Book Club Kits

East Central Regional Library Book Club Kits contain 12 copies of each title, and specific guides of the book for use by book club members, as well as other information of interest to both novice and seasoned book club members.  Each kit comes in a plastic tote box. ECRL Book Club Kits may be reserved up to one year in advance, and can be checked out for 6 weeks. You may submit a Book Club Kit request form to any local ECRL Branch to reserve a title.

ECRL Book Club Kits were started in 2002 with a grant from the Minnesota Library Association Foundation, with matching funds from book clubs in North Branch, Pine City and Princeton libraries.  Donations for additional titles are welcome.  To donate to the ECRL Book Club Kit project or for more information, contact us.

Search the library catalog for Book Club Kits, using the search term “book club kit.”


ADULT BOOK CLUB KITS

Title Author Description
1776 David McCullough This is the story of the Revolutionary War during the nation’s tumultuous beginning, and those who, at great sacrifice, fought for what we assume to be our rightful heritage and precious ideals. It’s the story of King George III of England, George Washington, Nathanael Greene, William Howe, men in the ranks, soldiers’ wives, camp followers, and innocent bystanders. It’s a testimony to how much is owed to a rare few and what a miracle it was that things turned out as they did.
And the Mountains Echoed Khaled Hosseini It begins in 1952. Ten-year-old Abdullah and his younger sister, Pari, are everything to each other. What happens to them, at the despairing hand of their father, will test the unshakable bonds of family and irrevocably change not just their own lives, but those of multiple generations. In this tale… Khaled Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.
Angels Walking Karen Kingsbury Hitting rock bottom might be the best thing that ever happened to former baseball star Tyler Ames when a team of Angels Walking vows to help Tyler reconnect with the love of his life, Sami Dawson. But a woman with Alzheimer’s might hold the key to Tyler’s happiness.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:  a Year of Food Life Barbara Kingsolver Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.  Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.
 Ape House  Sara Gruen  Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but apes she gets—especially the bonobos Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani, and Makena, who are capable of reason and communication through American Sign Language. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans—until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter writing a human interest feature. But when an explosion rocks the lab, John’s piece turns into the story of a lifetime—and Isabel must connect with her own kind to save her family of apes from a new form of human exploitation.
April 1865:  The Month That Saved America Jay Winik Jay Winik explores the end of the Civil War in a panoramic narrative that takes readers on a journey through the tumultuous month of April 1865, showing that America’s future rested on a few crucial decisions and twists of fate.
Art Forger B. A. Shapiro Boston painter Claire Roth has survived financially by painting reproductions, so when influential gallery owner Aiden Markel arrives with a bizarre proposal–her own show if she will forge a copy of a Degas, one of the pictures stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum–she says yes. As she works, Claire and Aiden become lovers, but she doesn’t tell him about her discovery that the stolen Degas is itself a copy. This knowledge is Claire’s lifeline when the finished forgery is discovered, Aiden and then Claire are both arrested, and only she can save them.
An Autobiography Agatha Christie Dame Agatha Christie sheds light on her secretive life and tells of her early years, her marriages and rise to success.
Aviator’s Wife Melanie Benjamin Despite her own major achievements–she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States–Anne Morrow Lindbergh is viewed merely as Charles Lindbergh’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness
Baker Towers Jennifer Haigh The decade following World War II becomes one of tragedy, excitement, and unexpected change for the five Novak children and the residents of their western Pennsylvania community of company houses, church festivals, and union squabbles.

 

Bastards : A Memoir Mary Anna King Born into poverty in southern New Jersey, Mary Anna King watched her mother give away one of her five newborn sisters every year to another family. Then one day, she was sent away, too. Mary is a college student when her sisters start to get back in touch. Moving, haunting, and at times wickedly funny, [this book] is about finding one’s family and oneself.
Big Sky A. B. Guthrie Relates the adventures of Boone Caudill, a mountain man in the American West of the mid-nineteenth century.
Blazing Worlds Siri Hustvedt Hustvedt tells the provocative story of the artist Harriet Burden. After years of watching her work ignored or dismissed by critics, Burden conducts an experiment she calls Maskings: she presents her own art behind three male masks, concealing her female identity.
Blind Your Ponies Stanley Gordon West Stanley Gordon West’s latest novel is set in the early 1990s in the small eastern Montana town of Willow Creek.  Residents in this small Montana town learn life lessons from its long-losing high school basketball team and coach.
Blueberry Summers:  Growing Up at the Lake Curtiss Anderson This memoir of wonderful summers growing up at a Minnesota lake brings back nostalgic personal memories to the reader! This is the story of Anderson’s family and friends and their 30 summers spent with his parents at their summer cottage on Pelican Lake in Minnesota.  The Scandinavian relatives are quite a crew – much can be learned from them. The slower pace, home made food, fresh berries and produce – it all comes together with the water, boats, fishing and just plain living.
Bluest Eye Toni Morrison This is Toni Morrison’s first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author’s girlhood hometown of Lorain Ohio, it tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful as beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigold in the Breedloves’ garden do not bloom. Pecola’s life does change — in painful, devastating ways.
Bohemian Flats Mary Relindes Ellis Shell shock, as it was called, lands Raimund Kaufmann in a London hospital, a victim of the war but also of his own, and his brother’s, efforts to get out of Germany and build a new life in America. While his recovery eludes him, his memory returns us to Minneapolis, to the Flats, a milling community on the Mississippi River, where Raimund and his brother Albert have sought respite from the oppressive hand of their older brother, now the master of the family farm and brewery. In Minnesota the brothers confront different forms of prejudice, but they also find a chance to remake their lives according to their own principles and wishes—until the war makes their German roots inescapable.
