Teens Dig Deeper Challenge: Weekly Themes & Readings

Reading Recommendations (updated weekly!)

Going Blue: A Teen Guide to Saving Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands
Learn about trash islands, factory fishing, bottled water, runoff pollution – and more importantly, learn how to do something about it! Going Blue educates readers about the earth’s water crisis and gives tools and inspiration to transform ideas into action. With lively photos and practical suggestions, the book helps teens plan and do a meaningful service project that benefits our planet’s water system. Special sections include a history of ocean exploration with a profile of Jacques Cousteau; an interview with Philippe Cousteau; and stories of young people around the world addressing water issues.
The Hush by Skye Melki-Wegner
Chester has taken to the road, traveling from village to village desperately searching for his father, who has disappeared. One night while fiddling to earn a few coins, he accidentally connects to the Song -- the music that fuels every aspect of the world, and that is illegal to interact with -- only a licensed Songshaper can bend music to his will. He’s caught and sentenced to death for his crime. But someone in the crowd -- a member of the infamous Nightfall Gang -- stages a daring rescue and whisks Chester into the Hush, a shadowy nightmare mirror-world where Music can be deadly and Echoes can kill.
Shame and the Captives by Thomas Keneally
Alice is living on her father-in-law’s farm on the edge of an Australian country town, while her husband is held prisoner in Europe. When Giancarlo, an Italian inmate at the prisoner-of-war camp down the road, is assigned to work on the farm, she hopes that being kind to him will somehow influence her husband’s treatment. What she doesn’t anticipate is how dramatically Giancarlo will change the way she understands both herself and the wider world. What most challenges Alice and her fellow townspeople is the utter foreignness of the 1000+ Japanese inmates and their deeply held code of honor, which the camp commanders fatally misread. Mortified by being taken alive in battle and preferring a violent death to the shame of living, the Japanese prisoners plan an outbreak with shattering and far-reaching consequences for all the citizens around them.
Stories from the Billabong
Ten ancient legends of the Yorta-Yorta people -- one of Australia's Aboriginal tribes, are retold here. You will discover how Great Mother Snake created and peopled the world with plants and creatures, what made Frog croak, why Kangaroo has a pouch, and just what it is that makes Platypus so special. Fun for any age!
The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died. Her dad is drowning in grief. He’s also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she’s got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he needs to reconnect with the living. The case takes them to a remote Australian town, where there’s been a suspicious fire. All that remains are an unidentifiable body and an unreliable witness found wandering nearby who speaks entirely in riddles. As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town.
Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington
This extraordinary story of courage and faith is based on the actual experiences of three girls who fled from the repressive life of Moore River Native Settlement, following along the rabbit-proof fence back to their homelands. Assimilationist policy dictated that these girls be taken from their kin and their homes in order to be made white. Settlement life was unbearable with its chains and padlocks, barred windows, hard cold beds, and horrible food. Solitary confinement was doled out as regular punishment. The girls were not even allowed to speak their language. Of all the journeys made since white people set foot on Australian soil, the journey made by these girls born of Aboriginal mothers and white fathers speaks something to everyone.
Pink by Lili Wilkinson
Ava is tired of her ultracool attitude, ultraradical politics, and ultrablack clothing. She's ready to try something new—she's even ready to be someone new. Someone who fits in, someone with a gorgeous boyfriend, someone who wears pink. But Ava soon finds that changing herself is more complicated than changing her wardrobe. Even getting involved in the school musical raises issues she never imagined. As she faces surprising choices and unforeseen consequences, Ava wonders if she will ever figure out who she really wants to be.
Walkabout by James Vance Marshall
A plane crashes in the vast Northern Territory of Australia, and the only survivors are two children from Charleston, South Carolina, on their way to visit their uncle in Adelaide. Mary and her younger brother, Peter, set out on foot, lost in the vast, hot Australian outback. They are saved by a chance meeting with an unnamed Aboriginal boy on walkabout. He looks after the two strange white children and shows them how to find food and water in the wilderness, and yet, for all that, Mary is filled with distrust.
The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil
Meet Joshua: highly intelligent, cheerfully unambitious, and an amateur magician. He's Sophia’s classmate, and he's admired her for as long as he can remember. He thinks the time is perfect to tell Sophia how he feels. He doesn't know how wrong he is. Meet Sophia: former child prodigy and 17-year-old math mastermind. She's been having panic attacks since she learned that after high school, former prodigies either cure cancer or go crazy. It's a lot of pressure. So Sophia doesn't have the patience for games right now. She especially doesn't have the patience to figure out why all these mysterious playing cards keep turning up inside her textbooks.
Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong--horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured--including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.
A Commonwealth of Thieves by Thomas Keneally
At the center of Australia’s first penal colony in 1788 is Arthur Phillips, an ambitious captain in the Royal Navy assigned the formidable task of organizing the expedition to Australia and establishing a colony comprised mainly of unskilled and malcontent criminals and petty thieves, many determined to overcome their pasts and begin anew. The grueling overseas voyage is a hellish journey that claimed many lives. As governor, Phillips took on the challenges of dealing with unruly convicts, disgruntled officers, a bewildered, sometimes hostile native population, as well as food shortages and disease. Phillips emerges as a governor driven by a yearning for recognition and advancement yet possessed of a social conscience rare for his time.
Disruption by Jessica Shirvington
An evolution of the smartphone, the Mercer Corporations' M-Bands promised an easier life -- but now that they’re mandatory, they have come to control it. Two years ago Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loved most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it. She wants revenge-- and Quentin Mercer, heir to the M-Corp empire, has become key to Maggie's plan. As events fall into place, could Quentin's involvement destroy everything she's fought for?
When We Wake by Karen Healey
Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027 -- playing the guitar, falling in love, and protesting the wrongs of the world with her friends. But then Tegan dies, waking up 100 years in the future as the unknowing first government guinea pig to be cryogenically frozen and successfully revived. Appalling secrets about her new world come to light, and Tegan must choose to either keep her head down or fight for a better future.
Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
Cadel Piggott has a genius IQ and a fascination with systems of all kinds. At seven, he was illegally hacking into computers. Now he’s fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. Although Cadel may be advanced beyond his years, at heart he’s a lonely kid. When he falls for the mysterious and brilliant Kay-Lee, he begins to question the moral implications of his studies. But is it too late to stop Dr. Darkkon from carrying out his evil plot?
