"The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien

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This is the story of a reluctant adventurer who battles enormous forces. Bilbo Baggins, the protagonist, likes his creature comforts and is unsure as he sets out on an incredible journey to complete an important task. In order to succeed he needs to learn how to get along with others and stand up for what he believes in. It is an inspiring tale of adventure, fellowship, uncertainty, and strength.

I am Malala: the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

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This beautiful and absorbing book follows the life of a bravely determined young woman, Malala, living in the Swat Valley along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Malala publicly supported female education which was a strong defiant act toward the local Taliban.  With poise, strength, and courage Malala gives us a first person account of what it is like to live in current Pakistani society.  Her detailed narrative of being shot by the Taliban along with her miraculous recovery is truly moving.

Hellstrip Gardening by Evelyn Hadden

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The hellstrip—the space between a street and a public sidewalk which finally gains attention as a space to add curb appeal to your home.  This oft-ignored gardening space can be reclaimed as a small paradise with environmentally friendly plants that thrive in tough situations and with limited water needs. 

Gorgeous color photographs of hellstrip gardens offer inspiration and visual guidance to tackle this new gardening frontier.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

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Was the British luxury ocean liner Lusitania, sunk in British waters during World War I, an inevitable casualty of war? Was there anything that could have been done to save her or her civilian passengers, which included a record number of infants and children? Had wartime rules of engagement changed?

Erik Larson’s considerable research illuminates the remarkable series of coincidences and decisions that converged to consign the Lusitania and most of her passengers and crew to a watery grave. Larson skillfully brings individual passengers, captain, crew, and military leaders to life while detailing the behind-the-scenes machinations that played such a significant role in the Lusitania’s sinking.

Whether you enjoy historical nonfiction or have shied away from reading it because of concern about dry text or an avalanche of dates, names, and places, this riveting read is for you.

Adventure Pick for Teens!:I Have a Bad Feeling About This

Henry Lambert would rather play video games than spend time in the great outdoors–but that doesn't make him a wuss. Henry's dad doesn't agree and thinks his masculinity needs a boost. Which is why Henry is being shipped off to Strongwoods Survival Camp. Strongwoods isn't exactly as advertised. It looks like the victim of a zombie apocalypse, the “camp director” is a psycho drill sergeant, and Henry's sure he saw a sign written in blood… 


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