Book Club Kit: Before I Fall

Before I Fall cover imageBefore I Fall
by Lauren Oliver
First Published 2010
10 Copies & Reading Guide

Friday, February 12 is a big day for Samantha Kingston: It’s Cupid Day, when all the kids at school will count the roses they receive to see just how popular they are. It’s the day of Kent McFreaky’s party. It’s the day Sam plans to lose her virginity to her boyfriend, Rob. It’s also the day she dies . . . sort of. Sam is killed in a car crash on Friday, February 12, but she wakes the next morning to that same day, again and again. While living her last day on repeat, Sam discovers that she has a chance to do things over—to do things better. So what does it take to go from being a popular girl who can inflict a dozen small cruelties in a given day to being someone who will be remembered well in her own right? Samantha Kingston is about to find out.

Reading Guide:
ReadingGroupGuides – Includes a Book Description and Discussion Questions

The Hub – Review by Annie Schutte
Booklist Review by Krista Hutley

Author’s Website:

You Might Also Like:

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
November Blues by Sharon M. Draper
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


Book Club Kit: Fablehaven

by Brandon Mull
First Published: 2006
9 Copies & Reading Guide

When Kendra and Seth go to stay at their grandparents’ estate, they discover that it is a sanctuary for magical creatures and that a battle between good and evil is looming.

Reading Guides:
Multnomah County Library – Includes Book Info, Discussion Questions, Snack Suggestions, and more.
Author’s Website — Teacher’s Guide

GoodreadsBrowse hundreds of reviews of Fablehaven by fellow readers.
Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews
– “Review of Audio Book” by Marya Jansen-Gruber
Kirkus’ ReviewReviewed on Aug 1 2006

Author’s Website –

Want to read the rest of the series?

Want more fantasy titles similar to Fablehaven, try…

Book Club Kit: The Lost Hero

Rick Riordan - The Lost HeroThe Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus #1)
by Rick Riordan
First Published: 2010
10 Copies & Reading Guide

Jason, Piper, and Leo, three students from a school for “bad kids,” find themselves at Camp Half-Blood, where they learn that they are demigods and begin a quest to free Hera, who has been imprisoned by Mother Earth herself.

Reading Guide:
Disney Hyperion – Includes information on Mythology, Author Info, Activities, and Discussion Questions.

Scholastic News Kid Press Corps – “Book Review: The Lost Hero” by Gowtham Balaji
Lesa’s Book Critiques – “Review” by Lesa (an Arizona Librarian)
Kirkus Reviews – “Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero” by Vicky Smith 

On the Web:
The Online World of Rick Riordan – Filled with fun information about all of his books.
The Heroes of Olympus website – Includes Printables, Character Info, and more.
Arts Beat – “Rick Riordan’s Favorite Childhood Books” by Pamela Paul
Goodreads – Reader written trivia questions and quizzes.

Want to read more like this? Try…

Book Club Kit: The Book Thief

Markus Zusak - The Book ThiefThe Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
First Published: 2006
10 Copies & Reading Guide

Liesel Meminger is only nine years old when she is taken to live with the Hubermanns, a foster family, on Himmel Street in Molching, Germany, in the late 1930s. She arrives with few possessions, but among them is The Grave Digger’s Handbook, a book that she stole from her brother’s burial place. During the years that Liesel lives with the Hubermanns, Hitler becomes more powerful, life on Himmel Street becomes more fearful, and Liesel becomes a fullfledged book thief. She rescues books from Nazi book-burnings and steals from the library of the mayor. Liesel is illiterate when she steals her fi rst book, but Hans Hubermann uses her prized books to teach her to read. This is a story of courage, friendship, love, survival, death, and grief. This is Liesel’s life on Himmel Street, told from Death’s point of view.

Reading Guide:
ReadingGroupGuides – Includes Critical Praise, Author Info, and Discussion Questions

The New York Times – “Stealing to Settle a Score with Life” by Janet Maslin and “Fighting for Their Lives” by John Green
The Guardian (UK) – “It’s a Steal” by Philip Ardagh
USA Today – “‘The Book Thief’ Rises Above Horrors of War” by Carol Memmott
The Washington Post – “The Power of Words” by Elizabeth Chang

On the Web:
Author’s Website –
The Guardian (UK) – “Why I Write: Markus Zusak” interview by Sarah Kinson

If you enjoyed The Book Thief, you might like these:
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
City of Thieves (Book Club Kit) by David Benioff
Sarah’s Key (Book Club Kit) by Tatiana de Rosnay

Food Bonus!

Check out The Book Club Cook Book for Markus Zusak’s Vanilla Kipferl (aka Crescent Cookies) recipe!

