Book of the Day Archive

October 16, 2020

The accused man, Kabuo Miyamoto, sat proudly upright with a rigid grace, his palms placed softly on the defendant’s table–the posture of a man who has detached himself insofar as this is possible at his own trial.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Historical, Loss, Love, Mystery, Real Life Fiction, War, Boys, Girls, American Experience, Asian, Immigrants
Grades: 12, College Plus

October 15, 2020

When people ask me what I do–taxi drivers, dental hygienists–I tell them I work in an office. In almost nine years, no one’s ever asked what kind of office, or what sort of job I do there. 

Topics: Novel, Family Matters, Humor, Love, Girls
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

October 14, 2020

Chicago, my hometown. We call it Chi-town. Where bulls rule the city…and Al Capone was a real gangster who lived and died here. My Grandma says that just a few blocks away from my house Muddy Waters invented Chicago blues.

Topics: Graphics / Comics, Novel, Change Your World, Coming of Age, Mystery, Real Life Fiction, Boys, African American, American Experience
Grades: 7, 8

October 9, 2020

To think, only yesterday I was in chancletas, sipping lemonade and watching my twin cousins run through the sprinkler in the yard. Now I’m here in Mr. Patchett’s class, sweating in my polyester school blazer and waiting for this torture to be over.

Topics: Novel, Family Matters, Friends or Not?, Real Life Fiction, Girls, Latinx / Caribbean
Grades: 5, 6

October 8, 2020

And I could only have seen her there on the stone bridge, a dancer wreathed in ghostly blue, because that was the way they would have taken her back when I was young, back when the Virginia earth was still red as brick and red with life, and though there were other bridges spanning the river Goose, they would have bound her and brought her across this one, because this was the bridge that fed into the turnpike that twisted its way through the green hills and down the valley before bending in one direction and that direction was south.

Topics: Novel, Change Your World, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Friends or Not?, Historical, Loss, Real Life Fiction, Boys, African American, American Experience, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

October 7, 2020

Eight mornings before running away, I found myself at McDonald’s, wondering about the direction of my life. It was one of those moments that should have felt important. I should have said to myself, Hey self, you’re having a Pivotal Moment in a Sentimental Place.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Arts and Creativity, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Friends or Not?, Humor, Love, Real Life Fiction, Boys, American Experience, Immigrants, Middle Eastern
Grades: 9, 10, 11

October 2, 2020

Babygirl doesn’t even cry when I suck my teeth and undo her braid for the fourth time. If anything, I’m the one on the verge of tears, since at this rate we’re both going to be late.

Topics: Novel, Arts and Creativity, Family Matters, Real Life Fiction, Girls, Latinx / Caribbean
Grades: 9

October 1, 2020

Though brilliantly sunny, Saturday morning was overcoat weather again, not just topcoat weather, as it had been all week and as everyone had hoped it would stay for the big weekend–the weekend of the Yale game. 

Topics: Classics, Novel, Coming of Age, Family Matters, God and Religion, Real Life Fiction, Boys, Girls, American Experience
Grades: 10, 11, 12

September 30, 2020

Flora Belle Buckman was in her room at her desk. She was very busy. She was doing two things at once. She was ignoring her mother, and she was also reading a comic book entitled, “The Illuminated Adventures of the Amazing Incandesto!”

Topics: Graphics / Comics, Novel, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Friends or Not?, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5

September 25, 2020

At the police station in La Abra, I’m frisked: arms above my head and my legs spread apart while someone runs his hands across my body, my face hot and my heart thudding so hard I’m sure he can hear it, and I’m too afraid to ask what’s going on. When he’s done, I’m taken to a cramped, stuffy room with no windows and a door that shuts heavy and holds the sound in the room like a trap.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Friends or Not?, God and Religion, Real Life Fiction, Sports, Boys, American Experience
Grades: 8, 9

September 24, 2020

Steam belched and hissed. Sweat trickled down the back of my neck. Smaug the Terrible was furious with me. “What does it mean, ‘filter error’?” I asked.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Friends or Not?, Real Life Fiction, Boys, Immigrants, Middle Eastern
Grades: 9

September 23, 2020

“Mama, are you a virgin?” I was practicing the question in my head as I set the plates with the faded roosters down on the shiny yellow table. When Mama came back into the kitchen to stir the rice or turn the fish sticks or check on the greens, I would ask her.

Topics: Novel, Change Your World, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Historical, Real Life Fiction, Girls, African American, American Experience
Grades: 10, 11

September 18, 2020

It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die. Even under the brightest sun, the frigid autumn sea is all the colors of the night: dark blue and black and brown. I watch the ever-changing patterns in the sand as it’s pummeled by countless hooves. They run the horses on the beach, a pale road between the black water and the chalk cliffs. It is never safe, but it’s never so dangerous as today, race day.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Girls, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11

September 17, 2020

“I’ll race you to the corner, Ellen!” Annemarie adjusted the thick leather pack on her back so that her schoolbooks balanced evenly. “Ready?’ She looked at her best friend. Ellen made a face. “No,” she said, laughing. “You know I can’t beat you–my legs aren’t as long. Can’t we just walk, like civilized people?” 

