Let Our Students Recommend Your Next Great ReadDo you love to lose yourself in a good book? Do you read each article in the newspaper or magazines? Some of the most unique stories – The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Twilight – have transcended literature into film, while some of the best journalistic articles have exposed corruption and celebrated historic victories. Check out the list of books and articles our students are reading and their opinions on them. Who knows, perhaps one will be the next pop-culture phenomenon or Pulitzer Prize-winning article.
by Solomon Northrup Year Published: first published in 1853
Casey Goyette, a sophomore from Uxbridge, read 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup. This is the true story of Solomon Northup, who was born and raised as a freeman in New York. He lived the American dream, with a house and a loving family - a wife and two kids. Then one day he was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in the deep-south. These are the true accounts of his twelve years as a slave.
“I enjoyed reading this book. My favorite character was the main character, Solomon Northup. He goes from having a comfortable life in New York to becoming a slave in the South. His one hope throughout the book was to escape slavery and return to his home and family in the North. I admire his courage and determination to achieve that goal. Northrup is the text-book definition of determination. Despite failing at several attempts to gain his freedom, he continues to try and eventually succeeds.”
“I recommend this book as it is an informative and interesting read. It is a great representation of the horrors of slavery, and gives the reader an insight into what slavery is like from someone who wasn’t always a slave. It’s something that everyone should read at some point.”
by J.R.R. Tolkien Year Published: 1954
Daniel MCDonald, a junior from Grafton, read The Fellowship of the Ring J. R. R. Tolkien. This book is the first of three volumes in The Lord of the Rings, an epic set in the fictional world of Middle-earth. This book tells the story of the Dark Lord Sauron who is seeking the One Ring. The Ring has found its way to the young hobbit Frodo Baggins. The fate of Middle-earth hangs in the balance as Frodo and eight companions who form the Fellowship of the Ring begin their journey to Mount Doom in the land of Mordor, the only place where the Ring can be destroyed.
“I enjoyed reading The Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkein does a great job making the world feel both believable and fantastic. My favorite character was Gandalf because as the protagonist or main character in this novel, he is responsible for setting most of the events into motion. He also has some interesting character development over the course of the series.”
Daniel recommends this book, "It is a classic tale of fantasy literature. It remains an interesting read and an inspiration for current fantasy and science fiction series as the source of origin for some of their most common elements.”
by Ray Bradbury Year Published: 1953
Neve Johnson, a senior from Sutton, read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This book presents a future American society where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction. Firemen start fires rather than put them out. Books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found.
“I enjoyed reading Fahrenheit 451 because it was so easy to get lost in the pages. It is a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and will immediately suck you in, the language is immaculate and enamoring. My favorite character was Clarisse McClellan, because although the whole world accepted the things set in front of them, she looked forward to something more. The people in their world were mostly like Guy Montag’s wife, Mildred, sitting around listening to the Family in the four walls all day, or like the rowdy teenagers speeding along the road in the fun parks. However, Clarisse sought to spend time outside and observe the world around her. I feel like the part of her that drew Montag in was how accepting she was, when people like Mildred would drown him out with the seashell ear-thimbles, Clarisse would sit and listen to Montag and ask him questions about his life, no matter how strange they were. I enjoyed Clarisse the most because she was the most human and child-like, life was simple in her eyes and she changed the entire directory of Montag’s monotonous life that he had learned to settle for.”
“I find to be a layered and complex book, with many takeaways that can be looked into. Mainly, it glazes over the damage done by a corrupt society where people aren’t allowed knowledge unless it’s given to them through the controlled media. To put it simply, it shows the negative effects of censorship and how it can be allowed to lord over people when they become ignorant and readily accept what they’re given. Personally, I like to think the central message as one of connection. In Montag’s journey, he was controlled by societal figures, such as Officer Beatty, and an unhappy marriage severed by technology. For many years, that is the life he dealt with because he thought that it was all there was for him. However, the people he ends up interacting with (such as Clarisse McClellan) let him know that this is not the case; human interaction is not only vital to a fulfilling existence, but the echoes of their influence have the power to change your entire life.”
"I would recommend this book to friends and family. In fact, a dear friend of mine recommended this book to me. It is a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and will immediately suck you in, the language is immaculate and enamoring. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who desires to be transported to a foreign dystopian future and recognize the importance of what it is to be truly connected in humanity."
by History.com Editors Year Published: 2018
Elizabeth Fox, a junior from Uxbridge, read Berlin Airlift by the editors of History.com. This fact-filled article outlines and explains the Berlin Airlift, one of the first major international crises of the Cold War.
“It was a wonderful source for a portion of my history midterm project,” Elizabeth said. “I would recommend this article to my classmates who may have a similar topic for an essay. I enjoyed reading the article because it was full of historical background information and gave an accurate timeline of the events of the Berlin airlift.”
by Jaye Murray Year Published: 2004
Issabella Chong, a freshman from Whitinsville, read Bottled Up by Jaye Murray. This book tells a very harsh and honest story of a troubled boy named Pip who is trying to take care of his little brother while dealing with family drama.
“My favorite character in the book would have to be Pip’s younger bother Mikey. Mikey is six years old and is a very curious kid. He reminds me of my little sister,” Issabella said. Mikey is always asking questions, which causes Pip to give him the nickname “Bugs.” Mikey is also very unaware of most of the situations happening at home. I would recommend this book to my friends because a lot of them are going through some similar problems.”
by Rupi Kaur Year Published: 2014
Gabrielle Muscatell, a junior from Douglas, read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. This book is a collection of poetry and prose reflects life’s bitter sweet moments.
“My favorite poem in this book was ‘what’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn," said Gabrielle. "It taught me that everything I need is within me. When the world and people around us try to break us down, we must stay truthful to ourselves."
by Dan Brown Year Published: 2009
Jon Cili, a freshman from Blackstone, read The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. This book is filled with mystery, action, and historical facts.
“I absolutely loved reading this book," Jon said. "This book is so great because it combines thrilling action with real, historical facts and knowledge that are crucial to the plot. Other books might incorporate real facts in their stories, but nothing on the level of The Lost Symbol."
by Chris Colfer Year Published: 2017
Freshman Amber Ells from Uxbridge read The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide by Chris Colfer. The book is the sixth in The Land of Stories series, and Amber says it’s just as enjoyable as the first five.
“The book gives you so much descriptive detail that you have a clear picture of the world the characters are exploring,” Amber said. “I would recommend this book to someone who likes to laugh and enjoys adventures. This book is action packed… Anyone who enjoys a good adventure would enjoy this book and the entire Land of Stories series.”
by Elise Broach Year Published: 2005
Allana Atstupenas, a freshman from Blackstone, read Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach. The book is a fast-paced story that includes both mystery and historical insights.
"I really enjoyed reading the book and I loved the book itself," Allana said. "It was mysterious, adventurous, and connected to the readers really well. It gave you little details so you can solve the mystery with the multiple characters who were trying to find the diamond, so it kept me engaged. If you are looking for something exciting that takes you away for a little bit like you are in a movie then this is a great book to read because it gives so many details that help you visualize what is going on. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat to anyone."