Jewish American Literature

Including Pulitzer Prize winners like Art Spiegelman's groundbreaking Maus and Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, the texts in this collection celebrate the literary contributions and stories of Jewish Americans.

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Teams, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Fantasy, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Class

Publication year 1966Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: BeautyTags Arts / Culture

Publication year 1947Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Relationships: Family, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Play: Tragedy, Classic Fiction, American Literature, Military / War

All My Sons is a play by Arthur Miller, first performed in 1947. Based on a true story, All My Sons tells the story of a munitions factory owner who is accused of producing defective engines for aircraft. The play received many awards, ran for 328 shows on Broadway, and has been twice adapted as a film. This guide is based on the 2015 Penguin Classics edition of Miller’s Collected Plays. Plot SummaryJoe Keller is... Read All My Sons Summary

Publication year 1982Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Society: Community, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Philosophy, History: World, Sociology, Politics / Government, Modernism

Publication year 2007Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, History: World, WWII / World War II, Holocaust

A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy, first published in Germany 2007, is author Thomas Buergenthal's account of his childhood during the Nazi Occupation. Buergenthal was 6 years old when forced to abandon his home and spend the rest of his childhood running from Nazis and struggling to survive the Holocaust. Buergenthal’s horrific journey took him through bombings, labor camps, concentration camps, and “death marches.” He lost most of his... Read A Lucky Child Summary

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Space & The Universe, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: WarTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, LGBTQ, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 1975Genre Play, FictionThemes Relationships: FriendshipTags Play: Drama, American Literature, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Drama / Tragedy

American Buffalo is a 1975 off-Broadway play written by American playwright David Mamet. It first premiered in Chicago’s Goodman Theater in 1975, reaching Broadway in 1977. Along with two other plays, The Duck Variations (1971) and Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1974), American Buffalo established Mamet as a reputable writer. The play explores friendship and greed among the working classes. The 1976 publication from Grove Press (New York) serves as the basis for this guide.The play... Read American Buffalo Summary

Publication year 1997Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: FateTags Historical Fiction, American Literature, Relationships

American Pastoral (1997) by Philip Roth examines in detail one man’s quest for the American dream and the fragility of the entire enterprise. Roth, one of the most critically acclaimed novelists of the 20th century, focuses his narrative microscope through the eyes of Nathan Zuckerman, his literary alter ego from whose perspective he has written 10 other novels, including Zuckerman Unbound (1981), The Anatomy Lesson (1983), and The Human Stain (2000). Roth has won virtually... Read American Pastoral Summary

Publication year 1985Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Education, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Sociology, Philosophy, Technology, Information Age, Education

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business is a nonfiction book by Neil Postman, published in 1985. Postman was a professor of education and communication at New York University with a special interest in the role of technology and media in society. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York in Fredonia and a master’s degree and doctorate from the Teachers College of Columbia University. In... Read Amusing Ourselves to Death Summary

Publication year 1993Genre Play, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Play: Drama, LGBTQ, History: U.S.

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by the American playwright Tony Kushner is an epic story that spans two plays – Millennium Approaches, first produced in 1991, and Perestroika, which debuted in 1992. The entire two-part work premiered on Broadway in 1993. Angels in America is Kushner’s most well-known work and is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most significant American plays of the 20th century. Angels in America... Read Angels in America Summary

Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Society: ColonialismTags Classic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Annie John, published in 1985, is the second book by the Antiguan American author Jamaica Kincaid (née Elaine Cynthia Potter Richardson). Annie John is a coming-of-age novel that follows the life of a young girl from age 10 to 17, until she leaves her home in Antigua, bound for nursing school in England. In the novel, Annie describes her most important relationships, and the bond with her mother is chief among them. Life is heaven... Read Annie John Summary

Publication year 1938Genre Novella, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Equality, Society: Politics & Government, Society: Community, Self DiscoveryTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Classic Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Philosophy

Anthem is a short novella written by Ayn Rand and published in 1938. Rand is known for her polarizing fiction, which includes the well-known novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. She is also known as the founder of a controversial philosophy known as Objectivism. In 1987, Anthem won the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Hall of Fame Award. Since its publication, the novella has been met with mixed reviews due to the controversy around its Objectivist themes... Read Anthem Summary

Publication year 1980Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Society: Class, Society: Immigration, Society: Community, Society: Economics, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags History: U.S., Politics / Government, Social Justice, Race / Racism

Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is one of the most famous American history books published in recent decades. It has sold over two million copies. First published in 1980, the book was nominated for the American Book Award and has gone through at least six major revisions. Although controversial when first published, the book has become comfortably mainstream. It is mentioned by name in the film Good Will Hunting and the... Read A People’s History of the United States Summary

Publication year 1970Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Grandparents, Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is a 1970 middle-grade novel by bestselling American author Judy Blume. The story focuses on 11-year-old Margaret Ann Simon and her family’s move to New Jersey at the beginning of her sixth-grade year. As Margaret navigates her new public school and new friend dynamics, she struggles to form a positive self-image about her changing body and starts exploring her religious beliefs. Although it was not Blume’s first novel... Read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Summary

Publication year 1957Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Economics, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Classic Fiction, Philosophy

The novel Atlas Shrugged (1957) was written by Russian American author Ayn Rand. Widely considered to be the author’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged is a divisive text that has remained popular in the public consciousness despite harsh criticism from academics and philosophers across the political spectrum. Set in a dystopian US wherein the collectivist government bureaucracy has a stranglehold on industry, the narrative follows protagonist Dagny Taggart as she fights to defend her family’s transcontinental... Read Atlas Shrugged Summary

Publication year 1983Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Prose poetry, Post Modernism

Publication year 1955Genre Play, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Identity: Masculinity, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Play: Drama, Play: Tragedy, Drama / Tragedy

A View from the Bridge is a two-act play by American playwright Arthur Miller. Originally staged as a one-act on Broadway in 1955, Miller expanded the play to two acts and re-debuted the final version in London in 1956. Ten major revivals have been staged in New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, London, and Manchester since then. The play has received drama awards, including multiple Tonys, and has been adapted as feature films, TV movies, and... Read A View from the Bridge Summary

Publication year 2007Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Society: Class, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: Community, Society: Globalization, Society: War, Identity: Race, Society: Politics & Government, Society: Economics, Society: ImmigrationTags History: U.S., Social Justice, Politics / Government

Publication year 2007Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Addiction / Substance Abuse

Published in 2008, David Sheff’s memoir, Beautiful Boy, explores his experiences of coming to terms with his son’s addiction to methamphetamine. Sheff and his wife Vicki are overjoyed when they have their son, Nic. For the first three years, they live a happy, contented life, providing Nic with everything he needs. However, when Sheff and Vicki's marriage collapses, Nic, now aged three, is deeply affected by the change. This worsens when Sheff and Vicki move... Read Beautiful Boy Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Equality, Society: Community, Society: Education, Society: Politics & Government, Identity: DisabilityTags Disability, Social Justice, History: U.S., Politics / Government

Publication year 1970Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Satire, Humor, American Literature

Polish-born author Jerzy Kosiński (1933-1991) wrote Being There, published in 1970. The novella satirizes mid-20th-century politics and culture, focusing on the twin pillars of bureaucracy and the media as vehicles for the deterioration of modern thought. Kosiński grew up in Soviet-controlled Poland and came to the United States in 1957. In 1958, he was awarded a Ford Foundation fellowship. He studied at the New School and Columbia University in New York, where he received a... Read Being There Summary

Publication year 1929Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Beauty, Identity: Femininity, Relationships: Marriage, Identity: Mental HealthTags Relationships, Depression / Suicide, Modern Classic Fiction, Mental Illness, Addiction / Substance Abuse

“Big Blonde” is a short story written by Dorothy Parker. It was first published in 1929 in The Bookman (a prestigious New York City literary magazine) and won the O. Henry competition for the best story that same year. It was later published in Parker’s 1930 short-story collection Laments for the Living.This study guide refers to the online flipbook version of “Big Blonde.”Content Warning: The source text contains references to domestic violence, alcohol addiction, and... Read Big Blonde Summary

Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

Published in 2004, Alice Hoffman’s novel Blackbird House chronicles a house on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and its inhabitants over a 200-year span. The story, which invokes elements of magical realism, begins during the War of 1812 and ends in the present day. Shifting between first-person and third-person point-of-view, the novel delves into the themes of Love as Motivation, Resilience Resulting from Adversity, and The Power of Place in Shaping Lives.This guide refers to the 2005... Read Blackbird House Summary

Publication year 1978Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Natural World: ObjectsTags Science / Nature, Confessional

Publication year 1962Genre Poem, FictionTags Lyric Poem, Free verse, Social Justice, Civil Rights / Jim Crow, Cold War, American Literature

