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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

    unicornsrule626
    "angelover4" wrote:in my opinion when ur at a younger age like 7 8  9 or 10.....youd like homeschooling better but wn u start getting older up into ur teen yrs I think public or private school is better cuz it gives u more of a social life. And its just better that way. because I've been homeschooled since 3rd grade and I'm in 8th grade now,  I have a very small social life. I have done stuff like dance and cheerleading but still, I only have one good friend (actually she is AWESOME!)
    reply about 12 hours
    unicornsrule626
    "rainbowpoptart" wrote:It depends on the person. Homeschooling may be better for this guy, but public school may be better for that one. Overall, neither is "better" than the other. They both have their ups and downs, coming from someone who has [technically] done both.All of the problems, of course, can be fixed. I'll use the two most common complaints I hear as examples.Homeschooling doesn't give you enough social interaction with real life people? Go outside. Ask your local school if you can participate in any extracurriculars.You don't think the curriculum in public school is flexible enough for you, but you don't want to convert to homeschooling? There are plenty of educational books, videos, and websites that are easily accessible online or from the library (seriously, Khan Academy and Crash Course saved my life, bless those men). nice! I have asked my local school but they refused because I'm not vaccinated (we don't believe in vaccines) but NY is one of the strictest  states for homeschool. we are moving and I might be able to go to high school but I could always stick with homeschool. With the social side, i have lots a lot of my social skills so now I'm really shy but i can work and fix that
    reply about 12 hours
    MarshmallowHeart
    I'm 17, I joined Kidz World when I was 12! in just 3 months I'll be 18
    reply about 12 hours
    rainbowpoptart
    It depends on the person. Homeschooling may be better for this guy, but public school may be better for that one. Overall, neither is "better" than the other. They both have their ups and downs, coming from someone who has [technically] done both. All of the problems, of course, can be fixed. I'll use the two most common complaints I hear as examples. Homeschooling doesn't give you enough social interaction with real life people? Go outside. Ask your local school if you can participate in any extracurriculars. You don't think the curriculum in public school is flexible enough for you, but you don't want to convert to homeschooling? There are plenty of educational books, videos, and websites that are easily accessible online or from the library (seriously, Khan Academy and Crash Course saved my life, bless those men).
    reply about 12 hours
    PunMaster
    PunMaster posted in Say Anything:
    ("wow.. Maybe I can help you some time." PunMaster offered) he landed on a rock below, and Paperjam was about twenty ahead of him. "Great Job! Now let's go!" 
    reply about 13 hours