Topics: Classics, Novel, Family Matters, Historical, War, Girls, Europe, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5, 6, 7

September 16, 2020

Something you should know up front about my family: We believe that Jesus is coming back. We believe heaven is a real place with gates of pearl and streets of gold, just as hell is a real place of eternal fire and torment. 

Topics: Memoir, Nonfiction, Arts and Creativity, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Friends or Not?, God and Religion, Boys, LGBTQ+
Grades: 9, 10

September 11, 2020

Before we get started, I just want to make one thing clear about the guys I hang out. I did not, do not, and will not ever endorse our “name” or “motto”.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Friends or Not?, Humor, Science Fiction/Dystopia, Boys
Grades: 5, 6

September 10, 2020

On moonless nights the men and boys of Jableh, a dusty fishing town on the coast of Syria, would gather their lanterns and set out in their quietest boats. Five or six small craft, two or three fishermen in each. A mile out, they would arrange the boats in a circle on the black sea, drop their nets, and, holding their lanterns over the water, they would approximate the moon.

Topics: Biography, Nonfiction, Adventure, Change Your World, God and Religion, Historical, Loss, Boys, American Experience, Immigrants, Middle Eastern
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12, College Plus

September 9, 2020

I never liked Sister Souljah, straight up. 

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Real Life Fiction, Girls, African American, American Experience
Grades: 7, 8, 9

September 4, 2020

My sister, Lynn, taught me my first word: kira-kira. I pronounced it ka-a-ahhh, but she knew what I meant. Kira-kira means “glittering” in Japanese. 

Topics: Classics, Novel, Family Matters, Real Life Fiction, Girls, American Experience, Asian, Immigrants, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8

September 3, 2020

The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.” Some seventy miles east of the Colorado border, the countryside, with its hard blue skies and desert-clear air, has an atmosphere that is rather more Far West than Middle West. The local accent is barbed with a prairie twang, a ranch-hand nasalness, and the men, many of them, wear narrow frontier trousers, Stetsons, and high-heeled boots with pointed toes.

Topics: Classics, Nonfiction, Historical, Mystery, Scary Stuff, American Experience
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

September 2, 2020

Wes stared back at me after I’d asked my question, letting a moment pass and a smirk flicker across his face before responding. “I really haven’t thought too deeply about his impact on my life because, really, he didn’t have one.” 

Topics: Biography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Loss, Boys, African American, American Experience
Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, College Plus

August 29, 2020

Joe Pepitone once gave me his New York Yankees baseball cap. I’m not lying. He gave it to me. To me, Doug Swieteck. To me.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Historical, Loss, Real Life Fiction, War, Boys, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5, 6, 7

August 27, 2020

Air-conditioned, odorless, illuminated by buzzing florescent tubes, the American supermarket doesn’t present itself as having very much to do with Nature. And yet what is this place if not a landscape (man-made, it’s true) teeming with plants and animals?

Topics: Nonfiction, Change Your World, Ecology and Nature, Science and Tech, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 10, 11, 12, College Plus

August 26, 2020

The blue cloud finally opens–just when the bell rings to let the Juana Ross School out for the weekend. I’d been watching the sky from the classroom windows all day, wondering just when the rain would pour down.

Topics: Novel, Arts and Creativity, Change Your World, Historical, Real Life Fiction, Girls, Latinx / Caribbean, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9

August 21, 2020

Every winter morning when the sun opened one eye, Dona Flor grabbed a handful of snow from the top of a nearby mountain. “Brrrrrrrr,” she said, rubbing the snow on her face to wake up.

Topics: Picture Storybook, Adventure, Ecology and Nature, Family Matters, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Humor, Girls, Latinx / Caribbean, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 4, 5

August 20, 2020

Sing to me of the Man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy.

Topics: Classics, Poetry, Adventure, Ecology and Nature, Family Matters, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Friends or Not?, God and Religion, Loss, Love, Boys, Europe, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

August 19, 2020

The boy stands alone by the door of the cabin, in the radiant warmth of the bright Arctic sun. Strewn in the mud at his feet are the heads of a half-dozen mallards, their eyes gazing skyward, their scalps slick with blood, their necks hacked clean through.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Real Life Fiction, Sports, Boys, American Experience
Grades: 8, 9

August 14, 2020

My hands aren’t really clean until I’ve washed them twelve times, one for each year of my life. I soap-rinse-one soap-rinse-two soap-rinse-three soap-rinse-four soap-rinse-five soap-rinse-six open my palms to the scalding water, and repeat. I do it quick- so no one notices. . .

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Friends or Not?, Real Life Fiction, Boys, Girls, American Experience
Grades: 5, 6

August 13, 2020

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Love, Real Life Fiction, American Experience
Grades: 9, 10, 11

August 12, 2020

You’ve never met anyone like me. Unless of course, you’ve met someone who survived her mother trying to drown her and now lives with an alcoholic father.

Topics: Novel, Family Matters, Friends or Not?, Loss, Real Life Fiction, Girls
Grades: 4, 5