April 2, 2020

Think you know books?

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

Roy would not have noticed the strange boy if it weren't for Dana Matherson, because Roy ordinarily didn't look out the window of the school bus. He preferred to read comics and mystery books on the morning ride to Trace Middle. But on this day, a Monday (Roy would never forget), Dana Matherson grabbed Roy's head from behind and pressed his thumbs into Roy's temple, as if he were squeezing a soccer ball.
A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest Gaines

A Lesson Before Dying

By: Ernest Gaines
Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12, College Plus

A Lesson Before Dying is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson's godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected. Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and the same compassion for a people and their struggle that have informed his previous, highly praised works of fiction. —From Knopf Doubleday

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Hoot
Carl Hiaasen

Hoot

By: Carl Hiaasen
Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

A book for young readers. It involves new kids, bullies, alligators, eco-warriors, pancakes, and pint-sized owls. A hilarious Floridian adventure! A Newbery Honor Book. —from the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

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

Score a physical copy of the book.

Back of the Bus
Aaron Reynolds and Floyd Cooper

Back of the Bus

By: Aaron Reynolds and Floyd Cooper
Recommended for grade(s): 3, 4

A boy and his mother are riding the bus in Montgomery, Alabama like any other day--way in the back of the bus. The boy passes time by watching his marble roll up and down the aisle with the motion of the bus-- Until a big commotion breaks out from way up front. With simple words and powerful illustrations, Aaron Reynolds and Coretta Scott King medalist Floyd Cooper recount the pivotal arrest of Rosa Parks at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement. --From the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.