Book Club Kit: The Ask & The Answer

Patrick Ness - The Ask and the AnswerThe Ask & The Answer (Chaos Walking #2)
by Patrick Ness
First Published: 2009
8 Copies & Reading Guide

Don’t miss the first book in the series: The Knife of Never Letting Go

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s terrifying new order. But everything is shrouded in secrets. Where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then one day, the bombs begin to explode…

Reading Guide:
The Reading Agency Reading Guide – Includes Author Info and Discussion Topics

Presenting LenoreReviewed February 2010 by Lenore Appelhans
Rhapsody in BooksReviewed January 2010

On the Web:
Patrick Ness’ Official Website –
BBC News – “Writer for teens wins Costa Book Award

If you enjoyed The Ask and The Answer, you might like:
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Book Club Kit: Hatchet

by Gary Paulsen
First Published: 1987
10 Copies & Reading Guide

After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the Canadian wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents’ divorce.

Reading Guide:
LitLovers – Includes Author Information, Brief Reviews, and Discussion Questions

Goodreads – Find out what fellow readers think over at Goodreads…and leave your thoughts, too!

Gary Paulsen’s Official Website:

Brian’s Saga Continued:
The River (#2)
Brian’s Winter (#3)
Brian’s Return (#4)
Brian’s Hunt (#5)

If you enjoyed Hatchet, you might like:
The Things a Brother Knows (Book Club Kit) by Dana Reinhardt
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Book Club Kit: Twilight

by Stephenie Meyer
First Published: 2005
6 Copies & Reading Guide

Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife — between desire and danger.

Reading Guide:
LitLovers – Includes Author Information, Brief Reviews, and Discussion Questions

Booklist OnlineReviewed November 15, 2005 by Ilene Cooper
Goodreads – Find out what fellow readers think of Twilight and leave your own thoughts!

On the Web:
Stephenie Meyer’s Official Website –
Read the book? Now watch the movie – Check our Catalog!
Twilight Saga Wiki – Want to know more about the books and movies? Check out the Twilight collaborative community at the Twilight Saga Wiki.

More by Stephenie Meyer:
New Moon (Twilight Saga #2)
Eclipse (Twilight Saga #3)
Breaking Dawn (Twilight Saga #4)
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Twilight Saga #3.5)
The Host

If you enjoyed Twilight, you might like:
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Book Club Kit: The Things a Brother Knows

The Things a Brother KnowsThe Things a Brother Knows
by Dana Reinhardt
First Published: 2010
9 Copies & Reading Guide

Finally, Levi Katznelson’s older brother, Boaz, has returned. Boaz was a high school star who had it all and gave it up to serve in a war Levi can’t understand. Things have been on hold since Boaz left. With the help of his two best friends Levi has fumbled his way through high school, weary of his role as little brother to the hero. But when Boaz walks through the front door after his tour of duty is over, Levi knows there’s something wrong. Boaz is home, safe. But Levi knows that his brother is not the same. Maybe things will never return to normal. Then Boaz leaves again, and this time Levi follows him, determined to understand who his brother was, who he has become, and how to bring him home again.

Reading Guide:
Random HouseTeacher’s Guide with Discussion Questions

A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy @ School Library Journal – “Review” by Elizabeth Burns
Goodreads – Find out what fellow readers think at Goodreads.

Dana Reinhardt Website:

More by Dana Reinhardt:
How to Build a House
A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life

You might like these, too:
Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
Tamar by Mal Peet
Sweet, Hereafter by Angela Johnson

Book Club Kit: The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1)The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1)
by Patrick Ness
First Published: 2008
10 Copies & Reading Guide

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee, whose thoughts Todd can hear, too, whether he wants to or not, stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden.

Reading Guide:
Walker Books – Teacher Notes – Includes questions, theme information, and more
YHS Junior Community Book Discussion – Includes questions written by Book Club participants

The Guardian (UK) – “The Silent Bark” by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Guardian (UK) – “And the Winner Is…” by Julia Eccleshare

On the Web:
Patrick Ness’ Official Website –
Watch fan-made book trailers and reviews on YouTube.

If you enjoyed The Knife of Never Letting Go, read the rest of the trilogy:
The Ask and The Answer (Chaos Walking #2)
Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3)

You might like these, too:
Unwind (Book Club Kit) by Neal Shusterman
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Book Club Kit: Unwind

by Neal Shusterman
First Published: 2007
8 Copies & Reading Guide

Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

Reading Guide:
Simon & Schuster – Includes Discussion Topics, Activities, and Character Descriptions

The New York Times – “Young and In the Way” by Ned Vizzini
Common Sense Media – “Book Review” by Matt Berman – “Review” by Norah Piehl

On the Web:
Neal Shusterman’s Website –
Coming Soon! Check out the Unwind Movie Website
Follow Neal on Twitter: @NealShusterman 
Or if you’re not into tweeting – Like Neal on Facebook.
Find fanmade book trailers and watch an unofficial Unwind Movie Trailer (below) on Youtube:

If you liked Unwind, you might enjoy:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Ugliesby Scott Westerfeld
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood