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Old 08-01-2018, 07:03 AM   #1
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Nominations for September 2018 • The Shortest, Gladdest Years of Life: School


Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for September 2018. The theme is The Shortest, Gladdest Years of Life: School



Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination.

The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, August 7, 2018. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for four days. The discussion of the selection will start on September 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the August selection, The Great Halifax Explosion, on August 15.

Any questions? See below, or just ask!

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with three nominations:

The Blackboard Jungle by Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain) [Catlady, gmw, issybird]
Amazon U.S. $1.99 | Kobo U.S. $1.99 | Amazon CA $9.99 | Kobo CA $14.39 | Amazon AU $14.45 | Kobo AU $19.35 | Amazon UK, £7.59 | Kobo UK £10.43 | OverDrive, Hoopla, Scribd, Freading
Spoiler:
Quote:
The “shocking” and “suspense-packed” bestseller about one teacher’s stand against student violence, and the basis for the Academy Award–nominated film (The New York Times Book Review).

After serving his country in World War II, Richard Dadier decides to become an English teacher—and for the sin of wanting to make a difference, he’s hired at North Manual Trades High School. A tough vocational school in the East Bronx, Manual Trades is home to angry, unruly teenagers exiled from New York City’s regular public schools. On his first day, Dadier endures relentless mockery and ridicule and makes an enemy of the student body by rescuing a female colleague from a vicious attack.

His fellow educators are bitter, disillusioned, and too afraid of their pupils to risk turning their backs on them in the classroom. But Dadier refuses to give up without a fight. Over the course of the semester, he tries again and again to break through the wall of hatred and scorn and win his students’ respect. The more he learns about their difficult circumstances, the more convinced he becomes that a good teacher can make a difference in their lives. His idealism will be put to the ultimate test, however, when a long-simmering power struggle with his most intimidating student explodes into a violent schoolroom showdown.

The basis for the blockbuster film starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier, Evan Hunter’s The Blackboard Jungle is a brutal, unflinching look at the dark side of American education and an early masterpiece from the author who went on to write the gritty 87th Precinct series as Ed McBain. Drawn from Hunter’s own experiences as a New York City schoolteacher, it is a “nightmarish but authentic” drama that packs a knockout punch (Time).
358 pages

Holes by Louis Sachar [gmw, Dngrsone, Bookworm_Girl]
Amazon US $6.99 | Amazon UK £3.32 | Amazon CA $7.99 | Amazon AU $4.29 | Kobo US $6.99 | Kobo UK £5.39 | Kobo CA $7.99 | Kobo AU $11.32
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:
Quote:
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten- pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.
241 pages

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie [Bookworm_Girl, gmw, fantasyfan]
Amazon Kobo $9.99 | Amazon CA $12.99 | Amazon AU $7.99 | Amazon UK £4.99 | OverDrive
Spoiler:
Quote:
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
230 pages

Goodbye Mr. Chips by James Hilton [drofgnal, fantasyfan, CRussel]
Amazon US $4.70
Spoiler:
Throughout his forty-three-year tenure at Brookfield, “a good public school of the second rate” in eastern England, Arthur Chipping has been Mr. Chips to his students. Beginning with his unpolished first years during the Franco-Prussian War, into the radical changes of the twentieth century and the outbreak of the First World War, Mr. Chips has shaped lives. But Chips has been inspired as well—by the unremarkable and the extraordinary, by his colleagues, by a woman who changes him forever, and not least, by his children, “thousands of them, all boys.”
72 pages

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro [astrangerhere, issybird, Bookpossum]
Amazon | Kobo | Google Play All $9.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.
362 pages

Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl [fantasyfan, Bookpossum, Dazrin]
Spoiler:
As a boy, all sorts of unusual things happened to Roald Dahl. There was the time he and four school friends got their revenge on beastly Mrs Prachett in her sweet shop.
There are stories of holidays in fishing boats, African adventures and the days of tasting chocolate for Cadbury's.
You'll hear tales of horrible school bullies and the motor-car accident when Roald's nose was nearly sliced clean off . . .
Roald Dahl vividly shares his memories; some are funny. Some are painful. Some are unpleasant. All are true.
176 pages

A Separate Peace by John Knowles [drofgnal, CRussel, Dazrin]
Amazon US $10.99
Spoiler:
An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to World War II.

Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.
228 pages

Tunnel In The Sky by Robert Heinlein [Ralph Sir Edward, June, Dazrin]
Spoiler:
Quote:
From the author of STARSHIP TROOPERS comes TUNNEL IN THE SKY, the story of a group of students who are dropped on a foreign planet in order to test their survival skills. When the rescue ship doesn't arrive, they must create a new society and learn to adapt to their new life in the wild… but are their greatest troubles from beasts or fellow man?
227 pages

Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris [Bookpossum, Bookworm_Girl, CRussel]
$US7.99, $C7.99, $A12.99, £0.99 - time to travel again! All from Kobo.
Spoiler:
Quote:
Audere, agere, auferre. To dare, to strive, to conquer. For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher who has been a fixture there for more than thirty years. But this year the wind of unwelcome change is blowing. Suits, paperwork, and information technology are beginning to overshadow St. Oswald's tradition, and Straitley is finally, and reluctantly, contemplating retirement. He is joined this term by five new faculty members, including one who -- unbeknownst to Straitley and everyone else -- holds intimate and dangerous knowledge of St. Oswald's ways and secrets. Harboring dark ties to the school's past, this young teacher has arrived with one terrible goal: to destroy St. Oswald's.

As the new term gets under way, a number of incidents befall students and faculty alike. Beginning as small annoyances -- a lost pen, a misplaced coffee mug -- they are initially overlooked. But as the incidents escalate in both number and consequence, it soon becomes apparent that a darker undercurrent is stirring within the school. With St. Oswald's unraveling, only Straitley stands in the way of its ruin. The veteran teacher faces a formidable opponent, however -- a master player with a bitter grudge and a strategy that has been meticulously planned to the final move, a secret game with very real, very deadly consequences.

A harrowing tale of cat and mouse, this riveting, hypnotically atmospheric novel showcases New York Times bestselling author Joanne Harris's astonishing storytelling talent as never before.
422 pages

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp [Catlady, June, bfisher]
Amazon U.S. $7.99 | Kobo U.S. $8.69 | Amazon CA $8.24 | Kobo CA $10.59 | Amazon AU $8.85 | Kobo AU $11.87 | Amazon UK £5.25 | Kobo UK £6.59 | OverDrive, Hoopla, Scribd, Freading
Spoiler:
Quote:
Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun.

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
292 pages

Last edited by issybird; 08-07-2018 at 06:39 AM. Reason: Through post #54.
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Old 08-01-2018, 07:04 AM   #2
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Titles with one or two nominations:

*Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillian by Richard Roberts [Dngersone]
Amazon $5.99
Spoiler:
Quote:
Penelope Akk is the middle-school daughter of two superheroes who desperately wants her own superpowers to manifest, but as the title suggests, things go a little sideways.
376 pages

Last edited by issybird; 08-07-2018 at 06:38 AM. Reason: Through post #54.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:58 AM   #3
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OK I’ll nominate Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl.
Amazon UK £4.49 (includes Going Solo.)

This is quite easily available for a moderate price as an ebook or obtainable at libraries.

From the review at Amazon UK

“As a boy, all sorts of unusual things happened to Roald Dahl. There was the time he and four school friends got their revenge on beastly Mrs Prachett in her sweet shop.
There are stories of holidays in fishing boats, African adventures and the days of tasting chocolate for Cadbury's.
You'll hear tales of horrible school bullies and the motor-car accident when Roald's nose was nearly sliced clean off . . .
Roald Dahl vividly shares his memories; some are funny. Some are painful. Some are unpleasant. All are true.”

