Summer reading 05.qxp - Western Reserve Academy



Summer reading 05.qxp - Western Reserve Academy
Western Reserve
Summer Reading Program
Western Reserve Academy
English Department
Required Summer 2005 Reading
For the Class of 2009
Old School, Tobias Wolff
For the Class of 2008
Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
For the Class of 2007
My Antonia, Willa Cather
Western Reserve Academy Summer Reading
Most members of the Reserve community find pleasures in reading. For
those of us tied to the academic calendar, summers and holidays give us what we
need most – time. With that in mind, we offer students this booklet of recommended books for summer reading. Several of these titles have been suggested
over the years by WRA students, faculty members and their families, and the
WRA librarians. Other titles are recommended by the American Library
Association for Young Adults.
This list is updated and titles rotated annually by the John D. Ong Library staff
and is intended to provide some variety: classic to recently published titles, relatively easy to challenging reading levels, fiction and non-fiction selections covering diverse topics, and a list of recommended websites for further suggestions for
award-winning books and titles in a specific genre. In general, books included in
the WRA curriculum are not listed. A few titles have frank passages that mirror
some aspects of life explicitly. Therefore, we urge parents to explore the titles your
teenagers choose and discuss the book as well as the choice with them.
This list is accessible on the WRA website on the John D. Ong Library home
page at Last year’s Summer Reading List is accessible as well.
All the books on this list should be available in libraries and/or bookstores.
Check the Ong Library home page for summer hours; students are welcome.
We hope every student will find several books that peak his curiosity or
expand his horizon. Enjoy your summer, your free time, and try to spend some of
it reading.
The John D. Ong Library Staff
Table of Contents
Recommended Summer Reading for Ninth/Tenth Graders........................... 1
Recommended Summer Reading for Eleventh/Twelfth Graders................. 17
Something for Everyone: Informational Titles for Teenagers...................... 37
Poetry, Anyone?................................................................................................. 39
Looking for a Good Book? Some Websites to Help You.............................. 41
Title Index.......................................................................................................... 43
Author Index......................................................................................................50
Summer Reading for Ninth/Tenth Graders
Abhorsen Trilogy (The): Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen (Garth Nix, 19962003) This popular fantasy series focuses on good and evil, war and peace, and
the value of friendship.
All That Remains (Bruce Brooks, 2001) In three novellas, Brooks highlights
teens whose lives are affected in various ways by a death in the family.*
Animal Farm (George Orwell, 1946) This satire on dictatorship focuses on the
overthrow of a farmer by the animals on his farm.
At All Costs (John Gilstrap, 1998) That Federal agents happened to be looking
for someone else didn’t matter once they learned that Jake and his wife, Carolyn,
were on their Ten Most Wanted list. They try to prove their innocence as they go
on the run with their 13-year-old son in this terrific nail-biter.*
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (Dai Sijie, 2001) Set in Mao’s
China, this book examines the lives of two Chinese boys taken from their
wealthy families and sent to a remote village to be “re-educated.” There they discover a suitcase of Western literature with which they feed their minds and create their own education.
Bee Season (Myla Goldberg, 2000) There is so much pain in this powerful first
novel about a family’s unraveling that it often seems on the edge of unbearable.
And yet, as we watch nine-year-old Eliza Naumann transform herself from
underachiever to spelling prodigy, we endure the pain out of respect for one girl’s
courage and all-consuming love.*
Big Stone Gap Trilogy (The): Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler, and Milk
Glass Moon (Adriana Trigiani, 2000-2003) This trilogy recounts the memories
of spinster pharmacist Ave Maria Mulligan over a 20-year period as she marries
and leaves her sleepy home town of Big Stone Gap.
Brave New World (Aldous Huxley, 1932) In a chilling vision of the future,
babies are produced in bottles and exist in a mechanized world without a soul.*
Bucking the Sarge (Christopher Paul Curtis, 2004) Fifteen-year-old Luther
uses his humor and smarts to cope with a longtime crush, an impending science
fair, and the shady dealings of his slumlord mother.*
Call of the Wild (The) (Jack London, 1903) Buck is stolen from his life as a
beloved pet. His life then changes drastically when he is abused as a Klondike
sled dog. He later enjoys life with a loving master, John Thornton, and finally he
becomes the leader of a pack of wolves in the wild.
Eagle Strike: An Alex Rider Adventure (Anthony Horowitz, 2004) Teenage
British spy Alex Rider is back in an addictive adventure that includes a celebrity
madman and a near-fatal rendezvous with destiny aboard the famous Air Force
Caramelo (Sandra Cisneros, 2002) The author’s novel is a sweeping, fictionalized history of her Mexican American family. When Celaya (or “Lala”) Reyes
takes a family vacation from Chicago to Mexico City, she begins a journey from
girl to young adult and from the present to the past. Generous digressions trace
roots and branches on the luxuriant family tree, telling the tales of ancestors, family members, and sometimes even walk-on players.*
Earthly Knight (An) (Janet McNaughton, 2004) In 1162 Scotland, Jenny is
supposed to save her family by marrying their chosen suitor; she falls in love with
Tam Lin, returned from the fairies, instead.*
Count of Monte Cristo (The) (Alexander Dumas, 1844) One of the greatest
thrillers of all time tells the tale of young Edmond Dantes, who, falsely accused
of treason and arrested on his wedding day, escapes from prison to seek revenge
on his enemies.*
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (The) (Mark Haddon, 2003)
Fifteen-year-old Christopher is an autistic math genius determined to find out
who killed his neighbor’s poodle. Haddon’s debut novel is an inventive mystery
about self-discovery and living with illness.*
Daniel Half Human: And the Good Nazi (David Chotjewitz, 2004) In 1933,
German teen Daniel is shocked to learn that he is not allowed to join the Nazi
party because he is half-Jewish.*
Dead Man’s Gold, and Other Stories (Paul Yee, 2002) Drawing on ghost stories told among early Chinese immigrants in Canada and the U.S., Yee brings the
supernatural right into daily life, setting the harsh facts on the edge of horror or
redemption. His plain, beautiful words speak with brutal honesty in 10 short stories about the immigrant struggle: the backbreaking work in the gold mines, on
the railroads, in the forests, laundries, kitchens; the anguish of leaving home, and
of being left behind; the dreams of riches and reunion; the shock of prejudice and
Detective/Crime Mystery Writers: Try any book by the following mystery
writers: C. J. Box (featuring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett); Elizabeth
Peters (featuring Edwardian Egyptologist Amanda Peabody); Ellis Peters (mysteries of the medieval monk, Brother Cadfael); Gillian Roberts (featuring amateur sleuth Amanda Pepper, a prep school English teacher); Lilian Jackson
Braun (featuring journalist/philanthropist James Qwilleran and his two Siamese
cats, Koko and Yum Yum); Diane Mott Davidson (featuring Goldy Bear, a caterer with a nose for trouble; delicious recipes are also part of the reading bargain);
or Les Roberts (featuring Cleveland private detective Milan Jacovich).
Egg On Three Sticks (An) (Jackie Fischer, 2004) In this unforgettable debut,
13-year-old Abby recounts her mother’s heartbreaking descent into mental illness. With acutely observed detail, Fischer describes a young adult’s pull between
the universal struggles of adolescence and the surreal anguish of losing a parent
to disease.*
Ellen Foster (Kaye Gibbons, 1987) Casting an unflinching yet humorous eye
on her situation, eleven-year-old Ellen survives her mother’s death, an abusive
father, and uncaring relatives to find for herself a loving home and a new mama.*
Every Time a Rainbow Dies (Rita Williams-Garcia, 2001) A 16-year-old boy
witnesses a rape from his roof. He helps the naked, injured girl, and afterward, he
tries to get to know her. Stark and moving, this book will stay with readers for a
long time.*
Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury, 1953) Books are for burning in this future society where thinking and reading are crimes.
Fire-Eaters (The) (David Almond, 2004) During the Cuban missile crisis in
1962, Bobby Burns fights his own battles with a sadistic headmaster and worries
about his father’s illness.*
Five People You Meet in Heaven (The) (Mitch Albom, 2003) The author of
Tuesdays with Morrie offers a terrific novel about an 83-year-old man who dies
while trying to save a child. A story of reflection and a bit of whimsy, he imagines what happens when you get to heaven.
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway, 1940) Set in the Spanish Civil
War, this is a classic story of war and personal honor. One of the best war novels
of the 20th century.
Forest Lover (The) (Susan Vreeland, 2004) A speculative portrait of the intrepid and too little known British Columbian painter Emily Carr (1871-1945).
[Vreeland’s] dramatic depictions of Carr’s daunting solo journeys, arduous artistic struggle, persistent loneliness, and despair over the tragic fate of the endangered people she came to love truly are provocative and moving.*
Foundation Series (The) (Isaac Asimov) Written originally as a series of magazine novellettes or novellas over an eight year period and later published in
novel form, Foundation (1951), Foundation and Empire (1952), and Second
Foundation (1953) were then collected as a trilogy under one cover in 1963.
Winner of the Hugo Award for the Best All-Time Science Fiction Series.
Forgotten Fire (Adam Bagdasarian, 2000) Based on a true story from the
Armenian Holocaust, this is an eloquent, touching and heart-wrenching portrait
of pain and triumph during a time of tragedy.*
Foxmask (Juliet Marillier, 2004) This sweeping Dark Ages fantasy, a sequel to
the rousing Wolfskin (2003), follows 18-year-old Thorvald to remote northern
British isles in a suspenseful, romantic page-turner steeped in Norse lore.*
Frankenstein (Mary Shelley, 1818) Despite being trivialized by cartoons,
spoofs, and toys, this powerful story is a portrayal of the pride of a scientist and
the consequences of his abuse of power.
Gabriel’s Story (David Anthony Durham, 2002) In this powerful coming-ofage story about two post-Civil War African American teens who leave home to
become cowboys, Durham formulates his own slant on the settlement of the
American West—one that speaks directly to the multicultural character of the
Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood (Ann Brashares, 2005)
It’s the summer before the girls go to college, a summer in which old and new
boyfriends appear, families grow and change, crises occur and are resolved, and
the pants continue their designated rounds. It’s a strong ending to a series [The
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and The Second Summer of the Sisterhood]
about four fully developed, strikingly different, equally fascinating teenage
Go and Come Back (Joan Abelove, 1998) In a story of mutual culture shock,
Alicia, a young Isabo girl in a remote part of Peru, is just as fascinated by the
American anthropologists, Joanna and Margarita, as they are with the ways of her
Gothic: Ten Original Dark Tales (Deborah Noyes [ed.], 2004) Ghouls, ghosts,
and shocking twists and turns haunt these ten twisted tales.*
Great Santini (The) (Pat Conroy, 1976) Marine fighter pilot Bull Meecham
rules his home with an iron fist. The novel focuses on his son Ben’s efforts to
rebel against his father’s tyranny and become his own man.
Grendel (John Gardner, 1971) In a unique interpretation of the Beowulf legend,
the monster Grendel relates his struggle to understand the ugliness in himself and
mankind in the brutal world of fourteenth-century Denmark.*
Heroes (Robert Cormier, 1998) Eighteen year old Francis comes back from
World War II with his face blown off and a mission to murder his childhood
Jim the Boy: A Novel (Tony Earley, 2000) Set in 1934…this is a deceptively
gentle, nostalgic look at childhood during an era when life was by turns harsh and
hopeful. Jim is a real boy who can be selfish and stubborn and then determined
and giving. Earley offers an understated, poetic tribute to those families whose
pride in and love for one another helped them face hard times.*
Life is Funny (E. R. Frank, 2000) Growing up in New York can be agonizing,
humorous, and always a challenge for the teens who tell their stories.*
Life of Pi (Yann Martel, 2002) Pi Patel, a young man from India, tells how he
was shipwrecked and stranded in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger for 227 days. This
outlandish story is only the core of a deceptively complex three-part novel ultimately about memory as a narrative and about how we choose truths.*
Lord of the Flies (William Golding, 1954) A group of English schoolboys
marooned on an uninhabited island test the values of civilization.
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (The): The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two
Towers, and The Return of the King (J.R.R. Tolkein, 1954…) Hobbits Bilbo
and Frodo and their elvish friends get swept up into a mighty conflict with the
dragon Smaug, the dark lord Sauron and the awful power of the magical Ring.*
Martyrs’ Crossing (Amy Wilentz, 2001) The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at
the center of this gripping novel that focuses on individual people on all sides,
including an Israeli border guard and a young Palestinian mother whose child
needs medical help.*
Great Gatsby (The) (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925) Narrator Nick Carraway tells
the story of Jay Gatsby and the Buchanans and the lives of the Long Island
wealthy during the decadence of the 1920’s. Considered a masterpiece of
American literature and probably the best known of Fitzgerald’s works.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Patrick O’Brian, 1970)
This is the first in the long series of novels featuring Captain Jack Aubrey, R.N.
and Stephen Maturin, ship’s surgeon and intelligence agent, set in the British
Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. Beautifully written with fascinating characterizations.
Moth Diaries (The) (Rachel Klein, 2002) A studious, thoughtful 16-year-old
believes she is losing roommate Lucy’s friendship to the quiet, mysterious new
girl at their boarding school, Ernessa. Lucy contracts a mysterious wasting illness. Is Ernessa a vampire? Menace permeates this portrayal of how much obsession and fear of the supernatural are alike.*
Motherland (Vineeta Vijayaraghavan, 2001) Maya was born in India, but she
considers herself all-American. When her parents send her back to India to visit
her grandmother for the summer, she rediscovers her homeland, receives an offer
of marriage, and uncovers a family secret.*
My Sister’s Keeper (Jodi Picoult, 2004) Teen Anna sues her parents for the
rights to her own body when she is asked to donate a kidney to her sister. This
spellbinding story will draw a wide range of readers with its strong characters
and provocative questions.*
Neanderthal (John Darnton, 1996) Two paleoanthropologists receive a most
unusual message from a missing colleague—the skull of a Neanderthal who, tests
reveal, lived a mere 25 years ago. Thus begins a fantastic journey that stimulates
the imagination and leaves one wondering if the Neanderthal could have survived
into modern times.
