Best Books: Olivia

Olivia B

LFHS senior Olivia shared her favorite book, Splintered by A.G. Howard. She says,”It is an amazingly twisted take on the already warped tale of Alice in Wonderland.”

12558285Synopsis on Goodreads:

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland…When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on.

Read more about it here.

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The Heart of African American History

The heart of Black History Month makes February the best time to share the stories of amazing people who continue to impact the world in so many important ways. Here are four interesting titles you´ll want to read, from novels to non-fiction:

Hidden Figures: the American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

30840370Watch the movie and read the book.¨Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians know as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women. Originally math teachers in the South’s segregated public schools, these gifted professionals answered Uncle Sam’s call during the labour shortages of World War II. With new jobs at the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia, they finally had a shot at jobs that would push their skills to the limits.¨ Goodreads.com review


The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment that Changed the World
by John Carlos

11323628An Olympic story: ¨Seen around the world, John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s Black Power salute on the 1968 Olympic podium sparked controversy and career fallout. Yet their show of defiance remains one of the most iconic images of Olympic history and the Black Power movement. Here is the remarkable story of one of the men behind the salute, lifelong activist John Carlos.¨ From Goodreads.com

 

 

 

 


The Underground Railroad: a Novel
by Colson Whitehead, 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner

30555488¨Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.¨ Goodreads.com

 

 

 

In the Shadow of Liberty: the Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents and Four Black Lives by Kenneth C. Davis

27414451¨Did you know that many of America’s Founding Fathers—who fought for liberty and justice for all—were slave owners? Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were “owned” by four of our greatest presidents, this book helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America. From Billy Lee, valet to George Washington, to Alfred Jackson, faithful servant of Andrew Jackson, these dramatic narratives explore our country’s great tragedy—that a nation “conceived in liberty” was also born in shackles.¨ Goodreads.com review

Best Books: Dr. Sassen

Dr. Patrick Sassen

Dr. Sassen, head of the LFHS Student Services Dept., has a favorite book, Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith. “I think it is a fascinating perspective on how the global economy is transforming traditional perspectives on education.”

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Goodreads.com Synopsis:

“In Most Likely to Succeed, bestselling author and education expert Tony Wagner and venture capitalist Ted Dintersmith call for a complete overhaul of the function and focus of American schools, sharing insights and stories from the front lines, including profiles of successful students, teachers, parents, and business leaders.”

Read more about this book at Goodreads.

A Perfect Match – Finding the Book for You

Reading is sort of like dating – it’s all about finding the right book at the right time. But how do you find the perfect book with so many to choose from? Here are a few tips:

  • Browsing the shelves and seeing what’s available may sound old school, but it can be a great place to start. What covers or titles jump out at you? Pick them up and read the back or inside flap to find out what’s in store.
  • Already have a book or topic in mind? Use the LFHS Library Catalog to find out which books we have available on our shelves (or in our audio & ebook collections) for you to check out. It narrows the playing field considerably and you can save the ones you want for later.
  • Just like there are dating apps, there are also plenty of places online dedicated to helping people find their next read. Goodreads is a website and app that allows readers to keep track of what they’ve read and what they want to read – the more books you rate, the better the recommendations it gives.
  • If you’re feeling up to it, ask someone to “set you up.” Librarians, teachers, and booksellers love sharing their favorite titles and recommendations with others (that’s the fun part of our job!).
  • Once you’ve found a title or two, go ahead and take the plunge. You’re allowed to check out multiple books from the library (as long as you don’t have overdues or unpaid fines). If this is a book for fun and the one you’ve picked out just isn’t doing it for you, return it and try something else – there are plenty to choose from!

 

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See something interesting in a display? You can check it out – that’s what displays are for!

Best Books: Rachel

Rachel

“When I’m reading this book it is hard for me to put it down,” says Rachel, class of  2020 . Her favorite book is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third book in the series by J.K. Rowling.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

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“Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts is full of new dangers. A convicted murderer, Sirius Black, has broken out of Azkaban prison, and it seems he’s after Harry. Now Hogwarts is being patrolled by the dementors, the Azkaban guards who are hunting Sirius. But Harry can’t imagine that Sirius or, for that matter, the evil Lord Voldemort could be more frightening than the dementors themselves, who have the terrible power to fill anyone they come across with aching loneliness and despair…” 

Read the full review at Goodreads.com.

Dynamic Duologies

While book series are fun, let’s be honest – they’re a big commitment. But what if one book just isn’t quite enough? Introducing duologies!

Here are a bunch of stories that come in pairs to keep your reading load more relaxed and your time commitment easy this semester:

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Matt De La Peńa´s The Living and the sequel The Hunted follow the adventures of a high school student working on a cruise ship, trying to survive a tsunami, and much more.

 

7741325 26258306Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares and The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, are two modern romance books by two authors, taking readers all across New York City during the “most wonderful time of the year.”

Check out #1 here and #2 here.

 

1726223611925514Elizabeth Wein has a pair of gripping World War II stories – one about a daring spy held as a prisoner of war, the other a pilot in a concentration camp – that are so well researched and written, it’s almost hard to believe that they’re fiction, Code Name Verity and A Rose Under Fire.

 

26028483 23168818Time Salvager and Time Siege by Wesley Chu take readers on a time-traveling adventure series about a crew tasked with helping save the future by recovering resources from the past without altering the course of history.

 

 

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A set of dystopian novels written by local author Erica O’Rourke, Dissonanceand Resonance explore the idea of parallel universes and the complex impacts even our smallest choices make.

 

Best Books: Mrs. Zimmerman

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The favorite book of English teacher Mrs. Zimmerman is Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air. “This book is beautifully written. It allows you into the mind of a brilliant surgeon, husband, and writer who combines all of these roles as he explains how he was a brilliant surgeon who advised cancer patients until he himself had cancer. It’s compelling and sad and joyous all at once.”

Here’s the Goodreads.com review:

25899336“At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. 

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present?”

Read more about this best book here.