Full independent reading list valhalla high school english department

Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (2): Beah, now twenty-five years old

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Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (2): Beah, now twenty-five years old,

tells a riveting story: at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land

rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army

and Beah found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. (MATURE CONTENT)

Bradley, James. Flags of Our Fathers (2): An account of the Marines who came together during the

battle of Iwo Jima to raise the American flag in a moment that has been immortalized in one of the

most famous photographs of World War II.
Bryson, Bill. A Walk in the Woods (1): The writer’s humorous personal account of his attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail.

Courtenay, Bryce. The Power of One (2): In 1939, as Hitler casts his enormous, cruel shadow across the world, the seeds of apartheid take root in South Africa. There, a boy called Peekay is born. His childhood is marked by humiliation and abandonment, yet he vows to survive and conceives heroic dreams–which are nothing compared to what life actually has in store for him. He embarks on an epic journey through a land of tribal superstition and modern prejudice where he will learn the power of words, the power to transform lives, and the power of one.
Crutcher, Chris. King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography (2): Crutcher's autobiography is full of heartbreak, poignancy, and hilarity. Candid and casual, the author shares stories from his childhood and adolescence in Cascade, Idaho.
Delany, Sarah and Elizabeth. Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years (2): In this charming oral history, two lively sisters, aged 100 and 103, reflect on their rich family life and their careers as pioneering African-American professionals.
Eggers, David. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (3): In this comic memoir, an orphaned twenty-one-year-old raises his eight-year-old brother in 1990s San Francisco.

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America (2): Ehrenreich relates her

experiences from 1998 to 2000, during which time she joined the ranks of the working poor to see

for herself how America’s unskilled workers are able to survive on only $6 or $7 an hour. (AP

Language Core Text)
Fuller, Alexandra. The Legend of Colton H. Bryant (3): Fuller’s re-creation of the brief life of Colton H. Bryant is the story of a third-generation oil-patch worker in Wyoming. Spotlessly capturing the distinctive scenes from his life, Fuller takes readers into the Bryant family and the small-town community and oil rigs they inhabited. The lesson learned from Colton’s life and death is that human life is small change and protecting it isn’t in the best interest of profit.
Griffin, John Howard. Black Like Me (1): Concerned by the lack of communication between the races and wondering what "adjustments and discriminations" he would face as a Negro in the Deep South, the author left behind his privileged life as a Southern white man to step into the body of a stranger. In 1959, Griffin headed to New Orleans, darkened his skin and immersed himself in black society.
Grogan, John. Marley & Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog (2): The life story of an

exuberant Labrador retriever who gets into perpetual trouble and experiences a range of

inspiring adventures, from shutting down an entire beach to guarding a seventeen-year-old

neighbor after a stabbing attack.

Gruwell, Erin. The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves And The World Around Them (2): The story of how young English teacher Erin Gruwell confronted the problem of racial and ethnic intolerance in her classroom and features excerpts from the diaries of her students, now known as The Freedom Writers.
Gunther, John. Death, Be Not Proud (2): Johnny Gunther was only seventeen years old when he died of a brain tumor. During the months of his illness, everyone near him was unforgettably impressed by his levelheaded courage, his wit and quiet friendliness, and above all, his unfaltering patience through times of despair.
Heilemann, John and Mark Halperin. Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime (2): The authors of Game Change succeed in creating a plausible account of the emotional tumult of the 2008 campaign as it might have been—perhaps even was—experienced by the candidates, their spouses, and their staffs.
Hersey, John. Hiroshima (2): The story of six people who lived through the explosion of the atomic

bomb in 1945 in Hiroshima.

Herriot, James. All Creatures Great and Small (2): In this first volume of memoirs, a newly-qualified vet, James Herriot, arrives in a small Yorkshire village and has no idea what to expect. How will he get on with his new boss? With the local farmers? And what will the animals think?
Huckabee, Mike. Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America (2): Part campaign memoir, part manifesto, this book lays out Mike Huckabee’s down-to-earth, optimistic vision for America’s future.

Kerouac, Jack. On the Road (3): A thinly fictionalized autobiography of Jack Kerouac's cross-country

adventure across North America on a quest for self-knowledge as experienced by his alter-ego, Sal

Paradise and Sal's friend Dean Moriarty.
Krakauer, Jon. Under the Banner of Heaven (2): When a murder occurs in a Mormon town, the author is compelled to explore the culture of the geographical area and background of Mormonism.
Into Thin Air (2): A riveting first-hand account of a catastrophic expedition up Mount Everest

that occurred in 1996. A story of the ill-fated adventure and an analysis of the factors leading

up to its tragic end.
Into the Wild (2): The story of what happened to a young man who disappeared into the Alaskan interior; his body was found four months later.
McBride, James. The Color of Water (2): James McBride gives us a wonderful memoir of himself and

his mother, a Polish immigrant and Orthodox Jew, a daughter of a tyrannical rabbi father and

timid, crippled mother, who dared to ask for something more of this life. His mother crossed an

uncrossable barrier by marrying not one, but two, black men, converting to Christianity along the

way and isolating herself from her Jewish family, whites, and, to a lesser extent, blacks.
McCourt, Frank. Angela’s Ashes (2): Born in Brooklyn in 1930 to recent Irish immigrants Malachy

and Angela McCourt, Frank grew up in Limerick after his parents returned to Ireland because of

poor prospects in America. This is the memoir of Frank who has a difficult childhood (his father is

a nearly unemployable alcoholic) yet is able to makes us laugh at times.

