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Reading List Book Summary - DOC - DOC


									NEW Reading List Book Summary                                                for High School Reading Elective
Title                   Author                                                           Gr/level     Pts.
A Body in the Library                     Agatha Christy                                   6.0             8
The body of a beautiful blonde is found in the library of Gossington Hall. What the young woman was doing in the quiet
village of St. Mary Mead is what Jane Marple means to find out. Miss Marple baits a clever trap to catch a ruthless killer.

A Great and Terrible Beauty              Bray, Libba                                    5.1              14
After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India,
to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world. Book
A Stranger is Watching                   Clark, Mary Higgins                            4.8              10
Chilling mystery in which a CB murderer preys on stranded women motorists.

All the King’s Men*                        Warren, Robert Penn                               6.8             36
This story is a horrifying exposé of corruption, power, and privilege on the American political scene.

Amy                                     Hooper, Mary                                     4.5         5
Lonely after being dumped by her two best friends, Amy hopes for a romance with Zed, whom she met in an Internet chat
room, but the day they spend together in his seaside village near London is not what she expected.

Andromeda Strain                           Crichton, Michael                               6.6               11
Scientists race against the clock to find a way to stop a very deadly plague from outer space before it infects everyone.

Angela’s Ashes*                          McCourt, Frank                                    5.9            23
Frank McCourt and his siblings grow up in the slums of Limerick, Ireland, with an alcoholic father and a mother who
wishes she could just feed her children.

Angels and Demons                       Brown, Dan                                     5.6              23
Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol seared into the chest of a
murder victim. There he discovers evidence of the resurgence of an ancient brotherhood with a vendetta against the
Catholic Church.

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum          Hooper, Mary                                     6.2            7
In June 1665, excited at the prospect of coming to London to work at her sister Sarah's candy shop, teenaged Hannah is
unconcerned about rumors of Plague until she and Sarah find themselves trapped in the city with no means of escape.

Beauty: a retelling…                      McKinley, Robin                                   6.2              11
A daughter gives her life to save her father and is doomed to live in a monster's castle.

Being of Two Minds                  Service, Pamela F.                                5.9            6
Two teens who share a common ancestry are also able to enter each other's mind, which comes in handy when one is

Bendigo Shafter                         L'Amour, Louis                               5.5            18
Seven men and 13 women and children shed their blood to build a community out west in the Wyoming wilderness.
Bendigo Shaffer is a giant of a man who towers over them all.

The Black Pearl                          O'Dell, Scott                                     5.4             4
In claiming as his own the magnificent black pearl he finds, a sixteen-year-old youth enrages the sea devil that legend
says is its owner.

The Book Thief                             Zusak, Markus                                    5.1              18
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel, a young German girl whose book-
stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Born on a Blue Day                         Tammet, Daniel                                   7.9             13
Daniel Tammett, one of only fifty living savants, autistic individuals who can perform astounding mental or artistic feats,
explains in his memoir how his miraculous mind functions.
Born to Fly                               Osborn, Shane                                      7.9              7
Navy pilot Shane Osborn tells his life story, describing the development of his love of flying, and chronicling the
experiences he and his crew members had after their plane was struck down by a Chinese jet on April 1, 2001.

Brethren                               Grisham, John                                   6.2               17
Three former judges, who call themselves the Brethren, are incarcerated in a minimum-security federal prison.

Chinese Cinderella                        Mah, Adeline Yen                                  5.4              8
During the Japanese occupation of parts of China, twelve-year-old Ye Xian is thrown out of her father and stepmother's
home, joins a martial arts group, and tries to help her aunt and the Americans in their struggle against the Japanese

Cold Mountain*                          Frazier, Charles                                          6.9                    27
A confederate soldier wounded and disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg decides to walk back to his home.

Counting Coup*                   Colton, Larry                                            7.0            19
The author journeys into the world of Montana's Crow Indians and follows the struggle of a talented, moody, charismatic
young woman, a gifted basketball player and descendant of one of George Armstrong Custer's Indian scouts.

Dancing on the Edge                       Nolan, Han                                         4.7               9
A young girl from a dysfunctional family creates for herself an alternative world that nearly results in her death but that
ultimately leads her to reality.

Digital Fortress                                 Brown, Dan                                    5.5            15
Cryptographer Susan Fletcher finds herself fighting for her country, her life, and the life of the man she loves when she is
called in by the National Security Agency to decipher a mysterious code and discovers a plot that could cripple the U.S.

