TAB Recommends, 10/10

Here are some books our TAB members have read and loved recently. We’ve included the call number so you can come and get them at Reston Regional Library! All summaries are taken from Novelist unless otherwise noted.

The Odyssey, Homer (883 H)
The Trojan War is over. Odysseus, the cunning King of Ithaca, sets out to return home to his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus. It proves a long journey, fraught with dangers, from Polyphemus the Cyclops, and the seductive Sirens, to the love of Calypso on her all-too-comfortable isle.

 

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Refugee, Alan Gratz (JFIC GRA)
Separated by decades, Josef, a Jew living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a girl trying to escape unrest in 1994 Cuba; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence, embark on journeys in search of refuge.

Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo (YSF BAR)
Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protege of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.

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Chains, Laurie Halse Anderson (JFIC AND)
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Ophelia, Lisa Klein (YFIC KLE)
In a story based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia tells of her life in the court at Elsinore, her love for Prince Hamlet, and her escape from the violence in Denmark.

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1984, George Orwell (FIC ORW)
Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.

Spin, Lamar Giles (YIFC GIL)
When DJ ParSec (Paris Secord), rising star of the local music scene, is found dead over her turntables, the two girls who found her, Kya (her pre-fame best friend) and Fuse (her current chief groupie) are torn between grief for Paris and hatred for each other–but when the lack of obvious suspects stalls the investigation, and the police seem to lose interest, despite pressure from social media and ParSec’s loyal fans, the two girls unite, determined to find out who murdered their friend.

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Hamlet, William Shakespeare (822.3 S7S)
Considered one of Shakespeare’s most rich and enduring plays, the depiction of its hero Hamlet as he vows to avenge the murder of his father by his brother Claudius is both powerful and complex. As Hamlet tries to find out the truth of the situation, his troubled relationship with his mother comes to the fore, as do the paradoxes in his personality. A play of carefully crafted conflict and tragedy, Shakespeare’s intricate dialogue continues to fascinate audiences to this day.

Ishmael, Daniel Quinn (FIC QUI)
A man and a great ape conduct a series of philosophical conversations in a work that presents a new vision of evolution and humankind and asks the question: does the Earth belong to humans, or do humans belong to the Earth?

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Warcross, Marie Lu (YSF LU)
After hacking into the Warcross Championships’ opening game to track illegal betting, bounty hunter Emika Chen is asked by the game’s creator to go undercover to investigate a security problem, and she uncovers a sinister plot.

Julius Caeser, William Shakespeare (822.3 T1S)
Shakespeare’s play about political intrigue, personal betrayal, and the aftermath of a brutal assassination.

This Is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (SF ELM)
Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters—and soon fall in love.

TAB Recommends 7/18

Here are some books our TAB members have read and loved recently. We’ve included the call number so you can come and get them at Reston Regional Library! All summaries are taken from Novelist unless otherwise noted.

 

Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (FIC GAI)

The world is going to end next Saturday, but there are a few problems–the Antichrist has been misplaced, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse ride motorcycles, and the representatives from heaven and hell decide that they like the human race.

 

Thunderhead, Neal Shusterman (YSF SHU)

Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the chilling sequel to the Printz Honor Book Scythe from New York Times bestseller Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

 

Paper Towns, John Green (YFIC GRE)

One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin “Q” Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q’s neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.

 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval N Harari (306 H 2015)

A narrative history of humanity’s creation and evolution explores how biology and history have defined understandings of what it means to be human and details the role of modern cognition in shaping the ecosystem and civilizations.

 

The Wicked King, Holly Black (YSF BLA)

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished. When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

 

The Physics of Superheroes, James Kakalios (791.457 K 2005)

An exploration of the science behind the powers of popular comic superheroes and villains illustrates the physics principles underlying the supernatural abilities of such characters as Superman, Magneto, and Spider-Man.

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, JK Rowling (JFIC ROW)

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

 

The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner (YFIC TUR)

Gen flaunts his ingenuity as a thief and relishes the adventure which takes him to a remote temple of the gods where he will attempt to steal a precious stone.

 

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas (YFIC THO)

After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

 

Unwind, Neal Shusterman (YSF SHU)

In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives “unwound” and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs–and, perhaps, save their own lives.

 

Pride, Ibi Aanu Zoboi (YFIC ZOB)

In a timely update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.

 

The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (B DIDION 2005)

An autobiographical portrait of marriage and motherhood by the acclaimed author details her struggle to come to terms with life and death, illness, sanity, personal upheaval, and grief.

