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English (Collins) - Literature Circle Project 2015   Tags: english, lit circles, novel study  

Last Updated: Aug 13, 2015 URL: http://mehs.morton201.libguides.com/content.php?pid=653006 Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Lit Circle Selections

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Amaryllis - Craig Crist-Evans
Eighteen-year-old Frank is off battling the enemy (and his own addictive demons) in Vietnam and fifteen-year-old brother Jimmy is left to deal with the repercussions at home. "Amaryllis" takes on an ominous new meaning - a symbol of what happens when life places the unexpected in our paths. Painfully realistic depiction of war.

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Between the Lines - Jodi Picoult; Samantha van Leer
Told in their separate voices, sixteen-year-old Prince Oliver, who wants to break free of his fairy tale existence, and fifteen-year-old Delilah, a loner obsessed with Prince Oliver and the book in which he exists, work together to seek his freedom.

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The Brothers Torres - Coert Voorhees
Sophomore Frankie finally finds the courage to ask his long-term friend, Rebecca, to the Homecoming dance, which ultimately leads to a face-off between a tough senior whose family owns most of their small, New Mexico town, and Frankie's soccer-star older brother and his gang-member friends. This is a coming-of-age story that looks at where loyalty ends and the self begins.

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Chains - Laurie Halse Anderson
As the Revolutionary War begins, Isabel, 13, wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. Reluctant at first, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
Christopher Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.

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Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit. After learning that books are a vital part of a culture he never knew, a book-burning official in a future fascist state clandestinely pursues reading until he is betrayed.

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The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
Sixteen year old Hazel, who has cancer, meets Augustus at a kids-with-cancer support group and as they fall in love they both wonder how they will be remembered.

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Girl with a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier
Imagines the young woman in Johannes Vermeer's mysterious painting "The Girl With a Pearl Earring" as a sixteen-year-old Dutch girl named Griet who sparks the interest of the artist when she becomes a maid in his turbulent household.

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The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman; Dave McKean (Illustrator)
After his family is brutally murdered, orphan Bod, short for Nobody, is taken in by the inhabitants of a graveyard as a child of eighteen months and raised lovingly and carefully to the age of 18 years by the community of ghosts and otherworldly creatures. As he grows up, Bod has a series of adventures in and out of the graveyard, and the threat of the killer who continues to hunt for him is ever present.

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The Help - Kathryn Stockett
Skeeter returns home to Mississippi from college in 1962 and begins to write stories about the African-American women that are found working in white households, which includes Aibileen, who grieves for the loss of her son while caring for her seventeenth white child, and Minny, Aibileen's sassy friend, the hired cook for a secretive woman who is new to town.

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I Am the Messenger - Markus Zusak
After capturing a bank robber, nineteen-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help, and he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness.

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In the Time of the Butterflies - Julia Alvarez
In 1960, three beautiful sisters were found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reported their deaths were accidental. It did not mention that a fourth sister lived. Nor did it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo's dictatorship.

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The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
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, in an attempt to redeem himself by rescuing Hassan's son from a life of slavery to a Taliban official.

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Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Pi Patel, having spent an idyllic childhood in Pondicherry, India, as the son of a zookeeper, sets off with his family at the age of sixteen to start anew in Canada, but his life takes a marvelous turn when their ship sinks in the Pacific, leaving him adrift on a raft with a 450-pound Bengal tiger for company.

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The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon, the victim of a sexual assault and murder, looks on from the afterlife as her family deals with their grief, and waits for her killer to be brought to some type of justice. A suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

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Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
A fictional memoir of a celebrated Japanese geisha describes how, as a little girl in 1929, she is sold into slavery; her efforts to learn the arts of the geisha; the impact of World War II; and her struggle to reinvent herself to win the man she loves.

 

Lit Circle Selections

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My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
Thirteen-year-old Anna, conceived specifically to provide blood and bone marrow for her sister Kate who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at the age of two, decides to sue her parents for control of her body when her mother wants her to donate a kidney to Kate.

