Reality Fighters… We Got BOOKS

By Nicole Vickers

Because of the media center downsizing their book collection at AHS, the literary gods took pity upon us and decided to grant all our English teachers with sets of brand new books! What a blessing, am I right? No excuse now not to read! So without further ado, here are ten of the best books,all of which I have personally read, that have been added to the classroom libraries! Without spoilers, of course. Because nothing hurts reality more than a book to the face, am I right, Rigby?

(Disclaimer, not all of the libraries have the same books. I specifically looked to the newspaper room’s library to make my selections, but many of the same books are in each classroom.)


If you’re interested in hearing from unique perspectives, check out…

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

by Mark Haddon

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A story from the point of view of a young British boy with Aspergers’ who in trying to solve a simple mystery digs up life changing secrets. You get to see the world through Christopher’s eyes, and hopefully gain perspective on what it means to be on the spectrum.

What sets it apart? Because Christopher only like prime numbers, the chapters are only numbered with prime numbers, and throughout, Christopher references his teacher Siobhan and her advice on book writing, breaking the fourth wall.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

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For many Native Americans, their oppression in America is far from over, yet they seem to be forgotten in mainstream media. This book follows Junior, the only Native American kid at his school, as he tries to fit in with his privileged classmates without forgetting his friends and family at the reservation.

Fun Fact! This book is based on the true story of the author, so it actually is “absolutely true” (to an extent)

 


If you’re into long series’ + imagined futures, then these titles may be suited for you…

The Selection

Series

by Kiera Cass

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America Singer lives in a postmodern world where people are born into a caste, and that caste decides what your trade is, no matter what your talent or passion. Despite that, America has a plan for her life. She’ll marry her military boyfriend, and live in bliss with him, despite his lower status in society. That plan completely disintegrates when she finds herself in a televised Bachelor-esque competition to marry the crown prince of her country, be the next queen, and possibly make a difference

What’s unique about this series is that last two books in this series actually follow the children of the characters, an extended epilogue of sorts that I wish more authors would do.

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Dylan O’Brien Thomas randomly wakes up in a camp completely populated by teenage boys, remembering nothing about who he was or how he got there. They have a crude society, including a faction dedicated to running through the maze that keeps them trapped, hoping to find a way out. Thomas is determined to run the maze, discover the true secrets of the Glade, and the origins of Theresa, the only girl, who arrived right after him and seems to be from his forgotten past. Does he succeed? (DUM DUM DUMMMM)

Read this if you liked Lord of the Flies. Some of the same psychological effects of letting a bunch of teenage boys live together with no higher authority is addressed


If you like turbulent romance novels set in the 80’s, then you should read…

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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Ari is confused. He doesn’t know what happened to send his brother to prison, or why his parents won’t talk about it, or why his father will never talk about Vietnam, or why he’s angry all the time, or how to swim. Dante knows himself. He loves being barefoot, he loves his parents, he loves boys, he loves poetry, and he loves swimming. So when Dante sees Ari sitting at the edge of the public pool that fateful summer day in 1987, he naturally offers to teach him how to swim.

I must add that this is actually my favorite book on this Earth. It’s beautifully written, both of the characters are incredibly relatable, and Dante Quintana is my spirit animal. Here’s a quote:

“Maybe we just lived between hurting and healing.”

You’re crying, right? Now you have to read it.

 

 

 

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Eleanor comes from a struggling family with way too many kids. Park feels like his father has given up on him. Eleanor has to deal with being the “fat” girl at school, while Park has to reconcile his identity as a half Korean kid in 1986. All both of them want to do is lay low, and move on from high school. But then Eleanor sits next to Park on the bus…

Not so fun fact: Right after Rowell finished this book, she intended on writing a sequel. But then she got spooked by how much people liked it and was so afraid to ruin it that she abandoned the project. Please tell me, WHY CAN’T WE HAVE NICE THINGS??

 

 

 


If you’d like to read a book about characters that deal with cancer, but are sick of The Fault in Our Stars, we’ve got…

My Sister’s Keeper

by Jodi Picoult

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One of the principal questions in life is each person’s individual purpose. Why were you born? Well for 13 year old Anna, the answer is clear. She was engineered deliberately in a test tube to be a genetic match for her older sister, who suffers from cancer. (Yes, this can happen in real life, the science is sound) Anyway, Anna is done with being her sister’s personal organ donor, even if that means her sister will die. This novel was written for adults, and it follows the lives of Anna’s parents, her brother, and several other characters as Anna sues for the right to her own body.

So a movie exists starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin, and it’s pretty good. BUT it’s different from the book in a few significant ways that make reading the book still worth it, even if you already saw the movie.

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

by Jordan Sonnenblick

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Steven has resented his younger brother Jeffery practically since he was born. He was the cute one, the one who could do no wrong, the one who got whatever he wanted when ever he wanted. But then Jeffrey is diagnosed with cancer. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will be beyond relatable at times, especially if you have younger siblings.

To be honest I first read this book when I was 13 years old, for a Battle of the Books competition (where my team won first place!). But I promise, it’s a really sweet and relatable story, and everyone should read it.

 

 


If you like Sci-Fi books that only make sense if you want them to, try

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams

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On some level, you probably know that the universe is infinite, which by definition means that anything could be happening at any given time. Douglas Adams takes that fact and uses it to support the most outlandishly hilarious theories about what actually goes on in space, the power of a good coincidence, and what is possible if you think of things a certain way.

You have to read it because it opens the door to thousands of nerdy inside jokes that you probably overheard and laughed at but never understood. You’re welcome.

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The premise of these books is cool. Kids who can fly, escaped from their enemies at “the School”, and don’t need adult authority? Sold. But tbh, the science of it all is kind of incredibly far fetched, and some of these coincidences are too coincidental to be believable. Also a lot of the time BIG THINGS ARE REVEALED that literally don’t make sense with the world building, or are directly contrasted later on. HOWEVER, that means you never know what’s going to happen in these action packed books as you unwrap the secrets to these kids’ origins and their abilities.

Not a big fan of reading books? Well, first of all, congrats on reading this post. Also, Maximum Ride has been adapted to quite quality manga (in my unexperienced opinion), so you might want to check that out if that’s more your style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Well okay! Thanks for sticking with me! If you have read any of these books and have opinions, or if you have other favorites lurking in the school library, or have any book recommendations in general, or just want to tell me stuff, feel free to comment below. And if you aren’t a big reader, then you’re in luck. My next post comes out on the 21st, and it will be “A TV Show For Every Day of the Fall Season” (as long as I don’t come up with a more clever title before then).

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