Bones of Plenty Lois Phillips Hudson This is a powerful and absorbing novel about the struggles of a proud North Dakota wheat-farming family during the Great Depression.  Hudson eloquently portrays George Custer, a determined and angry man who must battle both the land and the landlords; his hard-working wife, Rachel; and their young and vulnerable daughter, Lucy.  Through their compelling story looms a sense of a whole nation’s tragedy.
Boy From C-11:
Case 9164
Harvey Ronglien “The Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children housed more than ten thousand children during its sixty year history.  Harvey Ronglien shows readers a panoramic view of this institution, first through the eyes of a child, then as an adult and finally as its most proactive and respected historia.” – Joan Claire Graham
The Boys in the Boat:  Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics Daniel James Brown Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans.
Circling the Sun Paula McLain This powerful novel transports readers to the world of Out of Africa –1920s Kenya. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman–Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and writer Baroness Karen Blixen.
Clara and Mr. Tiffany Susan Vreeland Louis Comfort Tiffany staffs his studio with female artisans–a decision that protects him from strikes by the all-male union–but refuses to employ women who are married. Lucky for him, Clara Driscoll’s romantic misfortunes insure that she can continue to craft the jewel-toned glass windows and lamps that catch both her eye and her imagination.
Cowboy and Wills: a remarkable little boy and the dog that changed his life Monica Holloway The author tells the story of the golden retriever, Cowboy, who changed her son’s life after his diagnosis with autism spectrum disorder.
Cutting Season Attica Locke When the dead body of a young woman is found on the grounds of Belle Vie, the estate’s manager, Caren Gray, launches her own investigation into Belle Vie’s history, which leads her to a centuries old mystery involving the plantation’s slave quarters–and her own past.
Day After Night Anita Diamant Four young women haunted by unspeakable memories and losses, afraid to begin to hope, find salvation in the bonds of friendship and shared experience even as the confront the challenge of re-creating themselves in a strange new country.
Dear Life Alice Munro A collection of stories illuminates moments that shape a life, from a dream or a sexual act to simple twists of fate, and is set in the countryside and towns of Lake Huron.
Dial M:  The Murder of Carol Thompson William Swanson Through police records, court transcripts, family papers, and extensive interviews, William Swanson has recreated Middle America’s “crime of the century,” the deadly plot by a husband that made headlines around the world in March 1963.
The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank A thirteen-year-old Dutch-Jewish girl records her impressions of the two years she and seven others spent hiding from the Nazis before they were discovered and taken to concentration camps. Includes entries previously omitted.
Fire in the Blood Irene Nemirovsky At the center of the tale is Silvio, who in his younger years fled the boredom of the village for of travel and adventure, returns to live in a farmer’s hovel in the middle of the woods. Much to his family’s dismay, Silvio is content with his solitude. But when he attends the wedding of his favorite young cousin, Silvio begins to be drawn back into the complicated life of this small town. As the narration unfolds, we are given an intimate picture of the loves and infidelities, the scandals, the youthful ardor and regrets of age that tie Silvio to the long-guarded secrets of the past.
First Words Joyce Sutphen Minnesota’s poet laureate, Joyce Sutphen, grew up on a working dairy farm, and her poems recover this lost world, with all its beauty and order. This collection traces a shift in the rural landscape from horses to tractors, from haystacks to hay bales—and watches as time ages and changes the people who make up the story.
Five Came Back : A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War Mark Harris The extraordinary wartime experience of five of Hollywood’s most important directors, all of whom put their stamp on World War II and were changed by it forever.
The Forever Bridge T. Greenwood After a tragic accident killed her son and left her husband disabled, Sylvie retreats from the world while her young daughter becomes obsessed with bridges and an incoming hurricane threatens their small Vermont town.
Forgotten Garden Kate Morton Abandoned on a 1913 voyage to Australia, Nell is raised by a dock master and his wife who do not tell her until she is an adult that she is not their child, leading Nell to return to England and eventually hand down her quest for answers to her granddaughter.
GI Brides Duncan Barrett & Nuala Calvi Worn down by years of war and hardship, girls like Sylvia, Margaret, and Gwendolyn were thrilled when American GI’s arrived in Britain with their exotic accents, handsome uniforms and aura of Hollywood glamor. Others, like Rae, who distrusted the Yanks, were eventually won over by their easy charm. So when VE Day finally came, for the 70,000 women who’d become GI brides, it was tinged with sadness–it meant leaving their homeland behind to follow their husbands across the Atlantic. And the long voyage was just the beginning of an even bigger journey.
Giants in the Earth O. E. Rolvaag In the summer of 1873, Per Hansa, his wife Beret, their children, and three other Norwegian immigrant families—Tonseten and his wife Kjersti, Hans Olsa and his wife Sorine, and the Solum brothers—settle in the Dakota Territory. Per’s family becomes lost when they separate from the other wagons, but they eventually reache their destination. They establish a small settlement along Spring Creek, and everyone starts building sod-houses.
Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins After witnessing something shocking, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
The Good Dream Donna VanLiere Denounced by her 1950 Tennessee community as an old maid, 30-something Ivorie Walker hides her loneliness and grief over her mother’s death behind good-humored independence before advocating on behalf of a feral boy who has been stealing vegetables from her garden.
Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck Depicts the hardships and suffering endured by the Joads as they journey from Oklahoma to California during the Depression.
Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows January 1946:  Writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.  And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.
Half Broke Horses Jeannette Walls A true life novel about Lily Casey Smith (the author’s grandmother) who at age six helped her father break horses, at age fifteen left home to teach in a frontier town, and later as a wife and mother runs a huge ranch in Arizona.
Haunted Ground Erin Hart The Irish landscape holds secrets past and present as archaeologist Cormac O’Callaghan and pathologist Nora Gavin encounter a mystery when a decapitated woman is found in the bogs who may be related to a recent mother/child disappearance.
