ENHS students recommend books

The power of a good book is endless: it gives one the ability to think beyond what is apparent. Not only are books entertaining, but they help us develop critical thinking skills. They encourage empathy and understanding of different cultures and experiences. Books stimulate our imagination and creativity, allowing us to explore new ideas and possibilities. Reading is able to implement daily enjoyment into readers’ lives on a greater scale than someone who does not read. Research indicates that pleasure reading may have a greater influence on a student’s overall academic performance. Books leave us open to interpretation, influencing us to look beyond just one perspective. The more we read, the more our creative minds are able to develop. If you’re in pursuit of the next book to crack open, ENHS students have many recommendations. Here’s a list of some of our favorites!

One of my personal favorites is As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow written by Zoulfa Katouh. A friend recommended this book to me, and I loved reading it. The novel is centered on Salama Kassab, a Muslim teenager who is studying to be a Pharmacist when the Syrian Revolution breaks out. Life as she knew it disintegrates before her eyes as she loses her family, her home, and her freedom. Within days, she’s elevated from a first-year pharmacy student to a surgeon as she volunteers at a hospital in Homs. It is a truly beautiful story, and the storytelling is absolutely superb. The language is beautiful and manages to convey both the horrors of war and the beauty of love.

Student Kate Hall highly recommends The Six of Crows written by Leigh Bardugo. It is a young adult fantasy novel about a group of criminals who undertake a dangerous heist in a world of magic and political turmoil. She says she loves it because of the adventure and drama with the tiny sprinkle of romance.

Student Lauren Patton highly recommends Illuminae written by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. It is a young adult science fiction novel told through a collection of hacked documents and surveillance footage about two teens who uncover a deadly conspiracy on a spaceship fleeing a war-torn planet. She says the characters are amazingly designed, and the book itself is amazing. She also adds that the plot twists are super well done.

Student Gitashri Gopalakrishnan’s favorite book is The Song of Achilles written by Madeline Miller. It is about the retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Achilles and Patroclus, exploring their intense relationship and the events leading up to and during the Trojan War. She says it is a beautifully woven story about love in such a casual yet beautiful sense.

Student Anna McCoy’s favorite book is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. She loves this book because it’s the first in an exciting fantasy trilogy with a detailed plotline and tons of unpredictable twists. It follows Kvothe, an excessively arrogant but brilliant mentor and innkeeper who was once a renowned hero. Kvothe’s experiences are told through his own voice as he relates his adventures to his student and to a writer as he looks back on his life. At the same time, however, another story is unfolding in the present, told through small interludes as the reader gets to know more and more about Kvothe and just how he went from a legendary wizard to a humble innkeeper. These dual stories, combined with entertaining characters and Rothfuss’ vivid writing style, draw readers into a book unlike any they’ve read before.

Student Johnathon Lewis really enjoyed reading Auggie and Me: Three Wonder Stories by R.J. Palacio and The Screwtape Letter by C.S. Lewis. Auggie and Me: Three Wonder Stories is a collection of three stories that provide further insight into the lives of the characters from Wonder, focusing on their personal struggles, triumphs, and relationships. The Screwtape Letters is a satirical Christian novel composed of a series of letters between two demons that explores human nature, sin, and the nature of God. He says those two books are likely to be his favorites.

If you’re looking for a way to escape, to learn, or simply to be moved, I encourage you to pick up one of these books and let yourself be carried away. All these books are available at the Metropolitan Libraries and are highly recommended.