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7 

Moderate Reading

750L

Danticant, Edwidge.  Eyes, Breath, Memory

Michi, 11th grade

     At an early age, Sophie the main characters mom left her behind to go to New York for a better, civilized, and advanced life.  Sophie was left in  Haiti with her aunt until her mom got settled in New York and could maintain a child.  Sophies mom was rape, when she was a teenager and thats how Sophie was born.  Every night her mom would get nightmares all over again, of how it happened. It was the scar of her life.

     As Sophie got attached to her aunt Atie by the time when she had to move to New York to live with her mom.   At the age of 18, Sophie and her mom had difficulties that lad Sophie to ran away and marry an older man thats older than her moms age.

This book takes you back in the 60s or earlier. To what Haitian ancestor did when they were alive.  In this book, they used old fashion words and phrases.  The beginning of the book was very good; it went right to the point and I surely enjoyed it.

  Kristi, tenth grade

When Sophie was young, she lived with her Aunt Tante Atie.  When Sophie was twelve, she got a letter from her mother Martine, asking her to come live with her in New York.  Sophie spent her whole childhood in Haiti and didn't know anything about New York life.  She had never seen her mother before.  She didn't know any English, so when she got to New York, her mother taught her.  Sophie and her mother spent time together and became good friends.  They got along until Sophie was 18 and fell in love with a guy and became pregnant.  Sophie was kicked out of the house, and returned to Haiti to stay with her Aunt for a while.  The ending of this novel was very surprising. 

Somewhat easy

    

Friendship

Danziger, Paula.  The Cat Ate My Gymsuit.

Tyler M., ninth grade

The book The Cat Ate My Gymsuit is about this girl named Marcy Lewis who has an excuse every day in gym class for not bringing her clothes, and one she uses is The Cat Ate My Gymsuit. Nothing is going well for Marcy in school; she thinks that everyone in school is making fun of her for being big. Then one day they got a new English teacher. Her name was Ms. Finney. Once in class Ms. Finney signed out this assignment for partners. Marcy thought that no one would pick her when the smartest kid in class came and asked if she would b his partner. Ever since then they have been hanging out, a lot. Then everything is going well for Marcy until Ms. Finney gets suspended for not saying the Pledge of Allegiance, so Marcy and her friends try to get hr back. Will it happen, or will she get fired. You wont know until you read it.   

8

Moderate Difficulty

Autobiography

Davis, Donald.  Shooter.   

Darcy, ninth grade

Jack Coughlin, a father of two, is a sniper in the 3/4 Marine Division.  This book recollects his experiences from the war in Iraq.  He retells major events of the war such as clearing the road to Baghdad, tearing down the statue of Saddam, and the journalists who were taken hostage.  He explains what he is thinking about when he is in his zone and needs to take down targets to save his squad mates.  He has to calculate things like distance, wind, if the bullet will have to go through a solid object, and whether the person is an actual threat.  This book is full of action and explains the deeper thoughts of a soldier.  Things like dealing with the thoughts of killing people or why your wife doesnt sound happy when talking to you over the phone.  I would recommend this book to anyone who doesnt mind detailed descriptions of killing and vulgar language.

Fuller C., ninth grade

     An autobiography written by Jack Coughlin, a sergeant in the United States Army currently serving in Iraq in the 3rd Regiment of the Snipers Division, with some help from Donald Davis author of many books. This is a story of one mans struggle in the war with Iraq and his family at home. He is currently considered the most deadly man in the United States Army and he takes the reader back through all his experiences of battles. This will show the reader what a military soldier goes through while at war.  If you dont mind a little gore and vulgar language this book is for you.

Delaney, Sarah and Elizabeth. Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First Hundred Years.   

National Book Winner / Most Honored

DeLillo, Don Underworld 

Don DeLillos mesmerizing novel opens with a legendary baseball game played in New York in 1951. The glorious outcomethe home run that wins the game is called the Shot Heard Round the Worldshades into the grim newsNick Shay and Klara Sax knew each other once, intimately, and they meet again in the American desert. He is trying to outdistance the crucial events of his early life, haunted by the hard logic of loss and by the echo of a gunshot in a basement room. She is an artist who has made a blood struggle for independence.   

