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RWR: Class of 2019 Recommends  

Recommendations from the Class of 2019 during their 9th grade year (for Read Write Recommend)
Last Updated: Apr 19, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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This category is for readers who love learning about the past through incredible stories and artful pieces of literature.

Category by: Nubia, Kate, Emma, and Clara

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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - Fannie Flagg
This classic historical fiction novel is an extremely thrilling read. The book begins with the introduction of two women who meet in a nursing home. They strike up a friendship and the older woman starts to tell the story of her family, particularly the lives of two other women, Ruth and Idgie. Ruth and Idgie’s story takes place in the early 1900’s set mostly at The Whistle Stop Cafe, a place people come to get good food and enjoy the company of the huge family Ruth and Idgie have to offer. Using flashbacks, Flagg recreates these women’s lives and experiences from the flapper era of the 1920’s to the women’s movement of the 60’s and 70’s. This book shows the strength those can find during times of hardships.

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The Color Purple - Alice Walker
The southern part of the United States in the early years of the 1900’s was not an easy place to live if you were a woman of color. The Color Purple is the story of Celie, a black woman living in the countryside of Georgia. No one has ever been nice to Celie except her sister Nettie. Men have always called her dumb and ugly, and treated like an object. This empowering novel tells Celie’s story as she learns how to not care what people say about her, and struggles to find beauty in the world around her, and in herself.

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Esperanza Rising - Pam Munoz Ryan
Esperanza is a young girl who lives with her loving, rich family in Mexico. One night, her comfortable life is turned upside down in an instant, and her family is forced to move from their mansion in Mexico to a labor camp in California. Esperanza Rising tells the story of thousands of Mexican immigrants who came to the United States with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, and the struggles that these people went through to build a new life.

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All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
This recently published novel about World War Two addresses both sides of the story for a refreshing twist on history. Though a two sided tale about a blind young woman in a city near Paris and a young Nazi who is bombing it. This tale of temporary love shows the hardships of war and how it affects years upon years of family history. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a intimate and compelling story that is impossible to put down.

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To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
A novel addressing the unjust and racist ways of 1960 America shows greater topics and themes addressing the outside world through a simple tale of a young girl and her family. Told from the perspective of six year old Jean-Louise who grows up through the duration of the book, this novel describes racism in the legal system. This classic by Harper Lee is not only frequently referenced, but plays a key role in today's society and literary discussions and is a quick and worthwhile read.

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The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
The Book Thief is an unforgettable yet heartbreaking book about a young foster girl who lives with her new family near Munich during World War II. Her foster father teaches her to read, and she steals books from Nazi book burnings. Her family takes in a Jewish man, and through detailed descriptions one is pulled into life during the Nazi regime. Read The Book Thief to catch a glimpse of what life was like during Nazi controlled World War II.

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Never Fall Down - Patricia McCormick
A novel describing the horrors of life through the Vietnamese war in Cambodia grips the reader and haunts them with the effects of genocide. An excellent read to better inform oneself about events occurring in history and a personal tale of young boy growing up on his own.

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Chains - Laurie Halse Anderson
This classic novel takes place during the beginning of the Revolutionary War. The reader follows the story of a Isabel, a young slave who was supposed to be freed by her old master but was cheated out of it, and her struggle to gain the freedom that she should rightfully have. In a time of racism, corruption, and violence, Isabel has to go through many obstacles to keep her faith, her family, and her life.



This selection of Coming of Age novels will make you feel like you are a part of the stories and the characters in them. Through each of the characters very different transitions and growth, you will also grow as a reader and a person.

Zahra, Lilly, Mateo, and Ramar

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The Color Purple - Alice Walker
The Color Purple is a series of letters written by the main character, Celie, who is an African American woman living in rural Georgia in the 1930s. In the beginning of the book, Celie is extremely vulnerable and keeps to herself due to the physical, mental, and sexual abuse she faces at home from her stepfather. However, as the story unfolds Celie begins to become more confident and gains a newfound sense of strength and independence. Celie learns to succeed and thrive in her society despite her race and gender.

