The ALA’s theme for library card sign up month is celebrating stories that people identify with. While Danville has people with many races, faiths, genders and all sorts of things that make us unique, we all have something in common- we’re living in the Midwest. The following books are set in various places in the Midwest, our home. Check out one of these books to look for at least a few scenes that seem familiar to us all.
In July 1913, 25-year-old Annie Clements had seen enough of the world to know that it was unfair. She’s spent her whole life in the copper-mining town of Calumet, Michigan where men risked their lives for meager salaries and had barely enough to put food on the table and clothes on their backs. The women labor in the houses of the elite, and send their men deep underground each day, dreading the fateful call of the company man telling them their loved ones aren’t coming home. When Annie decides to stand up for herself, and the entire town of Calumet, nearly everyone believes she may have taken on more than she is prepared to handle. In Annie’s hands lie the miners’ fortunes and their health, her husband’s wrath over her growing independence, and her own reputation as she faces the threat of prison and discovers a forbidden love. On her fierce quest for justice, Annie will discover just how much she is willing to sacrifice for her own independence and the families of Calumet.
The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has. The Pale King remained unfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace’s death, but it is a deeply compelling and satisfying novel, hilarious and fearless and as original as anything Wallace ever undertook. It grapples directly with ultimate questions–questions of life’s meaning and of the value of work and society–through characters imagined with the interior force and generosity that were Wallace’s unique gifts. Along the way it suggests a new idea of heroism and commands infinite respect for one of the most daring writers of our time.
In suburban Shaker Heights, Ohio, everything is planned — from the layout of the roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives of its residents. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Then Mia Warren, an enigmatic artist and single mother, arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl and rents a house from the Richardsons. Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town — and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
While recovering from a traumatic head injury, Polly Schuster struggles to find her way through one chaotic week in July when her entire extended family descends upon the bucolic town of Livingston, Montana for their annual gathering. As she contends with a series of unexpected events and the haunting echoes of her past inconveniently resurfacing as a result of her injury, Polly soon learns that her perception of her family and their life together is far from objective. Eventually Polly comes to understand the truths of her tragic, talented clan and the strange events of one year of her childhood in New York that continue to echo through to her current life.