Polar Explorer by Jade Hameister
Since her first trip to Everest Base Camp, Jade Hameister knew what she wanted to achieve - the impossible. Jade began her quest to complete the Polar Hat Trick in April 2016 when she was fourteen. She became the youngest person to ski to the North Pole from anywhere outside the last degree - the point where most people begin - and was named Australian Geographic Society’s Young Adventurer of the Year. But that was just the beginning. In June of 2017, she became the youngest woman to complete the crossing of Greenland, the second largest ice cap on the planet. On January 11, 2018, she arrived at the South Pole after an epic 37 day journey through Antarctica, becoming the the youngest person to complete the Polar Hat Trick.
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else. Can she handle the taunts of "towel head," the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah's debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.
Meet Me at the Intersection
Meet Me at the Intersection is an anthology of short fiction, memoir and poetry by authors who are First Nations, People of Color, LGBTIQA+ or living with disability. The focus of the anthology is on Australian life as seen through each author's unique, and seldom heard, perspective. This anthology is designed to challenge the dominant, homogenous story of privilege and power that rarely admits outsider' voices.
Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues under the Sea retold by Carl Bowen
A graphic depiction of the classic, illustrated by José Alfonso Ocampo Ruiz! Scientist Pierre Aronnax and his trusty servant set sail to hunt a monster. With help from Ned Land, the world's greatest harpooner, the men soon discover that the creature is really a high-tech submarine. To keep this secret from being revealed, the sub's leader, Captain Nemo, takes the men hostage. Now, each man must decide whether to trust Nemo or try to escape this underwater world.
20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne
Read (or listen to!) the classic tale of the adventures of a French scientist and his companions who travel the seven seas in the mid-nineteenth century as prisoners in the submarine of the mysterious Captain Nemo.
Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe. When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mernations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.
The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus by Jacques Cousteau
Famous explorer, diving pioneer, filmmaker, inventor, and activist, Jacques Cousteau was blessed from childhood with boundless curiosity about the natural world. As the leader of fascinating, often dangerous expeditions all over the planet, he discovered firsthand the complexity and beauty of life undersea--and watched the toll taken by human activity. In his last book, written over the last ten years of his life, Cousteau describes his philosophy about protecting our world for future generations. Weaving stories of his adventures throughout, he addresses the risks we take with human health, the overfishing and sacking of the world's oceans, the hazards of nuclear proliferation, and the environmental responsibility of scientists, politicians, and people of faith.
Expeditions Unpacked by Ed Stafford
What did the great explorers take into the unknown? Survivalist Ed Stafford curates 25 great expeditions through the lens of the kit these remarkable explorers took with them. In an environment where lack of preparation could mean certain death, the equipment carried, ridden, and sailed into uncharted territories could mean the success or failure of an expedition. Was it simply better provisions and preparation that helped Amundsen beat Scott to the South Pole? And how has the equipment taken to Everest changed since Hillary's first ascent? Conquering fears and mountains, adversity and jungles, each item these explorers packed played a crucial role in their ambitious missions to find out a little more about our world.
Continental Divide: A History of American Mountaineering by Maurice Isserman
Isserman tells the history of American mountaineering through 4 centuries of landmark climbs and first ascents. Mountains were originally seen as obstacles to civilization, but over time they came to be viewed as places of redemption and renewal. The White Mountains stirred the transcendentalists; the Rockies and Sierras pulled explorers westward toward Manifest Destiny; Yosemite inspired the early environmental conservationists. Isserman traces the evolving social, cultural, and political roles mountains played in shaping the country. He describes how American mountaineers forged a "brotherhood of the rope," modeled on America's unique democratic self-image that characterized climbing in the years leading up to and immediately following World War II. And he underscores the impact of the postwar "rucksack revolution," including the advances in technique and style made by pioneering "dirtbag" rock climbers.
Dinosaur 13
The story of Sue, the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found – and the battle with the U.S. government after federal agents seize it. Based on the book "Rex Appeal: The Amazing Story of Sue, the Dinosaur that Changed Science, the Law, my Life" by Peter Larsen and Kristin Donnan.
The White Planet: The Evolution and Future of our Frozen World
From the Arctic Ocean and the ice sheets of Greenland, to the glaciers of the Andes and Himalayas, to the great frozen desert of Antarctica, The White Planet takes readers on a spellbinding scientific journey through the shrinking world of ice and snow to tell the story of the expeditions and discoveries that have transformed our understanding of global climate.
Darwin’s First Theory: Exploring Darwin’s Quest to Find a Theory of the Earth by Rob Wesson
Everybody knows Charles Darwin, the father of evolution and the man who altered the way we view our place in the world. But what most people don’t know is that Darwin was on board the HMS Beagle as a geologist - on a mission to examine the land, not flora and fauna. Retracing Darwin's footsteps in South America and beyond, geologist Rob Wesson treks across the Andes, cruises waters charted by the Beagle, hunts for fossils in Uruguay and Argentina, and explores sites of long vanished glaciers in Scotland and Wales. As he follows Darwin's path, Wesson experiences the land as Darwin did and tackles the same questions Darwin had about our ever-changing Earth. Upon his return from his five-year journey aboard the Beagle examining the effects of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and more, Darwin conceived his theory of subsidence and uplift - his first theory. These concepts - the vastness of time; the enormous cumulative impact of almost imperceptibly slow change; change as a constant feature of the environment - underlie Darwin's subsequent discoveries in evolution. And this peculiar way of thinking remains vitally important today as we enter the human-dominated Anthropocene age.
The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People by Neil Shubin
Both our bodies and the earth both “the signature of the great events that shaped them.” Shubin relates the discoveries of eight such events and their signatures: the formation of the solar system, by allowing earth so much water, helped determine our size, shape, and functionality; plate tectonics set the limits of our habitation, from the womb to the Tibetan plateau; the global carbon cycle that enabled the ice ages colored our vision; climate change molded our genes. In short, universal history made us what we are. Wow.
Earth, the Biography
Earth is an incredible, exceptional planet with an amazing life story full of cataclysmic disasters, eleventh-hour coincidences that save it from extinction, and an astonishing power to continually regenerate. Uses breathtaking footage and special imaging to tell the story of the great forces that shape the planet - volcanoes, the ocean, the atmosphere, and ice. Traveling from Ethiopia's unique lava lake to an ice cave under a glacier in Greenland and amazing locations in between, examine the forces that have helped create and foster life on Earth. Each episode counts as a read for Dig Deeper!
