Bow, Erin. Plain Kate
Plain Kate's odd appearance and expertise as a woodcarver cause some to think her a witch, but friendship with a talking cat and, later, with humans help her to survive and even thrive in a world of magic, charms, and fear.
Caletti, Deb. The nature of jade
Seattle high school senior Jade's life is defined by her anxiety disorder and dysfunctional family, until she spies a mysterious boy with a baby who seems to share her fascination with the elephants at a nearby zoo.
Crane, E.M. Skin deep
When sixteen-year-old Andrea Anderson begins caring for a sick neighbor's dog, she learns a lot about life, death, pottery, friendship, hope, and love.
Ellis, Helen. What curiosity kills
As sixteen-year-old Mary Richards slowly transforms into a cat, she discovers that a whole race of cat people prowl the streets of Manhattan at night, and that her transformation could decide the outcome of a citywide turf war.
French, Jackie. Rover
Captured by Vikings, young Hekja is taken as a slave to Greenland by the sister of Erik the Red, and accompanied by no one from her homeland but her loyal dog, shares adventures with her new mistress, who is determined to make a name for herself as her father and brother have.
Goldblatt, Stact. Stray
Natalie's mother, a veterinarian with a dogs-only practice, has the sixteen-year-old on such a short leash that, when the teenaged son of her old school friend comes to stay with them for the summer, Natalie is tempted to break her mother's rules and follow her own instincts for a change.
Hale, Shannon. The goose girl
On her way to marry a prince she's never met, Princess Anidori is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers.
Hartnett, Sonya. Surrender
A small, unforgiving town and distant, punitive parents ensure that 20-year-old Gabriel never forgets the horrific mistake he made as a child. He has only two friends--his dog, Surrender, and a wild boy, Finnigan. When a series of arson attacks grips the town, it becomes devastatingly clear that only the most extreme measures will rid Gabriel of Finnigan for good.
Ihimaera, Witi Tame. Whale rider
As her beloved grandfather, chief of the Maori tribe of Whangara, New Zealand, struggles to lead in difficult times and to find a male successor, young Kahu is developing a mysterious relationship with whales, particularly the ancient bull whale whose legendary rider was their ancestor.
Lanagan, Margo. Tender morsels
A young woman who has endured unspeakable cruelties is magically granted a safe haven apart from the real world and allowed to raise her two daughters in this alternate reality, until the barrier between her world and the real one begins to break down.
L'engle, Madeleine. A ring of endless light
During the summer her grandfather is dying of leukemia and death seems all around, fifteen-year-old Vicky finds comfort with the pod of dolphin with which she has been doing research.
Lyne, Jennifer H. Catch rider
Despite her poor background and ferocious competition from more privileged girls, fourteen-year-old Sid pursues her dream of becoming a catch rider--a show rider who can ride anything--with help from her Uncle Wayne.
Mass, Wendy. A mango-shaped space
Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the loss of something important to her.
Monninger, Joseph. Finding somewhere
Two best friends take a road trip with a horse.
Oppel, Kenneth. Half brother
In 1973, when a renowned Canadian behavioral psychologist pursues his latest research project--an experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills--he brings home a baby chimp named Zan and asks his thirteen-year-old son to treat Zan like a little brother.
Pratchett, Terry. The amazing Maurice and his educated rodents
A talking cat, intelligent rats, and a strange boy cooperate in a Pied Piper scam until they try to con the wrong town and are confronted by a deadly evil rat king.
Pullman, Phillip. The golden compass
Booklist Review: In the first of a planned trilogy, Pullman has created a wholly developed universe, which is, as he states, much like our own but different in many ways--a world in which humans are paired with animal "daemons" that seem like alter egos, only with personalities of their own.
Schrefer, Eliot. Endangered
Reluctantly accompanying her advocate mother to a bonobo sanctuary, a teen girl participates in a desperate effort to rescue the bonobos and survive in the jungle when a revolution breaks out and the sanctuary is attacked.
Stiefvater, Maggie. The Scorpio Races
Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.