Book of the Day Archive

August 7, 2020

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversation?’

Topics: Classics, Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 4, 5, 6

August 6, 2020

“Look here, Mac. I’m going to give it to you straight. Grown-ups lie. Sure, they like to say that kids make stuff up and that we don’t tell the truth, but they’re the lying liars.”

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Historical, Real Life Fiction, Boys, American Experience
Grades: 5, 6

August 5, 2020

Brrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiinng! An alarm clock clanged in the dark and silent room. A bed spring creaked. A woman’s voice sang out impatiently: “Bigger, shut that thing off!”

Topics: Classics, Novel, Coming of Age, Historical, Boys, African American, American Experience
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

July 31, 2020

Here is a small fact: You are going to die.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Historical, Real Life Fiction, War, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 9, 10

July 30, 2020

When the guide switches off his flashlight in the underground caverns of Lascaux in the Dordogne, the effect is overwhelming. “The senses suddenly are wiped out,” one visitor recalled, “the millennia drop away…You were never in darker darkness in your life. It was–I don’t know, just a complete knockout. You don’t know whether you are looking north, south, east or west. All orientation is gone, and you are in a darkness that never saw the sun.”

Topics: Nonfiction, God and Religion, Historical, Middle Eastern
Grades: College Plus

July 29, 2020

You can’t just drop a dead sister into the conversation. If it accidentally comes up that my sister died, everyone just freezes, their mouths hanging open and their eyes wide.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Humor, Love, Real Life Fiction, Girls
Grades: 7, 8

July 24, 2020

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 it’s just that we gotta figure out what it is and then go have it.

Topics: Novel, Change Your World, Family Matters, Friends or Not?, Real Life Fiction, Girls, African American
Grades: 5, 6

July 23, 2020

Ree Dolly stood at break of day on her cold front steps and smelled coming flurries and saw meat. Meat hung from trees across the creek. The carcasses hung pale of flesh with a fatty gleam from lowlimbs of saplings in the side yards.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Ecology and Nature, Family Matters, Mystery, Real Life Fiction, Girls
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

July 22, 2020

You need something? I can get it for you. You have a problem? I can solve it. That’s why they come to me.

Topics: Novel, Friends or Not?, Humor, Mystery, Boys
Grades: 5, 6

July 17, 2020

The boy was about fifteen years old. He tried to stand very straight and still when he heard the news, but inside of him everything had gone black. It wasn’t that he couldn’t endure pain. In summer he would put a stone hot from the fire on his flesh to see how long he could stand it. In winter he would sit in the icy river until his Indian father smoking on the bank said he could come out.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Real Life Fiction, War, Boys, American Experience, Native Peoples, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 8, 9, 10

July 16, 2020

The two boys who vanished in the pond that night were farm kids, cousins of some kind. They had the same last name, Peckham. Terri Carr told the story to Jessie the day they met on the raft.

Topics: Novel, Ecology and Nature, Mystery, Real Life Fiction, Girls
Grades: 5, 6

July 15, 2020

“What! Who are you? How did you get in here?”

“Hey boss! The name’s Nimona. The Agency sent me. I’m your new sidekick!”

Topics: Graphics / Comics, Novel, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Girls, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 8, 9

July 10, 2020

I have no reason not to answer the door so I answer the door. I have no tiny round window to inspect visitors so I open the door and before me is a tall, sturdily build African-American woman, a few years older than me, wearing a red nylon sweatsuit. She speaks to me loudly, “You have a phone, sir?”

Topics: Classics, Novel, Coming of Age, Real Life Fiction, War, Boys, Africa, Immigrants
Grades: 10, 11, 12, College Plus

July 9, 2020

I’m officially resigning from love. Time in a cell will do that to a kid. For the record: I didn’t do it.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Family Matters, Humor, Mystery, Real Life Fiction, Boys, Immigrants, Latinx / Caribbean
Grades: 6, 7

July 8, 2020

Sara Godfrey was lying on the bed tying a kerchief on the dog, Boysie. “Hold your chin up, Boysie, will you?” she said as she braced herself on one elbow.