Last edited by fantasyfan; 08-02-2018 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:37 AM   #4
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At the risk of nominating a book everyone has read already (and touching on the literary club's current theme), I nominate the award winning Holes by Louis Sachar.

Amazon US - USD$6.99 | Amazon UK - £3.32 | Amazon CA - CDN$7.99 | Amazon AU - AUD$4.29 | Kobo US - USD$6.99 | Kobo UK £5.39 | Kobo CA - CAD$7.99 | Kobo AU AUD$11.32

From Goodreads:
Quote:
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten- pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.
Ostensibly written for young adults, the writing style is quite direct but not condescending, and the story is fun and has enough layers and depth to keep it interesting whatever your age. It's almost 10 years since I read this and I look forward to revisiting it. The prices for this seem to be all over the place, so shop around and you can probably get a good deal.

(Regarding the fit to the theme: Camp Green Lake is not school precisely, but these are school age kids, and a juvenile corrections facility better reflects how I felt about my early years at high school anyway.)
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:35 PM   #5
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I second Boy: Tales of Childhood. I haven't read it and I like Roald Dahl very much.
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:13 AM   #6
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This has been on my TBR list since I saw the movie with Peter O'Toole. I'll nominate Goodbye Mr. Chips by James Hilton. More of a novella tipping the scales at 72 pages according to Amazon.

Spoiler:
Throughout his forty-three-year tenure at Brookfield, “a good public school of the second rate” in eastern England, Arthur Chipping has been Mr. Chips to his students. Beginning with his unpolished first years during the Franco-Prussian War, into the radical changes of the twentieth century and the outbreak of the First World War, Mr. Chips has shaped lives. But Chips has been inspired as well—by the unremarkable and the extraordinary, by his colleagues, by a woman who changes him forever, and not least, by his children, “thousands of them, all boys.”

Since it was first published in 1934 to international success, Goodbye, Mr. Chips has never been out of print. It was followed by a collection of stories, To You, Mr. Chips, and provided the basis for two award-winning feature films, a stage musical, a radio play, and two television adaptations. Based on Hilton’s experiences as a student at the Leys School, Cambridge, this short novel endures as a revelation of the difference one good teacher can make, and “what the better emotions do toward making people important” (Kirkus Reviews).


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007M0X8KU?tag=ebb-site1-20

Last edited by drofgnal; 08-02-2018 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:15 AM   #7
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I'l also nominate 'A Separate Peace' by John Knowles

Spoiler:
An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to World War II.

Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.


https://www.amazon.com/Separate-Peac...g=ebb-site1-20
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by drofgnal View Post
This has been on my TBR list since I saw the movie with Peter O'Toole. I'll nominate Goodbye Mr. Chips by James Hilton. More of a novella tipping the scales at 72 pages according to Amazon.

Spoiler:
Throughout his forty-three-year tenure at Brookfield, “a good public school of the second rate” in eastern England, Arthur Chipping has been Mr. Chips to his students. Beginning with his unpolished first years during the Franco-Prussian War, into the radical changes of the twentieth century and the outbreak of the First World War, Mr. Chips has shaped lives. But Chips has been inspired as well—by the unremarkable and the extraordinary, by his colleagues, by a woman who changes him forever, and not least, by his children, “thousands of them, all boys.”

Since it was first published in 1934 to international success, Goodbye, Mr. Chips has never been out of print. It was followed by a collection of stories, To You, Mr. Chips, and provided the basis for two award-winning feature films, a stage musical, a radio play, and two television adaptations. Based on Hilton’s experiences as a student at the Leys School, Cambridge, this short novel endures as a revelation of the difference one good teacher can make, and “what the better emotions do toward making people important” (Kirkus Reviews).