   

National Book Winner / Most Honored

DeLillo, Don. White Noise.  

Set at a bucolic Midwestern college, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitler Studies (though he doesn't speak German). He's been married four times and has a brood of children and step-children with his wife, Babette.  White Noise is a chronicle of absurdist family life combined with academic satire.

 

   

De Lint, Charles. Yarrow. 

Mr. Greenlee

      This came quite recommended by people promoting urban fantasy as an alternative to Tolkien and his imitators, but it was quite a disappointment.  This story and its characters lack any serious development.  In the first eight pages, de Lint introduces eleven characters (Caitlin Midhir, Albert Cousins, Peter Baird, Ben Summerfield, Mick Jennings, Becki Bones, Debbie Mitchell, Andy Barnes, Farley ODennehy, Stella Sidney, and Rick Kirby).  Because the writer doesnt spend enough time with each one, the reader ends up having to write down a list of names with a quick description just to keep them straight.  

     Depth-of-detail problems continue to plague the book.  When it mentions rock groups, streets, and authors, its more like name-dropping or list-making than real substance.  It ends up feeling empty, like the bare bones of a story.  I think those recommending this are more in love with the idea of moving beyond the limitations (and imitations) of Tolkien than they are in telling a good tale.  Instead, try Family Trade by Stross, The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, of Twilight by  Stephanie Meyer.

9

Somewhat Difficult

DeFoe, Daniel.  Robinson Crusoe. 

Caleb S., 12th grade

Robinson Crusoe has been through many hard times ever since he left his house, to travel, against his fathers contempt.  First, the boat he is traveling on gets its mast ripped off in a storm and the boat sinks.  The men barely make it out alive.  Then Robinson goes back to his home and meets a man that travels to New Guinea and trades goods with the natives, making him rich.  Robinson decides to embark with him and comes back a much wealthier man.  Then, Robinson does it again but on his own and he gets captured by a tribe.  He becomes the slave of a harsh king, but manages to escape.  When he escapes he doesnt make it home but finds a boat and they are on their way to South America .  Robinson goes with them.  Once he is there he becomes a very rich tobacco farmer and decides to get other people to accompany him back to New Guinea to do some more trading.  On the way a storm comes through and they get lost, next there boat gets stuck and all the men are killed, except Mr. Crusoe.  Now he is stranded on a tropic island alone.  He did manage to get some goods from the stuck boat before it sank.  His only companions, his dog and himself.

Recommended by Tyler, tenth grade

Robinson Crusoe had a love of sailing for all his life.  He had always aspired to be a sailor, and he soon got his wish.  He sailed on many ships, and had many adventures, and by the end of his journey, he had gotten himself a prosperous tobacco plantation in Brazil.  Three years have passed.  Robinson has grown restless, and wants more of the glorious and profitable life of a sailor, so he boards a ship bound for Africa.  But this trips goes very differently.  Torrential rains and mountain-like waves crash down upon the little boat.  As the skies clear, Robinson realizes he is stranded on an island.  With a few tools from the ships, and an admirable persistence, Robinson Crusoe is able to forge a life on the island.  I would advise this book to anyone with a reasonably good vocabulary who likes reading about ordinary people in extraordinary situations.  

Mr. Greenlee

National Book Winner / Most Honored

Dexter, Pete.  Paris Trout.

In Paris Trout, Pete Dexter tells the mesmerizing story of a shocking crime that eats away at the social fabric of a small town, exposing the hypocrisies of its ways and shattering the lives of its citizens. 

