It's time for you to vote
on the 2015 book!
Meet the Candidates
More about your candidates:
Code Name Verity
Very few women pilots existed in Great Britain during WWII, but some women were trained to ferry aircraft from one airfield to another. This book tells the story of two girls from very different backgrounds who are caught up in a world of espionage and secret flights into occupied France. The twists and turns will satisfy the mystery lover and the descriptions of the various planes will spark the interest of the history buff. There is even an evil Gestapo officer thrown in for good measure. Will either of the girls get out alive? What will happen to all the young pilots and resistance men and women they encounter? This fictional account is an interesting and riveting look into the world of flying and the underground resistance movement in England and France during WWII.
Summary by Kathy Hale, OBOC Selection Committee Member
The Rosie Project
Don Tillman is a brilliant professor of geneticist who has always been socially challenged and never had much luck with love. That likely has something to do with his fastidious lifestyle where every minute and meal is scheduled. When he decides it is time to find a wife, he initiates a project with a 16-page survey to determine suitable female companions, because he just doesn’t want to waste time dating somebody who will be eliminated when he finds that one small detail he can’t tolerate (smokes, drinks too much, arrives late, etc.). When he meets Rosie Jarman, he knows almost immediately that she would fail the wife survey, yet he becomes interested in her quest to find her biological father. As they go around secretly obtaining and testing DNA samples from candidates, Don’s schedule and his wife survey go out the window. But can he really leave his scientific methods behind and let love run his life instead? Could Rosie possibly fall for somebody like Don or does she want to remain friends? This unconventional romance explores the world of adult relationships with humor, as Don ventures outside his safe and efficient life to discover that maybe he is husband material after all.
Summary by Carrie Reich, OBOC Selection Committee Co-Chair
Ready Player One
Do you like books that have it all? Then you'll love Ready Player One, a classic Little Nobody versus Big Evil tale that is funny, scary, thrilling, nostalgic, and sad. Oh, and did I mention romance? There's a little romance, too. It's the year 2044, and the world is an ugly place. Most people escape it by visiting OASIS, a virtual world whose creator has died, leaving his fortune to the first person who can unlock the clues to win a game he set up inside the OASIS. Wade Watts, our young protagonist, wants to win. The trouble is, so do a lot of other people, including a huge corporation that has more resources than he'll ever have. You'll be turning the pages as fast as you can to find out if Wade can manage to beat everyone (or even anyone) at the most unusual game ever made.
Summary by Emily Birch, OBOC Selection Committee Member
A high school writing assignment for Molly, a tattooed part Penobscot Indian teen who has nearly aged out of the foster care system after more than a dozen foster homes, leads her to interview Violet Daley, a wealthy widow for whom she has been doing community service for stealing a copy of Jane Eyre from the library. Molly, often a victim of stereotyping herself, assumes Violet has lived a life of privilege and ease. During the course of the interview, Molly learns that Violet was one of 200,000 orphans who were sent by train to farming families from 1854 to 1929. Female, Irish, and Catholic, Violet explains how she was moved from farm to farm, family to family, becoming guarded, skeptical of others, and displaying empathy that she doesn’t feel, keeping her childhood as little more than an indentured servant secret until Molly gets the elderly woman to tell her story. Together Molly and Violet discover they are not very different from each other, having both made painful journeys through life. Violet’s is nearing the end but Molly’s is only beginning. Kline tells an engrossing dual narrative that sheds light on this little known part of American history.
Summary by Kris Peters, OBOC Selection Committee Member
You Know When the Men are Gone
We get glimpses of military life from the news. We know it must be hard for those who fight and those left behind. But Siobhan Fallon is a long-time military wife who knows the stresses and strains endured by the army of women (and men) who are left behind. In eight loosely interconnected short stories, Fallon takes us onto the Fort Hood Army Base and into the homes and marriages of those who wait and hope. Soldiers go off to fight wars but those left behind have their own battles to survive, while also supporting their absent spouses. Army housing walls are thin, and the residents witness the cries, deceptions, and doubts of their neighbors while trying to conceal their own deepest fears. Even the joy of homecomings is complicated as battle-scarred soldiers adjust to base life; family leadership roles are questioned, secrets are exposed, and relationships are recovered or sacrificed. The sign over the gate entry at Fort Hood appropriately warns, “You’ve Survived the War, Now Survive the Homecoming.” These stories provide real insight into the lives of spouses who, while not deployed, must also fight to keep their families and relationships safe and secure.
Summary by Jo Sheppard, OBOC Selection Committee Member