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What We Are Reading (THS Staff)

Mr. Smith

Former Yankee Bobby Richardson played alongside Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Joe Pepitone, and Yogi Berra, and he remains to this day the only player from the losing team ever to be named World Series MVP. In Impact Player, Bobby shares his life story, including never-before-told tales from the Yankee clubhouse during the historic '55-'65 pennant runs and World Series appearances.

Mr. Newman

Days after winning OASIS founder James Halliday's contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday's vaults, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the OASIS a thousand times more wondrous--and addictive--than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle, and a new quest--a last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. An unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who'll kill millions to get what he wants. Wade's life and the future of the OASIS are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance..

Ms. Shufelt

The Simon Snow trilogy, concludes with Any Way the Wind Blows. InCarry On, Simon Snow and his friends realized that everything they thought they understood about the world might be wrong. And in Wayward Son, they wondered whether everything they understood about themselves might be wrong. In Any Way the Wind Blows, Simon and Baz and Penelope and Agatha have to decide how to move forward.

Mr. Zellers

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the OASIS, a vast virtual world where most of humanity spends their days. When the eccentric creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of fiendish puzzles, whoever is first to solve them will inherit his vast fortune--and control of the OASIS itself. Then Wade cracks the first clue. Suddenly he's beset by rivals who'll kill to take this prize. The race is on--and the only way to survive is to win.

Ms. Bailey

From Burning to Blueprint tells the story of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre in the era of the Black Lives Matter movement and social activism. This book builds on decades of research into Tulsa's Race Massacre and weaves the past and the present together to reveal how the formula used to spark one of the worst race massacres in American history, is still being used today.

Ms. Ray

After her wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving her mother, and wary of this man, whom she does not know. But she soon falls in love with Cai's farm and the wild mountains that surround it. Cai slowly begins to win Morgana's affections. It's not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A darkforce is at work there--a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana. Forced to defend her home, her man, and herself, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.

Ms. Norton

What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller. Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. Waking in a hospital with the knowledge that someone is dead and wondering “what have I done?”, Nora (Lee?) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee?) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.

Ms. Soltero

Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: Prepare for a crash landing. She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind. The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her husband but of a man she last saw fifteen years ago: Wyatt Armstrong. Dawn, miraculously, survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised.As the story unfolds, Dawn’s two possible futures unspool side by side, as do the secrets and doubts long buried with them. Dawn must confront the questions she’s never truly asked:Do we make choices . . . or do our choices make us? And who would you be if you hadn’t turned out to be the person you are right now?

Ms. Watson

When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.

Ms. Tatro

On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she's assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.

Mr. Steelman

From his bawdy and brave fellow firefighters to the hopeful, hateful, beautiful and beleaguered residents of the poverty-stricken district where he works, Dennis Smith tells the story of a brutalising yet rewarding profession.

Ms. Whiteside

From Anthony Doerr, the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning author of Cloud Cuckoo Land, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Ms. Allen

From Anthony Doerr, the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning author of Cloud Cuckoo Land, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Ms. Hess

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc immerses readers in the intricacies of the ghetto, revealing the true sagas lurking behind the headlines of gangsta glamour, gold-drenched drug dealers, and street-corner society. Focusing on two romances—Jessica’s dizzying infatuation with a hugely successful young heroin dealer, Boy George, and Coco’s first love with Jessica's little brother, Cesar—Random Family is the story of young people trying to outrun their destinies. Charting the tumultuous cycle of the generations—as girls become mothers, boys become criminals, and hope struggles against deprivation—LeBlanc slips behind the cold statistics and sensationalism and comes back with a riveting, haunting, and true story.

Mr. Butt

In the summer of 1999, in the tiny west Texas town of Tulia, thirty-nine people, almost all of them black, were arrested and charged with dealing powdered cocaine. At trial, the prosecution relied almost solely on the uncorroborated, and contradictory, testimony of one police officer. Despite the flimsiness of the evidence against them, virtually all of the defendants were convicted and given sentences as high as ninety-nine years. Tulia is the story of this town, the bust, the trials, and the heroic legal battle that ultimately led to the reversal of the convictions.

Ms. Zeman

In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers. To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven, and provide a victory for art and literature over extremism.

Ms. Ratcliff

Real love starts with you. In order to attract a life partner and build a healthy intimate relationship, you must first become a good partner to yourself. This book offers twenty invaluable lessons that will help you explore and commit to your own emotional and psychological well-being so you can be ready, resilient, and confident in love.

