There were a surprising number of options we considered for books with such long titles you forget what they are before you can find them on a shelf. And so we bring you a rather long list of recommendations. Fitting somewhat though, don’t you think? We hope you find something to enjoy!
How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won A Bubba-Sized Trophy, Crystal Allen
Lamar is a fantastic bowler but terrible with girls. His older brother is a basketball trophy winner, and claims all the boys’ father’s attention for himself. Then Lamar is convinced by a local bad boy that “hustling” at the bowling alley will get him his dream girl. We think this means he swindles people at the alley, somehow. Of course, his scheme goes awry and it’s his responsibility to fix it.
Octavian’s mother is an African princess, and as such Octavian has grown up in a house full of philosophers and scientists. He has received a strong education in both classical and musical areas, so when he discovers that he is “owned” by Mr Gitney (the household owner) and that Octavian’s education was merely an experiment (and a skewed one at that) to test whether the African race is inferior to the Europeans, Octavian is quite rightfully horrified, and his world is turned on its head. This discovery leads to information about just how far this experiment goes, and sets in motion events that see Octavian fleeing to the Colonial Army. Set in the 18th century at the time of the American Revolution, this one’s will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The True Tale of Monster Billy Dean telt by hisself, David Almond
This is not a book for everyone. If you can’t handle the spelling in the title, skip to the next recommendation, this one isn’t for you. If your interest is ignited, read on. Billy Dean was born in a small village in a country torn apart by war. His mother raised him in secret, in a back room and he accepts, of course, the only world and the only way of living he has ever known. But he can’t be hidden for ever. Eventually the world will see Billy Dean, and Billy Dean will see the world. The reactions, on both sides, are intriguing. And the consequences are extraordinary. This is, at heart, a coming of age story, but it is much more that. It’s a book about manipulation, about perception, about faith, about what makes us human, about so many things.
Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me, Kristen Chandler
Firstly, this is NOT a book about werewolves. Nor is it the story of a girl who “blossoms” over the summer and suddenly becomes popular. Instead KJ finds herself as much of an outsider as she ever was in her hometown outside Yellowstone National Park. KJ is assigned to work with the shaggy-haired, intensely appealing (aren’t they always) Virgil on a school newspaper article about the famous wolves of Yellowstone. At first KJ sees the real-life environmental issue facing wolves as black and white but eventually comes to understand the multiple perspectives involved. This isn’t just about wolves, but applies to people as well as ultimately, this book is about KJ’s relationship with her dad, Virgil and the town as a whole. The lack of ‘happy-ever-after’ makes this a smart, extremely well written, and completely refreshing debut novel from Kristen Chandler.
In The Boyfriend List we learn about Ruby Oliver through her relationships with boys (not necessarily her boyfriends), how these relationship affect her life and if they are at all healthy and constructive. Ruby is not a perfect character – she makes mistakes, she hangs on to boys for all the wrong reasons, she doesn’t appreciate her real friends enough. In short, she does everything that we all do. But in the end, through looking back at her dating history, analyzing her own family dynamics and talking to her therapist, Ruby learns how to be more assertive, get what she wants from her relationships with boys and simply becomes a more self-aware person. E. Lockhart’s stories have a point to make but they’re hidden in a very funny and clever writing style that pulls you into the world of real and loveable characters. You’ll be too busy laughing to notice the point being made till you stop and think about it. If you like this one then also make sure you check out the sequels (all with equally long titles) or another brilliant E. Lockhart book called The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
Anecdote time! I (Rebecca) meant to read this years ago but then my friend threw up all over it and now everytime I pick up a copy all I can think of is vomit. BUT everyone who reads it says it’s really good (including Rachel) so here’s the blurb: “Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.” (Goodreads)
Rachel Riley is the offspring of a depressingly unbroken home. Her mum and dad refuse to let her have a mobile phone, and have banned Ribena (too purple) and Eastenders (too common); her seven-year-old brother buys giant Des Lynam cut-outs and Will Young dolls from ebay and talks in Elvish; and the adopted dog eats her Pride and Prejudice boxed collection. It is time to change things. Rachel resolves that this year she will become tragic, literary and interesting – and will win the heart of Justin, the lead guitarist from Certain Death, along the way. It’s laugh-out-loud funny from beginning to end according to Goodreads.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie
This is one of those books that people absolutely love. Why? Perhaps it’s the protagonist Junior who despite being born with an enormous head, gigantic feet, crazy eyes, ten more teeth than normal, a stutter, and a lisp isn’t a complainer. Not really. Instead the budding cartoonist is determined to take his future into his own hands. He leaves the Spokane Indian Reservation (the rez) where he has grown up to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. We think people love this book because it’s a combination of heartbreaking, amusing and an engagingly written story based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making (and its sequel The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There), Catherynne M. Valente
September is a twelve-year-old girl who had a pretty ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. A gentleman in a green jacket (known as a Green Wind) approaches September at her kitchen window, and asks for her help in Fairyland. The new Marquess is a fickle teenager, but she needs September to retrieve a talisman from the enchanted woods. If September doesn’t get it, the Marquess will be taking out her frustrations on her subjects. With a gang of new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a boy named Saturday, September is on a mission to save Fairyland from the Marquess.
This book takes place in a world like you will never have encountered before. Flora knows better than to take shortcuts in her family home, Crackpot Hall–the house has eleven thousand rooms, and ever since her mother banished the magickal butler, those rooms move around at random. But Flora is late for school, so she takes the unpredictable elevator anyway. Huge mistake. Lost in her own house, she stumbles upon the long-banished butler–and into a mind-blowing muddle of intrigue and betrayal that changes her world forever. It’s full of twists and turns you won’t see coming and Flora is one kick-arse heroine! She’s scrappy, determined, brave and best of all, gets up and keeps going even when things aren’t going her way.
So there you have it – a long list of books (some of the books are long too) with extra long titles. Hopefully you find something on our list to keep your eyes and brains occupied!
Until next time
R n R