The Invention of Wings: A Novel By chance, I was once Sarah Grimke for a project in high school, so I was aware of her history as an abolitionist and one of the earliest feminists. The Grimke sisters are incredibly fascinating and if you don't know their history, I would definitely urge you to read more into it. This book spins together fact and fiction, inspired by the author recently learning of Sarah Grimke. The novel is told from two different point-of-views: Sarah and her slave, Hetty. Sarah struggles through her whole life with the tribulations of the times--she wants to be a lawyer, but her father laughs at her. She wants to work toward freeing the slaves, but southern society recoils at her. Hetty, too, struggles even more, living as a slave in a troubled and turbulent south. This was an engaging, easy read, and I enjoyed that I already knew some of the history behind it.
Silence Once Begun: A Novel This was an interesting novel, the likes of which I've never read. A man who refers to himself as the Interviewer, sets out to unravel the mystery of Oda Sotatsu, who signed a confession for a crime, then refused to speak of it at all. Through his trial, through his prison stay, up to the moment he was executed for this crime--a crime he seemingly did not commit, yet says he did. Why did he do it? Why was he willing to die for this? And who was willing to let him die for this? Each interview adds another piece to the puzzle that was Sotatsu's life, until it all clicks together in the end. This was not a flowing read because of the format, but it was really unique and really fascinating.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer One of my students recommended this series. Sam is a normal, burned out 19 year old kid working at a fast food place, until he's discovered by an angry necromancer one night and his world is turned upside down. Unbeknownst to Sam, he is also a necromancer. This is a fun book. There's some drama, but mostly, it's just witty and cute, like Twilight with a sense of humor. It was a quick, enjoyable read, and I definitely know a lot of middle school students who would love it.
Necromancing the Stone The sequel to the above book. It was cute, another good read and further exploration into Sam's world. The author is really great at giving comedic descriptions into the magical world--lawn gnome and gladiator fights, for example. Again, these are just enjoyable, easy fun reads.