Eliza Rose                                Hooper, Mary                                6.5            14
Thrown out of her home by her stepmother in 1670, fifteen-year-old Eliza Rose becomes a companion to Nell Gwyn, a
mistress of Charles II, and learns a surprising truth about her parentage.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven               Albom, Mitch                                4.7               6
A bitter eighty-three-year-old war veteran who believes his life is meaningless dies while trying to save a little girl's life and
finds himself in heaven, where five people from his past explain what his years on Earth really meant.

Friday Night Lights*                     Bissinger, H.G.                                       8                 19
Explores the culture of high school football by focusing on the town of Odessa, Texas.

The Glass Castle*                         Walls, Jeanette                                    5.9             12
The author recalls her life growing up in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father and distant mother and describes
how she and her siblings had to fend for themselves until they finally found the resources and will to leave home.

Gorillas in the Mist*                  Fossey, Dian                                        10.3            20
This book presents Dian Fossey's account of her thirteen years living in a remote African rain forest where she conducted
groundbreaking research on gorillas and worked to ensure their future.

The Handmaid’s Tale*                       Atwood, Margaret                              5.4             14
It is the future world, and Offred is a Handmaid in the home of the Commander and his wife. She is allowed out once a
day, she is not permitted to read, and she is hoping the Commander makes her pregnant, because only then will she be

I Heard an Owl Call My Name            Craven, Margaret                                      6               6
This heartwarming novel is about a young priest who participates in the life of an Indian village, where he learns the
meaning of life and death.

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly Hansen, Joyce                                        5.0                    5
The young, former slave Patsy keeps a diary of the confusing time following the end of the Civil War.

If I Should Die Before I Wake               Nolan, Han                                        4.9              9
As Hilary, a neo-Nazi initiate, lies in a coma, she is transported to Poland at the onset of World War II, into the life of a
Jewish teenager.
In Country*                             Mason, Bobbie Ann                          4.6              12
In the summer of 1984, the war in Vietnam comes home to Sam Hughes, whose father was killed there before she was

Just One Look                          Coben, Harlan                                    4.0              14
Suburban wife and mother Grace Lawson's idyllic life begins to unravel when she picks up a set of newly developed family
photographs that contains a much older picture of a group of men that includes her husband Jack.

Kite Runner*                            Hosseini, Khaled                                   5.2              16
Amir, haunted by his betrayal of Hassan, the son of his father's servant and a childhood friend, returns to Kabul as an
adult after he learns Hassan has been killed.

Lovely Bones                             Sebold, Alice                                        6.0           16
In the weeks following her death, Susie watches life continuing without her -- her school friends trading rumors about her
disappearance, her family holding out hope that she'll be found, her killer trying to cover his tracks.

Mary, Mary                                Patterson, James                                      4.8             11
FBI agent Alex Cross is assigned to investigate a string of serial killings by a killer calling herself Mary Smith who has it in
for Hollywood stars and e-mails blistering descriptions of their deaths to the editor of the LOS ANGELES TIMES.

The Moonstone*                              Collins, Wilkie                          7.6             34
A huge diamond called the Moonstone disappears during a party, and everyone is suspect. Considered by many to be the
first and finest detective story ever written.

My Forbidden Face*                      Latifa/Hachemi/Coverdale,                        7.1             8
Latifa, who was sixteen when the Taliban came to power, tells about her family's experiences under the regime, focusing
on the lives of women who were abruptly denied the freedom to work, go to school, or even leave their home without an

Mystic River                            Lehane, Dennis                                 5.7              22
The past comes back to haunt three childhood friends when Sean Devine, now a policeman, is assigned to investigate the
murder of Jimmy Marcus's daughter, a crime the third member of their group, Dave Boyle, is suspected of committing.

Nanny Diaries                            McLaughlin, Emma                                   4.9              14
Nanny takes a job caring for the only son of a wealthy family, where she realizes her real job responsibility is making sure
the Park Avenue wife who doesn't work, cook, clean, or raise her own child has a smooth day.

Odd Thomas                               Koontz, Dean                                     7.3              18
Odd Thomas, a short order cook at the Pico Mundo Grill, keeps his ability to see ghosts a secret from all but his girlfriend
Stormy and the local police chief, who he occasionally helps solve crimes.

Ordinary People                        Guest, Judith                                    8               14
A powerful, engaging story about a suburban family coming apart after the death of one son and the attempted suicide of
another son.

The Ox-Bow Incident*                      Clark, Walter                                     5.4             12
After men of action in Nevada let their anger goad them into taking the law into their own hands, they lynch three innocent
men for a murder that never occurred. They then have very different reactions to the act, from drunkenness to suicide.

