Juvenile & Young Adult / Themes / Social Situations / Homelessness & Poverty

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Smack

by Melvin Burgess

Winner of the 1996 Carnegie Medal in Literature and the Guardian Prize for fiction, two of England's most prestigious awards, Smack tells a penetrating story about heroin use, a topic that is becoming familiar...


Homeless Bird

National Book Award for Young People's Literature 2000

by Gloria Whelan

Leaving Home...forever. Like many girls her age in India, thirteen-year-old Koly is getting married. When she discovers that the husband her parents have chosen for her is sickly boy with wicked parents, Koly...


Killing Time in Crystal City

by Chris Lynch

A teen runs away from his broken life and invents a new one in this “absorbing and satisfying” (Booklist) adventure from Printz Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Chris Lynch.

Crystal City called...


The Golden Ghost

by Marion Dane Bauer & Peter Ferguson

Delsie knew it wasn't a good idea to dare her best friend Todd to explore the abandoned houses by the old mill. But she couldn't back down after the words slipped out of her mouth. Together the two friends bike...


Crusade

by Linda Press Wulf

Robert: Left on the steps of a church as a baby, Robert was often hungry but never stole food like the other orphans in town. Introverted and extraordinarily intelligent, he knew all the Latin prayers and hymns...


The Tiger-Skin Rug

by Gerald Rose

It's amazing how easy it is for the tiger to pass himself off as a rug - he enjoys a life of luxury with the rajah's family, snacking on midnight feasts and playing with his children. He goes entirely undetected,...


Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

by Katherine Rundell & Melissa Castrillón

Even a life on the untamed plains of Africa can’t prepare Wilhelmina for the wilds of an English boarding school in this “gripping, magical, and heartwarming tale of resilience, friendship, and hope” (...


Chook Chook: Saving the Farm

by Wai Chim

The third book in the Chook Chook series set against the backdrop of rural China

 

It’s Chinese New Year, and for Mei and her family things are looking grim. It’s been another bad harvest and a disappointing...


Skylark

by Sara Cassidy

After Angie's father leaves town to find work, her family ends up evicted and living in their car. Struggling with the realities of homelessness, Angie discovers slam poetry and her own voice.


The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky

by Holly Schindler

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of hope.

August “Auggie” Jones lives with her Grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy...


Junk

Carnegie Medal 1996

by Melvin Burgess

The love story of two runaway teenagers, Gemma and Tar, and their struggles with heroin addiction.

Melvin Burgess’ most ambitious and complex novel is a multi-faceted and vivid depiction of a group of young...


Runaways

by Joe Layburn & John Williams

Ordinary kids with extraordinary powers, the Street Heroes return to help children around the world. Fatima, Georgie, Hyun-mi and their friends fight evil in all its human forms. But whose is the mysterious...


No Place

by Todd Strasser

When Dan and his family go from middle class to homeless, issues of injustice rise to the forefront in this relatable, timely novel from Todd Strasser that VOYA calls “poignant,” “darkly humorous,” and...


The King of Dragons

by Carol Fenner

Eleven-year-old Ian and his Vietnam veteran father have been homeless for years, but now his father has found a perfect place for them—an abandoned city courthouse with heat, plenty of bathrooms, and lots...


Crash

by Lesley Choyce

After resolving to turn his life around, sixteen-year-old Cameron ends up homeless and struggling to survive.


Under a Living Sky

by Joseph Simons

At the height of the Depression, Mary is unlikely to receive new shoes for Christmas but is deeply disappointed to receive a doll crudely sewn from a horse's nosebag instead.


The House that Was Eureka: Text Classics

by Nadia Wheatley & Toni Jordan

Winner of the New South Wales Premier's Children's Book Award, 1985.

It's 1981 and Evie is sixteen. She has left school but can't find work, and her family has just moved into the run-down inner Sydney suburb...


Friday Never Leaving

by Vikki Wakefield

In this wrenching, mesmerizing coming-of-age novel that Kirkus Reviews calls “lyrical, suspenseful, and haunting,” Friday discovers what makes a family—and how to define home.

Friday Brown has never had...


The Sky So Heavy

by Claire Zorn

This haunting dystopian novel thrillingly and realistically looks at a nuclear winter from an Australian perspective.

For Fin it’s just like any other day—racing for the school bus, bluffing his way through...


A Lion to Guard Us

by Clyde Robert Bulla & Michele Chessare

Amanda Freebold doesn't know what to do. Her father left three years ago for the new colony of Jamestown, in America, thousands of miles away. All Amanda has to remember him by is a little brass lion's head...