Dive Into HS Summer Reading

Your Guide to Choosing An Amazing Book (Summer 2020)

Welcome to the choice list for grades 9-12, comprised of 43 books that span genre and complexity, and include graphic novels, audiobooks, fiction and nonfiction titles. You'll find highly acclaimed books that are suspenseful, candid, compelling, engaging, thoughtful, and gripping. All High School students must choose at least one book from this list to read, and then complete the fun, formative exercise linked below, to bring along in August. Naturally, we encourage students to read as many of the choices as they wish!

A Note to Incoming Freshman Families:

We are cognizant of the fact that for incoming freshman, advancing to high school books may be accompanied by a change in the maturity level of the reading material. With that in mind, we have selected the following subset of the full summer reading list. We offer this Fabulous Freshman Reads list as a guide to selections. While freshman are not limited to this list, this selection can provide a smooth transition to reading high school level books if your family chooses to use it. Naturally, students must choose what they feel is the right fit for them in terms of genre, manageable text, interest, and topic appropriateness. Click here to view them: Fabulous Freshman Reads.

Click Below for the Summer Reading Assignment for Fiction

Click Below for the Summer Reading Assignment for Nonfiction

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The Friends of the Library team looks forward each year to hosting the Learning Commons Summer Reading Book Fair--it's a great way to let students browse and choose their summer reading, and all proceeds go toward enrichments like author visits and special collections. This year, we invite you to participate in our Virtual Summer Reading Book Fair, being run through Amazon's Smile program and open for business now and throughout the summer. If you would like a small percentage of your purchases to go toward library enrichments, at no cost to you, click here. All books below are linked to Amazon Smile. *Please note: The Amazon Smile account is named North Broward PSTA Inc, but all Amazon Smile funding will go directly to the Upper School Friends of the Library.

Kindle Purchase Instructions

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If you would like to purchase, download, and read your selection in digital format on your school iPad, click the file below for instructions.


Grand Theft Horse

G. Neri

Graphic Novel/Biographical Comics

Neri's graphic novel biography of his cousin Gail Ruffu mixes true crime and legal drama with horse racing and animal activism. When "horse whisperer" Ruffu met racehorse Urgent Envoy, she felt a deep connection. Teaming up with Bud Clayton and his horse racing syndicate, she invested in the horse as a co-owner and trainer. On Christmas Eve the next year, in 2004, Ruffu stole Urgent Envoy to keep him from racing to death after he developed a hairline shin fracture. But the others didn't see it that way. As they pressed charges and denied Ruffu's side of the story, Ruffu risked everything—her career, her horse racing license, potential jail time—for justice. Pages: 220

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Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir

Maggie Thrash

Graphic Novel/Coming-of-Age

Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She's from Atlanta, she's never kissed a guy, she's into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie's savant-like proficiency at the camp's rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. Pages: 267

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Allen Moore

Graphic Novel/Superhero Comics/Science Fiction

Considered the greatest graphic novel in the history of the medium, the Hugo Award-winning story chronicles the fall from grace of a group of superheroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the superhero is dissected as an unknown assassin stalks the bygone heroes. Pages: 416

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Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass

Mariko Tamaki

Graphic Novel/Superhero Comics

With just five dollars and a knapsack to her name, fifteen-year-old Harleen Quinzel is sent to live in Gotham City. To combat the destructive gentrification of her new neighborhood, she must choose between supporting Ivy, her friend from high school and an impassioned activist, or the Joker, an anarchist of questionable motives. Pages: 201

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They Called Us Enemy

George Takei

Graphic Novel/Memoir

Takei, best known for his role on Star Trek, relates the story of his family’s internment during WWII in this moving graphic memoir. Japanese-Americans were classified as “Alien Enemy” after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and were forced to relocate to camps. Takei, who was five years old, along with his father, mother, and young siblings, was held from 1942 through January 1946. As much as possible, Takei’s parents took pains to ensure their children were shielded from the reality of their situation, though Takei still relates traumas and humiliations (and a few funny stories). It was only years later, during talks with his father, that Takei was given insight into his past. Pages: 208

