Book Club Kits



Expand the options your book club has through CALS Book Club Kits, made possible by Friends of the Central Arkansas Library (FOCAL). Request a kit to be sent to your branch for pickup. Kits contain copies of a title and a discussion guide, and can be checked out for six weeks. Click on the tabs below for available book titles.

What is a CALS Book Club Kit?

A book club kit is a handy canvas tote that holds:

  • 10 paperback copies of one title and;
  • 1 discussion guide to assist book club leaders.

How do I reserve a CALS Book Club kit?

  1. Download and complete the Book Club Registration Form, then deliver or mail it to any branch of the Central Arkansas Library System.

What rules apply to a CALS Book Club Kit?

  • Kits may be reserved up to a year in advance
  • Kits are checked out to one person (must be 18 years or older) who will be responsible for returning it.
  • Each book club kit will be checked out for 6 weeks. (Sorry, no renewals are allowed.)
  • The complete kit must be returned to the Circulation Desk of any branch library during regular library hours. Do not use a book drop to return your kit.
  • The fine for overdue book club kits is $1 per day per kit.
  • If a kit is not returned, the replacement cost is $100. Replacement costs will be prorated for missing or damaged items.

Are there special requirements for the Juvenile/YA book kits?

We only require that an adult (18+) check out each book kit. Adult book clubs as well as book clubs for children and teens are encouraged to consider the award-winning literature offered through our Juvenile/YA book kit program.

As with all books your club selects, we recommend that a member of your group reads the book to see if it is a good fit for your club. To find out more about any selection, click "Check Library Catalog" below to view each CALS online catalog record.

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, by Steve Harvey

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
by Steve Harvey

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The #1 New York Times bestseller from the new guru of relationship advice, Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man is an invaluable self-help book that can empower women everywhere to take control of their relationships. The host of a top-rated radio show listened to by millions daily – and of cable TV’s The Steve Harvey Project – Harvey knows what men really think about love, intimacy, and commitment. In Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, the author, media personality, and stand-up comedian gets serious, sharing his wealth of knowledge, insight, and no-nonsense advice for every good woman who wants to find a good man or make her current love last.

American Eve, by Paula Uruburu

American Eve
by Paula Uruburu

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Documents the scandal-marked career of the early twentieth-century model and celebrity, covering such topics as her early fame in her mid-teens, her marriage to millionaire Harry K. Thaw, and her infamous relationship with her murdered lover, famed architect Stanford White.

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

American Gods
by Neil Gaiman

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As Shadow is about to be released from prison, he learns that his beloved wife has been killed in an accident. Feeling he has nothing else to lose, he becomes involved in a dangerous scheme that could cause him to lose more than he ever imagined.

Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins
by Jess Walter

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It's 1962, and Dee Moray, an American starlet, has just fled the tumultuous Roman set of Cleopatra to hole up in a dilapidated hotel in an obscure Italian seaside village. Pasquale Tursi, the young proprietor of the Hotel Adequate View, is instantly smitten. Flash-forward 50 years. Claire, the ambitious yet practical young assistant to the once-legendary producer Michael Deane, is enduring another Wild Pitch Friday. A screenwriter desperate to sell his script ("Donner! An epic story of resiliency!") and an older Italian man bearing Deane's tattered business card both appear at Claire's door.

Bone: Out from Boneville, by Jeff Smith

Bone: Out from Boneville
by Jeff Smith

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Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone are run out of their home, Boneville, and become separated in the wilds, but better fortune begins the three cousins reunite at a farmstead in a deep forested valley, where Fone meets a young girl named Thorn.

The Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly

The Book of Lost Things
by John Connolly

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High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother. He is angry and alone, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in his imagination, he finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a land that is a strange reflection of his own world, populated by heroes and monsters, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book…The Book of Lost Things.

Camp Nine, by Vivienne Schiffer

Camp Nine
by Vivienne Schiffer

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Set in Rook, Arkansas in 1942, 12-year old Chess Morton's quiet life of plantations and bayous changes abruptly after her wealthy landowning grandfather sells some worthless land to the government. Housing 10,000 new residents, Camp Nine becomes one of many camps where West Coast Japanese were held in isolation during WWII.

