Best Books: Rebecca

Rebecca
LFHS sophomore Rebecca’s favorite book is Rebel of the Sands by Alwin Hamilton, a fantastic trilogy. The third book, Hero at the Fall, is due out this March, 2018.

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Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead. Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route.

Interested? Check it out on Goodreads here.

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Celebrating Old Abe

$5Bill

Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and the $5 bill are not the only ways Illinois celebrates the extraordinary life of Abe. For the young adult readers of the Land of Lincoln, there’s the Abraham Lincoln Reading Award, sponsored by the Association of Illinois School Library Educators (AISLE).

The 2018-2019 list should be made public in the upcoming weeks, but for now, the LFHS Library has a display of this year’s “Abe list” titles located under the stairs. Check out a few descriptions here, and feel free to check out our copies to read and explore! 

22295304Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
¨Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “Lo siento” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.¨ Goodreads review

 

 

22910900The Rest of Us Live Here by Patrick Ness
¨What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.¨Goodreads synopsis

 

24187925These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
¨Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets.¨ From Goodreads.com

19351043Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
¨Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past…¨ Goodreads review

 

27774758An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
¨Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free…when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.¨
From Goodreads.com

Best Books: Ms. Carlson

Ms. Kristen Carlson
Ms. Carlson, head of the English Department, has a favorite book, News of the World by Paulette Jiles. She comments, “More than anything else, I loved the presentation of all of the rich and meaningful and seemingly strange relationships people have and how they can affect life’s journey.”

Here’s a synopsis of this amazing book on Goodreads:

25817493“In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous…”

Top 4 Reasons to Read the Book First

Movies created from books can be fantastic. Seeing a beloved character or a complex and breathtaking world brought to life on the big screen can be amazing.  But let’s be honest, sometimes a movie falls short of an author’s intricately woven tale.

Here are a few reasons why I prefer to read the book first.

  1. Let Your Imagination take the Front Seat- It’s been said that reading is the cheapest way to travel. Authors take painstaking care to craft characters and landscapes with vivid detail. When you take time to let their words sculpt a vision in your mind you get to be part of creating that world.
  2.  The Beauty is in the Details- It would take too much time and be too expensive to include all the details from a novel in a movie. In a profit driven industry, directors often develop a different vision than the original author. Stories on the big screen can end up flat or lose their focus altogether.
  3. Best in a Conversation- Grabbing a bite to eat after a movie? Whether you’re trying to impress your date or enjoy a good debate with friends,  being ready to compare the onscreen version to the book can help you rock the conversation. Was a cheesy love interest made up to appease the crowd, or a supporting character’s plot left out for sake of time? Help fill in the holes of the protagonist’s motivations (why did they do that!??) with the details the movie didn’t explain.
  4. Rewarding Propositions- Movie tickets are getting pricey. If you have a parent or mentor in your life who has been encouraging you to spend more time reading, try striking a deal: if you read the book first, the movie is their treat.

Want to know which books to start reading to be ready for 2018’s big screen moments? Here are some great reads with 2018 movie adaptations in the works. Click the each title for a Goodreads.com synopsis. All books can be found at the LFHS Library!

moviebooks

Black Panther

Maze Runner the Death Cure

Annihilation

Every Day

A Wrinkle in Time

Ready Player One

Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda

The House of Tomorrow

The Invisible Man

Where’d You Go Bernadette

The Darkest Minds

 

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.

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.