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The Outsiders - S. E. Hinton
The Outsiders takes place in 1960s Oklahoma. A 14 year old boy named Ponyboy is a part of a gang with his two brothers and his friends. They get into rumbles with the rich kids that are called The Socials. Throughout the story, Ponyboy goes through many experiences that give him new perspectives on his world. He goes on an adventure that forces him to grow up and look back on his life, ultimately changing him and how he views the world around him.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of being a Wallflower is a collection of journals from Charlie, who is the main character. He speaks of his emotions going into different scenarios, and his thoughts on the different people he met. Through reading the different entries, the reader is able to see how he mentally transformed. It is already known that Charlie is intelligent beyond his years, however, we are able to see it ourselves. Things start to change for the worse as his new-found confidence is in vain when his only friends start going away to college.

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The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison
“The Bluest Eye” is a story about an African American girl who is having trouble fitting in and understanding societal norms. The book takes place in 1941 in Ohio in a small, racist town. The main character, Pecola Breedlove, is growing up in a house with her mom, dad, and her sister. The family isn't doing well; they struggle to make the money they need. To make it worse, they are abusive. Pecola also isn't doing well in school. Everyday she yearns to be like all of the other girls, with blonde hair and blue eyes. After a long series of events and lessons from the people around her, Pecola is finally able to discover her true identity, as well as accept it.

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To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in Alabama in the 1930s. Scout and her older brother, Jem start noticing odd things happening in the neighborhood which forces them to open their eyes and look at things differently. They realize at a very young age that racism is still alive in their neighborhood. Their father, Atticus, is a lawyer who takes on a case for an African American man who is accused of rape. As the case unfolds the characters learn more about themselves and the harsh reality of the society they live in.



With everything from disappearing girls to mysterious deaths, this category has a wide selection of fantastic contemporary mystery novels filled with clues, crime, and people that aren't really there.

Written by Shay, Molly, Sarah, & Ethan

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
She wakes up from a coma and to find out that her best friend and boyfriend are dead. She doesn't remember why she was in an abandoned building with them. She moves to Florida to try to get rid of the visions and hallucinations of the dead. She meets a boy who might understand what she's going through. Worst of all, she’s envisioning deaths that really happen. Mara Dyer’s life is suddenly full of mystery, thrills, and adventure.

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Dead Girls Don't Write Letters - Gail Giles
Sunny Reynolds has been tasked with taking care of her dysfunctional family ever since the passing of her older sister. Since Jazz died, her family has been torn apart by the news. The only one undisturbed is Sunny, who always disliked Jazz, her parents’ favorite of the two. Now, a girl has shown up at her house, claiming to be Jazz. The only issue is… she’s not Jazz. Now, Sunny has to figure out who this girl is, and why she is pretending to be her sister. This book is a short mystery about a teenage girl searching for answers.

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Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
Nick Dunne and his gorgeous wife Amy live a picture perfect life. But when Amy goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary, their perfect lives unravel. Nick becomes the prime suspect in the case. Through Amy's diary entries and Nick's perspective, plus the best twist I have ever read, Gone Girl makes you question everything you thought you knew about this seemingly perfect marriage.

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Mystic River - Dennis Lehane
Publication Date: 2008-12-09
A mysterious car pulls up in front of three best friends. One gets in the car, the other two do not. They are no longer friends and their lives are changed forever. Now many years later crime brings them together again. One of their daughters gets murdered, the other is the leading detective on the case, and the last one is the prime suspect. Mystic River is an amazing mystery that is impossible to put down.