Chess's bored widowed mother, who had studied art in California, offers to teach art classes to the Japanese. After she enlists a reluctant Chess to help her, mother and daughter become friends with the Matsui family, including sons Henry and David. Henry enlists, but his father is imprisoned for failing to correctly answer a government questionnaire. Mrs. Matsui, shunned by the other women because they felt her husband brought dishonor to his family, has a nervous breakdown, and David attempts to romance a daughter from a hard-scrabble white sharecropper family. As she watches her mother thwart local conventions by championing the Japanese, Chess matures.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Laini Taylor

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Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters--the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.

Divergent, by

Divergent
by Veronica Roth

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In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

Edie: American Girl, by Jean Stein

Edie: American Girl
by Jean Stein

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In a dazzling tapestry of voices – family, friends, lovers, rivals – the entire meteoric trajectory of Edie Sedgwick’s life is brilliantly captured. And so is the Pop Art world of the ‘60s: the sex, drugs, fashion, music – the mad rush for pleasure and fame. All glitter and flash on the outside, it was hollow and desperate within – like Edie herself, and like her mentor, Andy Warhol. Alternately mesmerizing, tragic, and horrifying, this book shattered many myths about the ‘60s experience in America.

Eighty-Dollar Champion, by Elizabeth Letts

Eighty-Dollar Champion
by Elizabeth Letts

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Traces the story of a champion equine jumper and the Dutch farmer who rescued him from the slaughterhouse, recounting how the farmer discovered Snowman's jumping talents and trained him to compete against the world's most expensive thoroughbreds.

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

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On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick's wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife?

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Attwood

The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Attwood

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Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules.

In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson

In the Garden of Beasts
by Erik Larson

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The bestselling author of Devil in the White City turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler's rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

Just Kids, by Patti Smith

Just Kids
by Patti Smith

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In this memoir, singer-songwriter Patti Smith shares tales of New York City: the denizens of Max's Kansas City, the Hotel Chelsea, Scribner's, Brentano's and Strand bookstores and her new life in Brooklyn with a young man named Robert Mapplethorpe – the man who changed her life with his love, friendship, and genius.

Kindred, by Octavia Butler

Kindred
by Octavia Butler

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Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned across the years to save him. After this first summons, Dana is drawn back, again and again, to the plantation to protect Rufus and ensure that he will grow to manhood and father the daughter who will become Dana's ancestor. Yet each time Dana's sojourns become longer and more dangerous, until it is uncertain whether or not her life will end, long before it has even begun.

Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom

Kitchen House
by Kathleen Grissom

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Lavinia, an orphaned seven-year-old white indentured servant, arrives in 1791 to work in the kitchen house at Tall Oaks, a Tidewater, Va., tobacco plantation owned by Capt. James Pyke. Belle, the captain's illegitimate half-white daughter who runs the kitchen house, shares narration duties, and the two distinctly different voices chronicle a troublesome 20 years: Lavinia becomes close to the slaves working the kitchen house, but she can't fully fit in because of her race. At 17, she marries Marshall, the captain's brutish son turned inept plantation master, and as Lavinia ingratiates herself into the family and the big house, racial tensions boil over into lynching, rape, arson, and murder.

Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Language of Flowers
by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

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The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what's been missing in her life, and when she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

Lone Wolf, by Jodi Picoult

Lone Wolf
by Jodi Picoult

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Twenty-four-year-old Edward Warren, has been living in Thailand for five years, a prodigal son who left his family after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. But he gets a frantic phone call: his dad lies comatose, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara. With her father's chances for recovery dwindling, Cara wants to wait for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father's organs. Is he motivated by altruism or revenge?

Maine, by J. Courtney Sullivan

Maine
by J. Courtney Sullivan

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For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. Their beachfront property, won on a barroom bet after the war, sits on three acres of sand and pine nestled between stretches of rocky coast, with one tree bearing the initials A.H. At the cottage, built by Kelleher hands, cocktail hour follows morning mass, nosy grandchildren snoop in drawers, and decades-old grudges simmer beneath the surface. As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago.

