New Books by keralaguest


									New Books:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner is a novel about friendship, betrayal, and the price of loyalty. It is about the
bonds between fathers and sons, and the power of their lies. Written against a history that has not
been told in fiction before, The Kite Runner describes the rich culture and beauty of a land in the
process of being destroyed. But with the devastation, Khaled Hosseini also gives us hope: through
the novel's faith in the power of reading and storytelling, and in the possibilities he shows for

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's
last thirty years -- from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding -
- that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of
two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where
personal lives -- the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness -- are inextricable from the
history playing out around them.

Chew on This by Eric Schlosser

Kids love fast food. And the fast food industry definitely loves kids. It couldn’t survive without
them. Did you know that the biggest toy company in the world is McDonald’s? It’s true. In fact,
one out of every three toys given to a child in the United States each year is from a fast food
restaurant. Not only has fast food reached into the toy industry, it’s moving into our schools. One
out of every five public schools in the United States now serves brand name fast food. But do
kids know what they’re eating? Where do fast food hamburgers come from? And what makes
those fries taste so good? When Eric Schlosser’s best-selling book, Fast Food Nation, was
published for adults in 2001, many called for his groundbreaking insight to be shared with young
people. Now Schlosser, along with co-writer Charles Wilson, has investigated the subject further,
uncovering new facts children need to know. In Chew On This, they share with kids the
fascinating and sometimes frightening truth about what lurks between those sesame seed buns,
what a chicken ‘nugget’ really is, and how the fast food industry has been feeding off children for

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of
Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence
for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of
her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her
neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he
is marched to Dachau. This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

A gripping story of a child’s journey through hell and back.
There may be as many as 300,000 child soldiers, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s, in
more than fifty conflicts around the world. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. He is one of the
first to tell his story in his own words.
In A LONG WAY GONE, Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a riveting story. 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 acts. Eventually released by the army and sent to a UNICEF
rehabilitation center, he struggled to regain his humanity and to reenter the world of civilians,
who viewed him with fear and suspicion. This is, at last, a story of redemption and hope.

Bread and Roses, Too By Katherine Paterson

New York Times Review:

Rosa Serutti just wants the books she needs to do her schoolwork, but books cost money, and her
family doesn't have enough even to buy healthy food for her one-year-old brother. During the
winter of 1912, Rosa's family and their neighbors struggle to survive on their jobs in the textile
mills in the immigrant town of Lawrence, Massachusetts. When the mill owners demand more
work for less pay, the mill workers decide they've had enough. Strike! Based on real events, here
is a tale of family, courage, and community that conveys the power that everyday people have to
help one another and change the world.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

New York Times Review:
Teacher Resource:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his
porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and
crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen
reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he
made the list. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an
intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

Where am I Wearing by Kelsey Timmerman

Author Website:

Journalist Timmerman travels the globe in search of the factories that manufactured his clothing.
Tracking a T-shirt, underwear, jeans, and flip-flops leads him from Honduras to Bangladesh to
Cambodia and China. It is not surprising that he encounters heart-wrenching poverty or gains an
eye-opening view of how much the average piece of American apparel is marked up. What is
unexpected is the revelation of just how much harm is done to workers when overseas
manufacturers are boycotted. Timmerman’s interviews with numerous factory workers make it
clear that taking away their jobs is akin to creating a poverty tsunami. Yet, as Timmerman
confesses, “There isn’t a single worker who makes my clothes who lives a life that I would find
acceptable.” Like most of us, he wants a simple solution to the problem, rather than be faced with
the paralyzing morass that is global poverty, and so he suggests some costly, if important
solutions. The injustices of the global clothing industry must be more thoroughly researched and
addressed. Timmerman’s heartfelt, if somewhat disjointed, chronicle is a good beginning. --

Godless by Pete Hautman

Fed up with his parents' boring old religion, agnostic-going-on-atheist Jason Bock invents a new
god — the town's water tower. He recruits an unlikely group of worshippers: his snail-farming
best friend, Shin, cute-as-a-button (whatever "that" means) Magda Price, and the violent and
unpredictable Henry Stagg. As their religion grows, it takes on a life of its own. While Jason
struggles to keep the faith pure, Shin obsesses over writing their bible, and the explosive Henry
schemes to make the new faith even more exciting — and dangerous. Pete Hautman, author of
Sweetblood and Mr. Was, has written a compelling novel about the power of religion on those
who believe, and on those who don't.

