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Editor’s picks: Books edition

Collegian Staff

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Bree Gannon

“The Girl With All the Gifts,” by Mike Carey
“The Girl With All the Gifts” is a very strange but hard to put down book. It takes place in the future over in the U.K. and is about a fungus infection that infects those who have it and turns them into flesh-eating monsters. So basically zombies, but they are not dead. Anyways those that are infected are called ‘Hungries’. The book starts off at a secure military camp that inhabits children who were born, instead of infected with the disease, and scientist who run tests on them. There is also a teacher who teaches the children as if they are normal. The storyline of the book follows one student, Melanie, who is immune to the fungus and the adventure her and the characters go on to save humanity.
“Where the Sidewalk Ends,” by Shel Silverstein
Growing up, my mom read me poems from this book all the time. If you are not familiar with writer Shel Silverstein or read any of his other poem books, then you did not live. The book features many poems and illustrations by Silverstein. I still have the copy my mom gave me to this day and I occasionally read it when I need a pick me up. Even though most of us are above the age of 18, this is still a great book and I highly recommend you read it and pass it down to your children.

Kaitlyn Moore

“The Book Thief,” by Markus Zusak

This is a historical novel written by an Australian author about Nazi Germany during World War II. The whole story is narrated by death in a way that is very refreshing and deep, not at all cliché. It is a story about a little girl who finds herself and her solace in words and stolen books, her loving, accordian playing Papa, her best friend Rudy, and a Jewish fist fighter. This is a book I would read over and over again because it always moves me to tears. It is a beautiful and powerful story.

“Inkheart,” by Cornelia Funke

Cornelia Funke is truly an amazing writer. Meggie discovers her father Mo has a unique ability to make things come out of books when he reads the words out loud, and she soon discovers that she has the same ability as well. She takes it a step further when she writes herself and reads herself into the book that her mother was sucked into after a tragic accident. The language and level of description is astonishingly wonderful. It is the first book in a pulse-pounding trilogy, I highly recommend reading the books instead of watching the movie.

Noah Cloonan

“Unbroken,” by Laura Hillenbrand

“Unbroken” is an unbelievably powerful book about a young lieutenant named Louis Zamperini whose plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean at the height of World War II. The story takes you through Zamperini’s journey as he tries to survive on a raft in the Ocean and make it through Japanese concentration camps. From a star athlete back in the United States, to a skin and bones prisoner of war in a Japanese prison camp, Zamperini keeps the same attitude through it all. Zamperini’s journey is inspirational and gives you a shocking picture of the struggles of the war. Definitely read the book BEFORE you watch the movie, I promise it will be better that way.

“Green Eggs and Ham,” by Dr. Suess

Everybody has read a Dr. Suess book and many people have read this particular one. Even though many people have already read it, you should do it again. The story takes you on a journey where the main character, Sam-I-am, pesters another character, urging him to try a plate of his Green Eggs and Ham. The story will take you back to your childhood and give you a couple of good laughs and memories in the process. Take five minutes and read some of the genius of Dr. Suess and enjoy a more laid back read that is sure to make you regain some positivity in your life. Sometimes the simple things can be the best things, and maybe, just maybe, you will get to try some green eggs and ham.

Renée Borcas

“The Darkest Minds,” by Alexandra Bracken

In an alternate timeline, nearly all of the children in the U.S. have fallen victim to a fatal disease. Those who have survived develop special abilities and are placed in not-so-friendly rehabilitation camps. Now a teenager, Ruby Daly, along with the companions she meets throughout her journey, have escaped and are on the run. This novel is the first in Alexandra Bracken’s science fiction, thriller trilogy series. Between the depth of the characters, the fast-paced plot and the rocking soundtrack of songs mentioned in this book, I was hooked. Once I was finished and had to put it down, I immediately started calling local bookstores to see if they had the sequel in stock. Join the hipsters, like me, and read this book now before the movie adaptation hits theaters next fall!

“Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal,” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This book is difficult to describe, but it’s less complicated to explain how it made me feel—serendipitous. Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s interactive memoir breaks the subjects you would typically see in a classroom into chapters of vignettes and observations. It describes the simplicities and complexities of life in an optimistic and thoughtful manner. Within the book, there is an interactive element that encourages readers to text Rosenthal and take part in projects. Before her passing, she used the responses as a means of interaction by getting matching tattoos with a reader, sending a reader a pie, and by inviting readers to share their experiences with one another. If you want to see the reader responses for yourself, or even add your own, visit

Bex Hunter

“The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho

This is my all time favorite book because it is just as exciting and adventurous as it is deep and thought provoking. The book explores the idea of destiny and no matter what your background, beliefs and religion are this book somehow still manages to be relatable. When a book can relate to that many different people and send you on a soul search all at the same time, it is worth picking up and reading.

“Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie

As a child I was obsessed with Peter Pan and the idea of never growing up, so of course I loved this book. However, J.M. Barrie wrote a much deeper story than most people realize. Peter represents childhood with no maturity. Hook represents adulthood with no childlike innocence. Wendy represents all of us, struggling between staying young and childish and trying to grow up and be an adult. I strongly suggest this book to not only anyone who wants a throwback to their childhood, but also anyone struggling with their transition into adulthood.

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