Nineteen Minutes

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Nineteen Minutes
by Jodi Picoult

These are the words that seventeen-year-old Peter Houghton says when he is found after a school shooting spree huddling with a gun in his hand by Detective Patrick Ducharme. An outcast who had been bullied since kindergarten, Peter kills ten, including a teacher, and injures many more.

[spoiler title="Click for More"]At first glance, it looks like a straightforward act of revenge, but things are revealed to be more complex. One of his victims is Matt Royston, the boyfriend of his former childhood friend, Josie Cormier, and others are members of the in-crowd, but others have seemingly no relation. In the days before the trial, and in the days leading up to the shooting, we are given the backstory, told mostly from Josie’s, Peter’s, and their mothers’ viewpoint. We learn of the incessant teasing this boy received, adults’ unsuccessful attempts to help him fit in, and of the stormy relationship between Josie and Matt.

During the trial, we hear from the victims who survived and the devastation the crime has wrought on their lives. In the end, the reader may still be undecided whether Peter is primarily a victim, perpetrator, loyal friend, or all three, but that is the point. [/spoiler]

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Level
Content
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ISBN
Number
890L Young Adult 460 Thriller/Suspense 2007 0743496736

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Homeboyz

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Homeboyz
by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

When Teddy Anderson’s little sister Tina is gunned down randomly in a drive-by shooting, the gangstas who rule the streets in the Anderson family’s rapidly deteriorating neighborhood dismiss the incident as just another case of RP, RT-wrong place, wrong time. According to gangsta logic, Tina doesn’t even count as a statistic.

Teddy’s family is devastated. Mrs. Anderson sinks into deep depression while Pops struggles to run both the household and his declining laundry business. The Andersons are shocked still further when Teddy is arrested and thrown in prison for attempted homicide after his elaborately laid plans for revenge against his sister’s killer are foiled by the cops.

[spoiler title=”Click for More”]Teddy soon finds himself out of prison on house arrest, and in the capable hands of Officer Mariana Diaz, the smart, tough probation officer assigned to oversee his endless hours of community service. As part of the innovative rehabilitation program Diaz runs, Teddy is assigned to tutor Micah, a twelve-year-old orphan and would-be ‘gangsta’.

As Teddy goes through the motions of complying with the terms of his probation, Diaz has no idea that he is using his genius-level computer hacker skills to plot his final vengeance and to defraud the state education system of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But even though Teddy thinks he knows it all, he fails to see how Micah’s desperate need for love and trust just might have the power not only to pierce all Teddy’s defenses, but to save his family. [/spoiler]

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Content
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ISBN
Number
710 High School 304 Thriller/Suspense 2008 1423100317

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Husband

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The Husband
by Dean Koonz

One morning, Southern California gardener Mitchell Rafferty gets a call on his cellphone from a stranger saying that Mitch’s beloved wife, Holly, has been kidnapped and that he has less than three days to come up with $2 million in cash. Of course, he’s warned not to involve the police. While Mitch is still on the phone, the kidnapper proves his seriousness by directing Mitch’s attention to a man walking a dog across the street. A moment later the man is shot dead. Mitch must walk a fine line –cooperating with the police inquiry into this murder without revealing Holly’s plight.

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ISBN
Number
910 Middle School 432 Thriller/Suspense 2012 034553333X

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My Sister’s Keeper

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My Sister’s Keeper
by Jodi Picoult

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged…until now.
[spoiler title=”Click for More” style=”fancy” icon=”caret”]
Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister — and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.[/spoiler]

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Content
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ISBN
Number
840L High School 423 Realistic Fiction 2004 0743454529

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Chasing the Falconers

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Chasing the Falconers
by Gordon Korman

After their parents’ conviction for treason in a high-profile case, Aiden and Meg Falconer were given a different last name and placed at Sunnydale Farm, a juvenile corrections facility in Nebraska. Still, they remain convinced of their parents’ innocence. At the first opportunity, they escape and make their way across the country toward the family’s summer cottage in Vermont.
[spoiler title=”Click for More” style=”fancy”]
With little chance of evading detection, the children do whatever it takes (lying, breaking and entering, hopping a freight train) to remain free and gather evidence that might overturn their parents’ conviction.

