Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. A beautiful story about life on an island in the Pacific - deserted except for a very self sufficient, resourceful young Indian girl named Karana, some sea elephants, otters, birds and dolphins.
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak, is a historical fiction novel set in Nazi Germany. Told from the perspective of a personified version of Death, The Book Thief is a outstanding and unique story that shows what it's like to be alone and afraid.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides— This stunning novel revolves around Calliope Stephanides (or Cal), and it’s a great read for anyone interested in gender and taking a closer look at how family and biology shape your identity.