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 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: Judge & Jury

James Patterson - Judge & JuryJudge & Jury
by James Patterson & Andrew Gross
First Published: 2006
7 Copies & Reading Guide

Andie DeGrasse, an aspiring actress and single mom, is not your typical juror. Hoping to get dismissed from the pool, she tells the judge that most of her legal knowledge comes from a bit part curling around a stripper’s pole in The Sopranos. But she still ends up as juror #11 in a landmark trial against a notorious mob boss.

The case quickly becomes the new Trial of the Century. Mafia don Dominic Cavello, known as the Electrician, is linked to hundreds of gruesome, unspeakable crimes. Senior FBI agent Nick Pellisante has been tracking him for years. He knows Cavello’s power reaches far beyond the courtroom, but the FBI’s evidence against the ruthless killer is iron-clad. Conviction is a sure thing.

As the jury is about to reach a verdict, the Electrician makes one devastating move that no one could have predicted. The entire nation is reeling, and Andie’s world is shattered. For her, the hunt for the Electrician becomes personal, and she and Pellisante come together in an unbreakable bond: they will exact justice-at any cost.

No Reading Guide?
Reading Group Guides – Basic questions to get your discussion started about any mystery

Curled Up with a Good Book Reviewed March 2007 by Lori West
Goodreads – Find out what fellow readers think at Goodreads.

On the Web:
James Patterson’s Official Website –
The New York Times – “James Patterson, Inc” by Jonathan Mahler

If you enjoyed Judge & Jury, you might like:
The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town (Book Club Kit) by John Grisham
Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline
Unfit to Practice by Perri O’Shaughnessy
Step on a Crack (Book Club Kit) by James Patterson

Book Club Kit: Manhunt

James L Swanson - ManhuntManhunt: The Twelve-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer
by James L Swanson
First Published: 2006
7 Copies & Reading Guide

The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror. A Confederate sympathizer and a member of a celebrated acting family, John Wilkes Booth threw away his fame and wealth for a chance to avenge the South’s defeat. Based on rare archival materials, obscure trial transcripts, and Lincoln’s own blood relics, this book is a fully documented work, but it is also a tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal, an hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters.

Reading Guide:
HarperCollins – Includes an Author Biography and Discussion Questions.
LitLovers – Includes an Author Bio, Brief Reviews, and Discussion Questions.

The New York Times – “Pursuing a Famed Assassin at a Screenplay-Style Pace” by Janet Maslin
CNN – “Review: In Search of Lincoln’s Assassin” by L.D. Meagher
The Independent (UK) – Review by Paul Owen

More by James L. Swanson:
Lincoln’s Assassins: Their Trial and Execution: An Illustrated History
Chasing Linocln’s Killer (YA version of Manhunt)
Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln’s Corpse

More about the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln:
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz
The Civil War [Documentary] by Ken Burns
The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner
Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

Book Club Kit: The Virgin of Small Plains

The Virgin of Small PlainsThe Virgin of Small Plains
by Nancy Pickard
First Published: 2006
10 Copies & Reading Guide

In the midst of a deadly blizzard, eighteen-year-old Rex Shellenberger scours his father’s pasture, looking for helpless newborn calves. Then he makes a shocking discovery: the naked, frozen body of a teenage girl, her skin as white as the snow around her. Even dead, she is the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. It is a moment that will forever change his life and the lives of everyone around him. The mysterious dead girl inspires local reverence. In the two decades following her death, strange miracles visit those who faithfully tend to her grave; some even believe that her spirit can cure deadly illnesses. Slowly, word of the legend spreads. But what really happened in that snow-covered field? Why did young Mitch Newquist disappear the day after the Virgin’s body was found, leaving behind his distraught girlfriend, Abby Reynolds? Why do the town’s three most powerful men — Dr. Quentin Reynolds, former sheriff Nathan Shellenberger, and Judge, Tom Newquist — all seem to be hiding the details of that night?

