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 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


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.¨ 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





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.¨




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.¨ 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.”

25719691 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!



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

Best Books: 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:


“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