The crime is the murder of a fourteen-year-old black girl and the killer is Paris Trout, a respected white citizen of Cotton Point, Georgia, and a man without guilt. His crime haunts the men and women of this town. Harry Seagraves, a prominent citizen and Trouts defense attorney, has nightmares about it. Trouts wife, Hanna, bears the abuse of his paranoia, which grows as the town reacts to the crime and puts Trout on trial. As he becomes more obsessed with his cause and his vendettas against those who have betrayed him, Trout moves closer and closer to the edge of sanity, finally exploding with more violence and rage.

 easy

 

Friendship

DiCamillo, Kate.  Because of Winn-Dixie.

9

Somewhat Difficult

Dickens, Charles.  Christmas Carol.

8

Moderately difficult 

800 pgs, 1070L

Dickens, Charles.  David Copperfield. 

Mr. Greenlee 

The first half of the novel is by turns charming and enlivening.  Davids challenges make it difficult for a man not to identify with his youthful trials.  The bridges between acts written with the reminiscence of an old man - are enough to make a man of 25 look back wistfully at his youth.  Add the zany, lovable characters and this becomes my favorite Dickens.

8

 Moderately difficult 

380 pgs, 1230L

Dickens, Charles.  Great Expectations. 

8

 Moderately difficult 

1080L

Dickens, Charles.  Hard Times

8

 Moderately difficult 

1060L

Dickens, Charles.  Oliver Twist. 

 

An orphan runs away and joins a street gang.  

9

 Somewhat Difficulty

 387 pgs, 1130L

Dickens, Charles.  Tale of Two Cities

Recommended by Tyler, tenth grade

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is the story of the French Revolution, with a personal twist.  A happy French family living in England is quickly pulled into the rising chaos in the fledgling French Republic.  A dutiful wife, respected father, loyal businessman, and courageous friends must then save an innocent husband from death at the hands of a blind and bloodthirsty horde.  A European classic that spans national borders with its universal themes and storytelling, A Tale of Two Cities would be a good choice for advanced readers of any age. 

 

  Mr. Greenlee

      It takes the first two-thirds of this book to set everything in place for the rich action and powerful emotions of the last third.  That is not to say that there are not a few interesting points, some entertaining action, and attractive character development early on, but most modern readers are anticipating the drama of the French Revolution, and this is a long, slow build-up.  The action finally kicks off somewhere around page 200 too late for the taste of todays bookworm. 

As in other Dickens novels, the young female is a weakly drawn character, not even the Agnes of David Copperfield.  Why is it that we find Dickens able to create a Miss Pross or a Betsy Trotwood, but not a realistic and admirable young heroine? 

278 pgs

Dickey, James.  Deliverance.

A killer stalks two men on a canoe trip in the wilds.

Diehl.  Primal Fear. 

Slow building, well-orchestrated suspense.  William Diehl's "Primal Fear," is a compelling story, but it does not bring you to the edge of your seat.  It opens with tremendous action that seems hard to match, and it does not.  Diehl's few action scenes are few and far between. For the action lover, this novel falls a little short, but if smart, intense, legal drama is what you seek, this novel is for you. It is much like an episode of "Law and Order" made into a book. The story does keep you guessing until the very end, and it answers with a very unexpected twist at the end of the story. I believe that for the legal thriller lovers, this book is a hit. 

Dillard, Annie.  An American Childhood. 

 

9

 Somewhat Difficult 

Dineson, Isak.  Out of Africa.  Find it at 967.6

Mr. Greenlee

     Understand before reading that this is not a novel.  It is the journal of a woman who lived in Africa at the beginning of the First World War.  Don't imagine that this is going to be about the author's love affairs, as the movie was.  It has little in common with the movie of the same name.  But after reading this, I felt like I had been there.  I understood more about the people and the land and the times.  I loved this book.  

National Book Winner / Most Honored

Doctorow, E.L. Billy Bathgate 

In 1930s New York, Billy Bathgate, a fifteen-year-old high-school dropout, has captured the attention of infamous gangster Dutch Schultz, who lures the boy into his world of racketeering. The product of an East Bronx upbringing by his half-crazy Irish Catholic mother, after his Jewish father left them long ago, Billy is captivated by the world of money, sex, and high society the charismatic Schultz has to offer. But it is also a world of extortion, brutality, and murder, where Billy finds himself involved in a dangerous affair with Schultzs girlfriend. 

