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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
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    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.

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    "Fire667" wrote:Doesn't matter by now all that has been said and uncovered about each other I'd be suprised if when one becomes president he/she is shot  yeah, u got a good point.  And they both SUCK!!! just as bad. both of them. I can't vote (too young) and even if I could I wouldn't. 
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    1. Shauna2. 173. Female4. Complicated to explain5. @AnnaOfExquizurd 6. No one really7. Currently Tim Burton. Although I'm in a lot.8. I don't really know. I like a bit of everything.9. Talk to people XD10. Forums11. I'm fine where I am12. Yellow13. Does such a thing exist?14. No one15. Alisa, Maggie, Ronin, Rachel and Leon16. Nah17. Yeah18. The one who doesn't even know? Like I get along with a lot of people (I think), but my personality is so weird. Like I could kinda fit in with any group I want. But I just like being with my friends.19. Single20. A younger brother21. Live with my mom22. Island close to the coast of California23. Depends on what my friends are doing. If they're busy and stuff then I'll just chill at home. If there's something we can do, we go and do it.24. Food25. Blue26. Dirty blonde27. I'm kinda tan28. Pink...?29. Mainly apps like Clash Royale and stuff nowadays, but I used to play video games all the time. I always enjoyed Animal Crossing, Fossil Fighters (cause dinos), Kirby, etc. And I don't know what I would choose as my favorite console.30. Yes I did. Nicely done!
    reply about 3 hours
    Author's note: This is just something quick that I whipped up, and I thought someone might enjoy it. I'll try to put up the ending in a few days, but don't count on it unless I'm reminded enough. If you have edits or whatever, comment. Okay, here it is: The bullhorn had sounded at the third hour of the shadow’s presence. A dark shape on the horizon, first noticed at dawn, and mad clear be the rising of the sun. The people were frightened, and the king was forced to make a decision. “I will fight it myself!” “My young lord, although I respect your decision, it would be horribly foolish for the last of the royal line to waste his life on a foolish attempt, and to die a death meant only for fools.” The advisor was cold, stern as he looked at the very young king. He sighed to himself. The boy was too young to be crowned. “I would advise you to send the only other people in this kingdom who have experience in such matters.” The boy puffed out his cheeks and crossed his arms, looking away from the advisor. “I need to prove to my subjects that I am a brave king!” He stood up as he said this, but the huge crown on his head was driven down over his eyes by the movement. It didn’t help him much. “I could do it! I will do it!” “My lord. I do not wish to enforce the command your late parents gave me.” The advisor’s eyes were showing a rare emotion for him: frustration. “But, I highly advise that you send the wizard and his apprentice.” Turning away, the advisor handed a written order to the guard, then looked back at the “king.” A slight twinkle of amusement was now shown from his usually cold, grey eyes. “I also highly advise that you retire for the afternoon. You seem to be getting cranky without your nap.” The remaining guard began escorting the boy out of the room, who was struggling as much as he could. “That’s not fair! You can’t use my guards against me! It’s not even 12:00!” ________________________ The wizard bent close to the paper. “Ah, so he finally remembered me?” “No, he has always remembered you. This is simply the first situation there has been need of you.” The words were uncertain, shaky, and the guard was inspecting the ceiling intently. “That is what he told you to say, isn’t it? Well, never mind. Samuel! Come to the front! We’re doing something today!” The wizard grabbed a staff from the corner, and when his hand laid on the withered wood, he seemed to straighten up. The dark room was suddenly illuminated as the door was flung open to the sunshine. Dust flew everywhere from the breeze, and the wizard stood in the doorway. “Samuel! Wake up, or I’ll come in there and pull you out of bed myself! By your ears!” Finally, a staggering figure with a small satchel on his shoulder and ratty clothes came beside the wizard. “What is it, Grey?” “I told you to not call me that! ‘Ebenezer’ will do, as it’s my name. But, Samuel, we will finally be able to put your skills to the test!” “I don’t have any skills.” The boy smirked, but the humorous tone was underlined with sincerity. “Nonsense boy!” Ebenezer slapped him across the back. “You’ve been one of my best students!” “Aren’t I… your second apprentice?” “True, true, but your still the best! Now, off! To fight the beast!” The wizard whistled, and a few faint “clops” came from behind the old house. “Wait, you were being serious? We’re fighting something?!?” A small white pony emerged, and the boy took it by the harness and began putting a few saddle-bags on it, full of strong-smelling herbs and various other items. He was working much faster than usual, before he paused. “Wait, this isn’t one of your ‘training assessments’, is it? I’m sick of those pointless-“ “That’s funny, because, just yesterday, you said my assessments were a welcome break from studying.” Ebenezer smiled at Samuel, leaning on his staff. “Well, if you’re all finished up, we can head off.” The dark figure on the horizon shifted, appearing to move quite quickly for its distance. ________________________ The miles that they had predicted were passing much faster than expected, and, even before dusk, the pair reached a clearing in the trees shrouded by a black fog. “This is it, right, G?” “Stop that.” “Stop what? I didn’t call you ‘Grey.’” “Stop calling me nicknames! Now, be silent. The beast could already be listening…” Peering through the mist, Ebenezer tried to see something, anything that would validate their quest. He sighed. “Or maybe it isn’t-“ “Who’s there?” The voice was soft, silky. Rather unbefitting to the monstrous creature that presented itself from the fog. Nothing but panicked breathing, more from the wizard than the apprentice, answered. A head resembling a wolf, but, at the same time nothing like any animal, bent down towards the pair. It smiled. After a moment, Samuel gathered the courage to stand up. “Hello, I… am Samuel. And this is my master, Gr-… Ebenezer. We wish to know the intent of your visit.” “Greetings.” The creature raised an eyebrow at the old wizard, still in some shock. “I am Bibigul. It ‘tis a pleasure, young one. I assure, no harm would come to any human in my path.” Bibigul’s teeth flashed, dropping liquid onto the ground. It was unsettling, to say the least. His black fur was matted with a dark, sticky substance, and the light barely made it through the fog that seemed to gather around him. Also, the creatures of the forest seemed to have been silenced. Perhaps Bibigul had been true to his word, and no humans were harmed. Ebenezer propped himelf up with his staff. “And what are you?” His voice was now empowered, and Samuel was stunned that his master could produce such menacing tones. “I… am a…”
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    jordand08 posted in Say Anything:
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    drowning posted in Say Anything:
    I prefer honest and loyal people to surround me. Don't sugar coat something to make me feel better, I won't do the same for you.
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