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Vanishing Girls - Lauren Oliver
Nick and Dara were sisters, and best friends. Until Dara kisses Parker, Nick and Dara's best friend since, well forever. But then Dara and Nick get into a car crash leaving Dara in terrible shape. No longer are Dara and Nick best friends; they don't even talk. Suddenly Madeline Snow, a local nine year old girl gets taken from an ice cream store. And then Dara disappears. As Nick tries to connect the two disappearances she learns Dara is not who she thought she was. Told through Dara and Nick’s perspective along with blog posts and diary entries, Vanishing Girls is a great mystery with an even better twist.

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Paper Towns - John Green
It sucks being in love with your friend since you were kids. It sucks that she no longer notices you even though she's constantly on your mind. That is the life of Quentin Jacobsen. But then one night the love of his life climbs into his window dressed in a ninja costume. That night everything changes. From sneaking into the asparagus building to putting fish in enemy’s cars, Quentin begins to reconnect with Margot in a way he never thought possible. Fast-forward to the next day: she's gone. Quentin’s life becomes a chase that determines the end of his senior year, and perhaps his future.

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The Vanishers - Heidi Julavits
ISBN: 9780385523813
Publication Date: 2012-03-13
Julia Severn is a brilliant student at a selective physics institute. However, as her obvious talent begins to be unveiled her professor, Madame Ackerman, forces Julia to relive her mother’s painful death years earlier, a complex and harsh suicide. While this is entirely humiliating to Julia, it helps to show her psychic abilities. Now Julia is sent out to find a missing person who might help her find clues about her mother before her passing. But is this special ability a gift or a curse?



In this area, you will find books containing worlds that you will desperately wish are a reality. Ranging from a world where you can become anything you want with Virtual Reality, to a world where you can tell people’s secrets and walk through dreams, to a world where you’re a child of a god and are given magical abilities. This category will help you find worlds that will take you on adventures of a lifetime, and have you wondering: can this ever be a reality?

Miles, Troy, Daniel, Amari


ISBN: 978-0142417119

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Eon - Alison Goodman
Eon lives in a world in which people have magical abilities. He has been born with the potential to become one of the fabled Dragoneyes, with the ability to control all of the elements. He also has the ability to summon a patron dragon to accompany him on his journeys. He has conflict about his identity, and whether he truly belongs. Will he find his place? A world full of adventure and unknown frontiers; who wouldn't want to live here?

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Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Ernest Cline's Ready Player One takes place in a world where you can be anyone you want to be and do anything you want to do no matter who you are; thanks to the OASIS, this is the world Wade Watts lives in. Wade Watts is a poor child in the year 2044 who lost both his parents. When the maker of the OASIS, a virtual reality universe, dies leaving behind a treasure hunt for his fortune, Wade Watts sees his chance to get out of the stacks. Can he overcome the billions of others on the chase to glory? Can he avoid being killed by the sixers? Will he meet his life long crush? If you're into action, a lot of comedy, and above all, a video gamer, read this book and jump into the world of OASIS.

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Armada - Ernest Cline
ISBN: 0804137250
Imagine living in a world where the video games that you played your entire life turn out to be real. What if you looked out your classroom window and saw an alien fighter spaceship, the same you had seen last night playing your favorite game. Join Zach Lightman on the quest to find the truth about what is going on in his strange world and to find out who is father really was. Go in and out of this world in a state of the art spaceship. If you want to find out if the alien invasion can be stopped, read Armada.

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The Martian - Andy Weir
Although the predicament of being stuck on Mars isn’t favorable for astronaut Mark Watney, he lives in a world where they CAN get to Mars. This story of survival on an unfamiliar planet will keep your heart pumping for all 26 chapters. Filled with constant danger, drastic measures, and a lot of humour, this tale of survival on another planet will have you imagining the day you can visit the stars.

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Chime - Franny Billingsley
Enter the mind of Briony: a witch who has no control over her powers. Not only does she hate herself, she blames herself for her sister's broken mind. Enter the world of Briony where witches are hanged and the swap she lives in tells ancient secrets she must keep at bay

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The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
ISBN: 0786838655
This is a world where the Greek gods have children with mortals. These teens are trained to fight dangerous monsters and the fate of the world relies on one boy who is thrown into the fray. With powers, magic, and heroic destinies, you wouldn’t want to be left behind on this adventure. Come join Percy Jackson and his friends as they save the world from not only monsters but gods themselves.

