Summer Book Recommendations 2017- by J-1 Correspondent Sarah Burroughs

As school comes to an end, and summer-time freedom takes over the lives of students, allowing students to have the chance to put down their Iphones and read some books this summer. Below is a list of summer book recommendations for 2017:

The Goldfinch-Written by Donna Tartt:

This book is a complex story about a young boy who suffers the loss of his mother in a terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In the chaos of the attack he takes “The Goldfinch,” a famous piece from the museum. This and the death of his mother becomes the catalyst for the next decade of the boy’s life. The decade was full of adventure, mystery, extreme life decisions, regret, and redemption for him. In the boy’s adventures the novel seeks the meaning and purpose of art as well as love, friendships, and the journey of getting over the pain of loss. The novel is definitely a more mature story and is quite lengthy, but the journey is not like one I have read in other books. Tartt paints a picture that can be seen so clearly in the mind of the reader and the emotions of the characters can be felt throughout the entire story.

     Unbroken-Written by Laura Hillenbrand

This heart-wrenching book is a page turner following the journey of hero Louie Zamperini. The story follows his journey through his training for the Olympics, his time in World War 2, and his recovery from the trauma he faced in the war. In the beginning chapters of the book, the reader walks through the childhood of Zamperini. His childhood hardships lead Zamperini to track and field. He was proven to be vastly talented in the sport and eventually, went to compete in the 1936 Olympic games in Germany. The gifted runner’s career was brought to a halt when he became a bombardier in the Army Air Corps of the United States. On one of his flights Zamperini crashes on the ocean and the book follows the 46 days he was stranded at sea. He and his men were captured as Prisoners of War by a Japanese ship at sea. Zamperini, then, survives the horrible conditions of various POW camps in Japanese territories. He was mocked, malnourished, and tortured. Those years scarred him, and the end of the book follows his recovery after returning home from World War 2. The author takes the reader through his trials as he attempts to battle PTSD and regain his faith. This is an astounding story of survival, redemption, perseverance, and resilience.

     Wonder-Written by R.J. Palacio,

The story “Wonder” follows a boy named August Pullman, nicknamed “Auggie.” Auggie suffers from complications due to an intense cranio-facial abnormality. Because if his complication he has been homeschooled for the majority of his school career. However, his parents then decide that at age 10 Auggie needs to learn not only from books, but also, how to live in a world who discriminates against those who are different from the societal norm. The story follows the journey of Auggie as he goes through school. The reader follows the physical and emotional trauma he endures through the years of facing taunts, teases, and bullying he receives because of his differences. The book does an exceptional job at promoting the idea of treating everyone equally, even if on the outside they may seem unusual.

     Tilly-Written by Frank E. Peretti:

In this book, Kathy and her husband Dan are a normal couple just like any other. However, no reader would guess the secrets that lie in Kathy’s heart. She is taken by a tiny name on a simple gravestone. From that moment, Kathy and Dan’s lives are immediately changed. I love this novel because it is so moving. It is an unforgettable story highlighting the value of life, love, and forgiveness of family. It is very quick and perfect to read in a spare moment in a busy summer schedule.

     The Great Gatsby- written by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The Great Gatsby” is a story that follows Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is a man who has centered his life around one wish: to be reunited with the love of his life of which he lost five years earlier. This wish takes Gatsby from being impoverished to being wealthy. He is eventually taken into the arms of his beloved, but unlike many other romantic stories, that is not the end. This book is a prime example of classic American fiction. The book explores triumph and tragedy and is another attention grabbing short read for summer.

     Harry Potter- written by J.K. Rowling 

One of the most famous book series of all time. I don’t believe that the Harry Potter plot needs much explanation, but for those who have yet to dive into the books or movies, here is a quick synopsis. Harry Potter is a wizard that attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Throughout the series Harry embarks on a series of missions and adventures to achieve the final defeat of “he who must not be named.” As the series progresses different aspects of the plot become increasingly complicated and tensions rise until the ultimate battle occurs in the last book. A Harry Potter fan myself, I have loved this series ever since middle school and I still enjoy the books and movies to this day. If you haven’t entered the magical world of Harry Potter by J.K Rowling, this summer is the perfect time to start.

 

     Death Be Not Proud- written by John Gunther

This book is one of my all-time favorite books. The story is Gunther’s memoir of death and what his son, Johnny, endured in his efforts to fight off a rare brain cancer. The book is beautifully written and is a great short read. Cancer stories can seem cliché, but in an effort to not ruin the plot, I will not go any farther than to say that there are so many variables in this story that set it apart. The story of Johnny’s life is truly astounding and it is a piece I think everyone should read at least once. It is a great inspiration to not only those fighting in the battle, but to the parents and friends of those around them. Furthermore, it puts the idea of death into a perspective that, until reading the novel, I had not even considered.

   Hugo Cabret”- written by Brian Selznick:

This story is about a 12-year-old boy named Hugo. He is an orphan, clock keeper, and thief. Hugo lives in the walls of a Paris train station, and his survival is dependent upon secrets and thievery. His life suddenly becomes intertwined with the owner of a small toy booth in the station. From this point onward his life and most kept secret are put at risk. The hidden message in this book comes together in both words and pictures. As the reader turns the pages the next missing piece comes to view in front of them.

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