"When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true." This theme is in the hearts of the characters created by the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, and it has resonated with readers in more than sixty languages around the world. Be transformed by the treasures in this list. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Foreword-Section 4, Sections 5-8, Section 9-Epilogue
Persepolis is the true story of one girl's childhood during the Iranian revolution of the late 1970s and early 1980s. A precocious child tries to come to grips with complex political theory while the brutal consequences of that theory become all-too real right outside her door. Filled with harrowing detail, Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel is also filled with humor and an abiding sense of the love she got from her family, despite or perhaps because of, their struggles. Vocabulary from the chapters "The Veil" through "Moscow" is below. Find vocabulary for the chapters "The Sheep" through "The Wine" here and vocabulary for the chapters "The Cigarette" through "The Dowry" here.
"WICKED is good." This is just one of the strange realities that Thomas faces when he is mysteriously transported to a new life in the Glade. Work your way through this list to make sense of the world created by James Dashner. This list focuses on confusion. Here are links to our lists for Book 1 of the series: Chapters 1-13, Chapters 14-26, Chapters 27-40, Chapters 41-53, Chapter 54-Epilogue
A lonely boy who just wants to fit in, a teenager who is ashamed of his family, and a monkey who wants to be a god—these three characters do not appear to have much in common, but their fates end up being intertwined in a graphic novel that crosses the boundaries of cultures, species, and time. This list can help you visualize some of the images developed by the award-winning writer and artist Gene Luen Yang.
"Frightful" is usually an adjective, but to Jean Craighead George and her character Sam, it is a proper noun. When Sam came up with the name for his peregrine falcon, he was focused on the frightful difficulties in getting the nestling away from its mother. Now, Frightful is on her own in the wilderness. Look out for dangers and traps in this list. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Foreword-Frightful Peregrinates, Frightful Finds the Enemy-There are Eggs and Trouble, The Kids are Heard-A Pal Finds a Pal, Frightful and Oksi Run the Show-Afterword Here are links to our lists for the trilogy: My Side of the Mountain, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Frightful's Mountain
Odessa, Texas is a town in the middle of a desert that Newsweek once nicknamed "Murder Capital U.S.A." It used to be oil-rich, but when that boom ended, energies were pumped into its high school football team. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist H.G. Bissinger spent a season observing how the focus on Friday night games both positively and negatively affected the daily lives and futures of the players, coaches, families, and other residents. Practice this list to boost your score. Here are links to our lists for the nonfiction narrative subtitled "A Town, a Team, and a Dream": Prologue-Preseason, The Season, Push for the Playoffs, Postseason-Epilogue
Her first pet was a turkey vulture. Her children had nearly two hundred pets ranging from owls to tarantulas. This love of nature inspired Jean Craighead George to develop a story about a 12-year-old boy who decides to run away from his overcrowded home in New York City to live in the Catskill Mountains. Practice this list to find out what Sam learned, from books, animals, people, and his own experiences, about surviving in the wilderness. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Preface-I Meet One of My Own Kind, The King's Provider-I Find a Real Live Man, The Autumn Provides Food and Loneliness-I Learn about Birds and People, I Have a Good Look at Winter-The City Comes to Me Here are links to our lists for the trilogy: My Side of the Mountain, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Frightful's Mountain
Jean Craighead George did not intend to write a sequel for "My Side of the Mountain." But thirty years of begging from fans brought Sam Gribley back. Now a teenager, Sam is joined by his younger sister Alice, who lives in a nearby tree house. When she suddenly disappears and his falcon is confiscated, Sam travels to the far side of the mountain. Search this list for clues to what he finds. Here are links to our lists for the novel: A Storm Breaks-A Trade Comes My Way, I Go Backwards in Order to Go Forwards-Zella Makes Sense, I Learn to Think Like a Pig-I Get News of Alice, The Dawn Breaks over Me-A Bird Talks to Me Here are links to our lists for the trilogy: My Side of the Mountain, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Frightful's Mountain
In Orlando, Florida, magical wonders attract families of tourists. But as young children living in a nearby subdivision, Margo and Quentin discover the corpse of a neighbor. As teenagers, Quentin obsesses about a future with Margo, while Margo enlists Quentin's help to get revenge on everyone who has hurt her in the past four years. Step into this list to see how John Green, through his settings and characters, develops the tension between happy dreams and darker realities. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Her full name is Malala Yousafzai. She was a girl just like any other, until the Taliban took control of her hometown in Pakistan. Then, she became the girl who "stood up for education and changed the world." Learn this list of words that the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate risked her life to share with you. This list focuses on freedoms. Here are links to our lists for the Young Readers Edition of the memoir written with Patricia McCormick: Prologue-Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five-Epilogue
Bestselling True Crime author Ann Rule died on July 26, 2015 at the age of 83. Rule rose to fame with her first book, Stranger Beside Me, which was about infamous serial killer Ted Bundy, whom Rule had gotten to know when they worked together on the late shift at a suicide prevention hotline. Here are ten vocabulary words from the captivating true-life yarns of Ann Rule.
