Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Reviewed by THE BOOK DEALER
Samantha “Sam” Kingston and her friends, Lindsey, Ally, and Elody are several of the most popular girls in school. Sam’s life drastically changes on Cupid Day, the day that reinforces who is “in” and who is “out,” based on roses received from peers.
That night after attending an unsupervised teen party with her friends, Samantha gets in the car with a drunk driver, crashes, and dies. For seven days, Sam is forced to relive the day of her death. This gives her a lot of time to think about how she and her friends have treated others, as well as to fully grasp what it means to love. Through this week, which is reminiscent of the movie Groundhog Day, Sam is given the opportunity to make changes to her life and the lives of others.
This is a thought-provoking novel that young adults and adults will ponder long after the last page.…
A senior student named David chose A Child Called It (Pelzer), because, as he later articulated, the font was comparatively large and the text was easy-to-read and contained some pictures. David read every day. Even when it was a half day of school due to a pep rally, he made the choice to hang back after the entire class left. When asked why he didn’t leave after dismissal to join the basketball game going on outside, he replied, “Well, I thought I would finish the book. I only have a few more pages to go.”
He finished the book that day and confided that this was the first book he had ever read in its entirety during high school. Mystery solved. Seizing the moment, the reading specialist asked, “What did it take for you to be one of the best basketball players in the state?” He replied, “Easy…practice,” and through this practice, students immediately gained self-efficacy and started to see growth in their abilities to read, write, think, and discuss.…