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Now Is the Time for Running

December 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in December | High School | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Now Is the Time for Running)

Now Is the Time for Running cover
Now is the Time for Running by Michael Williams. U.S. edition: Little, Brown, 2011

1. Throughout history, people have sought refuge in other countries. For what reasons might people leave their homeland?

2. This book provides a window into current events in Zimbabwe. What struck you about life in this country?

3. The cover shows a soccer ball and barbed wire. How do these images reflect the boys’ journey?

The Fault in Our Stars

September 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in September | High School | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on The Fault in Our Stars)

Fault in Our Stars cover
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Dutton, 2012

1. Is this a good title for the novel? Why or why not?

2. If your life was limited, what would you do over the next year to avoid having regrets?

3. How did being in a cancer support group affect the dynamics of the characters’ relationships?

La Línea

June 1st, 2012 | Posted by in High School | 2011-2012 | Summer - (Comments Off on La Línea)

La Linea book coverLa Línea by Ann Jaramillo. Roaring Brook Press, 2006

From CCBC Choices 2007: Fifteen-year-old Miguel and his thirteen-year-old sister, Elena, have been waiting to join their parents in California for years when they finally set off from their small, impoverished Mexican village. Neither teen knows what a harrowing journey they are about to undertake. Because they will be crossing the U.S. border illegally, the obstacles they face on both sides are huge and often deadly. In their own country, there is the threat of soldiers, and the bandits who attack the trains on which the would-be immigrants desperately cling as they ride atop the cars. And then there is the desert crossing. In those desperate heat-dazed days, a fellow immigrant who had become Miguel and Elena’s protector dies of thirst and sickness, while their guide is shot by self-appointed militia members patrolling the U.S. side of the border. Miguel and Elena make the journey to change their lives, and it changes them in ways they could not have imagined. Ann Jaramillo is a middle school teacher in a Texas border community. She wrote La Línea for her students, many of whom have made journeys that parallel Miguel and Elena’s. Her timely novel reminds readers that human hearts and hopes and dreams cannot be defined or restrained by laws or politics.

Dairy Queen

June 1st, 2012 | Posted by in High School | 2011-2012 | Summer - (Comments Off on Dairy Queen)

Dairy Queen book coverDairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Houghton Mifflin, 2007

American Born Chinese

June 1st, 2012 | Posted by in High School | 2011-2012 | Summer - (Comments Off on American Born Chinese)

American Born Chinese book coverAmerican Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. First Second, 2006

Ship Breaker

May 1st, 2012 | Posted by in High School | 2011-2012 | May - (Comments Off on Ship Breaker)

Ship Breaker book coverShip Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. Little, Brown, 2010

1. Envision a world of the future: how might it compare to Nailer’s reality?
2. Where in the world today are children exploited like Nailer is in the book?
3. Nailer believes he is giving up a lot by choosing to save Nina. What does he gain?

Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25

April 1st, 2012 | Posted by in High School | 2011-2012 | April - (Comments Off on Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25)

Time You Let Me In book coverTime You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25 selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2010

1. Select a favorite poem from this collection–what do you like about it?
2. Reflect on a time when poetry has been important to you?
3. Describe several different perspectives on youth reflected in these poems.

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors

March 1st, 2012 | Posted by in High School | March | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on The Last Summer of the Death Warriors)

Last Summer of the Death Warriors book coverThe Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2010

1. How did his friendship with D.Q. change Pancho’s life?
2. How did his friendship with Pancho change D.Q.’s life?
3. Pancho’s identity has been influenced by family, ethnicity and disability. What are some of the things that have influenced you and your identity?

Between Shades of Gray

January 1st, 2012 | Posted by in High School | January | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Between Shades of Gray)

Between Shades of Gray book coverBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. Philomel, 2011

1. What does the title, Between Shades of Gray, mean to you?
2. Art was important to Lina. What do you think Lina gained from continuing to draw while being held prisoner? What do you think art does for you and for our world today?
3. What new information did you learn about World War II?

Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing / We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World

January 1st, 2012 | Posted by in High School | February | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing / We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World)

Janis Joplin Rise Up Singing book coverJanis Joplin: Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel. Amulet / Abrams, 2010

We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World by Stuart Stotts. Clarion, 2010We Shall Overcome book cover

1. “Sometimes, all the love and passion of a lifetime can be found in a single voice raised in a heartbreaking song.” (From Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing) How was Janis’s life like a heartbreaking song?
2. How has music been used to unite and empower different groups of people?
3. What song would you use as an anthem for your generation? Why?

Divergent / The Unidentified

December 1st, 2011 | Posted by in December | High School | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Divergent / The Unidentified)

Divergent cover imageDivergent by Veronica Roth. Katherine Tegen Books, 2011

Unidentified cover imageThe Unidentified by Rae Mariz. Balzer + Bray, 2010

1. In the book Divergent, which faction would you choose to belong to and why?
2. What do you think would happen if corporations ran schools?
3. Explain how science fiction set in the future can reflect our world today using examples from one or both of these stories.

Dark Water

November 1st, 2011 | Posted by in November | High School | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Dark Water)


Dark Water by Laura McNeal. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010

1. How would the story change if it were told from Amiel’s perspective?
2. Describe how Pearl sees two worlds.
3. How does Pearl’s vision change over the course of the book?

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