old Branwell loses his power of speech after being wrongly accused of gravely injuring his baby half-sister, and only his friend Connor is able to reach him and uncover the truth about what happened. Lexile 810  FIC KONIGSBERG

Nolan, Han, Born Blue.
 Janie was four years old when she nearly drowned due to her mother's neglect. Through an unhappy foster home experience, and years of feeling that she is unwanted, she keeps alive her dream of someday being a famous singer. Lexlie 920 FIC NOLAN

McCormick,Patricia, Sold.Thirteen-year-old Lakshmi leaves her poor mountain home in Nepal thinking that she is to work in the city as a maid only to find that she has been sold into the sex slave trade in India and that there is no hope of escape. Lexile 820 FIC McCormick 

Shaw, Susan, The Boy from the Basement. Charlie, a twelve-year-old boy who has been confined to his basement by his abusive, psychotic father, is accidently locked out after sneaking outside one night, and ends up in the hospital where he gets the attention he needs and a new start in life. Lexile 470,  FIC SHAW

Werlin, Nancy, The Rules of Survival.
Seventeen-year-old Matthew recounts his attempts, starting at a young age, to free himself and his sisters from the grip of their emotionally and physically abusive mother. Lexile 660 FIC WERLIN

Burch, Jennings Michael, They Cage the Animals at Night.In 1949 the author's mother, unable to care for him, left him at a Brooklyn orphanage, and for the next three years he lived in institutions and foster homes. Finally he found caring people.  362.7 BURCH 
Dugard, Jaycee Lee,A Stolen Life.Jaycee Dugard chronicles the eighteen years she spent in captivity, describing what happened after she was kidnapped at age eleven in 1991, the abuse she endured, the birth of her two daughters, the events leading up to her release, and her struggle to adjust to life once she was reunited with her family. 921 Dugard.
Hayden, Torey. Ghost Girls.A teacher of emotionally disturbed children tells of her work with a silent and withdrawn eight-year-old girl who is the possible victim of ritual abuse. 362.1 Hayden
Mah, Adeline Yen, Chinese Cinderella.

The author tells the story of her painful childhood in China where she lived until the age of fourteen with her father, stepmother, and siblings, all of whom considered her bad luck because her mother died shortly after giving birth to her. Lexile 960. 921 MAH
McCourt,Frank, Angela Ashes.
The author chronicles his impoverished childhood in Limerick, Ireland, in the 1930s and 1940s, describing his father's alcoholism and talent for storytelling; the challenges and tragedies his mother faced, including the loss of three children; and his early experiences in the Catholic church, and balances painful memories with humor. Lexile 1110. 921 McCOURT.

Rhodes-Courter, Ashley. Three Little Words.
Ashley Rhodes-Courter provides an account of her life, focusing on the nine years she spent in Florida's foster care system after being removed from her mother at the age of three, and explaining how her life changed after she was adopted. 921 RHODES-COURTER
Walls, Jeanette. The Glass Castle: A Memoir.
The author recalls her life growing up in a dysfunctional family with an alcohol father and distant mother and describes how she and her siblings had to fend for themselves until they finally found the resources and will to leave home. Lexile 1010. 921 WALLS

Hunger Games readalikes

Bacigalupi,Paolo, Ship breaker. In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl. Lexile 690 FIC BACIGALUPI

Bick,Ilisa J, Ashes. Alex, a resourceful seventeen-year-old running from her incurable brain tumor, Tom, who has left the war in Afghanistan, and Ellie, an angry eight-year-old, join forces after an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky and kills most of the world's population, turning some of those who remain into zombies and giving the others superhuman senses. Lexile 730 FIC BICK

Colfer,Eoin, The Supernaturalist. In futuristic Satellite City, fourteen-year-old Cosmo Hill escapes from an abusive orphanage and teams up with three other people who share his unusual ability to see supernatural creatures, and together they determine the nature and purpose of the swarming blue Parasites that are invisible to most humans. Lexile 650 FIC COLFER

Collins, Suzanne, The Hunger Games. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen accidentally becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grave competition hosted by the Capitol where young boys and girls are pitted against one another in a televised fight to the death. Lexile 810 FIC COLLINS

Dashner,James, The maze runner. Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.Lexile 770 FIC DASHNER

Farmer,Nancy, The house of the scorpion. In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the one hundred forty-two-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States. Lexile 660 FIC FARMER

Ness, Patrick, The knife of never letting go. Todd, one month away from an important birthday, learns all the tough lessons of adulthood when he is forced to flee after discovering a secret near the town where he lives. Lexile 860 FIC NESS

Reeve, Phillip, Mortal engines. Tom, a third class apprentice in a distant future in which technology has been lost and tiered cities move about the Earth on caterpillar tracks, often absorbing smaller locales, has many dangerous adventures after being pushed off London by Thaddeus Valentine, a historian who is trying to resurrect an ancient atomic weapon. Lexile 990 FIC REEVE

Rosoff,Meg, How I live now. To get away from her pregnant stepmother in New York City, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land. Lexile 1629 FIC ROSOFF

Roth, Veronica, Divergent. In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all. Lexile 700  FIC ROTH.