Nectar in a Sieve (Kamala Markandaya, 1954) Natural disasters, an arranged
marriage, and industrialization of her village are the challenges Rukmani must
face as the bride of a peasant farmer in southern India.*
Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck, 1955) This is a story of the down-trodden,
the lonely people we do not often encounter in our lives. Set on a ranch, we see
the tough choices George must make to protect Lenny, his mentally challenged
Old School (Tobias Wolff, 2003) In a 1960s New England boarding school, an
aspiring writer longs to fit in with his privileged classmates. Wolff’s clear, precise prose articulates the anxieties and yearning of adolescence.*
One More for the Road: A New Story Collection (Ray Bradbury, 2002) One
of the masters of science fiction and of the short story, Bradbury shows why he
is considered among the best in this collection of 25 short stories that span his
writing career including 17 that have never before been published.
Private Peaceful (Michael Morpurgo, 2004) The Peaceful brothers have always
shared a close bond, and they vow that the trenches of WWI won’t change that.
But there are some evils of war that have nothing to do with fighting.*
Quiver (Stephanie Spinner, 2002) Atalanta takes a vow of chastity to the goddess Artemis, who has granted her exceptional athletic and hunting abilities. But
when Aphrodite steps in, Atalanta falls in love with a beautiful runner and threatens her vow. The feminist slant and comic relief enliven this taut reinterpretation
of the Greek myth.*
Ransom Trilogy (The): Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That
Hideous Strength (C.S. Lewis, 1938-1945) This science fiction trilogy features
a Cambridge University scholar, Dr. Elwin Ransom, who gets caught up in a
struggle with the forces of evil.
Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe, 1906) During one of his several adventurous
voyages in the 1600’s, an Englishman becomes the sole survivor of a shipwreck
and lives for nearly thirty years on a deserted island.
Rooster (Beth Nixon Weaver, 2001) Frustrated by her responsibilities, which
include taking care of a senile grandmother and Rooster, the mentally handicapped son of some neighbors, Kady becomes enamored with wealthy, popular,
and unscrupulous Jon.*
Sand-Reckoner (The) (Gillian Bradshaw, 2001) Around the few facts that are
known about Archimedes (287?-212 B.C.), well-regarded historical novelist
Bradshaw has fashioned an interesting and informative tale of love, war, and family responsibilities. Her novel provides a vivid picture of the life and times of the
greatest mathematical and engineering mind in the classical world.*
Sarah: Women of Genesis (Orson Scott Card, 2000) A departure from his scifi and fantasy works, this novel recounts the story of the Biblical figure Sarah,
wife of Abraham.
Saving Francesca (Melina Marchetta, 2004) As her high-powered mother suffers from severe depression, Francesca copes with her classes, her friends, and the
complications that arise from being one of 30 girls in a school with 750 guys.*
Postcards from No Man’s Land (Aidan Chambers, 2002) [This] novel is part
thrilling WWII love story and part edgy, contemporary coming-of-age fiction.
Chambers weaves together past and present with enough plot, characters, and
ideas with such mastery that all the pieces finally come together, with compelling
discoveries about love, courage, family, and sexual identity.*
Secret Life of Bees (The) (Sue Monk Kidd, 2002) Kidd’s warm debut is set in
the sixties, just after the civil rights bill has been passed. Fourteen-year-old Lily
Owens is haunted by the accidental death of her mother 10 years earlier, which
left her in the care of her brutal, angry father and Rosaleen, a strong, proud black
woman. After Rosaleen is [arrested] for standing up to a trio of racists, Lily helps
her escape from the hospital where she is being kept, and the two flee to Tiburon,
a town [to which] Lily believes her mother had a connection.*
Separate Peace (A) (John Knowles, 1959) This is the story of two young men—
Gene, lonely and introverted, and Phineas, handsome and athletic—and their
friendship during their last two years at a boarding school.
Shades of Simon Gray (Joyce McDonald, 2001) Was the terrible crash that put
Simon in a coma really an accident, or was it an attempt to end the guilt he felt
because of the failure of his illegal computer project?*
Shield of Three Lions (Pamela Kaufman, 1983) Set in the Middle Ages around
the time of Richard the Lion-heart, an 11-year-old girl loses her parents and best
friend at the hands of marauding Scots near the border of England. To get back
the estate she should have inherited, she disguises herself as a boy and sets out to
find the King and reclaim her land.
Shylock’s Daughter (Mirjam Pressler, 2001) Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice
finds new life in this novel, which reexamines the characters’ complex motives
and illuminates the opulence and oppression of sixteenth-century Venice.*
Siddhartha (Herman Hesse, 1951) Emerging from a kaleidoscope of experiences and tasted pleasures, Siddhartha transcends to a state of peace and mystic
holiness in this strangely simple story.*
Sign of the Qin: Outlaws of Moonshadow Marsh (L. G. Bass, 2004) Dangers
abound in this magical martial-arts fantasy, which follows young Prince Zong
and his mother after their separate escapes form the dangerous, corrupt Emperor
In the fourth Thursday Next
Something Rotten (Jasper Fforde, 2004)
book…the literary detective is fed up with the bureaucracy and red tape of
BookWorld, where the characters and plots of novels are alive and need constant
governing. The Council of Genres refuses to accept her resignation as head of
JurisFiction, but she returns to her home in the real world anyway—Swindon,
England.* Earlier titles in the series are The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book,
and The Well of Lost Plots.
State of Fear (Michael Crichton, 2004) Millionaire George Morton is about to
donate $10 million to the National Environmental Research Fund (NERF) when
he suddenly decides against it. His lawyer, Peter Evans, is as surprised as anyone
and is drawn into a web of intrigue after Morton’s car careens off the road and
Morton is presumed dead. Just before his “death,” Morton was in contact with Dr.
John Kenner, a researcher at the Center for Risk Analysis, who opposes NERF’s
agenda and presents Evans with some startling evidence about global warming.*
Tale of Two Cities (A) (Charles Dickens, 1859) The classic novel of imprisonment, injustice, violence, love, and redemption by the master. Set during the
French revolution, Dickens spins a dramatic tale centered on the fortunes of one
Tales (Edgar Allan Poe, 1952) One of the many compilations of tales from the
master of horror—mysterious, complex, sometimes horrifying, occasionally psychotic, and always suspenseful. Look for Poe’s stories and poems in a variety of
collections of works by the author.
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee, 1960) A young girl tells of life in a small
Alabama town in the 1930s and her father’s defense in court of an African
American accused of raping a white woman.*
Touching Spirit Bear (Ben Mickaelsen, 2001) Cole Matthews is a 15-year-old,
baby-faced con. The child of wealthy, abusive alcoholic parents, Cole has been
getting into trouble most of his life. One day he beats a fellow student so severely the boy suffers permanent physical damage. [This] novel is the story of Cole’s
redemption; it is also a look at an unusual justice system.*
True Account (The): A Novel of the Lewis and Clark and Kinnesan
Expeditions (Howard Frank Mosher, 2003) The Lewis and Clark expedition
inspires a wild, funny spin-off in this tale about an eccentric Vermont uncle and
his nephew who race across the American landscape, determined to beat the
famous explorers.*
Truth and Bright Water (Thomas King, 2000) The story of Native American
teenage cousins, Tecumseh and Lum, and one summer full of mystery and unpredictable family relations on the Indian Reservation.
Waifs and Strays (Charles De Lint, 2002) A showcase for the diversity of a popular fantasy writer, this collection includes 16 stories that evoke a sense of magic
just beyond the ordinary world, whether in Ottawa, Bordertown, or the made-up
city of Newton, somewhere in North America.*
Water Dancers (The) (Terry Gamble, 2003) From WWII to the Vietnam War,
this family saga tells a moving story of prejudice and the friction between classes. The story begins with teenage Native American Rachel, who falls in love with
a wealthy heir.*
Whale Talk (Chris Crutcher, 2001) Adopted, biracial high-school senior Tao
Jones is well-adjusted on the surface. A smart, likable kid with a great sense of
humor and athletic ability, he decides to accept the offer [from] the swim coach
to anchor the swim team. Through it all shines Crutcher’s sympathy for teens and
their problems.*
When the Emperor Was Divine (Julie Otsuka, 2002) Otsuka tells an exquisite
psychological tale, inspired by her own family’s travails, of the internment of tens
of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans during World War II.*
Whiteout (Ken Follett, 2004) This is a bio-thriller taking place over a wintry
Christmas holiday in northern Scotland and well larded with family drama. Toni
Gallo is the driven head of security for Oxenford Medical (aka the Kremlin), a
research facility working on a cure for Madoba-2, an especially virulent strain of
Ebola. Predictably, things go suddenly, frightfully wrong.*
Year of Secret Assignments (The) (Jaclyn Moriarty, 2004) Written entirely in
letters, diary entries, lists, quizzes, transcripts, and mock subpoenas (there are a
disproportionate number of lawyerly parents here), the novel focuses on three
Australian girls who have each been assigned to write to a student at a rival
school. The girls’ pen friends turn out to be three boys, and the entertaining correspondence between the couples reveals the characters’ quirky ingenuity, pranks,
burgeoning romances, and fierce friendships as well as deeper family stories,
including one about a parent’s death.*
Ancient Olympics (The) (Nigel Jonathan Spivey, 2004) The author provides
the inside scoop of the ancient games—the events, the rules for competitors, athlete preparation, the rampant cheating and bribery, and other fascinating details.
He also provides the background for the modern Olympics and how we view
Beet Fields (The): Memories of a Sixteenth Summer (Gary Paulsen, 2000)
The coming-of-age autobiography of the well known Young Adult author. The
author recalls his experiences as a migrant laborer and carnival worker after running away from home at sixteen.
Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth (Richard Wright, 1945) Wright
recalls his pre-World War II youth when racial and personal obstacles seemed
Charles Dickens (Jane Smiley, 2002) Her intelligent biography examines
Dickens’ life through his work, starting not with his birth but rather the beginnings of his literary career. Smiley’s superb and thoughtful analysis should appeal
to anyone familiar with the great author’s work.*
Chess: From First Moves to Checkmate (Daniel King, 2001) King’s attractive
introduction to the game of chess, which covers rules, strategy, famous players,
history, and chess notation, combines understandable explanations with stunning
computer graphics.*
Counting Coup: The True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little
Bighorn (Larry Colton, 2000) A girls’ high-school basketball team on the Crow
reservation in Montana is the focus of this realistic account of the players’ lives,
on and off the court. Colton finds grim social conditions but also joy, humor, and
ethnic pride.*
Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail (Ruben Martinez,
2001) Martinez explores the powerful forces that drive men, women, and even
children to risk their lives crossing the border illegally from Mexico to the United
States to find work.*
D-Day: The Greatest Invasion (Dan Van Der Vat, 2003) Insightful and compelling, this well-balanced account details how the Canadians liberated a Dutch
village during D-Day. An arresting mix of rare photos and reproduced personal
artifacts illustrate.*
Desert Solitaire (Edward Abbey, 1968) This iconoclastic defender of wild
America describes his experiences as a ranger in Arches National Park Abbey
writes of his fondness for the desert and his determination to keep our wilderness
End of the Earth: Voyaging to Antarctica (Peter Matthiessen, 2004) The
grand master of the purposeful and philosophical nature-oriented travelogue,
Matthiessen chronicles the attainment of a lifelong dream in his eighteenth work
of nonfiction: two voyages to Antarctica. Vivid and empathic accounts of the high
drama and petty rivalries of Antarctic exploration alternate with Matthiessen’s
own adventures as he shares his indelible impressions of this cold, white wonderland in the hope that they will inspire readers to appreciate the beauty and
bounty of the earth’s “shimmering web of biodiversity” enough to defend and
preserve it.*
Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest
Mathematical Problem (Simon Singh, 1997) A Princeton professor pursues a
lifelong dream of solving a 350-year-old mathematical puzzle.*
Fighting for Honor: Japanese Americans and World War II (Michael
Cooper, 2000) The Japanese American experience in the U.S. and on the front
lines is revealed in this thoughtful book about World War II.*
Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red Guard (Fan Shen, 2004) In this irony-laden
memoir, a former Red Guard grows up swimming against the tide of the Cultural
Revolution. Teens will strongly identify with Shen’s maneuverings around
repressive regulations.*
Hidden Evidence: Forty True Crimes and How Forensic Science Helped
Solve Them (David Owen, 2002) The evolution of forensic science and crime
investigation is detailed in this study that includes famous cases, from Jack the
Ripper and presidential assassinations to crimes by recent serial killers.*
Indian Summer: The Tragic Story of Louis Francis Sockalexis, the First
Native American in Major League Baseball (Brian McDonald, 2003)
McDonald’s biography of Louis Francis Sockalexis, a full-blooded Maine
Penobscot, focuses on anecdotal information about the little-known player who
played professional baseball in Cleveland in the late 1890s and for whom the
team renamed themselves the Cleveland Indians.*
Insect Lives: Stories of Mystery and Romance from a Hidden World (Erich
Hoyt and Ted Schultz [eds.], 1999) Erich and Schultz compiled a diverse collection of brief essays and illustrations that entice readers to explore the fascinating
and mysterious world of insects.*
Journey of Crazy Horse (The): A Lakota History (Joseph M. Marshall III,
2004) Using his skills as a historian along with the oral histories Marshall collected from the children and grandchildren of contemporaries of Crazy Horse, he
freshly characterizes the charismatic leader. Although Crazy Horse’s famous taciturnity makes him an elusive subject, Marshall does a good job of bringing Crazy
Horse to life by examining all his milestones: the boy’s early military training by
High Back Bone; his doomed love for Black Buffalo Woman; his role as leader
of one of the last remaining bands wishing to retain their traditional ways.*
Lasso the Wind: Away to the New West (Timothy P. Egan, 1998) Egan examines myths and realities of the Old West and the New West in 14 essays, each set
in one of the 11 states west of the one-hundredth meridian. The essays are connected by more than just location, as Egan’s easy, humorous style and occasional references to previous essays tie the pieces together and give the sense of being
guided by a friend through a fascinating but sometimes frightening environment.*
For the Time Being (Annie Dillard, 1999) The noted author contemplates the
big issues—God, life and death, and good and evil in this contemplative work.
Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream (H. G. Bissinger, 2003)
In Odessa, Texas, high school football is more than a recreational interest, it is the
whole town’s passion.*
Left for Dead (Peter Nelson, 2002) While watching the classic bragging scene
in the movie Jaws, 11-year-old Hunter Scott grew curious about one character’s
reference to the U.S.S. Indianapolis. Discovering that history usually glossed
over or omitted the story, Scott began a six-year crusade, gathering information
from the survivors and, eventually, ensuring that their mission and their unjustly
maligned captain were appropriately honored. Narrative combines with interviews between Scott and the soldiers to give individualized synopses of the 1945
sinking and rescue, ensuing court-martial, crusade, and exoneration.*
Light at the Edge of the World: A Journey Through the Realm of Vanishing
Cultures (Wade Davis, 2002) Through photographs and eloquent text, the author
unveils the diversity and unique quality of human culture around the world.*
My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban (Latifa, 2002) Latifa
was only 16 when the Taliban overran Kabul, changing her life dramatically. A
moving firsthand account with a real sense of immediacy.*
My Losing Season (Pat Conroy, 2002) Conroy goes autobiographical in this
poignant account centering on his senior year at The Citadel where he was a basketball player on scholarship and when he first recognized the beginning of the
man and writer he would become. While the book focuses on a losing season, it
demonstrates how, in fact, lessons learned from losing and adversity can be more
important and more character building than those learned from winning.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by
Himself (Frederick Douglass, 1845) Former slave and famed abolitionist
Frederick Douglass describes the horrors of his enslavement and eventual escape.
Outwitting History : The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a
Million Yiddish Books (Aaron Lansky, 2004) Aaron Lansky discovered while
studying Yiddish in the 1970s that thousands of Yiddish books were collecting
dust in attics and basements or were being carted off to landfills. With no
resources beyond his conviction, chutzpah, and fortitude, he set out to “save the
world’s Yiddish books” and soon found himself driving all over creation to visit
with elderly Jews who talked with great emotion about the beloved Yiddish books
they were entrusting to him.*
Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return (Marjane Satrapi, 2004) Satrapi continues
her memoir-in-comics about growing up in revolutionary Iran. Once again, the
bold-lined artwork illustrates one of the most noteworthy youth memoirs of
recent years.* The sequel to Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood.
Player (The): Christy Mathewson, Baseball, and the American Century (Philip
M. Seib, 2003) This is the biography of the first real national “star” the game of
baseball saw, who preceded Babe Ruth and the 1919 World Series scandal. Not just
about baseball, this is about a man who lived to the highest of moral and ethical
standards amongst a pretty raucous crowd, both in baseball and society.
Promised the Moon: The Untold Story of the First Women in the Space Race
(Stephanie Nolan, 2002) The history of women in aviation and as astronauts is
revealed in this compelling story.*
Runaway Girl: The Artist Louise Bourgeois (Jan Greenberg and Sandra
Jordan, 2003) Challenging art [is] accessible and exciting in this beautifully
designed biography of Franco-American sculptor Bourgeois. Clear, elegant prose
juxtaposes stories about the artist’s life with relevant artworks, often described in
Bourgeois’ own words. Crisp reproductions and personal photos illustrate.*
Savage Summit: The True Stories of the First Five Women Who Climbed K2,
the World’s Most Feared Mountain (Jennifer Jordan, 2005) Five women, each
with seemingly preternatural abilities to climb, have reached the summit of K2.
While not the highest mountain in the world, it is considered the most deadly,
hence its earning the name “Savage Mountain.” These five women—Polish
climber Wanda Rutkiewicz, French climbers Lilane Barrard and Chantal
Mauduit, and British climbers Julie Tullis and Alison Hargreaves—so very different from each other, were alike in their strength, ability, determination, and
willingness to endure not only the pain of high altitude but also the massive prejudice of the male-dominated climbing world.*
Seabiscuit: An American Legend (Laura Hillenbrand, 2001) This is the true
story of the squat, homely racehorse with a crooked foreleg who becomes
America’s legendary hero during the American Depression years. While
Seabiscuit is the heart of the story, Hillenbrand does a magnificent job of portraying the atmosphere of horseracing during the 1930s: the shameful treatment
of jockeys, the public’s love of the sport, and the rivalry among the participants
in the world of horseracing.
Secret House (The): The Extraordinary Science of an Ordinary Day (David
Bodanis, 2003) The unseen world around us is shown in vivid detail as Bodanis
take us through an average day in and around the average house.
Photography: An Illustrated History (Martin Sandler, 2002) Sandler’s terrific photography compendium introduces history and practice, using exciting
images, both archival and contemporary, to bring the technology to life.*
Shadow Warriors (The): Inside the Special Forces (Tom Clancy, 2002) Best
known for his spy thrillers, Clancy departs from fiction and takes a third outing into
nonfiction with a U.S. commander, in this case Gen. Carl Stiner. The book focuses on
the history of U.S. Special Forces including the Rangers, SEALs, Delta Force, Green
Berets and other groups and their various roles in World War II, Vietnam, Panama, Iraq
and Desert Storm, to name a few. A fascinating account of these unique groups.
Shooting Under Fire: The World of the War Photographer (Peter Howe,
2002) War photographers seek out the most horrifying and dangerous places in
the world to practice their craft. What compels them to do it?*
Small Wonder (Barbara Kingsolver, 2002) This set of 19 penetrating autobiographical musings on humankind and how we treat each other and the rest of
nature coalesced in the stunned aftermath of September 11. Grief, the struggle for
understanding, and the recognition of the need for “reordered expectations”
underlie each bracing reverie. Trained as a biologist and gifted in the art of storytelling, Kingsolver is able to draw on her knowledge of the wild—of evolution
and biodiversity—as well as her feel for archetypes to bring into focus and dramatize the biological and social impact of our unexamined habits of consumption.*
Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our
World (Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, 2000) A collection of biographical sketches
and haunting photographs of ordinary people from 35 countries who are leading
the fight to ensure basic human rights for everyone.*
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (Mary Roach, 2003) Discover
the amazing life-after-death adventures of human bodies in this examination of
how medical and research scientists use cadavers to make our lives better.*
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail (Malika Oufkir and Michele
Fitoussi, 2001) The shocking true story of one family’s fight to survive an unjustified and lengthy political imprisonment in Morocco.
Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture
(Katha Pollitt, 2001) Based on Pollitt’s popular columns for The Nation, these
witty, passionate, irreverent essays open up many issues that affect young people.*
Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer (Lynne Cox,
2004) Cox, who swam the English Channel at 15, writes about her subsequent
swims across some of the world’s most perilous waters. An inspirational account
of how solitary acts can unite people.*
This Boy’s Life: A Memoir (Tobias Wolff, 1989) In and out of trouble in his
youth, this charter member of the “Bad Boy’s Club” survives a boyhood that
stretches from Florida to the Pacific Northwest.*
Truman (David McCullough, 1992) A biography of the notable President who
earned America’s respect by helping to end World War II and reshaping the world
for postwar peace.*
We Are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust
(Jacob Boas, 1995) Drawing on the unfinished diaries of five Jewish teenagers,
Holocaust survivor Boas bears witness to ordinary families as they were crowded into ghettos, persecuted, and murdered.
Wilderness Family: At Home With Africa’s Wildlife (Kobie Kruger, 2001)
Kruger eagerly embraced her husband’s assignment to a remote ranger station in
South Africa, where her life revolved around temperamental hippos, rambunctious badgers, and three beautiful, willful daughters. What she didn’t count on
was the starving lion cub that her husband brought home.*
Working Fire: The Making of an Accidental Fireman (Zac Unger, 2004) A
young rookie provides a look behind the firehouse doors, bringing close the danger, excitement, and challenge of fighting fire in a big city.*
Yell-Oh Girls!: Emerging Voices Explore Culture, Identity and Growing-Up
Asian American (Vickie Nam [ed.], 2001) Young women of Asian descent
detail their experiences growing up in America.*
Zoya’s Story: An Afghan Woman’s Struggle for Freedom (Zoya, 2002) After
both her parents were killed by the predecessors of the Taliban, the Mujahideen,
Zoya took up her mother’s work in RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the
Women of Afghanistan and, with her grandmother, journeyed to Pakistan, where
she could receive an education at a school run by RAWA. A few years later, Zoya
returned to Afghanistan to help her people and get firsthand accounts of the horrors of the Taliban reign. A stirring memoir by an uncompromisingly brave
Summer Reading for Eleventh/Twelfth Graders
Absolute Friends (John Le Carre, 2004) Le Carre’s novel focuses on the
friendship between Ted Mundy, son of a British army officer and Sasha, the handicapped son of an old Nazi. Student radicals in Germany in the ‘60s who evolve
into Cold War spies, the two go their separate ways when Soviet communism
ends. The war in Iraq reunites the old friends in a world of intrigue and cynicism.
All Loves Excelling (Joseph Bunting, 2001) The pressure to get into a prestigious college is the drama in this realistic, contemporary story of a hardworking
high-school student who is driven to a breakdown by the expectations of her parents and herself.*
Alms for Oblivion: A Shakespearean Murder Mystery (Philip Gooden, 2003)
It’s 1602, in the midst of the plague; Elizabeth I’s health is failing, and
Shakespeare is flourishing as a playwright when murder strikes. Gooden devises
a fiendishly intricate mystery, featuring Nick Revill, a poor player and sometime
sleuth in Shakespeare’s company, in a well-realized historical and literary setting.*
Amy (Mary Hooper, 2002) In a chilling story about the dangers of Internet dating, lonely teenager Amy finds company in Internet chat rooms, and an online
romance flourishes with Zed. Their face-to-face meeting, however, is far from
idyllic as her recorded statement to the police reveals.*
Argall: The True Story of Pocahontas and Captain John Smith (William T.
Vollmann, 2001) This is the third installment of the Seven Dreams series,
Vollmann’s highly creative novels about the European conquest of North
America. This novel focuses on the founding of the colony of Jamestown,
As I Lay Dying (William Faulkner, 1930) The Bruden family treks across
Mississippi to take their recently departed matriarch, Addie, to the town where
she wished to be buried. Each family member reveals his thoughts along the way
in this dark comic novel.
Bel Canto (Ann Patchett, 2001) Readers curious about the emotional flow
between hostages and their takers should cotton to this novel based on the 1996
Tupac Amaru takeover of the Japanese ambassadorial residence in Lima, Peru. It
traces the hostages’ adjusting attitudes during the torpor of a months-long siege.*
Beloved (Toni Morrison, 1998) Preferring death over slavery for her child,
Sethe murders her infant, Beloved, who later mysteriously returns as a young
woman and almost destroys her mother’s life.
Black Wind (Clive Cussler, 2004) The story begins toward the end of World
War II, and the Japanese have sent two submarines to the West Coast of the U.S.
They are carrying a lethal new strain of biological virus, but neither vessel makes
it to the designated target. Then, in 2007, a number of sea-lion deaths are reported along the western Alaska Peninsula, and birds and people in the area become
sick and die, although no known environmental catastrophe or human-induced
culprit is suspected. Called to the scene is Dirk Pitt, the head of the National
Underwater Marine Agency, and his two sons, one a marine biologist, the other a
marine engineer.*
Body and Soul (Frank Conroy, 1993) Claude Rawlings, a musical prodigy
growing up in the 1940s in New York City, is neglected by his poverty-stricken
mother but is taken under the wing of a Park Avenue maestro who helps him
uncover and develop his musical genius.
Bondwoman’s Narrative (The) (Hannah Crafts, 1850?; Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
[ed.], 2002) According to Harvard professor Gates (who purchased, edited, and
published the original manuscript), this is probably the first novel written by a
female slave and possibly the first written by a black woman. The story is the fictional autobiography of Hannah Crafts and her slave life on a plantation in North
Carolina and her flight to freedom in the North.
Bucking the Tiger (Bruce Olds, 2001) This fictional collage picturing the life
of Doc Holliday—constructed from newspaper clippings, interviews, poetry, and
personal narrative—is ultimately a meditation on the Old West.*
Cairo Trilogy (The): Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, and Sugar Alley
(Naiguib Mahfouz, 1956-1957) Paralleling the politics of early 20th century
Egypt, this is an extensive but rewarding series about a merchant-class family
steeped in Islamic tradition.
Can’t Get There From Here (Todd Strasser, 2004) She calls herself Maybe.
Thrown out by her abusive mom, she struggles to survive on the streets of New
York with homeless teens who become a family in the asphalt jungle.*
Cat’s Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., 1963) One of the early works by the satiric
genius of folly, the novel presents the chaotic story of the family of a leading
atomic scientist who helped develop the first generation of nuclear bombs.
Diversions keep shifting the focus to cult mysticism, Caribbean politics, professional rivalries, and odd individuals, while the ultimate weapon of mass destruction heads toward final realization.
Catch-22 (Joseph Heller, 1961) Set in the closing months of World War II, this
is the classic satire of the absurdity of war featuring bombardier Yossarian, a
character like no other.
Caves of Steel (The) (Isaac Asimov, 1954) Spacers live in space colonies in luxury aided by robots. Earthlings live on a disease-ridden, overpopulated Earth and
are despised by the Spacers. A Spacer is killed outside one of Earth’s cities, and
Detective Lije Bailey must find the murderer.
Blue Girl (The) (Charles De Lint, 2004) Brash, blue-skinned, street-smart
Imogene battles the soul-eating Anamithims with her real, imaginary, and undead
Chang and Eng (Darin Strauss, 2000) This truly remarkable first novel is both
a brilliant conjuring of a historical reality and a wonderful piece of storytelling
based on the sad evidence and disturbing myths of the historic Siamese twins
Chang and Eng, born in 1811.*
Complete Stories (The) (Flannery O’Connor, 1971) She was not just the best
“woman writer” of the South—O’Connor also expressed something secret about
America. These stories about characters and misfits who live in small towns have
the effect of an electric shock.
