Friday, September 6, 2013

Top 5: Back to Boarding School Books

This week saw the return of bells, backpacks and late slips. It's back to school and we've got five books for those of you who were packing suitcases and boxes instead of just pencil cases. Here are our five books for the boarding school set:

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (see full review here)
On the very day that Rory Deveaux arrives at the London boarding school where she will spend the year, the first in a series of grisly murders occurs--murders that mimic exactly those of  Jack the Ripper. As the gruesome events unfold, the police have no leads. That is until Rory sees a strange man near the scene of one of the murders.  Even stranger, Rory's roommate who is right there with her doesn't see the man. What's that about? Is the strange man the murderer? Is he after Rory?

Winger by Andrew Smith

Achingly self-aware, smart and funny, fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West is a junior  at a boarding school for rich kids. Though the youngest in his class by far, his position as winger on the rugby team affords him some status.

This book doesn't fall into a neat category.  That's part of the appeal.  Starting with the cover and continuing throughout, Winger by Andrew Smith is simultaneously cringe-inducing and laugh-out-loud, snortingly hilarious.  And then it just flat out knocks you out.  Seriously.  Fair warning that you may feel sucker punched after turning the final pages. 

Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
Alex's friend is dead. The school says it's because of an unfortunate swimming accident. Alex knows that's most of the story, but what exactly went down that day at the cliffs? Even though he was there, does he know the whole story? What about Alex's friend Glenn's version of the events of that afternoon? The truth is murky and when Glenn thinks that one of their teachers might have yet another view on what happened he wants to put a stop to her quickly. Will Alex go along with Glenn's plan even though it doesn't feel right to him at all? This is a thriller that will have your stomach twisting as you turn the pages faster and faster. (see more on this book here)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna knows what she wants for her senior year: more of the same. She wants to fill her free time hanging out with her best friend and working at the movie theater with her crush. Instead, her father is sending her off to Paris (so that he can look cooler... thanks dad?) to go to the American school there. The rug is pulled out from under Anna and before she has time to get her feet back under her, her bag has been packed and she is off to boarding school.  At school she quickly falls in with a group of friends and one boy with an English accent, the best smile... and a girlfriend. This romantic tale will leave you hungering for croissants, chocolat chaud and a trip to Paris.

Spud by John van de Ruit
This book is not only funny, it's kind of insane. John "Spud" Milton is at boarding school in South Africa. The boys there are on their own, Spud and his friends make up the Crazy 8 who are renowned for pranks and hijinks. The faculty and the older boys are all to be dealt with warily, because you never know what they might be up to. If all of that weren't enough, Spud's own family may be crazier than everyone at the school put-together. Here's your warning: this book is one that you absolutely can't avoid laughing out loud while reading, so you might want to avoid taking it with you anywhere where you're supposed to look very serious (job interviews, jury duty, funerals).

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