Summer Title Choices

A Long Way Gone book image

 


A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Solider
by Ishmael Beah
Year Published: 2007

What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.

In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible act.

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Author Interview

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Choosing Hope
by Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis and Robin Gaby Fisher
Year Published: 2015

Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis is the first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School who saved her entire class of fifteen six- and- seven- year-olds from the tragic events that took place on December 14, 2012, by piling them into a single-occupancy bathroom within her classroom, mere feet from the brutal and indiscriminate massacre taking place outside the door. Since then, despite the unimaginably painful experiences she endured, she has chosen to share her experience with others, in the hope that they, too, can find light in dark moments. (amazon.com)
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Author Commentary

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Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer
Year Published: 1995


In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.
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Book Trailer

Killing Kennedy book image


Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot
by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
Year Published: 2012

In this #1 New York Times Bestseller, the iconic anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy - and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath. (amazon.com)

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Author Discussion of the Book




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The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century
by Sara Miller
Year Published: 2016

In a compelling, linear narrative, Miller takes readers along as she investigates a brutal crime: the August 4, 1892, murders of wealthy and prominent Andrew and Abby Borden. The accused? Mild-mannered and highly respected Lizzie Borden, daughter of Andrew and stepdaughter of Abby. Most of what is known about Lizzie’s arrest and subsequent trial (and acquittal) comes from sensationalized newspaper reports; as Miller sorts fact from fiction, and as a legal battle gets under way, a gripping portrait of a woman and a town emerges. (amazon.com)

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Author Interview



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The Boys and the Boat
by Daniel James Brown
Year Published: 2013

Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

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Book Trailer



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The Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls
Year Published: 2005

The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imaginations, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family.

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Book Trailer



Tribe Book Image

Tribe
by Sebastian Junger
Year Published: 2016
 
Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today.  Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, TRIBE explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. (amazon.com)

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Author Interview and Discussion