Your Own, Sylvia by Stephanie Hemphill

On a bleak February day in 1963 a young American poet died by her own hand, and passed into a
myth that has since imprinted itself on the hearts and minds of millions. She was and is Sylvia
Plath and Your Own, Sylvia is a portrait of her life, told in poems.

With photos and an extensive list of facts and sources to round out the reading experience, Your
Own, Sylvia is a great curriculum companion to Plath's The Bell Jar and Ariel, a welcoming
introduction for newcomers, and an unflinching valentine for the devoted.
Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Author/Book Official Website:

Google Book:

All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a
minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and
he’s going to die. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible
hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search
of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on
the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

Author’s Website:

 American readers will have their imaginations challenged by 14-year-old Kamkwamba's
description of life in Malawi, a famine-stricken, land-locked nation in southern Africa: math is
taught in school with the aid of bottle tops ("three Coca-Cola plus ten Carlsberg equal thirteen"),
people are slaughtered by enemy warriors "disguised... as green grass" and a ferocious black
rhino; and everyday trading is "replaced by the business of survival" after famine hits the country.
After starving for five months on his family's small farm, the corn harvest slowly brings
Kamkwamba back to life. Witnessing his family's struggle, Kamkwamba's supercharged curiosity
leads him to pursue the improbable dream of using "electric wind"(they have no word for
windmills) to harness energy for the farm. Kamkwamba's efforts were of course derided;
salvaging a motley collection of materials, from his father's broken bike to his mother's clothes
line, he was often greeted to the tune of "Ah, look, the madman has come with his garbage." This
exquisite tale strips life down to its barest essentials, and once there finds reason for hopes and
dreams, and is especially resonant for Americans given the economy and increasingly heated
debates over health care and energy policy.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

Author’s Official Website:

In Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time , Greg
Mortenson, and journalist David Oliver Relin, recount the journey that led Mortenson from a
failed 1993 attempt to climb Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain, to successfully
establish schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. By replacing
guns with pencils, rhetoric with reading, Mortenson combines his unique background with his
intimate knowledge of the third-world to promote peace with books, not bombs, and successfully
bring education and hope to remote communities in central Asia. Three Cups of Tea is at once an
unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the
world—one school at a time.

Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas

Teacher Resource:

Anke's father is abusive to her brother and sister, but not to her. To him she is like furniture— not
even worthy of the worst kind of attention. Then Anke makes the school volleyball team. She
loves feeling her muscles after workouts, an ache that reminds her she is real. Even more, Anke
loves the confidence that she gets from the sport. And as she learns to call for the ball on the
court, she finds a voice she never knew she had. For the first time, Anke is making herself seen
and heard, working toward the day she will be able to speak up loud enough to rescue everyone at
home— including herself.

Wachale! Poetry and Prose about Growing Up Latino in America Edited by Ilan Stavans

This groundbreaking bilingual anthology, carefully designed for middle readers, demonstrates the
energy, creativity, and diversity of the fastest-growing minority group in America. "Wachale!"
(Spanglish for "watch out!") includes folk tales, stories, and poems in both English and Spanish
and brief autobiographical essays by both well-established and emerging Latino writers.

Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on being young and Latino in the United States by Lori
Marie Carlson

Google Book:

Lori Marie Carlson has brought together a stunning variety of Latino poets for a long-awaited
follow-up. Established and familiar names are joined by many new young voices, and Pulitzer
Prize-winning novelist Oscar Hijuelos has written the Introduction.

The poets collected here illuminate the difficulty of straddling cultures, languages, and identities.
They celebrate food, family, love, and triumph. In English, Spanish, and poetic jumbles of both,
they tell us who they are, where they are, and what their hopes are for the future.