Topics: Classics, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Friends or Not?, Real Life Fiction, Girls, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5, 6

July 3, 2020

The sun does not go down. This is the first thing that Eric Seven notices about Blessed Island. There will be many other strange things that he will notice, before the forgetting takes hold of him, but that will come later.

Topics: Short Stories, Coming of Age, Historical, Love, Scary Stuff, Boys, Girls, Europe
Grades: 8, 9, 10

July 2, 2020

Something sharp pokes me in the ribs. “You should totally sign up for a solo,” Soojin whispers from the seat behind me in music class. I shake my head. The mere thought of singing in front of a crowd makes my stomach twist into knots.

Topics: Novel, Family Matters, Girls, Immigrants, Middle Eastern, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 4, 5

July 1, 2020

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You look ridiculous.” Little brothers can always be counted on to reach peak levels of annoying at exactly the wrong moment.

Topics: Novel, Friends or Not?, Real Life Fiction, Boys, Girls, LGBTQ+
Grades: 5, 6

June 26, 2020

Theory #1: “We come from the ocean. My brother and me. We were rolled out of sand, at the bottom of the water. From the very darkest part of the earth.”

Topics: Novel, Family Matters, Mystery, Real Life Fiction, Boys, Girls
Grades: 5, 6

June 25, 2020

Princeton, in the summer, smelled of nothing, and although Ifemelu liked the tranquil greenness of the many trees, the clean streets and stately home, the delicately overpriced shops, and the quiet, abiding air of earned grace, it was this, the lack of a smell, that most appealed to her, perhaps because the other American cities she knew well had all smelled distinctly.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Real Life Fiction, Girls, Africa, American Experience, Immigrants
Grades: 10, 11, 12, College Plus

June 24, 2020

When my father died, I thought the world would come to an end. Standing in the churchyard in my borrowed mourning black, I was dimly aware of my sister Rosie beside me, the other mourners huddled round the grave. Great dark clouds gathered over the river, and I knew them for what they were: The End, poised to unleash some terrible wrath and sweep us all right out of the Valley.

Topics: Novel, Family Matters, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Scary Stuff, Girls
Grades: 6, 7

June 19, 2020

What I couldn’t get out of my skull was the thought of their rough, grimy hands all over my clean sneaks.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Real Life Fiction, Boys, African American, American Experience
Grades: 6, 7, 8

June 18, 2020

Sometimes I stare into the dark corner of my room and see the ghost of my sister Amelia. She’s ten years old- the age she would be now, if she hadn’t died- but she doesn’t talk like a ten year old. She has the eyes of a grandmother and the voice of a saint.

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

June 17, 2020

The night joggers were out as usual. The young man could see the dim figures on the track even in this pale light, slowly pounding round and round the most infinite of footpaths.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Historical, Real Life Fiction, Sports, Boys, American Experience
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

June 12, 2020

For a long time after that summer, the four Penderwick sisters still talked of Arundel. Fate drove us there, Jane would say. No, it was the greedy landlord who sold our vacation house on Cape Cod, someone else would say, probably Skye. Who knew which was right?

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Humor, Real Life Fiction, Girls, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 4, 5

June 11, 2020

We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.

Topics: Novel, Humor, Science Fiction/Dystopia, Boys
Grades: 9, 10, 11

June 10, 2020

I’m allergic to trouble. It makes my hands itch.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Friends or Not?, Real Life Fiction, Girls, African American, American Experience, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5, 6

June 5, 2020

John? Can you swim?

Topics: Biography, Graphics / Comics, Memoir, Nonfiction, Coming of Age, Historical, Boys, African American, American Experience, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

June 4, 2020

The poor and dispossessed take up the drums for civil rights–freedoms to think and speak, petition, pray, and vote. When thunder comes, the civil righteous are finished being meek.

Topics: Biography, Poetry, Historical, African American, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 5, 6, 7

June 3, 2020

Son, last Sunday the host of a popular news show asked me what it was like to lose my body.

Topics: Classics, Memoir, Nonfiction, Change Your World, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Loss, Boys, African American, American Experience
Grades: 10, 11, 12, College Plus