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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.

    General In The Forums

    robohop
    robohop posted in Debating:
    yeah i do. just because someone wants to change their gender doesnt mean that you should hate them. if my best friend said to be i wanna be a boy i would support them.
    reply 18 minutes
    blackveilbrides15
    1 arm 
    reply about 1 hour
    iamalive
    iamalive posted in Debating:
    "AlphaT" wrote: "iamalive" wrote: I somewhat do. if a girl wants to change to a boy that is fine, and vice versa, but they should identify as boy or girl. the moment they start making up genders or start being "gender fluid" its an annoyance. Why does it annoy you for people to be who they truly are?  if they truly feel like a boy or truly feel like a girl and want to switch, then that is fine. but you cannot truly feel like something that doesnt exist.  the gender fluid thing annoys me because the person gets annoyed if you get the pronoun wrong. they could be wearing a dress but be feeling like a guy that day, so if i say "her" the person gets mad. how was I supposed to know?
    reply about 1 hour
    yaverleaf11
    ---- When the rain drops There will be no sun It's okay that We must learn It isn't bad when The thunder rolls When the lightning strikes, and It may be frightening to experience But There will be a rainbow Even after the worst of storms ---- ---- "Don't hold your breath" They said, "Your dreams will crumble so" "Just as quickly as they were built" He listened to those words As his life went on He lost all hope for his future He can't say he was prepared for The negative reality, They thought they were warning him They were only breaking him when They took away his childhood. ---- What's interesting about these two poems is that they can be read starting from the first line and going down, but they can also be read starting from the bottom line going up.
    reply about 2 hours
    Ashleexo
    Ashleexo posted in Say Anything:
    This month.  Actually, my birthday is in less than two weeks.
    reply about 3 hours