Read a book guaranteed to make you cry. (Emotions are messy but necessary!)
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson; Donna Diamond (Illustrator)This beloved Newbery Medal-winning novel by bestselling author Katherine Paterson is a modern classic of friendship and loss. Now in convenient compact paperback format. Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie's house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.
Marley and Me by John GroganThe heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same. Marley quickly grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever, a dog like no other. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, flung drool on guests, stole women's undergarments, and ate nearly everything he could get his mouth around, including couches and fine jewelry. Obedience school did no good—Marley was expelled. Neither did the tranquilizers the veterinarian prescribed for him with the admonishment, "Don't hesitate to use these." And yet Marley's heart was pure. Just as he joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. Marley shared the couple's joy at their first pregnancy, and their heartbreak over the miscarriage. He was there when babies finally arrived and when the screams of a seventeen-year-old stabbing victim pierced the night. Marley shut down a public beach and managed to land a role in a feature-length movie, always winning hearts as he made a mess of things. Through it all, he remained steadfast, a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit's end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms. Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a bigger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans.
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi PicoultAnna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.
Solito by Javier ZamoraNew York Times Bestseller * Read With Jenna Book Club Pick as seen on Today * Winner of the Los Angeles Times Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiography * Winner of the American Library Association Alex Award A young poet tells the inspiring story of his migration from El Salvador to the United States at the age of nine in this "gripping memoir" (NPR) of bravery, hope, and finding family. Finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction * One of the New York Public Library's Ten Best Books of the Year Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and the PEN/Open Book Award "I read Solito with my heart in my throat and did not burst into tears until the last sentence. What a person, what a writer, what a book."--Emma Straub "A riveting tale of perseverance and the lengths humans will go to help each other in times of struggle."--Dave Eggers ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Vulture, She Reads, Kirkus Reviews Trip. My parents started using that word about a year ago--"one day, you'll take a trip to be with us. Like an adventure." Javier Zamora's adventure is a three-thousand-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone amid a group of strangers and a "coyote" hired to lead them to safety, Javier expects his trip to last two short weeks. At nine years old, all Javier can imagine is rushing into his parents' arms, snuggling in bed between them, and living under the same roof again. He cannot foresee the perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions that await him; nor can he know that those two weeks will expand into two life-altering months alongside fellow migrants who will come to encircle him like an unexpected family. A memoir as gripping as it is moving, Solito provides an immediate and intimate account not only of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also of the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments. Solito is Javier Zamora's story, but it's also the story of millions of others who had no choice but to leave home.
Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. FordINSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NBCC John Leonard Prize Finalist Indie Bestseller "This is a book people will be talking about forever." --Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed "Ford's wrenchingly brilliant memoir is truly a classic in the making. The writing is so richly observed and so suffused with love and yearning that I kept forgetting to breathe while reading it." --John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author One of the most prominent voices of her generation debuts with an extraordinarily powerful memoir: the story of a childhood defined by the looming absence of her incarcerated father. Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley C. Ford wishes she could turn to her father for hope and encouragement. There are just a few problems: he's in prison, and she doesn't know what he did to end up there. She doesn't know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates. When the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley desperately searches for meaning in the chaos. Then, her grandmother reveals the truth about her father's incarceration . . . and Ashley's entire world is turned upside down. Somebody's Daughter steps into the world of growing up a poor Black girl in Indiana with a family fragmented by incarceration, exploring how isolating and complex such a childhood can be. As Ashley battles her body and her environment, she embarks on a powerful journey to find the threads between who she is and what she was born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them.
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenDespite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
The Notebook by Nicholas SparksEvery so often a love story so captures our hearts that it becomes more than a story-it becomes an experience to remember forever. The Notebook is such a book. It is a celebration of how passion can be ageless and timeless, a tale that moves us to laughter and tears and makes us believe in true love all over again... At thirty-one, Noah Calhoun, back in coastal North Carolina after World War II, is haunted by images of the girl he lost more than a decade earlier. At twenty-nine, socialite Allie Nelson is about to marry a wealthy lawyer, but she cannot stop thinking about the boy who long ago stole her heart. Thus begins the story of a love so enduring and deep it can turn tragedy into triumph, and may even have the power to create a miracle...
The Town of Babylon by Alejandro VarelaA FINALIST FOR THE 2022 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION LONGLISTED FOR THE 2023 ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE A LIBRARY JOURNAL AND PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY "BEST BOOK OF 2022" ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022- BuzzFeed, LitHub, Electric Literature, LGBTQ Reads, Latinx in Publishing *Recommended by The New York Times* "Haunting, sublime, solemn, and true." -Robert Jones Jr., author of The Prophets " An intense, astute meditation on race, family, class, love, and friendship." -Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies In this contemporary debut novel-an intimate portrait of queer, racial, and class identity -Andres, a gay Latinx professor, returns to his suburban hometown in the wake of his husband's infidelity. There he finds himself with no excuse not to attend his twenty-year high school reunion, and hesitantly begins to reconnect with people he used to call friends. Over the next few weeks, while caring for his aging parents and navigating the neighborhood where he grew up, Andres falls into old habits with friends he thought he'd left behind. Before long, he unexpectedly becomes entangled with his first love and is forced to tend to past wounds. Captivating and poignant; a modern coming-of-age story about the essential nature of community, The Town of Babylon is a page-turning novel about young love and a close examination of our social systems and the toll they take when they fail us.
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch AlbomA classic from the author of The First Phone Call from Heaven Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago. Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger? Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class": lessons in how to live. Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world.