Corrections (The) (Jonathan Franzen, 2001) Franzen has taken a potentially
sentimental framework, a Midwestern woman’s desire to have all three of her
adult children home for Christmas before their father succumbs to Parkinson’s
disease, and transformed it into a highly imaginative, empathic, caustically funny
and moving saga about the absurdity of life as lived within our rampant global
Crooked River Burning (Mark Winegardner, 2001) Set in 1950s and 1960s
Cleveland, Ohio, this highly entertaining novel charts the rise and fall of an aging
industrial center and profiles its inhabitants both real and imagined.*
Da Vinci Code (The) (Dan Brown, 2003) One of the hottest books in recent
years, this is the fascinating story of American symbologist Robert Langdon who
is accused of murdering the curator of the Louvre. On the run from police with
Sopie Neveu, a French cryptologist, the two find themselves looking for nothing
less than the Holy Grail.*
Dante Club (The) (Matthew Pearl, 2003) Pearl’s gripping debut novel, set in
Boston in 1865, begins with the discovery of the maggot-ridden, dead body of
Judge Artemus Healey… Expertly weaving period detail, historical fact (the
Dante Club did indeed exist), complex character studies, and nail-biting suspense, Pearl has written a unique and utterly absorbing tale.*
Darling (The) (Russell Banks, 2004) Banks continues his inquiry into the complex legacy of slavery in this gripping and unpredictable tale of a 1960s American
radical, Hannah Musgrave, who surfaces in Liberia, where she cares for traumatized chimpanzees and becomes embroiled in the country’s horrifically bloody
power struggles.*
Detective/Crime Mystery Writers: Try any book by the following mystery
writers: Nevada Barr (featuring National Park Ranger Amanda Pigeon; novels
are set in various U.S. National Parks); Henning Mankell (books set in Sweden
featuring police detective Kurt Wallender); Sue Grafton (featuring female sleuth
Kinsey Millhone); Dick Francis (featuring a variety of sleuths and locations);
Robert B. Parker (featuring hard-boiled Boston detective Spenser); Alexander
McCall Smith (featuring Mma Precious Ramotswe, owner of Botswana’s #1
Ladies Detective Agency); or Steve Womack (WRA alumnus whose novels feature Nashville reporter turned private investigator, Harry James Denton).
Divine Wind (The): A Love Story (Gary Disher, 2002) Set in a small northwest
Australian coastal town, this World War II story is about friends and enemies
close to home, racism, love and family heartaches, betrayal, and discovering personal courage.*
Dream of Scipio (The) (Iain Pears, 2002) Pears’ grand-scale historical thriller
juggles three radically different periods—the fall of the Roman Empire in the
fourth century, the spread of the plague in the fourteenth, and World War II in the
twentieth. Pears’ elaborate narrative triptych is dazzling.*
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (Z. Z. Packer, 2003) A collection of stories told
through the eyes of a variety of youthful characters, each with a unique situation
and voice.
Einstein’s Dream (Alan Lightman, 1993) Focusing on three key months of
Albert Einstein’s life in 1905 when he is working as a patent clerk at the Swiss
Patent Office in Bern, Lightman re-creates the dreams that allegedly lead Einstein
to his spectacular conclusions about the nature of time.
Ethan Frome (Edith Wharton, 1911) This classic novel is the story of New
England farmer who finds himself in a loveless marriage. His world is turned
upside down when his wife’s cousin comes to visit and he finds himself falling in
love setting in motion a hopeless situation for all involved.
Deep River (Shusaku Endo, 1996) Endo’s haunting fiction is a vehicle for his
views on God, religion, and the vast divides between cultures. In [this] novel, he
intertwines the compelling stories of a group of troubled strangers on a tour of
Buddhist shrines in India. We meet each of them at a pivotal point in their lives.*
Fall of Rome (The) (Martha Southgate, 2002) The author delves deeply into the
social and emotional elements that unite and divide us. Issues of race, identity,
and integrity are intensely explored through a tragic human triangle comprising
the lone African American instructor at an exclusive boys’ boarding school in
Connecticut, a promising African American student from New York City, and a
white divorcée.*
Feed (Matthew T. Anderson, 2002) In this strange, disturbing future world, teens
travel to the moon for spring break, live in stacked-up neighborhoods with artificial blue sky, and are bombarded by a constant advertising and media blitz
through their feeds. The young people are bored unthinking pawns of commercialism, speaking only in obnoxious slang, ignoring or disrespecting the few
adults around. Many teens will feel a haunting familiarity about this future universe.*
God in Ruins (A) (Leon Uris, 1999) This is another of the author’s vast and
vigorous novels about politics and history, right and wrong, love and loss. This
time his country of choice is the United States, on the eve of the 2008 presidential election.*
Hazards of Good Breeding (The) (Jessica Shattuck, 2003) Caroline Dunlap
has graduated college and returned to her father’s house in the genteel upper-class
world of suburban Boston for lack of a better option. Her sensitive, 10-year-old
brother, Eliot, is quietly launching a search for his baby-sitter, Rosita, whom his
father, Jack, summarily fired six months ago. Faith, Jack’s ex-wife, who is still in
the process of recovering from the nervous breakdown that precipitated the end
of her marriage, is in town to see a play Eliot is starring in and visit some friends.
The characters are all stuck in a sense, in need of a push to disrupt their apathy.*
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (The) (Douglas Adams, 1979) Adams’ highly successful radio series evolved into this first of five novels featuring Arthur
Dent, an ordinary guy who ends up exploring other worlds as Earth is demolished. Later novels in the series include: The Restaurant at the End of the
Universe (1980), Life, the Universe and Everything (1982), So Long and Thanks
For All the Fish (1984), and Mostly Harmless (1992).
Human Factor (The) (Graham Greene, 1978) A spy novel and something more.
A British MI agent watches a plot of murder and even genocide unfold. All he
wants is to have his evening drink with his South African wife and to watch their
son grow up in a world without prejudices.
Human Stain (The) (Philip Roth, 2000) With the help of his alter ego, Nathan
Zuckerman, Roth continues the inquiry into the state of the American soul during
the second half of the twentieth-century. Fueled by the story of his magnetic hero,
Coleman Silk, it roars, with heart-revving velocity, through a literary landscape
that embraces the politics of race and sex, the Vietnam War, the absurdity of
extreme political correctness, the dumbing down of the academy, and President
Clinton’s impeachment. *
Hundred Secret Senses (The) (Amy Tan, 1995) Tan [offers an] ambitious novel
that tackles themes of loyalty, connectedness, and what it means to be a family.
When Olivia Yee’s half-sister, Kwan, arrives from China, Olivia’s life is irrevocably changed.*
Iliad (The) (Homer, c. 800 B.C.) One of the greatest epic poems and war stories of all time, this is the sweeping account of Achilles, Agamemnon, Helen,
Hector, and others in the Trojan War.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke, 2004) This first novel set
in early-nineteenth-century England, about the currently moribund state of magic
in the kingdom, is itself magical—an exceptionally compelling, brilliantly creative, and historically fine-tuned piece of work.*
Kafka on the Shore (Haruki Murakami, 2005) Acclaimed Japanese novelist
Murakami navigates the surreal world in this tale of two troubled souls whose
lives are entwined by fate. Fifteen-year-old Tokyo resident Kafka Tamura runs
away from home to escape a murderous curse inflicted by his famous sculptor
father. Elderly Satoru Nakata wanders his way through each day after a mysterious childhood accident turns his mind into a blank slate.*
Kitchen Boy (The) (Robert Alexander, 2003) The final days of the last Russian
tsar, Nicholas II, and his family are still a fascinating mystery. There is no one left
to bear witness to what happened at the execution. Or is there? Alexander takes a
very real, but forgotten and overlooked, potential witness, a young kitchen boy,
and creates an amazing fictional account of what may have transpired.*
Kite Runner (The) (Khaled Hosseini, 2003) Years after he flees Afghanistan,
Amir, now an American citizen, returns to his native land and attempts to atone
for the betrayal of his best friend before he fled Kabul and the Taliban.*
Lady and the Unicorn (The) (Tracy Chevalier, 2004) The author of Girl with
a Pearl Earring (2000) and Falling Angels (2001) offers a luminous tale about a
set of medieval tapestries known as the Lady and the Unicorn sequence. Nicolas
des Innocents, a handsome, lascivious artist, is summoned to the home of Jean Le
Viste, a nobleman who wants Nicolas to design a series of battle tapestries.*
Love and Sex: Ten Stories of Truth (Michael Cart [ed.], 2001) Michael Cart
has collected 10 stories from a stellar roundup of familiar writers for young adults
who explore, with candor and heart, how passion, sex, crushes, and commitment
alter and influence teens’ lives.*
Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf, 1925) Exploring the relationships between men
and women, this novel centers on one day in the life of society matron Clarissa
Dalloway. Readers may also be interested in The Hours by Michael Cunningham
(2000), a novel that both pays homage to Woolf and Mrs. Dalloway and makes
them integral to Cunningham’s story.
Peace Like A River (Leif Enger, 2001) Readers will find themselves immersed
in an exceptionally heartfelt and moving tale about the resilience of family relationships in this tale of Reuben, who was an adolescent in Minnesota in the
1960s, when his brother, Davy, shot and killed two young men who were harassing the family.*
Namesake (The) (Jhumpa Lahiri, 2003) Ashoke Ganguli, a doctoral candidate
at MIT, chose Gogol as a pet name for his and his wife’s first-born because a volume of the Russian writer’s work literally saved his life, but, in one of many confusions endured by the immigrant Bengali couple, Gogol ends up on the boy’s
birth certificate. Unaware of the dramatic story behind his unusual and, eventually, much hated name, Gogol refuses to read his namesake’s work, and just
before he leaves for Yale, he goes to court to change his name to Nikhil.*
Pearl (The) (John Steinbeck, 1947) Greed, treachery and loss are the focus of
this story of a poor Mexican pearl diver who finds a priceless pearl.
Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005) Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth were once
classmates at Hailsham, a private school in the English countryside. The tightly
knit trio experienced love, loss, and betrayal as they pondered their destinies... In
this luminous offering, [Ishiguro] nimbly navigates the landscape of emotion—
the inevitable link between present and past and the fine line between compassion and cruelty, pleasure and pain.*
Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman, 1997) Helping a young woman who lies dirty and
bleeding in the street leads Richard Mayhew into London Below, a subterranean
collage of long-forgotten parts of historic London—a sort of Oz overrun by maniacs and monsters that can be as exhilarating as it is terrifying.*
Of Human Bondage (W. Somerset Maugham, 1915) The classic story of Philip
Carey, an orphan with a clubfoot who is raised by religious relatives. At eighteen,
he leaves home and looks for adventure abroad.
Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway, 1953) Awarded the Pulitzer Prize
for Fiction in 1953, this classic novel is the story of an aging Cuban fisherman,
Santiago, who pursues and battles the catch of a lifetime—a magnificent marlin.
This is a story of human courage, endurance, triumph.
On the Road (Jack Kerouac, 1957) Considered to be one of Kerouac’s finest
works and the classic work of the Beat Generation, this novel follows narrator Sal
Paradise and his best friend Dean Moriarity as they travel cross-county looking
for the meaning of life.
Passion of Artemesia (The) (Susan Vreeland, 2002) The author tells a vivid fictionalized version of the life of Artemesia Gentileschi, known for her significant
contributions to Renaissance art.*
Plot Against America (The) (Philip Roth, 2004) Roth steps boldly into the difficult realm of alternate history. As he has it, aviation hero Charles Lindbergh is
nominated for president in 1940 on a peace-with-Hitler platform and wins handily over FDR—the majority of the electorate fearing that Roosevelt intends to
propel the country into the war currently raging in Europe. Roth brings this
provocative national situation down to a personal level by drawing the reader into
the lives of the young narrator—called Philip Roth—and his Jewish family in
Newark, New Jersey.*
Pompeii (Robert Harris, 2003) Popular thriller writer Harris sets his sights on
one of the most famous natural disasters in history: the eruption of Mount
Vesuvius in A.D. 79. With rich historical details and scientific minutiae, Harris
vividly brings to life the ancient world on the brink of unspeakable disaster.*
Prayer for Owen Meany (A) (John Irving, 1989) Narrator John Wheelright
reflects on his early life and the influence of his best friend Owen Meany. When
the boys are 11, Owen hits a foul ball and accidentally kills John’s mother.
Convinced that he is now “God’s instrument”, Owen believes he is destined to
perform a sacrificial deed.
Prince of Fire (Daniel Silva, 2005) Not long after an explosion in Rome
destroys the Israeli embassy compound, a file linked to the terrorists behind the
bombing surfaces; it contains a remarkably comprehensive account of the career
of Gabriel Allon, including the date of his recruitment by the Israeli secret service. Living in Venice and about to embark upon the restoration of a priceless
Rubens painting, Gabriel, a talented art restorer and a reluctant spy, must return
to Israel and the auspices of the agency bureaucrats.* This is the latest installment in a terrific series of thrillers featuring Allon.
Prodigal Summer (Barbara Kingsolver, 2001) Summer is the season for abundance and abandon, and all of its prodigal forces are at work in this seductive tale
of romance, risk, conviction, and love. Deanna Wolfe, a passionate Forest Service
wildlife biologist, lives alone in the woods far above her hometown. After discovering a family of coyotes, she becomes determined to protect them, a mission
jeopardized by her equally intense desire for a handsome hunter.*
Red Tent (The) (Anita Diamant, 1997) Biblical history is told from the
woman’s point of view in this sweeping novel. Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, narrates
the emotionally charged stories that are exchanged between the women in her
father’s household.
Rock (The): A Seventh-Century Tale of Jerusalem (Kanan Makiya, 2001)
Immersing the reader in seventh-century Jerusalem, Makiya brings to life K’ab, a
Jewish advisor to the fourth caliph of the Islamic empire, who converted to Islam
without abandoning Judaism and taught Muslims about the Jewish holy sites.*
Roman Fever and other Stories (Edith Wharton, 1990) A collection of tales
about the lives of the well-to-do at the turn of the 20th century.