Tis: A Memoir (2): McCourt follows up Angela's Ashes with another brilliant reading as he chronicles his return to post-World War II New York.
Palin, Sarah. Going Rogue: An American Life (2): Sarah Palin burst onto the national political stage

like a comet. Yet even now, few Americans know who this remarkable woman really is. Its most

compelling sections deal not with politics but with Mrs. Palin's life in Alaska and her family
Pelzer, David. A Child Called “It” (1): David Pelzer, victim of one of the worst child abuse cases in the

history of California, tells the story of how he survived his mother's brutality and triumphed over

his past.
Rove, Karl. Courage and Consequence (2): In this frank memoir, Rove responds to critics, passionately articulates his political philosophy, and defends the choices he made on the campaign trail and in the White House.
Runyan, Brent. The Burn Journals (2): On the sixteenth page of this incisive memoir, eighth-grader

Brent Runyon drenches his bathrobe with gasoline and sets himself on fire. Over the course of the

book, readers are immersed in the mind of fourteen-year-old Brent as he struggles to heal body

and mind.

Santiago, Esmeralda. When I was Puerto Rican (2): Memoirs of the author's childhood and youth in Puerto Rico and New York City.
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (1): Satrapi's autobiographical graphic

novel is a timely and timeless story of a young girl's life under the Islamic Revolution.

Sedaris, David. Me Talk Pretty One Day (2): David Sedaris describes the struggles he has had in life due to his voice problems, discussing how his voice has affected his personal relationships, his career, and his family life. (MATURE CONTENT)
Sheff, Nic. Tweak (2): Nic Sheff's powerful memoir of drug abuse and alcohol addiction is written in a brutally honest style that makes it difficult for anyone else to narrate. (MATURE CONTENT)
Spitz, Bob. The Beatles, the Biography (3): An acclaimed recent biography of the influential and wildly popular band.
Suskind, Ron. A Hope In The Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League

(2): This work follows gifted African-American student Cedric Jennings from his crime-infested

high school in Washington D.C. to his junior year at Brown University, discussing the problems

he encountered along the road out of the ghetto.

Thomas, Piri. Down These Mean Streets (3): As a dark-skinned Puerto Rican born in 1928, the author

faced with painful immediacy the absurd contradictions of America's racial attitudes (among

people of all colors) in a time of wrenching social change.
Walls, Jeanette. The Glass Castle (1): Walls chronicles her upbringing at the hands of eccentric,

nomadic parents—Rose Mary, her frustrated-artist mother, and Rex, her brilliant, alcoholic father.

As Rose Mary and Rex, motivated by whims and paranoia, uprooted their kids time and again, the

youngsters (Walls, her brother and two sisters) were left largely to their own devices.

Wolff, Tobias. This Boy’s Life (2): Teenaged Wolff moves with his divorced mother from Florida to

Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. While it is somber, it is also darkly

funny and so artistically satisfying that most readers come away exhilarated rather than depressed.
Wooten, Jim. We Are All the Same: A Story of a Boy's Courage and a Mother's Love (3): In 1989,

the year that Mandela was released from prison, a Zulu baby named Nkosi was born HIV-positive to a teen single mother dying of AIDS. Wooten, ABC News senior correspondent, tells Nkosi's family story of hope and heartbreak in a clear dramatic narrative that personalizes the apartheid politics as well as the present devastating statistics and the struggle against prejudice.

Wright, Richard. Black Boy (2): The narrative of one young man’s journey from innocence to

experience in the Jim Crow South.

Poetry—Choose collections of any of the following poets
Bishop, Elizabeth: Poems exploring the physical world from the Forties to the Seventies; Poet Laureate of the United States from 1949 to 1950.
Cassady, Neal: Beat Poet of the 1950s.
Cisneros, Sandra: Contemporary poet, often focusing on her Latina heritage.
Collins, Billy: Very accessible poems on various subjects; U.S. Poet Laureate 2001.

Dickinson, Emily: Great American poet of the mid-nineteenth century.
Di Prima, Diane: Beat poet of the 1950s.
Frost, Robert: Great American modernist poet of the early 20th century; meditations on universal themes;

New England landscape.