 

The First Time She Drowned, Kerry Kletter (YFIC KLE)

Committed to a mental hospital against her will for something she claims she did not do, Cassie O’Malley signs herself out against medical advice when she turns eighteen and tries to start over at college, until her estranged mother appears, throwing everything Cassie believes about herself into question.

 

The Unteachables, Gordon Korman (JFIC KOR)

The Unteachables never thought they’d find a teacher who had a worse attitude than they did. And Mr. Kermit never thought he would actually care about teaching again. Over the course of a school year, though, room 117 will experience mayhem, destruction—and maybe even a shot at redemption.

 

Orphan Island, Laurel Snyder (JFIC SNY)

On an island where one child is delivered each year while the eldest is taken away, nine children live under the leadership of new elder Jinny, who trains the latest newcomer and wonders what will happen when her own departure occurs.

 

Solo, Kwame Alexander (YFIC ALE)

Seventeen-year-old Blade, who endeavors to resolve painful issues from his past to navigate the challenges of his former rockstar father’s addictions, scathing tabloid rumors, and a protected secret that threatens his own identity.

 

Sleeping Beauties, Stephen King (FIC KIN)

In a near-future where women succumb to a sleeping disease and men revert to their primal natures, one mysteriously immune woman struggles to survive in an Appalachian town where she is treated as both a demon and a lab specimen.

 

Healing Children: A Surgeon’s Stories From the Frontiers of Pediatric Medicine, Kurt Newman (618.92 K)

A medical memoir by a forefront pediatric surgeon presents a case for treating children very differently from adults, tracing decades of advancement in pediatrics to counsel parents and caregivers on how to recognize the unique health needs and healing potential of young patients.

 

How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents, Jimmy O. Yang (B YANG)

Standup comic, actor and fan favorite from the popular HBO series Silicon Valley shares his memoir of growing up as a Chinese immigrant in California and making it in Hollywood.

TAB Recommends

Here are some books our TAB members have read and loved recently. We’ve included the call number so you can come and get them at Reston Regional Library! All summaries are taken from Novelist unless otherwise noted.

 

Refugee, Alan Gratz (JFIC GRA)

Separated by decades, Josef, a Jew living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a girl trying to escape unrest in 1994 Cuba; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence, embark on journeys in search of refuge.

 

Scythe, Neil Shusterman (YSF SHU)

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (‘gleaned’) by professional reapers (‘scythes’). Two teens must compete with each other to become a scythe–a position neither of them wants. The one who becomes a scythe must kill the one who doesn’t.

 

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (YSF COL)

In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (FIC LEE)

Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer, likes to spend her summers building treehouses, swimming, and catching lightning bugs with her big brother Jem. But one summer, when a black man is accused of raping a white woman, Scout’s carefree days come to an end. In the county courtroom, she will join her father in a desperate battle against ignorance and prejudice.

 

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (FIC FIT)

Newly rich Jay Gatsby tries to recapture the past and win back Daisy Buchanan, his former love, despite the fact she has married.

 

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ann Brashares (YFIC BRA)

Four best girlfriends spend the biggest summer of their lives enchanted by a magical pair of pants.

 

The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri (FIC LAH)

A portrait of the immigrant experience follows the Ganguli family from their traditional life in India through their arrival in Massachusetts in the late 1960s and their difficult melding into an American way of life.

 

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (FIC SHE)

Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear.

 

She-Wolves, Helen Castor (942 C)

Explores women and power in England, as witnessed through the lives of six females who exercised power against the odds—and one who never got the chance.

 

TAB Recommends 4/11

Now I Rise, Kiersten White (YFIC WHI)
A sequel to the best-selling And I Darken finds a vengeful Lada striking out at anyone who stands in her way and finding herself unexpectedly rejected by her skillful brother, Radu, who reluctantly works as a spy for a power-hungry Mehmed.

Lovely War, Julie Berry (YFIC BER)
A sweeping, multi-layered romance set in the perilous days of World Wars I and II, where gods hold the fates–and the hearts–of four mortals in their hands.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain (FIC TWA)
Retells the classic story of the adventures of a nineteenth-century boy and a runaway slave as they float down the Mississippi River on a raft.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (FIC FIT)
Newly rich Jay Gatsby tries to recapture the past and win back Daisy Buchanan, his former love, despite the fact she has married.

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (FIC SHE)
Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (FIC LEE)
Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer, likes to spend her summers building treehouses, swimming, and catching lightning bugs with her big brother Jem. But one summer, when a black man is accused of raping a white woman, Scout’s carefree days come to an end. In the county courtroom, she will join her father in a desperate battle against ignorance and prejudice.

Matched, Allyson Condie (YSF CON)

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her, so when Xander appears on- screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate–until Ky Markham’s face appears for an instant before the screen fades to black.