Marzi, by Marzena Sowa

Marzi
by Marzena Sowa

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Marzena Sowa's memoir of a childhood shaped by politics as told from a young girl's perspective. Structured as a series of vignettes that build on one another, Marzi is a coming-of-age story that portrays the harsh realities of life behind the Iron Curtain while maintaining the everyday wonders and curiosity of childhood.

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare

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Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.

New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, by Elna Baker

New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance
by Elna Baker

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In this hilarious, tongue-in-cheek memoir, writer, actress, and gorgeous stand up comedian Elna Baker tells what it's like to be the Mormon "Tina Fey" – the girl who distresses her family when she chooses NYU over BYU; the girl who's cultivating an oxymoronic identity as a bold, educated, modern, funny, proper, abstinent, religious stand-up comic, equal parts wholesome and hot.

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, by Ree Drummond

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels
by Ree Drummond

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American blogger and food writer Ree Drummond relates the real life story of how she met and married her "Marlboro Man." Her stories about her husband, family, and country living paint a warm and touching picture of life on an Oklahoma ranch.

Red Tent, by Anita Diamant

Red Tent
by Anita Diamant

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The story of Dinah, a tragic character from the Bible whose great love, a prince, is killed by her brother, leaving her alone and pregnant. The novel traces her life from childhood to death, in the process examining sexual and religious practices of the day, and what it meant to be a woman.

The Round House, by Louise Erdrich

The Round House
by Louise Erdrich

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When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.

Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward

Salvage the Bones
by Jesmyn Ward

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Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.

Silver Linings Playbook, by Matthew Quick

Silver Linings Playbook
by Matthew Quick

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Embracing a philosophy that life is a movie produced by God, neural health patient Pat Peoples endeavors to win back his estranged wife by making strategic sacrifices and coordinating their communications through a depressed widow.

Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse Five
by Kurt Vonnegut

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Billy Pilgrim returns home from the Second World War only to be kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, who teach him that time is an eternal present.

The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child
by Eowyn Ivey

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Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart, he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone, but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

Someone Knows my Name, by Lawrence Hill

Someone Knows my Name
by Lawrence Hill

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Abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom. Sold to an indigo trader who recognizes her intelligence, Aminata is torn from her husband and child and thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan, Aminata helps pen the Book of Negroes, a list of blacks rewarded for service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. When the British abolitionists come looking for "adventurers" to create a new colony in Sierra Leone, Aminata assists in moving 1,200 Nova Scotians to Africa and aiding the abolitionist cause by revealing the realities of slavery to the British public.

Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

Stardust
by Neil Gaiman

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Living in a Victorian countryside town overshadowed by an imposing stone barrier, Tristran is compelled to retrieve a fallen star for the woman he loves and crosses to the wondrous other side of the barrier, where he encounters dangerous rivals for the star.

Sugar, by Bernice McFadden

Sugar
by Bernice McFadden

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The novel opens when a young prostitute comes to Bigelow, Arkansas, to start over, far from her haunting past. Sugar moves next door to Pearl, who is still grieving for the daughter who was murdered fifteen years before. Over sweet-potato pie, an unlikely friendship begins, transforming both women's lives – and the life of an entire town.

Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon

Telegraph Avenue
by Michael Chabon

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In this novel the author takes us to Telegraph Avenue. It is a story that explores the profoundly intertwined lives of two Oakland, California families, one black and one white. Here he creates a world grounded in pop culture: Kung Fu, 1970s Blaxploitation films, vinyl LPs, jazz and soul music, and an epic of friendship, race, and secret histories. Longtime band mates Archy and Nat preside over Brokeland Records, a used-record emporium. All is well until a former NFL quarterback, one of the country's richest African Americans, decides to build his latest Dogpile megastore on nearby Telegraph Avenue. Not only could this spell doom for the little shop and its cross-race, cross-class dream, but it opens up past history regarding Archy's untethered dad and a Black Panther-era crime.

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
by Ayana Mathis

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In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother's monumental courage and the journey of a nation.

The Watchmen, by Alan Moore

The Watchmen
by Alan Moore

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This Hugo Award-winning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin.