Romance of Tristan and Iseult (Joseph Bedier, 1930) This is Bedier’s interpretation of one of the greatest love stories in Western literature. After defeating
a famous Irish warrior and gaining the favor of his uncle, King Marc of Cornwall,
the Cornish warrior Tristan sets out a great mission: to bring home a queen for his
uncle. A story of doomed love and heartache.
Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood (Benjamin Alire Saenz, 2004) Sammy
Santos’ dreams of escaping the barrio in the late 1960’s are shattered after Juliana,
the girl he loves, is murdered.*
Sense of Honor (A) (James A. Webb, 1981) A top midshipman guides a plebe
through the rigors of his first year at the Naval Academy.
Sheltered Quarter (The): A Tale of a Boyhood in Mecca (Hamza Bogary,
1991) The Saudi author grew up in the Holy City before the development of oil.
He recaptures a bygone way of life in this descriptive novel.
Songs of the Kings (The) (Barry Unsworth, 2003) Join Unsworth on another
one of his greatly atmospheric visits to times past, in this case, ancient Greece on
the eve of the Trojan War. Adverse winds are keeping the allied forces of King
Agamemnon from sailing across the Aegean Sea in their planned siege of Troy,
wherein inhabits Paris, who stole the beautiful Helen, wife of Agamemnon’s
brother, Menelaus.*
Sound and the Fury (The) (William Faulkner, 1929) This book is about the
decline and fall of the aristocratic Compson family in Faulkner’s fictional
Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi.*
Stillwater (William F. Weld, 2002) A powerful, poignant coming-of-age story
novel set in rural western Massachusetts in 1938. Fifteen-year-old Jamieson narrates the events surrounding the flooding of the Swift River Valley as the people
living there cope with the event that will change their lives forever.
Stories of John Cheever (The) (John Cheever, 1978) Suburbia, cocktail parties,
swimming pools, gin, infidelities, and love—the urbane Cheever captures
America in the ’40s and ’50s like no other writer.
Swallows of Kabul (The) (Yasmina Khadra, 2004) In Kabul under the Taliban,
a part-time jailer and the scion of a business family ruined by the revolution, each
caught in a spiral of disasters, cross paths when the latter’s beautiful wife is condemned to death in this harrowing and painful portrayal of a society enslaved by
Things They Carried (The): A Work of Fiction (Tim O’Brien, 1990) These
poignant stories follow Tim O’Brien’s platoon of American soldiers through a
variety of personal and military encounters during the Vietnam War.*
Time Traveler’s Wife (The) (Audrey Niffenegger, 2003) On the surface, Henry
and Clare Detamble are a normal couple living in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Henry works at the Newberry Library and Clare creates abstract paper
art, but the cruel reality is that Henry is a prisoner of time. It sweeps him back
and forth at its leisure, from the present to the past, with no regard for where he
is or what he is doing.*
Troy (Adele Geras, 2001) The plot of Homer’s Iliad serves as backdrop to this
sweeping, vividly detailed epic that imagines the lives of Trojan women and
shows the dramas of love and work at home while the battles raged.*
Turn of the Screw (The) (Henry James, 1898) This famous classic and terrifying ghost story is about a governess who sees ghosts—or does she? Are the children in her charge being manipulated by these spirits of two former servants?
Can she save them from their evil influence? To be sure, it is a fascinating and
chilling tale.
Ulysses (James Joyce, 1934) Voted top novel of the twentieth century, Ulysses
is usually reserved for college classrooms. Tackling such a rambling novel can be
fun, if you have a guide book: check your local bookstore. Recounting the day
in the life of an Irish Jew named Leopold Bloom, the novel contains humor,
strong language, stream-of-consciousness writing, drama-like passages, and intimate details of people’s lives.
Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green (The) (Joshua Braff, 2004) Jacob navigates the minefields of his father’s rage in this humorous and heartrending view
of a suburban Jewish family in the late 1970s.*
War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy, 1865) This epic historical novel of early 19th century Russia is considered a masterpiece. Dealing primarily with the histories of
five aristocratic families, the novel presents Russian social life during the war
against Napoleon (1805-14).
War Trash (Ha Jin, 2004) Ha Jin revisits a forgotten facet of the Korean War
through the keen eyes of Yu Yuan, a book-loving and English-speaking Chinese
POW in an American-run camp in which prisoners undertake everything from
murder and torture to producing plays and staging daring protests.*
What Masie Knew (Henry James, 1897) Subtle and sophisticated story-telling
about a young girl, Masie, who can’t understand what the adults are saying and
doing, but whose impressions and comments are uncannily accurate—a funny,
but unsettling story.
World According to Garp (The) (John Irving, 1978) A comic novel interweaving the halting struggles of male maturation and feminist independence.
The story follows the growth of a son through prep school and beyond as he deals
with writing, parenthood, marital problems, and friendship with a transsexual former tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles. At the same time, his unwed mother
emerges as a feminist author and activist for women.
Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World’s Most Precious
Stones (Greg Campbell, 2003) Diamonds lose some of their luster in this
graphic account of the illegal diamond trade in the war-ravaged country of Sierra
Leone in western Africa and the efforts of the diamond industry to minimize and
distance itself from the problem.
Blue Latitudes: Going Boldly Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before (Tony
Horwitz, 2002) This is a thoroughly entertaining and informational book by the
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist that takes an insightful look at one of most
important, if not under-appreciated, maritime explorers, circumnavigator James
Cook. Part biography, part travelogue, Horwitz offers a detailed, humorous, and
balanced look at Cook and his legacy. He “follows the steps” of Cook’s three historic 18th century voyages of the Pacific, interweaving written historical
accounts of the trips, including Cook’s, Joseph Banks’ (a wealthy botanist who
signed on for the first voyage), and other ship’s officers’ and seamen’s.
Book of Honor (The): Covert Lives and Classified Deaths at the CIA (Ted
Gup, 2000) WRA alumnus Gup has written a powerful book about the real lives
of secret agents in an unprecedented attempt to bring to light the names of those
agents who died in the line of duty, but whose identities have never been publicly
revealed by the CIA. Gup pens a compelling and controversial must-read.
Year of Ice (The) (Brian Malloy, 2002) Malloy’s first novel is a memorable
story of the emotional complexities of American families and the complications
of coming of age. High-school senior Kevin Doyle is literally skating on thin ice:
a self-described “alpha male,” he is secretly gay and increasingly estranged from
his father, who has a secret of his own.*
Botany of Desire (The): A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (Michael Pollan,
2001) Pollan intertwines history, anecdote, and epiphany in this paradigm-altering view of the mutually beneficial relationship between humans and four plants
that have thrived under cultivation and satisfied specific desires: apples, tulips,
marijuana, and potatoes.
Burning (The): Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921
(Tim Madigan, 2001) Madigan provides a riveting account of one of the most
shameful episodes in the troubled history of race relations in the U.S. On June 1,
1921, a mob of angry white citizens descended on Greenwood, the prosperous
black quarter of Tulsa, Oklahoma, burning the thriving community and torturing
and killing African American residents.
Alexander Hamilton (Ron Chernow, 2004) As Chernow’s comprehensive and
superbly written biography makes clear, Hamilton was at least as influential as
any of our Founding Fathers in shaping our national institutions and political culture.*
Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth…and Beyond
(Lawrence M. Krauss, 2001) Surpassing even Blake’s vision of the world in a
grain of sand, Krauss offers readers the entire cosmos in a mere atom. A rigorous,
intellectually exciting book.*
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
(Dee Brown, 1970) Here’s another side of America’s western expansion: the one
seen through Native American eyes.*
Autobiography of Malcolm X (The) (Malcolm X with the Assistance of Alex
Haley, 1965) A great and controversial Black Muslim figure relates his transformation from street hustler to religious and national leader.*
Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America
(Steve Almond, 2004) Almond elevates what could have been dry reportage into
a riotously funny memoir about his obsession with candy, which reached “freak”
status during adolescence. Tender, bawdy, and wickedly comical.*
Code Book (The): The Evolution Of Secrecy From Ancient Egypt To
Quantum Cryptography (Simon Singh, 1999) Singh takes us into the world of
secret codes and code breaking. He provides insight into how codes work and
then describes several examples of successful decipherment throughout history in
this illuminating book.
Endurance (The): Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (Alfred Lansing, 1985)
What Earnest Shackleton and his men survived, endured and struggled through in
their 1914-1916 Antarctic expedition is almost beyond comprehension in this
modern era. This is by far one of the most amazing stories lived through to be
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Jared Diamond, 2004)
Defining collapse as “extreme decline,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of
Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997), which posed questions about Western civilization’s domination of much of the world, now examines the reverse side of that
coin. Diamond ponders reasons why certain civilizations have collapsed. In addition, Diamond casts his critical but acute and inclusive gaze on the issue of why
civilizations fail to see collapse coming. A thought-provoking book containing
not a single page of dense prose.*
Everest: Summit of Achievement (The Royal Geographical Society, 2003)
Spectacular photographs and gripping text commemorate nine historical Everest
expeditions. The climbers’ physical accomplishments are balanced by thoughtprovoking discussion of how Westerners and Tibetans differ in their views of the
Creole Mutiny (The): A Tale of Revolt Aboard a Slave Ship (George and
Willene Hendrick [eds.], 2003) This is an account of the slave revolt under the
leadership of Maidson Washington aboard the slave ship Creole in the early
1840s as she headed to New Orleans from the east coast of the U.S. The
Hendricks use court records and insurance documents to detail this little known
D-Day: June 6, 1945: The Climactic Battle of World War II (Stephen
Ambrose, 1994) An expert on D-Day, Ambrose offers a highly readable account
of and stunning tribute to the courageous World War II veterans who faced Nazi
enemy fire in this terrifying and gruesome battle.*
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (Loung
Ung, 2000) Written by a young witness of the Cambodian atrocities by the
Khmer Rouge, this is a book that will shock with its unrelenting violence and brutality. Ung’s narrative, however, displays her eloquence and strength as she survives the devastation of war.
Flyboys: A True Story of Courage (James Bradley, 2003) Bradley brings to
light the circumstances around and following the downing of eight U.S. pilots and
airmen by the Japanese military at Chichi Jima in 1944-45, including former
President George H. W. Bush. While Bush’s story is known (he was the only survivor), Bradley exposes the fate of the others as documented in the recently
revealed war-crimes trials of the Japanese officers in command.
Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (Bernard Edelman [ed.], 1985)
Actual letters sent home by American G.I.s stationed in Vietnam bring alive varied aspects of that war.
Future of Ice (The): A Journey Into Cold (Gretel Ehrlich, 2004) What does
the current melting of the Arctic ice cap mean for the future of life on Earth?
Ehrlich, veteran nature writer and lover of cold places, explores icy terrains, celebrates the beauty of ice, portrays polar wildlife, and elucidates a crucial environmental concern.*
Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams (Lynne Withey, 2001) Truly a
remarkable person, Abigail Adams was not afraid to express her views on government, slavery and women’s issue in the 18th century when women had little
role outside the home. Her husband, President John Adams, welcomed and valued the opinions of his political wife who carried on her life with energy, intelligence and determination.
Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America’s Man-made
Landscape (James Howard Kunstler, 1993) Since the first settlers came to
America, communities formed as a result of function, safety, style and convenience. Kunstler argues that convenience is now the primary goal in this country,
and the independent spirit and increasing mobility of its citizens prevents individuals from devoting time and talent toward the public good.
Edward Abbey: A Life (James M. Cahalan, 2001) Cahalan offers a meticulous
portrait of writer Abbey, whose satiric fiction and high-voltage nature writing
were fueled by a deep love for the Southwest, and who became a radical and
enormously influential person.*
Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic
Mission (Hampton Sides, 2001) Among the plenitude of wartime horrors, the
Japanese treatment of POWs in World War II was among the most horrific, the
Bataan Death March being one of the most notorious examples of the victors’
brutality. By January 1945 a few hundred survivors were in a squalid work camp
on Luzon. Sides’ book recounts a gung-ho military raid to rescue them—and to
assuage American humiliation for their surrender in 1942.*
Goya (Robert Hughes, 2003) Hughes brings eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Madrid to dynamic life and insightfully dissects every aspect of Goya’s everevolving paintings and etchings, indelible works that grew steadily darker, more
disturbing, and increasingly radical in their indictment of injustice and violence.*
Great Shame (The): And the Triumph of the Irish in the English-Speaking
World (Thomas Keneally, 1999) Starting with his own family, Keneally offers
an extraordinary chronicle of the Irish migration to countries around the world in
the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town (Joyce Dyer, 2003)
Dyer’s memoir reads like a novel and builds to a surprising, but magnificent ending. A tribute to her father, Dyer captures life in the company town of Akron,
Ohio, in the 1950s and ’60s.
Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (A) (Dave Eggers, 2000) A very
personal and revealing memoir of how the author’s parents both died within a
year of each other when he was just 22 and how he became responsible for raising his 8-year-old brother, Toph. Inherently tragic, but written with a sense of
humor and appreciation for the ridiculous demonstrates Eggers’ ability to overcome his pain and anger.
Hiroshima (John Hershey, 1946) Six Hiroshima survivors reflect on the aftermath of the first atomic bomb.*
Infidels: A History of the Conflict Between Islam and Christendom (Andrew
Wheatcroft, 2004) In the roar of skyscrapers collapsing in New York and in the
thunder of fusillades in Afghanistan and Iraq, a leading British historian hears
echoes of battles fought centuries ago. Wheatcroft’s taut and memorable narrative
interprets today’s headlines within a very long chronology, showing how Muslim
and Christian leaders alike have imbued their followers with hostility toward
alien creeds.*
Lady (The): Aung San Suu Kyi: Nobel Laureate and Burma’s Prisoner
(Barbara Victor, 1998) Victor, a journalist nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, has
written the first biography of Daw Aung Sau Suu Kyi, winner of the Nobel Peace
Prize for her resistance against Burma’s military junta. Called “the Lady” by
authorities in an effort to trivialize her, she endured six years of house arrest and
Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life (Queen Noor, 2003) The former Lisa Halaby, Queen Noor details her early life, her courtship with and marriage to Jordan’s King Hussein and the political and emotional dealings of King
Hussein and his attempts over many years to achieve peace in the Middle East.
Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America (Nathan McCall,
1994) A harrowing, disturbing look at the world in which the author grew up.
This memoir vividly depicts gangs, drugs, and crime and how they impacted
McCall who was a good student, yet unable to stay out of trouble. He recounts
how he turned his life around, yet his accomplishments have not diminished the
problems of a black man succeeding in a white world.*
Man and His Symbols (Carl Jung, 1964) Jung’s book is an excellent explanation of symbolism, its sources, and its meaning in our lives, “a psychiatrist introduces the concept of the collective unconscious.”
Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling (Ross King, 2003) This book focuses
specifically on the period 1508-1512 when Pope Julius II coerced Michelangelo
into an undertaking the intimidated and yet challenged the well-known sculptor:
the frescoing of the Sistine Chapel. A reluctant employee at best, Michelangelo
was plagued by money, health, technical and personality difficulties throughout
the seemingly never-ending project.
Mummy Congress (The): Science, Obsession and the Everlasting Dead
(Heather Pringle, 2001) A fascinating book about the Mummy Congress—individuals who devote their career and/or personal time to the study of mummies—
as well as the fascinating array of mummy specimens from around the world to
whom they devote their lives.
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (Barbara Ehrenreich,
2001) This is social critic Ehrenreich’s on-the-job study of how a single mother
(or anyone else) leaving welfare could survive without government assistance in
the form of food stamps, Medicaid, housing and child-care subsidies. To find the
answers, Ehrenreich left her home in Key West and traveled from Florida to
Maine and then to Minnesota, working in low-paying jobs. Read this fascinating
On the Rez (Ian Frazier, 2000) WRA alumnus Frazier has written a touching,
humorous story of the history of Oglala Sioux nation and life on the Pine Ridge
Path Between the Seas (The): The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914
(David McCullough, 1997) If you’re interested in history, politics, diplomacy,
medicine, engineering, or just a good story (which happens to be based on truth),
you’ll enjoy this book. It’s an account of the building of the Panama Canal, filled
with improbable events and colorful figures.
President in the Family (A): Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings, and Thomas
Woodson (Byron W. Woodson, 2001) Woodson conveys the pain, pride, and
persistence of a remarkable family that faced nearly 200 years of denial of their
descent from the first-born son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings.
An important contribution to the honest presentation of American history.*
Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World
(Jan Goodwin, 1994) Goodwin set out to investigate the status of women in 10
Islamic countries after being shocked and appalled at the brutal treatment of a
nine-year-old girl she befriended while living in Peshawar, a frontier town on the
border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Goodwin takes pains to present balanced
and well-documented information, making her revelations all the more alarming.*
Radioactive Boy Scout (The): The True Story of a Boy and His Backyard
Nuclear Reactor (Ken Silverstein, 2004) In the early 1990s, Detroit-area
teenager David Hahn tried to build a nuclear reactor in his backyard. Silverstein
tells his shocking story in lively detail that personalizes Hahn’s world without
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (Azar Nafisi, 2003) Nafisi, a
former English professor at the University of Tehran, decided to hold secret, private classes at her home after the rules at the university became too restrictive.
She invited seven insightful, talented women to participate in the class. At first
they were tentative and reserved, but gradually they bonded over discussions of
Lolita, Pride and Prejudice, and A Thousand and One Nights. Nafisi’s determination and devotion to literature shine through, and her book is an absorbing look
at primarily Western classics through the eyes of women and men living in a very
different culture.*
Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and Cheap Labor in the American Black
Market (Eric Schlosser, 2003) Schlosser provides an engaging, thoughtful book
focusing on three segments of the underground economy in the United States:
marijuana production and sales, the migrant labor issue in California’s produce
fields, and the production and distribution of pornography.
Remembering the Boys: A Collection of Letters, A Gathering of Memories
(Lynna Piekutowski [ed.], 2000) A poignant, touching collection of letters
between alumni of the Western Reserve Academy serving in WW II and its headmaster, Joel Hayden. These letters reveal the loneliness, boredom, hardships and
dangers of military life on the frontlines and the active war effort of those left
behind at the Academy. A wonderful look at a special time in WRA history.
Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union (Robert C.
Cottrell, 2001) Historian Cottrell’s involving biography reveals the deep contradictions embodied in Harvard-educated Boston Brahmin Roger Nash Baldwin, the
unlikely individual most identified with the Egalitarian civil liberties crusade.*
Seeing in the Dark: How Backyard Stargazers Are Probing Deep Space and
Guarding Earth from Interplanetary Peril (Timothy Ferris, 2002)
Differentiating between the nature of stargazing done by professionals in wellequipped observatories and the work of backyard scientists using homemade telescopes, Ferris invites teens to join the scientific community by tracing the contributions of amateur astronomers, ranging from Copernicus to Brian May.*
Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked
Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II (Robert
Kurson, 2004) Who knew that German submarine U-869, long thought to have
been sunk off Gibraltar in 1945, was actually sunk by its own torpedo less than
60 miles from Brielle, New Jersey? No one—until 1991, when two death-cheating wreck-divers began exploring the boat’s wrecked hull, 230 feet underwater.*
You will not want to put this book down!
Short History of Nearly Everything (A) (Bill Bryson, 2003) Confessing to an
aversion to science dating to his 1950s school days, Bryson here writes for those
of like mind, perhaps out of guilt about his lack of literacy on the subject. Making
science less intimidating is Bryson’s essential selling point as he explores an
atom; a cell; light; the age and fate of the earth; the origin of human beings.
Bryson’s organization is historical and his prose heavy on humanizing anecdotes
about the pioneers of physics, chemistry, geology, biology, evolution and paleontology, or cosmology.*
Silent Spring (Rachel Carson, 1962) This landmark book is credited with giving birth to the environmental movement.
Spare Parts: A Marine Reservist’s Journey from Campus to Combat in 38
Days (Buzz Williams, 2004) Williams describes the day-to-day rigors of boot
camp, the trials of his Gulf War tour of duty, and the particulars of his troubled
reentry into society. A rare, honest account.*
Spinster and the Prophet (The): H.G. Wells, Florence Deeks, and the Case of
the Plagiarized Text (A.B. McKillop, 2002) This is a fascinating story of literary theft. Florence Deeks’s manuscript about the feminist history of the world is
rejected by the publisher Macmillan. Several months later, in 1920, an astonishingly similar work, The Outline of History by the well-known author H. G. Wells,
is published by Macmillan. Is it coincidence or plagiarism? The contrast of and
insight into these two very different individuals is compelling and gripping as
Deeks seeks justice.
Stories that Changed America: Muckrakers of the 20th Century (Carl
Jensen [ed.], 2000) This collection centers on the major muckraking stories of
the twentieth century, providing some biographical and background information
along with samples of each writer’s work. All of the included writers and their
words have in some way—culturally, socially, or politically—altered the course
of history.
Theodore Rex (Edmund Morris, 2001) Yes, TR’s reputation is based on carrying
the Big Stick and sending the Great White Fleet around the World to impress every
nation with American might; however, let’s not forget that he was a diplomat as
well and won the Nobel Peace Prize for settling the 1905 Russo-Japanese War.*
There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the
Other America (Alex Kotlowitz, 1991) The powerful story of two young brothers struggling to survive in a drug-infested, crime ridden Chicago neighborhood.
Ticket Out (The): Darryl Strawberry and the Boys of Crenshaw (Michael
Sokolove, 2004) The individual stories of the vastly talented 1979 L.A. high
school baseball team come to life in the heartbreaking account of the players’ last
season and the difficulties they faced in the years that followed.*
True Notebooks (Mark Salzman, 2003) When Salzman agreed to teach a writing class at Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles, he had no idea how moved he
would be by the lives and the eloquence of his students, all high-risk violent
Universe in a Nutshell (The) (Steven Hawking, 2001) The physics guru illuminates startling new theories about our world in a lavishly illustrated sequel to
A Brief History of Time.*
War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (Chris Hedges, 2003) A Pulitzer Prize
winning author presents a passionate, thought-provoking look at wars through
the ages and exposes the myths of the culture of combat.*
Washington’s Crossing (David Hackett Fischer, 2004) This outstanding analytical narrative examines how the American colonists, at the nadir of their rebellion, reversed their fortunes in a short, sharp campaign. Fischer’s exhaustive
research, right down to the Americans’ collection of supplies, captures the utter
precariousness of their situation.*
What If? The World’s Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might
Have Been (Robert Cowley [ed.], 2000) This book offers an exercise in taking
history out of the textbooks and giving the lessons of history a twist. If you know
what happened during a certain historical event and think you can’t learn anything
from it, step back and consider “what if?” it hadn’t happened that way at all.
Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare (Stephen
Greenblatt, 2004) A Harvard scholar here sheds penetrating light on this enigmatic genius, teasing out the mystery of artistic transformation by carefully connecting the Bard’s brilliant verse to his times and circumstances.*
Woman Who Watches over the World: A Native Memoir (Linda Hogan,
2001) This is a haunting, courageous memoir by Chickasaw novelist Hogan,
much of it about young people who are lost, broken, and strong.*
Zelda Fitzgerald: Her Voice in Paradise (Sally Cline, 2003) Once the hoydenish belle of Montgomery, Alabama, then the notorious flapper wife of the
famed novelist who coined the very term jazz age, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was as
artistic as she was bold and beautiful. Sadly, she lost her footing, suffering several breakdowns and enduring long periods of institutionalization. Cline not only
clarifies many heretofore misunderstood aspects of Zelda’s life, she also celebrates her unique style of whimsical and sardonic artistic expression.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
(Robert Pirsig, 1974) More than just the autobiography of a man who motorcycles across the country with this son, this classic delves into the mind and the
meaning of life. Pirsig takes us on a philosophical journey that can change the
way you view, think and feel about life.
Something for Everyone: Informational Titles for Teenagers
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (Anne Lamott, 1995)
Advice to the fledging writers: “Just take it bird by bird.” A gentle, anecdotal
guide for beginning authors.*
Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers From the Media,
Politicians, and Activists (Joel Best, 2001) Do you know the difference
between “good” and “bad” statistics or how statistics and public policy are connected?*
Dinner at the New Gene Café: How Genetic Engineering Is Changing What
We Eat, How We Live, and the Global Politics of Food (Bill Lambrecht,
2001) Lambrecht traces the scientific and political controversies surrounding the
use of genetically modified organisms and the food we eat.*
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (Eric Schlosser,
2001) The growth of the fast food industry has changed America’s eating habits
and greatly impacted agriculture, the meatpacking industry, the minimum wage,
and other aspects of American life.*
Gatekeepers (The): Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College
(Jacques Steinberg, 2002) Getting in—who and what drives the college admissions cycle? Find out in a behind the scenes look at Wesleyan University through
the eyes of an admissions officer seeking members for the class of 2004.
How Rude! The Teenager’s Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, &
Not Grossing People Out (Alex J. Packer, 1999) This is a funny, information
packed book full of practical advice that guides the reader through the world of
manners. It’s a great resource for avoiding etiquette blunders.
How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide
to Reading Between the Lines (Thomas Foster, 2003) Every author leaves
clues to lead readers deeper into the inner meanings of their writings. Learn how
to follow literary breadcrumbs in any story.*
Poetry, Anyone?
19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (Naomi Shihab Nye, 2002)
Another world, another culture—poems that personalize the conflicts and people, deepening understanding of the impact of September 11th.*
Ariel (Sylvia Plath, 1965) An insightful collection of poems by the acclaimed
Body Eclectic (The): An Anthology of Poems (Patrice Vecchione [ed.], 2002)
Hand, blood, elbow, breast—this international anthology celebrates the body in
raw, beautiful poems by contemporary and classic poets.*
Book of Love Poetry (A) (Jon Stallworthy [ed.], 1987) You can experience
love, throughout the ages, as expressed in the past 2000 years of poetry.*
Make Yourself Heard: Teen Power Politics (Sara Jane Boyers, 2000) This
book is a terrific introduction to the importance of teen political power and how
teenagers can really make a difference. It provides a thought-provoking look at
how teenagers’ views are shaped, outlining methods to refine and voice them.*
Earth-Shattering Poems (Liz Rosenberg [ed.], 1998) Poets from around the
world and through the centuries express the emotional intensity of life’s experiences.*
Purpose-Driven Life (The): What On Earth Am I Here For? (Rick Warren,
2002) Applying a purpose-driven framework to the individual, this book guides
the reader through a 40-day spiritual journey designed to answer life’s important
question: What on earth am I here for?
Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth Century American Art
(Jan Greenberg [ed.], 2001) Specially commissioned, original poems celebrate
some of the finest twentieth-century American art in this beautiful, surprising
Teenage Survival Manual: How to Reach 20 in One Piece (And Enjoy Every
Step of the Way) (H. Sam Coombs, 1995) This book offers a focused look at
serious subjects impacting teens. It discusses ways to take charge of one’s life
and to solve problems. Included in this fully revised edition are such issues as
sexual health and orientation, violence, suicide, addiction, multiculturalism, ecological issues, the search for self-identity, alienation, and rebellion.
In Search of Color Everywhere: A Collection of African-American Poetry
(Ethelbert E. Miller [ed.], 1994) From spirituals to rap to classic works by
famous poets, this presentation delights the senses.*
What Does It Mean to Be Human?: Reverence for Life Reaffirmed by
Responses from Around the World (Frederick Franck [ed.], 2000) Thoughtprovoking essays on one of the most essential questions one can ask.*
Sailing Alone Around the Room (Billy Collins, 2001) The former U.S. poet
laureate illuminates the landscape of the ordinary with humor and intelligence.*
Movin’: Teen Poets Take Voice (Dave Johnson [ed.], 2000) Budding poets will
be inspired by this collection of poems by teenagers.*
School Among the Ruins (The): Poems 2000-2004 (Adrienne Rich, 2004)
Rich, a clarion poet of conscience, gets the fractured timbre of our times just
right in a collection of vigorous lyric poems about cell phones and television, terror and war, commercialization and “social impotence.”*
Slam (Cecily Von Ziegesar [ed.], 2000) Find out all about slam poetry in this
entertaining book.
