2010 VRHS Summer Reading Selections
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Armstrong, Kelly The Summoning
"New York Times"-bestselling author Armstrong brings the thrilling paranormal world of her
Women of the Otherworld adult series to a teen audience in this first book in a sensational new trilogy.
Baker, Stephen The Numerati
An urgent look at how a global math elite is predictingand altering our behavior -- at work, at the mall, and in bed.
Every day we produce loads of data about ourselves simply by living in the modern world: we click web pages, flip
channels, drive through automatic toll booths, shop with credit cards, and make cell phone calls. Now, in one of the
undertakings of the twenty-first century, a savvy group of
mathematicians and computer scientists is
beginning to sift through this data to dissect us and map out our next steps. Their goal? To manipulate our behavior -- what
we buy, how we vote -- without our even realizing
it.In this tour de force of original reporting and analysis, journalist
Stephen Baker provides us with a fascinating guide to the world we're all entering -- and to the people controlling that world.
Bamford, James The Shadow Factory:The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America
Bamford discloses inside, often shocking information about the transformation of the NSA in the aftermath of the terrorist
attacks of 2001. In THE SHADOW FACTORY, Bamford shows how the NSA’s failure to detect the presence of two of
the 9/11 hijackers inside the United States led the NSA to abandon its long-held policy of spying only on enemies outside
the country. Instead, after 9/11 it turned its almost limitless ability to listen in on friend and foe alike over to the Bush Administration
to use as a weapon in the war on terror. With unrivaled access to sources and documents, Bamford details how the agency
conducted domestic surveillance without court approval, and he frames it
in the context of the NSA’s ongoing hunt for
information about today’s elusive enemies.
Chbosky, Stephen The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique,
hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world
he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory.
The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture
Show,when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.
Cullen, Dave Columbine
Ten years in the making and a masterpiece of reportage, "Columbine" is
an award-winning journalist's definitive account
of one of the most shocking massacres in American history.
de Rosnay, Tatiana Sarah’s Key
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel d Hiv roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours. Paris, May 2002: On Vel d Hivs 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d Hiv, to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life. Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.
Durham, M. Gigi The Lolita Effect:The Media Sexualization of Young Girls andWhat We Can Do About It
Pop culture-and the advertising that surrounds it-teaches young girls and boys five myths about
sex and sexuality: Girls don't choose boys,
boys choose girls-but only sexy girls, There's only
one kind of sexy-slender, curvy, white beauty, Girls should work to be that type of sexy,
The younger a girl is, the sexier she is, Sexual violence can be hot.
Flinn, Alex Fade to Black
Three perspectives -- one truth The victim: After his windshield
was shattered with a baseball bat, HIV-positive Alex Crusan
ducked under the steering wheel. But he knows what he saw. Now he must decide what he wants to tell. The witness: Daria
Bickell never lies. So if she told the police she saw Clinton Cole do it, she must have. But did she really? The suspect: Clinton
was seen in the vicinity of the crime that morning. And sure, he has problems with Alex. But he'd never do something like this.
Foer, Jonathan Saffron Eating Animals
Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood-facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf-his casual questioning took on an urgency. His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong. Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits-from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth-and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting.
Foer, Jonathan Saffron Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has been one of the most discussed, acclaimed, and debated novels in recent memory. And with good reason-as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted, "Jonathan Safran Foer has done something both masterful and absolutely necessary: he has written the first great novel about September 11." Foer confronts a subject few writers have dared approach, and what he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination. Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is on a mission to find the lock that matches a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. As he roams the five boroughs, Oskar encounters a motley assortment of people who are all survivors in their own way. His journey concludes in an emotional climax of truth, beauty, and heartbreak.
Follett, Ken Eye of the Needle
One enemy spy knows the secret to the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin
-- code name: "The Needle" -- who holds the key to ultimate Nazi victory. Only one person stands in his
way: a lonely Englishwoman on an isolated island, who is beginning to love the killer who has mysteriously
entered her life. All will come to a terrifying conclusion in Ken Follett's unsurpassed and unforgettable
masterwork of suspense, intrigue, and the dangerous machinations of the human heart.
Grann, David The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Obsession and the Amazon
After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, acclaimed New Yorker writer David Grann set out to solve "the greatest
exploration mystery of the twentieth century": What happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the
Lost City of Z? In 1925 Fawcett ventured into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, hoping to make one of the most
important discoveries in history. For centuries Europeans believed the world’s largest jungle concealed the glittering
kingdom of El Dorado. Thousands had died looking for it, leaving many scientists convinced that the Amazon was truly inimical to humankind.
But Fawcett, whose daring expeditions helped inspire Conan Doyle’sThe Lost World, had spent years building his scientific case.
Captivating the imagination of millions around the globe, Fawcett embarked with his twenty-one-year-old son, determined to prove
that this ancient civilization—which he dubbed “Z”—existed. Then he and his expedition vanished.