 

National Book Winner / Most Honored

Doctorow, E.L. Loon Lake

It is America in the great depression, and he is a child of that time, that place. He runs away from home in Paterson, New Jersey, to New York City and learns the bare bones of life before he hits the road with a traveling carnival. Then one icy night in the Adirondacks, the young man sees a private train roar by. In its lit windows, he spies an industrial tycoon, a poet, a gangster, and a heartbreakingly beautiful girl. He follows them, as one follows a dream, to an isolated private estate on Loon Lake. 

Thus the stage is set for a spellbinding tale of mystery and menace, greed and ambition, harsh lust and tender love, that lays bare the darkest depths of the human heart and the nightmarish underside of the American dream. E. L. Doctorow has written a novel aglow with poetry and passion, lit by the burning fire of humanity and history, terror and truth.

 

Pulitzer Prize

National Book Winner / Most Honored

Doctorow, E.L. The March.  

In 1864, after Union general William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, he marched his sixty thousand troops east through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army fought off Confederate forces and lived off the land, pillaging the Southern plantations, taking cattle and crops for their own, demolishing cities, and accumulating a borne-along population of freed blacks and white refugees until all that remained was the dangerous transient life of the uprooted, the dispossessed, and the triumphant

 

980L

Dorris, Michael.  Yellow Raft in Blue Water.

Three generations of women

 

1210L

Douglas, Frederick.  My Bondage and My Freedom.  Find it in the biography section.

76 pgs, 1080L

Douglas, Frederick.  Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas.  

 

7

  Moderate Reading

243 pgs, 1090L

Doyle, Conan.  The Hound of the Baskervilles. 

Mr. Greenlee

A good tale 

National Book Award

Oprah Book Club

Dubus, Andre, III.  House of Sand and Fog.

Tense with suspense from the first line, this is one of the great American realist novels. In this page-turning, breathtaking novel, the characters will walk off the page and into your life. And a small house will seem like the most important piece of territory in the world. On a road crew in California, a former colonel in the Iranian Air Force under the Shah yearns to restore his familys dignity. When an attractive bungalow comes available on county auction for a fraction of its value, he sees a great opportunity for himself, his wife, and his children. But the houses former owner, a recovering alcoholic and addict down on her luck, doesnt see it that way, nor does her lover, a married cop driven to extremes to win her love and get her house back. House of Sand and Fog is a narrative triumph in which a traditional immigrant success story and a modern love story are turned upside down with brutal, heartrending consequences. It is an American tragedy, and a shockingly true picture of the country we live in today.

  

380 pgs, 880L

Du Marrier.  Rebecca. 

Recommended by Roxanne

Rebecca is a suspense story that has you on the edge of your seat and begging for more. The main character, a young girl who's name remains anonymous, is swept off her feat by a middle aged widower and taken away to his family mansion known as Manderley.  Soon after arriving at the home the girl finds herself more lonely than ever and at the same time watched every second. Soon the girl feels she is being haunted by the ghost of Rebecca, the former wife of her husband. The ending will leave you breathless as the mystery unwinds and you find the real secret of Manderley and all that have lived within.

 Recommended by Lake

  Mr. Greenlee

This novel is marred by a slow beginning, but otherwise great.  

441 pgs, 930L

 

Dumas, Alexander.  Count Of Monte Cristo. 

  Mr. Greenlee

This book started as the classic adventure tale - narrow escapes! swordfights! disguises!  hidden treasure! secret tunnels! and most of all, revenge! If some of the scenes seem a little contrived, it was still a welcome break from novels calling for interpretation, laden with symbolism, or intense psychological scrutiny - it was just fun.   But it didn't last.  After he became rich, the story bogged down.  His enemies became little, and Dumas violated one of the most important rules of the action story: the main character must be up against the odds.  I especially didn't like how the author went to such ridiculous lengths in almost every chapter to show the reader how fabulously rich the main character was.  

