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English (Conant) - Literature Circle Project   Tags: english, glogster, lit circles, novel study  

Last Updated: Aug 13, 2015 URL: http://mehs.morton201.libguides.com/content.php?pid=665254 Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Literature Circle Titles

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Al Capone Does My Shirts - Gennifer Choldenko
A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister. Coming-of-age stories -- Funny - Fast-paced

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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. Fantasy romances -- Romantic

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Black and White - Paul Volponi
Two star high school basketball players, one black and one white, experience the justice system differently after committing a crime together and getting caught. Realistic fiction -- Fast-paced -- Gritty

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne
Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called "Out-With" in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence. The novel tells the bystander story from the viewpoint of an innocent child. Historical fiction -- Haunting -- Moving

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The Brothers Torres - Coert Voorhees
Sophomore Frankie finally finds the courage to ask his long-term friend, Julianne, 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. Realistic fiction -- Funny -- Witty

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Catalyst - Laurie Halse Anderson
Eighteen-year-old Kate, who sometimes chafes at being a preacher's daughter, finds herself losing control in her senior year as she faces difficult neighbors, the possibility that she may not be accepted by the college of her choice, and an unexpected death. Realistic fiction -- Disturbing -- Emotionally intense

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The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
After leaving prep school Holden Caulfield spends three days on his own in New York City. This classic examines the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, and the awful block between youth and being grown-up. Modern classics -- Darkly humorous -- Moving

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Chains - Laurie Halse Anderson
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War. This fast-paced novel reveals the heartache and struggles of a country and slave fighting for freedom. Historical fiction -- Bleak -- Strong sense of place

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Coraline - Neil Gaiman
Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others. Horror stories -- Creepy -- Suspenseful

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
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. Mystery stories -- Bittersweet -- Moving

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Elsewhere - Gabrielle Zevin
After fifteen-year-old Liz Hall is hit by a taxi and killed, she finds herself in a place that is both like and unlike Earth, where she must adjust to her new status and figure out how to "live." Love, jealousy, grief, commitment, frustration and friendship all exist "Elsewhere," making death not that different from life after all. Angst-filled; Moving; Reflective

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Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451is a novel set in the (perhaps near) future when "firemen" burn books forbidden by a totalitarian "brave new world" regime. The hero, according to Mr. Bradbury, is "a book burner who suddenly discovers that books are flesh-and-blood ideas and cry out silently when put to the torch." Bleak; Thought-provoking

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Fallen Angels - Walter Dean Myers
Perry, a Harlem teenager, volunteers for the service when his dream of attending college falls through. Sent to the front lines, Perry and his platoon come face-to-face with the Vietcong and the real horror of warfare. As Perry struggles to find virtue in himself and his comrades, he questions why black troops are given the most dangerous assignments, and why the U.S. is there at all. Descriptive; Gritty

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Feed - M. T. Anderson
Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains. Titus meets Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Disturbing; High-drama

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Flight - Sherman Alexie
The hilarious and tragic story of an orphaned Indian boy who travels back and forth through time in a charged search for his true identity. Flight follows the troubled teenager as he learns that violence is not the answer. When finally the young warrior comes back to his own life, he is transformed by all he has seen. Science fiction -- Darkly humorous

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The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
While a highly motivated killer murders his family, a baby pulls himself out of his crib and toddles out of the house and into the night to a local graveyard. This is most unfortunate for the killer, since the baby was his prime target. The baby finds safety in the graveyard, is named "Nobody," and raised among the dead to protect him from the killer, who relentlessly pursues him. Fantasy Fiction -- Darkly humorous -- Suspenseful

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Gym Candy - Carl Deuker
Groomed by his father to be a star player, football is the only thing that has ever really mattered to Mick Johnson, who works hard for a spot on the varsity team his freshman year, then tries to hold onto his edge by using steroids, despite the consequences to his health and social life. Sports fiction -- Serious-- Thought-provoking

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The Help - Kathryn Stockett
Skeeter, 22, returns home to Mississippi from college in 1962 and writes stories about the African-American women working in white households: 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. Historical fiction -- Upbeat -- Descriptive

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
Examines the experiences of the children and husband of Henrietta Lacks, who, twenty years after her death from cancer in 1951, learned doctors and researchers took cells from her body without permission and were used to create the immortal cell line known as the HeLa cell; provides an overview of Henrietta's life; and explores issues of experimentation on African-Americans and bioethics. Life story -- Haunting -- Thought-provoking