Ginsberg, Allen: Leading figure of the Beat movement in the 1950s; published Howl in 1956.
Homer. The Iliad: A Greek epic describing the tenth year Trojan War.
Hughes, Langston: Great American poet of the Harlem Renaissance.
McClure, Michael: Beat poet of the 1950s.
Oliver, Mary: Contemporary American poet; deep insights into the natural world.
Pinsky, Robert: Contemporary American poet; focuses on the individual and society; United States Poet

Laureate 1997.

Poe, Edgar Allan: A Romantic era poet known for his macabre and morbid themes.
Plath, Sylvia: Known for her confessional poetry and uncanny use of metaphor. Also known for her

novel, The Bell Jar.

Rumi: A 13th century Islamic poet, he focuses on animals and plants and is regarded for his ability to

direct others towards good conduct and union with Allah.

Shakespeare, William: Known for not only his plays, but also for his beautifully crafted, classic

collection of sonnets about love and life

Shakur, Tupac (1): The Rose That Grew from Concrete: Known for his rap-style poetry.
Strand, Mark: The fourth Poet Laureate of the United States (1996-1997), Strand wrote poems on

subjects ranging from dark and terrible wrestling with one's fears and alter egos to joyous

celebrations of life and light. He won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1999.
St. Vincent Millay, Edna: In the immediate post-World War I era, Millay emerged as a major figure in

the cultural life of Greenwich Village, when the Village served as an incubator of every important

American literary, artistic, and political movement of the period. As part of this milieu, Millay's

work and life came to represent the modern, liberated woman of the Jazz age, free of the

restrictions of the past.
Waldman, Anne: Waldman is one of the most interesting members of the post-Beat poetry community.

Her confluence of Buddhist concerns and thought-paths with sources of physicality and anger is

particularly impressive. Her goal: to speak against, about, around and through the all-pervasive

forces of Western patriarchy and its many manifestations.

Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. Great 19th century American poet; celebrated the individual.
Science Fiction/Fantasy

Adams, Douglas. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1): Arthur Dent travels the galaxy with his pal, Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc.
Adams, Richard. Watership Down (2): Chronicles the adventures of a group of rabbits searching for a

safe place to establish a new warren where they can live in peace.

Anderson, MT. Feed (1): This brilliant satire is set in a future world where television and computers are connected directly into people's brains when they are babies. The result is a chillingly recognizable consumer society where empty-headed kids are driven by fashion, shopping, and the avid pursuit of silly entertainment.
Asimov, Isaac. I, Robot (2): The story of robots gone mad, mind-reading robots, robots with a sense of humor, robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world, all told with a dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction.
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale (2): A futuristic, frightening tale of America in the future, a Puritanical theocracy in which women are valued only as “seed-bearers.”
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451 (2): In this frightening vision of the future, firemen don't put out

fires—they start them in order to burn books. Bradbury's vividly painted society holds up the

appearance of happiness as the highest goal--a place where trivial information is good, and

knowledge and ideas are bad. (9th Grade Core Text)

The Martian Chronicles. (2) From "Rocket Summer" to "The Million-Year Picnic," Ray Bradbury's stories of the colonization of Mars form an eerie mesh of past and future.
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1): The memorable story of two boys, James Nightshade and William Halloway, and the evil that grips their small Midwestern town with the arrival of a "dark carnival" one Autumn midnight. How these two innocents, both age thirteen, save the souls of the town (as well as their own), makes for compelling reading on timeless themes.
Bradley, Marion Zimmer. The Mists of Avalon (2): The legends of King Arthur come to life in the extraordinary stories of the women in his life—including his Morgaine, a high priestess of the religion of the Mother Goddess, and his beautiful wife Gwynhefar, torn between her duty and her love for Lancelot.
Bray, Libba. A Great and Terrible Beauty. (2): After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England (after many years in India) to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.
Brooks, Terry. The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (1): Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil had ruined the world and forced mankind to compete with many other races---gnomes, trolls, dwarfs, and elves. But in peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knew little of such troubles.

Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange (3): Told by the central character, Alex, this brilliant,

hilarious, and disturbing novel creates an alarming futuristic vision of violence, high technology, and authoritarianism. Burgess' 1963 classic shocks us into a thoughtful exploration of the meaning of free will and the conflict between good and evil. (MATURE CONTENT)

Burgess, Melvin. Bloodsong (1): Sequel to Bloodtide. As the only remaining member of the Volson clan, fifteen-year-old Sigurd takes a sword forged from a knife given to his father by the god Odin and embarks on a mission to reunite his country.
Butler, Octavia. Parable of the Talents (2): Lauren Olamina, a black teenager, is growing up in a 21st century America that is tearing itself apart. Global warming, massive unemployment, gang warfare and corporate greed combine to break down society in general and her impoverished southern California neighborhood in particular. A victim of hyperempathy syndrome, a disorder that compels its victims to believe they feel others' pain, Lauren finds herself homeless and alone in a violent world.
Card, Orson Scott. The Ender’s series (1): Ender Wiggin is a very bright young boy with a powerful

skill. One of a group of children bred to be military geniuses and save Earth from an inevitable

attack by aliens, known here as "buggers," Ender becomes unbeatable in war games and seems

poised to lead Earth to triumph over the buggers.

