Youth Homelessness

Fiction and Non-Fiction titles about teens experiencing homelessness.

Compiled by:
Becky F.
Almost Home

Joan Bauer
(Juvenile Fiction - J Bauer)

Sixth-grader Sugar and her mother lose their beloved house and experience the harsh world of homelessness.

Don't Breathe a Word

Holly Cupala
(Young Adult - Y Cupala)

Joy Delamere is suffocating from severe asthma, overprotective parents, and an emotionally-abusive boyfriend when she escapes to the streets of nearby Seattle and falls in with a "street family" that teaches her to use a strength she did not know she had.

Killing Time in Crystal City

Chris Lynch
(Young Adult - Y Lynch)

Seventeen-year-old Kevin tries to reinvent himself when he runs away from home and the father he hates, but living with a mysterious uncle and befriending two homeless girls just adds more complications.

Money Boy

Paul Yee
(Young Adult - Y Yee)

Young immigrant Ray Liu is struggling to adjust to North American life. When his father discovers Ray has been cruising gay websites, the teen is kicked out of the family home. He heads to downtown Toronto, where the harsh reality of street life hits him.


Melvin Burgess
(Young Adult - Y Burgess)

After running away from their troubled homes, two English teenagers move in with a group of squatters in the port city of Bristol and try to find ways to support their growing addiction to heroin.


Ellen Hopkins
(Young Adult - Y Hopkins)

After the death of her abusive father and loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn runs away, desperately seeking peace, as her younger sister, a sophomore in high school, also tries to put the pieces of her life back together.

Sorta Like a Rockstar

Matthew Quick
(Young Adult - Y Quick)

Although seventeen-year-old Amber Appleton is homeless, living in a school bus with her unfit mother, she is a relentless optimist who visits the elderly at a nursing home, teaches English to Korean Catholic women with the use of rhythm and blues music, and befriends a solitary Vietnam veteran and his dog, but eventually she experiences one burden more than she can bear and slips into a deep depression.


Janel Kolby
(Young Adult - Y Kolby)

For as long as she can remember, Rain's home has been among the Winterfolk, a group of homeless people living outside Seattle. When she discovers that the city plans to sweep out the Winterfolk's camp, her world is shattered.

Nonfiction Resources

Ask Me Why I Hurt: The Kids Nobody Wants and the Doctor Who Heals Them

Dr. Randy Christensen
(Adult Nonfiction - 362.7 Chr)

The touching and revealing first-person account of the remarkable work of Dr. Randy Christensen. Trained as a pediatrician, he works not in a typical hospital setting but, rather, in a 38-foot Winnebago that has been refitted as a doctor's office on wheels. His patients are homeless adolescents and children living on the outskirts of Phoenix.

The Hidden Story of Homelessness

Karen Kenney
(Adult Nonfiction - 362.592 Ken)

This book covers topics on homelessness, including: The truth about homelessness -- Nowhere to go -- Homeless teenagers -- Surviving homelessness -- Getting off the streets -- Society and homelessness -- Homelessness: the truth.

Tales of Young Urban Squatters

Claire Burch
(Adult Nonfiction - 305.5692 Bur)

Now that there are more homeless people in the US than at anytime since the Great Depression, writer and filmmaker Burch looks at the lives and hopes of a group of young people who have left their homes all over the country to come to Berkeley, California. She also reprints an anonymous pamphlet on how to put abandoned buildings to use.