 960L

Dumas, Alexander.  The Three Musketeers. 

5

Easy

Duncan, Lois.  Don't Look Behind You.  

Recommended by Jen 

April was just your average teenage girl who loved her boyfriend. One day her family had to tell her some bad news. That they had to pack everything that they could and  leave their perfect life. And April didn't even get to say good bye to her boyfriend and her friends in high school. She wants to call her friends when they arrive in a new town but her parents forbid her to pick up the phone and call them. She tries to call but it doesn't happen. April is mad at her parents she doesn't like living in this knew town.

4

Very Easy

186 pgs, 750L

Duncan, Lois.  Down A Dark Hall.

Danielle, 10th grade

     When Kit arrives at Blackwood, she can feel the evil that is seeping out of it. She knows that there is something going on, but she cant explain it because she doesnt really know how to. 

      All of the girls that are brought to Blackwood have some sort of special gift that they do not know of. The staff of Blackwood is using these gifts to their advantage. But when the girls find out about what the school is doing, they rebel, and everything goes up in flames. 

      This was a really good book, one of my favorites. The text really keeps you from even thinking about putting the book down. 

4

Very Easy

740L

Duncan, Lois.    A Gift of Magic.  

Danielle, 10th grade

     The three Garett children all have very special gifts. At the beginning of this book, the three children are not really aware of their gifts to the full extent that they are supposed to.  Kirby gets that she is an extraordinary dancer, but Nancy and Brendon have yet to figure out their gifts.

     Brendon knows that he can pick up everything that is played on a piano, but he doesnt know that that is his gift. Also, Nancy knows that she knows when things are going to happen, what people are doing, or who is calling on the phone, but she doesnt really get that this is a special gift.

      All of the children soon figure out their gifts and how they are supposed to use it. Although some things do get in the way and they have to overcome some obstacles, they find out that using their gifts in good ways brings happiness and good to the people around them.

4

Very Easy

760L

Duncan, Lois.  I Know What You Did Last Summer.  New York: Dell. 

Danielle  

In this book it really shows how guilt can really get to people. It also shows how some people are more self-centered than others. 

    When they run over the kid on the bike, Barry is set on not turning back. Influenced by his answer, Helen has to agree. Julie wants to call for help and go back to help the little boy. This leaves Ray torn between his best friend and his girlfriend. After a while, he is influenced by his best friend, and chooses to leave and not help. Barry makes up a pact and they all agree to stay true to it. 

    But almost a year later, everything starts to catch up with them. Once someone starts sending things to the four teens, things start to go horribly wrong

4

Very Easy

780L

Duncan, Lois.  Stranger with My Face.  New York: Little, Brown. 

Recommended by Emma.

Laurie Stratton was a normal teenage girl she had a boyfriend and she hung out with the popular crowd at school. But strange things started happening to Laurie like she was at home and her boyfriend saw her on the beach with another man or her parents could have sworn she was home but she really was out with her friends. Why is everybody saying Laurie is at places she isn't?  What is happening?   Recommended by Emma for teenage girls; This book has a lot of action and never has a boring parts in it. This book always keeps the reader interested. 

5

Easy

810L

Duncan, Lois. The Third Eye. New York: Little, Brown

Jane, 9th Grade 

Karen was born with the gift of the human psyche, or is it a curse?  All of these images of kidnapped children pop into her head, and its too much for her to bear.  When a detective shows up at her door asking for help, will she turn him down to keep her mind clean of the horrors, or will she give her gift to help the children?  This book was written in current times, with current teenage troubles.  The author likes to slowly unveil the characters so that their real being is revealed in the end.  It is a fast easy read I would recommend to someone that isnt looking for a book that takes months. 

6

Moderate Reading

1070L

Duncan, Lois.  Who Killed My Daughter?  New York: Delacorte.  Find it in the library at 364.1

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