Mr. Bishop

Jennifer Doudna helped to make what the book’s author, James Watson, told her was the most important biological advance since his co-discovery of the structure of DNA. She and her collaborators turned ​a curiosity ​of nature into an invention that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions.Should we use our new evolution-hacking powers to make us less susceptible to viruses? What a wonderful boon that would be! And what about preventing depression? Hmmm…Should we allow parents, if they can afford it, to enhance the height or muscles or IQ of their kids? Her story is a thrilling detective tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species.

Mr. Parks

In the third novel of the New York Times bestselling Temeraire series, Captain Will Laurence and his dragon transport precious cargo while fending off enemies on all sides. Yet disaster threatens the mission at every turn—thanks to the diabolical machinations of the Chinese dragon Lien, who blames Temeraire for her master’s death and vows to ally herself with Napoleon and take vengeance. Then, faced with shattering betrayal in an unexpected place, Laurence, Temeraire, and their squad must launch a daring offensive. But what chance do they have against the massed forces of Bonaparte’s implacable army?

Ms. Sieck

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Ryland's just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company. His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.
Or does he?

Mr. McGowan

Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He's a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he'll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong? How about everything. You won't put this story down, and you won't forget Billy.

Ms. Hunter

"Joe Feldman shows us how we can use grading to help students become the leaders of their own learning and lift the veil on how to succeed. . . . This must-have book will help teachers learn to implement improved, equity-focused grading for impact." --Zaretta Hammond,

Mr. Lichtie

For well over a hundred years now, many scholars have questioned the historical truth of the Gospels, claiming that they were originally anonymous. Others have even argued that Jesus of Nazareth did not think he was God and never claimed to be divine. In The Case for Jesus, Dr. Brant Pitre, the bestselling author of Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, goes back to the sources--the biblical and historical evidence for Christ--in order to answer key questions. As The Case for Jesus will show, recent discoveries in New Testament scholarship, as well as neglected evidence from ancient manuscripts and the early church fathers, together have the potential to pull the rug out from under a century of skepticism toward the traditional Gospels. Above all, Pitre shows how the divine claims of Jesus of Nazareth can only be understood by putting them in their ancient Jewish context.

Ms. Foster

On a patch of land in the Tennessee hills, human corpses decompose in the open air, aided by insects, bacteria, and birds, unhindered by coffins or mausoleums. This is Bill Bass's "Body Farm," where nature takes its course as bodies buried in shallow graves, submerged in water, or locked in car trunks serve the needs of science and the cause of justice. In Death's Acre, Bass invites readers on an unprecedented journey behind the gates of the Body Farm where he revolutionized forensic anthropology. A master scientist and an engaging storyteller, Bass reveals his most intriguing cases for the first time. He revisits the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder, explores the mystery of a headless corpse whose identity astonished police, divulges how the telltale traces of an insect sent a murderous grandfather to death row--and much more.

Ms. Gowdy

The Simon Snow trilogy, concludes with Any Way the Wind Blows. InCarry On, Simon Snow and his friends realized that everything they thought they understood about the world might be wrong. And in Wayward Son, they wondered whether everything they understood about themselves might be wrong. In Any Way the Wind Blows, Simon and Baz and Penelope and Agatha have to decide how to move forward.

Mr. Parry

Learn the basics of quantum physics with this clever, fun, and lighthearted introduction to modern physics based on a series of conversations with Chad Orzel and his dog Emmy. When physics professor Chad Orzel went to the pound to adopt a dog, he never imagined Emmy. She wasn't just a friendly mutt who needed a home. Soon she was trying to use the strange ideas of quantum mechanics for the really important things in her life: chasing critters, getting treats, and going for walks. She peppered Chad with questions: Could she use quantum tunneling to get through the neighbor's fence and chase bunnies? What about quantum teleportation to catch squirrels before they climb out of reach? Where are all the universes in which Chad drops steak on the floor? With great humor and clarity, Chad Orzel explains to Emmy, and to human readers, just what quantum mechanics is and how it works--and why, although you can't use it to catch squirrels or eat steak, it's still bizarre, amazing, and important to every dog and human.

Mr. Knuckles

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.
On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?

