Book of the Day Archive

May 29, 2020

According to my sister, CeCe, the night before I was born, Mom and Dad sat in the living room, timing Mom’s early contractions and arguing about my name during the minutes in between. They both agreed on the name itself, but spent half the night fighting about the spelling.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family, Real Life Fiction, Girls, African American
Grades: 7, 8

May 28, 2020

We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.

Topics: Novel, Family, Science Fiction/Dystopia, Girls
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

May 27, 2020

I was a regular little kid. I played with my mom’s stuff. I watched TV with my big brother, Ashley. And my big sister, Sarah. I rode on the back of my father’s bicycle. I found caterpillars with my friend Emma. And I sang. But then everything changed.

Topics: Graphics / Comics, Novel, Friends or Not?, Humor, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 6

May 22, 2020

When Augustus came out on the porch the blue pigs were eating a rattlesnake–not a very big one. It had probably just been crawling around looking for shade when it ran into the pigs. The were having a fine tug-of-war with it, and its rattling days were over.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Ecology and Nature, Historical, Real Life Fiction, American Experience
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

May 21, 2020

I ran barefoot across the meadow toward the river. Once among the trees, I flung off my clothes, grabbed my favorite low-hanging branch, swung out across the river, and let go. A perfect landing!

Topics: Memoir, Nonfiction, Historical, War, Boys, Europe
Grades: 6

May 20, 2020

On a continent of many songs, in a country shaped like the arm of a tall guitarrista, the rain drummed down on the town of Temuco. Neftali Reyes sat in his bed, propped up by pillows, and stared at the schoolwork in front of him. His teacher called it simple addition, but it was never simple for him.

Topics: Novel, Arts and Creativity, Ecology and Nature, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Boys, Latin / Caribbean, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5, 6

May 15, 2020

True! —nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses–not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad?

Topics: Classics, Short Stories, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Historical, Mystery, Scary Stuff, Boys, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 6, 7

May 14, 2020

Public school kids always ask, How do you meet guys if you go to an all-girls school? Immaculate Heart Academy is named for the pure love of God that flows through Mary’s heart. But here’s the real reason why our logo is a hunk of dripping muscle: five hundred girls in red plaid skirts. Even if we brushed with garlic toothpaste we couldn’t keep the vampires away.

Topics: Novel, Poetry, Coming of Age, Love, Real Life Fiction, Sports, Girls
Grades: 10, 11, 12

May 13, 2020

In the spring of 1865, as rain softened the hard ground, plenty of work was found for every pair of hands on the Williams plantation in Camden, Arkansas, despite the Civil War, which was still raging at the end of its fourth year.

Topics: Nonfiction, Historical, African American, American Experience, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 7, 8, 9

May 8, 2020

Edward watched intently as his father struggled into the blue uniform coat that he had made when he was elected captain of the Guilderland militia. It was a fine thing, he thought, to have Captain Teunis Van Alstyne for one’s father, but he did wish that someday, just once even, his father would take the Spanish Gun to the muster.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Historical, Real Life Fiction, Boys
Grades: 3

May 7, 2020

I’d never given much thought to how I would die – though I’d had reason enough in the last few months – but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Love, Scary Stuff, Girls, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10

May 6, 2020

If you hit your head hard enough, your brain gets shaken up inside your skull. You might see stars or pass out for a few minutes, and after that, a bunch of things happen.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Science and Tech, Science Fiction/Dystopia, Girls, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 6, 7

May 1, 2020

Okay. Awago Beach is this place where my family goes every summer. Ever since…..like forever.

Topics: Graphics / Comics, Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Family, Real Life Fiction, Girls, Asian
Grades: 8, 9, 10

April 30, 2020

Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Loss, Real Life Fiction, Girls, Africa
Grades: 11, 12

April 29, 2020

The women resemble schoolgirls with gangly limbs, ruddy cheeks, plaited flaxen hair; they walk holding hands. Yet the older of the two is pregnant; her unborn baby rides high and round. And the younger woman’s left foot scratches a path through the leaves. She seems comfortable with her limp, accustomed to it.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Ecology and Nature, Family, Mystery, Girls
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12, College Plus

April 24, 2020

#437: the stupidest name for a sport is football. Why isn’t it called tackleball? Real football is soccer. Soccer is the second-stupidest name for a sport, unless it was the name for female boxing. But female boxing is already called boxing, even though boxing should be the sport to see who can pack up stuff, like clothes, the fastest. Why isn’t that a sport? If it was a sport, Ma would be a world-champion boxer.

