May 1, 2019

Think you know books?

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

By 4:30 in the afternoon, the first mad rush of after-school passengers has come and gone. What's left are stragglers and stay-laters, swiping their bus passes as they climb onto the 57 bus and taking seats among the coming-home workers, the shoppers and errand-doers, the other students from high schools and middle schools across the city.
Walking to the Bus Rider Blues
Harriette Gillem Robinet

Walking to the Bus Rider Blues

By: Harriette Gillem Robinet
Recommended for grade(s): 5

During the Alabama bus boycott, six months after Rosa Parks made her famous bus protest, Alfa Merryfield and his family struggle to pay the rent. But someone keeps stealing their rent money —and now someone is accusing them of stealing! With only a few days left before rent is due, Alfa and his sister, Zinnia, know they don't have much time. To solve this mystery, they must "walk the walk and talk the talk of nonviolence" that Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders preach —From and what they discover may be more than they dreamed... —from the website of Simon & Schuster

Where to Find

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Nickel and Dimed
Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed

By: Barbara Ehrenreich
Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11

Our sharpest and most original social critic goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity. Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job — any job — can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity — a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. You will never see anything —From a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal — in quite the same way again. —from the website at Macmillan

Where to Find

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Last Bus Out
Beck McDowell

Last Bus Out

By: Beck McDowell
Recommended for grade(s): 5, 6, 7

The true story of Courtney Miles' rescue of over 300 people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While government officials posed for cameras, a boy from the projects with no driver's license stepped up and showed what "drive" is all about. LAST BUS OUT tells how Courtney Miles stole a bus, charged past a police roadblock, and argued with a National Guardsman who threatened to lock him in the makeshift jail at the Greyhound Bus Station. Sick with worry about his missing grandmother, he drove his passengers to safety, then went back into the city at midnight to help others. His adventure would ultimately lead to starting his life over on the opposite end of the country, far away from the three women he loves - the mother who abused him, the grandmother who taught him to survive, and the girlfriend who would betray him. LAST BUT OUT chronicles Courtney's life alone while his mother was repeatedly jailed for selling drugs. At seven he woke up on Christmas Eve with a gun in his face. At thirteen he witnessed the murder of a man three feet in front of him. As a high school junior he lived alone in an empty house without electricity or water. Courted by gangs who knew he was hungry, "Streets", as he was nicknamed for his solitary life on the streets, lived apart and kept his record clean - until the day he risked his freedom to save his neighbors. Courtney's passengers describe hacking their way through attics, fighting rats and snakes for dry roof space, wading past bloated dead bodies in toxic waters, and searching for missing family members while grieving for loved ones lost. --From Amazon

Where to Find

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The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives
Dashka Slater

The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives

By: Dashka Slater
Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12

One teenager in a skirt. One teenager with a lighter. One moment that changes both of their lives forever. If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The 57 Bus is Dashka Slater's true account of the case that garnered international attention and thrust both teenagers into the spotlight. Stonewall Book Award Winner 2018.  Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist. --from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.