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READS: SSR Guide

Nonfiction titles are about real events and places

Non-Fiction - click arrows for more

LeBron's Dream Team

How five friends made history

The last shot : city streets, basketball dreams

Basketball can be the only hope for many young men on Coney Island. This book is about 4 of the neighborhood's most promising players and is an expose of inner-city life and the big business of college basketball.

The Mannings : the fall and rise of a football family

A revealing portrait of the first family of American sports. What the Kennedys are to politics, the Mannings are to football. 347 pages.

Seabiscuit: an American legend

Seabiscuit the racehorse was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes: 399 pages.

Flying dinosaurs : how fearsome reptiles became birds

In 2006 feathered dinosaur fossils were found in China. The discovery was surprising and has lead to more evidence about the transition from fleet-footed carnivores to the ancestors of modern birds. 215 pages.

The geography of genius : a search for the world's most creative places from ancient Athens to Silicon Valley

Examines the connection between surroundings and innovative ideas, profiling examples in such regions as early-twentieth-century Vienna, Renaissance Florence, ancient Athens, and Silicon Valley. 353 pages.

The Soul of an Octopus: a surprising exploration into the wonder of consciousness

Explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus--a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature--and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. 245 pages.

Forever Barbie : the unauthorizied biography of a real doll

Since Barbie's introduction in 1959, her impact on baby boomers has been revolutionary. She was a toy designed to teach women what-- for better or worse-- was expected of them. 325 pages.

Two Hands and a Shovel : an illustrated exploration of the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps at Deception Pass State Park

The Civilian Conservation Corps put men to work during the American Depression. This book shows their work to create the Deception Pass State Park. Lots of Pictures. 330 pages.

When Breath Becomes Air

This is the story of a doctor's fight with cancer and death. Even doctors can fight the idea of cancer and Paul's story is about his battle, his love for his wife and all the challenges that come when you know you are dying. 228 pages.

The map of my dead pilots : the dangerous game of flying in Alaska

Explores the history of Alaskan aviation, discussing small plane piloting in the wildest territory of the United States. 242 pages.

Deep down Dark : the untold stories of 33 men buried in a Chilean mine, and the miracle that set them free

Relates the experiences of the thirty-three men who endured entrapment beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine days during the San José mine collapse outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010. 309 pages.

Escape from Camp 14 : one man's remarkable odyssey from North Korea to freedom in the West

Shin Dong-hyuk is the only known escapee from North Korea's political prison camps. This is his story. The story has brutality that can disturb. 205 pages.

Gandhi: my life is my message : my life is my message

Renouncing wealth, ambition and comfort, Gandhi led by example, becoming one with the people he sought to free, facing imprisonment, hardship and humiliation while never raising his voice in anger 205 pages.

Non-Fiction - click arrows for more

Alex and Me : how a scientist and a parrot discovered a hidden world of animal intelligence--and formed a deep bond in the process

This story of Alex, a famous African Gray parrot, documents his thirty-year relationship with his trainer and the ways in which his life has changed scientific understanding about language and thought. 232 pages.

Fifty Animals That Changed the Course of History - YA

The 50 animals include the horse, dog, rat, whale, reindeer, beaver, flea, leech, dodo, falcon, oyster and shark. 223 pages.

Marley and Me

The heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrous, neirotic dog who helped them find love. 291 pages.

We Were Eight Years in Power

Coates’s collection of his essays from the past decade examine the recurrence of certain themes in the black community, the need for uplift and self-reliance, the debate between liberals and conservatives about the right approach to racism, and the virulent reaction in some quarters to any signs of racial progress. As he charts social changes, Coates also offers a look at his own transformation as a black man and a writer. 

Just like us : the true story of four Mexican girls coming of age in America

This books takes you into the lives of Mexican immigrants. It is the story of 4 high school seniors, their friendship and having an identity. 387 pages.

Just Mercy

The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice. 336 pages.

The Stranger Beside Me

In this book Ann Rule Rule describes her dawning awareness that Ted Bundy, her sensitive coworker on a crisis hotline, was one of the most prolific serial killers in America. 456 pages.

Under the Red Roof : one hundred years at Northern State Hospital

Under The Red Roof chronicled the rise and fall of an insane asylum in the frontier town of Sedro-Woolley, Washington. Northern State Hospital, as it came to be known. 152 pages.

SPAM : a biography

Over sixty years ago, when meat was bought from a butcher, Jay Hormel's idea for pork in a can was nothing short of revolutionary. How in the world (and why in the world) did he do it? 134 pages.

Down Range to Iraq and Back

Down range is a timely book dedicated to bringing the troops home and addressing the challenges of the re-integration process from combatant to civilian. 156 pages.

Under the Banner of Heaven

Examines the extremes of religious belief. At the core of this book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon Fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims.

Non-Fiction - click arrows for more

The 57 bus : a true story of two teenagers and the crime that changed their lives

Two teenagers growing up in Oakland, California. One, Sasha, was born male but identifies as nonbinary, wears skirts and attends a private school. The other, Richard, is an African American from a poor part of Oakland who attends a rough public school. They have no reason to meet, except for eight minutes every day, they catch the same bus home. 

What You Must Think of Me

In this memoir, Emily Ford shares her true story of her struggle with severe social anxiety as a young adult.  A poignant account of how Emily negotiated the obstacles of social anxiety--and eventually overcame them with the help of therapy and hard work.

Monochrome Days

Cait Irwin was diagnosed with major depression at the age of fourteen, and she nearly lost her battle with the illness before she was able to receive the treatment she needed. Irwin, now an adult and a successful artist, shares her experiences as a young woman whosuffered from a crippling depression but was able to recover with the help of a supportive family and expert psychiatric care. 

Spare parts : four undocumented teenagers, one ugly robot, and the battle for the American dream - YA

In 2004, four Latino teenagers from Phoenix, AZ arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. Guess what happened? 224 pages.

The Port Chicago 50 : disaster, mutiny, and the fight for civil rights

Presents an account of the 1944 civil rights protest involving hundreds of African-American Navy servicemen who were unjustly charged with mutiny for refusing to work in unsafe conditions after the deadly Port Chicago explosion. 200 pages.

Wild

A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.

Women in Space

23 women from 10 different countries whose careers span a half century of human spaceflight are profiled in this educational book for young readers. These stories of the pilots, physicists, and doctors who broke the stratospheric ceiling demonstrate the vital role women have played in the history of space exploration.

The Distance Between Us: a memoir

When Reyna Grande's father leaves his wife and three children behind in a village in Mexico to make the dangerous trek across the border to the United States, he promises he will soon return from "El Otro Lado". His promises become harder to believe as months turn into years. Reyna later begins her own journey to "El Otro Lado" to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father. 325 pages.

Blessings: adventures of a madcap Christian Scientist

Chronicles the adventures of the "Lucy Ricardo" of Christian Scientists as she uses her understanding of God to find solutions to life's problems. 99 pages.

Do bees sneeze? : and other questions kids ask about insects

Questions and answers explore the insect world, in such categories as body parts and functions, behavior, and habitats. 188 pages.

Wesley the Owl: the remarkable love story of an owl and his girl

Biologist and owl expert O'Brien chronicles her rescue of an adorable, abandoned baby barn owl--and their astonishing and unprecedented 19-year life together. 235 pages.

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