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WHS Home: Summer Reading Ideas 2014

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 Hi WHS students,

This summer, read at least one book just for fun. The lists on the rights are recent titles that have won awards or created some kind of buzz. Included are fiction and non-fiction titles, young adult and adult books covering all subjects. Each has an Amazon link to help you find more detailed description & reviews.

This year I noticed some students were interested in reading "the classics". Below you will find the link to a list of classics recommended by the College Board (the people who bring you the SAT). Beneath that is a box containing links to a list of books that are (or will soon be) movies.

The important thing to us is that you find something you can sit back and enjoy. The more you read, the easier it will be to tackle college work, to expand your vocabulary and improve your writing style. A book can even transport you on a bad or stressful day.

Just follow the links, come see us for suggestions, or go to your local bookstore or public library and find yourself a good book. 

Have a great summer!

Ms Percy




5th Wave. Yancey.
The Passage meets Ender's Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. (Sequel due out in September).
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And the Mountains Echoed. Hosseini.
Khaled Hosseini's third novel is told via a series of interlinking stories—beginning in an Afghanistan village in 1952 when an impoverished man named Saboor is faced with the prospect of giving up one of his children in order to survive. From this crucial moment, Saboor's decision impacts his descendants and acquaintances for generations to come. Explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us.
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Boxers & Saints (2vol). Yang.
In this award winning set of 2 graphic novels, China's Boxer Rebellion is in full swing, and bands of young men roam the countryside, murdering Westerners and Chinese Christians alike. In "Boxers" Little Bao has had enough: harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers--commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from "foreign devils.  
  In "Saints", Vibiana is torn between her nation and her Christian friends, and will have to decide where her true loyalties lie-- and whether she is willing to die for her faith. Read one or both! 
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The Circle. Eggers.
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.
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Code Name Verity. Wein.
Oct. 11th, 1943- A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.
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Eleanor & Park. Rowell.
Eleanor, 15, is the new girl at school and bullied because she's overweight and dresses in a flamboyant manner. Park is a half-Korean boy who has lived in Omaha, Nebraska, all his life but still feels like an outsider. This is a story of first love, which very slowly builds from the first day Eleanor sits next to Park on the school bus. While technically classified as YA lit, don’t let the stigma of “books for teens” fool or deter you. It is written about teens, sure, but the themes are so universal that anyone who survived high school will relate to the lives of the two protagonists.
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Every day. Levithan.
Every morning A wakes in a different person's body, in a different person's life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.
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Fangirl. Rowell.
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life--and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving.
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Final Four. Volponi.
March Madness is in full swing, and there are only four teams let in the NCAA basketball championship. The heavily favored Michigan Spartans and the underdog Troy Trojans meet in the first game in the seminfinals, and it's there that the fates of Malcolm, Roko, Crispin, and M.J. intertwine.

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The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction). Tartt.
Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
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The Kingdom of Little Wounds. Cokal.
On the eve of Princess Sophia's wedding, the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches. Yet beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. A mysterious illness plagues the royal family, threatening the lives of the throne's heirs, and a courtier's wolfish hunger for the king's favors sets a devious plot in motion.
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The Lions of Little Rock. Levine.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1958, as politicians rage for and against the struggle to integrate schools, Marlee, 13,  has a personal problem with mutism—she’s terrified to say things aloud in public. Then she makes friends with Lizzie, the new girl in her middle school, who encourages Marlee to even do an oral presentation in class together. Then one day Lizzie is thrown out of school. It turns out that she is a light-skinned black passing for white, and the locals refuse to follow the federal integration order. Marlee and Lizzie meet secretly, until it becomes too dangerous, with threatening phone calls and the KKK always around. Marlee’s first-person narrative brings home the standoffs with classmates, family, and officials, but what is most moving is that while most do not change, some do.
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The Lowland. Lahiri.
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America. Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives-- Udayan is passionate, idealistic and ripe for involvement in the political rebellion in 1960s India (not all that different from his American counterparts of the same era.) Subhash is the “good brother,” the parent-pleaser, who goes off to study and teach in America. Then a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.
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Maggot Moon. (Michael L. Printz Award - Honor Title). Gardner.
In a grimly surreal alternate 1950s, 15-year-old Standish Treadwell leads a bleak life under a totalitarian government reminiscent of World War II Germany and Cold War Soviet Union.  Standish's quirky first-person voice and fragmented storytelling gradually reveal that the government is intent on winning a propaganda-filled space race and will go to any length, including a massive hoax, to appear victorious.
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Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Sloan.
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. A Winner of the Alex Award, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle
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Ocean at the End of the Lane. Gaiman.
Forty years ago, our narrator, who was then a seven-year-old boy, unwittingly discovered a neighboring family’s supernatural secret. What happens next is an imaginative romp through otherwordly adventure that could only come from Gaiman's magical mind. Childhood innocence is tested and transcended as we see what getting between ancient, mystic forces can cost, as well as what can be gained from the power of true friendship. The result is a captivating tale that is equal parts sweet, sad, and spooky.
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Orphan Train: A Novel. Kline.
A gripping story of friendship and second chances. Foster teen Molly is performing community-service work for elderly widow Vivian, and as they go through Vivian’s cluttered attic, they discover that their lives have much in common. When Vivian was a girl, she was taken to a new life on an orphan train. These trains carried children to adoptive families for 75 years, from the mid-nineteenth century to the start of the Great Depression.
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Out of Reach. Arcos.
How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel, a National Book Award Finalist.
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Period 8. Crutcher.
Period 8 has always been a safe haven and high school senior Paulie "The Bomb" Baum a constant attendee, but as Paulie, Hannah, their friends, and a sympathetic teacher try to unravel the mystery of a missing classmate, the ultimate bully takes aim at the school.

