“The Giver” Discussion Groups

Please join us on Thursday August 7th for a discussion of Lois Lowry’s book, “The Giver”. The student discussion group will be at 4:00 p.m. and adult discussion group will be at 7:00p.m. You can choose the time when you register.

Since the movie comes out on August 15th, we felt a discussion of the book would be important, particularly since the book unfolds before a 12-year-old Jonas and the movie transforms the character to a 16-year-old.

The book is appropriate for ages 12 and up and is considered to be in the fantasy and magic category.

Any student is welcome to join us at 4:00p.m.- there will be juice and fruit at the store (particularly for those arriving from summer camp!). A signed hardbound copy of “The Giver” will be given away at this discussion, by drawing. Each registered student in attendance will be given a free book on that day.

The 7:00 p.m. evening discussion will be geared to an adult discussion of the themes in the book (most notibly the subject of euthanasia).

About the book:  

Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community. Winner of the Newbery Medal.

In a perfect world where there is no conflict, racism or sickness, every member of society has a specific role, and Jonas is selected to be the Receiver of Memory. As Jonas uncovers the truth behind his world’s past, he discovers that many years earlier, his forefathers gave up humanity in order to have a stable society.

If you have any questions about this, or any other event at Byrd’s Books please feel free to call the store at (203) 730-2973.

Registration is required for each discussion. To register click here.

Sidekicked

SidekickedBy John David Anderson

Andrew Bean might be a part of h.e.r.o., a secret organization for the training of superhero sidekicks, but that doesn’t mean that life is all leaping tall buildings in single bounds. First, there’s Drew’s power: Possessed of super senses – his hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell are the most powerful on the planet – he’s literally the most sensitive kid in school. There’s his superhero mentor, a former legend who now spends more time straddling barstools than fighting crime. And then there’s his best friend, Jenna – their friendship would be complicated enough if she weren’t able to throw a Volkswagen the length of a city block. Add in trying to keep his sidekick life a secret from everyone, including his parents, and the truth is clear: middle school is a drag even with superpowers.

But this is all before a supervillain long thought dead returns to the city of Justicia, superheroes begin disappearing at an alarming rate, and Drew’s two identities threaten to crash head-on into each other. Drew has always found it pretty easy to separate right from wrong, good from evil. It’s what a superhero does. But what happens when that line starts to disappear?

Sisterland

SisterlandBy Curtis Sittenfield

Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of American Wife and Prep, returns with a mesmerizing novel of family and identity, loyalty and deception, and the delicate line between truth and belief.

From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses” – innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.

Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.

Funny, haunting, and thought-provoking, Sisterland is a beautifully written novel of the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves. With her deep empathy, keen wisdom, and unerring talent for finding the extraordinary moments in our everyday lives, Curtis Sittenfeld is one of the most exceptional voices in literary fiction today.

Oliver and His Alligator

Oliver and his AlligatorBy Paul Schmidt

Oliver is nervous about the first day of school, so he picks up an alligator at the swamp, just in case. And boy, does it come in handy! Whenever anything scares Oliver – be it a teacher, a classmate, or the prospect of learning everything – the alligator makes the problem go away. Quickly, school becomes much simpler… and a little lonely. But Oliver knows just what to do! Paul Schmid’s gentle, funny tale about overcoming first day of school jitters is destined to become a modern classic that fans of Olivia and Kevin Henkes’ books will love.

My New Teacher & Me!

My New TeacherBy Al Yankovic, illustrated by Wes Hargis

I’ll bet every great thinker and leader we’ve got
Could see all kinds of things other people could not!

Billy is a small boy with a big imagination.

Mr. Booth is a serious teacher with a strict lesson plan.

When the irresistible force of Billy’s unrestrained creativity meets the immovable object of Mr. Booth’s fi xed worldview, one thing is obvious: someone is going to learn a lot this school year!

The irrepressible Billy, star of the New York Times bestselling When I Grow Up, returns in an uproarious back-to-school tale from the uniquely inspired “Weird Al” Yankovic. Dazzling wordplay and sparkling rhyme combine in this appreciation of the rewards of unabashed originality and the special joy of viewing the world gently askew.

Mirage

MirageBy Kristi Cook

Danger looms large in the sequel to Haven, which Booklist called “a blend of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, the Twilight saga, and Lois Duncan’s thrillers.”

Violet McKenna is back for her senior year at Winterhaven and thrilled to be with Aidan after a long summer apart. But while their love for each other is as strong as ever, their troubles are far from over.

News of a rogue vampire on a killing spree sets everyone on edge. While Aidan is determined to stop the killer, Violet is chilled by a horrifying vision she simply must prevent…for if she can’t, two people she loves will meet a violent end.

In the midst of Violet’s fear, a mysterious newcomer enters her life – and he has some vital information not just about her past, but about her future as well. Now everything Violet held as truth is upended, and she is left not knowing whom to trust, if she is in danger, and – worst of all – whether she and Aidan are really meant to be together.

The Green Shore

Green ShoreBy Natalie Bakopoulos

New in paperback!

Named a must read by Entertainment Weekly, this masterful debut takes us to the poignant and powerful heart of a family caught up in Greece’s brutal 1967 military coup d’état. As these characters struggle with their passions, both personal and political, and their stories of love and resistance play out against the backdrop of this turbulent period, their lives begin to unfold in surprising ways. A widowed doctor and her daughters, their poet uncle and his wife, must each make their own peace with when to stay silent in the face of atrocity, and when to act.

Set in Paris and Athens, The Green Shore is an ambitious, lyrical tour de force that captures the human cost of a terrifying historical moment. In flawless, gorgeous prose, award-winning novelist Natalie Bakopoulos draws us into the lives of unforgettable people who vividly illuminate not only this place and this time but, fundamentally, what it means to be human.

Sweet Salt Air

Sweet Salt AirBy Barbara Delinsky

On Quinnipeague, hearts open under the summer stars and secrets float in the Sweet Salt Air

Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in Nicole’s coastal island house off of Maine. But many years, and many secrets, have kept the women apart. A successful travel writer, single Charlotte lives on the road, while Nicole, a food blogger, keeps house in Philadelphia with her surgeon-husband, Julian. When Nicole is commissioned to write a book about island food, she invites her old friend Charlotte back to Quinnipeague, for a final summer, to help. Outgoing and passionate, Charlotte has a gift for talking to people and making friends, and Nicole could use her expertise for interviews with locals. Missing a genuine connection, Charlotte agrees.

But what both women don’t know is that they are each holding something back that may change their lives forever. For Nicole, what comes to light could destroy her marriage, but it could also save her husband. For Charlotte, the truth could cost her Nicole’s friendship, but could also free her to love again. And her chance may lie with a reclusive local man, with a heart to soothe and troubles of his own.

Seraphina

By Rachel Hartman

New in paperback!

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered – in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina’s tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they’ve turned the final page.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

By Jennifer E. Smith

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

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