The children finally arrive at their family’s cottage. There, the young fugitives learn that they now have two pursuers: the police and a mysterious man who wants to kill them.[/spoiler]

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Level
Content
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ISBN
Number
680L Middle School 154 Adventure 2005 0439651360

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Hole in My Life

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Hole in My Life
by Jack Gantos

In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer desperate for adventure, college cash, and a way out of a dead-end job.

For ten thousand dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loaded with hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City, where he and his partners sold the drug until federal agents finally caught up to them in a bust at the Chelsea Hotel. For his part in the conspiracy, the twenty-year-old Gantos was sentenced to serve up to six years in prison.

[spoiler title=”Click for More”]On the surface, the narrative tumbles from one intense moment to the next as Gantos pieces together the story of his restless final year of high school, his short-lived career as a smuggler, and his time in prison. But running just beneath the action is the story of how Gantos –once he found himself locked up in a small, yellow-walled cell– moved from wanting to be a writer to writing, and how this newly found dedication helped him endure the worst experience of his life.[/spoiler]

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Content
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ISBN
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840L High School 200 Autobiography 2002 0374399883

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Counterfeit Son

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Counterfeit Son
by Elaine Marie Alphin

Cameron Miller’s father was a serial killer who preyed on young boys; when he dies in a police shoot-out, Cameron takes on the identity of Neil Lacey, one of his father’s victims who was abducted and supposedly murdered six years earlier. The Lacey family accepts “Neil” into their home with few questions, but he lives in fear that old dental records and a suspicious police officer will expose his lies. Finally, when someone from Cameron’s past threatens his new family, the 14-year-old must decide whether to tell his “parents” the truth.

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Level
Content
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ISBN
Number
830L Middle School 180 Thriller/Suspense 2000 0152026452

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Moonlight Becomes You

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Moonlight Becomes You
by Mary Higgins Clark

High-profile fashion photographer Maggie Holloway is reunited with her fondly remembered estranged stepmother, Nuala Moore, after a reunion party in Manhattan. Nuala, a lonely widow, invites Maggie to visit her in Newport, Rhode Island, an offer she happily accepts. Nuala plans a dinner for a group of friends in order for them to meet her stepdaughter. But tragedy strikes – when Maggie arrives at Nuala’s home, she finds her dead, a victim of an apparent break-in and robbery. Maggie, heartbroken at the loss, is even more shocked when she discovers that days before her death, Nuala changed her will leaving Maggie to inherit her Newport Victorian home. [spoiler title=”Click for More”]
Several wealthy people have an eye on the property, propositioning Maggie with generous offers for the estate. When she decides not to sell the home, she becomes the unwanted center of attention within the upper-class circles. Later, on a visit to Nuala’s grave at the cemetery with Mrs. Shipley, she notices that many of Mrs. Shipley’s friends have recently died as well. Suspecting that there might be more to these “random deaths” than meets the eye, Maggie becomes interested in uncovering the mystery behind Nuala and the others’ deaths and why the graves have little bells on them. [/spoiler]


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Level
Content
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Date
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ISBN
Number
910L High School 332 Mystery 1996 068410387

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Monster

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Monster
by Walter Dean Myers

“Monster!”

That is what the lady prosecutor called Steve Harmon, a sixteen-year-old black teenager. Steve’s story begins when he is charged as an accomplice to murder. While in prison, Steve passes the time by writing his story like a screenplay. In it he tells of his fears, his past, and the events of his own murder trial. Is Steve a monster or was he merely in the wrong place at the wrong time? Will Steve be freed, or will his worst fear of spending the rest of his life in prison come to pass? As his lawyer Miss O’Brien tells him, “You’re young, you’re black, and you’re on trial. What else do they need to know?”


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ISBN
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670L Middle School 281 Drama 1999 0060280778

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

This book takes place in small-town Depression-era Maycomb, Alabama. The story centers on the trial of Tom Robinson, a black worker who is falsely accused of rape by a young white woman. The small Southern town is bitterly divided over the racially fueled charges.

We see this ugly scenario play out through the eyes of a child. Jean Louise “Scout” Finch is the young daughter of Atticus, the civil rights lawyer who takes up Tom’s defense. She is spunky and bright and believes in the basic goodness of everyone, although the trial causes her to reexamine her beliefs. By the end of the novel, Scout learns about the evils of racism and the courage of one man (her father), who stands up for what he believes is right in the face of widespread public contempt.


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Level
Content
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ISBN
Number
870L Young Adult 288 Drama 1960 0446310786

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