While it is not by any means a comprehensive list, this post focuses on what is popular amongst students at WMHS in 2015. To add the title to your Goodreads "to-read" list click on the image and it will direct you to the Goodreads page.
Chris Kyle & Scott McEwen
American Sniper is the real story of Chris Kyle, US Navy Seal who was awarded with the most recorded sniper kills in US history. The release of American Sniper in theaters popularized the title, but many students come to the library looking for books on warfare.
Eleanor & Park
The Gov. Volpe Library has loaned out this title 30 times in the past year. What makes this book so great? Well, while the cover might make you think it is a cutesy love story, there is a lot of depth to the novel. It covers topics like abuse and bullying, and the ever present obstacles that seem to come as part of being a teenager. You don't have to take it from me, just look around the cafeteria and you'll see at least three copies of the book in any given direction.
This book is as popular as it is polarizing. For some John Green aficionados, the book is too similar to Looking for Alaska. Some readers are able to get past this, others do not. The book is currently on the New York Times best seller list, in response to an adaption of the book set to hit theaters this summer (starring no less than supermodel Cara Delevigne). If you like to "read it before you see it" a number of copies are available in the library for circulation.
Go Ask Alice
Go Ask Alice is the oldest text on this list (published in 1999), but it still regularly circulates in our library. Go Ask Alice follows a teen as she suffers from depression and drug abuse. Some of the language in the title is a little dated, but this book is highly recommended by students.
There are many books that one is told they ::must:: read in their lifetime. Lucky for us, many of these books show up in high school and college courses. There are also many books that we read, even though it might perhaps be time to allow older texts to retire and let a rookie have a chance. The following is a list of new young adult titles with enough bite to entertain and educate adolescents. The list has been compiled using a number of prominent literary award committees including YALSA, the Robert F. Sibert Medal Committee, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Pura Belpré Award.
The title of each suggestion includes a hyperlink to Goodreads. If you're interested in adding that title to your "to-read" list click on the link to reach Goodreads.
The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia
A 2015 Sibert Award Honor Book, The Family Romanov discusses the decadent and tragic story of the last Russian royal family the Romanovs. The title isn't just a list of facts and quotations. It is rich in literary merit, and many readers will be engrossed in the suspense of the yarn, regardless of whether or not they know the fate of the Romanov's.
Related Texts / Authors: Animal Farm, The Great Gatsby, Anton Chekov.
I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust
This is the survival story of a thirteen year old Hungarian girl who was sent to Auschwitz. The story is written in the present tense which both gives the reader a front seat to the atrocities and makes the retelling seem like the holocaust happened yesterday. With so few holocaust survivors remaining, we must cultivate these texts into our curriculum and cherish their testimony. While these atrocities seem very distant for students, it is clear that injustice and anti-semitism remain pervasive in our society (see: April 2015 edition of the The Atlantic "Is it time for the Jews to Leave Europe?").
Related Texts / Authors : Night, Maus, Number the Stars, Diary of a Young Girl, Chaim Potok, Elie Weisel, Friedrich, The Book Thief.
I Lived on Butterfly Hill
I Lived on Butterfly Hill is set in war-torn 1970's Chile. The protagonist is eleven years old, and while much of the text seems aimed at tweens/early high school, for older students allusions to history and the connections to other texts will keep them engaged. While the story reads as a lyrical dystopia, many of the events that occur in the text are centered on true events.
Related Texts / Authors : When I was Puerto Rican, The Arrival, Peter Sis, Animal Farm, Stealing Buddha's Dinner.