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Books That Changed You

Tell us which books make you say, "WOW."

By Ratha M.

Did you ever read a book and you were like, “WOW.” You had to catch your breath. You cried. You thought about things you never had before. You understood. You got it. You changed. There are certain books that make you are a better person after reading them. What are your books? Here are some of mine.

  1. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper 
    This book is about a girl who has cerebral palsy and is stuck in a wheelchair and can’t speak. But she is amazingly brilliant, and is aching for a way to be able to communicate. She’s hilarious, smart, and awesome – but she’s stuck inside her own mind. When you find out where the title picture fits in, it’s one of those “aha” moments…
  2. Rules by Cynthia Lord 
    Twelve-year -old Catherine just wants a normal life, but she feels like that will never be possible with an “embarrassing” brother with autism. But then she meets a new friend, and another boy with a disability that she becomes friends with, and wonders – what really IS normal?
  3. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes 
    Wanda, a poor Polish girl in 1944 is teased by her classmates about the same faded blue dress she wears to school every day. She claims she actually owns 100 beautiful dresses at home, but everyone knows she is lying, and teases her. The teacher doesn’t do anything to help, so her dad pulls her out of school. But just before Wanda leaves, there is a drawing contest and she draws 100 beautiful dresses. She wins the contest, but it is too late – she has already moved away.
  4. The Underneath by Kathi Appelt 
    A pregnant cat is abandoned on the side of the road, and makes her way to a house where she finds a dog chained and imprisoned underneath the porch of a mean, old man. He catches animals to use as alligator bait in the bayou. To stay safe, they stay together to raise the kittens and take care of each other.
  5. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt 
    Ally has moved around to different schools and managed to hide her dyslexia by being the class troublemaker. She’s really good in math and art, but terrified of anyone finding out her secret that she can’t read. She struggles to accept the help of a new teacher, and has her own set of problems with her father being deployed in the military in the Middle East, and some truly mean girls at school.
  6. One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt 
    After a tough life with her mom and stepfather, a young girl is put in foster care with a new loving family – the Murphys. She is initially resentful, and shocked at their “normalness” and kindness, but then comes to love them. At the end though, she finds out her mom wants her back, and she must choose whom to live with.

What books have had an effect on you? Let us know your titles in the comments below!

-Ratha

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