The Healing Jonathan Odell Plantation mistress Amanda Satterfield’s intense grief over losing her daughter crosses the line into madness when she takes a newborn slave child as her own and names her Granada. Troubled by his wife’s disturbing mental state and concerned about a mysterious plague that is sweeping through the plantation’s slave quarters, Master Satterfield purchases Polly Shine, a slave woman known as a healer who immediately senses a spark of the same gift in Granada. Soon, a domestic battle of wills begins, leading to a tragedy that weaves together three generations of strong Southern women.
The Heart Can be Filled Anywhere on Earth Bill Holm After living all over the United States and teaching in China, Holm reapplies himself with gusto and grandiloquence to life as lived in his hometown, the minute Minneota, Minnesota. “The Music of Failure,” the book’s centerpiece essay, showcases most of Holm’s themes: the values of the local past, the particulars of family chronicles, the uses of memory, and, in contrast to these qualities, America’s rootless lack of history and its obsession with individual success.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Jamie Ford Set in the ethnic neighborhoods of Seattle during World War II and Japanese American internment camps of the era, this debut novel tells the heartwarming story of widower Henry Lee, his father, and his first love Keiko Okabe.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou Poet Maya Angelou chronicles her early life, focusing on her childhood in 1930s rural Arkansas, including her rape at the age of five, her subsequent years of muteness, and the strength she gained from her grandmother and Mrs. Bertha Flowers, a respected African-American woman in her town.
Ice Princess Camilla Lackberg After she returns to her hometown to learn that her friend, Alex, was found in an ice-cold bath with her wrists slashed, biographer Erica Falck researches her friend’s past in hopes of writing a book and joins forces with Detective Patrik Hedstrom, who has his own suspicions about the case.
If You Lived Here I’d Know Your Name Heather Lende Tiny Haines, Alaska, ninety miles north of Juneau, is accessible mainly by water or airand only when the weather is good. There’s no traffic light and no mail delivery; people can vanish without a trace; and funerals are community affairs. As both obituary writer and social columnist for the local newspaper, Heather Lende knows better than anyone the goings-on in this breathtakingly beautiful place. Her offbeat chronicle brings us inside her busy life: we meet her husband, Chip, who owns the local hardware store; their five children, and a colorful assortment of friends and neighbors… as well as the moose, eagles, sea lions, and bears with whom they share this wild and perilous land.
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells–taken without her knowledge–became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
Infidel Ayaan Hirsi Ali The author recounts the story of her life, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia and escape from a forced marriage to her efforts to promote women’s rights while surviving numerous threats to her safety.
Invention of Wings Sue Monk Kidd Presents the extraordinary journeys of two unforgettable women: Hetty “Handful” Grimki, an urban slave in early-nineteenth century Charleston, and Sarah, the Grimkes’ idealistic daughter.
Iron Lake William Kent Krueger Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor is the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota (population 3,752).  As a blizzard buries Aurora and an old medicine man warns of the arrival of a blood-thirsty mythic beast called the Windigo, Cork must dig for answers hard and fast before more people, among them those he loves, will die.
Knit Two Kate Jacobs Five years after the death of her mother, Dakota is running their knitting store part time with the help of members of the “Friday Night Knitting Club,” each of who is seeking solace in their friendship from their own challenges in life.
Lake Wobegon Days Garrison Keillor A young narrator chronicles his coming-of-age in Minnesota’s Lake Wobegon, a fictitious small town where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.  Funded with money from Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society and the Statewide Initiative Fund.
Language of Flowers Vanessa Diffenbaugh The story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own past.
The Last Letter Home Vilhem Moberg Book 4 in the Emigrant series portrays the Nilsson family during the turmoil of living through the era of the Civil War and Dakota Conflict and their prospering in the midst of Minnesota’s growing Swedish community of the 1860s-90s.
Last of the Breed Louis L’Amour Shot down over Soviet airspace and taken captive, U.S. Air Force Major Joe Mack makes a daring escape into the Siberian wilderness. Accompanied by a fellow escapee, Mack must rely on his Native American ancestry and skills if he is to survive his long journey and elude his pursuer, the famous tracker known as Alekhin the Yakut.
Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse Louise Erdrich For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Compelled to his task by a direct mystical experience, Father Damien has made enormous sacrifices, and experienced the joys of commitment as well as deep suffering. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. He imagines the undoing of all that he has accomplished — sees unions unsundered, baptisms nullified, those who confessed to him once again unforgiven.
The Last Runaway Tracy Chevalier Forced to leave England and struggling with illness in the wake of a family tragedy, Quaker Honor Bright is forced to rely on strangers in the harsh landscape of 1850 Ohio and is compelled to join the Underground Railroad network to help runaway slaves escape to freedom.
Leaving Time Jodi Picoult For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alic, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident when Jenna was only three years old. Refusing to believe that her mother would have abandoned her, Jenna pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals, which yield few clues. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who originally investigated Alice’s case.
The Light Between the Oceans M. L. Stedman  After the horror of World War I, Tom Sherbourne welcomes his new job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, an isolated island with no residents aside from him and his wife Isabel. But times on the island are tough for Isabel as she suffers multiple miscarriages and a stillbirth in just four years’ time. When a boat with a dead man and a young baby washes ashore, Isabel convinces Tom to let her keep the baby as their own, but the consequences to her actions may be dire.