How the Earth was Made
Spectacular on-location footage, evidence from geologists in the field, and dramatic graphics combine in this stunning series to show how immensely powerful forces of geology have formed our planet. Each episode counts as a read for Dig Deeper!
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Stephen Brusatte
The epic story of the dinosaurs, examining their origins, their habitats, their extinction, and their living legacy. Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today. Brusatte re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.”
Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman
The Natives of the colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to bring peace to their new home, and they have a plan for how to achieve it. They will tear Native families apart and provide re-education to those who do not understand why they should submit to their better. Jacky has escaped the Home where the Settlers sent him, but where will he go? The Head of the Department for the Protection of Natives, known to Settlers and Natives alike as the Devil, is chasing Jacky. And when the Devil catches him, Sister Bagra, who knows her duty to the ungodly, will be waiting for Jacky back at Home.
First Peoples
200,000 years ago we took our first steps in Africa. Today there are seven billion of us living across the planet. How did our ancestors spread from continent to continent? This is a global detective story, featuring the latest archaeological discoveries and genetic research. On each continent, we track down the earliest members of our species, Homo sapiens. Who were these First Peoples? What drove them to the ends of the earth? (Each episode counts as an entry for the Dig Deeper challenge!)
The Book of Science and Antiquities by Thomas Keneally
Award-winning documentary filmmaker Shelby Apple is obsessed with reimagining the full story of the Learned Man -- a prehistoric man whose remains are believed to be the link between Africa and ancient Australia. From Vietnam to northern Africa and the Australian Outback, Shelby searches for understanding of this enigmatic man from the ancient past, unaware that the two men share a great deal in common. Some 40,000 years in the past, the Learned Man has made his home alongside other members of his tribe. Complex and deeply introspective, he reveres tradition, loyalty, and respect for his ancestors. Willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good, the Learned Man cannot conceive that a man millennia later could relate to him in heart and feeling.
Waste of Space by Gina Damico
Welcome to the weirdest reality show in the galaxy! Cram 10 teens into a spaceship and blast off: that's the premise for the ill-conceived reality show Waste of Space. The kids who are cast know everything about drama--and nothing about the fact that the production is fake. Hidden in a desert warehouse, their spaceship replica is equipped with state-of-the-art special effects dreamed up by the scientists partnering with the shady cable network airing the show. And it's a hit! Millions of viewers are transfixed. But then, suddenly, all communication is severed. Trapped and paranoid, the kids must figure out what to do when this reality show loses its grip on reality.
Bleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward
Between Mother Nature and human nature, disasters are inevitable. Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood oozed out of the ground, even through the concrete, even in the water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones. Lea wishes she could ignore the blood. Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and her girlfriend however she can.
Sand: The Never-Ending Story by Michael Welland
From individual grains to desert dunes, from the bottom of the sea to the landscapes of Mars, and from billions of years in the past to the future, this is the extraordinary story of one of nature's humblest, most powerful, and most ubiquitous materials.
Our Night Sky (The Great Courses)
Each lecture counts as a Dig Deeper Read! For thousands of years, the star-filled sky has been a source of wonder, discovery, entertainment, and instruction. Ancient people from nearly every continent and culture wove exciting stories about the mythological figures they saw in the heavens. People also used the sun, moon, and stars for time-keeping and navigation. And careful observers throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere kept precise astronomical records, eventually paving the way for the Scientific Revolution and its remarkable discoveries about the nature of the universe.
The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones
In an unspecified future, the United States' borders have receded behind a salt line--a ring of scorched earth that protects its citizens from deadly disease-carrying ticks. Those within the zone live safe, if limited, lives in a society controlled by a common fear. Few have any reason to venture out of zone, except for the adrenaline junkies who pay a fortune to tour what's left of nature.
Life’s Rocky Start
Four and a half billion years ago, how did life emerge on Earth? Robert Hazen advances a startling idea, that the rocks on Earth were not only essential to jump-starting life, but then, life helped give birth to hundreds of minerals we rely upon today.
The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms by Amy Stewart
Amy Stewart takes us on a journey through the underground world and introduces us to one of its most amazing denizens. The earthworm may be small, spineless, and blind, but its impact on the ecosystem is profound. It plows the soil, fights plant diseases, cleans up pollution, and turns ordinary dirt into fertile land. From the legendary giant Australian worm that stretches to ten feet in length to the modest nightcrawler that wormed its way into the heart of Darwin's last book to the energetic red wigglers in Stewart's compost bin, Stewart gives worms their due and exposes their hidden and extraordinary universe.
Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs by Lisa Randall
Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs. Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings--established and speculative--regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts.
Longitude by Dava Sobel
The true story of a lone genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time! Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, 18th-century sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives and the increasing fortunes of nations hung on a resolution. One man, John Harrison, in complete opposition to the scientific community, dared to imagine a mechanical solution-a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land.
Over the Mountains: An Aerial View of Geology by Michael Collier
Geology is thrilling. It's the Earth in all its splendor. Unfortunately, geology texts rarely communicate that sense of excitement. Enter Michael Collier, geologist, writer and one of America's premier aerial photographers. For over 20 years, he has piloted his Cessna 180 to inaccessible locations and returned with stunning photographs that lay bare the Earth's workings. Detailed and breathtaking large-format color photographs cover the geology of every major mountain range in the United States. Clear, easy-to-understand text, diagrams and captions explain and illuminate the geologic processes shown in the photographs. Readers will never think of mountains -- or geology -- in the same way again.
Exoplanets: Worlds beyond Our Solar System by Karen Latchana Kenney
Until the mid-1990s, scientists only guessed that the universe held exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system. But using advanced physics and powerful telescopes, scientists have since identified more than three thousand exoplanets. This work has revealed fascinating worlds, including a planet that oozes lava-like fluids and a planet that glows bright pink. Even more fascinating, scientists think that some exoplanets might contain life. Many orbit in the Goldilocks zone, the region around a star that's not too hot or too cold for liquid water, a key ingredient for life. This book examines exoplanets, the possibilities for life beyond Earth, and the cutting-edge technologies scientists use to learn about distant worlds.
Rocket Science for the Rest of Us
Want to understand black holes, antimatter, physics, and space exploration? Looking for a commonsense guide to quantum physics that you can actually understand? Rocket Science for the Rest of Us is the book you're looking for! Get a grip on even the most mysterious and complex sciences with Ben Gilliland's guide to dark matter, exo-planets, Planck time, earth sciences, and more.
