Need a good book to read? Check out what our English teachers recommend!
Ms. Cascioli recommends The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune-A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret. Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he's given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days. But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn. An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.
Mrs. Cuiffo recommends Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar-This fantasy book deals with magic, coming-of-age, and family bonds. Sheetal has been hiding the knowledge that she is the daughter of a "star," similar to a goddess. She has to find her mother in the heavens and figure out who she really is. The realistic parts of this story take place in New Jersey!
Mrs. Hammond recommends Dear Martin by Nic Stone-This novel follows the story of a boy named Justyce McAllister who has an opportunity to leave the rough neighborhood he was born into but is only thrust into a set of different obstacles to overcome. He writes to his mentor Martin Luther King as he navigates this new uncertain path.
Mr. Janson recommends Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds-A lesson on revenge shown through a 15 year-old boy’s desire to avenge his brother’s shooting. The story is written in verse and the action is fast-paced (the entirety takes place during a sixty-second elevator ride). I think it might appeal to some groups (“non-readers,” boys, etc.) that are harder to reach with literature.
Mrs. Kaplan recommends A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham-A psychological thriller with unexpected and satisfying plot twists. Chloe Davis' dad was arrested when she was twelve for the murder of six teenage girls when she found the evidence of his crimes in the back of his closet. Twenty years later, new girls are disappearing and the similarities to her past are making her paranoid. She should stay out of it, but she can't help but visit the crime scenes. Can she help stop another serial killer or will she be the next victim?
Mrs. Kenny-Stein recommends The Midnight Library by Matt Haig-A woman who feels like her life is not worth living is transported to a library where she sees what her life would have been like had she made different choices. A fast but thoughtful read!
Mrs. Mandy recommends The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh-A retelling of a Korean folktale about the power of love, sacrifice and fate. A Korean village is ravaged by storms and death, believed to be caused by the angry Sea God.In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God's bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering of the villagers. Our heroine Mina chooses to sacrifice herself in order to save her brother's love, the selected maiden that year. As she enters the Spirit Realm, Mina's quest is to figure out how wake the Sea God and ultimately save her people. The journey is absolutely enchanting with vivid imagery, Gods, spirits and surprising twists. I absolutely loved this book!
Mrs. McNaughton recommends Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad-A memoir that addresses two parts of a young woman's life- her diagnosis of cancer and her journey to remission, and then follows her travels to meet many of the people who wrote to her while she was sick in the hospital. This is one of the most lyrical memoirs I have ever read which addresses so many elements of the human experience and condition. It is dense and thoughtful and beautiful!
Mr. Pollock recommends Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand-The true life story of Louis Zamperini is so unbelievable you'd be forgiven if you thought it was a work of fiction. Louis was a troublemaker who became an Olympian who then turned into a war hero. Unbroken is a well-written, fascinating, and inspirational book.
Mr. Pollock also recommends Birth of a Dynasty by Joel Sherman-If you're a Yankees fan then you'll love this book about the 1996 World Champions! Birth of a Dynasty features great profiles of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Joe Torre, and more! Learn about how the Yankees started their late 90s run as being the most dominant team in sports.
Mrs. Skidmore recommends Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I've Loved) by Kate Bowler Bowler-This book is about a young, highly successful professor at Duke, who reevaluates her life and finds out she has stage 4 cancer. During the course of the memoir, Bowler reflects on what is truly important, focusing on the idea that being a type A overachiever isn’t always the way to success. While there are moments of sadness in Bowler’s book, it is an inspirational, funny read. I’ve come back to her words as inspiration for my own life again and again!
Mrs. Sulva recommends In the Wild Night by Jeff Zetner-What a beautiful read. As someone who has experienced much loss in her life, I felt Cash’s worry about his grandfather while he was away trying to make him proud. Also, the feeling of the departed’s spirit being with you,it's hard to describe to others who have not experienced loss. Zentner was able to communicate this feeling through Cash and Delaney.
Mrs. Sulva also recommends This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub-For any LOST fans - do you remember when viewers realized we were watching an alternate time? It was a flash forward, how amazing it was? I thought of that often during this book. There is time travel in this story, but not what you first think. This was one of my favorite books of the summer.
Mrs. Yang recommends The Grace Year by Kim Liggett-When females turn 16, they must go lose their magic in the wilds before becoming a good wife or laborer. As Tierney Jones ventures into her Grace Year, she finds out the dangers and secrets that have long been hidded from her.