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The Diviners - Libba Bray
Parties are fun aren’t they? But they’re only fun if you don’t end up showing off your powers by accident and making everyone suspicious. Parties are only fun if they aren't connected to mysteries. Come join the party with Evie, solve a murder mystery, and dabble with deadly magic.



This list consists of graphic novels and/or comics that have dark themes. 

Curated by Austin, Gelles, Wilder, and Zeb.

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The Sculptor - Scott Mccloud
David Smith has been offered a deal by Death. 200 days to live, in exchange for the power to sculpt anything he can imagine out of any material with his bare hands. David takes the deal, but what will happen in those 200 days? Follow David and see what path life sculpts for him.

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House of M - Brian Michael Bendis (Text by); Olivier Coipel (Illustrator, Artist)
The Scarlet Witch has altered reality again! Mutants have been put in power, never to be tormented by intolerant humans again, but now Magneto now rules with an iron fist as the leader of the House of M. No one remembers-- except the Wolverine. His mission: to gather his former team mates to find the Scarlet Witch and make her change the world back. But she's in the heart of the House of M. Anyone else might not be able to do it, but he's the best at what he does.

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My Father Bleeds History - Art Spiegelman
Maus, by Art Spiegelman, is an unorthodox take on the Holocaust narrative. Framed by a series of interviews with Spiegelman’s father, Spiegelman tells the story of his father’s experience as a Jew in Nazi-occupied Europe, illustrating each individual group involved as animals - Jewish people are mice, Nazis are cats, etc. For anyone who likes interesting, unique artistic choices and new takes on a familiar narrative, Maus is for you.

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Fun Home - Alison Bechdel
Alison Bechdel’s illustrated memoir is a complicated retrospective on the dynamics of her dysfunctional family, taking place after her father’s death. The complex family history - particularly the dynamic between Bechdel and her late father, and particularly through the lens of sexual orientation - has a certain sad poignancy to it as Bechdel, looking back as an adult, recounts significant events from her childhood and teen years. For those who like memoir and those who are interested in LGBTQ+ fiction, Fun Home is a must-read.

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The Hard Goodbye - Frank Miller (Illustrator)
Marv wakes up in a hot room in the bottom of what may as well be hell, but he doesn't care. Because he’s with Goldie, the most beautiful angel to ever be with him. After Goldie is murdered and Marv is framed for it he has to avenge her. Watch Marv as he uncovers the dirtiest secrets and fights the scum of the earth. If you like disturbing books that are impossible to put down, this is you the book for you.

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The Killing Joke - Alan Moore; Brian Bolland (Artist, Cover Design by); Richard Starkings (Contribution by); Tim Sale (Introduction by); Bob Kane (Created by)
The Joker has resurfaced and he wants to stir things up. Follow the devious and maniacal super villain as he goes on a journey through the psyche. Watch as the Joker unravels the soundest mind and destroys it. The Killing Joke shows the regaling story of Joker’s past and why he does what he does. The second part shows the disturbing mind of a normal guy whose only goal is to commit a grand crime without getting caught. If you like The Joker or any superhero this is a MUST READ.

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Demi-Human - Gamon Sakurai
In the world of Ajin there are humans, and there are Demi-humans. Demi humans have the power to regenerate their bodies and come back to life upon dying, any number of times. But with the that comes the scorn of the rest of humanity, and the thought that they don't need to be treated a people, because the aren't true humans. Kei Nagai has lived as an average high school student before he is hit by a truck revealing to him and the world that he is a Demi human. He flees from his classmates and strangers as they seek to capture him and claim the supposed reward for turning in a Demi human to the government. He makes contact with another group of Demi humans, but do they really have his best interest in mind? Ajin has a dark and gory story and complimenting art style, while it is good it is not for the faint of heart.