Becoming Americans by Ilan Stavans

See Also: Wachale! Poetry and Prose about Growing Up Latino in America Edited by Ilan
"In his wide-ranging, expertly crafted anthology, Becoming Americans, Ilan Stavans collects four
centuries of immigrants' stories, laying the works of comparative newcomers like Eva Hoffman,
Felipe Alfau and Gary Shteyngart alongside the writing of early settlers, from religious dissidents
fleeing persecution to slaves like Phillis Wheatley and Ayuba Suleiman Diallo.... Stavans'
anthology goes a long way toward contemplating the breadth of the American immigrant
experience. For every tragic story collected here, there is one of joyful liberation or of perplexed
amazement or, more commonly, of excitement followed by a long, slow adjustment tinged with
hope, fear and regret."—Maud Newton, NPR

Little Brother by Doctorow

Download the Book Online:

Facebook Site:

This novel brims with new and evolving technology, which may fascinate some readers and bog
down others. But the well-integrated explanations, plot twists, humor and romance between
Marcus and a "h4wt" (translation: "hot") geeky babe will keep this thriller humming along even
for techno-duhs. Cory Doctorow tackles timely issues, including the erosion of civil liberties in
the name of national security. Hopefully, teens will pass this cautionary tale on to parents,
teachers and government officials. The Washington Post - Mary Quattlebaum

Everything Matters by Ron Currie, Jr.

Article/Review from the Washington Post:

In this novel rich in character, Junior Thibodeau grows up in rural Maine in a time of Atari,
baseball cards, pop Catholicism, and cocaine. He also knows something no one else knows-
neither his exalted parents, nor his baseball-savant brother, nor the love of his life (she doesn't
believe him anyway): The world will end when he is thirty-six. While Junior searches for
meaning in a doomed world, his loved ones tell an all-American family saga of fathers and sons,
blinding romance, lost love, and reconciliation-culminating in one final triumph that reconfigures
the universe. A tour de force of storytelling, Everything Matters! is a genre-bending potpourri of
alternative history, sci-fi, and the great American tale in the tradition of John Irving and Margaret

My Abandonment by Peter Rock

Book Facebook Site:

Official Website of the Author:

A thirteen-year-old girl and her father live in Forest Park, an enormous nature preserve in
Portland, Oregon. They inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, wash in a nearby creek, store
perishables at the water’s edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, and even keep a
library of sorts. Once a week they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the
civilized world. But one small mistake allows a backcountry jogger to discover them, which
derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight. Inspired by a true story and
told through the startlingly sincere voice of its young narrator, Caroline, My Abandonment is a
riveting journey into life at the margins and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.

Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

Article from the L.A. Times:

Wednesday, September 5, 1973: The first day of Karl Shoemaker's senior year in stifling
Lightsburg, Ohio. For years, Karl's been part of what he calls “the Madman Underground”—a
group of kids forced (for no apparent reason) to attend group therapy during school hours. Karl
has decided that senior year is going to be different. He is going to get out of the Madman
Underground for good. He is going to act—and be—Normal. But Normal, of course, is relative.
Karl has five after-school jobs, one dead father, one seriously unhinged drunk mother . . . and a
huge attitude. Welcome to a gritty, uncensored rollercoaster ride, narrated by the singular Karl

A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind

Google Book:

Teacher Resource:

It is 1993, and Cedric Jennings is a bright and ferociously determined honor student at Ballou, a
high school in one of Washington D.C.’s most dangerous neighborhoods, where the dropout rate
is well into double digits and just 80 students out of more than 1,350 boast an average of B or
better. At Ballou, Cedric has almost no friends. He eats lunch in a classroom most days, plowing
through the extra work he has asked for, knowing that he’s really competing with kids from other,
harder schools. Cedric Jennings’s driving ambition–which is fully supported by his forceful
mother–is to attend a top-flight college. In September 1995, after years of near superhuman
dedication, he realizes that ambition when he begins as a freshman at Brown University. In this
updated edition, A Hope in the Unseen chronicles Cedric’s odyssey during his last two years of
high school, follows him through his difficult first year at Brown, and now tells the story of his
subsequent successes in college and the world of work.

