Books for back to school
As kids head back to school next week, parents look forward to the school-year routine. This month’s book recommendations are about the effects of education, being in school or the connections formed during the formative schooling years. Drop the kids off at school and pick up a good book.
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover explores the question of what an education is and what it can offer someone who is willing to do anything to attain it. Westover, raised by secluded and survivalist parents, was denied a formal education until she was 17, when she was admitted to a university. On the campus of Brigham Young University, she learned about historical events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement for the first time. The pursuit of education took her across oceans; but did it take her too far to stay connected to her family?
The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister. Chef Lillian brings together a disparate group of individuals to her restaurant for a weekly cooking school. “It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. Brought together by the power of food and companionship, the lives of the characters mingle and intertwine, united by the revealing nature of what can be created in the kitchen,” Goodreads states.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling introduced the famous boy-wizard Harry Potter to the world. In the first of seven primary Potter books, Harry is summoned to attend an unusual school, where he begins an epic hero’s journey to uncover his birthright, learn the ins and outs of wizarding and move closer to his ultimate destiny.
The Reunion by Guillaume Musso is the first book in The Writer’s Trilogy series. This 2019 thriller was a best seller in Musso’s native France. Three once-inseparable friends haven’t spoken in 25 years but are reunited at their elite prep school’s reunion. They are bound together by a terrible secret and a body buried in a gymnasium wall slated for demolition.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly highlights the lives of a handful of African American women who filled in as human computers for NASA during the labor shortage of WWII. The book follows these determined women over nearly three decades of personal and national challenges and triumphs. The 2017 movie of the same name was loosely based on Shetterly’s book.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is a young adult novel about a once-mildly-geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school. By her mid-teens, Frankie has changed. “No longer the kind of girl to take ‘no’ for an answer and possibly a criminal mastermind, this is the story of how she got that way,” states the Goodread blurb.
What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum. When tragedy isolates Kit from her popular friends at school, an unexpected friendship develops with David. His blunt honesty from high functioning autism is bizarrely refreshing to Kit. As the new friends’ bond deepens, Kit asks David to help her find out the truth about her father’s deadly car accident.