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A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

Holly Jackson


The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. Almost everyone. Having grown up in the small town that was consumed by the crime, Pippa Fitz-Adeleke chooses the case as the topic for her final project. But when Pip starts uncovering secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden, what starts out as a project begins to become Pip's dangerous reality. Pages: 432

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The River

Peter Heller

Survival Story/Thriller

Wynn and Jack have been best friends since freshman orientation, bonded by their shared love of mountains, books, and fishing. On a break from college, they decide to canoe the Maskwa River in the Canadian wilderness. They anticipate long days of leisurely paddling and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing. But a wildfire making its way across the forest adds unexpected urgency to the journey. They hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank and decide to warn them about the fire. The next day a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the man they heard? And, if he is, where is the woman? Pages: 253

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Opposite of Always

Justin A. Reynolds

Realistic Fiction/Romance

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. But then Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. Pages: 457

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Broken Things

Lauren Oliver


Oliver's latest thriller brings readers into the outskirts of Vermont, where two girls must work together to solve the cold case of their best friend's murder by locating her killer and simultaneously exonerating themselves in the public eye. Brynn, Mia, and Summer are an inseparable trio until the day that Summer is found viciously murdered, left as a sacrifice to someone—or something. In the aftermath, Brynn and Mia are never formally convicted, but they are found guilty in the court of public opinion. Years after, a wedge has been driven between them. At odds with the rest of the town, and even with their families, the two girls begrudgingly reconnect to sort out the truth of what happened. Pages: 432

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Paul Griffin

Thriller/Survival Story

Five friends who attend the prestigious Hartwell Academy in New York decide to take a last-minute camping trip to Idaho before beginning their sophomore year. Cassie, Tim, Emily, and Brandon have been close friends since kindergarten. Their families are wealthy, and they are used to having a private jet at their disposal. Jay, who recently transferred to Hartwell, is just a regular kid who must work to help his mom since his dad passed away. He is trying to have a good time but feels that he doesn't really fit in. The return flight home is anything but normal. There is a substitute copilot, they notice that the plane is flying west instead of east, and suddenly, Cassie becomes violently ill. Eventually, the kids realize that their plane has been hijacked—but by whom? And why? Pages: 240

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Under the Midnight Sun

Keigo Higashino

Crime Fiction

Originally published in Japanese, Higashino's latest is a sprawling psychological crime novel that begins with the murder of a pawnshop owner in the early 1970s. Investigated by Detective Sasagaki, the crime goes unsolved after dead ends and uncooperative witnesses dog the investigation. But two teens--Ryo, the son of the murdered store owner, and Yukiho, the daughter of the main suspect--remain elusive during the probe. The story follows the lives of these two characters over 20 years. Obsessed with finding some resolution, Sasagaki, even in retirement, continues his search for answers that connect Ryo and the beautiful Yukiho. Higashino has crafted a compelling and epic crime novel that entangles the culprits, victims, and police in a complex web. Pages: 554

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A Separate Peace

John Knowles

Classic/Historical Fiction

John Knowles' beloved classic has been a bestseller for more than 30 years and is one of the most moving and accurate novels about the trials and confusions of adolescence ever written. Set at an elite boarding school for boys during World War II, A Separate Peace is the story of friendship and treachery, and how a tragic accident involving two young men forever tarnishes their innocence. Pages: 204

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The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas


First published in 1844, The Count of Monte Cristo is the story of Edmond Dantes, who is imprisoned in the island fortress of the Chateau d'If on a false political charge; after escaping, he finds the fabulous treasure of Monte Cristo and sets upon the course of revenge against his old enemies. Pages: 928

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The Big Sleep

Raymond Chandler


The Big Sleep (1939) is a hardboiled crime novel by Raymond Chandler, the first in his acclaimed series about detective Philip Marlowe. In The Big Sleep--the title refers to the gangster euphemism for death--Marlowe is summoned to the home of old General Sternwood whose wild daughter, Carmen, is being blackmailed by a seedy bookseller. The plot soon spirals into a world of pornography, gambling and Hollywood lowlife. The story is noted for its complexity, with many characters double-crossing each other and many secrets being exposed throughout the narrative. Pages: 231