Spoken Word Revolution: Slam, Hip-Hop, and the Poetry of a New
Generation (The) (Marc Smith and Mark Eleveld [ed.], 2003) This vibrant col38
lection of spoken-word poetry captures the raw street-savvy language of rap and
hip-hop and the aggressive energy of slam poems, as well as other poetry, all
meant to be read out loud. A welcome anthology that reflects a growing movement with a large youth following.*
Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls (Betty
Franco [ed.], 2001) A companion to You Hear Me (2000), this collection of stories and poems by teen girls reveals the truth about boyfriends, body image, and
being female.*
United States of Poetry (The) (Joshua Blum [ed.], 1996) Contemporary poems
enhanced by outstanding photographs highlight poets ranging from Nobel laureates to rappers.*
Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry
(Maria M. Gillan [ed.], 1994) This poetry feast challenges stereotypes about
who or what is American.*
*These annotations have been reproduced from the American Library
Association’s World Wide Website. ãCopyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,
2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 American Library Association.
The American Library Association is providing information and services on the
World Wide Web in furtherance of its non-profit and tax-exempt status.
Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this World Wide
Web server and related graphics is hereby granted for private, non-commercial
and education purposes only, and not for resale, provided that the above copyright notice appears in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this
permission notice appear. All other rights reserved.
Looking for A Good Book? Some Websites to Help You
Below are some websites that offer recommended books in a number of categories. While by no means all-inclusive, we hope to give you some useful suggestions of where to start looking…
( Look for books by plot, theme, character or setting. Book
reviews are also available.
American Library Association
( This website offers a selection of booklists for people of all
ages. Booklists can be found by selecting on “Issues and Advocacy” from the
menu bar at the top of the page and then selecting “Literacy” from the menu on
the left. Under “Other Resources” are links to several excellent lists for
teenagers including Best Books for Young Adults and Outstanding Books for the
College Bound.
Bookwire: Book Awards
( This web
site offers links to a wide variety of book awards.
Edgar Awards
( The annual Edgar Allan Poe Awards given
by the Mystery Writers of America for achievement in the mystery field.
Horror Writers Association
( Look under “Awards” for a variety of awards presented
by the Horror Writers Association including the annual Bram Stoker Awards for
achievement in horror writing.
Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize
( Under Winners & Finalists, look for the annual
awards given to “books that will contribute to greater understanding among peoples and nations of the Pacific Rim.”
National Book Awards
( Annual awards presented by the
National Book Foundation for literary achievement in four categories: fiction,
non-fiction, poetry, and young people’s literature.
National Book Critics Circle: Awards
( Prestigious awards given for the year’s best books
in five categories: fiction, general nonfiction, criticism, poetry, and biography/autobiography.
Pulitzer Prizes
( Select any year to view the annual awards for distinguished writing by The Graduate School of ournalism at Columbia University.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Inc.
( Look for the Nebula Awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing.
Western Writers of America Spur Awards
( The annual awards for distinguished writing about the American West.
Title Index
Blood Diamonds: Tracing the
Deadly Path of the World’s Most
Precious Stones, 29
Blue Girl (The), 18
Blue Latitudes: Going Boldly
Where Captain Cook Has Gone
Before, 29
Body and Soul, 19
Body Eclectic (The): An Anthology
of Poems, 39
Bondwoman’s Narrative (The), 19
Book of Honor (The): Covert Lives
and the Classified Deaths at the
CIA, 29
Book of Love Poetry (A), 39
Botany of Desire (The): A Plant’sEye View of the World, 29
Brave New World, 1
Bucking the Sarge, 1
Bucking the Tiger, 19
Burning (The): Massacre,
Destruction, and the Tulsa Race
Riot of 1921, 29
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee:
An Indian History of the
American West, 29
Cairo Trilogy (The), 19
Call of the Wild (The), 2
Can’t Get There From Here, 19
Candyfreak: A Journey Through
the Chocolate Underbelly of
America, 29
Caramelo, 2
Cat’s Cradle, 19
Catch-22, 19
Caves of Steel (The), 19
Chang and Eng, 19
Charles Dickens, 10
19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of
the Middle East, 39
Abhorsen Trilogy (The), 1
Abhorsen, 1
Absolute Friends, 17
Alexander Hamilton, 28
All Loves Excelling, 17
All That Remains, 1
Alms for Oblivion: A
Shakespearean Murder Mystery,
Amy, 18
Ancient Olympics (The), 10
Animal Farm, 1
Argall: The True Story of
Pocahontas and Captain John
Smith, 18
Ariel, 39
As I Lay Dying, 18
At All Costs, 1
Atom: An Odyssey from the Big
Bang to Life of Earth…and
Beyond, 28
Autobiography of Malcolm X, 28
Balzac and the Little Chinese
Seamstress, 1
Bee Season, 1
Beet Fields (The): Memories of a
Sixteenth Summer, 10
Bel Canto, 18
Beloved, 18
Big Cherry Holler, 1
Big Stone Gap Trilogy, 1
Big Stone Gap, 1
Bird by Bird: Instructions on
Writing and Life, 37
Black Boy: A Record of Childhood
and Youth, 10
Black Wind, 18
Chess: From First Moves to
Checkmate, 10
Code Book (The): The Evolution of
Secrecy From Ancient Egypt to
Quantum Cryptography, 30
Collapse: How Societies Choose to
Fail or Succeed, 30
Complete Stories (The), 20
Corrections (The), 20
Count of Monte Cristo (The), 2
Counting Coup: The True Story of
Basketball and Honor on the
Little Bighorn, 12
Creole Mutiny (The): A Tale of
Revolt Aboard a Slave Ship, 30
Crooked River Burning, 20
Crossing Over: A Mexican Family
on the Migrant Trail, 12
Curious Incident of the Dog in the
Night-Time (The), 2
Da Vinci Code (The), 20
Damned Lies and Statistics:
Understanding Numbers From
the Media, Politicians, and
Activists, 37
Daniel Half Human: And the Good
Nazi, 2
Dante Club (The), 20
Darling (The), 20
D-Day: June 6, 1945: The
Climactic Battle of World War
II, 30
D-Day: The Greatest Invasion, 12
Dead Man’s Gold: And Other
Stories, 2
Dear America: Letters Home from
Vietnam, 30
Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail
Adams, 30
Deep River, 20
Desert Solitaire, 12
Dinner at the New Gene Café:
How Genetic Engineering is
Changing What We Eat, How
We Live, and the Global Politics
of Food, 37
Divine Wind (The): A Love Story,
Dream of Scipio (The), 21
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, 21
Eagle Strike: An Alex Rider
Adventure, 3
Earthly Knight (An), 3
Earth-Shattering Poems, 39
Edward Abbey: A Life, 30
Egg On Three Sticks (An), 3
Einstein’s Dream, 21
Ellen Foster, 3
End of the Earth: Voyaging to
Antarctica, 12
Endurance (The): Shackleton’s
Incredible Voyage, 31
Ethan Frome, 21
Everest: Summit of Achievement,
Every Time a Rainbow Dies, 3
Fahrenheit 451, 3
Fall of Rome (The), 21
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side
of the All-American Meal, 37
Feed, 22
Fellowship of the Ring (The), 5
Fermat’s Enigma: The Quest to
Solve the World’s Greatest
Mathematical Problem, 12
Fighting for Honor: Japanese
Americans and World War II, 12
Fire-Eaters (The), 3
First They Killed My Father: A
Daughter of Cambodia
Remembers, 31
Gum-Dipped: A Daughter
Remembers Rubber Town, 32
Hazards of Good Breeding (The),
Heart to Heart: New Poem
Inspired by Twentieth Century
American Art, 39
Heartbreaking Work of Staggering
Genius (A), 32
Heroes, 5
Hidden Evidence: Forty True
Crimes and How Forensic
Science Helped Solve Them, 13
Hiroshima, 32
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
(The), 22
How Rude! The Teenager’s Guide
to Good Manners, Proper
Behavior, & Not Grossing People
Out, 38
How to Read Literature Like a
Professor: A Lively and
Entertaining Guide to Reading
Between the Lines, 38
Human Factor (The), 22
Human Stain (The), 22
Hundred Secret Senses (The), 23
Iliad (The), 23
In Search of Color Everywhere: A
Collection of African-American
Poetry, 39
Indian Summer: The Tragic Story
of Louis Francis Sockalexis, the
First Native American in Major
League Baseball, 13
Infidels: A History of the Conflict
Between Islam and Christendom,
Insect Lives: Stories of Mystery
and Romance from a Hidden
World, 13
Five People You Meet in Heaven
(The), 3
Flyboys: A True Story of Courage,
For the Time Being, 12
For Whom the Bell Tolls, 3
Forest Lover (The), 3
Forgotten Fire, 4
Foundation and Empire, 4
Foundation Series (The), 4
Foundation, 4
Foxmask, 4
Frankenstein, 4
Friday Night Lights: A Town, a
Team, and a Dream, 12
Future of Ice (The): A Journey
Into Cold, 31
Gabriel’s Story, 4
Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red
Guard, 13
Gatekeepers (The): Inside the
Admissions Process of a Premier
College, 38
Geography of Nowhere: The Rise
and Decline of America’s ManMade Landscape, 31
Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic
Story of World War II’s Most
Dramatic Mission, 31
Girls in Pants: The Third Summer
of the Sisterhood, 4
Go and Come Back, 4
God in Ruins (A), 22
Gothic: Ten Original Dark Tales, 4
Goya, 32
Great Gatsby (The), 4
Great Santini (The), 5
Great Shame (The): And the
Triumph of the Irish in the
English-Speaking World, 32
Grendel, 5
Mummy Congress (The): Science,
Obsession and the Everlasting
Dead, 33
My Forbidden Face: Growing Up
Under the Taliban, 14
My Losing Season, 14
My Sister’s Keeper, 6
Namesake (The), 24
Narrative of the Life of Frederick
Douglass, an American Slave,
Written by Himself, 14
Neanderthal, 6
Nectar in a Sieve, 6
Never Let Me Go, 24
Neverwhere, 24
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not)
Getting By in America, 33
Of Human Bondage, 24
Of Mice and Men, 6
Old Man and the Sea, 24
Old School, 6
On the Rez, 33
On the Road, 24
One More for the Road: A New
Story Collection, 6
Out of the Silent Planet, 7
Outwitting History: The Amazing
Adventures of a Man Who
Rescued a Million Yiddish
Books, 14
Palace of Desire, 19
Palace Walk, 19
Passion of Artemesia (The), 24
Path Between the Seas (The): The
Creation of the Panama Canal,
1870-1914, 33
Peace Like A River, 25
Pearl (The), 25
Perelandra, 7
Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return,
Jim the Boy: A Novel, 5
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, 23
Journey of Crazy Horse (The): A
Lakota History, 13
Kafka on the Shore, 23
Kitchen Boy (The), 23
Kite Runner (The), 23
Lady (The): Aung San Suu Kyi:
Nobel Laureate and Burma’s
Prisoner, 32
Lady and the Unicorn (The), 23
Lasso the Wind: Away to the New
West, 13
Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an
Unexpected Life, 32
Left for Dead, 14
Life is Funny, 5
Life of Pi, 5
Light at the Edge of the World: A
Journey Through the Realm of
Vanishing Cultures, 14
Lirael, 1
Lord of the Flies, 5
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (The), 5
Love and Sex: Ten Stories of Truth,
Make Yourself Heard: Teen Power
Politics, 38
Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young
Black Man in America, 33
Man and His Symbols, 33
Martyrs’ Crossing, 5
Master and Commander: The Far
Side of the World, 5
Michelangelo and the Pope’s
Ceiling, 33
Milk Glass Moon, 1
Moth Diaries (The), 6
Motherland, 6
Movin’: Teen Poets Take Voice, 39
Mrs. Dalloway, 24
Rock (The): A Seventh-Century
Tale of Jerusalem, 26
Roger Nash Baldwin and the
American Civil Liberties Union,
Roman Fever and Other Stories, 26
Romance of Tristan and Iseult, 26
Rooster, 7
Runaway Girl: The Artist Louise
Bourgeois, 15
Sabriel, 1
Sailing Alone Around the Room, 39
Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood,
Sand-Reckoner (The), 7
Sarah: Women of Genesis, 7
Savage Summit: The True Stories
of the First Five Women Who
Climbed K2, the World’s Most
Feared Mountain, 15
Saving Francesca, 7
School Among the Ruins (The):
Poems 2000-2004, 39
Seabiscuit: An American Legend,
Second Foundation, 4
Secret House (The): The
Extraordinary Science of an
Ordinary Day, 15
Secret Life of Bees (The), 7
Seeing in the Dark: How Backyard
Stargazers Are Probing Deep
Space and Guarding Earth From
Interplanetary Peril, 35
Sense of Honor (A), 26
Separate Peace (A), 8
Shades of Simon Gray, 8
Photography: An Illustrated
History, 14
Player, The: Christy Mathewson,
Baseball, and the American
Century, 15
Plot Against America (The), 25
Pompeii, 25
Postcards from No Man’s Land, 6
Prayer for Owen Meany (A), 25
President in the Family (A):
Thomas Jefferson, Sally
Hemings, and Thomas Woodson,
Price of Honor: Muslim Women
Lift the Veil of Silence on the
Islamic World, 34
Prince of Fire, 25
Private Peaceful, 7
Prodigal Summer, 25
Promised the Moon: The Untold
Story of the First Women in the
Space Race, 15
Purpose-Driven Life (The): What
On Earth Am I Here For?, 38
Quiver, 7
Radioactive Boy Scout (The): The
True Story of a Boy and His
Backyard Nuclear Reactor, 34
Ransom Trilogy (The), 7
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A
Memoir in Books, 34
Red Tent (The), 26
Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and
Cheap Labor in the American
Black Market, 34
Remembering the Boys: A
Collection of Letters, A
Gathering of Memories, 34
Return of the King (The), 5
Robinson Crusoe, 7
Shadow Divers: The True
Adventure of Two Americans
Who Risked Everything to Solve
One of the Last Mysteries of
World War II, 35
Shadow Warriors (The): Inside the
Special Forces, 15
Sheltered Quarter (The): A Tale of
a Boyhood in Mecca, 26
Shield of Three Lions, 8
Shooting Under Fire: The World of
the War Photographer, 16
Short History of Nearly Everything
(A), 35
Shylock’s Daughter, 8
Siddhartha, 8
Sign of the Qin: Outlaws of
Moonshadow Marsh, 8
Silent Spring, 35
Slam, 39
Small Wonder, 16
Something Rotten, 8
Songs of the Kings (The), 26
Sound and the Fury (The), 26
Spare Parts: A Marine Reservist’s
Journey from Campus to
Combat in 38 Days, 35
Speak Truth to Power: Human
Rights Defenders Who Are
Changing Our World, 16
Spinster and the Prophet (The): H.
