Discussion of the above book with the author, illustrator and Georgetown Law Professor Emerita, moderated by our own Deborah Taylor. Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building, Mary 3, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. No RSVP needed unless you want to bring a group of children. Then please respond to: Monica Valentine, email@example.com, 202-707-1950.
This view shows all of the books in this age group that have been selected in years past and nominated for the current year (but not yet selected). The nominations are marked by a "Nomination(not yet selected):" label.
Omar arrives from Brooklyn and declares Claudia will succumb to his charms. Interested only in protesting the loss of arts and library funding, she ignores him. Alternate chapters expose their slowly changing opinions of each other.
Boarding-school classmates brutally attack Evan. As he recovers from PTSD, the novel’s exceptionally accurate and unforgettable voice slowly discloses the unexpected solace Evan finds with his father at a Minnesota lake cottage.
Known as the “gay guy” in his school and community, Rafe wants acceptance as a “normal guy.” He decides to change schools and become “openly straight,” but he discovers that being “one of the guys” is not easy when pretending.
Elise decides that completely transforming herself will be the only way she can survive sophomore year. When unsuccessful, her complex character weaves into a beautifully-plotted story that discloses her rescue through an unexpected source.
After a failed attempt to assimilate with the high school masses, 16-year-old Elise Dumbowski contemplates suicide - only to have that backfire as well. Alone and lonely, she stumbles upon an underground dance club while walking around one night to clear her head. At the club she finds more than friendship. Standing behind the turntables, she finds her passion, talent, and ultimately, herself.
This book had me at hello. Elise’s dry humor and pragmatic approach to life are a winning combination. Her voice is honest, funny and rings 100% authentic. She is a character that will connect with teen readers, wherever their place in the high school hierarchy. A thoughtfully drawn cast of secondary characters including parents and siblings who aren’t invisible, classmates who range from cruel to well-meaning to un-noticed and dance club kids rounds out this character-driven novel. Insightful writing that encapsulates big ideas in simple ways drives the novel forward and keeps the reader looking to Elise as a source for humor and honesty. I was struck by passages like “...Sometimes when you are worn down, day after day, relentlessly, with no reprieve for years piled on years, sometimes you lose everything but the ability to cry.” (p.12) “Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe they’re right.” (p. 241) “But you know better than anyone else how the Internet sees everything and nothing, all at the same time.” (p. 262)
And the music! Not only do the songs and bands mentioned throughout the novel make you want to put together an iTunes playlist to put yourself in the club with Elise (even when you don’t know the song or the artist), but a list “Recommended Listening” is included after the acknowledgments that gives a full listing of title and artist to get interested readers started.
When Judith returns to her small Puritan village both mutilated and mute, the town shuns her. Small fragments of information slowly shed light on her circumstances and the town’s eventual need of her help.