The Sanctuary by Nate Neal
When a mysterious nomad girl is offered up as an item of trade, she seeks refuge by forming a tenacious friendship with the local cave-painter turned outcast. Together they set out on a dangerous mission to bring truth to their corrupt tribe with the help of their new discovery (via some psychotropic mushrooms): drawings that tell a story. Subsequently, they become enmeshed in the violent power struggles and sensual intrigues between the alpha males and alpha females.
The Last Neanderthal: A Novel by Claire Cameron
40,000 years in the past, the last family of Neanderthals roams the earth. Girl, the oldest daughter, is just coming of age and her family is determined to travel to the annual meeting place and find her a mate. But the unforgiving landscape takes its toll, and Girl is left alone to care for Runt, a foundling of unknown origin. In the modern day, archaeologist Rosamund Gale works well into her pregnancy, racing to excavate newly found Neanderthal artifacts before her baby comes. Linked across the ages by the shared experience of early motherhood, both stories examine the often-taboo corners of women's lives.
Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe--that's the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless--and nearly grave--mistake. However, there's something more to Mya's cool disdain, which comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya's past. As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo--Kol doesn't know which--had been planning all along.
Earth Girl by Janet Edwards
2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can't travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She's an "ape" - a throwback - but this is one ape girl who won't give in. Jarra makes up a fake military background for herself and joins a class of norms who are on Earth for a year of practical history studies excavating the dangerous ruins of the old cities. She wants to see their faces when they find out they've been fooled into thinking an ape girl was a norm. She isn't expecting to make friends with the enemy, to risk her life for the norms, or to fall in love.
Planet Earth II
Each episode counts as a Dig Deeper Read! This 2016 follow-up to the 2006 documentary mini-series "Planet Earth" examines the natural features and wildlife found in various parts of the world, each of the six episodes corresponding to a different category of natural or man-made terrain (e.g., island, mountain, jungle, urban area, etc.).
Persephone by Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky
Persephone is an ordinary girl, which is exactly what is bothering her. She may be the adopted daughter of the famous magician Demeter, but Persephone struggles to find her place alongside such a force of nature. Driven by recurring nightmares as well as a budding curiosity, Persephone decides to explore the secrets of her birth, which everyone seems rather intent on keeping from her. With or without help, Persephone will embark on an epic adventure deep into the Underworld where she'll discover far more than she bargained for.
How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown
The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a tenth planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of its resulting in one more planet being added to our solar system, Brown’s find ignited a firestorm of controversy that riled the usually sedate world of astronomy and launched him into the public eye. The debate culminated in the demotion of Pluto from real planet to the newly coined category of “dwarf” planet. Suddenly Brown was receiving hate mail from schoolchildren and being bombarded by TV reporters—all because of the discovery he had spent years searching for and a lifetime dreaming about.
Earth Unaware: The First Formic War by Orson Scott Card
The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador’s telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it’s hard to know what to make of it. It’s massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light. El Cavador has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big for the ship. There are corporate ships bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems … not important. They're wrong. The first Formic War is about to begin.
Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka, Vol. 1
Urasawa takes Tezuka's Pinocchio-inspired Astroboy and re-imagines it as a futuristic thriller. In a distant future where sentient humanoid robots pass for human, someone or some thing is out to destroy the seven great robots of the world. Europol’s top detective Gesicht is assigned to investigate these mysterious robot serial murders—the only catch is that he himself is one of the seven targets. Recommended for 16+.
The Avengers: Ego the Loving Planet by Jeff Parker
The skies of Earth are a boiling tempest. Tidal waves threaten the coasts. A large dark force draws closer. Is it Armageddon? Naw, that's love in the air, baby. Ego has fallen in love with the Earth!
Satellite by Nick Lake
Moon 2 is a space station that orbits approximately 250 miles above Earth. It travels 17,500 miles an hour, making one full orbit every ninety minutes. It’s also the only home that fifteen-year-old Leo and two other teens have ever known. Leo and the twins Orion and Libra are finally old enough and strong enough to endure the dangerous trip to Earth. They’ve been “parented” by teams of astronauts since birth and have run countless drills to ready themselves for every conceivable difficulty they might face on the flight. But has anything really prepared them for life on terra firma? Because while the planet may be home to billions of people, living there is more treacherous than Leo and his friends could ever have imagined.
Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour
A personal guided tour of the cosmos by three of today's leading astrophysicists. This book covers it all, from planets, stars, and galaxies to black holes, wormholes, and time travel. Describing the latest discoveries in astrophysics, the narrative propels you from our home solar system to the outermost frontiers of space. How do stars live and die? Why did Pluto lose its planetary status? What are the prospects of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? Why is it expanding and why is its expansion accelerating? Is our universe alone or part of an infinite multiverse? Answering these and many other questions, the authors open your eyes to the wonders of the cosmos, sharing their knowledge of how the universe works.
The Planets by Dava Sobel
The sun's family of planets become a familiar place in this personal account of the lives of other worlds. With her gift for weaving difficult scientific concepts into a compelling story, Sobel explores the planets' origins and oddities through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history.
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
January 29, 2035. That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time. A last-minute meeting leads them to something better than a temporary shelter—a generation ship, scheduled to leave Earth behind to colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But everyone on the ship has been chosen because of their usefulness. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister? When the future of humanity is at stake, whose lives matter most?
Exo by Fonda Lee
For a century now, Earth has been a peaceful colony of an alien race, and Donovan Reyes is a loyal member of the security forces, while his father is the Prime Liaison--but when a routine search and seizure goes bad Donovan finds himself a captive of the human revolutionary group, Sapience, terrorists who seem to prefer war to alien rule, and killing Donovan just might be the incident they are looking for.
Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski
The rules are simple: You must be gifted. You must be younger than 25. You must be willing to accept the dangers that you will face if you win. Cassandra Gupta’s entire life has been leading up to the opportunity to travel to space. Cassie thought she was ready to compete against the best and brightest to secure a spot. But she wasn’t ready for the bonds she would form with the very people she hopes to beat. Or that with each passing day it would be more and more difficult to ignore the feeling that the true objective of the mission is being kept from her.
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
The daughter of two astronauts, Romy Silvers is no stranger to life in space. But she never knew how isolating the universe could be until her parents' tragic deaths left her alone on The Infinity, a spaceship speeding away from Earth. Romy tries to make the best of her lonely situation, but with only brief messages from her therapist on Earth to keep her company, she can't help but feel like something is missing. It seems like a dream come true when NASA alerts her that another ship, The Eternity, will be joining The Infinity. Romy begins exchanging messages with J, the commander of The Eternity, and their friendship breathes new life into her world. But as The Eternity gets closer, Romy learns there's more to J's mission than she could have imagined.