G. Wells, Florence Deeks, and the
Case of the Plagiarized Text, 35
Spoken Word Revolution (The):
Slam, Hip-Hop, and the Poetry
of a New Generation, 39
State of Fear, 8
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human
Cadavers, 16
Stillwater, 26
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a
Desert Jail, 16
Stories of John Cheever (The), 27
Stories that Changed America:
Muckrakers of the 20th Century,
Subject to Debate: Sense and
Dissents on Women, Politics, and
Culture, 16
Sugar Alley, 19
Swallows of Kabul (The), 27
Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a
Long-Distance Swimmer, 16
Tale of Two Cities (A), 9
Tales, 9
Teenage Survival Manual: How to
Reach 20 in One Piece (And
Enjoy Every Step of the Way), 38
That Hideous Strength, 7
Theodore Rex, 36
There Are No Children Here: The
Story of Two Boys Growing Up
in the Other America, 36
Things I Have to Tell You: Poems
and Writing by Teenage Girls, 40
Things They Carried (The): A
Work of Fiction, 27
This Boy’s Life: A Memoir, 16
Ticket Out (The): Darryl
Strawberry and the Boys of
Crenshaw, 36
Time Traveler’s Wife (The), 27
To Kill A Mockingbird, 9
Touching Spirit Bear, 9
Troy, 27
True Account (The): A Novel of the
Lewis and Clark and Kinnesan
Expeditions, 9
True Notebooks, 36
Truman, 16
Truth and Bright Water, 9
World According to Garp (The), 28
Year of Ice (The), 28
Year of Secret Assignments (The),
Yell-oh Girls!: Emerging Voices
Explore Culture, Identity, and
Growing Up Asian American, 17
Zelda Fitzgerald: Her Voice in
Paradise, 37
Zen and the Art of the Motorcycle
Maintenance: An Inquiry into
Values, 37
Zoya’s Story: An Afghan Woman’s
Struggle for Freedom, 17
Turn of the Screw (The), 27
Two Towers (The), 5
Ulysses, 27
United States of Poetry (The), 40
Universe in a Nutshell (The), 36
Unsettling America: An Anthology
of Contemporary Multicultural
Poetry, 40
Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob
Green (The), 27
Waifs and Strays, 9
War and Peace, 28
War is a Force That Gives Us
Meaning, 36
War Trash, 28
Washington’s Crossing, 36
Water Dancers (The), 9
We Are Witnesses: Five Diaries of
Teenagers Who Died in the
Holocaust, 17
Whale Talk, 9
What Does It Mean to be Human?:
Reverence for Life Reaffirmed
by Responses from Around the
World, 38
What If? The World’s Foremost
Military Historians Imagine
What Might Have Been, 36
What Masie Knew, 28
When the Emperor Was Divine, 10
Whiteout, 10
Wilderness Family: At Home with
Africa’s Wildlife, 17
Will in the World: How
Shakespeare Became
Shakespeare, 37
Woman Who Watches Over the
World (The): A Native Memoir,
Working Fire: The Making of an
Accidental Fireman, 17
Author Index
Abbey, Edward, 12
Abelove, Joan, 4
Adams, Douglas, 22
Albom, Mitch, 3
Alexander, Robert, 23
Almond, David, 3
Almond, Steve, 29
Ambrose, Stephen, 30
Anderson, Matthew T.,
Asimov, Isaac, 4, 19
Bagdasarian, Adam, 4
Banks, Russell, 20
Barr, Nevada, 21
Bass, L. G., 8
Bedier, Joseph, 26
Best, Joel, 37
Bissinger, H. G., 12
Blum, Joshua, 40
Boas, Jacob, 17
Bodanis, David, 15
Bogary, Hamza, 26
Box, C. J., 2
Boyers, Sara Jane, 38
Bradbury, Ray, 3, 6
Bradley, James, 31
Bradshaw, Gillian, 7
Braff, Joshua, 27
Brashares, Ann, 4
Braun, Lilian Jackson, 2
Brooks, Bruce, 1
Brown, Dan, 20
Brown, Dee, 29
Bryson, Bill, 35
Bunting, Joseph, 17
Cahalan, James, 30
Campbell, Greg, 29
Card, Orson Scott, 7
Carson, Rachel, 35
Cart, Michael, 23
Chambers, Aiden, 6
Cheever, John, 27
Chernow, Ron, 28
Chevalier, Tracy, 23
Chotjewitz, David, 2
Cisneros, Sandra, 2
Clancy, Tom, 15
Clarke, Susannah, 23
Cline, Sally, 37
Collins, Billy, 39
Colton, Larry, 12
Conroy, Frank, 19
Conroy, Pat, 5, 14
Coombs, H. Sam, 38
Cooper, Michael, 12
Cormier, Robert, 5, 6
Cottrell, Robert C., 35
Cowley, Robert, 36
Cox, Lynne, 16
Crafts, Hannah, 19
Crichton, Michael, 8
Crutcher, Chris, 9
Cuomo, Kerry
Kennedy, 16
Curtis, Christopher
Paul, 1
Cussler, Clive, 18
Darnton, John, 6
Davidson, Diane Mott,
Davis, Wade, 14
De Lint, Charles, 9, 18
Defoe, Daniel, 7
Diamant, Anita, 26
Diamond, Jared, 30
Dickens, Charles, 9
Dillard, Annie, 12, 36
Disher, Gary, 21
Douglass, Frederick, 14
Dumas, Alexander, 2
Durham, David
Anthony, 4
Dyer, Joyce, 32
Earley, Tony, 5
Edelman, Bernard, 30
Egan, Timothy P., 13
Eggers, Dave, 32
Ehrenreich, Barbara, 33
Ehrlich, Gretel, 31
Eleveld, Mark, 39
Endo, Shusaku, 20
Enger, Leif, 25
Faulkner, William, 18,
Ferris, Timothy, 35
Fforde, Jasper, 8
Fischer, David Hackett,
Fischer, Jackie, 3
Fitoussi, Michele, 16
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, 4
Follett, Ken, 10
Foster, Thomas, 38
Francis, Dick, 21
Franck, Frederick, 38
Franco, Betty, 40
Frank, E. R., 5
Franzen, Jonathan, 20
Frazier, Ian, 33
Gaiman, Neil, 24
Gamble, Terry, 9
Gardner, John, 5
Gates, Henry Louis, 19
Geras, Adele, 27
Gibbons, Kaye, 3
Gillan, Maria M., 40
Gilstrap, John, 1
Goldberg, Myla, 1
Golding, William, 5
Gooden, Philip, 18
Goodwin, Jan, 34
Grafton, Sue, 21
Greenberg, Jan, 15, 39
Greenblatt, Stephen, 37
Greene, Graham, 22
Gup, Ted, 29
Haddon, Mark, 2
Haley, Alex, 28
Harris, Robert, 25
Hawking, Steven, 36
Hedges, Chris, 36
Heller, Joseph, 19
Hemingway, Ernest, 3,
Hendrick, George, 30
Hendrick, Willene, 30
Hershey, John, 32
Hesse, Herman, 8
Hillenbrand, Laura, 15
Hogan, Linda, 37
Homer, 23
Hooper, Mary, 18
Horowitz, Anthony, 3
Horwitz, Tony, 29
Hosseini, Khaled, 23
Howe, Peter, 16
Hoyt, Erich, 13
Hughes, Robert, 32
Huxley, Aldous, 1
Irving, John, 25, 28
Ishiguro, Kazuo, 24
James, Henry, 27, 28
Jensen, Carl, 36
Jin, Ha, 28
Johnson, Dave, 39
Jordan, Jennifer, 15
Jordan, Sandra, 15
Joyce, James, 27
Jung, Carl, 33
Kaufman, Pamela, 8
Keneally, Thomas, 32
Kerouac, Jack, 24
Khadra, Yasmina, 27
Kidd, Sue Monk, 7
King, Daniel, 10
King, Ross, 33
King, Thomas, 9
Kingsolver, Barbara,
16, 25
Klein, Rachel, 6
Knowles, John, 8
Kotlowitz, Alex, 36
Krauss, Lawrence M.,
Kruger, Kobie, 17
Kunstler, James
Howard, 31
Kurson, Robert, 35
Lahiri, Jhumpa, 24
Lambrecht, Bill, 37
Lamott, Anne, 37
Lansing, Alfred, 31
Lansky, Aaron, 14
Latifa, 14
Le Carre, John, 17
Lee, Harper, 9
Lewis, C. S., 7
Lightman, Alan, 21
London, Jack, 2
Madigan, Tim, 29
Mahfouz, Naguib, 19
Makiya, Kanan, 26
Malloy, Brian, 28
Mankell, Henning, 21
Marchetta, Melina, 7
Marillier, Juliet, 4
Markandaya, Kamala, 6
Marshall, III, Joseph
M., 13
Martel, Yann, 5
Martinez, Ruben, 12
Matthiessen, Peter, 12
Maugham, W.
Somerset, 24
McCall, Nathan, 33
McCullough, David, 16,
McDonald, Brian, 13
McDonald, Joyce, 8
McKillop, A. B., 35
McNaughton, Janet, 3
Mickaelsen, Ben, 9
Miller, Ethelbert E., 39
Moriarty, Jaclyn, 10
Morpurgo, Michael, 7
Morris, Edmund, 36
Morrison, Toni, 18
Mosher, Howard Frank,
Murakami, Haruki, 23
Nafisi, Azar, 34
Nam, Vickie, 17
Nelson, Peter, 14
Niffenegger, Audrey, 27
Nix, Garth, 1
Nolan, Stephanie, 15
Noor, Queen, 32
Noyes, Deborah, 4
Nye, Naomi Shihab, 39
O’Brian, Patrick, 5
O’Brien, Tim, 27
O’Connor, Flannery, 20
Olds, Bruce, 19
Orwell, George, 1
Otsuka, Julie, 10
Oufkir, Malika, 16
Owen, David, 13
Packer, Alex J., 38
Packer, Z. Z., 21
Parker, Robert B., 21
Patchett, Ann, 18
Paulsen, Gary, 10
Pearl, Matthew, 20
Pears, Iain, 21
Peters, Elizabeth, 2
Peters, Ellis, 2
Picoult, Jodi, 6
Piekutowski, Lynna, 34
Pirsig, Robert, 37
Plath, Sylvia, 39
Poe, Edgar Allan, 9
Pollan, Michael, 29
Pollitt, Katha, 16
Pressler, Mirjam, 8
Pringle, Heather, 33
Rich, Adrienne, 39
Roach, Mary, 16
Roberts, Gillian, 2
Roberts, Les, 2
Rosenberg, Liz, 39
Roth, Philip, 22, 25
Royal Geographical
Society (The), 31
Saenz, Benjamin Alire,
Salzman, Mark, 36
Sandler, Martin, 14
Satrapi, Marjane, 14
Schlosser, Eric, 34, 37
Schultz, Ted, 13
Seib, Philip M., 15
Shattuck, Jessica, 22
Shelley, Mary, 4
Shen, Fan, 13
Sides, Hampton, 31
Sijie, Dai, 1
Silva, Daniel, 25
Silverstein, Ken, 34
Singh, Simon, 12, 30
Smiley, Jane, 10
Smith, Alexander
McCall, 21
Smith, Marc, 39
Sokolove, Michael, 36
Southgate, Martha, 21
Spinner, Stephanie, 7
Spivey, Nigel Jonathan,
Stallworthy, John, 39
Steinbeck, John, 6, 25
Steinberg, Jacques, 38
Strasser, Todd, 19
Strauss, Darin, 19
Tan, Amy, 23
Tolkien, J. R. R., 5
Tolstoy, Leo, 28
Trigiani, Adriana, 1
Ung, Loung, 31
Unger, Zac, 17
Unsworth, Barry, 26
Uris, Leon, 22
Van Der Vat, Dan, 12
Vecchione, Patrice, 39
Victor, Barbara, 32
Vineeta, 6
Vollmann, William T.,
Von Ziegesar, Cecily,
Vonnegut, Jr., Kurt, 19
Vreeland, Susan, 3, 24
Warren, Rick, 38
Weaver, Beth Nixon, 7
Webb, James A., 26
Weld, William F., 26
Wharton, Edith, 21, 26
Wheatcroft, Andrew, 32
Wilentz, Amy, 5
Williams, Buzz, 35
Williams-Garcia, Rita,
Winegardner, Mark, 20
Withey, Lynne, 30
Wolff, Tobias, 6, 16
Womack, Steve, 21
Woodson, Byron W., 34
Woolf, Virginia, 24
Wright, Richard, 10
X, Malcolm, 28
Yee, Paul, 2
Zoya, 17
Compiled by: Jacque Miller &
Holly Bunt, Ong Library
Design: Communications Office,
Western Reserve Academy
Photography: Doug Garmon
Printing: Duke Printing & Mailing
John D. Ong Library
115 College Street
Hudson, Ohio 44236
(330) 650-9730