Long-Shining Waters Danielle Sosin Lake Superior, the north country, the great fresh-water expanse. Frigid. Lethal. Wildly beautiful. The Long-Shining Waters gives us three stories whose characters are separated by centuries and circumstance, yet connected across time by a shared geography. In 1622, Grey Rabbit-an Ojibwe woman, a mother and wife-struggles to understand a dream-life that has taken on fearful dimensions. As she and her family confront the hardship of living near the “big water,” her psyche and her world edge toward irreversible change. In 1902, Berit and Gunnar, a Norwegian fishing couple, also live on the lake. Berit is unable to conceive, and the lake anchors her isolated life, testing the limits of her endurance and spirit. And in 2000, when Nora, a seasoned bar owner, loses her job and is faced with an open-ended future, she is drawn reluctantly into a road trip around the great lake. Rich in historical detail, and universal in its exploration of the human desire for meaning when faced with uncertainty.
Loving Frank Nancy Horan So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives.
Lowland Jhumpa Lahiri Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives–Udayan in rebellion-torn Calcutta, Subhash in a quiet corner of America–until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.
Maid of Fairbourne Hall Julie Klassen Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother.
Main Street Sinclair Lewis Features the story of a college graduate from St. Paul who leaves to marry a doctor in a small, middle-class town, only to find her efforts to bring culture and beauty to the town thwarted by its residents, testing her idealism.  Funded with money from Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society and the Statewide Initiative Fund.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand Helen Simonson Forced to confront the realities of life in the twenty-first century when he falls in love with Pakistani widow Mrs. Ali, Major Pettigrew finds the relationship challenged by local prejudices that view Mrs. Ali, a Cambridge native, as a perpetual foreigner.
Man at the Helm Nina Stibbe Soon after her parents’ separation, nine-year-old Lizzie Vogel moves with her siblings and newly single mother to a tiny village in the English countryside, where the new neighbors are horrified by their unorthodox ways and fatherless household. Lizzie’s theatrical mother only invites more gossip by spending her days drinking whiskey, popping pills, and writing plays. The one way to fit in, the children decide, will be to find themselves a new man at the helm.
A Man Called Ove Fredrick Backman A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship
Me Before You Jojo Moyes Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will is acerbic, moody, and bossy–but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, Lou sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
Middle C William H. Gass Graz, Austria, 1938. Joseph Skizzen’s father, pretending to be Jewish, leaves his country for England with his wife and two children to avoid any connection with the Nazis. In London with his family for the duration of the war, he disappears under mysterious circumstances. The family is relocated to a small town in Ohio, where Joseph Skizzen grows up and leads a resolutely ordinary life. Outwardly he is a professor of music; secretly he is the earnestly obsessive curator of a private Inhumanity Museum, meant to contain the guilt of centuries of atrocities.
Mrs. Queen Takes the Train William Kuhn After decades of service and years of watching her family’s troubles splashed across the tabloids, Britain’s Queen is beginning to feel her age. An unexpected opportunity offers her relief: an impromptu visit to a place that holds happy memories–the former royal yacht, Britannia, now moored near Edinburgh. When her royal attendants discover she is missing, they set out to find her and bring her back before her absence becomes a national scandal.
Murder at Spirit Falls Barbara Deese Perched above Spirit Falls in the lush Wisconsin woodland, Robin Bentley’s cabin is remote enough for her and her book club friends to shed the restraints of city living, hike in the woods, take moonlight walks and go skinny-dipping under the waterfall. But when a body washes up below the falls, the No Ordinary Women find themselves up to their bifocals in a real mystery. And one of them could be the next victim.
My Beloved World Sonia Sotomayor An instant American icon–the first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court–tells the story of her life before becoming a judge in an inspiring, surprisingly personal memoir. With startling candor and intimacy, Sonia Sotomayor recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a progress that is testament to her extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself. She writes of her precarious childhood and the refuge she took with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. She describes her resolve as a young girl to become a lawyer, and how she made this dream become reality.
My Name is Mary Sutter Robin Oliveira Traveling to Civil War-era Washington, D.C., to tend wounded soldiers and pursue her dream of becoming a surgeon, headstrong midwife Mary receives guidance from two smitten doctors and resists her mother’s pleas for her to return home.
Nineteen Minutes Jodi Piccoult Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens–until a student enters the local high school with an arsenal of guns and starts shooting, changing the lives of everyone inside and out. The daughter of the judge sitting on the case is the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened in front of her own eyes. Or can she?
Northwest Angle William Kent Krueger Discovering a murdered teen while stranded by a gale on the remote Lake of the Woods, detective Cork O’Connor and his daughter, Jenny, also discover a mysterious baby boy whose life is threatened by powerful adversaries.
Olive Kitteridge Elizabeth Strout At the edge of the continent, in the small town of Crosby, Maine, lives Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher who deplores the changes in her town and in the world at large but doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her.
One Thousand White Women:
The Journals of Mary Dodd
Jim Fergus An account of the controversial “Brides for Indians” clandestine government program to assimilate Native Americans into white culture is told here in  fiction form.
The Opposite of Maybe Maddie Dawson Jonathan and Rosie have been together so long they finish each other’s sentences–so when he (finally) proposes and asks her to move across the country with him, everyone is happily surprised. But when things suddenly unravel, Rosie sends Jonathan packing and moves back home with Soapie, the irascible, opinionated grandmother who raised her. Only now she has to figure out how to fire Soapie’s very unsuitable caregiver, a gardener named Tony. It’s a temporary break, of course–until Rosie realizes she’s accidentally pregnant at 44, completely unequipped for motherhood, and worse, may be falling in love with the sentimental, troubled Tony, whose life is even more muddled than hers.
Ordinary Grace William Kent Krueger Looking back at a tragic event that occurred during his thirteenth year, Frank Drum explores how a complicated web of secrets, adultery, and betrayal shattered his Methodist family and their small 1961 Minnesota community.
Orphan Train Christina Baker Kline Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to ‘aging out’ out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life–answers that will ultimately free them both.
