I surveyed the students to find out which three books they enjoyed reading the most this year. I ended up having to choose four because of contrasting opinions. 
Red Sky at Morning, by Richard Bradford
We read this in class recently as one of our literature books, and it had an overwhelming majority of the votes. It follows Josh, a seventeen-year-old boy who grows into a man during the course of one year. The story follows him as he moves from Alabama to New Mexico, and up to the time he joins the army. We all felt sorrow for him when his father died and his mother lost her mind, and we felt frustration with the leech-like family friend who came to stay and never left. Yet, everyone laughed out loud when Josh and his good friend drank too much on New Year’s Eve, and try to survive the “Earthcake.” This story is altogether wonderful and has a strong message of growth, change, and maturity. Brent told me it was, “An enjoyable book that showed how change is necessary,” while Morgan found it to be,  “A touching and exciting story,” and Stephanie said it was, “An eye opener for how to adapt to change.”  
Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
This book has been passed around from student to student. Not everyone has read it, so I will try not to give away too much to future readers. The story is about an elderly man named Jacob, who recalls a period back when he was young and working with a circus. The story moves back and forth in time, beginning when Jacob first jumps aboard the circus train, and is a story of true love and lasting relationships. I found it to be enjoyable and entertaining and hard to put down, and Stephanie enjoyed it because she,  “Learned the value of looking back at your life.”
Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
This nearly timeless book, written in the form of a diary, has been read for over three decades, and is still fascinating. As the New York Times review stated it is, “An extraordinary work…a document of horrifying reality.” It is the story of how a life can be destroyed. The story opens with the narrator venting about a boy who she says she is, or was, in love with, and it follows her daily life for a period of a year, as she goes from being a happy, normal, teenage girl, into a downward spiral of drug use and the horrifying aftermath. Stephanie found it “eye-opening,” while David said it was ultimately, ”An inspiring novel that showed me what path not to take.”
The Night Trilogy, by Brent Weeks
This book was listed as a favorite by most of the guys here at FMA, and I felt that I had to at least look at it. I have not fully read these three books, but they seem like they would be the kind I could not easily put down. From what I can tell, the trilogy is about a man and his journey as one of the “night angels,” a group of assassins with magical abilities. James said it, “Hooked me from start to finish,” and Brent, who introduced the books to the FMA students, said it was, “Very enjoyable to read.” David reports that it was “Long and good, and while most awesome books are short, this was a great mix between action and storyline.”

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