Book Recommendations

This page was last updated on September 10th, 2017.
                                                                     The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
A brilliant young adult horror novel! For most kids, summer is meant to be a time to hang out with your friends, relax, and have some fun. For Steven, summer is a time of stress and fear, as he worries about his newborn little brother who is fighting to survive, worries over his parents who are struggling to cope, and worries over his new-found wasp allergy. Things get worse when a wasp nest appears outside of his house, and suddenly the wasp queen is invading Steven's dreams with promises to help his little brother. All Steven has to do is say yes - a powerful and dangerous word that he may not be able to take back.
                                               Everland by Wendy Spinale (Book 1 in the Everland series)
This wonderful book was recommended by Madeleine! Everland is a fantastic science fiction/steam punk retelling of Peter Pan. Set in London, the story shares parallels with the events of World War II. In a world where London has been completely destroyed by bombs and ravished by disease, all that remains are two sides. One, a group of children known as the Lost Boys, and let by Pete Pan. The other, the German army led by none other than Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer (otherwise known as Captain Hook!).  Unfortunately, the disease shows no signs of stopping, and is steadily killing all of mankind.
16-year-old Gwen has been responsible for taking care of her two younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey, ever since their parents disappeared after the outbreak. However, one day she returns from scavenging and finds her younger sister has been taken by Captain Hook! Hook is on the hunt for the cure to the virus that plagues London, and he's sure that the surviving children hold the key. Forced to accept the help of Pete and his Lost Boys, Gwen embarks on an adventure so that they can rescue Joanna - and perhaps even find their cure! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes war stories, fairy tale retellings, or steam punk novels. Be on the look out for the sequel, Umberland, which is released May 7th and features some Alice in Wonderland elements, and the prequel to the series, Lost Boy, which is currently out and  tells the story of Pete before he finds his Lost Boys!

                                                 The Warden's Daughter - Jerry Spinelli
 Set in 1959, The Warden's Daughter follows the life of Cammie O'Reilly. Cammie lives at the Hancock County Prison, where her dad is employed as the warden. She spends her days alternating between hanging out with shoplifters in the women's prison yard and her friends. However, Cammie's got a problem. As her thirteen birthday approaches, she realizes what she wants more than anything is her mother - unfortunately, her mother died saving her when she was just a baby. Now Cammie will do anything to find herself a new mom - even if she has to search through the prison to find one! If you liked  Milkweed I would definitely give this book a try!


    The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snickett (Book 1 in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series)

This award-winning book was recommended by Jaylin. The Bad Beginning  is the start of the story of the Baudelaire siblings. While playing at the beach one day, these three children receive terrible news - their parents have perished in a fire, and they are now orphans. According to their parents will, the children are permitted to live only with a relative of the family - in this case, the closet relation they have is Count Olaf, a man the three have never met or heard of before! Disaster and misfortune continue to follow them as it becomes clear that Count Olaf is after them for one thing only - their parent's fortune - and he will stop at absolutely nothing to get it!
This is the first book in a thirteen book series, so I would highly recommend this if you're looking for a new series to get yourself into.
Our classroom library has a copy of this book!


                                                                            Swagger - Carl Deuker
This book was recommended by Rami.  Swagger is a sports realistic fiction book that follows the life of Jonas, a senior in high school. After finding out that college is more accessible than he thought, Jonas dedicates himself to improving his grades so that he can qualify for a basketball scholarship. Unfortunately, his father receives a new job and Jonas is forced to move to a brand new school amidst all of his hard work. Fearful that this will ruin his chance of receiving his scholarship, Jonas realizes he's going to have to work harder than ever to achieve his dreams. Fortunately, Jonas quickly finds new friends in Seattle. He becomes best friends with another boy on the basketball team named Levi. As Jonas and Levi become closer, Jonas begins to realize that Levi is hiding a dark secret that is slowly destroying him. Jonas is faced with a choice: ignore the problem and allow his friend to suffer, or take a
ction - even if taking action means he's going to lose his place on the basketball team and flush his chance of a scholarship down the toilet.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sports fiction, however, this is a  highly serious read that deals with intense subject matter. Please come see me if you have any questions before reading!


                                                                        Heartless - Marissa Meyer
This is a great fantasy retelling. Written as a prequel to Alice in WonderlandHeartless  tells the story of a young Catherine, who is destined to become the Queen of Hearts. Catherine is favored by the current King of Hearts, but her interests lie far from the throne. A wonderful baker, Catherine wants nothing more than to open a bakery with her best friend, and spend all her time creating delicious pastries. Unfortunately for her, her parents think such a life is below her, and are determined to see her marry the King and become the new Queen of Hearts. Catherine dreads going to the royal ball, knowing that the King is going to propose marriage to her - but to her surprise, she meets the new kind and humorous court jester, Jest. Catherine is immediately drawn to the life that Jest lives, and is determined to make her own path. But is that even possible in Wonderland, or has Catherine's fate already been determined? I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the  Cinder book series, or to those who enjoy storybook retellings.