Stephanie Tolan has been writing for more than 30 years. She primarily writes realistic fiction about topics and themes that are relevant for tweens and young teens. A few of her novels feature dystopian futures with current social issues that are intensified. These books are highly engaging for the tween and young teen because of their sense of justice, fairness, and activism. She has also authored a few books for younger readers. Read these books simultaneously with your child because some of the topics may make them squirm or they may need time to process the social issues. Allow your child to know you are also reading the books, but don’t push the discussions. Be available for open dialogue when they are ready to talk.

 

 

Listen!Listen!
Charley knows a lot about pain. She endures it when she walks on her newly shattered leg, she sees it when her father buries himself in an eighty-hour work week, and she runs from it when she sees photographs her mother took before her death. Then one day, Charley meets a wild, abused dog that knows as much about pain as she does, and, despite herself, she feels an immediate connection and vows to help him. But how will one heartbroken girl help mend the battered spirit of an untamable dog? Appropriate for tweens and young teens

 

 

Welcome to the ArkWelcome to the Ark
In a world of random violence and multiplying militias, four brilliant young misfits are thrown together in a group home for troubled youth. Isolated by their special abilities, Miranda, Doug, Taryn, and Elijah are unable to cope in a society that regards them as freaks.

But in the experimental program they dub the Ark, the four discover they are not alone. Slowly, as connections form among them, they discover that their minds have a power they could never have imagined. Drawn together by their deep concern for the future, they embark on a mission to stop the violence that is engulfing the world. The challenge seems impossible …until they face it together.

In this compelling, sensitively written story, Stephanie Tolan paints a disturbing portrait of a violence-ridden world. Yet her characters offer a bright ray of hope for anyone who cares about the fate of the earth. The story of the Ark is gripping, suspenseful, heartbreaking, and, ultimately, inspiring Appropriate for tweens and young teens

Plague YearPlague Year
Bran Slocum stands out from the moment he arrives at Ridgewood High, with his oddly unfocused eye and his unusual mode of dress. The immediate target of bullies, he seems strangely aloof and untouched. Sixteen year old Molly Pepper, herself an outsider, is intrigued by his attitude and sets out to befriend him, persuading her best friend David to join her in reaching out to him. Molly and David begin to see that Bran is hiding some sort of secret, but they have no idea how shocking the secret is until the truth hits Ridgewood—in headlines that put Bran and his new friends in terrible danger, as the whole town turns against them. Events spin out of control and fear spreads like a deadly contagion. Their friendship deepening as they face the plague of hatred together, Bran, Molly and David can only hope they will be able to stand against it. Appropriate for young teens

 

 

The Great Skinner GetawayThe Great Skinner Getaway
A valuable “how-not-to” guide for any family contemplating a summer spent in a 35-foot motor home, especially if the family includes four children, a large dog, and two cats. In this third book about the zany Skinner family (The Great Skinner Strike Macmillan, 1983 and The Great Skinner Enterprise Four Winds, 1986), overly optimistic and overly enthusiastic Mr. Skinner concocts a vacation plan which takes his family from one mishap to another, and ends in a major disaster. The disaster, however, turns into a blessing, and the family ends the vacation in an unexpected but agreeable way. Young readers will sympathize with the family when everyone squeezes into the motor home and experiences life at close quarters. A light, funny adventure. Appropriate for intermediate grades and tweens

 

 

 

Wishworks, Inc.Wishworks, Inc.
The best dog story you could wish for!

Max is handling his parents’ divorce, his new home and school, and a big bully named Nick the only way he knows how: by running away in his head. Through his imagination, he and his wonderful dog King have thrilling adventures; they conquer aliens and slay dragons; they embarrass Nick so he never comes near Max again. If only King were real . . .

Then Max happens upon a store called Wishworks, Inc., which promises his wish will come true in real life, “guaranteed.” He wishes for a real dog like King to fulfill all his dreams. And then a real dog named Goldie appears on his doorstep . . . but she may be a little more real than Max expects! Appropriate for intermedate grades

A Good CourageA Good Courage
14-year-old Ty Rainey”s mom has found heaven on earth at a religious commune called the Kingdom. But Ty soon discovers that the children of the Kingdom are virtually slaves, and he realises that he must find the courage to rebel. This novel broaches the topics of personal responsibility, family loyalty, and independent thinking.Appropriate for middle school and high school readers

 

 

 

Who's There?Who’s There?
Recently orphaned Drew Broderick and her brother, Evan, arrive at Rose Hill, their father’s childhood home, to live with the aunt and grandfather they never knew they had. But there are many mysteries at Rose Hill, including a ghostly specter with a crucial warning for Drew–if only she can understand in time! Appropriate for tweens and young teens

 

 

 

 

Ordinary MiraclesOrdinary Miracles
That’s what Mark Filkins has always believed. But it seems as if he’s also gotten a lot he hasn’t asked for, like feeling that he’s a slightly faded copy of his twin brother, or his parents’ plan that both boys will grow up to be preachers.

When he meets Dr. Colin Hendrick, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose research Mark’s family disapproves of, Mark realizes that he can — and should — make choices for himself. But when Colin reveals a terrible secret, Mark knows the time has come to ask for the most important thing of all…and put his own faith on the line. Appropriate for tweens and young teens

 

 

A Time to Fly FreeA Time to Fly Free
Ten-year-old Josh, who finds his private school unbearable, joins forces with an elderly man in tending injured birds. Appropriate for tweens

 

 

 

 

 

Grandpa and MeGrandpa and Me
“My grandfather is crazy.” So eleven year old Kerry Warren begins her story of the summer in which her family confronts the realities of aging. Grandpa has been part of their family for almost as long as she can remember. He taught Kerry to swim and made kites for her brother Matt, and the three of them collected rocks. Kerry can’t remember now when things started to change, when her life and Matt’s began to close out Grandpa. Suddenly there wasn’t time for him: she had places to go after school with her friend Jeannie, and Matt was busy with baseball practice and his stereo. And now Grandpa is different. He says strange things and sometimes thinks Kerry is the sister who took care of him as a child. There is worried talk in the family about nursing homes and the uncertainty of the future. As Kerry and her family live through the tensions of the summer, she finds that Grandpa has taken over the central position in her life from which he had been banished. She learns to know and love him in a new way. And as Grandpa’s past becomes for him the present, Kerry acquires a new understanding of her own place in the family. Her grandfather’s increasing senility brings Kerry to a new understanding of both him and her own place in the family. Appropriate for tweens and young teens