Contemporary Literature

Contemporary Literature

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl
by Joyce Carol Oates
Year Published: 2002
Contemporary Literature

While horsing around in the cafeteria, Matt Donaghy makes some remarks and he's suspected of plotting to bomb the school. Only Ursula Riggs, a girl he barely knows, is willing to speak up on Matt's behalf-and that's just the beginning of Oates's novel. The next three-quarters of the book become even more interesting, as the author explores the subsequent social pressures placed on the teenagers.

To learn more about the book:

Publishers Weekly Book Review

Book Trailer

Contemporary Literature

Cat's Cradle
by Kurt Vonnegut
Year Published: 1963
Contemporary Literature
*Mature Content

"Cat’s Cradle is Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet’s ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist, a complete, original theology created by a calypso singer, and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny."


Monster Book Image

Monster
by Walter Dean Myers
Contemporary Literature

Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for murder. Guilty or innocent, Steve becomes a pawn in the hands of "the system," cluttered with cynical authority figures and unscrupulous inmates, who will turn in anyone to shorten their own sentences. For the first time, Steve is forced to think about who he is as he faces prison, where he may spend all the tomorrows of his life. 

To learn more about the book:

Kirkus Book Review

Book Discussion with Author

 

Contemporary Literature

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
by Ken Kesey
Year Published: 1962
Contemporary Literature
*Mature Content

What happens to an environment reliant upon order when disorder is introduced? Which will win out in the end? "Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a seminal novel of the 1960s."

To learn more about the book:

NPR Review on Book's 50th Anniversary

LA Times Review on 50th Anniversary


Contemporary Literature

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
Year Published:
Contemporary Literature

Told through the point of view of three different women living in Jackson, Mississippi, The Help chronicles events from late summer of 1962 through 1964. e three women come to confront and resist the intimidation experienced daily by the black maids. Woven throughout the stories are the key events of these seminal years of the civil rights movement.

To learn more about the book:

NY Times Book Review

Book Trailer


 The Book Thief book image

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
Year Published: 2007
Contemporary Literature

"It’s just a small story really, about, among other things:

* A girl
* Some words
* An accordionist
* Some fanatical Germans
* A Jewish fist fighter
* And quite a lot of thievery”

So good you would happily read it two times in a row.

To learn more about the book:

Book Trailer


Contemporary Literature

The Poisonwood Bible
by Barbara Kingsolver
Year Published: 1998
Contemporary Literature

"The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil."

To learn more about the book:

1998 New York Times Book Review

2013 Book Review from The Guardian