What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger Book Group Reading Options:
Unit Focus Characters that experience growth in the face of conflicts and struggles.
Graceling : Kristin Cashore In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles to understand and redeem herself from her own horrifying Grace— the Grace of killing. In the process, she teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king. (Video)
Thirteen Reasons Why : Jay Asher Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide. Each tape is dedicated to a person who contributed to her decision. He spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death. (Video)
Nineteen Minutes : Jodi Picoult This story tells the aftermath of a shooting in a small-town high school. Told from multiple perspectives (including the victims, police, teachers, parents, the shooters themselves), readers are given history leading up to the shooting and are privy to what unfolds as a result.
The Kite Runner : KhaledHosseini This book presents a glimpse of life in Afghanistan before the Russian invasion and introduces richly drawn, memorable characters. Amir is the son of a wealthy man, but his best friend is Hassan, the son of one of his father’s servants. This book follows the friendship and lives of these two boys who are from very different sides of the “track”.
Runner : Carl Deuker Chance Taylor lives on a sailboat at the marina. The boat's not seaworthy and represents the life Chance and his father share—rocking back and forth and going nowhere. Chance sits in the back of every classroom, making himself invisible. Mr. Taylor drinks, has trouble holding down a job and struggles to pay the bills. So, Chance agrees to be a runner, picking up mysterious parcels on his daily running route and passing them on to the fat man from the marina, knowing that it's probably wrong and likely dangerous, but it pays very well.
Unwind : Neal Shusterman In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives "unwound" and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs--and, perhaps, save their own lives. (Video)
Rikers High : Paul Volponi Martin Stokes has been imprisoned on Rikers Island for five months, awaiting trial for telling an undercover cop where to buy drugs. He’s become an observer of the prison ecosystem, good at keeping his head down and steering clear of gangs, extortion schemes, brutal correction officers, and other hazards . . . mostly.
Before I Fall: Lauren Oliver If you could relive your last day, what would you do differently? This is what Samantha asks herself when, after a fatal accident driving from a party on Friday, she wakes in her bed to find she must repeat the entire day again. And again. As Samantha lives through multiple Fridays, desperate to prevent her death, she is struck by how even the most insignificant acts, like running late for school instead of being on time, can change everything. (Video)
Freefall : Mindi Scott Seth McCoy likes to party. He’s a bass guitar player in a teen rock band, and the book talks about his music, but also how he’s dealing with his best friend's death, his own drinking problem, and on top of all that, too much attention from the wrong girl, and none from the right one. (Video)
Before I Die : Jenny Downham While other 16-year-olds are thinking about getting their driver's license or who will ask them to the school dance, terminally ill Tessa is busy making her bucket list. She’s determined to spend her remaining time living, rather than focusing on dying.