Youth Homelessness

Fiction and Non-Fiction titles about teens experiencing homelessness.

Compiled by:
Becky F.
Almost Home

Joan 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

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

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 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.

No Place

Todd Strasser

When Dan and his parents can no longer pay their mortgage, they end up homeless and living in a local tent city. It's a bad situation, and it only gets worse when the leader of the tent city is brutally beaten. Who is trying to shut down the tent city, and why?


Melvin 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

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

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.

Nonfiction Resources

Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope

Kevin Ryan and Tina Kelley
362.7756 Rya

In this moving and inspirational book from Covenant House, six extraordinary young people share their personal stories of living life alone on streets and how they dealt with such issues as drug addiction, family violence, prostitution, rejection based out on sexual orientation and teen parenthood.

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

Dr. Randy Christensen
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.


362.7 Eva

The eagerly awaited second offering from the CrimethInc. collective offers up a collection of stories, anecdotes from in and around the margins of drop-out culture. "We dumpstered, squatted, and shoplifted our lives back. Everything fell into place when we decided our lives were to be lived. Life serves the risk taker..."

Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir

Janice Erlbaum
362.74 Er

A columnist describes her troubled adolescence as a runaway in New York City, explaining why she exchanged her home for a life on the city streets; her struggle to balance school, the shelter system, and the temptations of the street; and her eventual successful battle to rescue herself from street life.

Tales of Young Urban Squatters

Claire Burch
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.

The Hidden Story of Homelessness

Karen Kenney
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.