London Calling, Edward Bloor (YFIC BLO)
Seventh-grader Martin Conway believes that his life is monotonous and dull until the night the antique radio he uses as a night-light transports him to the bombing of London in 1940.

A Northern Light, Jennifer Donnelly (YFIC DON)
In 1906, sixteen-year-old Mattie, determined to attend college and be a writer against the wishes of her father and fiance, takes a job at a summer inn where she discovers the truth about the death of a guest.
Based on a true story.

Nothing But the Truth, Avi (JFIC AVI)
A ninth-grader’s suspension for singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" during homeroom becomes a national news story.

The Crucible, Arthur Miller (812 M)
As a wave of anti-communist investigations swept across American society during the 1950s, Miller exposed the horror of such witch-hunts by retelling the story of the infamous Salem witch trials in Massachusetts in 1692.

Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur (811 K)
Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. – from Goodreads

Night, Elie Wiesel (940.531 W)
A terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family.

Finding Baba Yaga, Jane Yolen (YFIC YOL)

A harsh, controlling father. A quiescent mother. A house that feels like anything but a home. Natasha gathers the strength to leave, and comes upon a little house in the wood: a house that walks about on chicken feet and is inhabited by a fairy tale witch. In finding Baba Yaga, Natasha finds her voice, her power, herself.

Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe (FIC ACH)
Traces the growing friction between village leaders and Europeans determined to save the heathen souls of Africa. But its hero, a noble man who is driven by destructive forces, speaks a universal tongue.

TAB Recommends

Here are some books our TAB members have read and loved recently. We’ve included the call number so you can come and get them at Reston Regional Library! All summaries are taken from Novelist unless otherwise noted.

In Cold Blood, Truman Capote (364.1523 C)
Presents Capote’s masterful account of the senseless 1959 murders of four members of a farm family in Holcomb, Kansas, and the search for the killers, Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith.

This Adventure Ends, Emma Mills (YFIC MIL)
Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming.

The Secrets of the Wild Wood, Tonke Dragt (YFIC DRA)
One of the King’s most trusted knights has vanished in the snow, so young Sir Tiuri and his best friend, Piak, must journey into the shadowy heart of the forest to find him. The Wild Wood is a place of mysteries, rumours and whispered tales. A place of lost cities, ancient curses, robbers, princesses and Men in Green.

London Calling, Edward Bloor (YFIC BLO)
Seventh-grader Martin Conway believes that his life is monotonous and dull until the night the antique radio he uses as a night-light transports him to the bombing of London in 1940.

My Most Excellent Year, Steve Kluger (YFIC KLU)
Three teenagers in Boston narrate their experiences of a year of new friendships, first loves, and coming into their own.

Atonement, Ian McEwan (FIC MCE)
In 1935 England, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses an event involving her sister Cecilia and her childhood friend Robbie Turner, and she becomes the victim of her own imagination.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple (FIC SEM)

When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.

TAB Recommends, 3/14

Here are some books our TAB members have read and loved recently. We’ve included the call number so you can come and get them at Reston Regional Library! All summaries are taken from Novelist unless otherwise noted.

 

Heretics Anonymous, Katie Henry — YFIC HEN

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When nonbeliever Michael transfers to a Catholic school in eleventh grade, he quickly connects with a secret support group intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies one stunt at a time.

 

The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins – FIC HAW

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Obsessively watching a breakfasting couple every day to escape the pain of her losses, Rachel witnesses a shocking event that inextricably entangles her in the lives of strangers.

 

The Secrets of the Wild Wood, Tonke Dragt – YFIC DRA

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One of the King’s most trusted knights has vanished in the snow, so young Sir Tiuri and his best friend Piak must journey into the shadowy heart of the forest to find him. The Wild Wood is a place of mysteries, rumours and whispered tales. A place of lost cities, ancient curses, robbers, princesses and Men in Green.

 

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley – FIC SHE

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Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear.

 

Hamilton and Peggy, LM Elliott – YFIC ELL

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Peggy Schuyler has always felt like she’s existed in the shadows of her beloved sisters: the fiery, intelligent Angelica and beautiful, sweet Eliza. But it’s in the throes of a chaotic war that Peggy finds herself a central figure amid Loyalists and Patriots, spies and traitors, friends and family.

 

The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton – YFIC HIN

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Three brothers struggle to stay together after their parents’ death, as they search for an identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society in which they find themselves “outsiders.”

 

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee – FIC LEE

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Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer, likes to spend her summers building treehouses, swimming, and catching lightning bugs with her big brother Jem. But one summer, when a black man is accused of raping a white woman, Scout’s carefree days come to an end. In the county courtroom, she will join her father in a desperate battle against ignorance and prejudice.