Our Souls at Night Kent Haruf A spare yet eloquent, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future.
The Painted Drum Louise Erdrich Discovering a cache of valuable Native American artifacts while appraising an estate in New Hampshire , Faye Travers investigates the history of a ceremonial drum, which possesses spiritual powers and changes the lives of people who encounter it.
Paris Wife Paula McLain Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by brash “beautiful boy” Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband’s career.
Pickle in the Middle Murder Jessie Chandler Shay O’Hanlon never knew the Minnesota Renaissance Festival was such a strange and bawdy event until JT Bordeaux–her badge-wearing, medieval-loving girlfriend–drags her along for a visit. The sixteenth-century faire is full of thrilling jousts, feisty wenches, and pickle vendors showing off their tasty tonsil ticklers, but Shay is distracted by the call of her full bladder. While trying to rein in her newest dog’s overactive nose, she finds a dead body with a pickle stuffed in his mouth. A real dead body. In the privy. And before Shay can shout “Huzzah!” JT is arrested for being the porta-potty body’s murderer. Together with her quirky crew of caper-solving pals, Shay must scramble for clues to free JT from the clink … and her troubled past.
Portage : a Family, a Canoe and the Search for the Good Life Sue Leaf Part travelogue, part natural and cultural history, Portage is the memoir of one family’s thirty-five-year venture into the watery expanse of the world.
Postmistress Sarah Blake The stories of a small Cape Cod postmistress and an American radio reporter stationed in London collide on the eve of the United States’s entrance into World War II, a meeting that is shaped by a broken promise to deliver a letter.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend Katarina Bivald Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy’s funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist–even if they don’t understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that’s almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend’s memory.
Remarkable Creatures Tracy Chevalier Mary Anning was fascinated by fossils from an early age, realizing she could sell them to the gentry who had become avid collectors. She was often ripped off by the buyers and derided by scientists but was rescued by Elizabeth Philpot and their unlikely friendship would take strange twists as the importance of these finds began to spread.
Rest of Her Life Laura Moriarty Leigh is the mother of high-achieving, popular high school senior Kara. Their relationship is already strained for reasons Leigh does not fully understand when, in a moment of carelessness, Kara makes a mistake that ends in tragedy — the effects of which not only divide Leigh’s family, but polarize the entire community.
Reunion Dan Walsh Aaron Miller knows a thing or two about loss. He’s lost love. Dignity. Second, and even third, chances. Once honored for his heroism, he now lives in near obscurity, working as a handyman in a humble trailer park. But God is a master at finding and redeeming the lost things of life. Unbeknownst to Aaron, someone is searching for him.
Riders of the Purple Sage Zane Grey Story of hair-breadth escapes from Mormon vengeance in Southwestern Utah of 1871.
The Road to Character David Brooks Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.
Run Ann Patchett Struggling with single parenthood and a scandal that cost him his political career, Bernard Doyle fights his disappointment with his adopted sons’ career choices before a violent event forces the members of his family to reconsider their priorities.  Set over a period of twenty-four hours, Run takes us from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard to a home for retired Catholic priests in downtown Boston. It shows us how worlds of privilege and poverty can coexist only blocks apart from each other, and how family can include people you’ve never even met.
Sacre Bleu: a Comedy d’Art Christopher Moore Baker-turned-painter Lucien Lessard and bon vivant Henri Toulouse-Lautrec vow to discover the truth behind the untimely death of their friend Vincent van Gogh, which leads them on a surreal odyssey and brothel-crawl deep into the art world of late-nineteenth-century Paris.
Safe From the Sea Peter Geye Set against the powerful lakeshore landscape of northern Minnesota, Safe from the Sea is a heartfelt novel in which a son returns home to reconnect with his estranged and dying father thirty-five years after the tragic wreck of a Great Lakes ore boat that the father only partially survived and that has divided them emotionally ever since. When his father for the first time finally tells the story of the horrific disaster he has carried with him so long, it leads the two men to reconsider each other.
Same Sky Amanda Eyre Ward Alice and her husband, Jake, own a barbecue restaurant in Austin, Texas. Hardworking and popular in their community, they have a loving marriage and thriving business, but Alice still feels that something is missing, lying just beyond reach… Carla is a strong-willed young girl who’s had to grow up fast, acting as caretaker to her six-year-old brother Junior. Years ago, her mother left the family behind in Honduras to make the arduous, illegal journey to Texas. But when Carla’s grandmother dies and violence in the city escalates, Carla takes fate into her own hands—-and with Junior, she joins the thousands of children making their way across Mexico to America. In this elegant novel, the lives of Alice and Carla will intersect in a profound and surprising way.td>
The Secret Keeper Kate Morton During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy. Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades.
Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon Larry Millett In the summer of 1994, a workman at the historic mansion of railroad baron James J. Hill in St. Paul, Minnesota, stumbles on a long-hidden wall safe.  There, inside the safe, is a handwritten manuscript bearing the signature of John H. Watson, M.D.
The manuscript contains the story of how Sherlock Holmes and Watson traveled to Minnesota to track a murderous arsonist—known only as the Red Demon—who is threatening both Hill and his Great Northern Railway. The novel is set against the backdrop of the real, devastating Hinckley forest fire of 1894.
Silencing Sam Julie Kramer Silencing Sam finds Riley Spartz incensed when a gossip columnist makes disparaging remarks about her actions as a wife and widow. So incensed, she makes a rather public display of it. This doesn’t sit well when that columnist turns up dead. And fingers keep pointing to Riley.
The Space Between Us Thrity Umrigar This is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world.  Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women:  Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the same and disappearance of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years.
Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Anne Fadiman 1997 winner of the general nonfiction National Book Critics Circle Award. Lia Lee was born in 1981 to a family of recent Hmong immigrants, and soon developed symptoms of epilepsy. By 1988 she was living at home but was brain dead after a tragic cycle of misunderstanding, overmedication, and culture clash: “What the doctors viewed as clinical efficiency the Hmong viewed as frosty arrogance.” The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is a tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions, written with the deepest of human feeling.
A Spool of Blue Thread Anne Tyler The changing needs of aging parents impact a family gathering during which Abby Whitshank relates how her husband and she fell in love during the summer of 1959 and shares decades of marriage impacted by children and long-held secrets.
State of Wonder Ann Patchett A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh journeys into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years–a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past.
Still Alice Lisa Genova Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life.  As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fall, she receives a devastating diagnosis:  early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.
Stillwater Nicole Helget Clement and Angel are fraternal twins separated at birth; they grow up in the same small, frontier logging town of Stillwater, Minnesota. Clement was left at the orphanage; Angel was adopted by the town’s richest couple, but is marked and threatened by her mother’s mental illness. They rarely meet, but Clement knows if he is truly in need, Angel will come to save him. Stillwater, near the Mississippi River and Canada, becomes an important stop on the Underground Railroad. As Clement and Angel grow up and the country marches to war, their lives are changed by many battles for freedom and by losses in the struggle for independence, large and small.
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry Gabrielle Zevin The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books, has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother saying she can no longer raise her. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the transformation of both bookstore and owner, especially to the lovely yet eccentric sales rep, Amelia Loman.
A Stranger is Watching Mary Higgins Clark Four people whose lives have been shattered by a murder find themselves in continuing conflict as the hour of the convicted murderer’s execution approaches.
Summit Avenue Mary Sharratt Minnesota native Sharratt–coordinator of the Munich Writers Workshop–weaves dark, evocative fairy tales and passionate longings into an incandescent coming-of-age story. Orphaned by the age of 16, German native Kathrin Albrecht is sent to America in 1912, where she barely ekes out a living sewing flour bags for the Pillsbury Mill in Minneapolis.
A Tale for the Time Being Ruth Ozeki On a remote island in the Pacific Northwest, a Hello Kitty lunchbox washes up on the beach. Tucked inside is the diary of a sixteen-year-old Japanese girl named Nao Yasutani. Ruth—a writer who finds the lunchbox—suspects that it is debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami. Once she begins to read the diary, Ruth quickly finds herself ddrawn into the mystery of Nao’s fate. Meanwhile in Tokyo, Nao, uprooted from her home in the U.S., bullied at school, and watching her parents spiral deeper into disaster, has decided to end her life. But first, she wants to recount the story of her great-grandmother, a 104-year-old Zen Buddhist nun, in the pages of her secret diary.
Team of Rivals:  the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln Doris Kearns Goodwin This multiple biography is centered on Lincoln’s mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in nation’s history.  The author illuminates Lincoln’s political genius, as the one-term congressman rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals to become president.
They Named Me Marjorie Ann Zemke Marjorie Peterson survived a lifetime of seemingly insurmountable challenges, including being indentured by a family who took her off the orphan train in November 1906.  Marjorie’s indomitable spirit allowed her to make significant personable contributions to the world that tested her so hard as a child and as an adult.  Ann Zemke, her granddaughter, tells Marjorie’s heartwarming story through this narrative and the very special quilt she made in her grandmother’s memory.
This Heavy Silence Nicole Mazzarella Dottie Connell farms her family’s farm in rural Ohio alone, having sacrificed love and family for land she does not own. When the daughter of her childhood friend is left in her care, she must face the past she has worked 15 years to forget.
This Road We Traveled Jane Kirkpatrick When three generations of Brown women take to the Oregon Trail with separate goals in mind, hardship and obstacles test their faith and threaten their survival.
Those Who Save Us Jenna Blum Anna Schlemmer’s daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother’s life. Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Us is a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame.
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee The explosion of racial hate and violence in a small Alabama town is viewed by a little girl whose father defends a black man accused of rape.  A Pulitzer Prize winner.
Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York. Especially in the summer of 1912. Somber, as a word, was better. But it did not apply to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Prairie was lovely and Shenandoah had a beautiful sound, but you couldn’t fit those words into Brooklyn. Serene was the only word for it; especially on a Saturday afternoon in summer. The one tree in Francie’s yard was neither a pine nor a hemlock. It had pointed leaves which grew along green switches which radiated from the bough and made a tree which looked like a lot of opened green umbrellas. Some people called it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed fell, it made a tree which struggled to reach the sky. It grew in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps and it was the only tree that grew out of cement. It grew lushly, but only in the tenements districts.
True Sisters Sandra Dallas 1856. Mormon converts Nannie, Louisa, Jessie, and Anne, all from the British Isles, travel in the Martin Handcart Company, making the 1,300-mile journey on foot from Iowa City to Salt Lake City, while enduring unimaginable hardships. Each woman will test the boundaries of her faith and learn the true meaning of survival and friendship along the way.
The Truth According to Us Annie Barrows In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.
Twelve Years a Slave Solomon Northup A harrowing memoir about one of the darkest periods in American history. Born a free man in New York, Solomon Northup was abducted in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and spent the next twelve years of his life in captivity as a slave on a Louisiana cotton plantation. After his rescue, he published this exceptionally vivid and detailed account of slave life–perhaps the best written of all the slave narratives.
Two Old Women:  an Alaskan legend of betrayal, courage and survival Velma Wallis A tale of survival follows two old women who are abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.  They now must survive on their own or die trying.  Wallis depicts a landscape and way of life that are at once merciless and starkly beautiful.
Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand Relates the story of a U.S. airman who survived when his bomber crashed into the sea during World War II, spent forty-seven days adrift in the ocean before being rescued by the Japanese Navy, and was held as a prisoner until the end of the war.
