“I LOVED reading when I was a kid (and still do!). I started reading around age three and never stopped. I remember as a kid I would get in trouble at night for staying up past my bedtime under the covers reading with a flash light. When we went to the library, I would check out a giant stack of books every week, and finish it before the week was even up! If I were to list all my favorite books it would take pages and pages…but to list a few: To Kill a Mockingbird, Where the Red Fern Grows, Harry Potter, the Redwall Series, Eragon, Divergent, any Agatha Christie mystery, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie… and my all time favorite book: Tuesdays With Morrie. I read it once every single year. It’s a true story about a student and a teacher and life lessons, and it changed my life. I wish that everyone would read it at least once!” Ms. Kirsten Danzo, Biology teacher
Darlya is in the 9th grade, but when she was in middle school, she loved to read Drama High books. “The reason is because they’re real to me,” Darlya says. She still likes to read the same kind of books now, realistic books. The Boy in the Black Suit is another example.
Sophomore Tylea also loved Drama High books in middle school and continues to love the same type of urban fiction books because they are interesting. She would also recommend Ni Ni Simone & Coe Booth as good authors of realistic, urban fiction.
“I was a voracious reader as a small child. With nine older siblings reading to me daily it didn’t take long to learn. One of my first memories of reading independently was while reading to my father as he lay dying at home. I’m sure it was a little rhyming Golden Book. The St. Louis Public Libraries had “Read Away Vacation Club” which encouraged kids to read during the summertime. There were about five of us competing to get our twenty-five suggested books read in the first week. We were going to the library everyday to check in/out the maximum books we could. We, of course, cheated by reading below level books. So eventually, the librarian would quiz us before we got our start. During middle school, my reading interest became whatever the boys read. You could find me hanging in the “Boy’s Interests” section checking out WWII Combat stories: The Bridges at Toko Ri, The Bridge on the River Kwai, 60 Seconds Over Tokyo, and another on the Enola Gay. The experience kick-started my love of historical fiction, which I still read. I didn’t get a boyfriend from those days at the Long School Branch, but with books, I was able to travel all over the world.” ~Ms Wagner, FACS Teacher
“I hated reading. I loved playing sports. I only read when my school made me. I wanted to kick, throw balls, and run. I didn’t even do the pizza reading competitions at the local public library. By the way, my mother and grandmother were librarians. My literate mind was saved by two things. First, I always did my homework and reading for school. Second, I loved Sports Illustrated. I read it weekly, cover to cover. This didn’t change until a friend gave me a book on the Holy Spirit as a junior. I was shocked that you could ever learn something so deep and meaningful so quickly before! Ever since, I haven’t stopped consuming…”
“I loved and currently like to read autobiographies, social-political types of books about current events. Early on my favorite reads were generally about my sports heroes like Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul Jab-bar. I have recommended several titles to the library that you might want to check out, such as Hill Harper’s Letters to a Young Brother and Letters to a Young Sister and Judge Mathis’s Inner City Miracle.”
~Mr. Bert Bazemore, HS Counselor
Sharon Draper is know for her urban and historical fiction. Her books are very popular among LFLA high school students, most of whom started reading her when they were in middle school. Sophomore Ashyrha’s favorite book when she was younger was Forged by Fire. She says she liked it because “I love drama books.” In addition to drama books, Ashyrha also enjoys mystery, comedy and books with a message.
Freshman Tracy’s favorite book from when she was younger is one of Draper’s historical fiction books, Fire From the Rock, that tells the story of school integration. Tracy says, “I love reading books about segregation.” Tracy also enjoys urban fiction.
Fire From the Rock is on this year’s high school Book Battle list, and Draper’s newest book, Stella By Starlight is on the middle school Book Battle list. It was inspired by her grandma’s diaries. Watch this video to hear from the author herself about this book.
Throw Back Thursday (Library Style)
“As a kid, I like reading the Anne of Green Gables series and the Dear America series. I liked that those books gave me an escape into different time periods and taught me a little about history. As I got older, I got really into Harry Potter, classics like The Catcher and the Rye and Wuthering Heights, and realistic YA novels. These days, I am growing to like thrillers like The Girl on the Train, The Girl With All the Gifts and Gone Girl (I just noticed these all have the word “girl” in the title, what is that about?), but I still love my realistic YA novels like Fangirl and John Green books. My current “To Read” list has books like Bruiser, Eleanor and Park, and The Room.”
~ Ms. Shea Moore, HS Comm Arts Teacher