We Need to Talk about Kevin, by Lionel Shriver

We Need to Talk about Kevin
by Lionel Shriver

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Eva never really wanted to be a mother – and certainly not the mother of a boy who ends up murdering seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage, in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

The Wettest County in the World, by Matt Bondurant

The Wettest County in the World
by Matt Bondurant

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Based on the true story of Matt Bondurant's grandfather and two granduncles, The Wettest County in the World is a gripping tale of brotherhood, greed, and murder. The Bondurant Boys were a notorious gang of roughnecks and moonshiners who ran liquor through Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition and in the years after. Forrest, the eldest brother, is fierce, mythically indestructible, and the consummate businessman; Howard, the middle brother, is an ox of a man besieged by the horrors he witnessed in the Great War; and Jack, the youngest, has a taste for luxury and a dream to get out of Franklin. Driven and haunted, these men forge a business, fall in love, and struggle to stay afloat as they watch their family die, their father's business fail, and the world they know crumble beneath the Depression and drought.

We Need to Talk about Kevin, by Lionel Shriver

We Need to Talk about Kevin
by Lionel Shriver

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Eva never really wanted to be a mother – and certainly not the mother of a boy who ends up murdering seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage, in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Cheryl Strayed

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Traces the personal crisis the author endured after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, which prompted her ambition to undertake a dangerous 1,100-mile solo hike that both drove her to rock bottom and helped her to heal.

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
by Timothy Egan

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The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Timothy Egan’s critically acclaimed account rescues this iconic chapter of American history from the shadows in a tour de force of historical reportage. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, Egan does equal justice to the human characters who become his heroes, "the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he opens up with urgency and respect" (New York Times).

Zahra’s Paradise, by Amir and Khalil

Zahra’s Paradise
by Amir and Khalil

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Set in the aftermath of Iran's fraudulent elections of 2009, Zahra's Paradise is the fictional story of the search for Mehdi, a young protestor who has vanished into an extrajudicial twilight zone. What's keeping his memory from being obliterated is not the law. It is the grit and guts of his mother, who refuses to surrender her son to fate, and the tenacity of his brother, a blogger, who fuses tradition and technology to explore and explode the void in which Mehdi has vanished.

As with all books your club selects, we recommend that a member of your group reads the book to see if it is a good fit for your club. To find out more about any selection, click "Check Library Catalog" below to view each CALS online catalog record. ** Please note: All book club kits must be checked out to an adult (18+) with a current, valid CALS library card.

Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl
by Eoin Colfer

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When a twelve-year-old evil genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology, and a particularly nasty troll. Book One of the Artemis Fowl series.

Ages 9-13

The Body of Christopher Creed, by Carol Plum-Ucci

The Body of Christopher Creed
by Carol Plum-Ucci

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Torey Adams, a high school junior with a seemingly perfect life, struggles with doubts and questions surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the class outcast.

Ages 13-18

Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins

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By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion. Book Two of the Hunger Games series.

Ages 13-18

The City of Ember, by Jeanne Duprau

The City of Ember
by Jeanne Duprau

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In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions. Book One of the Books of Ember series.

Ages 9-13

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal, by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal
by Jeff Kinney

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Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship. Book One of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Ages 9-13

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules, by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules
by Jeff Kinney

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Greg Heffley tells about his summer vacation and his attempts to steer clear of trouble when he returns to middle school and tries to keep his older brother Rodrick from telling everyone about Greg's most humiliating experience of the summer. Book Two of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Ages 9-13

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw, by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
by Jeff Kinney

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Middle-schooler Greg Heffley nimbly sidesteps his father's attempts to change Greg's wimpy ways until his father threatens to send him to military school. Book Three of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Ages 9-13

Gideon the Cutpurse, by Linda Buckley-Archer

Gideon the Cutpurse
by Linda Buckley-Archer

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Ignored by his father and sent to Derbyshire for the weekend, twelve-year-old Peter and his new friend, Kate, are accidentally transported back in time to 1763 England where they are befriended by a reformed cutpurse. Book One of the series.

Ages 9-13

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman

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An orphaned boy is raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.

Ages 13-18

Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins

Gregor the Overlander
by Suzanne Collins

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When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy. Book One of the Underland Chronicles.