The Boy Who Dared by Bartoletti

Blog about the book:

Bartoletti has taken one episode from her Newbery Honor Book, HITLER YOUTH, and fleshed
it out into thought-provoking novel. When 16-year-old Helmuth Hubner listens to the BBC news
on an illegal short-wave radio, he quickly discovers Germany is lying to the people. But when he
tries to expose the truth with leaflets, he's tried for treason. Sentenced to death and waiting in a
jail cell, Helmuth's story emerges in a series of flashbacks that show his growth from a naive
child caught up in the patriotism of the times, to a sensitive and mature young man who thinks for

What the World Eats by Faith D’Aluisio and Peter Menzel

Article from NPR about the book:

Author Website:

In Hungry Planet, Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio present a photographic study of families
from around the world, revealing what people eat during the course of one week. Each family's
profile includes a detailed description of their weekly food purchases; photographs of the family
at home, at market, and in their community; and a portrait of the entire family surrounded by a
week's worth of groceries.

To assemble this remarkable comparison, Menzel and D'Aluisio traveled to twenty-four countries
and visited thirty families from Bhutan and Bosnia to Mexico and Mongolia. Accompanied by an
insightful foreword by Marion Nestle, and provocative essays from Alfred W. Crosby, Francine
R. Kaufman, Corby Kummer, Charles C. Mann, Michael Pollan, and Carl Safina, the result of this
journey is a 30-course documentary feast: captivating, infuriating, and altogether fascinating.

Ask Me No Questions by Budhos
Google Book:

Since emigrating from Bangladesh, fourteen-year-old Nadira and her family have been living in
New York City on expired visas, hoping to realize their dream of becoming legal U.S. citizens.
But after 9/11, everything changes. Suddenly being Muslim means you are dangerous -- a
suspected terrorist.

When Nadira's father is arrested and detained at the U.S.-Canadian border, Nadira and her older
sister, Aisha, are told to carry on as if everything is the same. The teachers at Flushing High don't
ask any questions, but Aisha falls apart. Nothing matters to her anymore -- not even college.

Airman by Colfer

A new adventure novel filled with high-action and aerial invention from the bestselling author of
the Artemis Fowl series. Conor Boekhart is blamed for murdering the king and thrown into
prison. While in prison, Conor passes time by scratching designs for flying machines into the
walls. After two years, Conor plans and executes a daring escape. But he soon decides he must
return to reclaim diamonds he buried there. He builds a glider and becomes the mysterious
Airman flying around the prison island. Then Conor's entire family is arrested for his crime and
escape. Conor knows that to save them he will have to build the ultimate flying machine of his

Mare’s War by Davis

On a parent-mandated cross-country road trip with Mere, their unpredictable grandmother, 15-
year-old Octavia and 17-year-old Tali make the transformation from complaining, self-absorbed
teens to observant, supportive family members. Mere promises not to smoke if the sisters promise
not to use earphones on their way to a family reunion. And then she begins to tell her life story.
As the miles pass from California across the southern states, the girls become intrigued with
memories of Mere's harsh childhood of domestic work and her struggle to protect herself and
younger sister from their widowed mother's lecherous boyfriend. Mere's account of her war years
is full of historical detail and lively personal anecdotes about the training, treatment, duties, and
social life in her African-American regiment of the Women's Army Corps both on assignment in
the U.S. and in the European Theater during 1944 and 1945.

Revenge and forgiveness: An Anthology of Poetry by Vecchione

A poetry anthology for teens on a perennially important topic. Acclaimed anthologist and teacher
Patrice Vecchione has put together an immensely powerful group of poems, all of which address
the timeless and uniquely human desires for revenge and for forgiveness.

"The events of September 11th inspired this book. I wanted to create a tangible forum, a book to
hold in our hands, to help frame and think not just about terrorism but about who we are as
individuals and who we are as a country. It's been gestating in me for all this time. Finding these
poems was like turning little lights on to illumine the dark. How can beauty be made out of
ugliness and fear? Can it rise from ash?"-Patrice Vecchione

The Orange Houses by Paul Griffin

Meet Tamika Sykes—Mik to her friends (if she had any). She's hearing impaired and way
too smart for her West Bronx high school. She copes by reading lips and selling
homework answers, and looks forward to the time each day when she can be alone in her
room drawing. She's a tough girl who never gets close to anyone, until she meets Fatima,
a teenage refugee who sells newspapers on Mik's block. Both Mik and Fatima unite in
their efforts to befriend Jimmi, a homeless vet who is shunned by the rest of the
community. The events that follow when these three outcasts converge will break open
their close-knit community and change the lives of those living in the Orange Houses in
explosive and unexpected ways.