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Picture Me Gone. Rosoff.
Mila, 12, is something of a mentalist. She can read expressions, sense underlying emotions, and put human puzzles together. Even though her father’s lifelong friend Matthew has gone missing, Gil and Mila carry on with their plan to fly from England to Matthew’s home in upstate New York, only now, instead of a visit, the purpose of their trip is to find him. The story is presented as a mystery, and it is, but it is so much more.
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Ready Player One. Cline.
 Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia called OASIS to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world's creator. Recommended especially for video gamers.
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Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel. McCreight.
Kate is in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from her daughter's exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter now. But Kate's stress over leaving work quickly turns to panic when she arrives at the school and finds it surrounded by police officers, fire trucks, and an ambulance. By then it's already too late for Amelia.
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Rithmatist. Sanderson.
Joel longs to be a Rithmatist with the magical power to bring two-dimensional objects, called Chalklings, to life. But he is 16, and Rithmatists are chosen at age 8. Surely he has missed his chance, or has he? When Rithmatists-in-training at the prestigious Armedius Academy begin to go missing, Joel—a scholarship student there—determines to find out what has happened to them
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Rose Under Fire. Wein.
While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbruck, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners.

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The Round House. Erdrich.
Likely to be dubbed the Native American To Kill a Mockingbird, Louise Erdrich’s moving, complex, and surprisingly uplifting new novel tells of a boy’s coming of age in the wake of a brutal, racist attack on his mother. A page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction—at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture. Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.
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The Storyteller. Picoult.
Teenager Sage Singer has become friends with Josef Weber, an old man who's particularly loved in her community. Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shame­ful secret and he asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well.

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Twelve Tribes of Hattie. Mathis.
In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd, flees Georgia and heads north during the Great Migration. Full of hope, she settles in Philadelphia to build a better life. Instead she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment & watches helplessly as her firstborn twins are lost to an illness that a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children, whom she raises with grit, mettle, and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them to meet a world that will not be kind. Their lives, captured here in twelve luminous threads, tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage—and a nation's tumultuous journey.
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We are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Fowler.
This is a funny, stingingly smart, and heartbreaking book. Among other things, it's about love, family, loss, and secrets; the acquisition and the loss of language. It's also about two sisters, Rosemary and Fern, who are unlike any other sisters you've ever met before.”
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Summer List


Bossypants. Fey.
The breakout star of "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" gives a humorous account of her life, and offers behind-the-scenes stories from her hit shows.
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Buck: A Memoir. Asante.
MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: his mother a dancer, his father a revered professor. But as a teenager, MK was alone on the streets of North Philadelphia, swept up in a world of drugs, sex, and violence. MK’s memoir is an unforgettable tale of how one precocious, confused kid educated himself through gangs, rap, mystic cults, ghetto philosophy, and, eventually, books.
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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope. Kamkwamba.
William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala—crazy—but William refused to let go of his dreams.
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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. Gladwell.
The best-selling author of Outliers uncovers the hidden rules that shape the balance between the weak and the mighty, the powerful and the dispossessed.
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Drama High: Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, & the Magic of Theater. Sokolove.
Friday Night Lights meets Glee—the incredible and true story of an extraordinary drama teacher who has changed the lives of thousands of students and inspired a town.
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Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. Fink.
A story of life, death, and the choices in between at a New Orleans hospital immediately following Hurricane Katrina. Without power, an evacuation plan, or strong leadership, caregiving became chaotic, and exhausted doctors and nurses found it difficult to make even the simplest decisions. And, when it came to making the hardest decisions, some of them seem to have failed. This book offers a stunning re-creation of the storm, its aftermath, and the investigation that followed.   Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
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Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. Roach.
Mary Roach, best-selling science writer, offers a tour of the human digestive system, explaining why the stomach doesn't digest itself and whether constipation can kill you.