Shusterman,Neal, Unwind. Three teens embark upon a cross-country journey in order to escape from a society that salvages body parts from children ages thirteen to eighteen. Lexile 740 FIC SHUSTERMAN

Westerfeld, Scott, Uglies. Tally is faced with a difficult choice when her new friend Shay decides to risk life on the outside rather than submit to the forced operation that turns sixteen year old girls into gorgeous beauties, and realizes that there is a whole new side to the pretty world that she doesn't like. Lexile 770 FIC WESTERFELD

Twilight readalikes


Caletti,Deb. The Story of us. Eighteen-year-old Cricket, having decided to take a break from her long-time boyfriend to sort out her love life, spends a week preparing for her mother's wedding and finds her life getting even more complicated by stepsisters who are against the marriage, a family secret revealed by her grandfather, the arrival of her mom's soon-to-be husband's ex, and feelings for a sweet and sexy guy she just met. Lexile 660 FIC CALETTI

Castellucci,Cecil. Boy proof. Feeling alienated from everyone around her, high school senior and cinephile Victoria Denton hides behind the identity of a favorite movie character until an interesting new boy arrives at school and helps her realize that there is more to life than just the movies. Lexile 600 FIC CASTELLUCCI

Dessen, Sarah. Along for the ride. Auden gets a chance to recapture the carefree teen life she missed while her parents were going through a divorce when she goes to spend the summer with her dad and his new family in a charming beach town and meets fellow insomniac Eli, an intriguing loner fighting demons of his own. Lexile 750 FIC DESSEN

Flake, Sharon. Pinned. Autumn, who struggles with a learning disability and exceeds at wrestling, and Adonis, who is confined to a wheelchair and loves books, learn how their weaknesses can become assets. Lexile 460 FIC FLAKE

Griffin, Paul. Stay with me. Fifteen-year-olds Mack, a high school drop-out but a genius with dogs, and Céce, who hopes to use her intelligence to avoid a life like her mother's, meet and fall in love at the restaurant where they both work, but when Mack lands in prison he pushes Céce away and only a one-eared pit-bull can keep them together. Lexile 570 FIC GRIFFIN

Johnson, Maureen. The key to the Golden Firebird. As three teenaged sisters struggle to cope with their father's sudden death, they find they must reexamine friendships, lifelong dreams, and their relationships with each other and their father. Lexile 740 FIC JOHNSON

Na, An. Wait for me. As her senior year in high school approaches, Mina yearns to find her own path in life but working at the family business, taking care of her little sister, and dealing with her mother's impossible expectations are as stifling as the southern California heat, until she falls in love with a man who offers a way out. Lexile 670 FIC NA

Marchetta, Melina. Saving Francesca. Sixteen-year-old Francesca could use her outspoken mother's help with the problems of being one of a handful of girls at a parochial school that has just turned co-ed, but her mother has suddenly become severely depressed. Lexile 770 FIC MARCHETTA life but working at the family business, taking who offers a way out. Lexile 670 FIC NA

Reinhardt, Dana. A brief chapter in my impossible life. Sixteen-year-old atheist Simone Turner-Bloom's life changes in unexpected ways when her parents convince her to make contact with her biological mother, an agnostic from a Jewish family who is losing her battle with cancer. Lexile 910 FIC REINHARDT

Resau, Laura. Red glass. Sixteen-year-old Sophie has been frail and delicate since her premature birth, but discovers her true strength during a journey through Mexico, where the six-year-old orphan her family hopes to adopt was born, and to Guatemala, where her would-be boyfriend hopes to find his mother and plans to remain. Lexile 800 FIC RESAU

Zevin, Gabrille. Memoirs of a teenage amnesiac. After a nasty fall, Naomi realizes that she has no memory of the last four years and finds herself reassessing every aspect of her life Lexile 720 FIC ZEVIN