Edgar Lawrence Doctorow, the acclaimed novelist, died on July 21, 2015 at the age of 84. Doctorow is best known as a novelist who played with historical events in books like Ragtime and The Book of Daniel. Doctorow was never afraid to paint on a big canvas or wrestle with big themes, and there's a wonderful sense of risk in his best work—reading it, you feel as if the next step is in doubt for everyone, even the author, even if you know the historical events being referenced. Doctorow enshrined the idea that history was once life, and because of this, that it was just as scary, and potentially hopeful, as tomorrow. Here are 12 quotes from the work of E.L. Doctorow, as well as a few words used to describe him.
Intrigued by a 1959 news article about the seemingly senseless murders of a farmer and his family, Truman Capote set out with his friend and fellow author Harper Lee to investigate. After years of conducting interviews with the Kansan residents, police, and the convicted criminals, Capote developed his findings in a book that became known as the foundation of the true crime genre. Study this list to see how his words inspired others to produce films, a miniseries, and a graphic novel. Here are links to our lists for the nonfiction novel: The Last to See Them Alive, Persons Unknown, The Answer, The Corner
Paul Fleischman coined the term "seedfolks" to describe ordinary people whose lives are connected by a garden they plant. Find out how a diverse cast of thirteen characters transform themselves, each other, and their neighborhood when you grow your vocabulary with this list. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-5, Chapters 6-9, Chapters 10-13
The literary world is abuzz over Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman," a sequel of sorts to her classic "To Kill a Mockingbird." Lee actually wrote "Go Set a Watchman" first, in 1957, when she was 31 years old. The novel is finally seeing the light of day and will be published on July 14. Here are words from the first chapter.
For the husband and wife team of Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos, "sugar" is not a term of endearment but a substance connected to bittersweet moments in the histories of their families and the world. Get a taste of the words used to tell "A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science." Here are links to our lists for the nonfiction narrative: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four
Maus is the story of a man's relationship with his father as the father recounts the story of how he tried, along with his wife, to avoid ending up in the Nazi concentration camps. Maus I is unflinching in its depiction of both the frustration of relating to your parents and the ordeal of trying to stay alive as a Jew in war-torn Poland. Here are 23 words from chapters 1-3. Vocabulary from Chapter 4-6 can be found here.
Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize, this historical novel is set mostly during the dark years when Nazi Germany occupied France. Despite this, Anthony Doerr brings light to the lives of his two main characters—a blind girl and a resourceful orphan—who find themselves on opposite sides of the war. Learn the words that have captured a spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Parts Zero-Two, Parts Three-Four, Parts Five-Six, Parts Seven-Nine, Parts Ten-Thirteen
The subtitle warns that this graphic novel is not a cookbook: "The Last Days of a Southside Shorty." With illustrations by Randy DuBurke and through a fictional narrator, G. Neri uses some bitter words to make sense of the real-life gang-related deaths of young kids in 1990's Chicago.
Beware! You are entering a new version of the epic story that has been wandering around for more than a thousand years. Learn this list to better understand how Robert Nye describes a world of war, filled with darkness and light, that separates the heroes from the monsters. Here are links to our lists for the text: Chapters 1-5, Chapters 6-10, Chapters 11-16
Through 10 short stories, Walter Dean Myers develops the character of a Harlem neighborhood filled with people such as a restaurant owner who wants to enjoy his own funeral, a drug addict who saves a boy's life, and a cop who tries not to take the violence of the street home. Spend some time with this list to meet Peaches, Chops, LaToya, Billy, Mr. Rodriguez, the Tigros gang, Monkeyman, Sweet Jimmy and more. Here are links to our lists for the fictional collection: Big Joe's Funeral-Angela's Eyes, The Streak-Kitty and Mack, A Christmas Story-Block Party
High school can be hard. Include threats from a lynch mob, attacks with sticks of dynamite, and sprays of acid, and high school becomes a war zone. Find out how Melba Pattillo Beals survived to win both the Spingarn Medal and Congressional Gold Medal in her book subtitled "A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High." Here are links to our lists for the memoir: Time Brings About a Change-Chapter 5, Chapters 6-9, Chapters 10-14, Chapter 15-Epilogue
The subtitle is "One Name, Two Fates." The author Wes Moore had just been named a Rhodes Scholar when he read a newspaper article about a man who was convicted for killing a cop. In addition to having the same name, they were the same age and grew up in similar neighborhoods in Baltimore. How then did one end up working at the White House while the other was being sent to the Big House? The author contacted the other Wes Moore and began a long friendship that resulted in a revealing book about the troubles and temptations faced by inner city youths. Here are links to our lists for the nonfiction narrative: Introduction-Part I, Part II, Part III-Epilogue
You can bet that this list will surprise you with the words Laura Hillenbrand uses to describe how a half-blind and crippled jockey transforms a sleepy, crooked-legged horse into "An American Legend." Here are links to our lists for the nonfiction narrative: Preface-Chapter 6, Chapters 7-12, Chapters 13-19, Chapter 20-Epilogue
Much ado means a whole lot of trouble and confusion in the comedy by William Shakespeare (etext found here). Do this list to find out which characters cause ado and whether they get their dues. This list focuses on conflicts. Here are links to our lists for the play: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, Act 5