Students entering grade 9 this fall are required to read at least one of the selections listed below.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds: You may already know Miles Morales from Spider-Man Into the Spider Verse, but fans and first-timers alike will enjoy this character-driven novel that finds Miles struggling with the guilt he feels over the death of his uncle, while he also tries to navigate life at the private school he attends on scholarship. When a domineering history teacher seems to have it in for him, Miles fears his future at the school is threatened. Can he balance being both a web-singling superhero and just your average, everyday high schooler?
Ali Cross (Book 1 of 2) by James Patterson: Ali Cross is the son of a famous police detective (Alex Cross, the lead character in the adult thriller series by the same author). Ali should be excited. After all, it’s the start of Christmas break, but instead he is worried that his best friend has been missing for three days. At the same time, Ali’s father is being sued in a high-profile case, and the media is following the family everywhere. To top it off, the Cross family and their neighbors become the victims of a string of serial burglaries. Even though his dad warns him not to, Ali can’t help but start investigating the disappearance of his friend. It seems as though keen detective skills seem to run in his family, but Ali starts to realize he may be in over his head. Please note: This book is the first in a series. Be sure to read the correct title (gray/silver cover).
Scythe by Neal Shusterman: Imagine a world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all of these, even death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life in order to keep the size of the population under control. This job is the only one not overseen by the Thunderhead, an advanced version of “the cloud” that oversees every aspect of the population. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe – a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, but they soon learn that a perfect world comes with a heavy price.
I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal: Over the course of one night, two girls with two very different backgrounds must rely on each other to get through the violent race riot that has enveloped their city. Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and her plan for the future. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school. When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence, hate, and racial tension. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together. They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.
13 Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby: Pearl died in 1918, but that doesn’t keep her from taking an interest in the lives of the living. Pearl takes a special interest in Frankie, whose father “temporarily” deposited Frankie and her siblings at an orphanage following their mother’s death. Frankie thinks everything will be alright when her father returns to the orphanage, but he only intends to take his new wife and Frankie’s brother with him to start over. As Frankie searches for a future of happiness she knows she deserves, Pearl attempts to confront the tragedies of her past. Set against the backdrop of WWII, 13 Doorways… is a ghost story like you’ve never seen before!