It’s time for another round-up of Pickett’s Picks, Fall 2018 Edition! Each season, I spotlight a selection of brand new books from favorite authors, intriguing debut novels, must-read crossover releases, and at least one jaw-dropping cover (can you guess which one?). Here are just a few of the books that I’m looking forward to reading and sharing with students at Ridley High School during the upcoming semester. What are YOUR picks?? Leave a comment and let me know!
Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll
Told from three viewpoints, teens Doris, Nell, and Grant find friendship and the possibility of love while working in Unclaimed Baggage, a store that sells items that went missing during airline travel. I love stories about people thrown together by a quirky summer job, and Unclaimed Baggage promises to be charming, funny, and heartfelt.
Dream Country by Shannon Gibney Dream Country is the story of five generations of young people caught in the dangerous spiral connecting Liberia and the United States, and how one determined young dreamer grapples for control of her destiny. This novel has been compared to Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, one of my all-time favorites!
We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
A new novel of supernatural horror (and pop culture) from the author of Horrorstor and My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Yes, please!
The War Outside by Monica Hesse The War Outside is the story of two girls from very different backgrounds who meet in a Texas internment camp during WWII. Margot and Haruko find solace in their secret friendship. But in a prison that the government claims is full of spies, can they trust anyone? I adored Monica Hesse’s brilliant previous books, Girl in the Blue Coat and American Fire. If Monica Hesse writes it, I will read it!
Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram This is the debut novel that everyone is talking about! During Darius Kellner’s sophomore year he travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor who changes his life for the better. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable book is for anyone who’s ever felt not good enough, but then met a friend who makes them feel so much better than okay.
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Who are the Sawkill Girls? Marion: the new girl. Zoey: the pariah. Val: the queen bee. Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires. Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight … until now.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Every once in a while, a book comes along that just has my name on it. Where the Crawdads Sing is one of those books! In this “crossover” novel (written for adults but perfect for teen readers), author Delia Owens blends an exquisite ode to the natural world with a heartbreaking coming-of-age story and a surprising murder investigation.
Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of survival. Neal Shusterman is the author of Unwind and Scythe, two of Ridley High School’s all-time most popular books. I am here for his latest!
A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma Teenage Bina runs away to New York City’s Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, dark secrets, and a painting that seems to be alive. As Bina’s memories become entangled with the present, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will cost for her to leave. I will drop everything for a lost-in-time house of secrets, which is what the novel promises!
Sadie by Courtney Summers
Told from the alternating perspectives of nineteen-year-old Sadie, who has run away from her isolated Colorado town to find her younger sister’s killer, and a true crime podcast exploring Sadie’s disappearance. Sadie is a close second to Where the Crawdads Sing for the “Book with My Name On It” prize!
Slayer by Kiersten White From bestselling author Kiersten White comes a brand-new series set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, introducing a new Slayer as she grapples with the responsibility of managing her incredible powers. It’s true … they had me at “Buffy”!
As students head back to school, there is one essential school supply that requires no shopping and doesn’t cost a penny – it’s a library card!
A FREEDelaware County Library System card unlocks a world of possibilities, giving instant access to books, electronic resources, databases, streaming videos, digital eBooks and audiobooks, and much more! School and public libraries empower all people to pursue their interests, discover their passions, and achieve their highest potential as learners and citizens.
This September, Ridley High School is joining with our local public library system for Library Card Sign-up Month to encourage parents, students, and staff members to obtain a free library card that will save money while also supporting academic achievement and lifetime learning. From September 17 – 28, Delaware County Library System card applications will be available in the high school library! Stop by during Raider Time to pick up an application and enter to win a small giveaway: a Wawa gift card, free book, textbook cover, or other fun back-to-school prize!
Already have your card? Help a friend or family member get one today!
Have you ever watched an awards show and thought, “I NEVER would have voted for that movie to win!” Or have you read an award-winning book and thought, “Really?! What were they thinking?!” If so, the Pennsylvania Reader’s Choice Award is for you! This is a book award that gives you, the reader, a voice! Every year, fifteen of the very best books are nominated. These books are all written by North American authors, and have been published within the last five years. They really are the best of the best, but the winning book needs your vote!
Participating in the Pennsylvania Readers’ Choice Award is a snap. Here’s how to do it:
Read (or listen to) at least three books from the list of nominated titles
You do not have to read every book to participate
Vote for your favorite book in March!
That’s all there is to it. Stop by the library to pick up a bookmark with the list of nominated titles. Better yet, check out one of the books while you’re here! And once you’ve read a book or two, leave a comment sharing your thoughts about it. Some things you might include in your comment are:
Did the book live up to your expectations based on the plot summary?
Would you recommend it to a friend?
Did you like this book more or less than other books you’ve read recently?
Would you vote for this book to win the Pennsylvania Readers’ Choice Award?
Remember, your favorite book needs YOUR vote to win!
OverDrive has a new app just for schools! With SORA, students and teachers can continue to access Ridley High School’s digital lending library of 250+ eBooks and audiobooks, as well as:
Track how many books you’ve read, your total reading time, and more
Create notes, highlight text, bookmark important passages, and define words as you read
Sync your place, bookmarks, notes, and highlights between devices
Adjust the font type (including dyslexic font), font size, and lighting in most eBooks
Earn achievement badges by reading books and using SORA’s features
Browse and borrow local public library titles in the same app
Setup is simple – just find our school and sign in via the app or online at www.SoraApp.com. The code for Ridley High School is ridleyhspa. Then borrow an eBook or audiobook and start reading (or listening) with a single tap! For more information on getting started with SORA, visit Meet.SoraApp.com!
Back-to-school is a busy time of year, and sometimes enjoyment reading falls to the bottom of to-do lists for students and teachers alike. Audiobooks are a wonderful way to incorporate reading into your day, whether you are catching up on a bestseller, revisiting a classic novel, or simply trying something different. The Ridley High School Library’s selection of 200+ audiobooks is always growing, and we have a fresh batch of books-on-CD to kick off the new school year! Here are a few of my favorites (just click the book title for an audio excerpt and more information):
For students with reading challenges, listening helps to fill in any gaps in comprehension. Skilled narrators use their voices to establish mood, heighten drama, and alert listeners to pivotal plot developments. Audiobooks also play a role in the library’s commitment to diverse literature by offering authentic representations of language and dialogue, and providing a “literacy bridge” for emerging readers. Consider diversifying your reading with an audiobook from the Ridley High School Library!
Boredom is not an option this summer! OverDrive Summer Read is designed to encourage students to keep reading all year long. Selected titles will be available to students from June 6th – July 18th with no holds or wait lists. The collection of eBooks will be prominently displayed on our OverDrive website.
The Young Adult set is perfect for both middle and high school students. It includes a mysterious girl who finds a tree that bears fruit born of whispered lies, a 16-year old trying to get into college while simultaneously battling the hell spawn that have descended on her sleepy town, a mysterious camp hidden deep in the mountains, and a mother who has vanished from the face of the earth. I can’t wait for Ridley’s readers to dive into these stories!