Reading Guides:
LitLovers – Includes Author Information, Brief Reviews, and Discussion Questions
Kansas Reads – Includes Book Reviews, Author Bio, Discussion Questions and more.

Kirkus ReviewsReviewed on April 1, 2006
Goodreads – Read hundreds (or just a couple) of reviews written by Goodreads community members.

On the Web:
Nancy Pickard’s Website –
Map of Kansas Literature – Nancy Pickard

More by Nancy Pickard:
The Scent of Rain and Lightning
The Whole Truth (Marie Lightfoot Mysteries)
Generous Death (Jenny Cain Mysteries)

If you enjoyed The Virgin of Small Plains, you might like:
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes (Book Club Kit) by Diane Chamberlain
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
Love You More by Lisa Gardner

Book Club Kit: The Innocent Man

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small TownThe Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town
by John Grisham
First Published: 2006
8 Copies & Reading Guide

In 1982, a 21-year-old cocktail watiress was raped and murdered. The police suspected Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, but they had no physical evidence against the two men. Five years later in 1987, the two men were arrested and charged with murder. With the prosecuter’s case built on ineffecient evidence and false testimony, both men were found guilt. Dennis Fritz was given a life sentence, Ron Williamson was sent to death row. The Innocent Man explores America’s justice system and use of the death penalty, but unlike Grisham’s previous works, this one is a true story.

Reading Guide:
LitLovers – Includes Author Information, Reviews, and Discussion Questions
Random House – Includes Discussion Questions and Suggestions for Further Reading

The New York Times – “Grisham Takes on the Mystery of Reality” by Janet Maslin
The New York Times – “True Story” by Edward Lewine
Entertainment Weekly – “Book Review – The Innocent Man” by Jennifer Reese
TIME – “Grisham’s New Pitch” by Lev Grossman

On the Web:
Official Website –
John Grisham on The Innocent Man:

If you liked The Innocent Man, you might enjoy:
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer, America’s Deadliest Serial Murderer by Ann Rule
The Monster of Florence: A True Story by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi
The Lincoln Lawyer (Book Club Kit) by Michael Connelly

Book Club Kit: The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes
by Diane Chamberlain
First Published: 2006
8 Copies & Reading Guide

When a corpse is found in North Carolina–believed to be dead nearly 30 years–people speculate whether it’s the long-missing wife of a former governor. One woman knows the answer. After all, she held the pregnant woman’s hand as she struggled through childbirth so many years ago.

Reading Guide:
Author’s website: Includes Brief Synopsis, Inspiration, Discussion Questions and an Excerpt.

Diane Chamberlain on the Web:
Official Website:
Join other Fans of Diane’s on Facebook!
Read her blog: The Secret Life of Diane Chamberlain

More by Diane Chamberlain:
The Lies We Told
Breaking the Silence
Secrets She Left Behind

If you enjoyed The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, you might like:
The Double Bind (Book Club Kit) by Chris Bohjalian
Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

Have you read The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes? Be sure to tell us what you thought by leaving a comment below!

Book Club Kit: Eat, Pray, Love

Eat Pray Love: One Women's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and IndonesiaEat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
by Elizabeth Gilbert
First Published: 2006
5 Copies & Reading Guide

Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want—a husband, a house, a successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be.
To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world—all alone.

Reading Guide:
Penguin – Includes an Intro to the Book, an Author Interview, and Discussion Questions

The New York Times – “The Road to Bali” by Jennifer Egan
The Washington Post – “Heart and Soul” by Grace Lichtenstein
BookPage – “On the International Road to Recovery” by Megan Brenn-White

On the Web:
Official Author Website –
Video – Authors@Google: Elizabeth Gilbert – Includes Interviews with Elizabeth Gilbert, Spiritual Journeys inspired by the Book, and more.
TEDTalks – Elizabeth Gilbert on Nurturing Creativity

If you enjoyed Eat Pray Love, you might like:
Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
The Geograph of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner

Tell us what you thought of Eat Pray Love by leaving a comment!