Book of the Day Archive

July 19, 2019

The men of Bravo are not cold. It’s a chilly and windwhipped Thanksgiving Day with sleet and freezing rain forecast for late afternoon, but Bravo is nicely blazed on Jack and Cokes thanks to the epic crawl of game-day traffic and the limo’s minibar.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Friends or Not?, Family, Humor, Loss, Sports, War and Politics, American Experience
Grades: 11, 12

July 18, 2019

Scene One: The exterior of a two-story corner building on a street in New Orleans which is named Elysian Fields and runs between the L&N tracks and the river. The section is poor but, unlike corresponding sections in other American cities, it has a raffish charm. The houses are mostly white frame, weathered grey, with rickety outside stairs and galleries and quaintly ornamented gables. This building contains two flats, upstairs and down. Faded white stairs ascend to the entrances of both.

Topics: Classics, Drama, Family, Historical, Loss, Love, Real Life Fiction, Boys, Girls, American Experience
Grades: 11, 12

July 17, 2019

I would never have gone after my mother with a knife, not when a credit card is cleaner and cut just as deep. It’s not like I was going after her at all–mostly what I wanted was to get as far away from her as possible, and her wife’s wallet was sitting on the dining room table with the mail, just waiting to be opened.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Friends or Not?, Family, Real Life Fiction, Girls
Grades: 8, 9

July 12, 2019

Hans Scholl held his head high and his eyes fixed straight as he stepped forward smarting, marching shoulder to shoulder with his comrades in the Hitler Youth.

Topics: Biography, Nonfiction, Historical, War and Politics, Boys, Europe
Grades: 6, 7

July 11, 2019

For the first fifteen years of our lives, Danny and I lived within five blocks of each other and neither of us knew of the other’s existence.

Topics: Classics, Coming of Age, Historical, Real Life Fiction, Boys, American Experience
Grades: 9, 10

July 10, 2019

I am immune to emotion. I have been ever since I can remember. Which is helpful when people appeal to my sympathy. I don’t seem to have any.

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

July 5, 2019

I went back to the Devon School not long ago, and found it looking oddly newer than when I was a student there fifteen years before.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Coming of Age, Friends or Not?, Real Life Fiction, Boys, American Experience, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

July 4, 2019

Eleanor Roosevelt never wanted to be a president’s wife.

Topics: Biography, Nonfiction, Historical, Girls, American Experience, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 6, 7

July 3, 2019

“Lord knows we are tired today as we gather here in fellowship and sorrow, in brotherhood and despair, for the going home ceremony of fourteen-year-old Bobby Green.” Pastor Loving rocked forward as he spoke.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family, Real Life Fiction, Boys, African American, American Experience
Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11

June 28, 2019

Gramps says that I am a country girl at heart, and that is true. I have lived most of my 13 years in Bybanks, Kentucky, which is not much more than a caboodle of houses roosting in a green spot along the Ohio River.

Topics: Novel, Family, Real Life Fiction, Girls, American Experience, Native Peoples, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 6, 7

June 27, 2019

I spent much of my childhood listening to the sound of striving. It came in the form of bad music, or at least in amateur music, coming up through the floorboards of my bedroom–the plink plink plink of students sitting downstairs at my great-aunt Robbie’s piano, slowly and imperfectly learning their scales.

Topics: Memoir, Nonfiction, Coming of Age, Family, Historical, War and Politics, Girls, African American
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

June 26, 2019

He wished the phone would stop ringing. It was bad enough to be sick let alone having a phone ring all night long.

Topics: Novel, Historical, Real Life Fiction, War and Politics, Boys, American Experience
Grades: 12, College Plus

June 21, 2019

Maybe, while he was in jail, Tupac started thinking about his Big Purpose. That’s what D called it–our Big Purpose. She said everybody’s got one and it’s just that we gotta figure out what it is and then go have it.