 

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Literature Circle Titles

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In the Lake of the Woods - Tim O'Brien
John Wade returns to Minnesota after his tour of duty, he successfully conceals the facts of his Vietnam experience, and becomes a rising political star. When long-hidden secrets about the atrocities he committed in Vietnam come to light, the candidate for the U.S. Senate retreats with his wife to a lakeside cabin in northern Minnesota. Within days of their arrival, his wife mysteriously vanishes into the watery wilderness. Psychological suspense story -- Disturbing -- Haunting

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The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant's son, in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan's monarchy through the atrocities of the present day. It is both a political chronicle and a deeply personal tale about how childhood choices affect our adult lives. Coming-of-age stories -- Haunting -- Dramatic

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A Long Way Gone - Ishmael Beah
In a heart-wrenching, candid autobiography, a human rights activist offers a firsthand account of war from the perspective of a former child soldier, detailing the violent civil war that wracked his native Sierra Leone and the government forces that transformed a gentle young boy into a killer as a member of the army. Life stories -- Impassioned -- Moving

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Love That Dog - Sharon Creech
A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, and an appearance at his school by Walter Dean Myers, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem. Novels in verse -- Emotionally intense

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Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment - James Patterson
A group of genetically enhanced kids who can fly and have other unique talents are on the run from part-human, part-wolf predators called Erasers. After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "birdkids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose. Science fiction -- Action-packed -- Suspenseful

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My Brother Sam Is Dead - James Lincoln Collier
The classic story of one family torn apart by the Revolutionary War. Young Tim Meeker is caught between his brother's patriotism and his father's Tory sympathies in this story of the American Revolution. Recounts the tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the Revolution when one son joins the rebel forces while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral. War stories -- Emotionally intense -- Serious

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Native Son - Richard Wright
Native Son tells the story of a young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, the novel is a reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America. Disturbing -- Haunting

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Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult
The people of Sterling, NH, 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 shooter. The novel asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be. Bleak -- Disturbing

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Nothing but the Truth - Avi
A ninth-grader's suspension for singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" during homeroom becomes a national news story. The novel combines diary entries, phone conversations, discussions, and high school faculty memos into a provocative exploration of the way emotions and preconceptions define and distort truth. Suspenseful -- Thought-provoking

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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. A heartbreaking and terrifying novel of families in anguish, and friendships ripped apart by inconceivable violence. Disturbing -- Intricately plotted

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Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi
In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Graphic novels -- Thought-provoking -- Reflective

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The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
Publication Date: 2005-07-05
The story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist missionary who takes his family and mission to the African Belgian Congo in 1959. They find their lives forever transformed over the course of three decades by the political and social upheaval of Africa. Historical fiction -- Haunting -- Moving

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Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. Human foibles and early nineteenth-century manners are satirized in this romantic classic tale of English country family life as Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters are encouraged to marry well in order to keep the Bennet estate in their family. Love stories -- Romantic -- Witty

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Pride of Baghdad - Brian K. Vaughan
A pride of lions escaped from the Baghdad Zoo during a 2003 American bombing raid, roaming the streets in a desperate struggle for their lives. Inspired by true events, this graphic novel examines life on the streets of war-torn Iraq, raising questions about the meaning of liberation through the experiences of four lions who escaped from the Baghdad Zoo during a raid. Is it truly better to die free than to live life in captivity? Graphic novels -- Haunting

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Resistance - Carla Jablonski; Leland Purvis (Illustrator)
Vichy, 1942: French teenager Paul Tessier, an artist never far from his drawing pad, assumes charge of his family after his father is taken prisoner by German troops. But when his Jewish best friend, Henri Levy, becomes the target of Nazi sympathizers in his small French village, Paul, along with his family, is compelled to act. They enlist in the Resistance movement and arrange to smuggle Henri to Paris, where he will join his parents in hiding. Historical comic books -- Emotionally intense -- Gruesome

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Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay
On the 60th anniversary of the 1942 roundup of Jews by the French police in the Vel d'Hiv section of Paris, American journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article on this dark episode during World War II and embarks on investigation that leads her to long-hidden family secrets and to the ordeal of Sarah, a young girl caught up in the raid. Psychological fiction -- Suspenseful -- Disturbing

