Book of the Day Archive

February 26, 2021

I stood in front of today’s schedule still holding my skateboard, still drenched from the ride over, and still desperately wishing that I hadn’t dropped out of college. But wishing wouldn’t erase Sam from the counter slot and rewrite it under the grill slot. 

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Scary Stuff, Boys
Grades: 8, 9, 10

February 19, 2021

We didn’t always live on Mango Street. 

Topics: Classics, Short Stories, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Real Life Fiction, Girls, American Experience, Immigrants, Latinx / Caribbean
Grades: 7, 8, 9

February 18, 2021

I am an invisible man.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Change Your World, Coming of Age, Boys, African American, American Experience
Grades: 12, College Plus

February 17, 2021

Yes. There is a witch in the woods. There has always been a witch. Will you stop your fidgeting for once? My stars! I have never seen such a fidgety child. No, sweetheart, I have not seen her. No one has. Not for ages. We’ve taken steps so that we will never see her. Terrible steps.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Girls
Grades: 4, 5, 6

February 12, 2021

In the olden days, when wishing still worked, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful; but the youngest daughter was so lovely that even the sun, who has seen many things, was struck with wonder every time he shone on her face.

Topics: Classics, Short Stories, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Boys, Girls, Europe
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

February 11, 2021

The first time Gayle slammed the bathroom door, her mother let it go. The second time, Mama’s ears perked up, listening for familiar sounds. The third time Gayle ran into the bathroom, Mama was up the stairs and on Gayle’s heels, witnessing what she already knew. Gayle, stopped over the toilet bowl, face flushed, body heaving, was pregnant. Again.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Real Life Fiction, African American
Grades: 6, 7, 8

February 10, 2021

When people ask me what I do–taxi drivers, dental hygienists–I tell them I work in an office. In almost nine years, no one’s ever asked what kind of office, or what sort of job I do there. 

Topics: Novel, Family Matters, Humor, Love, Girls
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

February 6, 2021

Mr. Premier, Sir. Neither you nor I speak English, but there are some things that can be said only in English.

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Humor, Loss, Real Life Fiction, Boys, India Subcontinent
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

February 5, 2021

The primroses were over. Toward the edge of the wood, where the ground became open and sloped down to an old fence and a brambly ditch beyond, only a few fading patches of pale yellow still showed among the dog’s mercury and oak-tree roots. On the other side of the fence, the upper part of the field was full of rabbit holes.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Adventure, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Europe, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 9, 10, 11

January 29, 2021

I’d rather dunk my head in a school toilet than run cross country. 

Topics: Novel, Change Your World, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Real Life Fiction, Sports, Boys, Middle Eastern
Grades: 6

January 28, 2021

I’d never heard of Zimbabwe. But something about the way the name looked up on the blackboard intrigued me. It was exotic, and difficult to pronounce. It was also the last country in a long list that Mrs. Miller had written in chalk. She asked each student in my seventh-grade english class to pick one place for a pen pal program our school was starting that year.

Topics: Memoir, Nonfiction, Change Your World, Coming of Age, Friends or Not?, Boys, Girls, Africa, American Experience, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 7, 8, 9

January 27, 2021

Dear friend, I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have. Please don’t try to figure out who she is because then you might figure out who I am, and I really don’t want you to do that. 

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Loss, Love, Real Life Fiction, Boys, LGBTQ+
Grades: 9, 10, 11

January 22, 2021

Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Adventure, Humor, Boys, Europe, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

January 21, 2021

My mind is a brush made of feathers painting pictures of words I remember all that I see every syllable each word a twin of itself telling two stories at the same time one of sorrow the other hope.

Topics: Biography, Nonfiction, Poetry, Arts and Creativity, Change Your World, Coming of Age, Historical, Boys, Latinx / Caribbean
Grades: 7, 8, 9

January 20, 2021

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Historical, Mystery, Real Life Fiction, Girls, Asian, Immigrants
Grades: 11, 12, College Plus

January 15, 2021

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Coming of Age, Boys, Europe, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 11, 12

January 14, 2021

This is a true story. We are real people. We started out as kids in the toughest neighborhoods of Newark, New Jersey, and today we are doctors. 

