The Book Report: December 2023

Book picks from Eliza Dufour, Katheryn Delgrosso, Ms. MacHaffie, and Leslie Plasencia.

The Book Report: December 2023
Illustration by Kaiden Chandler. Images via Amazon.

Welcome to The Book Report, a monthly round-up of book reviews and recommendations from the students and staff of MSMHS. In this edition, reporter Gracie Peil talks books with Eliza Dufour, Katheryn Delgrosso, Ms. MacHaffie, and Leslie Plasencia. Interviews are lightly edited for clarity.

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Eliza Dufour's Pick: I'll Give You the Sun

Illustration by Kaiden Chandler. Image via Amazon.

Synopsis: I'll Give You the Sun is a novel by Jandy Nelson that tells a beautiful and heartfelt story of two siblings, Jude and Noah, and their journey through love, loss, and self-discovery. The book explores themes of family, identity, and the power of art, and is an emotional and thought-provoking read. 

Eliza says: “I first picked up this book because one of my friends recommended it to me. When I started reading it I immediately fell in love with the writing style; the author uses in-depth descriptions to describe the main character, who is an artist, and truly captures what is going on inside his head. The book is sent from multiple points of view, which I feel gives it an incredible representation of different viewpoints. The book explores themes of LGBTQ+ rights, grief, and individual expression.

“It takes place when the characters are in middle and high school, which I believe makes it a more relatable experience and would resonate more with others. It made me think more about other people's experiences and how not everyone has the same access to opportunities.”

Katheryn Delgrosso's Pick: The Midnight Library

Illustration by Kaiden Chandler. Image via Amazon.

Synopsis: The Midnight Library is a novel written by Matt Haig. It tells the story of Nora Seed, who finds herself in a magical library between life and death. In this library, each book represents a different version of her life, and she has the opportunity to try out different paths and possibilities. The novel explores themes of regret, second chances, and the importance of finding meaning in life.

Katheryn says:The Midnight Library is a book that makes you rethink your life and all of the different possibilities of where it could go. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something to make you think about the actions that you take and the path you want to be on. It’s a book that makes you appreciate living and, unlike others, is one that I constantly think about.

“The story is so interesting and creative that it gives you a deeper appreciation for the life that you live. Between the writing style in the novel and the anticipation, the book captures you in the first few chapters. I think that this is a book that can make you think differently and is one of those novels everyone should read. It makes you think about the choices you make, how things would be different if you chose another path, and how much of a different person you could be.”

Ms. MacHaffie's Pick: The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder

Illustration by Kaiden Chandler. Image via Amazon.

Synopsis: David Grann’s The Wager is an incredible true crime story that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the Arctic. Through the book, readers uncover the mystery behind a man's disappearance, and also dive into the fascinating history of exploration. The story explores the relentless pursuit of truth and the extraordinary lengths people are willing to go to uncover it.

Ms. Mac says: “When I was choosing a book for this, I was trying to think of something adventurous that would appeal to our school and its marine relations. I recently read this book and immediately knew it would fit perfectly, because who doesn't love a good seafaring disaster tale?

“I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading, I think that the vivid descriptions of what these men endured versus nature are truly captivating. Since I was very young I have been fascinated with the subject of history and I believe that just as it did for me, this book will speak to the innate adventurer in anyone who reads it.”

Leslie's Pick: Rich Dad’s Retire Young Retire Rich

Illustration by Kaiden Chandler. Image via Goodreads.

Synopsis: Rich Dad’s Retire Young Retire Rich is a book by Robert T. Kiyosaki with thoughts on becoming wealthy and maintaining financial stability. It provides strategies and insights on how to achieve financial independence and retire early, offering tips on building wealth and managing money wisely.

Leslie says: “I first picked up this book because it discusses the mindset and the ways that you can be led to success. It informs readers on how to retire young and rich and preaches the power of the mind and profound impact that the words you say have on your actions.

“One day I want to be able to provide things that my parents couldn’t and this book taught me how I can support my parents financially as I grow older. This book gave me a different perspective on life, it taught me that if you put in the work, the outcome will be in your favor. I encourage students to have an open mindset and try this book because even if they don't finish it, they will have something to take away.”

Thanks for reading The Book Report, a publication of The Current. Join us next Thursday for an interview with Mr. Ingmundson in Survival Kit!

-Gracie Peil, Editor of The Book Report