August is National Back to School month. We’re sharing some great resources about school and education for all ages. We hope you enjoy this list!
Digital book (DB), braille (BR), large print (LT), and audio described videos (DVD) copies of these titles are available from the Perkins Library or the Worcester Talking Book Library. Please contact the library to order any of these books.
Prepared by Lee Anne Hooley
Head of Talking Book Services
Worcester Talking Book Library
by Alisson Wood
DB 101111, Available as BARD Download
The author reflects on her experiences as a teen when her English teacher pursued a relationship with her after giving her a copy of Lolita (DB 67388, BR 13157). 2020.
by Mona Awad
DB 95562, Available as BARD Download
Samantha Heather Mackey is an outsider in her master’s program because she’s a scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to the company of people—especially the clique of women who call each other “Bunny.” But then she is drawn into their world. 2019.
by Chris Crutcher
DB 65841, BR 17545, DB available as BARD Download
Eighteen-year-old Ben Wolf hides his terminal illness from family and friends during his senior year of high school. Since he is now able to live without fearing consequences, Ben allows himself to fall in love, argue with a teacher, and play football. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2007.
by Beverly Cleary
DB 21309, BR 15447, Available as BARD Download
Leigh, a sixth grade boy, writes letters to Mr. Henshaw, who has been his favorite author since second grade. Leigh begins writing the letters because of a school assignment, then he discovers that he likes writing, especially when Mr. Henshaw writes back. And Mr. Henshaw’s surprising answers to Leigh’s questions change the boy’s life. For grades 4-7. 1983.
by Libba Bray
DB 58201, Available as BARD Download
After her mother’s 1895 murder in India, sixteen-year-old Gemma Doyle returns home to England to attend boarding school. There Gemma learns she has supernatural powers that lead her and three friends to a magical realm where she reconnects with her mother. But evil forces also abound. For senior high readers. 2003.
by Sam Graham-Felsen
DB 90237, Available as BARD Download
Boston, 1992. Dave Greenfield, known to all as Green, is one of two white students in his sixth-grade class. As he navigates his new school and the beginning of puberty, he becomes friends with Marlon, a shy black kid. Race and other factors test their friendship. 2018.
An intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, who was wounded when Taliban gunmen opened fire on her in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The shooting of the then fifteen-year-old teenager sparked international media outrage. An educational activist in Pakistan, Yousafzal has since emerged as a leading campaigner for the rights of children worldwide and in December 2014, became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving disturbing images and threats.
by Suzy Kline
The kids in Room 3B are holding a Sharing and Caring Tag Sale to earn money for charity, but Harry considers stealing from the event in order to help out with money problems at home, not realizing that his plan will cause him to become a thief of the class’s charity collection. For grades K-3. 2013.
by John Irving
DB 74828, LT 14194, Available as BARD Download
Bill Abbott grows up in a family and town that can be both supportive and condemning of alternative sexualities. The relationships he makes in high school carry Bill through his exploratory years until he finds—and accepts—his place in life. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2012.
by Kathleen West
DB 98698, Available as BARD Download
In Liston Heights, the high school becomes a battleground between micro-managing parents and overworked teachers with students caught in the middle. Teacher Isobel receives a threatening voicemail, while parent Julia makes an error in judgment when casting the winter musical. The students must save the day. 2020.
by Robert Mercer
DB 100733, BR 23364, Available as BARD Download
The author recounts his struggles as a child living with low vision, especially his difficulty with school. He describes the impact that starting at the Halifax School for the Blind and the efforts of his teacher, Mrs. Beaton, had on the trajectory of his life. 2019.
by Sue Kliebold
DB 83764, LT 20386, Available as BARD Download
In 1999, teens Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed thirteen and wounded others before shooting themselves at Columbine High School. Drawing upon her journals, videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and interviews with mental-health experts, Dylan’s mother chronicles her efforts to come to terms with the incomprehensible. 2016.
by Denise Swanson
A nasty faculty feud leaves one Scumble River teacher belly-up, and Skye must sort through a huge roster of suspects to figure out which wronged party was mad enough to kill him. 2015.
by Stephen Chbosky
DB 75897, BR 12551, LT 29954, Available as BARD Download
In 1991, Charlie is a high school freshman, reeling from his only friend’s recent suicide. In a series of letters, the overly sensitive and intelligent Charlie describes making friends with two seniors, who are step-siblings, and growing up with their help. For senior high and older readers. 1999.
by Julie Murphy
DB 106010, LT 30685, Available as BARD Download
Waylon is an overweight, openly gay boy stuck in a small Texas town. After his audition tape for a drag show accidentally goes public and someone nominates him for prom queen as a joke, Waylon decides to run—especially since he has a crush on a prom king nominee. For senior high and older readers. 2021.
by John Knowles
DB 24697, BR 10076, Available as BARD Download
The rivalry in the friendship of two roommates at a New Hampshire boarding school during the summer session of 1942 is dramatized by a crippling accident which leads to further tragedy.
by Dave Lubar
DB 83267, Available as BARD Download
Following his difficult freshman year, in Sleeping Freshman Never Lie (DB 62064), Scott Hudson hopes his sophomore year will be different. But after a disastrous first week, Scott braces himself for yet another round of craziness. For senior high and older readers. 2015.
Jaime Escalante, a math teacher at East L.A.’s Garfield High School, refuses to write off his inner city students as losers. He inspires 18 kids who were struggling with fractions to becomes math whizzes. With Edward James Olmos, Andy Garcia, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rosana De Soto. Directed by Ramón Menéndez. 1988.
by Melissa Isaacson
DB 97201, Available as BARD Download
A sportswriter tells the story of her experience on a suburban Chicago girls’ basketball team that won the state championship in 1979. She describes the team’s path to success, and how they were impacted by the passage of Title IX, which outlawed gender discrimination in funding school activities. Some strong language. 2019.
by Olivia Dade
DB 95831, Available as BARD Download
When Martin joins the high school history department, teacher Rose Owens resents the fact that he was given her favorite classes. But his kindness and devotion to teaching soon have her looking at Martin differently. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2019.
by Michal Ben-Naftali
DB 99123, Available as BARD Download
Fictional biography of Elsa Weiss, a teacher who survived the horrors of the Holocaust, but later commits suicide. Thirty years after her death, one of her former students imagines Elsa’s life before, during, and after World War II. Translated from the original Hebrew edition. Violence. 2019.
by Tasha Kavanaugh
DB 90250, Available as BARD Download
Fifteen-year-old Yasmin, overweight and friendless, is obsessed with fellow classmate Alice. When Yasmin notices a dog-walking man staring at Alice, she decides that he is a pedophile and that she needs to save Alice from him. Yasmin devises a plan to learn where he lives. Strong language. 2015.
by Jay Asher
DB 70544, DB 85972 (Spanish), Available as BARD Download
Clay Jensen receives a box of audiocassettes in the mail with no return address. Hannah Baker—a girl he barely knew but secretly liked, who committed suicide—recorded a final message for thirteen people to listen to and then pass on to the next person. For senior high and older readers. 2007.
by Michael Hurd
DB 87986, Available as BARD Download
Historian chronicles African American high school football in Texas, in particular the Prairie View Interscholastic League. During the decades of segregation in the state, the PVIL nurtured the talent of countless players, many of whom went on to successful NFL careers. 2017.
by Elizabeth Acevedo
DB 95376, BR 22770, LT 27334, Available as BARD Download
Teen mother Emoni Santiago struggles with the challenges of finishing her senior year, raising her two-year-old daughter, and following her dream of working as a chef. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2019.