Topics: Biography, Classics, Memoir, Nonfiction, Change Your World, Coming of Age, Boys, American Experience, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 8, 9

January 13, 2021

Naledi and Tiro were worried. Their baby sister, Dineo, was ill, very ill. For three days now, Nono, their granny, had been trying to cool her fever with damp cloths placed on her little head and body.

Topics: Classics, Novel, Adventure, Change Your World, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Real Life Fiction, Girls, Africa, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 7, 8

January 8, 2021

Intriguing Fact: The word “psychology” comes from the Greek word “psyche.” It means the study of the mind. I don’t want anyone to study my mind. That’s just creepy. But Dad says I no longer have a choice.

Topics: Novel, Family Matters, Real Life Fiction, Boys
Grades: 6, 7

January 7, 2021

I must write this account, and when I have finished, I will burn it. Mine is the historian’s task, to record the events of the last century, showing God’s mighty hand in ridding these southern lands between the Garona and the Rose rivers of the heresy of the Albigensians. 

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Coming of Age, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, God and Religion, Girls, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 7, 8, 9

January 1, 2021

Sailing toward dawn, and I was perched atop the crow’s nest, being the ship’s eyes. We were two nights out of Sydney, and there’d been no weather to speak of so far. 

Topics: Novel, Adventure, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Science Fiction/Dystopia, Boys
Grades: 6, 7

December 30, 2020

Who are you, Sylvia Plath? A cold comet locked in place by gravity? A glint in the cracked ceiling above my bed? Something shimmers out of your chasm. Your language feels like words trapped under my tongue that I can’t quite spit out on my own.

Topics: Biography, Nonfiction, Poetry, Arts and Creativity, Historical, Girls
Grades: 8, 9

December 31, 2020

He rode into the dark of the woods and dismounted. He crawled upward on his belly over cool rocks out into the sunlight, and suddenly he was in the open and he could see for miles, and there was the whole vast army below him, filling the valley like a smoking river. 

Topics: Classics, Novel, Change Your World, Historical, Real Life Fiction, War, American Experience, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 10, 11, 12, College Plus

December 25, 2020

One Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound–a sound a friend told me I’d never hear–the ringing of Santa’s sleigh. “There is no Santa,” my friend had insisted, but I knew he was wrong.

Topics: Classics, Picture Storybook, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Boys, Girls
Grades: 3, 4

December 24, 2020

She is plucking her bird of paradise of its dead branches, leaning around the plant every time she hears a car. The woman will never find the old house behind the hedge of towering hibiscus at the bend of the dirt road. Not a gringa dominicana in a rented car with a road map asking for street names! 

Topics: Classics, Novel, Change Your World, Family Matters, Historical, Real Life Fiction, Latinx / Caribbean
Grades: 11, 12

December 23, 2020

This was the beginning. Angie bit the end of her thumbnail awaiting the result. She had –unwittingly–found a rival. A rival was the last thing she needed halfway into her rerun of a freshman year.

Topics: Novel, Coming of Age, Family Matters, Humor, Real Life Fiction, Girls
Grades: 9, 10, 11

December 18, 2020

I shall never forget the first time I laid these now tired old eyes on our visitor. I had been left home by the family with the admonition to take care of the house until they returned. 

Topics: Classics, Humor, Scary Stuff, Boys, Girls, No Controversial Bits
Grades: 4

December 17, 2020

Shirley, my grandmother, was in study hall when Joe, my grandfather, walked in for the first time. As Shirley always told the story, she stopped on a dime at the sight of him. 

Topics: Graphics / Comics, Memoir, Nonfiction, Family Matters, Boys
Grades: 8, 9

December 16, 2020

I am the voice in the dark, calling out for your help. I am the quiet voice that you hope will not turn to silence, the voice you want to keep hearing cos it means someone is still alive. I am the voice calling for you to come and dig me out. I am the voice in the dark, asking you to unbury me, to bring me from the grave out into the light, like a zombi.

Topics: Novel, Change Your World, Coming of Age, Ecology and Nature, Fantasy / Magic / Myth, Historical, Boys, Latinx / Caribbean
Grades: 9, 10

December 11, 2020

To us it is just dirt, the ground we walk on. Scoop up a handful. The gritty grains slip between your fingers. On wet days, heavy with rainwater, it is cool and squishy, mud pie heaven.

Topics: Biography, Nonfiction, Picture Storybook, Arts and Creativity, Change Your World, Historical, African American, American Experience
Grades: 4, 5