The tragic yet hopeful story of 12-year-old survivor, Edward, stole our hearts, leaving us wanting more heartfelt and captivating stories about survival, love, and humanity. If you’ve also finished and loved Dead Edward by Ann Napolitano, as well as the Apple TV series of the same name, check out these captivating reads – but don’t forget to grab your tissues!
A Tale For the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Nao is a sixteen year old girl who lives in Tokyo. Because of her loneliness and constantly being bullied, Nao is ready to end it all. But before she does, she wants to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun. Across the Pacific Ocean, a novelist named Ruth finds a collection of artifacts that she thinks are linked to the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of the Hello Kitty lunchbox unfolds, so does the complexity of Nao’s past and unknown future.
Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka
Ansel Packer has 12 hours to live. With a scheduled execution just hours away, all Ansel wants is to be understood. Through the eyes of his mother, Lavender, just seventeen years old; his wife’s twin sister, who watches the relationship unfold; and the detective that wants to take Ansel down, we see the stones thrown into the lake that is Ansel’s life, and the ripples they caused. A compelling story of tragedy and womanhood, Notes on an Execution challenges our thoughts on empathy and what it means to be human in our darkest moments.
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
At just nine years old, Bird Gardner lost his mother, a Chinese-American poet, without a trace. Now at age twelve, he lives with his father, the former linguist, who works in a university library. For ten years, Bird has learned not to ask questions, not to stray too far. With authorities attempting to restore peace and prosperity, looking to relocate children of Asian origin, Bird knows not to wonder about his mother and her poems, let alone her whereabouts. But when a mysterious letter arrives with a cryptic drawing, he begins a quest to find her that involves folklore and the lives of the children that have gone missing. It all leads him to New York City, where he learns the power of art and legacy on both children and civilization, and how many can survive with a broken heart.
Signal Fires Dani Shapiro
It’s summer of 1985, and three teenagers decide to get behind the wheel after a night of drinking. In an instant, everything on Division Street changes. The lives of all three are shattered, as well as the young doctor who arrived on the scene, Ben Wilf; it’s a tragedy with circumstances that also bring dangerous secrets for the Wilf family. As time goes by on Division Street, it’s as if the accident never occurred. But when the Shenkman’s arrive with their intuitive and lonely son, Waldo, secrets from the past begin to resurface.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Jack is five-years-old and to him, Room is the entire universe. Living in a small shed where he was born, Room is where Jack and his mother play, learn, eat, sleep, and dream. When Old Nick visits, Ma locks Jacks into an old wardrobe as if they are playing a game. Jack loves Room, while Ma knows it as the prison she has lived in since she was kidnapped seven years ago. As her desperation and Jack’s curiosity grows, a mother’s fierce love for her son will push her change their lives forever.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
A love story unlike any others you’ve read before, this story is about Sam and Sadie, a legendary collaboration. The world is theirs after they create a blockbuster before they even graduate college. They are young, creative, brilliant and rich. But none of those things spare them from the heartaches, failures and surprises of life. Over 30 years, from Massachusetts to California and everywhere in between, these two will learn what’s most important of all: to love and be loved.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Vignes sisters are twins, but since leaving their small southern town at the ages of sixteen, their adult lives couldn’t look more different. One sister lives with her Black daughter in the same community she grew up, while the other passes for white and is married to a white man who knows nothing about her past. But even as distance and time separates them, from the Deep South to California, the 1950s to the 1990s, their daughter’s lives will intersect, weaving together a wise generational story of compassion, love, and identity.
We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman
This is a story of two best friends, Edith and Ashley, who have shared everything together. From hickeys to heartbreak, trick-or-treating to binge-drinking, they’ve lived through the mundane and the momentous together. But now, the unimaginable has happened, and Edi is dying. On the brink of tragedy, Ash will come together with a host of beautiful hospice workers, her daughters, past and present lovers, and close friends as she prepares to say goodbye to Edi. Grab the tissues and prepare to laugh, cry, and laugh until you cry.
Looking for compelling books to discuss with your friends? Check out these Book Club reads >>
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