Must Read Books

Everybody Sees the Ants
A.S. King

A.S. King had a hit with Please Ignore Vera Dietz and followed it up with the even better Everybody Sees the Ants.  Lucky Linderman isn't actually lucky, despite his name.  He has been bullied constantly over the past eight years by Nader McMillan.  After a particularly awful run-in with Nader that leaves Lucky with an impressive wound on his cheek, he goes with his mom to Arizona to spend time with his uncle and aunt to get well.  Everyone had begun to worry about Lucky possibly being suicidal.  In this new setting, Lucky figures out how to cope with the difficulties presented by Nader as well as dealing with a partially absent dad who has never gotten over the loss of his own father during the Vietnam War.

Aug 23, 2012
Andrea
Code Name Verity
Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity is the story of two young women who become friends during World War II.  One is a pilot, the other becomes a secret agent.  The story is told as the confession of the captured agent relating how the two girls became friends and how she became captured.

Aug 21, 2012
Susan
Never Fall Down
Patricia McCormick

Never Fall Down is actually the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, who managed to survive when the Khmer Rouge had power in Cambodia during the '70s.  Patricia McCormick skillfully and sensitively relays Arn's life and fills in the memory blanks caused by time and stress.  Never shying away from the horrors committed by Cambodians on their fellow countrymen, McCormick powerful novel will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions.

Jul 20, 2012
Andrea
The Name of the Star
Maureen Johnson

Rory fulfills one of her dreams when she gets the chance to go to boarding school in England.  Someone though is recreating the Jack the Rippers murders and Rory becomes an eyewitness although no one else has seen the suspect.  Is there a new serial killer or something much more ghodtly?

Jul 10, 2012
Susan
Between Shades of Gray
Ruta Sepetys

Fifteen-year-old Lina and her 10-year-old brother and her mother are forced from their house in 1941 Lithuania.  They are herded to a train with many other countrymen.  Where are they being taken and why?  Between Shades of Gray is a story of survival when Stalin and the Soviets invade Lithuania.

Jun 18, 2012
Susan
Insurgent
Veronica Roth

Insurgent picks ups right where Divergent left off.  Tris and Tobias (aka Four) have managed to escape the big massacre.  Now the key to survival is to find out why the war started and how to prevent it from happening again.  Factions are splitting and traitors are everywhere.  Can Tris overcome her own feelings and keep herself and Tobias alive when the Divergents become the target?

May 29, 2012
Susan
Fever 1793
Fever 1793
Lauri Halse Anderson

Mattie Cook lives with her mother and grandfather in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the capitol of the United States of America in 1793. The Cook family owns a thriving coffeehouse, but everything changes when a fever breaks out in the city. Mattie’s mother falls ill and insists that Mattie and her grandfather leave to seek refuge in the country. Mattie and her Grandfather don’t make it to the country, and they end up separated from Mattie’s mother without indication of whether she survived the fever. Learn about daily life in the 1790s and about the devastating yellow fever epidemic through Mattie’s fight for survival.

May 18, 2012
Tara
The Arrival
The Arrival
Shaun Tan

Ever wonder what it would feel like to move to another country, where you didn’t know the language or how to find your way around? Tan gives a wonderful depiction of immigration in The Arrival. This graphic novel doesn’t have words, but the story of an immigrant man is beautifully told through other-worldly, mystical pictures that give you an understanding of what the main character is going through. The story comes full circle when the man who came to the new country finally brings his family to live with him, and his daughter is able to help other immigrants adjust to a new way of life.

May 18, 2012
Tara
There Is No Dog
Meg Rosoff

Here's a story about God.  God is a 19-year-old boy named Bob.  He is lazy, arrogant, whiny, and lusts after mortal girls.  Every time he falls in love, natural disasters hit Earth.  Bob makes a mess of everything.  Following him around to clean up the messes is Mr. B, who finally tires of the job and the responsibility.  Completely different from Rosoff's previous novels, There Is No Dog is imaginative, entertaining and very funny.

May 10, 2012
Andrea
Playground
50 Cent

Who knew 50 Cent could write so well?  Based on his own childhood, Playground is about middle school student Butterball, who winds up in counseling after beating another student with a sock full of batteries.  Being overweight, Butterball knows what it's like to be made fun of by his peers, but still manages to turn into a violent bully.  As the story progresses, so does Butterball.  He grows and matures and is even likable as he makes necessary changes in himself.  This is a very fast read and surprisingly well done.

May 10, 2012
Andrea

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