Alien Seas: Oceans in Space
Oceans were long thought to exist in all corners of the Solar System, from carbonated seas percolating beneath the clouds of Venus to features on the Moon's surface given names such as "the Bay of Rainbows” and the "Ocean of Storms." With the advent of modern telescopes and spacecraft exploration these ancient concepts of planetary seas have, for the most part, evaporated. But they have been replaced by the reality of something even more exotic. The "water" in many places in our Solar System is a poisoned brew mixed with ammonia or methane. Alien Seas serves up the current research, past beliefs, and new theories to offer a rich array of the "seas" on other worlds.
A Little History of Science by William Bynum
This inviting book tells a great adventure story: the history of science. Science is fantastic. It tells us about the infinite reaches of space, the tiniest living organism, the human body, the history of Earth. People have always been doing science because they have always wanted to make sense of the world and harness its power. From ancient Greek philosophers through Einstein and Watson and Crick to the computer-assisted scientists of today, men and women have wondered, examined, experimented, calculated, and sometimes made discoveries so earthshaking that people understood the world—or themselves—in an entirely new way.
Wind Rider by Susan Williams
Fern dreams of riding on a wild horse's back, as fleet as the wind. She makes pets of small animals and watches the bison herds as they pound over the endless grasses of the steppe. Chafing at the inequality of being female, she longs for the freedom her twin brother enjoys running free in the wilderness. One day in early spring, Fern secretly rescues a young horse mired in the bog, names her Thunder, and tames her enough to ride, claiming the horse as her own. But the people of Fern's tribe are distrustful of her bond with nature. Is she a witch? Does she weave her spells on animals? Fern's future looks bleak until a silent man in a rival tribe, known only as The Nameless One, teaches her about patience—and love.
A Thousand Sisters by Elizabeth Wein
In the early years of World War II, Josef Stalin issued an order that made the Soviet Union the first country to allow female pilots to fly in combat. Led by Marina Raskova, the "night witches" - many of them in their teens - faced intense pressure and obstacles both in the sky and on the ground.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Biography by Donald S. Lopez Jr.
Walter Evans-Wentz (1878-1965), an eccentric scholar and spiritual seeker from New Jersey, who, despite not knowing the Tibetan language and never visiting the country, crafted and named The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The author Lopez argues Evans-Wentz's book is much more American than Tibetan, and that the book's perennial appeal stems not only from its origins in magical and mysterious Tibet, but also from the way Evans-Wentz translated the text into the language of a very American spirituality.
The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech
In a tiny village high in the Swiss Alps, life for one angel has been the same, well, for as long as she (or he?) can remember. Until Zola arrives, a determined American girl with a mission. And our angel has been without one—till now. For neighbors who have been longtime enemies, children who have been lost, and villagers who have been sleepily living their lives: hold on, because Zola and the angel are about to collide.
A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain
In A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain's unofficial sequel to The Innocents Abroad, the author records his hilarious and diverse observations and insights while on a fifteen-month walking trip through Central Europe and the Alps.
The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson
Follow a family of yetis who are forced by tourism to leave their home in the Himalayas and make their way across Europe to a possible new home. Siblings Con and Ellen shepherd the yetis with the help of Perry, a good-natured truck driver. Through a Alpine mountain and a Spanish bullfight, the yetis finally find their way to an ancestral estate in England, only to come upon voracious hunters who have set their sights on the most exotic prey of all: the Abominable Snowmen.
The Taster by V. S. Alexander
During WWII, Magda Ritter is pressed to serve her country and, now, every meal could be her last. She is one of a handful of young women given the dubious honor of tasting Adolf Hitler's food, protecting the paranoid dictator from death by poisoning. Stationed at the Bergdorf, Hitler's mountain retreat high in Alps, Magda knows better than to speak out against the war. But her love for a conspirator within the SS and her growing awareness of the Reich's atrocities draw Magda into a plot that will test in a quest for safety, freedom, and ultimately, vengeance.
Code Name: Lise by Larry Loftis
This is the extraordinary, true story of Odette Sansom, the British spy who operated in occupied France and fell in love with her commanding officer during World War II. Odette Sansom became WWII's most highly decorated spy.
Iceman by Brenda Fowler
Iceman: Uncovering the Life and Times of a Prehistoric Man in an Alpine Glacier is the story of the world's investigation into the oldest naturally preserved human corpse and the astounding cache of prehistoric personal effects found with it. We follow scientists into labs and archaeologists into the field as they ask: Who was he? Why were parts of his equipment damaged and unfinished? Where was he going? How did he die?
Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman
Josef Matt, the only man to ever try to conquer this last summit of the Alps, met his end in the pursuit. Now his son, Rudi, dares to complete the same task in memory of his father. Setting off with his father's red shirt, Rudi must courageously pass through the same chasm that took his father's life and finish the challenging climb to plant the shirt at the peak.
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
An orphan sent to live with her grandfather learns to love both the old man and the Swiss Alps and is homesick when she goes to the city.
Hiking with Nietzsche by John Kaag.
A tale of two philosophical journeys - one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other seventeen years later with his wife and small child are in tow. Kaag sets off for the Swiss peaks above where Nietzsche wrote his landmark work Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Both journeys are made in search of the wisdom at the core of Nietzsche's philosophy, yet they deliver two radically different interpretations and, more crucially, revelations about the human condition.
Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz
Alex, a fourteen-year-old spy, has been assigned by the British MI6 to investigate a series of mysterious deaths. He ends up in a boarding school in the Swiss Alps, and finds many strange things are happening to the students.
Mirage by Somaiya Daud
Amani, a 16-year-old girl, is kidnapped and groomed by the ‘Vathek’ empire regime, who occupy her home planet of Cadiz. As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty―and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear.
Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer
Two very different cultures collide in this hilarious book about a young sports fanatic Benny who is forced to leave his Ireland home and move with his family to Tunisia. He wonders how he will survive in such an unfamiliar place. Then he teams up with wild and resourceful Omar, and a madcap friendship leads to trouble, escapades, a unique way of communication, and ultimately, a heartbreaking challenge.