Cashore, Kristin. Graceling (1): In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace of killing and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
Clare, Cassandra. City of Bones (1): Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizarre world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster. (series)
Clarke, Arthur C. Childhood’s End (2): Great alien masters descend on Earth and take control of the

world, ushering in a golden age that may be cleverly disguised creative slavery. But Clarke's

legendary novel isn't about a human rebellion against alien overlords, but the evolution of

humanity into its next stage, and the ultimate dwarfing power of the unknowable order of the

Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl series (1): Colfer's crime caper fantasy, the first in a series, starts off with a

slam-bang premise: anti-hero Artemis Fowl is a boy-genius last in line of a legendary crime family

teetering on the brink of destruction. With the assistance of his bodyguard, Butler, he masterminds

his plan to regain the Fowls' former glory: capture a fairy and hold her ransom for the legendary

fairy gold.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games (2): In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has

collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country

divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district

are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal

intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as

the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to


Cook, Robin. Chromosome 6 (2): A medical examiner in New York worried by some odd autopsy

findings and a scientist in equatorial Africa performing genetic experiments that could

dramatically alter life on earth are drawn together in Cook's latest medical thriller.
Cormier, Robert. Fade (2): In the summer of 1938, Paul Moreaux, the thirteen-year-old son of French

Canadian immigrants, inherits the ability to become invisible, but this power soon leads to death

and destruction.
Crichton, Michael. Andromeda Strain (2): When an unmanned satellite returns to Earth lethally contaminated, four American scientists are ordered to a secret lab to work against the threat of a worldwide epidemic.
Jurassic Park (2): An island off Costa Rica will soon be the world's most ambitious theme park,

a dinosaur preserve. A visionary financier's biotechnology company has succeeded in cloning these extinct reptiles. When a rival genetics firm attempts to steal frozen dinosaur embryos, things go haywire.

Sphere (2): The focus is humankind's encounter with an alien life form. Within a space ship lying on the sea bottom is a mysterious sphere that promises each of the main characters a personal reward: military might, professional prestige, power and understanding. Trapped underwater with the sphere, the humans confront eerie and increasingly dangerous threats after communication with the alien object has been achieved.
Timeline (2): How do you find a missing colleague who inserted a message for help in a 600-year-

old document, keep your head on, and get home? Imagine being transported to an ancient world

that is as real to you as a telephone only to find that the world is as you imagined, but very

different and laden with more pitfalls than you thought.

Finney, Jack. Time and Again (1): Simon Morley, an illustrator, is enlisted by a secret government

project to hypnotize himself into 1880s New York. He is successful and goes back to investigate

a mystery. As we are overwhelmed with details of 1880s New York, we can almost believe that

this time travel is possible.

Funke, Cornelia. The Thief Lord (1): A novel about thieving children, a disguise-obsessed detective

and a magical merry-go-round. After their mother dies, twelve-year-old Prosper and his brother,

Bo, five, flee from Hamburg to Venice (an awful aunt plans to adopt only Bo). They live in an

abandoned movie theater with several other street children under the care of the Thief Lord, a

cocky youth who claims to rob "the city's most elegant houses."
Gardner, John. Grendel (3): The Beowulf legend, told from the monster’s point of view.
Hale, Shannon. Book of a Thousand Days (1): Fifteen-year-old Dashti, sworn to obey her sixteen-year-old mistress, the Lady Saren, shares Saren's years of punishment locked in a tower, then brings her safely to the lands of her true love, where both must hide who they are as they work as kitchen maids.
Heinlein, Robert. The Puppet Masters (1): Earth was being invaded by aliens and the top security

agencies were helpless: the aliens were controlling the mind of every person they encountered. It

was up to Sam Cavanaugh, secret agent for a powerful and deadly spy network, to find a way to

stop them.

Herbert, Frank. Dune (2): Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Paul Atreides must avenge the traitorous

plot against his noble family.

Hoffman, Alice. Practical Magic (2): A tale of two sisters, Gillian and Sally Owens, brought up by their

two elderly guardian aunts in a world of spells from which they eventually escape—one by

running away, the other by marrying—but which never escapes from them.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World (2): Huxley´s vision of the future in his astonishing 1931 novel—a

world of tomorrow in which capitalist civilization has been reconstituted through the most

efficient scientific and psychological engineering.
Jenkins, A.M. Repossessed (1): A fallen angel, tired of being unappreciated while doing his pointless, demeaning job, leaves Hell, enters the body of a seventeen-year-old boy, and tries to experience the full range of human feelings before being caught and punished, while the boy's family and friends puzzle over his changed behavior.
Jones, Carrie. Need (1): Zara's stepfather has died, her mother isn't capable of caring for her, and she

has been sent to live with her grandmother in a small remote town in Maine. When her car spins

out of control, she's rescued by sexy Nick (who turns out to be a werewolf), and something might be cooking with her overachieving classmate Ian. Too bad she's being followed by someone dark and dangerous—a pixie king.
Kate, Lauren. Fallen (1): The plot revolves around lovers who find one another, only to lose one

another over and over again in a story that spans centuries. Instead of vampires, though, these are

fallen angels.
Keyes, Daniel. Flowers for Algernon (1): Mentally retarded Charlie Gordon participates in an

experiment which turns him into a genius but only temporarily. (10th Grade Core Text)

