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Book Club Kits

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Want to host a book group? Need a set of books for a classroom reading group? Check out a Book Club Kit, with multiple copies of the same book and discussion materials. We have kits for kids, teens, and adults.

Youth Fiction

Freckle Juice, Judy Blume

More than anything in the world, Andrew Marcus wants freckles. That’s when Sharon offers Andrew her secret freckle juice recipe. But what starts out as a simple freckle juice recipe quickly turns into something disastrous.

Bud, Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis

Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father–the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

Elijah of Buxton, Christopher Paul Curtis

In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American south, uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family’s freedom. Local tie in–many people from Buxton settled in Ypsilanti in the early 1900s.

The Mighty Miss Malone, Christopher Paul Curtis

With love and determination befitting the “world’s greatest family,” twelve-year-old Deza Malone, her older brother Jimmie, and their parents endure tough times in Gary, Indiana, and later Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression.

Catherine, Called Birdy, Karen Cushman

The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.

Because of Winn Dixie, Kate DiCamillo

Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.

Out of My Mind, Sharon Draper

Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich

Omakayas, a seven-year-old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847.

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

An orphaned boy is raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.

 

Number the Stars, Lois Lowry

In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.

The Knight at Dawn, Mary Pope Osborne

Eight-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie use the magic treehouse to travel back to the Middle Ages, where they explore a castle and are helped by a mysterious knight.

Ninth Ward, Jewel Parker Rhodes

In New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, twelve-year-old Lanesha, who can see spirits, and her adopted grandmother have no choice but to stay and weather the storm as Hurricane Katrina bears down upon them.

One Crazy Summer, Rita Williams-Garcia

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Young Adult Fiction

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Sherman Alexie 

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton

The struggle of three brothers to stay together after their parent’s death and their quest for identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society.

The First Part Last, Angela Johnson

Bobby’s carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

The explosion of racial hate and violence in a small Alabama town is viewed by a little girl whose father defends a Black man accused of rape.

The Giver, Lois Lowry 

Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

Monster, Walter Dean Myers

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien

Heroic young men carry the emotional weight of their lives to war in Vietnam in a patchwork account of a modern journey into the heart of darkness.

Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (Graphic Novel)

The great-granddaughter of Iran’s last emperor and the daughter of ardent Marxists describes growing up in Tehran in a country plagued by political upheaval and vast contradictions between public and private life.

Between Shades of Gray, Ruth Sepetys

In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author’s family.

Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli

In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.

Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein

In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

 

Adult Fiction

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

Set in a small New England town during the Civil War years and Reconstruction, Little Women introduces the March sisters, and above all Alcott’s alter ego Jo March, with her literary ambition and independent spirit.

Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya

Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past–a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Few have failed to be charmed by the witty and independent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet. When Elizabeth first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows us the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

The Story of Arthur Truluv, Elizabeth Berg

For the past six months, Arthur Moses’s days have looked the same: He tends to his rose garden and to Gordon, his cat, then rides the bus to the cemetery to visit his beloved late wife for lunch. The last thing Arthur would imagine is for one unlikely encounter to utterly transform his life. Eighteen-year-old Maddy Harris is an introspective girl who visits the cemetery to escape the other kids at school. One afternoon she joins Arthur—a gesture that begins a surprising friendship between two lonely souls. Moved by Arthur’s kindness and devotion, Maddy gives him the nickname “Truluv.” As Arthur’s neighbor Lucille moves into their orbit, the unlikely trio band together and, through heartache and hardships, help one another rediscover their own potential to start anew.

RebeccaRebecca, Daphne Du Maurier

A classic novel of romantic suspense finds the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter entering the home of her mysterious and enigmatic new husband and learning the story of the house’s first mistress, to whom the sinister housekeeper is unnaturally devoted.

Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

Ghana, 18th century: two half-sisters born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned, and sold into slavery.  Homegoing follows the parallel paths of the sisters and their descendants through generations from the Gold Coast to Jazz Age Harlem.

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose.

The Paris Wife, Paula McClain

Hadley Richardson meets Ernest Hemingway in Chicago in 1920. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”.  Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris.

The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold

Susie Salmon is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her — her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling.

The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

This epic chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision.

The Intuitionist, Colson Whitehead

Lila Mae Watson, the first black female elevator inspector in the history of the Department of Elevator Inspectors, is at the center of calamity.  When an elevator in a new city building goes into total freefall on Lila Mae’s watch, chaos ensues.  When she goes underground to investigate the crash, she uncovers a secret that will change her life forever.

Adult Nonfiction

Shores Beyond ShoresShores Beyond Shores:  From Holocaust to Hope, My True Story, Irene Butter

As Irene’s Pappi fights to save his family during the Holocaust, Irene’s childhood is lost. Play is restricted. Family and friends disappear. Finally, with the Dutch police at their door comes the reality that Irene’s father has not moved his family far enough from Hitler’s Germany. By January 1945, the family is struggling to survive a death camp. Irene tends her ailing parents, cares for starving kids, and even helps bring clothes to her Amsterdam neighbor Anne Frank, before her family is offered a singular chance for freedom…providing the Nazi doctor says they are healthy enough. After two weeks of heart-lifting miracles and heart-breaking tragedies, Irene arrives in the Algerian desert to journey into redemption and womanhood, without her parents or brother. Irene’s first person memoir is an account of how the heart keeps its common humanity in the most inhumane and turbulent of times.

Reading With PatrickReading with Patrick, Michelle Kuo

Recently graduated from Harvard University, Michelle Kuo arrived in the rural town of Helena, Arkansas, as a Teach for America volunteer, bursting with optimism and drive. But she soon encountered the jarring realities of life in one of the poorest counties in America, still disabled by the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. In this stirring memoir, Kuo shares the story of her complicated but rewarding mentorship of one student, Patrick Browning, fifteen and in the eighth grade, and his remarkable literary and personal awakening.

MarchMarch, Books 1, 2, and 3 (in separate kits), John Lewis

A first-hand account of the author’s lifelong struggle for civil and human rights spans his youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the birth of the Nashville Student Movement.

Code Girls:  the Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II, Liz Mundy

Recruited from settings as diverse as elite women’s colleges and small Southern towns, more than ten-thousand young American women served as codebreakers for the U.S. Army and Navy during World War II. While their brothers, boyfriends, and husbands took up arms, these women went to the nation’s capital with sharpened pencils–and even sharper minds–taking on highly demanding top secret work, involving complex math and linguistics. Running early IBM computers and poring over reams of encrypted enemy messages, they worked tirelessly in a pair of overheated makeshift code-breaking centers in Washington, DC, and Arlington, Virginia, from 1942 to 1945.

Graphic Medicine Kits

Cancer  Stitches

Learn about the comic and graphic novel art form, the specialty of graphic medicine, and read graphic novels about cancer. Kit contains varying titles.

Can't We Talk About Something More PleasantCaregiving/Aging

Learn about the comic and graphic novel art form, the specialty of graphic medicine, and read graphic novels about caring for elderly and failing parents. Kit contains varying titles.

TyrannyEating Disorders

Learn about the comic and graphic novel art form, the specialty of graphic medicine, and read graphic novels about eating disorders. Kit contains varying titles.

Pedro & MeHIV/AIDS

Learn about the comic and graphic novel art form, the specialty of graphic medicine, and read graphic novels about AIDS/HIV. Kit contains varying titles.

MarblesMental Health

Learn about the comic and graphic novel art form, the speciality of graphic medicine, and read graphic novels about mental health. Kit contains varying titles.