Under a Flaming Sky Daniel James Brown Describes the devastating events of September 1894, when two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, and surrounding communities, trapping more than two thousand people and ultimately costing more than four hundred lives.
Vacationland Sarah Stonich On a lake in northernmost Minnesota, you might find Naledi Lodge–only two cabins still standing, its pathways now trodden mostly by memories. And there you might meet Meg, or the ghost of the girl she was, growing up under her grandfather’s care in a world apart and a lifetime ago. Now an artist, Meg paints images “reflected across the mirrors of memory and water,” much as the linked stories of “Vacationland” cast shimmering spells across distance and time.
Vestments John Reimringer Originally drawn to the priesthood by the mystery, purity and sensual fabric of the Catholic Church, as well as by its promise of a safe harbor from his violent father, James Dressler finds himself – just a few years after his ordination – attracted again to his first love, Betty Garcia.  Torn between these completing loves, and haunted by his heritage, James finds himself at a crossroads.
Waiting for White Horses Nathan Jorgenson The friendship between Grant Thorson and Will Campbell is the only sure thing in Grant’s life as he suffers a series of painful losses.  When he falls in love with Susan, it seems that happiness is his once more.  But when Will dies, he pushes Susan and his daughter away to keep from being hurt again.
Weatherman Steve Thayer A serial killer is terrorizing the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. A news producer is investigating the murders and the prime suspect seems to be the weatherman.
The Wedding Dress Rachel Hauck One dress. Four women. An amazing destiny. Charlotte Malone is getting married. Yet all is not settled in the heart of Birmingham’s chic bridal boutique owner. Charlotte can dress any bride to perfection-except herself. When she discovers a vintage mint-condition wedding gown in a battered old trunk, Charlotte embarks on a passionate journey to discover the women who wore the gown before her.
Weight of Silence Heather Gudenkauf It happens quietly one August morning.  As dawn’s shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.
Whistling Girls Barbara Paetznick How severely does a person’s past shape the present? How does a grieving widow move beyond pain and loss? Can a high school teacher who has been both changed and haunted by past classroom decisions survive the consequences of those actions?
The Widower’s Tale Julia Glass Enjoying an active but lonely rural life, seventy-year-old Percy allows a progressive preschool to move into his barn and transform his quiet home into a lively, youthful community that compels him to reexamine the choices he made after his wife’s death.
Wild Cheryl Strayed A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe–and built her back up again.
You’re Entarely Welcome:  Stories Remembered Mary Kramer Stories remembered by Irene Elizabeth Burman Long; granddaughter of Malmo homesteader, member of Bethesda Lutheran Church of Malmo.  Includes stories of Irene Elizabeth Burman Long living in Malmo, Minnesota. Living and working and going to school at a logging camp just outside of Glen, Minnesota. Irene’s marriage in 1945, living on a dairy farm near Malmo, Minnesota. Enjoying fishing in her 80’s and beyond.
Zookeeper’s Wife Diane Ackerman Documents the true story of the Warsaw Zoo keepers and resistance activists, Jan and Antonina Zabinski, who in the aftermath of Germany’s invasion of Poland saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish citizens by smuggling them into empty cages and their home villa.

JUVENILE AND TEEN BOOK CLUB KITS

 

Title Author Description
13 Little Blue Envelopes (Teen) Maureen Johnson When seventeen-year-old Ginny receives a packet of mysterious envelopes from her favorite aunt, she leaves New Jersey to criss-cross Europe on a sort of scavenger hunt that transforms her life.
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian (Teen) Sherman Alexie Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot
All American Boys (Teen) Jason Reynolds When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn’s alternating viewpoints.
Among the Hidden (Teen) Margaret Peterson Haddix In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear, until another “third” convinces him that the government is wrong.
Between Shades of Gray (Teen) Ruta Sepetys In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author’s family, includes a historical note.
Bone Gap (Teen) Laura Ruby Eighteen-year-old Finn, an outsider in his quiet Midwestern town, is the only witness to the abduction of town favorite Roza, but his inability to distinguish between faces makes it difficult for him to help with the investigation, and subjects him to even more ridicule and bullying.
Book Thief (Teen) Mark Zusak Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death, as the narrator, 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
Boy at the Top of the Mountain (Teen) John Boyne When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy Austrian household. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler. Pierrot is quickly taken under Hitler’s wing and thrown into an increasingly dangerous new world: a world of terror, secrets, and betrayal from which he may never be able to escape.
The Boy on the Wooden Box (Juvenile) Leon Leyson Traces the story of Holocaust survivor Leon Leyson, who was the youngest child in his family and possibly the youngest of the hundreds of Jews rescued by Oskar Schindler.
Call of the Wild (Juvenile) Jack London A dog, part St. Bernard and part Scotch shepherd, is abducted in California and taken to the Klondike gold fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack. Also includes: Diable – a dog — An odyssey of the North — To the man on trail — To build a fire — Love of life
Chains (Juvenile) 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.
Challenger Deep (Teen) Neal Shusterman A teenage boy struggles with schizophrenia.
Code Name Verity (Teen) Elizabeth Wein In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.
Code Talker: Novel about Navajo Marines in WWII (Juvenile) Joseph Bruhac After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue.
Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie (Teen) Jordan Sonnenblick The life of eighth-grader Steven Alper, already complicated by his friendship with two girls and a prodigious talent for drumming, is turned upside down when his five-year-old brother Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia.
Elsewhere (Teen) 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.”
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (Juvenile) Chris Grabenstein Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.
Fault in our Stars (Teen) John Green Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.
Fish in a Tree (Juvenile) Lynda Mullaly Hunt Ally’s greatest fear is that everyone will find out she is as dumb as they think she is because she still doesn’t know how to read.