Topics: Novel, Family, Real Life Fiction, Boys, African American
Grades: 4, 5, 6

April 23, 2020

The pledge masters marched the fifteen pledges to the middle of the soggy yard. The ground was muddy and squished as they walked, and the frigid air whipped across the pledges’ wet T-shirts. Sharp needles of rain stung them as they stood there silently waiting for instructions.

Topics: Coming of Age, Friends or Not?, Real Life Fiction, Boys, African American
Grades: 7, 8

April 22, 2020

Lorenzo Santillan had always been different. It might have been his head. When he was a a few months old, his mother dropped him on a curb in Zitacuaro, a town of about 100,000 people in the Mexican state of Michoacan.

Topics: Biography, Nonfiction, Arts and Creativity, Coming of Age, Science and Tech, Boys, American Experience, Immigrants, Latin / Caribbean
Grades: 10, 11, 12

April 17, 2020

The first time Teresa saw Brother was the way she would think of him ever after. Tree fell head over heels for him. It was love at first sight in the wild beating of her heart that took her breath.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Adventure, Family, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Girls, African American, American Experience
Grades: 6, 7, 8

April 16, 2020

There came a time when the American people began to forget God. They turned away from His churches and grew arrogant and stupid. God needed a Prophet, and He chose a man called Beaton Frick. Frick was pure of heart and mighty of resources; he lived in a kingdom called Florida.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Science Fiction/Dystopia, Girls
Grades: 8, 9, 10

April 15, 2020

In and around the Hillsboro Courthouse. The foreground is the actual courtroom, with a jury box, judge’s bench, and a scattering of trial-scarred chairs and counsel tables. This is not so much a literal view of Hillsboro as it is an impression of a sleepy, obscure country town about to be vigorously awakened.

Topics: Classics, Drama, Historical, Science and Tech, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 9, 10

April 10, 2020

Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler’s pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Scary Stuff, Boys
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

April 9, 2020

School was finally out and I was standing on a picnic table in our backyard getting ready for a great summer vacation when my mother walked up to me and ruined it.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Mystery, Boys
Grades: 7

April 8, 2020

The story I am about to share with you takes place in 1931, under the roofs of Paris.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Arts and Creativity, Historical, Mystery, Boys, Europe, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 4, 5, 6

April 3, 2020

Here is the house. It is green and white. It has a red door. It is very pretty. Here is the family. Mother, Father, Dick, and Jane live in the green-and-white house. They are very happy. See Jane. She has a red dress. She wants to play. Who will play with Jane?

Topics: Classics, Novel, Coming of Age, Family, Historical, Loss, Real Life Fiction, Girls, African American, American Experience
Grades: 12, College Plus

April 2, 2020

All he could see, in every direction, was water. It was late June 1943. Somewhere on the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean, Army Air Force bombardier and Olympic runner Louie Zamperini lay across a small raft, drifting westward.

Topics: Biography, Nonfiction, Historical, Sports, War, Boys, American Experience, Asian, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 10, 11, 12, College Plus

April 1, 2020

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself tranformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Family, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Scary Stuff, Europe, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 12, College Plus

March 27, 2020

I had a transcendental moment on the plane, eating my Haagen-Daz ice cream and listening to Camille Saint-Saens’ Danse macabre. Oh, by the way, I’m on the plane right now. It’s really hard to tell what time of day it is, and I can’t sleep.

Topics: Graphics / Comics, Memoir, Nonfiction, Family, Girls, Asian
Grades: 6, 7

March 26, 2020

I like to think I know what death is. I like to think that it’s something I could look at straight.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Coming of Age, Family, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Loss, Love, Real Life Fiction, Boys, Girls, African American
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

March 25, 2020

When I left my office that beautiful spring day, I had no idea what was in store for me. To begin with, everything was too perfect for anything unusual to happen.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Historical, Real Life Fiction, Boys, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5, 6