Klass, David. Firestorm (1): After learning that he has been sent from the future for a special purpose, eighteen-year-old Jack receives help from an unusual dog and a shape-shifting female fighter.
Lawrence, Michael. A Crack in the Line (1): Alaric and Naia, both sixteen, have nearly identical lives

in parallel worlds. Their parents, their house, and their circumstances are the same, with one

major difference. Alaric's mother was killed in a train wreck, while Naia's mother survived. This

story of alternate realities raises questions about how one's life might be changed forever by a

certain turn of events.
LeGuin, Ursula K. The Gift (2): A boy must learn to cope with his destructive gift in this fantastic, other-world setting.
Liparulo, Robert. Germ (2): If you breathe it will find you. The germ—a form of the Ebola virus--has been genetically engineered to infect only those people whose DNA matches the codes embedded within it. Its release will usher in an era where countries are left without defense, where a single person—or millions—could be killed with perfect accuracy and zero collateral damage, where your own DNA works against you. The time isn't coming. It is now. Pray the assassins get you first.

Maguire, Gregory. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (3): Born with green skin and huge teeth like a dragon, the free-spirited Elphaba grows up to be an anti-totalitarian agitator, an animal-rights activist, a nun, a nurse who tends the dying and, ultimately, the headstrong Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz.
Martin, George. A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book On. (2): Martin's Seven

Kingdoms resemble England during the Wars of the Roses, with the Stark and Lannister families

standing in for the Yorks and Lancasters. The story of these two families and their struggle to

control the Iron Throne dominates the foreground; in the background is a huge, ancient wall

marking the northern border, beyond which barbarians, ice vampires, and direwolves menace the

south as years-long winter advances. Abroad, a dragon princess lives among horse nomads and

dreams of fiery reconquest.
McKinley, Robin. Spindle’s End (1): The infant princess Briar Rose is cursed on her name day by

Pernicia, an evil fairy, and then whisked away by a young fairy to be raised in a remote part of a

magical country, unaware of her real identity and hidden from Pernicia's vengeful powers.
McNamee, Graham. Bonechiller (1): Four high school students face off against a soul-stealing beast that has been making young people disappear in their small Ontario, Canada, town for centuries.
Mead, Richelle. Vampire Academy (2): Two years after a horrible incident made them run away, vampire princess Lissa and her guardian-in-training Rose are found and returned to St. Vladimir's Academy, where one focuses on mastering magic, the other on physical training, while both try to avoid the perils of gossip, cliques, gruesome pranks, and sinister plots.
Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight Series (2): An unusual love story with supernatural complications.
Moon, Elizabeth. The Speed of Dark (2): A gripping exploration into the world of Lou Arrendale, an autistic man who is offered a chance to try a brand-new experimental “cure” for his condition. Now Lou must decide if he should submit to a surgery that might completely change the way he views the world . . . and the very essence of who he is.
Moore, Alan. V for Vendetta. (2): A terrifying portrait of totalitarianism and resistance set in a dystopian United Kingdom. A mysterious revolutionary who calls himself “V” works to destroy the totalitarian government, profoundly affecting the people he encounters. (GRAPHIC NOVEL) (MATURE CONTENT)
Watchmen. (3) On an alternate history Earth, the country is edging closer to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Freelance costumed vigilantes have been outlawed and most costumed superheroes are in retirement or working for the government. It all begins with the paranoid delusions of a half-insane hero called Rorschach. But is Rorschach really insane or has he uncovered a plot to murder superheroes and, even worse, millions of innocent civilians? On the run from the law, Rorschach reunites with his former teammates in a desperate attempt to save the world and their lives, but what they uncover will shock them to their very core and change the face of the planet! (GRAPHIC NOVEL) (MATURE CONTENT)
Napoli, Donna Jo. Hush: An Irish Princess’ Tale (1): Fifteen-year-old Melkorka, an Irish princess, is kidnapped by Russian slave traders and not only learns how to survive but to challenge some of the brutality of her captors, who are fascinated by her apparent muteness and the possibility that she is enchanted.

