Scout Approved Reads: Outliers


Scout Approved Reads! –  Books recommended by students and staff of LFHS. What book can’t you put down? Let us know and get featured!


Tess highly recommends Outliers as a “very interesting and eye opening book if you are someone that’s interested in learning about success stories and how certain people got to the place they are in now.”

Check out the following description from Goodreads, (click the link to read the rest!):


“In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.”

Speak Out!


Banning books silences stories. One week a year, libraries set aside a week to recognize the freedom we all have to read without censorship. The Office for Intellectual Freedom releases a yearly list of the top 10 most challenged books based on media stories and voluntary reporting.

We compared top 10 lists from the past decade with the most popular books at the LFHS library. Here’s a list of the books most challenged and loved by Scouts. Exercise your freedom to read and check one out today!

Looking for Alaska by John Green  lookingforalaska

“Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young.” (continue reading at



The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

“The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. ” (continue reading at



Thirteen Reasons Why: A Novel by Jay Asher thirteenreasonswhy

“Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.” (continue reading at



The Kite Runner by Khaled thekiterunner

“Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.” (continue reading at





So Many Books, Not Enough Time

Although we’re surrounded by books all day, the library staff doesn’t have as much time to read as we’d like. Summer break is the perfect time to catch up on all the books that made it to our “to read” list throughout the school year.

Here’s a peak at which books the LFHS Library staff read over the break and would recommend for your next reading break. 


Ms. Pausch

“I’m currently reading Crazy Rich Asians. So far, I’m enjoying the wide variety of characters, and a peek into a “crazy rich” slice of the world I wouldn’t normally see. I can’t wait to see the film!” (read more about this book on goodreads)






Mrs. Roman

“One of the books I read over the summer was the graphic novel Paper Girls vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn.  Paper Girls was billed as the movies Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds. I would liken it more to Stranger Things with a group girls meets War of the Worlds, as they both take place in the ‘80s and reference the times quite a bit. I really enjoyed the feminist aspect of a group of girls who stuck together delivering newspapers in a predominately boys job. The only drawback to this book is that it is a trade paperback and it comes in multiple volumes.” (read more about this book on goodreads)



Ms. Turek

“Though I read Warlight by Michael Ondaatje at the start of the summer, it still haunts me with its beautiful prose and portraits of two children that are somewhat abandoned by their mother and father during the second World War. The strange individuals that come into their lives are so well drawn that I feel as if they were part of my own past. I couldn’t put it down. Apparently Obama just read it and liked it too.” (read more about this book on goodreads)




Mrs. Thomas

“I read Trevor Noah’s book, “Born a Crime” this summer and loved it! It was fascinating to get his perspective on growing up in South Africa during apartheid and as it ended.  He told such a serious story with such grace, love, and humor. It has become one of my favorite books.” (read more about this book on goodreads)





Mrs. Middlebrook

At the beginning of the summer I read Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation (Book 1 of the Southern Reach Trilogy). Being a big sci-fi fan, I was pleased to find this book felt so fresh and original. It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat and I can’t wait to dig into Book #2- hopefully before next summer! (read more about this book on goodreads)

Stressed? We’ve Got a Book for That!

With AP testing wrapping up and finals on the horizon, we can feel the stress levels rise among our library patrons. It’s no surprise that a librarian would turn to a book to escape a hectic day, but did you know reading is a scientifically proven way to de-stress?

If you choose the right book and setting, you can decrease your stress levels by 2/3rds in just 6 minutes, according to cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis. This outranks listening to music, drinking tea, or going for a walk! Berns, Blaine, Prietula, and Pye found that the stress reducing benefits of reading a great novel can even stay with us days later.

So what kind of book should you read to reap these benefits? Research indicates fictional stories with a strong, narrative arc that you find enjoyable are best. Don’t forget to find a quiet atmosphere so you can get lost in the story!

Here are a few ideas recommended by LFHS Library Staff-

Mrs. Nielsen recommends…….



