National Reading Group Month

Books to Spark Discussion and Debate

October is National Reading Group Month. Our collection of engaging and powerful page-turners will give your book group something to talk about. Pair your picks with custom-made vocabulary lists to ensure that you can understand — and argue about! — every word.
  • All American BoysJason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
    This novel by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely tells the story of Rashad and Quinn, two teenagers whose lives are changed after an incident of police brutality divides their community.
  • InternmentSamira Ahmed
    Layla Amin thinks of herself as a typical American teenager. But when Muslim-Americans like Layla and her family are forcibly relocated to internment camps, the seventeen-year-old decides to fight for her freedom.
  • Just MercyA Story of Justice and RedemptionBryan Stevenson
    Bryan Stevenson details his experiences as a defense attorney, focusing on the case of Walter McMillian, who insisted on his innocence even after he was sentenced to the death penalty. This book provides an eye-opening behind-the-scenes look at how the criminal justice system works — or doesn't.
  • When You Reach MeRebecca Stead
    After a fight with her best friend, Miranda starts receiving mysterious letters from a person who can predict the future — and who warns Miranda that someone is going to die.
  • RefugeeAlan Gratz
    Three young refugees — a Jewish boy fleeing Nazi Germany in 1939, a Cuban girl suffering under the Castro regime in 1994, and a Muslim boy trying to escape war-torn Syria in 2015 — make desperate journeys in search of freedom and safety.
  • The Glass CastleJeannette Walls
    In this memoir Jeannette Walls recounts a turbulent childhood with her eccentric and dysfunctional family.
  • The Underground RailroadColson Whitehead
    Colson Whitehead's novel follows Cora, an enslaved woman, as she travels north in search of freedom. Infused with a hint of magical realism, this harrowing and groundbreaking book won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
  • White RoseKip Wilson
    In this historical novel-in-verse, German teenager Sophie Scholl joins a secret resistance group called the White Rose in order to oppose the Nazi regime.
  • We Are the AntsShaun David Hutchinson
    Is the world worth saving? That's the question Henry Denton must answer when aliens give him the power to save—or destroy—the planet. Learn these words from the novel by Shaun David Hutchinson.
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksRebecca Skloot
    A biography unlike any other, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the story of a woman who made a contribution to science that still reverberates to this day in laboratories around the world.
  • UnbrokenLaura Hillenbrand
    Laura Hillenbrand recounts the tumultuous and amazingly true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who, after surviving 40 days adrift at sea, became a prisoner of war in Japan during World War II.
  • StargirlJerry Spinelli
    Stargirl Caraway lives life on her own terms, but when she moves to a new town her unique personality rubs others the wrong way. As the school year goes on, Stargirl is torn between staying true to herself and fitting in.
  • The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak
    Liesel Meminger is a foster child living in Nazi Germany in 1939. Surrounded by violence, hardship, and war, Liesel is watched over by Death, who narrates her story.
  • ScytheNeal Shusterman
    Citra and Rowan live in a society in which all natural causes of death have been eliminated. The two teenagers are recruited to be "scythes," people who administer death in order to cull the population.
  • All the Light We Cannot SeeAnthony Doerr
    Marie-Laure is a blind French girl who flees the Nazi occupation of Paris. Werner Pfennig is a young orphan living in a German mining town. In this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways as they try to survive the havoc of war.
  • A Good Kind of TroubleLisa Moore Ramée
    Twelve-year-old Shayla doesn't like to make waves—but as she navigates middle school and educates herself about prejudice in her community, she learns that sometimes it's good to cause a little trouble.
  • Time BombJoelle Charbonneau
    When bombs go off at their school, seven students are trapped inside. As they struggle to survive, they learn that one of their own is the bomber.
  • The Poisonwood BibleBarbara Kingsolver
    Spanning three decades, this novel tells the story of the Prices, a missionary family that settles in the Belgian Congo in the late 1950s.
  • Long Way DownJason Reynolds
    In this novel-in-verse, Will spends a sixty-second elevator ride weighing whether or not he should avenge his brother's death. Learn these words from Jason Reynolds's innovative and powerful exploration of gun violence.
  • Homeless BirdGloria Whelan
    Growing up in a traditional Indian village, Koly expects to enter into an arranged marriage at a young age. But Koly's husband and his family are not what they seemed, and she must forge a new path to independence.
  • The Other Wes MooreOne Name, Two FatesWes Moore
    Two children, both named Wes Moore, grew up in similar circumstances in Baltimore, but one ended up in prison while the other won a Rhodes Scholarship and became a respected business leader. In this book, author Wes Moore explores the challenges and choices that led him and the other Wes Moore to have two radically different fates.
  • Dear MartinNic Stone
    In Nic Stone's unflinching exploration of racism, high school student Justyce McAllister writes letters to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in order to process the violence and prejudice he encounters in his community.
  • Dear JustyceNic Stone
    In this companion novel to Dear Martin, a teenager in a juvenile detention center tries to make sense of his life by writing letters to an old friend.
  • StampedRacism, Antiracism, and YouJason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
    This bestselling book traces the history of racist ideas and racial injustice in the United States.
  • This Light Between UsA Novel of World War IIAndrew Fukuda
    A Japanese-American boy and a French girl become unlikely pen pals during World War II.
  • Orphan Train GirlChristina Baker Kline
    A sixth-grader and an elderly woman discover they have something in common — years of moving from one foster family to another.
  • AnthemAyn Rand
    In this dystopian novella, a young man rebels against his conformist society.
  • Taking SidesGary Soto
    When Lincoln begins attending a new school, he must play basketball against his old teammates.
  • DisplacementKiki Hughes
    In this graphic novel, which draws on the author's family history, a teenage girl is transported back in time to a World War II incarceration camp for Japanese Americans.
  • Same Sun HereSilas House and Neela Vaswani
    Meena and River, twelve-year-olds from very different backgrounds, become pen pals.
  • MonsterWalter Dean Myers
    Told in the form of journal entries and a screenplay, this novel tells the story of a teenager on trial for murder.
  • What I CarryJennifer Longo
    After bouncing from foster home to foster home, seventeen-year-old Muir moves in with a family that challenges her fiercely guarded independence.
  • The Librarian of AuschwitzAntonio Iturbe
    Based on a real-life events, this novel tells the story of Dita Kraus, who secretly ran a small lending library while imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp.
  • Show Me a SignAnn Clare LeZotte
    Inspired by historical events, this novel explores tensions between a 19th-century community of deaf islanders and an ambitious scientist.
  • Early DeparturesJustin A. Reynolds
    When a technological miracle allows Jamal's best friend, Q, to be brought back to life for a few weeks, Jamal must decide whether to tell Q the truth about what happened to him.
  • This is My AmericaKim Johnson
    Tracy, a seventeen-year-old living in Texas, tries to prove that her father and brother are innocent of the crimes of which they've been accused.
  • Banned Book ClubKim Hyun Sook
    In this memoir, co-written by Ryan Estrada and illustrated by Ko Hyung-Jo, Kim Hyun Sook recounts her years as a student activist in South Korea.

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