 

Literature Circle Titles

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Schindler's List - Tom Keneally
A novel 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 portray the courage and cunning of a good man in the midst of unspeakable evil. Historical fiction -- Disturbing -- Compelling

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The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
A coming of age tale set in South Carolina in 1964, it is the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. After her "stand-in mother," a bold black woman named Rosaleen, insults the three biggest racists in town, Lily Owens joins Rosaleen on a road trip where they are taken in by three black, bee-keeping sisters. A story of the transforming power of love. Coming-of-age-stories -- Heartwarming

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Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five is one of the world's great anti-war books. Centering on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know. Military science fiction -- Darkly humorous -- Disturbing

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Sold - Patricia McCormick
Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her poor family in a small hut in the mountains of Nepal. When she is tricked by her stepfather and sold into prostitution, Lakshmi becomes submerged in a nightmare where her only comfort is the friendship she forms with the other girls, which helps her survive and eventually escape. Based on the author's extensive research in India and Nepal. Realistic fiction -- Disturbing -- Emotionally intense

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Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever. Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. Realistic fiction -- Moving

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The Storyteller - Jodi Picoult
Becoming friends with Josef Weber, an old man who's particularly loved in her community, Sage Singer is shocked when one day he asks her to kill him after revealing a long-buried and shameful secret, and why he deserves to die. Sage questions her beliefs and wonders if his request would be murder or justice. Where does one draw the line between punishment and justice, forgiveness and mercy? Psychological fiction -- Disturbing -- Complex

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The Tiger Rising - Kate DiCamillo
Rob, who passes the time in his rural Florida community by wood carving, is drawn by his spunky but angry friend Sistine into a plan to free a caged tiger. Rob and Sistine prove that some things—like memories, and heartache, and tigers—can’t be locked up forever. Realistic fiction -- Emotionally intense -- Sad

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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. Coming-of-age stories -- Moving

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The Tortilla Curtain - T. C. Boyle
The story of illegal aliens in California, told through the eyes of two very different couples, one well-off Anglos, the other illegal Mexicans living in a canyon. A freak accident brings these couples together and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding. The novel chronicles their relationship against the background of growing hostility between immigrants and natives. Realistic fiction -- Issue-oriented -- Disturbing

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Touching Spirit Bear - Ben Mikaelsen
After his anger erupts into violence, Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the native American Circle Justice, and he is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life. Depicts the vicious cycle of violence and one boy's journey to healing. Adventure stories -- Emotionally intense

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Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
Just before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have a great time, Tally's best friend runs away and Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all. Dystopian fiction -- Suspenseful -- Thought-provoking

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Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
Publication Date: 2007-05-01
Ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski remembers his time in the circus as a young man during the Great Depression, and his friendship with Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, and Rosie, the elephant, who gave them hope. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival. Multiple perspectives -- Bittersweet -- Romantic

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We Are Witnesses - Jacob Boas
Diary entries written by five Holocaust teenage victims document the ordeals suffered in Nazi-occupied Lithuania, Hungary, Belgium, and Holland. The teenagers who kept these diaries--the son of a Polish dairyman, a young communist in the Vilna ghetto, an Orthodox Jew in Brussels, a Hungarian girl from a wealthy family, Anne Frank in Amsterdam--had practically nothing in common, aside from the fact that they met the same fate. Biographies -- Diaries -- Disturbing

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We Were Here - Matt de la Peña
Haunted by the event that sentences him to time in a group home, Miguel breaks out with two unlikely companions and together they begin their journey down the California coast hoping to get to Mexico and a new life. The three homeless runaways steal, hide, work, fight, bond, and care for each other. Diary novels -- Emotionally intense -- Suspenseful

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Wintergirls - Laurie Halse Anderson
Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder. The author shows readers how anorexia comes to dominate the lives of those who suffer from it, even to the point of fueling intense competition between sufferers. Realistic fiction -- Disturbing -- Emotionally intense

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Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated mountain village in 1666, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Anna must confront the deaths of family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit love. Based on the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged mountain spine of England. Historical fiction -- Disturbing -- Dramatic

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Zlata's Diary - Zlata Filipovic
A chronicle of the war in European Sarajevo from a child's personal journal. It details Zlata's struggle for survival and a normal life in a chaotic nation during the terror of war. Biography -- Disturbing -- Bleak

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