Thursday, March 27, 2008

Muhammad: A Prophet For Our Time

by Karen Armstrong

This is Armstrong's second biography of Islam's prophet, Muhammad. This work is well researched, never condescending, and enables the reader to understand the spirituality and origins of a faith that, in the West, is often portrayed as inherently violent and cruel.
-- Joe Geisendorfer, Faculty

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You

by Ally Carter

If you are looking for a book that is intense and that keeps you wondering what is going to happen next, then this is the book for you. This story is about Cammie Morgan, who attends a top-secret boarding school for girls who are spies-in-training. Cammie's troubles begin when she falls for a normal boy named Josh, who has no idea of the double life that she leads. This is a fantastic book.

--Cassandra G, Senior

Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment

by Deepak Chopra

This is a novelized version of the life story of Buddha as he progresssed through the three main stages of his life as Prince Siddhartha, the monk, and finally as Buddha. Chopra deftly portrays ancient Indian culture, and how it helped shape the internal struggle and developement of a person seeking spiritual wisdom, transformation and enlightenment.
--Joe Geisendorfer, Faculty

Perfect: A Novel

by Natasha Friend

Everthing is fine, when in fact nothing really is for 8th grader Isabelle Lee. As a result of the death of her father, Isabelle develops an eating disorder. I like this book because alot of teenagers my age have eating disorders and this has had a big effect on my life.

--Amanda M, Freshman

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Northern Light

by Jennifer Donnelly

This work of historical fiction is set in the Adirondacks of 1906, where the famous Gilette murder case took place. The focus is not on the subject of murder itself, however. This story centers on the character of 16-year-old Mattie Gokey, a gifted student who works at the hotel where the victim and perpetrator were guests. We learn that Mattie collects words from her treasured dictionary, and while she feels pressured to stay at home, take care of her siblings, and eventually get married to a local farm boy, Mattie yearns to realize her dream of going to college and becoming a writer.

--Kristin McKeown, Faculty

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


by Tamora Pierce

Her best book in years. The main heroine gets herself into situations that are dangerous and heroic at the same time. The narrative journal style of the writing completely captured me, and the voice of Cooper, the main character, is exactly the type of person I want telling me a story- with a mix of humor, seriousness, and street-wise innocence. This was one of the few books in recent years that I was not able to put down or stop thinking about.

--Zack Varvel, Faculty

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

American Born Chinese

by Gene Luen Yang

Many teenagers struggle with finding their identity, but as the author so clearly coveys, finding your identity as a minority can be an even greater challenge. All-American high school student Danny is haunted by regular visits from his embarassing cousin, Chin-Kee, Jin Wang feels like an outcast among his mostly white classmates, and even the legendary Monkey King feels estranged from his fellow gods when he tries to join their dinner party. In this entertaining and insightful graphic novel, Yang cleverly inter-weaves the stories of these three characters toward a satisfying conclusion.

-- Kristin McKeown, Faculty

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Les Miserables

by Victor Hugo

This book, while admittedly very long, is an incredible novel which follows the struggles and harsh existence of the several characters. The story helps reveal some of the dark underbelly of France during the Revolution while leading you through the darkness into the goodness of humanity.

--Benjamin B, Senior

The Gravedigger's Daughter

by Joyce Carol Oates

It's an engrossing book about a Jewish girl whose family flees from Nazi Germany at the beginning of World War II. She grows up American while her family struggles to fit into the new life there, denying their roots. Her dad, who was a math teacher at a prestigious school in Germany, now can only get the menial job of digging graves to support his family. It's a story of identity and how our pasts shape our lives.
--Bridgett Bird, Faculty

Undaunted Courage

by Stephen Ambrose

If you relish reading about adventure, love the beauty and allure of the unsullied West, or just simply enjoy discovering the hidden lives of famous characters in U.S. History, this book is for you! Did you know that Merriwether Lewis was plagued with depression and never got his journals from the expedition published in his lifetime? Did you know that the entire expedition-- which undertook countless unforseen dangers-- suffered no fatalities? Learn about these things and so much more in this historical investigation into one of the greatest wilderness journeys of all time.
--Angela Boatright, Faculty

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Children of the Mind

by Orson Scott Card

I like this book because it is about humans and their way of interacting. It has good points on racial prejudice in an easy to see and understand manner. Equality = good. :)

-- Michael L., Sophomore

Inside Out: Portrait of an Eating Disorder

by Natalie Shivack

I read this book in one, incredibly intense sitting. Told in the form of a graphic memoir, this book weaves shocking but true facts about eating disorders, Shivack's art-therapy images, and her painfully raw story in a way that leaves the reader stunned. Inside Out alters everything you thought you knew about what it means to have an eating disorder.

-- Kristin McKeown, Faculty

Blood and Chocolate

by Annette Curtis Klause

As a werewolf, Vivian is caught between the two worlds that the title suggests: the blood of her werewolf nature and the chocolate of the human world she wishes she could embrace. In this dark story, Klause provides a story rich in complexity and ripe in turmoil.

-- Julian H., Senior

The Shooters

by W. E. B. Griffin

Griffin's books are easy to read, very engrossing, and fairly accurate in terms of the history that is behind the stories. Each series develops around a small group of characters and their work (in the military or government service) and are patriotic in the sense that they support the principles of the majority of Americans. Griffin is not above criticizing the government, but is very good at making the criticism personal and not sweeping generalities.

-- Rob Griffin, Faculty

Eric Clapton: The Autobiography

by Eric Clapton

I would recommend it because the man is a living legend. He is a unbelievable guitarist who didn't have the greatest upbringing, and struggled with depression, addictions and tragedies his whole life, but came out stronger in the end. Well written, and a quick read too.

-- Phil Havlik, Faculty

Monday, March 3, 2008

House of War

by James Carroll

This substantial book is essentially a "biography" of the Pentagon and the rise of American military power from World War II to Iraq. James Carroll chronicles the influence and use of the US military's might throughout the world, the development of atomic power and the Cold War. He also explores America's modern military conflicts and critiques the Reagan, Clinton and Bush administrations.
-- Joe Geisendorfer, Faculty

The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam's Threat to the West

by Lee Harris

The author contrasts the tribal "fanatacism" mentality of Muslim countries with the enlightened "reasoning" of the west... and why the two will not see eye to eye.

-- Erich Gott, Faculty