Ms. McGee

Do you have students who need extra social and emotional help? Do you want to reach Black, Brown, and other traumatized students living in poverty? Do you want to inspire your most underperforming students to succeed in school? Reflecting on how educators helped him overcome his challenging background of growing up in poverty amidst gang violence in Long Beach, California, in an unstable home with abuse, alcoholism, and drug addiction; thinking critically about his dissertation research on Intercultural Competence; and, most importantly, examining his 20+ years of working with students in 49 states over the last 20+ years, Manny Scott teaches you 40 secrets –principles and strategies– to reach, teach, and empower even your most underperforming students in a diverse, digital world.

Ms. Sparks

A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad’s every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement? Soon the beating is all over the news. And the basketball team—half of whom are Rashad’s best friends—start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad is forced to face decisions and consequences he had never considered before.

Ms. Little

On the sparkling morning of June 25, 1876, 611 U.S. Army soldiers rode toward the banks of the Little Bighorn in the Montana Territory, where 3,000 Indians stood waiting for battle. The lives of two great warriors would soon be forever linked throughout history: Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, and General George Armstrong Custer of the Seventh Cavalry. Both were men of aggression and supreme courage. Both had become leaders in their societies at very early ages; both had been stripped of power, and in disgrace had worked to earn back the respect of their people. And to both of them, the unspoiled grandeur of the Great Plains of North America was an irresistible challenge. Their parallel lives would pave the way, in a manner unknown to either, for an inevitable clash between two nations fighting for possession of the open prairie.

Ms. Schrader

In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden "the first book," and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California's Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

Ms. Shufelt

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life--working hard all day and partying all night--until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She'll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths. With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom--and the power of love.

Ms. Parlow

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle.... But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Mr. Moore

For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare -- poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. But through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world's top endurance athletes. The only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him "The Fittest (Real) Man in America."

Mr. Skidmore

Experience the wonders of human creativity in GARDNER'S ART THROUGH THE AGES: A GLOBAL HISTORY, VOLUME I, 16th Edition! A grand tour of the world's most celebrated works from the Stone Age to the modern era, this introductory text has been a classroom favorite for 85 years. Every chapter includes rich and compelling discussions of pivotal art works, periods and geographies in art history, as well as new artists and art forms. Of course, the bold illustrations on the pages look almost as good as the real thing, especially when you use the unique Scale feature to imagine a work's stature from the artist's point of view

Mr. Ritchey

June 1942. The shadow of the Third Reich has fallen across the European continent. In desperation, Winston Churchill and his chief of staff form an unusual plan: a new commando unit made up of Jewish refugees who have escaped to Britain. The resulting volunteers are a motley group of intellectuals, artists, and athletes, most from Germany and Austria. Many have been interned as enemy aliens, and have lost their families, their homes—their whole worlds. They will stop at nothing to defeat the Nazis. Trained in counterintelligence and advanced combat, this top secret unit becomes known as X Troop. Some simply call them a suicide squad. For the first time, X Troop tells the astonishing story of these secret shock troops and their devastating blows against the Nazis.

Ms. Cook

Polly, Annie, Elisabeth, Catherine, and Mary Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women. For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that “the Ripper” preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, but it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness, and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time—but their greatest misfortune was to be born women.

Ms. Harris

The human head is exceptional. It accommodates four of our five senses,encases the brain, and boasts the most expressive set of muscles in the body.It is our most distinctive attribute and connects our inner selves to the outerworld. Yet there is a dark side to the head's preeminence, one that has, in the courseof human history, manifested itself in everything from decapitation to headhunting.So explains anthropologist Frances Larson in this fascinating history of decapitatedhuman heads. From the Western collectors whose demand for shrunken headsspurred massacres to Second World War soldiers who sent the remains of the Japanesehome to their girlfriends, from Madame Tussaud modeling the guillotined headof Robespierre to Damien Hirst photographing decapitated heads in city morgues,from grave-robbing phrenologists to skull-obsessed scientists, Larson explores ourmacabre fixation with severed heads.

Mr. Sharp

One of Ray Bradbury's best-known and most popular novels, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. Two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes…and the stuff of nightmares. Scary and suspenseful, it is a timeless classic in the American canon.

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Tascosa's Foreign Expereince Club

                             

 

Want to travel to exotic foreign lands?  Join the Trekkers and visit the places you have only dreamed about.  In the past, we have visited Paris, Rome, London, Athens, Tokyo, and many more.  Our next trip will be during the summer of 2023.  Click HERE to learn the location of our next trip and to reserve your spot.  Space is very limited.  Contact Mr. McGowan with questions.  

*The Trekkers is open to all community members aged 10 and up.  

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