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Daphne Du Maurier

Classic/Psychological Suspense

Rebecca is a 1938 Gothic novel by English author Dame Daphne du Maurier. It is about an unnamed young woman who impetuously marries a wealthy widower, Maxim de Winter, only to discover that he and his household are haunted by the memory of his late first wife, Rebecca. Much of the story is then told in flashback. The narrator begins to feel progressively inferior to Rebecca, despite receiving compliments from various people. To the second Mrs. de Winter, Rebecca personifies glamour and gaiety, and she does not think that she can compete with this dead paragon to win Maxim’s love. Pages: 410

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Bram Stoker


Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. The novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he can find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of people led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. Dracula established many conventions of subsequent vampire literature. Pages: 368

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Hope and Other Punch Lines

Julie Buxbaum

Realistic Fiction/Contemporary Romance

Abbi cherishes her anonymity, and hopefully, as she spends this summer as a camp counselor out of town, no one will recognize her as Baby Hope. Even 15 years after 9/11, people still recognize her from the iconic photo of her one-year-old self clutching a balloon as she was rescued from day care at the World Trade Center complex. So much for plans, though: classmate Noah turns up as a fellow counselor. He not only knows who she is but also pressures her into working on a school journalism project identifying others shown from the back in the photo. In spite of Abbi’s wishes for privacy, the two develop a partnership and eventual romance. Noah’s real reason for pursuing the project and suspense over Abbi’s worrisome cough drive this emotion-filled story. Pages: 320

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Brittney Morris

Realistic Fiction

When teen Kiera Johnson creates a virtual reality game called SLAY as a safe space for black gamers, she knows she must keep her identity as its developer secret. Her boyfriend Malcolm insists that video games are “a distraction promoted by white society,” her parents will disapprove of her embracing certain aspects of black culture, and the students at her predominantly white school just won’t understand what a game by and for black people really means. But when the massively popular game’s existence is threatened after a dispute results in a player’s murder and the media stirs controversy, a new player emerges, forcing Kiera to wager the game’s control in a duel to maintain her secret identity and avoid a discrimination lawsuit. Pages: 336

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Yes No Maybe So

Becky Albertalli

Realistic Fiction

Once childhood friends, deeply shy Jamie Goldberg, who is Jewish and white, and stability-loving Maya Rehman, who is Pakistani-American and Muslim, reconnect when pressured into working on the campaign of a progressive Senate hopeful. At 17, both are reluctant to dedicate their summers to canvassing in the Atlanta heat; this is especially so for Maya, whose best friend is college-bound at summer’s end, but her need to escape the constant reminders of her parents’ separation compels her to team up with Jamie to inform and persuade local voters. Soon, swept up in the passions and pressures leading to Election Day, the pair starts falling for each other. Pages: 448

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Patron Saints of Nothing

Randy Ribay

Realistic Fiction

Seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero searches for the truth about his cousin's death amid President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs while on an epic trip back to his native Philippines.Shocked out of his senioritis slumber when his beloved cousin Jun is killed by the police in the Philippines for presumably using drugs, Jay makes a radical move to spend his spring break in the Philippines to find out the whole story. Pages: 352

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Everything All at Once

Katrina Leno

Realistic Fiction

Cautious, predictable Lottie has always had a plan for her life, but it gets thrown to the wind when her beloved and wild Aunt Helen passes away and leaves her 24 letters containing instructions that lead to secrets, love, and self-discovery. Aunt Helen isn’t just the source of entertaining summers and happy memories; she’s also the best-selling author of the most popular children’s books of all time, the Alvin Hatter series. Spurred on by tasks as harmless as “don’t be afraid to let yourself cry,” and as reckless as “do something you’re not supposed to do,” Lottie discovers her aunt’s extraordinary secret past that inspired her books, and she rushes headfirst into a love that comes with major strings attached. Pages: 368

