March 29, 2019

Think you know books?

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

I came into the world during the Tet Offensive, in the early days of the Year of the Monkey, when the long chains of firecrackers draped in front of houses exploded polyphonically along with the sound of machine guns.
Summer of the Monkeys
Wilson Rawls

Summer of the Monkeys

By: Wilson Rawls
Recommended for grade(s): 6

The last thing fourteen-year-old Jay Berry Lee expects to find while trekking through the Ozark Mountains of Oklahoma is a tree full of monkeys. But then Jay learns from his grandpa that the monkeys have escaped from a traveling circus, and there’s a big reward for the person who finds and returns them. His family could really use the money, so Jay sets off, determined to catch them. But by the end of the summer, Jay will have learned a lot more than he bargained for—and not just about monkeys. --from Yearling.

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

The Monkey Bridge
Lan Cao

The Monkey Bridge

By: Lan Cao
Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12

Hailed by critics and writers as powerful, important fiction, Monkey Bridge charts the unmapped territory of the Vietnamese American experience in the aftermath of war. Like navigating a monkey bridge--a bridge, built of spindly bamboo, used by peasants for centuries--the narrative traverses perilously between worlds past and present, East and West, in telling two interlocking stories: one, the Vietnamese version of the classic immigrant experience in America, told by a young girl; and the second, a dark tale of betrayal, political intrigue, family secrets, and revenge--her mother's tale. The haunting and beautiful terrain of Monkey Bridge is the “luminous motion,” as it is called in Vietnamese myth and legend, between generations, encompassing Vietnamese lore, history, and dreams of the past as well as of the future. --From the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Ru: a novel
Kim Thuy

Ru: a novel

By: Kim Thuy
Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10

Ru. In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow - of tears, blood, money. Kim Thúy's Ru is literature at its most crystalline: the flow of a life on the tides of unrest and on to more peaceful waters. In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec. There, the young girl feels the embrace of a new community, and revels in the chance to be part of the American Dream. As an adult, the waters become rough again: now a mother of two sons, she must learn to shape her love around the younger boy's autism. Moving seamlessly from past to present, from history to memory and back again, Ru is a book that celebrates life in all its wonder: its moments of beauty and sensuality, brutality and sorrow, comfort and comedy. --from Random House.

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Born on the Fourth of July
Ron Kovic

Born on the Fourth of July

By: Ron Kovic
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12

Born on the Fourth of July details the author's life story (portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Oliver Stone film version)—from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country's most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair. —From Akashic Books

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.