The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker
A work of science fiction that will leave you thinking "What if..." long after you're finished reading this book. The premise is that the Earth's rotation slows incrementally as the days pass, and of its effects on humanity. Told from a sentient twelve year old girl's perspective living in California, it is the tale of what might happen if a cataclysmic weather event affected the whole Earth. What would the toll be on the economy, government, health, relationships? As the Earth rotation slows, days turn into blistering summer, and nights become coldest winter. Food for thought!
The Flight of Gemma Hardy, by Margot Livesey
The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a book you can't help taking everywhere with you until you've finished it. In the spirit of Bronte and Dickens, Margot Livesey has created an aptly named, plucky, and bright character in Gemma Hardy. As in any good Dickensian novel, Gemma is orphaned as a child, sent to work early, and unloved by most everyone.(You will want to take her home and give her a meal, a warm bed, and a hug.) Sad though she may seem, you will keep with Gemma until she's reached the full potential you know she is capable of, and deserves, from the very first page. She will not disappoint.
The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is a modern retelling of the Illiad; the story of the war resulting from the the kidnap of Helen of Troy from her husband Menaleus, by Paris of Sparta. Set in ancient Greece, The Song of Achilles depicts Achilles’ early life and training by the centaur Chiron, as well as his relationship with his cousin Patroclus, and their time at war in Sparta. It is beautiful, melodic writing that portrays Achilles as a gentler soul than Homer and most others have portrayed him. If you have ever read the Illiad or have a student that will be reading it, it is the most enjoyable, palatable version of the Illiad you will ever read. I hope she writes a version of the Odyssey next, and experience Miller’s version of Odysseus' long voyage home.
The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
On the surface, The Art of Fielding is a book about baseball. Scratch the surface of Chad Harbach’s beautifully rendered, character driven novel, and you’ll find it’s a book about drive, family, friendship, and loyalty. Henry Skrimshander is the most fluid, perfect baseball player Mike Schwartz has ever seen. Henry’s playing just for the love of the game in a summer league in a small town when he is discovered by the dynamic Mike Schwartz, captain of the Westish College baseball team. Soon Henry is on a path to a dream he never thought he dared to hope for. Then life throws him a curve ball... Will Henry survive the debilitating setback?