Zel (1): This retelling of the story of Rapunzel is no simple fairy tale retold for the

entertainment of children. Instead, it is a searing commentary on the evil that can result from

human longings gone awry.
Niffenegger, Audrey. The Time Traveler’s Wife (2): A man with an amazing gift falls in love in this gripping and unorthodox novel. (MATURE CONTENT)
Orwell, George. 1984 (2): George Orwell's prophetic, nightmarish vision of "Negative Utopia" is timelier than ever-and its warnings more powerful. (AP English Language Core Text)
Paolini, Christopher. Eragon Series (1): In Aagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage, called

Eragon, finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic,

and power, peopled with dragons, elves and monsters.
Pratchett, Terry. Monstrous Regiment (2): Polly Perks, an unassuming barmaid from Borogravia, cuts

her hair, pretends to be a young man, and joins the army in hopes of finding her brother Paul, who

marched off to war a year ago and hasn't been heard from in months.
Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials Series) (1): The Saga of Lara Silvertongue, whose adventures in a parallel world invite more characters and danger with each installment.
Reeve, Philip. Here Lies Arthur (1): Gwyna is forced to flee her village, but when she is discovered hiding in the woods by Myrddin, a bard, he swears to protect her as long as she agrees to bind herself to his service while he transforms young Arthur into a heroic king.
Rice, Anne. Interview with the Vampire Series (2): Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force---a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. (MATURE CONTENT)
Riordan, Rick. Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Series) (1): Humans and half-bloods alike agree—Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a series fit for heroes!
Shute, Nevil. On the Beach (2): After the war is over, a radioactive cloud begins to sweep southwards on the winds, gradually poisoning everything in its path. An American submarine captain is among the survivors left sheltering in Australia, preparing with the locals for the inevitable. Despite his memories of his wife, he becomes close to a young woman struggling to accept the harsh realities of their situation. Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from the United States and the submarine must set sail through the bleak ocean to search for signs of life.
Tolkien, JRR. Lord of the Rings series (2): Frodo must band with the forces of good to rid the world of the evil ring and save his beloved Shire.
Watts, Peter. Blindsight (2): Two months after the Earth is taken over by an alien species, a space probe detects a faint signal from the edge of the solar system and attempts to make contact, despite the dangers the signal hints at, relying on a linguist with multiple personalities to make the first contact and attempt a peace agreement.

Westerfeld, Scott. Extras (Series) (1): In an alternative civilization where the social status of each person is monitored and rated and anyone can drop from celebrity to nobody, fifteen-year-old Aya Fuse's popularity ranking is so low her only chance of moving up is to find a good story, so when she meets a group of girls who hide an explosive secret, Aya decides to expose the group and unknowingly puts her own life in danger.
The Last Days (2): Pearl, Moz, and Zahler team up with a vampire lead singer and a drummer who can foresee future events when a bizarre epidemic that threatens total annihilation hits New York City.
The Uglies (1): Tally is faced with a difficult choice when her new friend Shay decides to risk life on the outside rather than submit to the forced operation that turns sixteen year old girls into gorgeous beauties. (Series)
Zevin, Gabrielle. Elsewhere (1): Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up after she has

died. It is a place like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day

of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. This moving, often funny book

about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

Short Stories – Choose collections from any of the following writers
Boyle, T.C. - Many of Boyle's short stories explore the Baby Boom generation, its appetites, joys, and addictions. Short story collections include Descent of Man: Stories, Without a Hero, T.C. Boyle Stories, After the Plague, Tooth and Claw, and The Human Fly.

Carver, Raymond - Carver is considered a major American writer of the late 20thcentury and also a major force in the revitalization of the short story in the 1980s. His notable works include Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, Cathedral and Elephant and Other Stories.

Cheever, John – His short stories are mostly set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the Westchester suburbs, and old New England villages. Among his most memorable are "The Enormous Radio," "Goodbye, My Brother," "The Five-Forty-Eight," "The Country Husband," and "The Swimmer."

Chopin, Kate - She is now considered to have been a forerunner of feminist authors of the 20th century. Her short stories included "Desiree's Baby," a tale of miscegenation in antebellum Louisiana; "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm."
Faulkner, William – American short story writer and novelist. Some works include “Barn Burning,” “A

Rose for Emily,” “Dry September,” “Race at Morning,” “Beyond,” “Honor,” “LO!” and “Two

Fitzgerald, F. Scott – His short stories treat themes of youth and promise.
Hemingway, Ernest – American novelist and short story writer. “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” “A Clean, Well-lighted Place,” “The Gambler, the Nun, and the Radio,” “Soldier’s Home,” “The Killers,” “Hills Like White Elephants” are especially popular.
Hurston, Zora Neale – Short story writer during the time of the Harlem Renaissance.
Irving, Washington - Best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle," both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.
King, Steven – King is best known for his horror fiction. His short story collections include Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Everything's Eventual, and Just After Sunset and three novella collections: Different Seasons, Four Past Midnight, and Hearts in Atlantis.
Lardner, Ring - Short story writer best known for his satirical takes on the sports world, marriage, and

the theatre.

