Saving Francesca (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2004) by Melina Marchetta is not a book to easily forget. One morning Francesca's depressed mother won't even get up. Francesca is also one of the new girls at a boys' school that has been forced to add girls. She thinks she has nothing in common with anyone there. Discovers the ones she thought were her friends at her previous school were sucking the individuality out of her. Her new friends accept her for who she is. The story ends with hope as the family begins to work out their problems.
Francesca is very real and believable. Enjoy the journey of her learning that it's okay to be who she is. The story is set in Australia. (No surprise since the author is from there!)
Author Melina Marchetta recently won the 2009 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature for young adults for Jellicoe Road (HarperTeen). Read more about her at her website.