Today's Best Book Deals for Your Homeschool
(Prices are correct as of the time of writing, but y'all know sales move fast — check before you click the buy button! These are Amazon links — read more about how we use affiliate links to help support some of the costs of the HSL blog here.)
Inside Out and Back Again is $1.99. From our big immigration stories reading list (winter 2017): “When Hà’s family flees Vietnam to escape the war there, she finds it difficult to adjust to a very different kind of life in Alabama. Told in spare, simple verse, this book packs an emotional wallop and allows kids to slip inside the first person experience of being a stranger in a strange land.”
Still on sale
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is $2.99. I’m loving all the Asian folklore influence in YA fiction these days, and this is a particularly great one to start with. Publishers Weekly said, “Hilarious and action-packed, this fantastically executed tale of the Monkey King in modern-day California introduces a great new character in Genie Lo.”
On Turpentine Lane is $2.99. Suzanne says: “Lipman writes warmly affectionate stories about screwed-up but still loving families, both those we are born into and those we create along the way. In this one, our heroine moves into a new home and soon gets caught up with (1) a decades-old possible murder mystery, and (2) a handsome new housemate. Lipman’s characters are funny and actually try to be nice to each other and she’s never let me down—highly recommended for comfort reads (and getting over any mean-spirited and spiteful novels you may have accidentally read).”
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History is $3.99. In addition to being a “compelling and enlightening report [that] forthrightly addresses the most significant topic of our lives” (that’s what Booklist says!), it’s part of the spine of Build Your Library’s 9th grade reading list.
Monster is $1.99. Carrie says — in her civil rights study guide — “Myers’s 1999 young-adult novel uses an innovative structure — part imaginary screenplay, part diary — to tell the story of Steve Harmon, an African-American teen on trial for murder. Through fragmentary flashbacks, readers gradually piece together Steve’s role in the crime and his journey through a criminal justice system that is predisposed to see a boy who looks like him as a ‘monster.’ For my son and me, this was an eye-opening introduction to the problem of racial bias in our justice system.”
A Study in Charlotte is $1.99. In this YA mystery, Sherlock Holmes’s equally brainy, equally troubled great-great-great-granddaughter ends up attending the same New England boarding school as John Watson’s great-great-great-grandson, and murder inevitably ensues. Kirkus said, “Cavallaro’s crackling dialogue, well-drawn characters, and complicated relationships make this feel like a seamless and sharp renewal of Doyle’s series. An explosive mystery featuring a dynamic duo.”
Sounder is $1.99. This is a classic! Amazon’s reviewer says: “William H. Armstrong's Newbery Award-winning novel quickly became a classic as a moving portrayal of resilience and hope in the face of profound human tragedy. Decades later, the bittersweet story still rings true, as strong-spirited individuals continue to battle the evil of prejudice.”
Breadcrumbs is $1.99. This middle grades homage to Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” set in the modern-day real world, is peppered with references to other fairy tales but manages to stand as its own story: about a girl who risks everything to save her friend. I’d read this with an Andersen fairy tale collection.
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World is $1.99. If you’re looking for a literature approach for biology, put this fascinating history of London’s 19th century cholera epidemic — and the doctor who figured out what was causing it — on your list.
Jacob Have I Loved is $1.99. This odd, lonely book about two sisters isn’t everyone’s cup of tea: Older twin Louise is constantly lost in the shadows around her beautiful. talented sister’s perpetual glow, and she struggles with finding a path for herself. The first time I read this, as a teenager, it broke my heart open in all the best ways.
Archer’s Goon is $2.99. This is classic Diana Wynne Jones: A band of sorcerer siblings will go to any lengths to beat each other to the 2,000 words Harold’s author father was supposed to deliver — words that they believe will be the key to breaking them out of the individual jails they rule. Harold, of course, finds himself caught up in the competition, and trying to tell the good guys from the bad guys isn’t always easy.
Iron Cast is $2.99. Suzanne says: “This YA fantasy novel (which, honestly, I would have picked up just for the cover) is set in Jazz Age 1919 Boston, and tells the story of teenage best friends and nightclub performers, Ada and Corinne. They are hemopaths, meaning that they’re allergic to iron and have special powers: Ada can affect people’s emotions through her music, while Corinne can cast illusions by quoting poetry. Together they have to deal with anti-hemopath sentiment and escape the evil doctor who’s running hemopath experiments in the asylum just outside town.”
Strange Practice is $2.99. My daughter recommends this twist on traditional monster literature: Dr. Greta Helsing treats all kinds of undead ailments, from entropy in mummies to vocal strain in banshees. It’s an abnormally normal life — until a group of murderous monks start killing London’s living and dead inhabitants, and Greta may be the only one who can stop them.