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007M0X8KU?tag=ebb-site1-20
Not nominating or seconding yet, I'm still thinking about my options. But for those in Life+50 countries, this book is in the Public Domain and available from FadedPage.
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Old 08-02-2018, 02:54 PM   #9
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I'll second Holes
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:18 PM   #10
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I’ll second Goodbye Mr Chips.
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:41 PM   #11
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This is turning out to be an extremely frustrating category. Every time I think of a title I'd like to consider nominating, it's either unavailable as an e-book, unavailable in all the countries, or prohibitively priced in one or more countries.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:11 PM   #12
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This is turning out to be an extremely frustrating category. Every time I think of a title I'd like to consider nominating, it's either unavailable as an e-book, unavailable in all the countries, or prohibitively priced in one or more countries.
I have exactly the same problem. (Or they are not available at all. . . )
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:08 PM   #13
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This is turning out to be an extremely frustrating category. Every time I think of a title I'd like to consider nominating, it's either unavailable as an e-book, unavailable in all the countries, or prohibitively priced in one or more countries.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
I have exactly the same problem. (Or they are not available at all. . . )
Trying to feel my way a little delicately here. If a book is unavailable in only one market, or prohibitively expensive in only one, why not consider nominating it anyway? People do have their workarounds, whether it's "travel" or pbooks, and what seems an insurmountable objection may not be one.

Not available as an ebook, while not in violation of any rule, is probably a dealbreaker. However, in any case, I wish people would post books they considered but eliminated because of price or availability! I didn't suggest this category, but it's one of my favorites just the same and I'm always looking for books to add!
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:50 PM   #14
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And let's not forget that books can well be available in the library, especially more recent ones.

I agree, it's worth putting them up for people to see whether they think they can get them at a reasonable price or from the library.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:01 PM   #15
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OK, I'm going over to the dark side of school days and nominating The Blackboard Jungle (1954) by Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain).

Quote:
The “shocking” and “suspense-packed” bestseller about one teacher’s stand against student violence, and the basis for the Academy Award–nominated film (The New York Times Book Review).

After serving his country in World War II, Richard Dadier decides to become an English teacher—and for the sin of wanting to make a difference, he’s hired at North Manual Trades High School. A tough vocational school in the East Bronx, Manual Trades is home to angry, unruly teenagers exiled from New York City’s regular public schools. On his first day, Dadier endures relentless mockery and ridicule and makes an enemy of the student body by rescuing a female colleague from a vicious attack.

His fellow educators are bitter, disillusioned, and too afraid of their pupils to risk turning their backs on them in the classroom. But Dadier refuses to give up without a fight. Over the course of the semester, he tries again and again to break through the wall of hatred and scorn and win his students’ respect. The more he learns about their difficult circumstances, the more convinced he becomes that a good teacher can make a difference in their lives. His idealism will be put to the ultimate test, however, when a long-simmering power struggle with his most intimidating student explodes into a violent schoolroom showdown.

The basis for the blockbuster film starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier, Evan Hunter’s The Blackboard Jungle is a brutal, unflinching look at the dark side of American education and an early masterpiece from the author who went on to write the gritty 87th Precinct series as Ed McBain. Drawn from Hunter’s own experiences as a New York City schoolteacher, it is a “nightmarish but authentic” drama that packs a knockout punch (Time).
Amazon U.S., $9.00
Kobo U.S., $11.99

Amazon Canada, CA $9.99
Kobo Canada, CA $14.39

Amazon Australia, AU $14.45
Kobo Australia, AU $19.35

Amazon UK, £7.59
Kobo UK, £10.43

I don't know why there are discrepancies in pricing between Amazon and Kobo. This is an Open Road title, so it may go on sale; unfortunately, it's not in KU.

Also available as an audiobook. E-book and audiobook can be borrowed through Overdrive, Hoopla, and Scribd. E-book also available at Freading.

Last edited by Catlady; 08-02-2018 at 09:26 PM. Reason: added info
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