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At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

Even in Grundy, Alaska, its unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

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I am of a smarter, more attractive, and generally more interesting young adult. I didn't cheat either and count the books I've read only part of or the ones where I read the author but not that particular book (Fountainhead vs Atlas Shrugged)

The Liar's Club by Mary Karr: This memoir touched me profoundly when I read it, some years back. Story of growing up in an alcoholic home, and "parenting the parents". I had an entirely different kind of childhood, but related well to the author because we are close in age and grew up within the same era, etc.She writes beautifully, and I highly recommend the book.

Entering Eighth Grade, Book of Choice Option: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Williston Northampton, Middle School English Department

During World War II, Elie Wiesel's parents and a sister were killed in Nazi death camps, and he was imprisoned at Buchenwald. In later years, the Nobel laureate came to believe it was his job to share his memories of the atrocities he experienced.