 

The Crucible, Arthur Miller – 812 MILLER

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As a wave of anti-communist investigations swept across American society during the 1950s, Miller exposed the horror of such witch-hunts by retelling the story of the infamous Salem witch trials in Massachusetts in 1692.

 

Othello, William Shakespeare – 822.3 T7

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The destructive effects of jealousy underlie this tale. Othello, a man of quality and superior intelligence, is brought down by his suspicions of his wife, Desdemona.

 

Richard III, William Shakespeare – 822.3 X5

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The deformed Richard weaves a web of intrigue, removing all obstacles that stand between him and the throne of England. An atmosphere of insecurity pervades, no one dare reveal their thoughts and danger lurks in the shadows. Once Richard achieves his goal, will danger turn its gaze on him? – goodreads

 

The Interrogation of Gabriel James, Charlie Price – YFIC PRI

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As an eyewitness to two murders, a Montana teenager relates the shocking story behind the crimes in a police interrogation interspersed with flashbacks.

 

Hamlet, William Shakespeare – 822.3 S7

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Grieving for the recent death of his beloved father and appalled by his mother’s quick remarriage to his uncle, Hamlet, heir to the Danish throne, struggles with conflicting emotions, particularly after his father’s ghost appeals to him to avenge his death.

 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain – FIC TWA

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The classic story of the adventures of a nineteenth-century boy and a runaway slave as they float down the Mississippi River on a raft.

 

The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien – FIC TOL

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In the concluding volume of the trilogy, Frodo and Sam make a terrible journey to the heart of the Land of the Shadow in a final reckoning with the power of Sauron.

 

Hitler’s Canary, Sandi Toksvig – JFIC TOK

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Ten-year-old Bamse and his Jewish friend Anton participate in the Danish Resistance during World War II.

 

Tab Recommends

Here are some books our TAB members have read and loved recently. We’ve included the call number so you can come and get them at Reston Regional Library! All summaries are taken from Novelist unless otherwise noted.

The Color of Water, James McBride – B MCBRIDE

Interspersed throughout his mother’s compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self-realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son. – goodreads.com

Beartown, Fredrik Backman – FIC BAC

In the tiny forest community of Beartown, the possibility that the amateur hockey team might win a junior championship, bringing the hope of revitalization to the fading town, is shattered by the aftermath of a violent act that leaves a young girl traumatized.

Comedy Girl, Ellen Schreiber – YFIC SCH

Shy, seventeen-year-old Trixie Shapiro, who dreams of being a professional comic, gets a big break after her friend signs her up to a stand-up routine at their school’s Talent Night.

Oscar and the Lady in Pink, Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt- FIC SCH

Oscar is dying. One of the ‘ladies in pink’ who come to visit the patients, makes friends with him. She suggests that he should pretend that each of the following 12 days is a decade of his imaginary life. Oscar writes ten letters to God that are sensitive, funny, heartbreaking and, ultimately, life-affirming. – goodreads.com

Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky – FIC DOS

Believing he can commit the perfect crime, Roderick Raskolnikov robs and murders an elderly pawnbroker. He eventually finds himself engaged in a battle of wits with inspector Porfiry, a policeman who is determined to wring a confession from the once confident Raskolnikov, a killer whose conscience is slowly beginning to destroy him.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred Taylor – JFIC TAY

A Black family living in the South during the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which their children don’t understand.

Animal Farm, George Orwell – FIC ORW

A satire on totalitarianism in which farm animals overthrow their human owner and set up their own government.

Night, Elie Wiesel – 940.531 W

A terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family.

Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad – FIC CON

Marlowe sails down the Congo in search of Kurtz, a company agent who has, according to rumors, become insane in the jungle isolation.

The Monuments Men, Robert Edsel – 940.531 E

Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world’s great art from the Nazis. – goodreads.com

If Only, Jennifer Gilmore – YFIC GIL

Tells the story of a pregnant sixteen-year-old Bridget and her decision to give her baby up for adoption and the story of sixteen-year-old Ivy as she searches for her birth mother to find out where she comes from.

The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness – YSF NES

Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony’s true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury – SF BRA

A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners, Guy Montag, suddenly realizes their merit.

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood – FIC ATW

Offred, a Handmaid, describes life in what was once the United States, now the Republic of Gilead, a shockingly repressive and intolerant monotheocracy, in a satirical tour de force set in the near future.

The Giver, Lois Lowry – YFIC LOW

Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

The War That Saved My Life, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – JFIC BRA

A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.