July 18, 2019

Think you know books?

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

Scene One: The exterior of a two-story corner building on a street in New Orleans which is named Elysian Fields and runs between the L&N tracks and the river. The section is poor but, unlike corresponding sections in other American cities, it has a raffish charm. The houses are mostly white frame, weathered grey, with rickety outside stairs and galleries and quaintly ornamented gables. This building contains two flats, upstairs and down. Faded white stairs ascend to the entrances of both.
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
Don Brown

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans

By: Don Brown
Recommended for grade(s): 8

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The riveting tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage—and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality. Don Brown’s kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history.   Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner.  --From the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Where to Find

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A Streetcar Named Desire
Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire

By: Tennessee Williams
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12

It is a very short list of 20th-century American plays that continue to have the same power and impact as when they first appeared―57 years after its Broadway premiere, Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire is one of those plays. The story famously recounts how the faded and promiscuous Blanche DuBois is pushed over the edge by her sexy and brutal brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. --From the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

The House of the Seven Gables
Nathaniel Hawthorne

The House of the Seven Gables

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

First published in 1851, The House of the Seven Gables is one of Hawthorne’s defining works, a vivid depiction of American life and values replete with brilliantly etched characters. The tale of a cursed house with a "mysterious and terrible past" and the generations linked to it, Hawthorne’s chronicle of the Maule and Pyncheon families over two centuries reveals, in Mary Oliver’s words, "lives caught in the common fire of history." --From the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Crossing the Tracks
Barbara Stuber

Crossing the Tracks

By: Barbara Stuber
Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8

At fifteen, Iris is a hobo of sorts—no home, no family, no plan. Her mother died when she was six, and her selfish father hires her out as a companion to a country doctor’s elderly mother. Iris, stuck in the middle of 1920s rural Missouri, discovers that "hobo" is short for "homeward bound," and cultivates an eccentric cast of folks into family, creating the home she never had. But when she learns that a neighboring tenant farmer may have had more than his hands on his pregnant daughter, Iris must intervene to save the girl and her unborn baby. The many facets of what makes a family are illuminated with warmth and charm in this beautifully crafted tale. --from Simon and Schuster.

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.