Reading Recs for 2014-2015 School Year: 2nd 9 Weeks

Hey, everyone. Here’s another recap of some of my favorite books I read during this past school year. If you didn’t read the last post, I proudly stated that I’d read more than 16,000 pages from August to May, but I did have a student who read more than 33,000 pages! I’ll go ahead a jump into it, and I’ll try to keep each mini-review as brief as possible.

The Road

Admittedly, I struggled to get through this one. There were no chapters, and most of the writing was fragmented, which drove me crazy for the majority of the novel. McCarthy gave his characters no names and hardly any hope as they wandered down his endless and dreary road. You can only describe dreariness in so many ways before it begins to sound the same. This “boring” quality in McCarthy’s writing is what made me believe he’s actually a genius. The tone he carried within his writing mimicked the long, dusty road he created for his father-son team to live through. After finishing the book, I immediately gave it two stars and asked myself what it was that everyone saw in this boring black book. As the months drove on, though, I began to think more and more about the story he told. I eventually changed my rating from two stars to three. That still suggests I didn’t care for it, however, I know I still do care about this piece of writing because I find myself revisiting it all the time. I’m considering placing it on my favorites shelf now. The reading itself was a pain, but the experience I gained from reading it has left me in awe. It takes a lot of skill to create an experience that hangs on a person so long after the reading has completed. Congrats, McCarthy. Post-apocalypse lovers, please consider reading this award-winning experience of a novel.


I actually read this book twice last year because I taught it to my 7th graders. It is a science fiction classic that I look forward to teaching for years to come. I have not read the series, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually. This charming novel defies time and space without defying logic. In fact, logic is the hero of the novel, proudly defeating evil and helping a few kids find their places outside of their own world. L’Engle’s debut novel is smart, witty, and endearing. In many ways it reminded me of The Neverending Storyand other similar movies. At first, it was hard to understand because so much happens so early in the novel, and some of the characters are difficult to distinguish between, but it most definitely worth your time, especially if you want to visit other dimensions.

Paper Towns

John Green is an author who needs no introduction. This is his second book to make it to film status, and if you enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, you will enjoy this one, too. It is my second favorite of his works, with a little flair and a little mystery. This book easily earned 5/5 stars from me, and I will proudly admit that I judged it by its cover before buying it. I thought it was insanely clever and eye-catching. I read The Fault in Our Stars in about 24 hours, so I knew I would be in for another treat. Quentin Jacobson’s neighbor is the beautifully distant Margo Roth Spiegelman, who was his childhood friend and has turned into his longtime crush. They no longer travel the same social circles, but one night she climbs back into his life out of the blue, beckoning him to join in on her vengeful escapades through town. After that, she mysteriously disappears from his life once again, leaving him feeling obligated to track her back down. The clues she leaves him helps him find himself and creates a distant closeness between the two teens that is encapsulating. If you still haven’t read it, please do so before the movie drops.


Jeff Hirsch joined in on the post-apocalyptic hype train, writing about a world wrecked by war and plague. We join Stephen Quinn and his dad on their journey after they’ve buried Stephen’s grandpa, who was able to grab their new lifestyle by the horns and create one they could survive in. They are traveling salvagers who find material that can be used to trade for other goods at trade stops. Shortly after we arrive, Stephen and his dad find themselves in a crashed aircraft searching for food. A band of other travelers comes along, causing Stephen and his dad to hide in the back of the plane. These travelers pick up slaves and have two in their company as they scavenge the plane’s remains. Stephen and his dad try to do the right thing for the captured couple when their plan hits the fan. The couple gets away, but Stephen’s dad ends up in a coma, leaving 15-year-old Stephen to find a way for the two of them to survive. Things seem to be going downhill fast until a few members of another camp come across Stephen and his dad. There is a small scuffle, but the company decides to take them back to Settler’s Landing. Settler’s Landing is tucked back into the woods and seems too good to be true. This small town has picked itself up after the plague and formed a working community. They have a school, crops, and plenty of ammunition to protect themselves. Stephen makes friends with the family who has graciously taken them in, and is tries to distract himself from his dad’s worsening condition when he meets Jenny. She was adopted by the family taking care of the Quinns and doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of Settler’s Landing. Her rebellious nature is evident immediately, and soon she and Stephen play a prank on the town, causing it to go to war with another nearby settlement. The perfect town begins to crumble around them, changing the lives of the community forever. This book only has a 3.46 on Goodreads, but I almost gave it five stars. I never found it predictable or boring, but rather realistic and adventurous.

Hopefully that wasn’t too wordy and you are able to find something you like. Please pass it on or recommend me a book based on what I have liked so far!


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