Published on February 6th, 2014 | by Bright Kids Books0
Children’s Books dealing with adversity – age 9-12
What are the best children’s books dealing with adversity? This collection of books for nine to 12-year-olds looks at the myriad of the obstacles and challenges that many young people deal with every day – disability, displacement, bullying, and fitting in. In fact, there’s so much in these titles for adults, that you may find yourself unable to put the book down too! Here’s our list of the best children’s books dealing with adversity.
by R. J. Palacio
I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
Wonder is a rare gem of a novel – beautifully written and populated by characters who linger in your memory and heart. August Pullman is a 10-year-old boy who likes Star Wars and Xbox, ordinary except for his jarring facial anomalies. Home-schooled all his life, August heads to public school for fifth grade and he is not the only one changed by the experience – something we learn about first-hand through the narratives of those who orbit his world. August’s internal dialogue and interactions with students and family ring true, and though remarkably courageous he comes across as a sweet, funny boy who wants the same things others want: friendship, understanding, and the freedom to be himself. One of the best children’s books dealing with adversity that we’ve come across.
by Sharon Draper
Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school — but no one knows it. Most people – her teachers and doctors included – don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it… somehow. Reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability. Sharon Draper has written one of the more uplifting children’s books dealing with adversity.
by Thanhha Lai
Inside Out and Back Again is a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award! Inspired by the author’s childhood experience – of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama – this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child’s-eye view of family and immigration. Ha has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Ha and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope – toward America. A heartfelt and moving story of one girl’s year of change, dreams, grief, and healing. One of the more inspiring children’s books dealing with adversity that you’ll read.
by Linda Sue Park
The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan – a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way. Simply brilliant!
by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Small As An Elephant could be a quick, sweet read, but it is so emotionally gut-wrenching that adult and older Young Adult readers will find themselves slowing down to ponder Jack’s trauma and choices. Eleven year old Jack has been abandoned at a state park by his mentally ill mother. Any other kid would report his mother gone, but Jack knows by now that he needs to figure things out for himself – starting with how to get from the backwoods of Maine to his home in Boston before the authorities catch on. With nothing but a small toy elephant to keep him company, Jack begins the long journey south… a journey that will test his wits and his loyalties – and his trust that he may be part of a larger herd after all.