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Hurricane Song by Paul Volponi. Miles and his dad are new to NOLA when Hurricane Katrina hits and father and son must evacuate to the Superdome. Important to class: shows the complexities of father-son relationships. Important to me: reminds/teaches students about Hurricane Katrina and life in NOLA.

Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall. Selina is a Barbadian immigrant to NYC whose mother craves the American dream and whose father longs for Barbados. Important to class: Caribbean voices are seldom heard in an English classroom. Important to me: for the above reason.

from BuzzFeed

The 21 Best YA Books Of 2013

This Song Will Save Your Life , Leila Sales | The 21 Best YA Books Of 2013

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Follows the orphaned Baudelaire siblings as they combat their nemesis, Cout Olaf. They come up against a rather bleak series of events in doing so. Importance to class: shows how no matter how bad your life gets, there is always something worth living for. Importance to me: shows the importance of family and sibilings

Emma by Jane Austen. Emma is a romantic and self-appointed matchmaker with the best of intentions, but some times her execution is a little off as she learns about love and friendship. Importance to class: considered a classic that offers a good insight to an age-old theme of male-female relationships. Important to me: can engage students with classical lit b/c of its timeless theme of dating and marriage.

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness Chaos Walking book 2. Holy crap. This book series is amazing

from Michelle's Reads

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer, Book 1)

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer, Book 1) by Lish McBride (2010)

Something Rotten by Alan M. Gratz. A retelling of Hamlet in modern times. Important to class: makes Shakespeare accessible to students who may hate the Bard, while putting the story in tems that they may be able to understand in a move obvious way. Important to me: Shakespeare + modern fiction = win

Rikers High by Pal Volponi. Martin is accused of a crime and subsequently incarcerated but later allowed to attend high school in prison, where he meets a teacher who believes in him. Important to class: shows the hardships of prison life and the school-to-prison pipeline. Important to me: shows the positive influence teachers can be in their students' lives