“Wintersmith is the third title in an exuberant series crackling with energy and humour. It follows The Wee Free Men and Hat Full of Sky. Tiffany Aching is a trainee witch — now working for the seriously scary Miss Treason. But when Tiffany witnesses the Dark Dance — the crossover from summer to winter — she does what no one has ever done before and leaps into the dance. Into the oldest story there ever is.”  Read the full synopsis here from Goodreads.



Mrs. Middlebrook recommends…



“Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall – named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester and for the coveted prize of her hand, Tristran vows to retrieve a fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends him over the ancient wall and into a world that is dangerous and strange beyond imagining . .” Read the full synopsis on Goodreads.



Ms. Turek recommends….



“Matsuo Basho (1644-94) is considered Japan’s greatest haiku poet. Narrow Road to the Interior (Oku no Hosomichi) is his masterpiece. Ostensibly a chronological account of the poet’s five-month journey in 1689 into the deep country north and west of the old capital, Edo, the work is in fact artful and carefully sculpted, rich in literary and Zen allusion and filled with great insights and vital rhythms.” Find the full synopsis here from Goodreads.



It Takes Two

Sometimes a story only has one creator, but there’s that old saying that two heads are better than one. The list of authors who write together is interesting and surprising. Check out a few of these writing pairs and the books they’ve written together. 

Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner


When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Mia and Jules’ different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance. In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps.

Rather read a series that’s already completed? Check out their Starbound Trilogy  – book #1 is These Broken Stars.

Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

“This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. But their problems are just getting started…”

Gemina is the second in this series, and book #3, Obsidio, just came out!

Jay Asher & Caroline Mackler

10959277The Future of Us

“It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long—at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet.”

John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski

33160596A Speck in the Sea

“In the dead of night on July 24, 2013, John Aldridge was thrown off the back of the Anna Mary while his fishing partner, Anthony Sosinski, slept below…As desperate hours tick by, Sosinski, the families, the local fishing community, and the US Coast Guard in three states mobilize in an unprecedented search effort that culminates in a rare and exhilarating success.”



John Green & David Levithan

6567017Will Grayson, Will Grayson

It’s not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old – including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire – Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most awesome high school musical.”

Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story, the companion story, was written by David.

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

7741325Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

“Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?”

One story not enough? Twelve Days of Dash & Lily is their sequel.

Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

12067Good Omens

According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring…And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.”

Click on the book titles to read more at Goodreads.

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 synopsis. All books can be found at the LFHS Library!


Black Panther

Maze Runner the Death Cure


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


Looking for a Good Summer Read?

Check out Barnes and Nobles Top 40 YA (Young Adult) summer list…

40 YA Books You Need On Your Summer Reading List

Summer YA preview

Summer isn’t just about Choco Tacos and weird tanlines, it’s about racing through summer releases like it’s your job, and business is good. Here are 40 June through August YA books I can’t wait to get my hands on, or have already inhaled like so many Choco Tacos. Get them out of this internet list and into your hands:


June YA preview

Devoted, by Jennifer Mathieu
Why we’re excited: Both protected and restricted by her family’s extreme adherence to their fundamentalist Texas church, home-schooled Rachel finds herself questioning the costs of devotion. She starts defying the rules she lives by first subtly and then outright, until she finds herself facing a terrifying crossroads between giving in entirely or finding herself in exile.
Pair with: Deep thought and sweet tea

The Witch Hunter, by Virginia Boecker
Why we’re excited: This supernatural series starter set in an alt England centers on a witch hunter named Elizabeth, who faces death from a magic-fearing inquisitor when discovered in possession of herbs. When a wizard saves her from execution and asks her to be his ally, she’s plunged into a fascinating netherworld of dark enchantments.
Pair with: A rewatch of The Craft

Proof of Forever, by Lexa Hillyer
Why we’re excited: Hillyer’s a poet and cofounder of the Paper Lantern lit fiction incubator, and this is her YA debut. Four friends who’ve drifted apart are zapped by some strange magic back in time to their last year at summer camp, and must fix (or relive) old mistakes without derailing the future.
Pair with: An evening spent lol’ing at old yearbooks”

Read More Online……

Article taken directly from website