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.
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.
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.
Kravitz, Adam. The Jewish dog
The Jewish Dog is the story of Caleb, a unique dog born in Germany in 1935. When events separate him from his Jewish owners, he is adopted by a Nazi family, employed by the SS as a military dog, and witnesses first-hand the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust. It is a story of heroism, survival, and brave friendship, told from the perspective of an intelligent creature who views the world from only 20 inches above the ground--yet who sees more clearly than many humans.
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.
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
In the first of a 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.
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.