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I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. Yousafzai.
Describes the life of a young Pakistani student who advocated for women's rights and education in the Taliban-controlled Swat Valley who survived an assassination attempt and became the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.
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League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth. Fainaru-Wada.
Draws on interviews, e-mails, and previously undisclosed documents to reveals how the NFL has endeavored to cover up evidence of the connection between football and brain damage for the past two decades.
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Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Sandberg.
Sheryl Sandberg examines why women's progress in achieving leadership rolls in government & industry has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling solutions that can empower women to reach their full potential.
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lol...OMG!: What Every Student Needs to Know About Online Reputation Management, Digital Citizenship and Cyberbullying. Ivester. 
Provides a cautionary look at the many ways that today’s students are experiencing the unanticipated negative consequences of their digital decisions from lost job opportunities and denied college and graduate school admissions to full-blown national scandals.
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Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City's Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justice. Helman.
Two Boston Globe journalists who covered the Boston Marathon bombing tell the story of the week of April 15, 2013 through the eyes of seven principal characters, offering insight and stories of heroism and humanity.
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My Green Manifesto: Down the Charles River in Pursuit of a New Environmentalism. Gessner.
David Gessner embarks on a rough-and-tumble journey down Boston’s Charles River, searching for the soul of a new environmentalism with a tragically leaky canoe, a broken cell phone, a cooler of beer, and the environmental planner Dan Driscoll in tow. As Dan recounts his own story of transforming the famously polluted Charles into an urban haven for wildlife and wild people, the vision of a new sort of eco-champion begins to emerge: someone who falls in love with a forgotten space, and then fights like hell for it. Considering everything from Ed Abbey’s legacy to Jimmy Carter’s sweater, Gessner points toward a scrappy environmentalism that, despite all odds, just might change the world.
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One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season. Ballard.
In 1971, a small town high school baseball team from rural Illinois, playing with hand-me-down uniforms & peace signs on their hats defies convention & the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370
teams to become the smallest school in modern Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands.
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Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Roach.
What happens to you when you can't walk for a year? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a spacewalk? From the Space Shuttle training toilet to the crash test of NASA's new space capsule, Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space.
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The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism. Higashida.
Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine.
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The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance. Epstein.
In this controversial and engaging exploration of athletic success, Sports Illustrated senior writer David Epstein tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving this great riddle. He investigates the so-called 10,000-hour rule to uncover whether rigorous and consistent practice from a young age is the only route to athletic excellence.
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Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It. Bloom.
The award-winning journalist who covered the trial discusses the laws, culture and conditions that exist in modern America that allowed George Zimmerman to be fully acquitted after killing an unarmed, black teenager in his gated Florida community.
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Thank You for Your Service. Finkel.
No journalist has reckoned with the psychology of war as intimately as David Finkel. In The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel embedded with the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion as they carried out the infamous “surge,” a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed them all forever.

In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel follows many of those same men as they return home and struggle to reintegrate—both into their family lives and into American society at large. He is with them in their most intimate, painful, and hopeful moments as they try to recover, and in doing so, he creates an indelible, essential portrait of what life after war is like—not just for these soldiers, but for their wives, widows, children, and friends, and for the professionals who are truly trying, and to a great degree failing, to undo the damage that has been done.
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Three Little Words: A Memoir. Rhodes-Courter.
Growing up in 14 foster homes, dealing with 44 caseworkers, coping with abusive treatment and constantly changing surroundings, a young girl finds the inner strength she needs to come out of the depths of the foster system and grow to become a success in her own right, in a powerful memoir for young adult readers.
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Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him. Montalván.
A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalvan never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home from combat, however, his physical wounds and crippling post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. He wondered if he would ever recover.
Then Luis met Tuesday, a sensitive golden retriever trained to assist the disabled. Tuesday had lived among prisoners and at a home for troubled boys, and he found it difficult to trust in or connect with a human being--until Luis.
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Wave. Deraniyagala.
A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist
In 2004, at a beach resort on the coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala and her family—parents, husband, sons—were swept away by a tsunami. Only Sonali survived to tell their tale. This is her account of the nearly incomprehensible event and its aftermath.
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Zeitoun. Eggers.
The true story of one family, caught between America's two biggest policy disasters: the war on terror and the response to Hurricane Katrina.
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