Topics: Novel, Friends or Not?, Family, Real Life Fiction, Girls, African American
Grades: 5

June 20, 2019

Imagine for a moment that you are a manager of a day-care center. You have a clearly stated policy that children are supposed to be picked up by 4 p.m. But very often parents are late.

Topics: Nonfiction, Science and Tech
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

June 19, 2019

My grandmama Ola says yellow is the first color she ever remembers seeing. It was just there, she says.

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

June 14, 2019

Not every 13 year old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Historical, Real Life Fiction, Girls, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5, 6

June 13, 2019

I stood before our family altar. It was dawn. No one else in the apartment was awake.

Topics: Novel, Friends or Not?, Real Life Fiction, Girls, Latin / Caribbean
Grades: 4, 5

June 12, 2019

I’m alive today because I was grounded. Maybe that sounds odd to you, but it’s true.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Family, Humor, Mystery, Real Life Fiction, Scary Stuff, Girls
Grades: 5, 6, 7

June 7, 2019

A squat gray building of only thirty-four stories. Over the entrance, the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State’s motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Science Fiction/Dystopia
Grades: 10, 11, 12

June 6, 2019

124 was spiteful. Full of a baby’s venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Family, Loss, Real Life Fiction, Scary Stuff, African American, American Experience
Grades: 11, 12

May 30, 2019

At only eleven years of age, I was a cyber ho. Looking back, I’m embarassed. For me. For my parents. But oddly enough, my cyber social debauchery is indirectly correlated with my current status as a so-called internet pioneer.

Topics: Memoir, Nonfiction, Arts and Creativity, Friends or Not?, Humor, Girls, African American, American Experience
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

May 31, 2019

Damn this writing. I’d rather sleep. God how I’d love to sleep. But I can’t.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Love, Science Fiction/Dystopia, War and Politics, Girls
Grades: 7, 8, 9

May 29, 2019

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Love, Real Life Fiction, War and Politics, Europe, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 10, 11, 12

May 24, 2019

First time I saw her was in the mirror on my locker door. I’d kicked my swim gear onto the bottom shelf and was reaching to the top for my calc book when she opened her locker across the hall. She had a streaked blond ponytail dangling out the back of her baseball cap…. We slammed our lockers in unison and turned. Her eyes met mine. “Hi,” she said, smiling. My stomach fluttered. “Hi,” I answered automatically. She was new. Had to be. I would’ve noticed her. She sauntered away, but not before I caught a glimpse of her T-shirt. It said: IMRU? Am I what?

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

May 23, 2019

“Gilly,” said Miss Ellis with a shake of her long blonde hair toward the passenger in the back seat. “I need to feel that you are willing to make some effort.”

Topics: Novel, Friends or Not?, Family, Real Life Fiction, Girls, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 4, 5

May 22, 2019

I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up. I had just gotten over a serious illness I won’t bother to talk about, except that it had something to do with the miserably weary split-up and my feeling that everything was dead.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Adventure, Arts and Creativity, Real Life Fiction, Boys, American Experience
Grades: 11, 12

May 17, 2019

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of night, he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping next to him. Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world.

Topics: Classics, Adventure, Family, Real Life Fiction, Scary Stuff, Science Fiction/Dystopia, Boys, American Experience
Grades: 10, 11, 12

May 16, 2019

Oklahoma, 1922: That summer a water diviner named Michael Horse forecast a two week dry spell. Until then, Horse’s predictions were known to be reliable, and since it was a scorching hot summer, a good number of Indians moved their beds outdoors in hopes a chance breeze would pass over and provide relief from the hot nights.

Topics: Novel, Historical, Mystery, American Experience, Native Peoples
Grades: 8, 9, 10

May 15, 2019

I was supposed to play the piano. A piano is a beautiful instrument. Elegant. Dignified. People wear ball gowns and tuxedos to hear the piano.

Topics: Novel, Family, Humor, Real Life Fiction, Girls
Grades: 5, 6

May 10, 2019

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you would expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Family, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Boys
Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9