Hazuka, Tom Last Chance for First
High schooler Robby has to handle a torturous soccer coach and a co-captain with a drinking
problem while vying for the attentions of the new girl in school.
Kamkwamba, Wiliam The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery.
It was also a land withered by drought and hunger, and a place where hope and opportunity were hard to
find. But William had read about windmills in a book called Using Energy, and he dreamed of building one
that would bring electricity and water to his village and change his life and the lives of those around him.
Krakauer, Jon Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
Krakauer ("Into the Wild") chronicles the riveting, tragic story of former NFL player Pat Tillman, who was z
killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004, in engrossing detail highlighting his remarkable character and
personality while closely examining the murky, heartbreaking circumstances of his death.
Lehane, Dennis Shutter Island
The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe
Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple-murderess Rachel Solando is loose
somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane
bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation,
horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed,
because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems.
McDougall, Chris Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is
an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall
sets off to find a tribe of the world's greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything
we thought we knew about running is wrong. Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara
Indians of Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run
hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it.
Mezrich, Ben The Accidental Billionaires The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
The bestselling author of "Bringing Down the House" pens the incredible true story of the accidental
creation of Facebook, and the even more amazing tale of what followed.
Patterson, James Med Head
Patterson's "Against Medical Advice" has riveted adults with the drama of one teenager's courage,
sacrifice, and triumph. Now comes this first-person account of Cory Friedman's struggle with
Tourette's Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Salwen, Kevin The Power of Half
It all started when 15-year old Hannah Salwen, idealistic, but troubled by a growing sense of injustice in the
world, had a eureka moment when a homeless man in her neighborhood was juxtaposed against a glistening
Mercedes coupe.nbsp; "You know, Dad," she said, pointing, "If that man had a less nice car, that man could
have a meal." This glaring disparity let the Salwen family of four, caught up like so many other Americans in
this age of consumption and waste, to follow Hannah's urge to stop talking and start doing.
See, Lisa Shanghai Girls
In 1937, Shanghai is the Paris of Asia, a city of great wealth and glamour, the home of millionaires and beggars, gangsters and gamblers,
patriots and revolutionaries, artists and warlords. Thanks to the financial security and material comforts provided by their father’s prosperous
rickshaw business, twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Though both sisters wave
off authority and tradition, they couldn’t be more different: Pearl is a Dragon sign, strong and stubborn, while May is a true Sheep, adorable
and placid. Both are beautiful, modern, and
carefree . . . until the day their father tells them that he has gambled
away their wealth and that in
order to repay his debts he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides. As Japanese bombs
fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, one that will take them through the Chinese countryside, in and
out of the clutch of brutal soldiers, and across the Pacific to the shores of America. In Los Angeles they begin a fresh chapter, trying to find
love with the strangers they have married, brushing against the seduction of Hollywood, and striving to embrace American life even as they
fight against discrimination, brave Communist witch hunts, and find themselves hemmed in by Chinatown’s old ways and rules.
Stockett, Kathryn The Help
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her
mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman
who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone. Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman
raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way.
She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and
perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can look like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny
finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own. Seemingly as different
from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because
they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Nearly every young author dreams of writing a book that will literally change the world. A few have succeeded, andHarriet Beecher Stoweis such a marvel. Although the American anti-slavery movement had existed at least as long as the nation itself, Stowe’sUncle Tom’s Cabin(1852) galvanized public opinion as nothing had before. The book sold 10,000 copies in its first week and 300,000 in its first year. Its vivid dramatization of slavery’s cruelties so aroused readers that it is said Abraham Lincoln told Stowe her work had been a catalyst for the Civil War.Today the novel is often labeled condescending, but its characters—Tom, Topsy, Little Eva, Eliza, and the evil Simon Legree—still have the power to move our hearts. Though “Uncle Tom” has become a synonym for a fawning black yes-man, Stowe’s Tom is actually American literature’s first black hero, a man who suffers for refusing to obey his white oppressors.
Westerfeld, Scott Leviathan
On the eve of World War I, the machine-loving Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their big steam-powered
Clankers. Inspired by Darwin, the British have fabricated animals into warships. Their mothership, "Leviathan,"
is a marvelous whale-dirigible, in this new trilogy by the bestselling author of the Uglies series.
Wasserman, Robin Skinned
Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular -- until the accident
that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into
a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can't ever truly die. But she is also
rejected by her friends, betrayed by her boyfriend, and alienated from her old life. Forced to the fringes of society, Lia joins
others like her. But they are looked at as freaks. They are hated...and feared. They are everything but human, and according
to most people, this is the ultimate crime -- for which they must pay the ultimate price.
Wyndham, John The Chrysalids
The Chyrsalidsis set in the future after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero of the novel, lives in a tight-knit
community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God’s creation.
Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. Abnormal humans (who are not really human) are also condemned to
destruction—unless they succeed in fleeing to the Fringes, that Wild Country where, as the authorities say, nothing is reliable and the devil
does his work.