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The Monstrumologist - Rick Yancey
In 1888 New England, monster-hunting doctor Pellinore Warthrop and his apprentice Will Henry encounter an Anthropophagus -- a headless, supposedly extinct monster that has teeth in its belly and feeds on humans -- and the two of them must track and kill an entire pod of the beasts. Alternately flowery and dripping with gore, the writing is lush and compelling; it will transport you to the Victorian age...and scare you senseless.

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Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult
The people of Sterling, New Hampshire, are forever changed after a shooting at the high school leaves ten people dead, and the judge presiding over the trial tries to remain unbiased, even though her daughter witnessed the events and was friends with the assailant.

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The Pact - Jodi Picoult
The Hartes and the Golds, long-time neighbors and friends, are not surprised when their children Chris and Emily fall in love, but the bond between the families is placed under an enormous strain when Emily is killed, leaving behind the question of whether her death was a suicide, or murder.

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Peace Like a River - Leif Enger
The quiet 1960s midwestern life of the Land family--father Jeremiah, and children, Reuben, Davy and Swede--is upended when Davy kills two teenage boys who have come to harm the family. On the morning of his sentencing, Davy escapes from his cell and the Lands set out in search of him. Their search is a heroic quest, a tragedy, a love story, and a haunting meditation on the possibility of magic in the everyday world.

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Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
In the year 2044, Wade Watts, like the rest of humanity, chooses to escape reality and spends his waking hours in the limitless, utopian virtual world of the OASIS, but when Wade stumbles upon the first of the fiendish puzzles set up by OASIS creator James Halliday he finds he must compete with thousands of others--including those willing to commit murder--in order to claim a prize of massive fortune. Part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera.

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Schindler's List - Thomas Keneally
Based on the true story of how German war profiteer and factory director Oskar Schindler came to save more Jews from the gas chambers than any other single person during World War II. The author uses the actual testimony of the Schindlerjuden - Schindler's Jews - to brilliantly portray the courage and cunning of a good man in the midst of unspeakable evil.

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The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
Fourteen-year-old Lily and her companion, Rosaleen, an African-American woman who has cared from Lily since her mother's death ten years earlier, flee their home after Rosaleen is victimized by racist police officers, and find a safe haven in Tiburon, South Carolina at the home of three beekeeping sisters named May, June, and August.

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A Separate Peace - John Knowles
Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. Gene looks back fifteen years to a World War II year in which he and his best friend Phineas were roommates in a New Hampshire boarding school. Their friendship is marred by Finny's crippling fall, an event for which Gene is responsible and one that eventually leads to tragedy. This American classic is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence.

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The Tenth Circle - Jodi Picoult; Dustin Weaver (Illustrator)
Comic book artist Daniel Stone, a stay-at-home dad with a fourteen-year-old daughter Trixie, and an unfaithful wife, turns a blind eye to Trixie's first broken heart and wife Laura's affair, but the feelings of rage he has buried for years come to the surface when Trixie is raped at a party and accuses her former boyfriend.

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To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer, likes to spend her summers building treehouses, swimming, and catching lightning bugs with her big brother Jem. But one summer, when a black man is accused of raping a white woman, Scout's carefree days come to an end. In the county courtroom, she will join her father in a desperate battle against ignorance and prejudice.

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The Tortilla Curtain - T. C. Boyle
The Mossbacher's, Los Angeles liberals, lead an ordered existence in a newly gated hilltop community. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately cling to their vision of the American Dream as they fight off starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the ravine. And from the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delaney into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding.

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Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
Ninety-year-old Jacob Jankowski finds himself haunted by memories of his past in the circus and the freaks, exotic animals, and other people he encountered as a performer.

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green; David Levithan
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens, both named Will Grayson, are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the two Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history's most fabulous high school musical. Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful.

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Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks
Based on the true story of Eyam, the "Plague Village," in the rugged mountain spine of England. In 1666, a tainted bolt of cloth from London carries bubonic infection to this isolated settlement. The story is told through the eyes of Anna Frith, 18, the vicar's maid, as she confronts the loss of her family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit love. As the death toll rises and people turn from prayers and herbal cures to sorcery and murderous witch-hunting, Anna emerges as an unlikely and courageous heroine in the village's desperate fight to save itself.

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