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Parasyte - Hitoshi Iwaaki
One night, alien parasites fall from the sky, attaching themselves to the brains of sleeping humans. The parasites take over their human host, turning the head into malleable bladed tentacles. The parasites begin a serial rampage, killing and eating humans. They are unsure of their purpose, but certain they need to feed. High schooler Shinichi Izumi is one of the people to receive on of these parasites, but his quick thinking keeps it away from his brain. Instead he ends up with his right hand turned into a sentient and dangerous being. How will he adapt to life with an alien living in his hand? And what happens when his hand tells him of another parasite nearby? Parasyte is an exciting manga series, and while morbid you'll find it hard to put down.



These five novels convey women's strength after horrifying experiences, including rape, prostution, murder, deception, and captivity. 

-Blue, Monica, Maxine, and Loulou

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Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
In Thirteen Reasons Why a teenage girl named Hannah Baker blames thirteen of her friends and peers for her suicide. She expresses the blame through a single set of recorded cassette tapes, which she sends the tape to the first person on her list on the day she commits suicide. The book focuses on a boy named Clay who receives the tapes and comes to understand that he could have stopped her death. After you listen to the tapes you can’t go back. You are forever changed, forever affected: what could you have done if you had just paid closer attention?

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Little Peach - Peggy Kern
Michelle is a young girl. Too young to be on the streets alone, too young to know where to go in the bustling island of Manhattan, after her mom forces her to leave home. Too young to know better than to get in the car with a man she does not know. A man who says he will give her a better life with food, clothing, shelter, and love. A man who is lying. At 14 years old, young Michelle has to face too many decisions that decide whether she lives or she dies. She becomes trapped in the lifestyle selling herself to men. Selling the body she hasn't even fully grown up in yet. A body that has never experienced “business”. Too young to understand that in this lifestyle, it's all business, they say. Nothing personal.

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Room - Emma Donoghue
Jack, a five year old boy, has lived in Room for his whole life. Jack lives in Room with Ma, Table, Chair, Bed, Bath. This is Where they eat, sleep, play and Scream. Room is Jack’s home but to Ma, it’s prison. This is where she has been held for seven years by a man called Old Nick, but she is determined to escape, to give Jack the life he deserves. She devises a plan:. Truck, Wiggle Out, Jump, Run. Will the plan work? Will they get the life they deserve?

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The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
With a routine train ride, an alcoholic’s obsession with a seemingly perfect couple is born. She thinks this suburban couple is her dream, her goal, but is that true? Or could it just be a lie? In this case, could this picture perfect couple’s life not be what it seems? The characters in The Girl on the Train are bound together in a web of fear, deception, and self destruction. In a book full of deceiving thoughts and temptations, will you be able to decipher the truth?

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Sold - Patricia McCormick
I see the sign, Happiness House, and I am glad the journey to the city is over. I have come to be a maid and send the money I make back to my family. The monsoon took our crops. We have nothing left, so I need to get a job. This is what my family needs, this is what I have to do, that is what my stepfather told me. I knew she paid him for me, but I did not know I was going to be sold.



Riveting true or realistic fiction war stories that will leave you on the edge of your seat until you make it to the last page.

Assembled by Aaron Weinblatt, Daniel Jegede, and Finn Pierce-Scher.

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Beasts of No Nation - Uzodinma Iweala
Beasts of No Nation is the troubled story of a young boy, Agu amidst a civil conflict. Early on in this novel, Agu loses his family to this war and is captured and forced to be child soldier. Through his young eyes, Agu is exposed to violence in a war that robs him of his innocence and his childhood.

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All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
All Quiet on the Western Front is a World War 1 novel about a group of high school boys who all join the German army together. They lose faith in the war as quickly as they watched their close friends die off one by one. This novel is about life in the trenches and the front lines. Witness the horrors of a war millions died in.