Munro, Alice - Canadian short-story writer who focuses her stories on human relationships looked at through the lens of daily life.
Oates, Joyce Carol - Her frequently anthologized short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" was dedicated to Bob Dylan. Oates said she wrote the story after listening to a Dylan song.
O'Connor, Flannery - O'Connor was familiar with some of the most sensitive contemporary issues that her liberal and fundamentalist characters might encounter. Her short stories include "Why Do the Heathen age?" "The Enduring Chill," and "The Partridge Festival."
Porter, Katherine Ann – A Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, essayist and short story writer. Her works include “The Leaning Tower,” “The Journey,” “The Witness,” “The Last Leaf,” “A Day’s Work,” “The Circus,” “The Fig Tree” and “Holiday.”
Strout, Elizabeth. Olive Kitteridge. (2): A seventh-grade math teacher is the link in thirteen stories set on the Maine coast. Winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Updike, John - Hundreds of his stories, reviews, and poems have appeared in The New Yorker since 1954. One of his most famous is “A&P.”
Vonnegut, Kurt – Popular short stories include “Harrison Bergeron,” “Report on the Barnhouse Effect,” “Who Am I This Time?” and “Welcome to the Monkey House.”
Wolfe, Thomas - For some readers, Wolfe's stories may yield, as James Dickey observes in his introduction, an "imaginative surrender to whatever a situation or a memory evokes . . . a sense of life submitted to and entered."
Wright, Richard - Much of his short story literature concerns racial themes. His work helped redefine discussions of race relations in America in the mid-20th century.

Sports – Fiction and Non-Fiction
Alphin, Elaine Marie. The Perfect Shot (1): This engrossing thriller weaves issues of civil rights, racial prejudice, the judicial system, and the lessons of history into a suspenseful tale of a high-school basketball player who wants to do the right thing.
Armstrong, Lance. It’s not About the Bike (1): Multiple Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong’s memoir about surviving cancer, finding love, and becoming a father.
Asinof, Eliot. Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series (2): To the horror of their

teammates and all of America, eight members of the champion Chicago White Sox gave in to

greed and threw the 1919 World Series. Eliot Asinof vividly describes the tense meetings, the

hitches in the plot, the actual plays in which the series was thrown, the grand jury indictment,

and the famous 1921 trial.
Bailes, Julian and John McCloskey. When Winning Costs Too Much: Steroids, Supplements, and

Scandal in Today’s Sports (2): Today when the sports pages of the local newspaper read like

either a police report or a pharmacology text, it is impossible not to conclude that the mantra of

winning has entered very dangerous ground.
Beckham, David. Both Feet on the Ground (1): There is only one David Beckham -- and it's not always the one you read about in the newspapers and magazines or see in the movies. From humble East End London beginnings, the boy with prodigious soccer skills grew up to be one of the most gifted athletes of his generation.
Bissiner, HG. Friday Night Lights (2): The riveting true story of the lure of high school football in an economically depressed Texan town.
Blais, Madeleine. In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle (2): They are a talented team with a near-perfect

record but a reputation for choking in the crunch of the state playoffs. Finally, after five straight

years of disappointments, the Amherst Lady Hurricanes find they just might have what it takes to

go all the way.

Bouton, Jim. Ball Four (2): In the early '70s, he tossed off one of the funniest, most revealing, insider's takes on baseball life in Ball Four, his diary of the season he tried to pitch his way back from oblivion on the strength of a knuckler.
Cantor, George. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Detroit Tigers (2): The Tigers have won four world championships, have had two managers die in one season, have played ball while their city rioted around them, and have played host to some of the best and worst players in Major League Baseball.
Collins, Jim. The Last Best League (2): Every summer, in ten small towns across Cape Cod, the finest college baseball players in the country gather in hopes of making it to "The Show." This book is about dreams fulfilled and dreams denied, about Cape Cod and the rites of summer, and about the way one small town grows to love a group of young men coming of age in America.

Conseco, Jose. Juiced (2): Conseco reveals one of Major League Baseball's darkest secrets: steroids. Entertaining, raucous, and unforgettable, Conseco takes the reader beneath the veneer of Major League Baseball, demonstrating how big muscles and performance-enhancing drugs have changed the rules of the game forever.
Crutcher, Chris. Running Loose (1): Louie, a high school senior in a small Idaho town, learns about

sportsmanship, love, and death as he matures into manhood.