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Ayesha at Last

Uzma Jalaluddin


Khalid Mirza knows his mother will find him a wife more appropriate than outspoken Ayesha Shamsi; too bad he can’t stop thinking about her. Ayesha sees how conservative Khalid disapproves of her family, her teaching job, and the poetry she performs at a local lounge, but she can’t seem to stop running into him, first in their east Toronto neighborhood, then on the organizing committee for the Muslim Youth Conference at their mosque. This modern, Muslim update of Pride and Prejudice will have readers smiling as they recognize the clever ways debut novelist Jalaluddin incorporates Austen’s words into her work. Pages: 351

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Mindy McGinnis

Realistic Fiction

When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she has to find a way to hold on to her spot as the catcher for a team expected to make a historic tournament run, and the painkillers she’s been prescribed can help her get there. But as the pressure to be Mickey Catalan heightens, her need increases, and it becomes less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control. Heroine is a compassionate, compelling, and terrifying story about a high school softball player's addiction to opioids. Pages: 432

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Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro

Science Fiction

Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth were once classmates at Hailsham, a private school in the English countryside with a most unusual student body: human clones created solely to serve as organ donors. “You were brought into this world for a purpose,” advised Miss Lucy, one of Hailsham’s guardians, “and your futures, all of them, have been decided.” The tightly knit trio experienced love, loss, and betrayal as they pondered their destinies (to become “carers” for other donors and, eventually, donors themselves). The novel is narrated by Kathy, now 31 and a “carer,” who recalls how Hailsham students were “told and not told” about their precarious circumstances.

Pages: 288

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Samira Ahmed

Dystopian Fiction

Layla was a regular American teenager until the new Islamophobic president enacted Exclusion Laws. Muslims are being rounded up, their books burned, and their bodies encoded with identification numbers. Neighbors are divided, and the government is going after resisters. Layla and her family are interned in the California desert along with thousands of other Muslim Americans, but she refuses to accept the circumstances of her detention, plotting to take down the system. Pages: 400

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The Water Dancer: A Novel

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Magical Realism/Historical Fiction

The Water Dancer blends historical fiction and magical realism to create a powerful portrait of the people who made up the Underground Railroad. In pre-Civil War Virginia, people who are white, whatever their degree of refinement, are considered "the Quality" while those who are black, whatever their degree of dignity, are regarded as "the Tasked." Whether such euphemisms for slavery actually existed in the 19th century, they are evocatively deployed in this account of the Underground Railroad and one of its conductors: Hiram Walker, one of the Tasked who's barely out of his teens when he's recruited to help guide escapees from bondage in the South to freedom in the North. "Conduction" has more than one meaning for Hiram. It's also the name for a mysterious force that transports certain gifted individuals from one place to another by way of a blue light that lifts and carries them along or across bodies of water. Hiram knows he has this gift . Whatever the source of this power, it galvanizes Hiram to leave behind not only his chains, but also the two Tasked people he loves most. Pages: 416

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The Queen's Assassin

Melissa de la Cruz

Fantasy Fiction

A young woman, raised in obscurity and trained in magic sets off to save her kingdom where the only magical knowledge to escape centuries of tyrannical rule belongs to women. Shadow wants to go on adventures. She's connected to both the palace and the Guild, a group of mostly female magic-wielding assassins and adventurers. Unfortunately, her mother has just recalled her to court, where she'll be expected to wear fancy gowns and jewels and may be married off. Rebellious Shadow runs off to rescue Caledon Holt, the Queen's Assassin, who is bound to the Queen until he finds the hidden magic scrolls. Pages: 384

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Stephen King

Contemporary Fantasy

Scott Carey is losing weight, but not mass, and there’s no scientific explanation for it. Scales register him as lighter and lighter, though his body remains as potbellied as ever, and the effect is constant regardless of what he’s wearing or holding. Shaken by his untreatable, supernatural ailment, Scott begins to notice the world around him—and particularly becomes aware of the nasty prejudice that other residents of Castle Rock, Maine, are inflicting on his lesbian neighbors, Deirdre and Missy. He sets out to fix the injustice ailing their small town, and maybe make some friends along the way. This is a lilting ode to the ineffable power that crises hold to change and mold those involved into something new. Pages: 160

