Kw-logo-smaller

Tween and Teen Books about Orphans

Series of Unfortunate Events Movie
Courtesy of Dreamworks

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
  • >
    >

    readers voted!

    Comments

    NikkiJulez_1998078
    I love books about orphans. Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket are my faves, but I also lo...
    commented: Thu Jan 12, 2012

    there are 1 more comments

    Please login or register to add comments


    like this article?
    Sign up now to get more just like it!

    latest videos

    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.

    related stories

    Random in the forums

    nia28nimisha
    nia28nimisha posted in General:
    Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl named Cinderella. She lived with her wicked stepmother and two stepsisters. They treated Cinderella very badly. One day, they were invited for a grand ball in the king’s palace. But Cinderella’s stepmother would not let her go. Cinderella was made to sew new party gowns for her stepmother and stepsisters, and curl their hair. They then went to the ball, leaving Cinderella alone at home. Cinderella felt very sad and began to cry. Suddenly, a fairy godmother appeared and said, “Don’t cry, Cinderella! I will send you to the ball!” But Cinderella was sad. She said, “I don’t have a gown to wear for the ball!” The fairy godmother waved her magic wand and changed Cinderella’s old clothes into a beautiful new gown! The fairy godmother then touched Cinderella’s feet with the magic wand. And lo! She had beautiful glass slippers! “How will I go to the grand ball?” asked Cinderella. The fairy godmother found six mice playing near a pumpkin, in the kitchen. She touched them with her magic wand and the mice became four shiny black horses and two coachmen and the pumpkin turned into a golden coach. Cinderella was overjoyed and set off for the ball in the coach drawn by the six black horses. Before leaving. the fairy godmother said, “Cinderella, this magic will only last until midnight! You must reach home by then!” When Cinderella entered the palace, everybody was struck by her beauty. Nobody, not even Cinderella’s stepmother or stepsisters, knew who she really was in her pretty clothes and shoes. The handsome prince also saw her and fell in love with Cinderella. He went to her and asked, “Do you want to dance?” And Cinderella said, “Yes!” The prince danced with her all night and nobody recognized the beautiful dancer. Cinderella was so happy dancing with the prince that she almost forgot what the fairy godmother had said. At the last moment, Cinderella remembered her fairy godmother’s words and she rushed to go home. “Oh! I must go!” she cried and ran out of the palace. One of her glass slippers came off but Cinderella did not turn back for it. She reached home just as the clock struck twelve. Her coach turned back into a pumpkin, the horses into mice and her fine ball gown into rags. Her stepmother and stepsisters reached home shortly after that. They were talking about the beautiful lady who had been dancing with the prince. The prince had fallen in love with Cinderella and wanted to find out who the beautiful girl was, but he did not even know her name. He found the glass slipper that had come off Cinderella’s foot as she ran home. The prince said, “I will find her. The lady whose foot fits this slipper will be the one I marry!” The next day, the prince and his servants took the glass slipper and went to all the houses in the kingdom. They wanted to find the lady whose feet would fit in the slipper. All the women in the kingdom tried the slipper but it would not fit any of them. Cinderella’s stepsisters also tried on the little glass slipper. They tried to squeeze their feet and push hard into the slipper, but the servant was afraid the slipper would break. Cinderella’s stepmother would not let her try the slipper on, but the prince saw her and said, “Let her also try on the slipper!” The slipper fit her perfectly. The prince recognized her from the ball. He married Cinderella and together they lived happily ever after. Anne was a poor girl who lived with her mother. Every day, an ice cream man would pass by her house but she had no money with which to buy one. She would look at other children licking large cones of ice cream and wish she could also be one of them. Ice-cream cart                                                                                                                                One day, the ice cream man took pity on her and gave her the whole ice cream cart. He said. “This is a magic cart. You can ask it to make any kind of ice cream. But when you want it to stop. you must say, ‘Enough now’.’* Anne was very happy; she ate ice cream all day. One day, while she was away at school, her mother asked the cart to make some ice cream. The cart started doing so. But Anne’s mother did not know how to stop it, so the cart went on making ice cream. Soon, the whole house was filled with ice cream. When Anne returned and saw ice cream everywhere. she had to lick tier way to the cart and stop it!
    reply 28 minutes
    Jenny_Henderson1
    Logan Henderson is mine NOW!!!!! Add me and ask me questions I will answer them all 
    reply 41 minutes
    GlimmeringSky16
    Logan my dead husband :( XD Lmao welcome to de forumz. Now go jump off a cliff. ~ew~
    reply about 1 hour
    Charulata
    Charulata posted in General:
    Uncle Pen played the fiddle, Lord, how it rang, You could hear it talk, you could hear it sing!  Your turn G.
    reply about 1 hour
    Nebula-
    Nebula- posted in Debating:
    Boys: Zayn. / Niall. Girls: Zynah. / Megan.  XD
    reply about 1 hour

    play online games

    Candy-100

    A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

    Big_icon_(7)

    Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

    Big_icon_(4)

    You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

    Big_icon_(6)

    The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!

    Ow_fright_ad_100x100

    Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...