Parable of the Talents*                  Butler, Octavia E.                                 5.9          21
When the government turns a blind eye to the violent bigots who consider the mere existence of a black female leader a
threat, Lauren Olamina must either sacrifice her child and her followers or forsake her religion.

Petals in the Ashes                    Hooper, Mary                                  6.3            8
In 1666, Hannah and Sarah escape London, leaving behind plague and death as well as their sweets shop, and when it is
safe, Hannah and her younger sister Anne return, only to face the city's Great Fire.

Prayer for Owen Meany                     Irving, John                                      7.7                42
A terrifying and unforgettable story of what happens in Owen Meany's life as a result of hitting a foul ball that kills his best
friend's mother.

Red Scarf Girl*                            Jiang, Ji-li                                       5.0              8
This book is an engrossing memoir of a Chinese girl, her family, and how their lives became a nightmare during Chairman
Mao's Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s.

Rice Without Rain                        Ho, Minfong                                        5.6               8
After social rebels convince the headman of a small village in northern Thailand to resist the land rent, his seventeen-
year-old daughter Jinda finds herself caught up in the student uprising in Bangkok.

Schindler’s List*                     Keneally, Thomas                                      6.8              25
A German businessman tries to save his Jewish employees from the Nazi Holocaust.

Secret Life of Bees*                     Kidd, Sue Monk                                       5.7             15
Fourteen-year-old Lily and her companion, Rosaleen, an African-American woman who has cared for Lily since her
mother's death, flee their home after Rosaleen is victimized by racist police officers, and find a safe haven in Tiburon,
South Carolina.

The Shipping News                         Proulx, E. Annie                                4.8               16
After six years in a loveless marriage and the sudden death of his wife, Quoyle along with his colorful aunt and his two
emotionally disturbed daughters return to the family ancestral home in Newfoundland to start new lives.

Shizuko’s Daughter*                     Mori, Kyoko                                   5.2                    9
A young Japanese girl struggles with the haunting memories of her mother, who committed suicide.

Shoeless Joe                               Kinsella, W.P                                  6.2              13
"If you build it, he will come." The mysterious words of an Iowa baseball announcer lead Ray Kinsella to carve a baseball
diamond in his cornfield in honor of his hero, the baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Snow Falling on Cedars*                Guterson, David                                     7                23
Portrays the psychology of a community, the ambiguities of justice, the racism that continued to persist after World War II
was long over.

Split Second                            Baldacci, David                                   5.2              17
Michelle Maxwell and Sean King, two former Secret Service agents whose careers were destroyed when presidential
candidates under their protection were harmed, discover together that their cases, eight years apart, are connected, and
that danger remains.

Speak                                   Anderson, Laurie Halse                          4.5             7
A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year in high school.

Sula                                     Morrison, Toni                                     6.4         8
This is a sorrowful, touching, sometimes funny tale of two women who share everything as childhood friends in their small,
segregated Ohio town, but are later torn apart by the radically different paths they choose to follow.

Summer of My German Soldier               Greene, Bette                                   5.2            9
This extraordinary novel is about an unlikely friendship between a Jewish girl and a young German soldier during World
War II.

Tamar                                      Mal Peet                                          5.1              17
In England in 1995, fifteen-year-old Tamar, grief-stricken by the puzzling death of her beloved grandfather, begins to
uncover the secrets of his life in the Dutch resistance during the last year of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
Romance, betrayal, espionage.

Tell No One                           Coben, Harlan                                4                12
When a message appears on David's computer, a phrase only he and his dead wife know, he is taunted with the
impossible -- that somewhere, somehow, his wife is alive.

Their Eyes Were Watching God*          Hurston, Zora Neale                         5.6             10
An American classic about a young black woman and her coming to an understanding about love and happiness

The Things They Carried*                    O'Brien, Tim                             5.8              10
Depicts the men of Alpha Company and the character Tim O'Brien who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a
father and writer at the age of forty-three.
Tis                                       McCourt, Frank                                    6.4             24
In this sequel to "Angela's Ashes," the author describes his life's journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher
and raconteur.

True Believer                              Wolff, Virginia Euwer                           5.2             6
Living in the inner city amidst guns and poverty, fifteen-year-old LaVaughn learns from old and new friends, and inspiring
mentors, that life is what you make it, an occasion to rise to.

Two Little Girls in Blue                Clark, Mary Higgins                            5.7               13
Margaret and Steve discover their three-year-old twins have been kidnapped and an eight-million-dollar ransom
demanded. But even though Steve's employer pays the money, only Kelly is returned and Kathy is believed to have been

*Indicates books that are also on the College Reading List.

Updated: 08/2008

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