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Suggested Reading
Cover of Suggested Reading
Suggested Reading
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In this hilarious and thought-provoking contemporary teen standalone that's perfect for fans of Moxie, a bookworm finds a way to fight back when her school bans dozens of classic and meaningful books.

Clara Evans is horrified when she discovers her principal's "prohibited media" hit list. The iconic books on the list have been pulled from the library and aren't allowed anywhere on the school's premises. Students caught with the contraband will be sternly punished.

Many of these stories have changed Clara's life, so she's not going to sit back and watch while her draconian principal abuses his power. She's going to strike back.

So Clara starts an underground library in her locker, doing a shady trade in titles like Speak and The Chocolate War. But when one of the books she loves most is connected to a tragedy she never saw coming, Clara's forced to face her role in it.

Will she be able to make peace with her conflicting feelings, or is fighting for this noble cause too tough for her to bear?

"Suggested Reading is a beautiful reminder that there is nothing simple about loving a book." —David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Mosquitoland

In this hilarious and thought-provoking contemporary teen standalone that's perfect for fans of Moxie, a bookworm finds a way to fight back when her school bans dozens of classic and meaningful books.

Clara Evans is horrified when she discovers her principal's "prohibited media" hit list. The iconic books on the list have been pulled from the library and aren't allowed anywhere on the school's premises. Students caught with the contraband will be sternly punished.

Many of these stories have changed Clara's life, so she's not going to sit back and watch while her draconian principal abuses his power. She's going to strike back.

So Clara starts an underground library in her locker, doing a shady trade in titles like Speak and The Chocolate War. But when one of the books she loves most is connected to a tragedy she never saw coming, Clara's forced to face her role in it.

Will she be able to make peace with her conflicting feelings, or is fighting for this noble cause too tough for her to bear?

"Suggested Reading is a beautiful reminder that there is nothing simple about loving a book." —David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Mosquitoland

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About the Author-
  • Dave Connis writes words you can sing and words you can read. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife, Clara; two kids (a son and a daughter); and a dog that barks at nonexistent threats. When he's not writing YA or MG, he interprets softwaredeveloper- speak as a technical writer at Skuid, a startup based out of Chattanooga.
Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2019

    Gr 8 Up-When private school senior and self-proclaimed book nerd Clara Evans discovers her principal's list of "contraband media," she rebels by peddling explicit materials from her school locker. Except the contraband she's putting into students' hands are books-The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Eleanor & Park, Speak, The Chocolate War, and a host of other copies removed from the school library. Soon she's circulating dozens of banned titles at lunch, between classes, and after school, even though the new school policy promises harsh punishment for students caught with the prohibited books. While Clara has always found reading to be a transformative experience, now her love of books has become revolutionary. Her smart, funny voice and rebellious streak alternate with moments of doubt as she finds herself at times in over her head. And when one of her most beloved books is connected to a tragedy involving another student, it causes her to question everything. If stories are powerful, is she now responsible? One of the many highlights of this book is the way in which the different characters respond to censorship and the cost of rebellion. As her initial feelings of righteous indignation are challenged by the complexity of the lived experiences of others, Clara and readers start to understand that protest takes many forms, especially when the stakes are high. VERDICT Wry, thought-provoking, rebellious, and predicated on the belief that the right book changes everything. This book is a school librarians' dream, and the well-told story of a frustrated teen fighting for social justice will be a hit with young people, too.-Erin Downey, Boise School District, ID

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2019
    A high school senior takes censorship to task in this engrossing literary love letter. Clara Evans doesn't just love books. They are the language of her life. When she finds out that Lupton Academy--the prestigious Chattanooga private school she attends--has been secretly banning books for years, she realizes that she has a duty to fight back. With the help of the school librarian; her best friend, LiQui Carson; and unexpected allies, she forms an underground book club designed to send the message that literature belongs to everyone. In this compulsively readable novel, Connis (The Temptation of Adam, 2017, etc.) demonstrates deep reverence for literature's ability to create community and challenge our beliefs. Only a true believer could craft a work of such relevance and heart, and every facet of this novel, from chapter headings designed as censored books to finely etched characters and witty teen-speak dialogue, proves this author's worth as a champion of literature. Clara's relationships with major and minor characters feel as authentic as the novel's Tennessee setting, which provides a backdrop for exploring class inequality within the private school world. As Clara--a working-class student competing for a college scholarship--sets out to change her school, she finds herself confronting her own prejudices. An absence of clear physical descriptions makes race difficult to determine. A timely read that will ultimately prove timeless. (Fiction. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) ★ "[An] engrossing literary love letter...A timely read that will ultimately prove timeless."
  • School Library Journal "Wry, thought-provoking, rebellious, and predicated on the belief that the right book changes everything.... the well-told story of a frustrated teen ¬fighting for social justice will be a hit with young -people."
  • Booklist Online "In this thought-provoking novel, Connis tackles themes of censorship, resistance, and the power of the written word through a diverse cast of characters, bold prose, and humor that breaks up even the darkest moments."
  • David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Mosquitoland "Suggested Reading is a beautiful reminder that there is nothing simple about loving a book. I suggest you read it."
  • Randy Ribay, author of After the Shot Drops and Patron Saints of Nothing
    "Audiences will fall in love with this genuine and funny exploration of reading as an act of resistance."
  • C.J. Redwine, New York Times bestselling author "Thought-provoking and impossible to put down."
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    HarperCollins
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