Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He understood that books were for burning and never questioned the pleasure of watching the pages be consumed by flames. He never questioned anything...until he meets a seventeen-year-old girl who tells him of a past when people were not afraid. Then he meets a professor who describes to him a future in which people can think. Guy Montag realizes what he has to do! Join us for this challenging 1953 classic tale of a dystopian future.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This powerful books tells the story of two teens who meet in a cancer-victim support group. Looking at life through the lens of those who have no guarantees of a future is intense and may seem off-putting to some, yet John Green has created characters who are funny, appealing, memorable, and incredibly real. In this course we will read the book, engage in activities to share our understanding and interpretations, and learn more about pediatric cancer.
Black Boy by Richard Wright
This autobiography of novelist and poet Richard Wright tells his story of growing up in the Jim Crow South and what it means to be a man, black, and Southern in America. Wright overcame a childhood of poverty and oppression to become one of America’s most influential writers. In addition to reading the text, we will watch and discuss documentary footage that follows Wright’s journey through the Chicago Black cultural Renaissance of the 1930s, the Communist Party during the Depression, the McCarthy-era, the American expatriate community in the 1950s, and his final years. This is challenging but rewarding reading, especially for those students who would like to know more about the black experience in the early 20th century.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Fourteen-year-old Lily Owens has grown up in the civil rights South with a neglectful and abusive father. After racial tensions peak in her small town, Lily and her hired help, Rosaleen, leave home to escape violence and to learn more about Lily's late mother. This coming-of-age story explores the complex realities of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the growing independence of a young woman who is grappling with her past and present.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Into the Wild is the real life story of Christopher McCandless, who in April 1992, hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.
West with the Night by Beryl Markham
Hailed by National Geographic as one of the greatest adventure books of all time, West With the Night is the true story of Beryl Markham's remarkable life. She grew up in Kenya, raised racehorses and was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic from East to West.. Her successes and her failures -- and her deep, lifelong love of the "soul of Africa" -- are chronicled in the book with wrenching honesty and wit. In addition to reading and discussing this compelling true story, we will watch excerpts from the movie Out of Africa, which was set during the same time period and includes Beryl as a real life character.
Call of the Wild by Jack London
You begin life surrounded by the love of a doting family, with sprawling land, and chances to do all of the things you love each day. Suddenly, one you trust sells you into a very different life, where your survival demands learning a code of violence, theft, and competition. This is the story of Buck, half St. Bernard and half sheepdog, who is unwittingly caught up in humans’ rush to find gold in the Northland. As Buck travels from sunny California to the bitter Arctic, he journeys deep into his ancestry, rediscovering the primitive nature of the wild dog. Is it a journey into savagery or a discovery of what is merely the state of nature? Our discussions will challenge you to consider questions of absolute morality, the treatment of animals, and the human journey from primitive individual to civilized man.
Timeline by Michael Crichton
Timeline is a science-fiction novel about quantum physics and time travel. A technology research company, ITC, has developed an amazing technology that will transport humans back in time. However, there are obvious concerns when traveling through time. A professor travels to the 14th century but becomes trapped there. With the help of ITC, the professor’s team of historians go to rescue him. This mission is extremely dangerous and full of challenges. Come find out if the team will be able to save their friend!
Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Time Machine was published in 1895 and concerns the inventor of a time machine that takes him to the year 802,701 CE. There he meets the Eloi, who live in a society seemingly without any worries or cares. Of course, all is not as it seems.