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
Three American travelers are adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II in this landmark of 20th-century literature. The Sheltering Sky Paul Bowles examines the ways in which Americans' incomprehension of alien cultures leads to the ultimate destruction of those cultures and explores the limits of humanity when it touches the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
Said to have its origins in the 'treasure texts' that were supposedly hidden away by Padmasambhava, the Lotus Guru, in Tibet in the 8th century, The Tibetan Book of the Dead was traditionally read aloud to the dying or recently deceased as a guide to the afterlife. It explains how to recognize the true nature of the mind so that after death it will be possible to attain enlightenment and liberation from the suffering associated with the endless cycle of death and rebirth.
Tibet by Margaret Haerens
This addition to the popular Opposing Viewpoints series discusses the current issues surrounding the country of Tibet. Through the use of carefully selected articles, this text explores how Tibet should be governed, the impact of Chinese rule in Tibet, if and/or how the United States should engage Tibet, and what is the best way to encourage political change.
Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire
Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. One of her brothers has been conscripted into the Tsar's army, the other taken as a servant by the local landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family...
Behind the Urals by John Scott
Appalled by the depression and attracted by what he had heard concerning the effort to create a "new society" in the Soviet Union, John Scott left America for the "Soviet Pittsburgh," Magnitogorsk, on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains. A revealing description of an iron age in an iron country.
Maybe Esther by Katja Petrowskaja
In a series of short meditations, Petrowskaja delves into family legends, introducing a remarkable cast of characters: her grandfather Semyon, who went underground with a new name during the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, forever splitting their branch of the family from the rest; her grandmother Rosa, who ran an orphanage in the Urals for deaf-mute Jewish children; and her great-grandmother, whose name may have been Esther, who alone remained in Kiev and was killed by the Nazis.
Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar
In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident - unexplained injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes - have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.
2017 by Olga Slavnikova
Professor Anfilogov, a wealthy and emotionless man, sets out on an expedition to unearth priceless rubies that no one else has been able to locate. His expedition reveals ugly truths about man’s disregard for nature and the disasters created by insatiable greed. Slavnikova graduated from Ural State University and was awarded the Russian Booker Prize for this novel.
The Suitcase by Sergei Dovlatov
In The Suitcase, Dovlatov examines eight objects - the items he brought with him in his luggage upon his emigration from the U.S.S.R. These seemingly undistinguished possessions, stuffed into a worn-out suitcase, take on a riotously funny life of their own as Dovlatov inventories the circumstances under which he acquired them, occasioning a brilliant series of interconnected tales.
A Girl in the Himalayas by David Jesus Vignolli
Beyond the peaks and valleys of the Himalaya Mountains lies a magical sanctuary. Protected from the chaos of man, it is home to immortal beings and mystical creatures. When Vijaya, a young human, is brought into the sanctuary for her protection, some immortals fear her presence may lead to their ruin. But as mankind draws ever closer to the sanctuary's border, Vijaya will have to prove that there is more to being human than the violence her new family fears beyond their borders.
Tales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah
Shah, of Afghan descent, was born in Simla in the Himalayas and traveled extensively in Afghan, Pakistan and Indian mountain regions, collecting tales and stories. His purpose was not only folkloric or academic; Shah sought to extract the living truths often encapsulated in traditional tales, and Tales of the Dervishes provides a good selection of such stories about Himalayan people.
Lost Horizon by James Milton
When Conway’s (a British diplomat) plane crashes high in the Himalayas, Conway and the other survivors are found by a mysterious guide and led to a breathtaking discovery: the hidden valley of Shangri-La. Kept secret from the world for more than two hundred years, Shangri-La is like paradise - a place whose inhabitants live for centuries amid the peace and harmony of the fertile valley. But when the leader of the Shangri-La monastery falls ill, Conway and the others must face the daunting prospect of returning home to a world about to be torn open by war.
Sky Burial by Xinran
For over thirty years, since the 1950s, Shu Wen searched the mountains of north Tibet for her husband, a Chinese military doctor, who was missing in action. Traveling thousands of miles, and taken in by a Tibetan family, Shu Wen lived a nomadic life through numerous seasons with silence and simplicity, motivated by her search for her husband. Her moving and unforgettable story gives insight into the landscape, religion and people of Tibet, and illuminates the complex and emotional relationship and history between the Tibetans and Chinese.
The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen
In 1973, Peter Matthiessen and biologist George Schaller traveled high into the remote mountains of Nepal to study the Himalayan blue sheep and possibly glimpse the rare and beautiful snow leopard. Matthiessen, a student of Zen Buddhism, was also on a spiritual quest to find the Lama of Shey at the ancient shrine on Crystal Mountain. The arduous climb yields to Matthiessen a deepening Buddhist understanding of reality, suffering, impermanence, and beauty.
The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz
In 1941, the author and six other fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp in Yakutsk - a camp where enduring hunger, cold, untended wounds, untreated illnesses, and avoiding daily executions were everyday feats. Their march over thousands of miles by foot - out of Siberia and through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India - was a remarkable journey through some of the most inhospitable conditions on the face of the earth.
Tintin in Tibet by Hergé
The classic graphic novel. One day Tintin reads about a plane crash in the Himalayas. When he discovers that his friend, Chang, was on board, Tintin travels to the crash site in hopes of a rescue.
Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of The Dalai Lama
In this astonishingly frank autobiography, the Dalai Lama reveals the remarkable inner strength that allowed him to master both the mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism and the brutal realities of Chinese Communism.
Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène
The Paradise projects are only a few metro stops from Paris, but here it’s a whole different kind of France. Doria’s father, the Beard, has headed back to their hometown in Morocco, leaving her and her mom to cope with their mektoub—their destiny—alone. Dorai knows the projects aren’t only about rap, soccer, and religious tension. She’ll take the Arabic word kif-kif (same old, same old) and mix it up with the French verb kiffer (to really like something). Now she has a whole new motto: KIFFE KIFFE TOMORROW.
North African Cooking by Hilaire Walden
Get cooking! Featuring more than one hundred fragrant dishes from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt, an unusual cookbook explores the cuisine's history and origins while describing the authentic ingredients and cooking methods of each country.
The Stranger by Jacques Ferrandez
A graphic based on the classic by Albert Camus. The day his mother dies, Meursault notices that it is very hot on the bus that is taking him from Algiers to the retirement home where his mother lived; so hot that he falls asleep. The same burning sun that oppresses him during the funeral will once again blind the reserved Meursault as he walks along a deserted beach a few days later--leading him to commit an irreparable act.