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(Gone series, bk. 1)

Michael Grant

Science Fiction/Dystopia

It's a scenario that every kid has dreamed about: adults suddenly disappear, and kids have free reign. In this case, though, it's everyone 14 and older who disappears, and the harsh reality of such unreal circumstances isn't a joyride after all. A girl driving with her grandfather plunges into a horrific car wreck; gas burners left on ignite a home with a young child trapped inside; food and medical supplies dwindle; and malicious youths take over as the remaining children attempt to set up some form of workable society. Even stranger than the disappearance of much of humanity, though, are the bizarre, sometimes terrifying powers that some of the kids are developing, not to mention the rapidly mutating animals or the impenetrable wall 20 miles in diameter that encircles them. Pages: 576

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The Beast Player

Nahoko Uehashi

Fantasy Fiction

Elin's family has an important responsibility: caring for the fearsome water serpents that form the core of their kingdom's army. So when some of the creatures mysteriously die, Elin's mother is sentenced to death as punishment. With her last breath, she manages to send her daughter to safety. Alone and far from home, Elin soon discovers that she can communicate with both the terrifying water serpents and the majestic flying beasts that guard her queen. This skill gives her great power, but it also involves her in deadly plots that could cost her life. Can she save herself and prevent her beloved beasts from being used as tools of war? (Translation of Japanese work: Kemono no soja I todahen II ojuhen.) Pages: 352

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Running for My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey

from the KIlling Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games

Lopez Lomong


Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team. Though most of us fall somewhere between the catastrophic lows and dizzying highs of Lomong's incredible life, every reader will find in his story the human spark to pursue dreams that might seem unthinkable, even from circumstances that might appear hopeless. Pages: 240

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Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist

Eli Laslow


Son of Don Black, founder of the huge racist Internet community Stormfront, and godson of KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, Derek Black had his own white nationalist radio show at age 19, which he broadcast secretly while attending liberal New College in Florida. Students vociferously challenged him when his cover was blown, while others reached out —an Orthodox Jew invited him to Shabbat dinners—and Black felt compelled to question his beliefs. From a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Pages: 304

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The Infinite Game

Simon Sinek

Nonfiction: Leadership/Managment

How do we win a game that has no end? Finite games, like football or chess, have known players, fixed rules and a clear endpoint. The winners and losers are easily identified. Infinite games, games with no finish line, like business or politics, or life itself, have players who come and go. The rules of an infinite game are changeable while infinite games have no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers--only ahead and behind. The question is, how do we play to succeed in the game we're in? In this revelatory new book, Simon Sinek offers a framework for leading with an infinite mindset. Pages: 272

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A Woman of No Importance:

The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win WWII

Sonia Purnell


In her latest work, journalist Purnell examines the life of Virginia Hall (1906-82), an American woman who became an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) spy in occupied France in World War II, despite being originally turned down for U.S. Foreign Service because of her gender and prosthetic leg. In the face of this rejection, she traveled to England, joined the Special Operations Executive (SOE), and was deployed to France. There she became a master of disguises, recruiting sprawling spy networks and directing guerilla operations. In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her." Pages: 368

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Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave

Peter Heller


With grit, poetry, and humor, author Peter Heller recounts his remarkable journey of discovery of surfing, an entirely new challenge. Having resolved to master a big-hollow wave--that is, to go from kook (surf lingo for beginner) to shredder--in a single year, 45-year old Heller travels from Southern California down the coast of Mexico in the company of his girlfriend and the eccentric surfers they meet. Exuberant and fearless, Heller explores the technique and science of surfing, the secrets of its culture, and the environmental ravages to the stunning coastline he visits.