Stitches by David Small

Official Book Website:

In this profound and moving memoir, Small, an award-winning children's book illustrator, uses
his drawings to depict the consciousness of a young boy. The story starts when the narrator is six
years old and follows him into adulthood, with most of the story spent during his early
adolescence. The youngest member of a silent and unhappy family, David is subjected to repeated
x-rays to monitor sinus problems. When he develops cancer as a result of this procedure, he is
operated on without being told what is wrong with him. The operation results in the loss of his
voice, cutting him off even further from the world around him. Small's black and white pen and
ink drawings are endlessly perceptive as they portray the layering of dream and imagination onto
the real-life experiences of the young boy. Small's intuitive morphing of images, as with the
terrible post-surgery scar on the main character's throat that becomes a dark staircase climbed by
his mother, provide deep emotional echoes. Some understanding is gained as family secrets are
unearthed, but for the most part David fends for himself in a family that is uncommunicative to a
truly ghastly degree. Small tells his story with haunting subtlety and power.

Winter Girls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Article about the book from the N.Y. Times:

Lia and Cassie were best friends, winter girls frozen in matchstick bodies.
But now Cassie is dead. Lia’s mother is busy saving other people’s lives.
Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia’s head keeps
telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, and weigh less. If she keeps on going this
way thin, thinner, thinnest maybe she’ll disappear altogether. In her most emotionally wrenching,
lyrically written book since the National Book Award finalist Speak, best-selling author Laurie
Halse Anderson explores one girl’s chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.

Sold by Patricia McCormick

Teacher Resources:

Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in
Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch
with her best friend from school, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp.
But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family’s crops,
Lakshmi’s stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.

He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid in the
city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi journeys to India and arrives at “Happiness House” full of
hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Teacher Resource:

Indie graphic novelist Gene Yang's intelligent and emotionally challenging American Born
Chinese is made up of three individual plotlines: the determined efforts of the Chinese folk hero
Monkey King to shed his humble roots and be revered as a god; the struggles faced by Jin Wang,
a lonely Asian American middle school student who would do anything to fit in with his white
classmates; and the sitcom plight of Danny, an All-American teen so shamed by his Chinese
cousin Chin-Kee (a purposefully painful ethnic stereotype) that he is forced to change schools.
Each story works well on its own, but Yang engineers a clever convergence of these parallel tales
into a powerful climax that destroys the hateful stereotype of Chin-Kee, while leaving both Jin
Wang and the Monkey King satisfied and happy to be who they are.

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Teacher Resources/Author Website:
Also look at: An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic
of 1793 (Non-Fiction)

It is late summer 1793, and the streets of Philadelphia are abuzz with mosquitoes and rumors of
fever. Down near the docks, many have taken ill, and the fatalities are mounting. Now they
include Polly, the serving girl at the Cook Coffeehouse. But fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook
doesn't get a moment to mourn the passing of her childhood playmate. New customers have
overrun her family's coffee shop, located far from the mosquito-infested river, and Mattie's
concerns of fever are all but overshadowed by dreams of growing her family's small business into
a thriving enterprise. But when the fever begins to strike closer to home, Mattie's struggle to build
a new life must give way to a new fight-the fight to stay alive.

An American Plague by Jim Murphy

See also: Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson (Fiction)

Author’s Website:

1793, Philadelphia. The nation's capital and the largest city in North America is devastated by an
apparently incurable disease, cause unknown . . .
In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness
known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the city's residents, relating the epidemic to the
major social and political events of the day and to 18th-century medical beliefs and practices.
Drawing on first-hand accounts, Murphy spotlights the heroic role of Philadelphia's free blacks in
combating the disease, and the Constitutional crisis that President Washington faced when he was
forced to leave the city--and all his papers--while escaping the deadly contagion. The search for
the fever's causes and cure, not found for more than a century afterward, provides a suspenseful
counterpoint to this riveting true story of a city under siege.

Far From Home: Hispanic Baseball Players in America By Tim Wendel and Jose Luis

Photographer Villegas and sportswriter Wendel dramatically reveal the energy, talent, and hard-
driving ambition of baseball players from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic, both the few
who make it and the many who don't.

To top