Trickster: Native American Tales edited by Matt Dembiki
All cultures have tales of the trickster – a crafty creature or being who uses cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief. He disrupts the order of things, often humiliating others and sometimes himself. In Native American traditions, the trickster takes many forms, from coyote or rabbit to raccoon or raven. The first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, Trickster brings together 24 Native American storytellers and 24 comic artists.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity that changed forever our vision of how the West was really won: through systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the 19th century. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows the great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them demoralized and defeated.
Soft Rain by Cornelia Corneissen
It all begins when Soft Rain's teacher reads a letter stating that as of May 23, 1838, all Cherokee people are to leave their land and move to what many Cherokees called "the land of darkness" ... the west. Soft Rain is confident that her family will not have to move, because they have just planted corn for the next harvest. But soon thereafter, soldiers arrive to take nine-year-old, Soft Rain, and her mother to walk the Trail of Tears, leaving the rest of her family behind.
Moccasin Thunder edited by Lori Marie Carlson
A supermarket checkout line, a rowboat on a freezing lake at dawn, a drunken dance in the gym, an ice hockey game on public-access TV. These ten short stories about contemporary Native American teens by members of tribes in the United States and Canada remind us that the American Indian story is far from over -- it's being written every day.
Death in Yellowstone by Lee H. Whittlesey
The chilling tome that launched an entire genre of books about the often gruesome but always tragic ways people have died in our national parks, this updated edition of the classic includes calamities in Yellowstone from the past sixteen years, including the infamous grizzly bear attacks in the summer of 2011 as well as a fatal hot springs accident in 2000. In these accounts, written with sensitivity as cautionary tales about what to do and what not to do in one of our wildest national parks, Whittlesey recounts deaths ranging from tragedy to folly - from being caught in a freak avalanche to the goring of a photographer who just got a little too close to a bison.
Stranded by Matthew Mayo
In the autumn of 1849, 14-year-old Janette Riker travels westward to Oregon Territory with her father and 2 brothers. Before crossing the Rockies, they stop briefly to hunt buffalo. The men leave camp early on the second day ... and never return. Based on actual events, Stranded is the harrowing account of a struggle to survive the long winter alone. With blizzards, frostbite, and gnawing hunger as her only companions, she endures repeated attacks by grizzly bears, wolves, and mountain lions. Her only comfort comes in writing in her diary, where she shares her fears, her travails, and her dwindling hopes.
Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx
“Bird Cloud” is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and four-hundred-foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. It is also a natural history and archaeology of the region, inhabited for millennia by Ute, Arapaho, and Shoshone Indians; and a Proulx family history, going back to nineteenth century Mississippi riverboat captains and Canadian settlers.
The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck
In 2011, Buck traveled the length of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way: in a covered wagon with a team of mules. Traveling from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Baker City, Oregon, over the course of four months, Buck is accompanied by 3 cantankerous mules, his boisterous brother Nick, and Olive Oyl, the “incurably filthy” terrier. Along the way, they dodge thunderstorms in Nebraska, chase runaway mules across the Wyoming plains, scout more than five hundred miles of nearly vanished trail on foot, cross the Rockies, and make desperate 50-mile forced marches for water. The Buck brothers repair so many broken wheels and axels that they nearly reinvent the art of wagon travel itself.
Uncharted: Lewis and Clark in Arcane America by Sarah Hoyt
After Halley's Comet was destroyed in a magical battle in 1759, the backlash separated the entire New World from the Old in an event known as The Sundering. In America, magic works. It is 1803, and Meriwether Lewis is attending a talk by Benjamin Franklin when it is disrupted by the attack of a winged fire-breathing beast. Franklin tells Lewis of a great, growing evil that lurks in the uncharted Arcane Territories west of the Mississippi, and commissions Lewis and William Clark to embark on a remarkable voyage of exploration, to meet and document the indigenous tribes, to find a route all the way to the Pacific Ocean-- and stop the growing evil that is filling the American West.
The Lewis & Clark Cookbook by Leslie Mansfield
A unique record of culinary life in 18th- and early 19th-century America featuring 150 historically accurate recipes from the Corps of Discovery & Jefferson's America. Along with the recipes, excerpts from Lewis and Clark's journals and Thomas Jefferson's correspondence relate colorful accounts of the journey and hair-raising adventures of daily survival, introducing a new generation to the sights, sounds, and flavors of a pivotal time in our nation's history.
American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee
Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West. Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for elk; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves vying for control.
Starfish by Peter Watts
When civilization needs someone to run experimental power stations along the Juan de Fuca Ridge at the bottom of the Pacific, it seeks out a special sort of person for its Rifters program. It recruits those adapted to dangerous environments, people so used to broken bodies and chronic stress that life on the edge of an undersea volcano would actually be a step up. Nobody worries too much about job satisfaction; if you haven't spent a lifetime learning the futility of fighting back, you wouldn't be a Rifter in the first place. It's a small price to keep the lights going, back on shore. Unfortunately the bio-engineered Rifters are crazy, some of them in unpleasant ways. How many of them can survive, or be allowed to survive, while disaster approaches from below?
One Piece, Vol. 1: Romance Dawn by Eiichiro Oda
Join Monkey D. Luffy and his swashbuckling crew in their search for the ultimate treasure, One Piece! As a child, Luffy was inspired to become a pirate by listening to the tales of the buccaneer "Red-Haired" Shanks. But Luffy’s life changed when he accidentally ate the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit and gained the power to stretch like rubber ... at the cost of never being able to swim again! Years later, still vowing to become the king of the pirates, Luffy sets out on his adventure ... one guy alone in a rowboat, in search of the legendary "One Piece.”
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith
Although mammals and birds are widely regarded as the smartest creatures on earth, a very distant branch of the tree of life, the cephalopods, have also developed higher intelligence. How is it that a creature with a remarkable mind evolved through an evolutionary lineage so different from our own? The author is a philosopher of science and a scuba diver who explores the ocean world of squid, cuttlefish, and octopus to follow how subjective consciousness came into being - and how nature became aware of itself.
Island of Thieves by Josh Lacey
"Only boring people get bored. Interesting people can always find something to be interested in." That’s what Tom Trelawney’s father says, anyway. Tom shouldn’t have been interested in playing with matches, but he was...bored. Now the shed is in ashes and strange Uncle Harvey is the only one willing to have him stay while his parent’s vacation. Tom soon discovers Harvey is going to South America on a treasure hunt and he manages to tag along. Before it’s over he’ll drive a car, fire a gun, and run for his life. Tom realizes that life may be about following the rules, but survival may be about breaking them.
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil. The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, where June Costa creates art that's sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June's best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba: she sees a fellow artist. Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government's strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.
