Book of the Day Archive

October 11, 2019

The first time Moses dropped a dollar in my cup, I didn’t even know his name. I looked up at him, glad for the dollar. Maybe I said thanks, but it’s blurry sometimes, my memory is. Once moment clear as water, then another moment, and it’s like somebody’s erasing bits and pieces of it.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family, Real Life Fiction, Girls, American Experience
Grades: 8, 9, 10

October 10, 2019

We wanted more. We knocked the butt ends of our forks against the table, tapped our spoons against our empty bowls; we were hungry.

Topics: Memoir, Nonfiction, Coming of Age, Family, Boys, LGBTQ, American Experience, Latin / Caribbean
Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11

October 9, 2019

History has failed us, but no matter.

Topics: Novel, Family, Historical, Loss, Love, Real Life Fiction, Boys, Girls, Asian, Immigrants
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

October 4, 2019

From time to time, I bother to notice them. Tourists. They come reeking of their bug repellents and their sunscreens, and the clicker-snap of their cameras nibbles away at the song of the swamp until I wonder if they can hear it at all.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Friends or Not?, Family, Fantasy / Magic / Myth
Grades: 4, 5

October 3, 2019

“You must not tell anyone,” my mother said, “what I am about to tell you. In China your father had a sister who killed herself. She jumped into the family well. We say that your father has all brothers because it is as if she had never been born.

Topics: Classics, Memoir, Novel, Family, Girls, American Experience, Asian
Grades: 11, 12

October 2, 2019

I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.

Topics: Memoir, Nonfiction, Adventure, Coming of Age, Family, Girls
Grades: 10, 11, 12

September 27, 2019

I sprang up from mother earth She clothed me in her own colors I was nourished by father sun He glazed the pottery of my skin I am beautiful by design.

Topics: Poetry, Family, Boys, Girls, African American, American Experience
Grades: 3, 4, 5

September 26, 2019

Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. “Was I minus numbers?”


September 25, 2019

Mostly out of laziness, I decide to start my low-wage life in the town nearest to where I actually live, Key West, Florida, which with a population of about 25,000 is elbowing its way up to the status of a genuine city. The downside of familiarity, I soon realize, is that it’s not easy to go from being a consumer, thoughtlessly throwing money around in exchange for groceries and movies and gas, to being a worker in the very same place.

Topics: Nonfiction, Family, American Experience
Grades: 10, 11

September 20, 2019

Ella cranked the handle on the phonograph, and the three Boswell Sisters crooned, with honey in their voices: “When I take my sugar to tea, All the girls are jealous of me…”

Topics: Biography, Nonfiction, Picture Storybook, Arts and Creativity, Historical, Girls, African American
Grades: 5, 6

September 19, 2019

Among other public buildings in the town of Mudfog, it boasts of one which is common to most towns great or small, to wit, a workhouse, and in this workhouse there was born on a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events, the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of this chapter.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Coming of Age, Real Life Fiction, Europe, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 11, 12

September 18, 2019

He went there to learn how to give a good perm and ended up just crazy about nails so He opened up His own shop. “Nails by Jim” He called it.

Topics: Poetry, Humor
Grades: 7, 8

September 13, 2019

We’re running across long, wavy grass, racing for the first corner. I’m right at the front, being pushed on by the charge of legs all around me, the quick breathing of my schoolmates.

Topics: Biography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sports, Africa
Grades: 9, 10, 11

September 12, 2019

My parents still think I’m their little girl. I don’t want them to see me getting bigger, bigger every week, almost too big to hide it now. But if I don’t go home, where can I go? Jason said, You could get rid of it. I thought of how he tossed the broken condom in the trash, saying, Nothing.

Topics: Novel, Poetry, Coming of Age, Love, Real Life Fiction, Girls, LGBTQ, African American, American Experience, Latin / Caribbean
Grades: 9, 10

September 11, 2019

Long before there was race and even before there was politics, there were Saturday mornings in the playground.

Topics: Nonfiction, Sports, Boys, African American, American Experience
Grades: 11, 12

September 6, 2019

I was the closest kingdom to the queen’s, as the crow flies, but not even the crows flew it. The high mountain range that served as the border between the two kingdoms discouraged crows as much as it discouraged people, and it was considered unpassable.

Topics: Novel, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Humor, Girls
Grades: 7, 8, 9

September 5, 2019

The boy’s name was Santiago. Dusk was falling as the boy arrived with his herd at an abandoned church. The roof had fallen in long ago, and an enormous sycamore had grown on the spot where the sacristy had once stood.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Adventure, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Boys, Latin / Caribbean, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 10, 11, 12, College Plus

September 4, 2019

My grandfather, the knife fighter, killed two Germans before he was eighteen. I don’t remember anyone telling me–it was something I always seemed to know, the way I knew the Yankees wore pinstripes for home games and gray for the road.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Historical, Real Life Fiction, War and Politics, Boys, Girls, Europe
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

August 30, 2019

12th Day of September. I am commanded to write an account of my days: I am bit by fleas and plagued by family. That is all there is to say.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Historical, Love, Real Life Fiction, Girls, Europe, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 6, 7

August 29, 2019

Whenever my mother talks to me, she begins the conversation as if we were already in the middle of an argument. “Pearl-ah, have to go, no choice,” my mother said when she phoned last week.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Real Life Fiction, Girls, American Experience, Asian, Immigrants
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

August 28, 2019

Objects had always jumped into my pockets, which is why I didn’t think of what I did as stealing.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family, Historical, Loss, Science and Tech, Girls
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

August 23, 2019

We live in the most confusing period in human history. In the past 200 years we have made more advances in science, industry, medicine, democratic government, and the status of women than in all previous centuries combined.

Topics: Nonfiction, Arts and Creativity, Historical, Boys, Girls
Grades: 9, 10

August 22, 2019

Not long after I moved with my family to a small town in New Hampshire I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town.

Topics: Memoir, Nonfiction, Adventure, Ecology and Nature, Humor, American Experience
Grades: 10, 11, 12

August 21, 2019

One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I woke. In the morning, when I opened my eyes, the world was the same.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Friends or Not?, Love, Real Life Fiction, Boys, LGBTQ, American Experience, Latin / Caribbean
Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10

August 16, 2019

Hot sun and hummingbirds. Orange trees with dark green leaves. These were some of John James Audubon’s earliest memories.

Topics: Biography, Nonfiction, Arts and Creativity, Ecology and Nature, Family, Historical, Boys, Girls, American Experience, Europe, Immigrants, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 9, 10

August 15, 2019

Dad had Uncle Eddie round, so naturally they had to come and see what I was up to. If Uncle Eddie (who is bald as a coot) says to me one more time, “Should bald heads be buttered?” I may kill myself.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family, Humor, Love, Real Life Fiction, Girls, Europe, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 7, 8

August 14, 2019

July 1999. One woman stands alone, off to the side of the crowd. She paces back and forth–agitated, excited, impatient.

Topics: Nonfiction, Historical, Science and Tech, Girls, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5

August 9, 2019

When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Real Life Fiction, Boys, American Experience, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5, 6, 7

August 8, 2019

Let it keep, the moment when Officer Fish Lips met Abdul in the police station. Rewind, see Abdul running backward, away from the station and the airport, toward home.

Topics: Nonfiction, Coming of Age, Family, India
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

August 7, 2019

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. We’re moving today. I’m so scared God.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Friends or Not?, Real Life Fiction, Girls
Grades: 4, 5