December 27, 2019

Think you know books?

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

Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond.
Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart

By: Chinua Achebe
Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12, College Plus

Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a "strong man" of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. —From Knopf Doubleday

Where to Find

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Allah is not Obliged
Ahmadou Kourourma

Allah is not Obliged

By: Ahmadou Kourourma
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12, College Plus

ALLAH IS NOT OBLIGED TO BE FAIR ABOUT ALL THE THINGS HE DOES HERE ON EARTH. These are the words of the boy soldier Birahima in the final masterpiece by one of Africa’s most celebrated writers, Ahmadou Kourouma. When ten-year-old Birahima's mother dies, he leaves his native village in the Ivory Coast, accompanied by the sorcerer and cook Yacouba, to search for his aunt Mahan. Crossing the border into Liberia, they are seized by rebels and forced into military service. Birahima is given a Kalashnikov, minimal rations of food, a small supply of dope and a tiny wage. Fighting in a chaotic civil war alongside many other boys, Birahima sees death, torture, dismemberment and madness but somehow manages to retain his own sanity. Raw and unforgettable, despairing yet filled with laughter, Allah Is Not Obliged reveals the ways in which children's innocence and youth are compromised by war. --From the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

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Heart of a Samurai
Margi Preus

Heart of a Samurai

By: Margi Preus
Recommended for grade(s): 6

In 1841, a Japanese fishing vessel sinks. Its crew is forced to swim to a small, unknown island, where they are rescued by a passing American ship. Japan’s borders remain closed to all Western nations, so the crew sets off to America, learning English on the way. Manjiro, a fourteen-year-old boy, is curious and eager to learn everything he can about this new culture. Eventually the captain adopts Manjiro and takes him to his home in New England. The boy lives for some time in New England, and then heads to San Francisco to pan for gold. After many years, he makes it back to Japan, only to be imprisoned as an outsider. With his hard-won knowledge of the West, Manjiro is in a unique position to persuade the shogun to ease open the boundaries around Japan; he may even achieve his unlikely dream of becoming a samurai. A 2011 Newbery Honor Book. --From Abrams

Where to Find

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Kira Kira
Cynthia Kadohata

Kira Kira

By: Cynthia Kadohata
Recommended for grade(s): 5, 6, 7, 8

kira-kira (kee ra kee ra): glittering; shining Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop on the street to stare. And it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering — kira-kira — in the future. Newbery Medal Winner. —from the website of Simon & Schuster

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.