Ages 9-13

Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

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In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place. Book One of the Hunger Games series.

Ages 13-18

Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart
by Cornelia Funke

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Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.

Ages 9-13

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, by Wendy Mass

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
by Wendy Mass

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Just before his thirteenth birthday, Jeremy Fink receives a keyless locked box – set aside by his father before his death five years earlier – that purportedly contains the meaning of life.

Ages 9-13

The Magician's Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo

The Magician's Elephant
by Kate DiCamillo

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When ten-year-old orphan Peter Augustus Duchene encounters a fortune teller in the marketplace one day and she tells him that his sister, who is presumed dead, is in fact alive, he embarks on a remarkable series of adventures as he desperately tries to find her.

Ages 9-13

Magyk, by Angie Sage

Magyk
by Angie Sage

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After learning that she is the Princess, Jenna is whisked from her home and carried toward safety by the Extraordinary Wizard, those she always believed were her father and brother, and a young guard known only as Boy 412 – pursued by agents of those who killed her mother ten years earlier. Book One of the Septimus Heap series.

Ages 9-13

The Merchant of Death, by D. MacHale

The Merchant of Death
by D. MacHale

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Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal and somewhat reluctant 14- year-old boy who is swept into an amazing five-year quest. Book One of the Pendragon series.

Ages 9-13

Olive's Ocean, by Kevin Henkes

Olive's Ocean
by Kevin Henkes

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On a summer visit to her grandmother's cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer.

Ages 9-13

Peace, Locomotion, by Jacqueline Woodson

Peace, Locomotion
by Jacqueline Woodson

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Through letters to his little sister, who is living in a different foster home, sixth-grader Lonnie, also known as "Locomotion," keeps a record of their lives while they are apart, describing his own foster family, including his foster brother who returns home after losing a leg in the Iraq War.

Ages 9-13

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street , by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street
by Jeanne Birdsall

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The four Penderwick sisters are faced with the unimaginable prospect of their widowed father dating, and they hatch a plot to stop him.

Ages 9-13

Saffy's Angel, by Hilary McKay

Saffy's Angel
by Hilary McKay

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After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron's relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes, until they help her go back to Italy where she was born to find a special memento of her past.

Ages 9-13

Salem Brownstone, by John Harris Dunning

Salem Brownstone
by John Harris Dunning

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Upon his father's death, Salem Brownstone inherits a mansion as well as an unfinished battle with creatures from another world, which requires him to seek the help of his guardian familiar and the colorful performers of Dr. Kinoshita's Circus of Unearthly Delights.

Ages 13-18

A Season of Gifts, by Richard Peck

A Season of Gifts
by Richard Peck

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Relates the surprising gifts bestowed on twelveyear-old Bob Barnhart and his family, who have recently moved to a small Illinois town in 1958, by their largerthan-life neighbor, Mrs. Dowdel. A companion novel to A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder.

Ages 9-13

The Shadow Thieves, by Anne Ursu

The Shadow Thieves
by Anne Ursu

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After her cousin Zee arrives from England, thirteen-year-old Charlotte and he must set out to save humankind from denizens of the underworld, Nightmares, Death, Pain, and a really nasty guy named Phil. Book One of the Cronus Chronicles series.

Ages 9-13

Skeleton Man, by Joseph Bruchac

Skeleton Man
by Joseph Bruchac

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After her parents disappear and she is turned over to the care of a strange "great-uncle," Molly must rely on her dreams about an old Mohawk story for her safety and maybe even for her life.

Ages 9-13

Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson

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While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate's fortune.

Ages 13-18

When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead

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As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

Ages 9-13

Zoobreak, by Gordon Korman

Zoobreak
by Gordon Korman

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After a class trip to a floating zoo where animals are mistreated and Savannah's missing pet monkey is found in a cage, Long Island sixth-grader Griffin Bing and his band of misfits plan a rescue.

Ages 9-13

As with all books your club selects, we recommend that a member of your group reads the book to see if it is a good fit for your club.>To find out more about any selection, click on the title below to view the CALS online catalog record.

 

For more information:

Contact Jeannie Blakeney by phone at 918-3032, or email bookclubkits@cals.org.