Time Flies When You’re Reading Books

By Diane Foote, Hal Patnott and Alena Rivers

The Butler Center has received hundreds of books published this year, or to-be-published in the coming months, and the Butler Center staff has been busy reviewing dozens of these books! Our list of books that we would like to read outpaces our time to read them. Our hope is to squeeze in a few hours before fall classes begin so we can read at least one more book from our list. Here is a sampling of titles that we plan to read over the next couple of weeks. What’s on your last minute list?


The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion 2017)

Salvador Silva experiences the world through the words he meets. See, “words only existed in theory” until “one ordinary day you ran into a word…met it face to face. And then that word became someone you knew” (16). As Salvador’s senior year of high school begins and his Mima’s health starts to fail, new words like “college” and “cancer” loom on his horizon. For the first time, he starts to question who he is and whether he has value.

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown, 2016)

Dèja is a fifth grade student starting off in a new school. As the 15th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Dèja’s teacher begins a lesson about the events of 9/11. Dèja and her new friends learn not only about 9/11 but also how it has impacted their nation and their own lives. Dèja discovers more about her family, as they cope with financial struggles while living in a shelter, and she begins to understand the role 9/11 has played in shaping her life. A diverse set of characters lends different voices to this exploration of a topic that is still new to many of our youth.

Booked by Kwame Alexander (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016)

One of the most buzzed-about books of the year features high-school soccer star Nick Hall as he copes with his linguistic professor father’s “verbomania,” a disinclination to pay attention in class, and the fact that his best friend Coby will now be playing for Nick’s team’s toughest opponent. But nothing shakes Nick the way he’s shaken by a sudden announcement his parents make, throwing the rest of his problems into perspective. Written in verse style familiar from Alexander’s Newbery Medal-winner Crossover (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014), Nick’s compelling first-person account is one we’re a little embarrassed not to have read yet.