Pages: 336

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Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca

Maria Goodavage


Top Dog introduces us to Lucca K458, a decorated and highly skilled military working dog. An extraordinary bond developed between Lucca and Marine Corps handler Chris Willingham, launching what became a legendary 400-mission career. Lucca belongs to an elite group trained to work off- leash at long distances from her handler. She and Willingham became so sought-after that units scheduled missions around their availability. The book describes, in gritty detail, their adventures, including tense, lifesaving explosive finds and rooftop firefights. Pages: 320

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The Fountains of Silence

Ruta Sepetys

Historical Fiction

In her latest historical novel, Sepetys illuminates dark secrets about Francisco Franco's fascist rule of Spain. In 1957 Madrid, 18-year-old aspiring photojournalist Daniel Matheson is staying at the luxurious Castellana Hilton Hotel with his Texas oil tycoon father and Spanish mother. Daniel befriends Ana, a hotel employee, whose attraction to Daniel is constrained by fear about losing her job and by silence about her family tragedies. When Daniel turns his camera lens on local people and places, he gradually discovers that beneath the bustling tourist and business vibe of Madrid lurks the dark realities of Franco's regime. Pages: 512

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Butterfly Yellow

Thanhha Lai

Realistic Fiction

***Author visiting NBPS in September -- bring your copy to be signed!***

After the fall of Saigon during the Vietnam War, hundreds of children were airlifted from Vietnam to the United States. Hang saw to it that her three-year-old brother Linh was one of these children, though at the airport she's shocked to discover she's too old to accompany him. Six years later, 18-year-old Hang arrives in Texas, where her uncle and his family live, carrying an address, the only connection she has to her brother. Although her uncle promises that he will take her to the address in Amarillo, she cannot wait. She catches a bus and eventually a ride with LeeRoy, who is headed to Amarillo to meet his rodeo hero. When they arrive, Linh does not remember her and wants nothing to do with her. LeeRoy and Hang get jobs at a neighboring ranch where she tries to connect with her brother and LeeRoy tries to learn how to be a cowboy. Pages: 304

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Like a Love Story

Abdi Nazemian

Realistic Fiction/Romance

A story of three teens who come together in New York City during the AIDS crisis in 1989-90. Reza is an Iranian immigrant who is trying to come to terms with being gay at a time when all that seems to promise is disease and death. Judy is a blossoming fashion designer with her eyes set on first love as she begins dating Reza. Art is Judy's out, proud, and dramatic best friend, who also shares feelings for Reza. Guided by Judy's uncle Stephen, whose health is failing from the disease, the three become involved in the ACT UP movement, which stages protests in support of better treatment for those diagnosed with AIDS. Pages: 432

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The Downstairs Girl

Stacey Lee

Historical Fiction

1890, Atlanta. By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie." When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. Pages: 384

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The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead

Historical Fiction

This novel shines a spotlight on segregation and the legacy of Jim Crow through the experiences of young Tallahassee, FL, resident Elwood Curtis. In the 1960s, Elwood is college-bound until he makes a mistake that lands him at a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose staff profess to shape inmates into upstanding young men but who routinely deliver vicious beatings and sexual abuse and make sure resisters disappear forever. The shocked Elwood takes Martin Luther King's pacifist approach to events, but friend Turner has other ideas. Whitehead researched the Florida Industrial School for Boys (later the Dozier Academy), where a secret mass grave was found after its 2011 closure. Pages: 224

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Where the World Ends

Geraldine McCaughrean

Historical Fiction/Adventure

McCaughrean turns a small piece of history into an epic, nearly mythic, tale. St. Kilda's archipelago, far off the northwest corner of Scotland, is the most remote set of islands in Great Britain. In 1727, a boat set off from the sole occupied island, Hirta, dropping a small group of men and boys at Warrior Stac, a giant rock, for a fowling expedition. Told from the point of view of Quilliam, one of the older boys, the trip begins as a grand adventure. But then, inexplicably, the village boat does not return for them. As the weeks stretch to months and the birds begin to leave the rock, the party fears the end of the world. Cane, one of the men, sets himself up as a divine authority, praying for repentance, while Quill attempts to soothe the younger boys through story—and himself through memories of a young woman he loves. Pages: 336

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The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

Ben Macintyre


Double-agent Oleg Gordievsky, the son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, grew to see his nation's communism as criminal. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union's top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States's nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky's name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain's obviously top-level source. Their obsession ultimately doomed Gordievsky. Pages: 384

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Quick Reference Title List (Click Below)