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The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

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Specific reads for particular people

Are you someone who’d like to start reading but are unsure of where to begin? We’ve all been there before. This list consists of books in very specific genres for those looking for their next (or first!) read.  

Reimagining the Classics 

“Across a Star-Swept Sea” by Diana Peterfreund 

Based on “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” this sci-fi dystopian follows characters Persis Blake and Justen Helo from Albion and Galatea, rival countries. Due to a drug development that recreates the effects of a brain disorder that used to affect the lower class, Galatean authorities have been using it against Albion aristocrats. In the midst of these times, a man known as “The Wild Poppy” rescues these officials and works to end the revolution, but that “man” is none other than Blake. With a strong, empowering female lead, I recommend this novel to those who like a romantic subplot and can follow along with thought-provoking concepts. 

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“Olivia Twist” by Lorie Langdon 

Langdon’s book is based on “Oliver Twist.” Similar to the previous novel, this one also features a female protagonist instead of the typical male. Olivia was raised as a boy until she was rescued off the streets when she was younger. When she meets Jack McCarron, someone she knew back then as “the artful Dodger,” she has to confront her past again as they work through a plethora of other problems. I would classify this as a romance fantasy, as it has action elements along with tension between Olivia Twist and the male lead. This has to be one of my favorites, and it’s suitable for most reading levels.  

“Heartless” by Marissa Meyer  

This book was the first and only book capable of making me cry. The writing style is set in older times, reminding me of dark academia. “Heartless” follows a less discussed character from “Alice in Wonderland,” providing readers with a new experience from a side character’s point of view. This book can be more emotional than the other ones listed in this category, so go into it expecting tears! 

The Real and Relatable 

“Paper Things” by Sarah Richard Jacobson 

“Paper Things” is about Ari, a girl who lost her parents and has to choose between combatting homelessness with her brother Gage and honoring a promise she made to her mother to “always stick together” or to stay with her guardian in a stable home during her most important years of education. I found Jacobson’s novel to be raw and emotional, giving readers a look at the realities of homelessness. Jacobson, who is also a teacher who works in impoverished schools, based the experiences of Ari and her brother on her own students’ experiences.  

“Towers Falling” by Jewell Parker Rhodes 

The events that occurred on 9/11 are still taught every year in school because of how significant they are. Deja Barnes is a fifth grader who is unaware of the implications that it had on her family, and the book follows her through her education of the attack on the World Trade Center and its ties to her personal life and community. “Towers Falling” is good for any reader looking to learn about history from the multiple perspectives of the characters in this realistic yet fictional manner. 

“Pillow Thoughts” by Courtney Peppernell 

If you can appreciate some poetry, Peppernell’s collection might just be for you. This book is divided into sections as it follows through the basic human processes of love, heartbreak, grief, acceptance and other stages. Because of this, anyone can relate to at least one of the topics presented.  

A Walk Back in Time 

“The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Treasury” by Betty Macdonald 

When I think about my childhood, I think about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. The treasury is an assortment of stories about a neighborhood’s go-to woman for fixing bad habits. She’s known to have cures for everything, and the kids on the block turn to her to resolve their issues. It’s a heartwarming yet funny read, and it’s set at an elementary reading level. I think Macdonald’s stories are a hidden gem, one I believe I was lucky to stumble across to this day. 

“Bacon Me Crazy” by Suzanne Nelson 

Nelson’s books were all I read back in middle school. It’s a series of books that focus on light romances that start from foods. In “Bacon Me Crazy,” Tessa works at her aunt Cleo’s food truck, and she regards it as one of her escapes until Asher Rivers, a popular boy from her grade, begins working there. Their personalities clash, and they’re forced to get along, although the reluctance soon turns into something else. A very fluffy (and fast) read, Nelson’s novel is a great starter for beginners or for those who just want something light-hearted to pick up for a week. 

“I am Princess X” by Cherie Priest 

If you are an avid comic reader or enjoyed doing so back when you were younger, Priest’s “I am Princess X” is a combination of graphic novel panels and traditional writing. This is an action mystery that explores the death of May’s best friend, Libby. When they were younger, the two of them created a character named Princess X, something that stayed between the two of them and died along with Libby. One day, May starts seeing their made-up character everywhere in public, which leads her to believe that Libby is still alive and the source of Princess X’s appearance.  

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About the Contributor
Arisa Lattison, Arts and Culture Editor
Hi! My name is Arisa Lattison (she/they) and I'm a junior. This is my first year on staff and I'm the arts and culture editor! I was voted most likely to go on Survivor. I'm an avid artist and love anything to do with literature and music :)
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