Becoming Billie Holiday by Carol Boston Weatherford- This beautiful book of poems that tell of the early years of Lady Day, perhaps the greatest jazz singer of all time, will not be out in paperback soon enough for summer reading. Maybe next year!
The Big Necessity by Rose George - Apparently the lure of reading about sanitation was not enough to get students over the fact that I couldn't help but refer to this funny and informative book as "the poo book". Still an interesting read!
City of Thieves by David Benioff - I love this book and students liked the sound of it. However it was far more violent than I remembered. Or as Anna Langstaff at the Beverly Public Library put it, "Do you want to get fired?" Heh...
Estrella's Quinceanera by Malin Alegria - This one may be my fault - I just didn't know how to book talk it. It is a good book and worth reading, but it just didn't get the votes.
Here Lies Arthur by Phillip Reeve - Stories of teenagers interest in the exploits of King Arthur are greatly exaggerated, even with the addition of awesome Monty Python impressions. Or perhaps because of the Monty Python impressions.
How To Live On Mars by Robert Zubin - It got to the point where I would skip over this slide and say - "This just didn't do it for me." - when I was running over. Bad librarian, bad...
No Choirboy: Murder, Violence and Teenagers on Death Row by Susan Kuklin - This is a fantastic books and the kids were very interested in reading it, but it won't be in paperback in time. This one and 13 Reasons Why are making me mad! Paperback them, already. publishers!
We'll Always Have Paris by Ray Bradbury - Yes, it's Ray Bradbury and he can write like nobody's business, but the idea behind having a short story collection on the list is that kids who for whatever reason need differentiated amounts of reading can just read a few of the stories. And these stories were not at a reading level where that really would have been an option. Other than that, having short stories is kind of a pain. Also, the cover was crap.
So now we are down to 35 titles. We will be cutting between 10 and 15 more.
I can't tell you all the books that will be on, but here are the top 10 vote-getters as chosen by the BHS students currently studying for their English exam!
- Unwind by Neal Schusterman
- Sarah's Key by Tatiana deRosnay
- Ghosts of War by Ryan Smithson
- Impossible by Nancy Werlin
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
- The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore
- How To Build a House by Dana Reinhart
- Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson