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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Read With Devine: Spring 2019 Edition


As per usual, I've been devouring books this spring! I have found myself on a bit of a mystery kick, and my students have definitely noticed! The other day three different students asked why I only read books where someone is murdered!

In honor of reading outside again, thanks to FINALLY saying goodbye to snowy days here in Omaha, I wanted to share my most recent Goodreads additions. Book descriptions are from Amazon, because I'm TERRIBLE about accidental-spoilers!

Note: Links to books are affiliate links through Amazon. I may earn a small amount from any purchase you make once you click the link. That money helps me get more books into my classroom library, so it feels like a win-win!



A Danger To Herself And Others, by Alyssa Scheinmel

Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there's been a mistake. She doesn't need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at that summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and judge figure out that she isn't a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. Those college applications aren't going to write themselves. Until then, she's determined to win over the staff and earn some privileges so she doesn't lose her mind to boredom. Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage, and she's the perfect project to keep Hannah's focus off all she is missing at home. But Lucy may be the one person who can get Hannah to confront the secrets she's avoiding―and the dangerous games that landed her in confinement in the first place.


Truly, Devious, by Maureen Johnson

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

Wolfpack, by Abby Wambach

(adult non-fiction, but totally appropriate for middle school kiddos!)

Abby Wambach became a champion because of her incredible talent as a soccer player. She became an icon because of her remarkable wisdom as a leader. As the co-captain of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Champion Team, she created a culture not just of excellence, but of honor, commitment, resilience, and sisterhood. She helped transform a group of individual women into one of the most successful, powerful and united Wolfpacks of all time.

In her retirement, Abby’s ready to do the same for her new team: All Women Everywhere.

In Wolfpack, Abby’s message to women is:
We have never been Little Red Riding Hood. We Are the Wolves.
We must wander off the path and blaze a new one: together.

She insists that women must let go of old rules of leadership that neither include or serve them. She’s created a new set of Wolfpack rules to help women unleash their individual power, unite with their Wolfpack, and change the landscape of their lives and world: from the family room to the board room to the White House.
  • Make failure your fuel: Transform failure to wisdom and power.
  • Lead from the bench: Lead from wherever you are.
  • Champion each other: Claim each woman’s victory as your own.
  • Demand the effing ball: Don’t ask permission: take what you’ve earned.

In Abby’s vision, we are not Little Red Riding Hoods, staying on the path because we’re told to. We are the wolves, fighting for a better tomorrow for ourselves, our pack, and all the future wolves who will come after us.


The Secret Hour (Midnighters #1), by Scott Westerfeld

A few nights after Jessica Day arrives in Bixby, Oklahoma, she wakes up at midnight to find the entire world frozen. For one secret hour each night, the town belongs to the dark creatures that haunt the shadows. And only a small group of people—Jessica included—is free to move about then. They are The Midnighters.

Saving Red, by Sonya Sones

(told in verse)

Right before winter break, fourteen-year-old Molly Rosenberg reluctantly volunteers to participate in Santa Monica’s annual homeless count, just to get her school’s community service requirement out of the way.

But when she ends up meeting Red, a spirited homeless girl only a few years older than she is, Molly makes it her mission to reunite her with her family in time for Christmas. This turns out to be extremely difficult—because Red refuses to talk about her past.

There are things Molly won’t talk about either. Like the awful thing that happened last winter. She may never be ready to talk about that. Not to Red, to Cristo, the soulful boy she meets while riding the Ferris wheel one afternoon.

When Molly realizes that the friends who Red keeps mentioning are nothing more than voices inside Red’s head, she becomes even more concerned about her well-being. How will Molly keep her safe until she can figure out a way to get Red home?

In Sonya Sones’s inspiring novel, two girls, with much more in common than they realize, give each other a new perspective on the meaning of family, friendship, and forgiveness.

Saint Anything, by Sarah Dessen

Sydney's handsome, charismatic older brother, Peyton, has always dominated the family, demanding and receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention. And when Peyton's involvement in a drunk driving episode sends him to jail, Sydney feels increasingly rootless and invisible, worried that her parents are unconcerned about the real victim: the boy Peyton hit and seriously injured. Meanwhile, Sydney becomes friends with the Chathams, a warm, close-knit, eccentric family, and their friendship helps her understand that she is not responsible for Peyton's mistakes.

Once again, the hugely popular Sarah Dessen tells an engrossing story of a girl discovering friendship, love, and herself.

The Similars, by Rebecca Hanover

Similar teens: This fall, six new students are joining the junior class at the elite Darkwood Academy. But they aren't your regular over-achieving teens. They're clones. And the "similar" teens are joining the class alongside their originals.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about: Who are these clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? And who is the madman who broke the law against cloning to create them? Emmaline Chance couldn't care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and it's all she can do to get through each day without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi?Oliver's exact DNA copy and one of the Similars.

Dark truths and suspense: Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper into their clique. She can't escape the dark truths about the clones or her prestigious school. No one can be trusted, not even the boy she is falling for with Oliver's face.


Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer, by John Grisham

In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk—and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom.

But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much—maybe too much—he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth.

The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served.

Full Tilt, by Neal Shusterman

Sixteen-year-old Blake has always been the responsible one in his dysfunctional family -- the one who drives safely, gets good grades, and looks after his wild younger brother, Quinn. Quinn is his brother's opposite -- a thrill-seeker who's always chasing the next scary rush, no matter what the cost.

But Quinn and Blake are in for the surprise of their lives when they're thrust into the world of a bizarre phantom carnival -- and their souls are the price of admission.

In order to save his brother, and himself, Blake must survive seven different carnival rides before dawn. Seven rides...it sounds easy. But each ride is full of unexpected dangers, because each ride is a reflection of one of Blake's deepest fears. And the last ride is the worst one of all. Because that's the one that confronts Blake with a terrifying secret from his past -- a secret he's been running from for years.

Full of roller-coaster twists and turns, Neal Shusterman's latest page-turner is an Orpheus-like adventure into one boy's psyche.

The Broken Girls, by Simone St. James

(this is adult mystery, not YA)

Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall, and local legend says the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears . . .

Vermont, 2014. Twenty years ago, journalist Fiona Sheridan's elder sister's body was found in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And although her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of the murder, Fiona can't stop revisiting the events, unable to shake the feeling that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during renovations links the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced . . .

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