Five Flavors of Dumb (Teen) Antony John Eighteen-year-old Piper becomes the manager for her classmates’ popular rock band, called Dumb, giving her the chance to prove her capabilities to her parents and others, if only she can get the band members to get along.
Freedom Summer Murders (Teen) Don Mitchell Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer, traces the events surrounding the KKK lynching of three young civil rights activists who were trying to register African Americans for the vote..
Godless (Teen) Pete Hautman When sixteen-year-old Jason Bock and his friends create their own religion to worship the town’s water tower, what started out as a joke begins to take on a power of its own.
Hatchet Juvenile) Gary Paulsen After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents’ divorce.
Holes (Juvenile) Louis B. Sachar As punishment at Camp Green Lake’s detention center, the boys must each dig a hole a day, five feet across, in the hard earth of the dried-up lake bed. The warden is using the boys to dig for loot buried by an outlaw. (Newbery Award 1999)
I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980 (Juvenile) Lauren Tarshis On May 18, 1980, eleven-year-old Jessie Marlowe and her best friends, Eddie and Sam, are in a forest near Mount St. Helens when the months of wondering whether the volcano will erupt are finally answered–all three are badly burned, but it is up to Jessieto protect the boys as best she can and hope that somebody comes to rescue them.
I Was Here (Teen)) Gayle Forman In an attempt to understand why her best friend committed suicide, eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds retraces her dead friend’s footsteps and makes some startling discoveries.
I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives (Teen)) Caitlin Alifirenka & Martin Ganda ; with Liz Welch Chronicles the friendship between an American girl and her pen pal from Zimbabwe, discussing how a class assignment was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.
Jerk, California (Teen) Jonathan Friesen Plagued by Tourette’s syndrome and a stepfather who despises him, Sam meets an old man in his small Minnesota town who sends him on a road trip designed to help him discover the truth about his life.
Looking for Alaska (Teen) John Green Miles “Pudge” Halter is in search of “the great perhaps.” He abandons his very ordinary life at his very ordinary high school for his father’s alma mater: a boarding school in Alabama.
Memory Boy (Teen) Will Weaver Sixteen-year old Miles and his family must feel their Minneapolis home and begin a new life in the wilderness after a chain of cataclysmic volcanic explosions creates dangerous conditions in their city.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Teen) Ransom Riggs After a family tragedy, Jacob feels compelled to explore an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, discovering disturbing facts about the children who were kept there.
Monster (Teen) Walter Dean Myers While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh (Juvenile) Robert C. O’Brien Having no one to help her with her problems, a widowed mouse visits the rats whose former imprisonment in a laboratory made them wise and long lived.
A Northern Light (Teen) Jennifer Donnelly An astonishing and heartbreaking debut – this is the story of a young woman’s coming of age and the murder that rocked America.
Number the Stars (Juvenile) Lois Lowry In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.
The One and Only Ivan (Juvenile) Katherine Applegate When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.
Paper Towns (Teen) John Green One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin “Q” Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q’s neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.
Pax (Juvenile) Sara Pennypacker After being forced to give up his pet fox Pax, a young boy named Peter decides to leave home and get his best friend back.
Rag and Bone Shop (Teen) Robert Cormier Trent, an ace interrogator from Vermont, works to procure a confession from an introverted twelve-year-old accused of murdering his seven-year-old friend in Monument, Massachusetts.
Raymie Nightingale (Juvenile) Kate DiCamillo Hoping that if she wins a local beauty pageant her father will come home, Raymie practices twirling a baton and performing good deeds as she is drawn into an unlikely friendship with a drama queen and a saboteur.
Rest of Us Just Live Here (Teen) Patrick Ness What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.
Rules (Teen) Cynthia Lord Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.
Salt to the Sea (Teen) Ruta Sepetys As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war’s final dangers, only to find themselves aboard a ship with a target on its hull.
Shackleton’s Stowaway (Teen) Victoria McKernan A fictionalized account of the adventures of eighteen-year-old Perce Blackborow, who stowed away on the 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition. After their ship Endurance is crushed by ice, Blackborow survives many hardships including frostbite during the nearly two-year return journey across ice and sea.
Shadow on the Mountain (Juvenile) Margi Preus Shadow on the Mountain recounts the adventures of a 14-year-old Norwegian boy named Espen during World War II. After Nazi Germany invades and occupies Norway, Espen and his friends are swept up in the Norwegian resistance movement. Espen gets his start by delivering illegal newspapers, then graduates to the role of courier and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. During five years under the Nazi regime, he gains—and loses—friends, falls in love, and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him as he sets out to escape on skis over the mountains to Sweden.
Tangerine (Juvenile) Edward Bloor Twelve-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.
The Thing About Jellyfish (Juvenile) Ali Benjamin Twelve-year-old Suzy Swanson wades through her intense grief over the loss of her best friend by investigating the rare jellyfish she is convinced was responsible for her friend’s death.
Unlikely Hero of Room 13B (Teen) Teresa Toten Adam not only is trying to understand his OCD, while trying to balance his relationship with his divorced parents, but he’s also trying to navigate through the issues that teenagers normally face, namely the perils of young love.
Virals (Teen) Kathy Reichs The niece of famed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, fourteen-year-old Tory and her three friends are exposed to a rare strain of canine parvovirus that gives them special powers which they use to try to solve a murder.
The War That Saved My Life (Juvenile) Kimberly Brubaker Bradley A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.
We Were Liars (Teen) E. Lockhart Spending the summers on her family’s private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer.
Wintergirls (Teen) Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend’s death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.
Wonder (Juvenile) R. J. Palacio Auggie Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school, until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and is nervous about being the new kid at school. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?