Stotan! (1): A high school coach invites members of his swimming team to a memorable week of rigorous training that tests their moral fiber as well as their physical stamina.
D’Orso, Michael. Eagle Blue: A Team, a Tribe, and a High School Basketball Season in Arctic

Alaska (2): Eagle Blue follows the Fort Yukon Eagles, winners of six regional championships in a

row, through the course of an entire twenty-eight-game season, from their first day of practice in

late November to the Alaska State Championship Tournament in March.
Eig, Jonathan. Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig (2): Lou Gehrig was the Iron Horse, baseball's strongest and most determined superstar — struck down in his prime by a disease that now bears his name. This definitive biography gives us a deeper, more intimate understanding of the life of an American hero.
Fanaru-Wada, Mark and Lance Williams. Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the

Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports (2): This is the window into the underground

world of cheating at the highest levels, which set off a frenzy of activity and hand-wringing in the

offices of Major League Baseball and Congress.
Feinstein, John. A March to Madness (1): Sportswriter John Feinstein takes readers inside college

basketball's Atlantic Coast to illuminate the almost inconceivable pressures on coaches and

players in the conference.
Frey, Darcy. The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams (1): The story of dreams and cynicism,

the often naive hopes of youth played out against the realities of SATs, the NCAA, and the brutal

world of college athletic sports recruitment.
Jeter, Derek. The Life You Imagine (1): All-Star New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter shows how

ond can use the same game plan that helped an eight-year-old boy who fantasized about playing

baseball for the Bronx Bombers grow up and become MVP of the 2000 World Series.
Joravsky, Ben. Hoop Dreams (1): The remarkable story of Arthur Agee's and William Gates' journeys

from the playgrounds to high school competition to college recruitment.

Kahn, Robert. The Boys of Summer (2): This is a book about young men who learned to play baseball

during the 1930s and 1940s, and then went on to play for one of the most exciting major-league

ball clubs ever fielded, the team that broke the color barrier with Jackie Robinson.
Kilmead, Brian. The Games do Count (1): A collection of vignettes based on years of interviews with

celebrities, politicians, and top business people, which reveals that nearly everyone shares a love

of sports and has a story about how a game, a coach, or a single moment of competition changed

his or her life.

Kinsella, W. P.  Shoeless Joe (1): He went to Canada in the 1960s to avoid the draft. Now, back in the

USA, he has a vision: build a ballpark in an Iowa cornfield because "if you build it they will come." Two who do come are the tragic ballplayer, Joe Jackson and the protagonist’s father.

Levine, Anna. Running on Eggs (1): When Karen and Yasmine become friends as well as members of

a mixed Arab and Jewish track team in Israel, relatives and friends of both girls disapprove of the

Lewis, Michael. The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game (3): This work details the life of University of

Mississippi football player Michael Oher, who was raised by a crack addicted mother and adopted

at the age of sixteen by a wealthy family, and explores the rising importance and salary of the

offensive left tackle in the game of football.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (3): Lewis examines how the Oakland Athletics achieved a spectacular winning record in 2002 while having the smallest player payroll of any major league baseball team.
Lupica, Mike. Bump and Run (1): Over the course of a single season, Molloy will get a crash course in

steroids, gambling, crooked quarterbacks, idiot sportswriters, control-freak coaches, and

philandering announcers.
Myers, Walter Dean. Slam (1): Sixteen-year-old "Slam" Harris is counting on his noteworthy basketball

talents to get him out of the inner city and give him a chance to succeed in life, but his coach sees

things differently.
Orr, Wendy. Peeling the Onion (2): Following an automobile accident in which her neck is broken, a

teenage karate champion begins a long and painful recovery with the help of her family.

Malamud, Bernard and Kevin Baker. The Natural (2): Biting, witty, provocative, and sardonic,

The Natural is widely considered to be the premier baseball novel of all time. It tells the story of

Roy Hobbs—an athlete born with rare and wondrous gifts—who is robbed of his prime playing

years by a youthful indiscretion that nearly costs him his life.
Paulson, Gary. Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod (2): In the tradition of Jack

London, Gary Paulsen presents an unforgettable account of his participation in the 1,100-mile-

long dogsled race called the "Iditarod."
Shaara, Michael. For Love of the Game (1): Baseball legend Billy Chapel, having learned that the

owners are planning to trade him after seventeen seasons, determines the game he is about to pitch

will be his last and takes that opportunity to go out with a bang.
Schaap, Jeremy. Cinderella Man: Braddock James and Max Bear and the Greatest Upset in Boxer

History (2): This work contains a look at the life and career of Depression-era heavyweight boxer

James Braddock, describing his experiences as a fighter and a longshoreman, and including a

chronicle of his auspicious bout with champion boxer Max Baer.
Stout, Glenn (Series Editor). The Best Sports Writing of the Year (BASS) – Any year, 1999-Present (2): This collection features the best published sports writing of the calendar year. Series editor Glenn Stout welcomes a new guest editor annually to help select the best twenty-five stories published in North America. Stories range from hilarious to poignant.

Stowers, Carlton. Where Dreams Die Hard (1): An inspiring story by a two-time Edgar Award- winning writer of how a six-man football team united a school and a town.
Sullivan, Russell. Rocky Marciano (2): In this portrait of an American sports legend, the author confirms

Rocky Marciano's place as a symbol and cultural icon of his era. As much as he embodied the

wholesome, rags-to-riches patriotism of a true American hero, Marciano also reflected the racial

and ethnic tensions festering beneath the country's benevolent facade.

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