The Buddha in the Attic

Julie Otsuka.

In beautiful, spare, poetic prose, Otsuka tells the story of the picture brides who arrived in San Francisco from Japan, frightened as well as  eager to meet their pre-selected husbands. How those many lives played out through the years up to the start of WWII is the fascinating focus of Otsuka’s second novel.

Posted in  *** 11th - 12th grade ,Family ,Historical Fiction ,Thin Book

The Swan Thieves

Elizabeth Kostova.

A much anticipated second novel from the author of the best-selling novel, The Historian. A psychiatrist tries to unravel the secrets of his deeply troubled patient, a renowned artist who has mysteriously attempted to slash a painting in the National Gallery.

Posted in  ** 9th -10th grade ,*** 11th - 12th grade ,Historical Fiction ,Suspense

Caleb’s Crossing

Geraldine Brooks.

The life-long friendship between Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk, a member of the Wampanoag tribe, and Bethea Mayfield, daughter of a Calvinist minister, forms the backdrop for this beautifully written tale laced with authentic voices and period details. Both Caleb and Bethea are intellectually curious, yet hampered in their quest for knowledge; Caleb, though, eventually becomes the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College.

Posted in  ** 9th -10th grade ,*** 11th - 12th grade ,Family ,Friendship ,Historical Fiction ,Human Rights ,Native Americans ,School Days ,Women's Issues

Clockwork Angel

Cassandra Clare.

Tessa Gray arrives in England intending to meet her brother when she is kidnapped right off the docks, the life of her beloved brother is threatened, and Tessa is tortured until she can control a power she never knew she had: the ability to transform into another person and retain their thoughts and emotions. She soon learns that her abilities are to be harnessed by the evil Magister and it is only by marrying him that she can save her brother.

Posted in  ** 9th -10th grade ,*** 11th - 12th grade ,Adventure ,Fantasy ,Romance ,Series ,Supernatural

Monsters of Men

Patrick Ness.

The third book in the riveting Chaos Walking series, the Ask, lead by the cruel Mayor Prentiss and the Answer, a group that could be viewed as terrorist or freedom fighters, must work together when the native species, the Spackle, attack.  Todd and Viola are fighting for peace, but the Mayor and the leader of the Answer, Mistress Coyle, are both still fighting for power.

Posted in  * 7th - 8th grade ,** 9th -10th grade ,*** 11th - 12th grade ,Dystopia ,Friendship ,Science Fiction ,Series ,Survival ,Tough Issues ,War

Tales of a Madman Underground

John Barnes.

Karl Shoemaker has one goal for his senior year: be normal. If he can only be normal, then maybe for one year he won’t be sent to the therapy group, but as much as Karl wants to be “normal,” he finds it’s pretty hard to leave a group where everyone knows your story.

Posted in  ** 9th -10th grade ,*** 11th - 12th grade ,Family ,Friendship ,Historical Fiction ,School Days ,Tough Issues

A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness.
Since his mother’s been sick, Conor has had the same nightmare, but the monster that turns up outside his window isn’t the one from his dreams.  The monster will tell Conor three stories, and that the end, Conor must tell a story, and it must be the truth.

Posted in  * 7th - 8th grade ,** 9th -10th grade ,*** 11th - 12th grade ,Family ,Thin Book ,Tough Issues

Big Girl Small

Rachel DeWoskin.

Despite a difference so visible as to ensure her outsider status, high school junior Judy Lohden in many ways has it all – a huge talent, amazing voice, sharp mind, and parents who adore her. So why is she holed up in a cheap motel, ashamed to show her face in public – a face that she fears has become all too well-known?

Posted in  *** 11th - 12th grade ,Family ,Friendship ,Performing Arts ,School Days ,Tough Issues

Knuckler: My Life with Baseball’s Most Confounding Pitch

Tim Wakefield and Tony Massarotti.

Very few baseball pitchers can throw a knuckleball pitch well, but if you’re a Red Sox fan, you’ve probably been watching Tim Wakefield throw it for years. This is Tim’s story of how he learned to throw the pitch, and how the pitch took over his life.

 

Posted in  * 7th - 8th grade ,** 9th -10th grade ,*** 11th - 12th grade ,Biography ,Memoir ,Sports

Ashfall

Mike Mullin.

Mullin weaves a gripping and powerful adventure story of surviving a cataclysmic volcanic eruption while also unfolding Alex’s journey from self-absorbed teen to thoughtful, caring adult. Readers will be propelled along to find what happens next to Alex, the environment and his love life while also asking what they would do in a similar disaster. First time author Mullin has a winner here with a sequel out next year.

Posted in  ** 9th -10th grade ,*** 11th - 12th grade ,Adventure ,Survival ,Thick Book

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