Publication year 1974Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FriendshipTags Bullying, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Children's Literature, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1925Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Immigration / Refugee, Jewish Literature

Bread Givers is a 1925 novel by Anzia Yezierska. As a Jewish-American who emigrated to America from Poland, Yezierska uses her life experience growing up in New York as a basis for the novel. The novel follows Sara Smolinsky, a Jewish-American girl, as she grows up in New York in the 1920s with her sisters. Sara pushes the bounds of her father Reb Smolinsky’s patriarchal belief system as she pursues an education and career. The... Read Bread Givers Summary

Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Russian Literature

Publication year 1984Genre Play, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: SiblingsTags Play: Drama, Play: Comedy / Satire, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Love / Sexuality, Great Depression, WWII / World War II, Poverty, Relationships, Religion / Spirituality

Brighton Beach Memoirs is a semi-autobiographical play by American playwright Neil Simon. It is the first play in Simon’s Eugene Trilogy and follows its young protagonist as he grapples with adolescence and identity in the midst of the Great Depression. Its initial 1983 Broadway run enjoyed critical acclaim and won several awards. Most notably, actor Matthew Broderick won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor for originating the role of Eugene. Despite its initial success... Read Brighton Beach Memoirs Summary

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Siblings, Self DiscoveryTags Fantasy, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman, first published in 2010, is a young adult novel. It explores the life of Brewster “Bruiser” Rawlins, a high school student who has the ability to take pain away from those he cares about. Through his supernatural ability, the novel explores themes of Finding Emotional Balance, The Complications of Empathy, and The Dangers of Excessive Dependence on Others. Shusterman is the author of dozens of young adult novels, short stories, and works... Read Bruiser Summary

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Identity: LanguageTags Romance, LGBTQ, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

IntroductionCall Me By Your Name by André Aciman is a piece of literary fiction in the subgenres of romance literature and queer literature. Published in 2007, the novel became a bestseller, received positive critical reception, and won the 2008  Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction. The 2017 film adaptation of Call Me By Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, won, among other accolades, the Academy Award for Best... Read Call Me By Your Name Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Society: CommunityTags Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Fantasy, Romance, Action / Adventure, Class, Love / Sexuality, LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism, Grief / Death

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007) is the first in the Mortal Instruments series of young adult urban fantasy novels, followed by City of Ashes. The book follows a seemingly ordinary 15-year-old girl as she learns she is descended from an ancient race of demon hunters. City of Bones is a New York Times bestseller and inspired several media adaptations, including a graphic novel of the same name (3rd World... Read City of Bones Summary

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: SiblingsTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Romance, Grief / Death, Love / Sexuality

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (Walker Books, 2009) is the third installment of the young adult urban fantasy Mortal Instruments series and chronicles an epic Shadowhunter battle against an old foe’s return. City of Glass was a finalist for the Teen Choice Book of the Year and for the 2009 Goodreads Choice Awards. Clare was born in Iran to American parents. She spent several years traveling before she settled in the United States, where... Read City of Glass Summary

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Clockwork Angel is the first book in Cassandra Clare’s historical fantasy trilogy The Infernal Devices, a prequel to the internationally bestselling series The Mortal Instruments. Clockwork Angel was first published in 2010, followed by Clockwork Prince in 2011 and Clockwork Princess in 2013. The trilogy follows Theresa (Tessa) Gray, an American girl in Victorian London, who discovers she is a member of the Shadow World, the hidden world of supernatural creatures, angels, and demons. Clockwork... Read Clockwork Angel Summary

Publication year 1980Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Space & The Universe, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Place, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: Education, Society: Globalization, Society: WarTags Science / Nature, History: World, Philosophy

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Identity: DisabilityTags Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature, Disability

Counting by 7s is Holly Goldberg Sloan's first middle-grade novel, published in 2013. A New York Times bestseller, this contemporary story draws upon themes relevant to Sloan's own life. The novel is set in present-day Bakersfield, California, which Sloan says is “emblematic of the characters,” in the sense that it is “often overlooked.”Plot SummaryThe novel's protagonist is 12-year-old Willow Chance, a “highly gifted” girl fascinated by the number seven, plants, and medicine. She knows she... Read Counting by 7s Summary

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David Graeber
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Publication year 2011Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Economics, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Society: CommunityTags History: World, Business / Economics, Finance / Money / Wealth, Anthropology, Sociology