The First Man by Albert Camus
A fictionalized autobiography covering Camus' youth in Algeria. It is filled with details of the white working class to which he belonged and there is the undercurrent of a boy's search for a father figure, his own killed in World War I. He describes the intervention of a school teacher who obtained for him a scholarship, first step on the road to the 1957 Nobel Prize for literature.
I Was Told to Come Alone by Souad Mekhennet
The journalist who broke the "Jihadi John" story draws on her personal experience to bridge the gap between the Muslim world and the West and explain the rise of Islamic radicalism, Mekhennet has lived her entire life between worlds. The daughter of a Turkish mother and a Moroccan father, she was born and educated in Germany and has worked for several American newspapers. Since the 9/11 attacks she has reported stories among the most dangerous members of her religion; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination.
The map of salt and stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar
In the summer of 2011, just after Nour loses her father to cancer, her mother moves Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. In order to keep her father's spirit as she adjusts to her new home, Nour tells herself their favorite story--the tale of Rawiya, a 12th-century girl who disguised herself as a boy to apprentice a famous mapmaker. When a stray shell destroys Nour's house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety--along the very route Rawiya and her mapmaker took 800 years before in their quest to chart the world.
Islam : a Short History by Karen Armstrong
No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam. It haunts the popular Western imagination as an extreme faith that promotes authoritarian government, female oppression, and terrorism. Armstrong offers a vital corrective to this narrow view. This book begins with the flight of Muhammad and his family from Medina in the 7th century and the founding of the first mosques. It recounts the split between Shii and Sunni Muslims and the emergence of Sufi mysticism; the spread of Islam throughout North Africa, the Levant, and Asia; the shattering effect on the Muslim world of the Crusades; the flowering of imperial Islam in the 14th-15th centuries into the world's greatest and most sophisticated power; and the origins and impact of revolutionary Islam. It concludes with an assessment of Islam today and its challenges.
I Am A Taxi by Deborah Ellis
For twelve-year-old Diego and his family, home is a prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia. His parents farmed coca, a traditional Bolivian medicinal plant, until they got caught in the middle of the government's war on drugs and were mistakenly convicted of drug possession. Diego's parents are locked up, but he can come and go - to school, to the market to sell his mother's handknitted goods, and to work as a "taxi," running errands for other prisoners.
The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan
A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely read poets in the world.
City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende
An ecological romance with a pulsing heart. When fifteen-year-old Alexander Cold accompanies his grandmother, a reporter on an expedition to find a humanoid Beast in the Amazon, he experiences ancient wonders and a supernatural world as he tries to avert disaster for the Indians.
The Fire of Peru by Ricardo Zarate and Jenn Garbee
Lima-born Los Angeles chef and restaurateur Ricardo Zarate captures the flavors and excitement of Peruvian food. Zarate has been called "the godfather of Peruvian cuisine" for good reason: He perfectly captures the spirit of modern Peruvian cooking, which reflects indigenous South American foods as well as Japanese, Chinese, and European influences, balanced with an American sensibility; his most popular dishes range from classic recipes such as ceviche to artfully crafted Peruvian-style sushi to a Peruvian burger.
Koko be Good by Jen Wang
Koko's always got a new project cooking, even though they usually end in total disaster. This time will be different, Koko promises herself. This time, she's decided to Be Good. But Koko isn't even sure what 'being good' means. Jon knows what being good means, and that's why he's going to Peru to support his girlfriend's humanitarian mission. That's good, all right, but is it what he wants? Two very different people, both struggling for direction, find their way into each other's lives.
Eden: It's An Endless World! by Hiroki Endo
The first volume in a brilliant love song to the post-apocalyptic survival genre that explores man's role in the natural order. With the world reeling from the aftereffects of a brutal, widespread virus, civilization is torn between the ways of the old world and a new order where cybernetic implants are commonplace and might means right. Elijah and his comrades-in-arms attempt to cross the Andes Mountains, with Propater's gruesome Aeon soldiers and armored troops hot on their heels.
Life and death in the Andes by Kim MacQuarrie
Kim MacQuarrie tells great stories of bandits, heroes, and revolutionaries in South America's history, from Butch Cassidy to Che Guevara to cocaine king Pablo Escobar to the last survivor of an Indian tribe, all set in the Andes Mountains.
The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara
These travel diaries capture the essence and exuberance of the young legend, Che Guevara. In January 1952, Che set out from Buenos Aires to explore South America on an ancient Norton motorcycle. He encounters an extraordinary range of people, from native Indians to copper miners, lepers and tourists, experiencing hardships and adventures that informed much of his later life.
Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams
On the rainy morning of July 24, 1911, the young Yale professor Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and encountered an ancient city in the clouds: the now famous citadel of Machu Picchu. Nearly a century later, the hero-explorer is recast as a villain who smuggled out priceless artifacts and stole credit for finding the Lost City. Author Mark Adams investigates the allegations against Bingham by retracing the explorer's perilous path to Machu Picchu. With a crusty, antisocial Australian survivalist and several Quechua-speaking, coca-chewing mule tenders as his guides, Adams tries to answer the question that has nagged scientists since Hiram Bingham's time: Just what was Machu Picchu?
Rebel Mother: My Childhood Chasing the Revolution by Peter Andreas
A true account of a deep mother-son bond and the joy and toll of growing up with a radical mother in a radical age follows Carol Andreas, a traditional 1950s Mennonite housewife-turned-Marxist rebel, as she and her young son, whom she kidnapped from his straitlaced father, travel the world, chasing the revolution together.
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
Ever since her best friend Anna died, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town, hiding her talents, mourning her loss, drowning in her guilt. Then a girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears on the shore, and the two girls catch the eyes of two charming princes. Suddenly Evie feels like she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after. But magic isn’t kind, and her new friend harbors secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad — or on two legs — without Evie’s help. And when Evie reaches deep into the power of her magic to save her friend’s humanity — and her prince’s heart — she discovers, too late, what she’s bargained away.

Weekly Themes

Dig deeper into your world! We begin with the Himalayas and end with the Tenzig Montes (named after first person to climb Everest, highest point in Himalayas and on Earth!).

  1. Himalayas Asia
  2. Ural Eurasia
  3. Alps Western Europe
  4. Atlas Northwest Africa
  5. Andes South America
  6. Rockies North America
  7. Ocean Ridge Marine
  8. Great Dividing Range Australia
  9. Tenzig Montes Pluto
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