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A Long Way Gone - Ishmael Beah
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is the real account of a young boy whose life is changed in the course of days. Once an aspiring rapper, avid rap fan and consumer, Beah's life is turned upside down when his village is hit by the war. Now stranded and separated from his family, A 12-year old Beah wanders from village to village until he becomes a government soldier at the age of 13, and finds he is capable of unspeakable, traumatic things that will follow him for the rest of his life.

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Night - Elie Wiesel (Preface by); Marion Wiesel (Translator)
Night is a true story of Elie Wiesel's experience through the holocaust. His family and he are taken from their home by the Nazis, then separated from all his family except for his father. In this tragic novel witness the lengths one will go for survival, and the atrocities the Nazis committed.

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Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
A fascinating true story of an athlete with a spellbinding childhood who enlisted in WWII after running in the Berlin olympics. The athlete soldier is assigned on a rescue mission during which his plane crashes in the water. He survives, floating on a life raft for months only to be captured by the Japanese. He survives to tell his fascinating true story of survival and torture, leaving the reader in shock.



Read these books before you watch the movies!

Catagory by: Siena, Charlotte, and Ben

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Flowers in the Attic - V. C. Andrews
Following the sudden death of their father, four children are forced to live in the attic of their grandparent’s mansion, like they never existed. Their mother promises them that it will only be for a while but as months pass by, they begin to doubt her. Follow these four children in the first book of 4 in a romantic horror story that keeps you wanting more.

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Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
A wealthy young businessman named Will Traynor becomes a paraplegic due to a freak accident and is now restricted to a wheelchair. Louisa Clark loses her job and finds herself filling the position of Will’s caregiver. They begin with a stiff and uncomfortable friendship that eventually turns into heartwarming romance.

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To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
In a small southern town during the early 1930s, a widowed father, Atticus, has taken on the task of defending a crippled black man who has been accused of raping a white woman. The story follows the events of the trial though the eyes of Scout, the snarky 6 year old daughter of Atticus. Scout and her older brother, Jem, make their way through small town living, starting an unlikely relationship with Boo Radley, the town’s “local legend,” a shut-in, who is assumed to be insane and hasn’t been seen by the locals in years. With the way Lee approaches prejudice and coming of age, it’s no surprise that To Kill A Mockingbird is an American classic and a critically acclaimed piece of literature. This novel is, no doubt, one of those books that everyone should read before they die.

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The Martian - Andy Weir
Although the predicament of being stuck on Mars isn't favorable for astronaut Mark Watney, he lives in a world where people CAN go to Mars. The story of survival on an unknown planet will keep your heart pounding for all 26 chapters. Filled with constant danger, drastic measures, and lots of humor, this tale of one man's survival in another world will have you imagining the day you yourself can visit the stars.

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The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey
The Fifth Wave takes place on an Earth ravaged by aliens. These aliens are intent on eradicating humanity for no specific reason. Follow a ragtag group of survivors as they fight through a psychological trauma. This book is sure to keep you on your toes.

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Eragon - Christopher Paolini
Deep in the mountains, a young farm boy named Eragon finds a mysterious stone. He brings it back home with him, and soon the stone hatches into a fearsome blue dragon. The evil king finds out about the dragon and attacks the farm, killing his uncle and forcing Eragon to leave his home. Eragon seeks out vengeance for the destruction of his home, and the death of his uncle. The first book of Christopher Paolini’s The Inheritance Cycle, Eragon is a page-turning fantasy on par with The Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter.

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Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones
High above the kingdom of Ingary sits a gargantuan black castle. But this castle is like no other; it walks. Through a series of a twists and turns, Sophie Hatter finds herself inside of the castle, shocked and confused. A conniving fire demon makes a pact with Sophie to break his bond with the wizard that controls the castle, and Sophie is thrown into a world of mystery trying to discover the dark wizard's past. The original basis for Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar nominated animation of the same name, Howl’s Moving Castle is a classic fantasy of mystery, magic, and wonder.




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