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January 2017 Selection Poll

November 28, 2016

Let’s pick our January book selection! Below are the titles and descriptions of four books that have come up again and again in our book discussions. Vote for the one you’d most like to read in January.

The Yearling, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

An instant bestseller when it was released in 1938, this Pulitzer Prize winner has been read and loved by school-age children across the nation for more than fifty years. In this classic story of the Baxter family and their wild, hard, and satisfying life in remote central Florida, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings has written one of the great novels of our times. A rich and varied tale — tender in its understanding of boyhood, crowded with the excitement of the backwoods hunt, with vivid descriptions of the primitive, beautiful hammock country, written with humor and earthy philosophy — The Yearling is a novel for readers of all ages. Its glowing picture of a life refreshingly removed from modern patterns of living is universal in its revelation of simple courageous people and the beliefs they must live by.

Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.

Elizabeth George Speare won the 1959 Newbery Medal for this portrayal of a heroine whom readers will admire for her unwavering sense of truth as well as her infinite capacity to love.

I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. In October 2012, when she was 15, Malala almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At 16, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Hailed by the Associated Press for its “arresting detail,” I Am Malala will make readers believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

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