For some reason I can’t multi-quote.
Judy Blume has been mentioned as being ‘well regarded.’
If by ‘well regarded’ you mean one of the most challenged and banned authors in the United States, then sure she’s well regarded.
Especially in this age of whiny crybaby PC crowd finding something to get OUTRAGED about in EVERY GODDAMN THING. I mean, Then Again, Maybe I Won’t has the main character becoming a peeping tom with zero negative repercussions. Blubber has FAT SHAMING RIGHT IN THE TITLE!!! for god’s sake, not to mention the teasing/picking on and bullying of said fattie as the main plotline of the book. Deenie has explicit scenes of the main character abusing their body in the most vile way.
But hey, who gives a fuck about my views, right?
I would recommend Matt Christopher’s “Tripod Trilogy,” The White Mountains, The City of Gold And Lead, The Pool of Fire but since the only female character has zero personality and does nothing heroic, todays PC crowd loathes it. But your mileage may be much different!!!
Someone else mentioned Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game, which is…actually a goo…oh wait it has that stereotypical asian character. Oh well, maybe you can cut those parts out of the book. Raskin has another good book The Tattooed Potato And Other Clues about an eccentric painter who moonlights, sort of, as the World’s Greatest Detective.
Let’s see…oh yeah, E. L. Konigsburg’s From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is fabulo…oh wait the main plot point is kids running away from home and WE CAN’T HAVE THAT IN THIS DAY AND AGE, CAN WE!!! And the idea of the kids hiding out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art without getting caught is ludicrous, even back then.
Wait, I’ve got it. George Seldon’s The Cricket in Times Square. It has a rat and a kitteh and duh, a cricket.