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 her small town.
Flowers for Algernon
by Daniel Keyes
Charly realizes that he's not that bright. As part of an experiment, he allows doctors to operate on his brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, as it has done for the lab mouse, Algernon. Charlie keeps a daily diary of what is happening to him.
by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
At the age of 10, an Appalachian girl develops croaks, jerks and spasms, which leads to her expulsion from school. After treatment--she has Tourette's syndrome--she learns to control herself, attends college and there is a happy ending.
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
by Chris Crutcher
The daily class discussions about the nature of humankind, 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.
The Center of Everything
by Laura Moriarty
Evelyn Bucknow lives with her single mother, Tina, in a small apartment outside Kerrville, Kansas. Though Tina is warm and loving, she is still young and immature herself, prone to making hotheaded decisions that help create a precarious financial situation for her increasingly anxious daughter. When Tina's failed romance with her married boss leaves her jobless and desperate, Evelyn turns to her grandmother in an effort to distance herself from what she perceives as her mother's irresponsibility, immorality, and plain bad luck.
The Pleasure of My Company
by Steve Martin
Daniel Pecan Cambridge is a young man whose life is rich and full, provided he never leaves his Santa Monica apartment. After all, outside there are 8-inch-high curbs and there's always the horrible chance he might see a gas station attendant wearing a blue hat. So, except for the occasional trip to the Rite Aid to admire the California girl Zandy and to buy earplugs because they're on sale, he stays home a lot. And a good thing too, or he would have never been falsely implicated in a murder, never almost seduced Philip, never ironed his pillows, and he might never have won the Most Average American essay contest.