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Tween and Teen Books about Orphans

Many classic stories tell the tales of orphans—Oliver Twist, Jane Eyre, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, and so on. But there are tons of awesome stories about orphans, foster kids and adoption being written every day. From Harry Potter to the Baudelaire children, here's a list of modern books with orphaned characters:

Gossamer by Lois Lowry

An elderly woman fosters a young boy. He has serious anger issues which stem from his abusive home life. But with the help of his patient foster mother (and a tiny creature called a dream-giver), the boys learns to be happy.

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Determined not to be separated, orphans Prosper and Bo turn to the streets of Venice, Italy, where they join a band of young thieves.


The 39 Clues series by Various Authors

This nail-biting adventure series stars two orphans, Dan and Amy. They travel around the world in search of all 39 clues to the Cahill family secret. But the competition’s fierce—their aunts, uncles and cousins are determined to eliminate them from the race. Check out the first two books in the series: The Maze of Bones and One False Note.


Dancing Through the Snow by Jean Little

After living with five different foster families, Min begins to lose hope. Then her Christmas miracle arrives in the form of her doctor, Jessica Hart, who understands what it’s like to be a foster child.


The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Reynie Muldoon isn’t your average orphan. Only he and three other orphans pass a test that hundreds of kids failed. Why? Because Reynie is gifted. He and his new friends go on an undercover mission inside a creepy institution, where an evil man is brainwashing the entire world.


The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

The day their parents parish in a house fire, the Baudelaire children become orphans. They’re placed in one foster home after another as their evil uncle, Count Olaf, tries to kill the children and steal their fortune.


Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

When Harry was a baby, his parents died at the hands of the world’s most evil wizard, Lord Voldemort. After living with his horrible aunt and uncle for eleven years, Harry escapes to a wizarding school called Hogwarts. There he makes friends for the first time in his life. But Hogwarts isn’t safe for Harry, not with Voldemort on the loose.


Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge

In a world where books are banned, one literate young girl must learn to survive on her own. Her mother died in childbirth and her father, a writer, died for his love of literature. Now she must live with her cruel uncle, or find some way to escape.


Related Stories:

  • January 2009 Book Buzz
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Book Review
  • The End and The Beatrice Letters Book Review
  • The Giver Book Review
  • 1 Comment

    Related Stories

    F1103581139796

    Fave Orphan? Vote!

    • Sunny! That chompin' toddler rocks.
    • Klaus, 'cuz he's brave and smart.
    • Inventor girls like Violet are da bomb!
    • The orphans? Ha! Count Olaf is my fave.

    Random In The Forums

    LUCYQWERTY123
    you too!!Have a nice awesome life time!!! [s:p/zqh] [s:p/zxl] :) bye!!and goodluck in everything [s:p/1m4q] and btw happy birthday!! [s:p/1m4y-en] [s:p/1m4y-en] [s:p/1m4y-en] [s:p/1m4y-en]
    reply 19 minutes
    sawan47
    sawan47 posted in Say Anything:
    Hello,  i have been a kidzworld user since more than 5 years.  i am seventeen and i will turn 18 tomorrow...  how much i am gonna miss this website!! i made 100's of frends here! i have even met 1 of my bestfriends here! thank you  soo much  kidzworld for the best times of my life and such amazing friends.  All the best everyone :)
    reply 28 minutes
    Gingerkissx
    Gingerkissx posted in Debating:
    I don't think its inappropriate for school. School is for learning, and learning to be open minded about what kind of experiences people have can be useful and positive. I can understand why a teacher might believe it to be too early to talk about at that age, and maybe it could be, everyone develops at a different pace. While I love the idea of having LGBTQ+ introduced to young open minded people who want to understand different genders and sexual orientations, we are in a time where many people won't support the discussion or representation of different people, no matter how good our intentions are. 
    reply 32 minutes
    PotterDrinksWater
    Haha I love that tune! I love Harry Potter Puppet Pals. Can't believe it was 8 years ago. That's awesome! 8)
    reply about 3 hours
    6thBeatle
    6thBeatle posted in General:
    I was only 2 when this video came out, but I still can't get these lyrics out of my head. BTW, Ron sounds like Mickey Mouse in this video.
    reply about 3 hours