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Self-Selected Novel List

This is a list of novels from which students and their parents may wish to choose. There are MANY other excellent selections on the ALA web site as well. Selections other than those on this list should be presented to the teacher for approval. Novels earning the Alex Award are considered adult novels that may appeal to teens, so be aware that the content may not be for everyone.

Academic Content Standard Grade 12: Reading Process #5 Students will independently read books for various purposes, for enjoyment, for literary experience, to gain information or to perform a task.

Philbrook, Nathan. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. This true-life story is rewritten based on diary accounts of people who actually survived this expedition. This is the story upon which Herman Melville based his fictional Moby Dick. The tale is gruesome, and contains violent adult content of which your parents should be aware. Alex Award

Alexander, Caroline. The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition. The photos will grab teens first: a three-masted wooden vessel broken and splintered; rugged ice-encrusted faces of the ship's crew; fields of ice stretching into infinity. The Imperial Transatlantic Expedition, Sir Ernest Shackleton's daring but ill-fated attempt to cross the South Pole, comes to life in pictures taken by one of the crew and in the words of the men who lived the extraordinary Antarctic adventure. It's an exhilarating account of one of the greatest episodes in the history of polar exploration and one of history's all-time great survival stories. Alex Award

*Anderson, M.T. Feed. 2002. In this society your brain cyberfeed provides an endless stream of information, entertainment and advertising. When Violet’s feed is disrupted, she’s cast adrift and everyone is forced to examine the power of the feed in his/her life.

ALA Best Books Award (BB)

Chambers, Aidan. Postcards from No Man’s Land. 2002. Seventeen is an age of self-discovery, and Jacob has gone to Amsterdam to explore his life. His quest strangely parallels discoveries about his grandfather’s life there during World War II. ALA BB

Foster, Thomas. How to Read Literature Like a Professor: a Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines. 2003. Every author leaves clues to lead readers deeper into the inner meanings of their writings. Learn how to follow literary breadcrumbs in any story. Outstanding Books for the College Bound OBCB

O’Connor, Patricia. Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. 1996. When there’s something important to say, how you say it counts. Pronouns, antecedents and more grammar-ology made fun and painless. OBCB

Myers, Walter Dean. Monster. 1999. Steve Harmon is accused of being an accomplice to murder. He creates a screenplay of his wrenching experiences at the crime scene, in jail, and on trial. ALA BB

Finkel, David. The Good Soldiers 2010. This eye-opening account of “the surge” in 2007 follows the troops of Battalion 2-16, revealing the gritty reality for all those good soldiers serving in Iraq. ALA Alex Award 2010

*Mosher, Richard. Zazoo. Zazoo, almost 14, lives with her adoptive grandfather, who brought her to France when she was just two years old. Her normal routine is interrupted by a boy on a bicycle who asks her a single question. Finding the answer to that question leads Zazoo to discover some bittersweet truths from World War II and the Vietnam war that continue to haunt her and those she loves. ALA BB

Collins, Suzanne. Catching Fire. 2009. Scholastic Press. If you liked The Hunger Games (the book or the movie!) try reading this book next! This is the second in the trilogy.

Porter, Connie. Imani All Mine. 1999. This deceptively simple first-person novel takes readers into the heart and mind of 15-year-old Tasha, whose love for her baby, Imani, is as plain as her fear of the rapist who fathered the child. In the stark language of a tough urban neighborhood, Tasha comes alive on the page as she struggles to reconcile her love and hope for her daughter with the violence that resulted in Imani's conception. A sad though ultimately hopeful novel, compelling from its very first page. Alex Award

*Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays With Morrie. A former student interviews his favorite college professor to learn as many life lessons from him as possible as Morrie struggles with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Alex Award ONLY IF YOU DID NOT HAVE MR. YOUEL!

Fleischman, John. Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science. This non-fiction book is an easy read that contains pictures and descriptions that are, as the title suggests, gruesome. Can you imagine a six-foot long iron rod shooting through a person’s brain? If you pick this book, you won’t have to. ALA BB

Murray, Liz. Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homelessness to Harvard. Hyperion. Alex Award Born to drug-addicted parents who neglected her to feed their habits, Liz Murray perseveres. A true story.

Bell, Alden The Reapers Are the Angels. 2010. This one is for all of you zombie novel fans out there. (Yes, I do look at what you are reading, and I love watching you plow through so many, many fun reads!) This one is very well-written, though obviously mature and violent in content. Alex Award

I also have a selection of books students may choose from:

* Paton, Alan. Cry the Beloved Country. This is about the conflict a family experiences in the African apartheid.

* Orwell, George.1984 What would the world be like if “Big Brother” were everywhere? Read this selection and find out.

All selections must be approved by Mrs. Tenney and by your parents! Books made into movies are NOT ALLOWED!

Students may research a different title from the American Library Association website by typing “ALA booklists” as a search. Any title on the ALA’s Best Books list, Alex Award list (adult novels that may appeal to young adults), and Outstanding Books for the College Bound may be considered. Quick Picks may not be considered. See also the annotated list on my blue bulletin board!


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Field Local Schools | 2900 Door #5, State Route 43 | Mogadore, OH 44260 | Phone: 330.673.2659 | Fax: 330.673.0270
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