Publication year 1973Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: GenderTags Gender / Feminism, Lyric Poem

“Diving into the Wreck” is the title poem of Adrienne Rich’s 1973 National Book Award-winning collection. A 94-line, ten stanza free verse poem, the work encompasses Rich’s thematic concerns of radical feminism and art and examines how gender functions within the larger context of culture, literature, and oral tradition.Rich’s mid-career poem came about during a period of intense change in her life. While her earlier poems had been more traditional in form and topic, over... Read Diving into the Wreck Summary

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Siblings, Self DiscoveryTags Humor, Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature

Double Fudge (2002) is the fifth and final book in the popular children’s series by bestselling American author Judy Blume. The Fudge series begins with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and includes Superfudge, Fudge-a-Mania, and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great. The Fudge series was published across three decades and follows the lives of the Hatcher family, and most of the novels feature Peter Hatcher and his younger brother Fudge, who is always getting... Read Double Fudge Summary

Publication year 1999Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies

Publication year 1979Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Place, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Lyric Poem, Grief / Death

Publication year 2009Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: EnvironmentTags Food, Philosophy, Animals, Health / Medicine

Eating Animals is a nonfiction book written by Jonathan Safran Foer and published originally in 2009. Foer is an accomplished novelist, and Eating Animals is his first foray into long-form nonfiction writing. The book fits into a genre of criticism of the food industry, specifically factory farming and animal welfare. Eating Animals is a New York Times bestseller, though it met with mixed reviews regarding both the content and style of Foer’s writing. In 2018... Read Eating Animals Summary

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Ottessa Moshfegh
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Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh was published in 2015 and won the PEN/Hemingway award for debut fiction. The novel is set in 1964. It follows the story of Eileen, a woman planning to escape her life in the New England town of X-ville. Eileen is characterized by self-loathing, depression, and body dysmorphia, all of which developed due to her abusive and neglectful childhood. Before she leaves X-ville forever, Eileen must come to terms with her own... Read Eileen Summary

Publication year 2023Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Relationships: Fathers, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Business / Economics, Science / Nature, Leadership/Organization/Management

Publication year 1995Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Society: EducationTags Self Help, Psychology

In Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Daniel Goleman discusses how The Components of Emotional Intelligence, like self-awareness, empathy, and social skills, shape an individual’s life. He explores key themes, such as The Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Personal and Professional Success, The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Traditional IQ, and Emotional Intelligence Affecting Mental Health and Interpersonal Relationships. This guide refers to the 1995 Bantam Books hardcover edition. Content Warning: The... Read Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ Summary

Publication year 1941Genre Book, NonfictionTags Psychology

Escape From Freedom is a book of social psychology written by Erich Fromm in 1941. A German-Jewish psychoanalyst, Fromm had been a member of Frankfurt’s influential Institute for Social Research before fleeing the Nazis and relocating to the United States. In Escape From Freedom, Fromm uses ideas from both psychology and sociology to explain humanity’s ambivalent relation to freedom, with a particular attention paid to the rise of Nazism in Germany. The first two chapters of... Read Escape From Freedom Summary

Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Siblings, Self DiscoveryTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure

Best-selling and award-winning novelist Neal Shusterman published the fantasy novel Everlost in 2006. It is the first novel in the young adult Skinjacker trilogy, which also includes Everwild (2009) and Everfound (2011). Everlost explores what might lie between life and death and incorporates a rich cast of characters, all of whom are children. The novel has won multiple awards and distinctions, including being included among the 2009 Garden State Teen Book Award nominees and the... Read Everlost Summary

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Auto/Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Holocaust

Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer’s first book, was originally published by Houghton Mifflin in 2002. A portion of the book had been published previously in The New Yorker. The novel won several awards, including the National Jewish Book Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Young Lions Fiction Award. The book received rave reviews but also received some criticism for its fictional portrayal of historical events. In response to this criticism, Safran Foer... Read Everything Is Illuminated Summary

Publication year 2014Genre Book, NonfictionTags Sociology

William Deresiewicz’s 2014 nonfiction book Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life examines elite education in America in the 21st century and finds it sorely lacking. By “elite education,” Deresiewicz is referring to the Ivy League schools and a handful of top-tier universities just below the Ivy League. Having spent over two decades in the Ivies as both a student and professor, Deresiewicz speaks from his own... Read Excellent Sheep Summary