February 13, 2019

Think you know books?

Which one starts like this? Click on a book below to answer

Don't nobody believe nothing these days, which is why I haven't told nobody the story I'm about to tell you. And, truth is, you probably ain't gon' believe it either, gon' think I'm lying, or I'm losing it, but I'm telling you, this story is true. It happened to me. Really. It did. It so did.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

By: Mark Twain
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12

Mark Twain's tale of a boy's picaresque journey down the Mississippi on a raft conveyed the voice and experience of the American frontier as no other work had done before. When Huck escapes from his drunken father and the 'sivilizing' Widow Douglas with the runaway slave Jim, he embarks on a series of adventures that draw him to feuding families and the trickery of the unscrupulous 'Duke' and 'Dauphin'. Beneath the exploits, however, are more serious undercurrents - of slavery, adult control and, above all, of Huck's struggle between his instinctive goodness and the corrupt values of society, which threaten his deep and enduring friendship with Jim. —from the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Long Way Down
Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down

By: Jason Reynolds
Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9, 10

A cannon. A strap. A piece. A biscuit. A burner. A heater. A chopper. A gat. A hammer A tool for RULE. Or, you can call it a gun. That's what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That's where Will's now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother's gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he's after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that's when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn's gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn't know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck's in the elevator? Just as Will's trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck's cigarette. Will doesn't know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES. And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END--if WILL gets off that elevator. A Newbery Honor Book. ALA and YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction 2018. 2018 Michael Printz Honor Book. 2018 Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner. --From the website at Simon and Schuster

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Gods in Alabama
Joshilyn Jackson

Gods in Alabama

By: Joshilyn Jackson
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12, College Plus

For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now. When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene's door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene's break with her former hometown is forced to an end. At the same time, Burr, her long-time boyfriend, has raised an ultimatum: introduce him to her family or consider him gone. Arlene loves him dearly but knows her lily white (not to mention deeply racist)Southern Baptist family will not understand her relationship with an African American boyfriend. Reluctantly, Arlene bows to the pressure, and she and Burr embark on the long-avoided road trip back home. As Arlene digs through guilt and deception, her patched-together alibi begins to unravel, and she discovers how far she will go for love and a chance at redemption. --From Grand Central Publishing

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Alligator Bayou
Donna Jo Napoli

Alligator Bayou

By: Donna Jo Napoli
Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9, 10

An unforgettable novel, based on a true story, about racism against Italian Americans in the South in 1899. Fourteen-year-old Calogero, his uncles, and his cousins are six Sicilians living in the small town of Tallulah, Louisiana, miles from any of their countrymen. They grow vegetables and sell them at their stand and in their grocery store. Some people welcome the immigrants; most do not. Calogero's family is caught in the middle of tensions between the black and white communities. As Calogero struggles to adapt to Tallulah, he is startled and thrilled by the danger of midnight gator hunts in the bayou and by his powerful feelings for Patricia, a sharp-witted, sweet-natured black girl. Meanwhile, every day, and every misunderstanding between the white community and the Sicilians, bring Calogero and his family closer to a terrifying, violent confrontation. —from the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.