There were twelve of us: the Thaumas Dozen. Now we stood in a small line, my seven sisters and I, and I couldn't help but wonder if there was a ring of truth to the grim speculations. Had we somehow angered the gods? Had a darkness branded itself on our family, taking us out one by one? Or was it simply a series of terrible and unlucky coincidences? p. 4
Khalil drops the brush in the door and cranks up his stereo, blasting an old rap song Daddy has played a million times. I frown. "Why you always listening to that stuff?"
"Man, get outta here! Tupac was the truth."
"Yeah, twenty years ago." "Nah, even now. Like, check this." He points at me, which means he's about to go into one of his Khalil philosophical moments. "'Pac said Thug Life stood for 'The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody.'" p. 17
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Genre: literary fiction First published 1970
The Breedloves did not live in a storefront because they were having temporary difficulty adjustitng to the cutbacks at the plant. They lived there because they were poor and black, and they stayed there because they believed they were ugly. Although their poverty was traditional and stultifying, it was not unique. But their ugliness was unique. No one could have convinced them that they were not relentlessly and aggressively ugly. Except for the father, Cholly, whose ugliness (the result of despair, dissipation, and violence directed toward petty things and weak people) was behavior, the rest of the family--Mrs. Breedlove, Sammy Breedlove, and Pecola Breedlove--wore their ugliness, put it on, so to speak, although it did not belong to them. p.38
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Genre: novella, fiction, tragedy First published 1937
Candy cried, "Sure they all want it. Everybody wants a little bit of land, not much. Jus' som'thin' that was his. Somethin' he could live on and there couldn't nobody throw him off of it. I never had none. I planted crops for damn near every'body in this state, but they wasn't my crops, and when I harvested 'em, it wasn't none of my harvest. But we gonna do it now, and don't make no mistake about that. George ain't got the money in town. That money's in the bank. Me an' Lennie an' George. We gonna have a room to ourself. We're gonna have a dog an' rabbits an' chickens. We're gonna have green corn an' maybe a cow or a goat." He stopped, overwhelmed with his picture.
Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu Genre: YA fiction, fantasy, fairy-tale First published: July 2020
"My beautiful princesses," Dad says when the music pauses and the food stops its endless parade through the hall. "I'm delighted to introduce the esteemed royals of our neighboring kingdoms to my marvelous girls. Not only are they lovely and kind, we have also seen over the past five years that they are brave. And strong. Stronger than the rest of us. So strong they are enduring the worst spell our kingdom has ever seen." p.65
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Genre: literary fiction, Southern Gothic, Bildungsroman (coming of age) First published 1960
"We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe--some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they're born with it... But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal--there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court.... A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up." - Atticus Finch, to the jury, p.234
It is easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say. .... I see IT in the hallway. IT goes to Merryweather. IT is walking with Aubrey Cheerleader. IT is my nightmare and I can't wake up. IT sees me. IT smiles and winks. Good thing my lips are stitched together or I'd throw up. Melinda, Speak
Towering by Alex Flinn Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Adaptation, YA Fiction
I had not been outside in years. I wasn’t sure how many, exactly, because I didn’t keep track from the beginning. I didn’t realize I’d need to. But my dresses had been replaced many times, at least six or seven, and I could tell I’d become taller. The top of my head didn’t reach the bottom of my window when I came here. I could see the sky, the sky and nothing else, blue sky some days, gray sky most. Then, I could see out only if I stood on my toes. But finally, at seventeen, I could see out easily. The birds, which are often below me, the clouds above, and the tall, green forest with miles and miles of trees. - Towering, chapter 1, opening lines