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est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

Vacation Day Reads

Members of the Wildcat staff recommend their favorite books to enjoy during the upcoming holidays.
Sofia Rodriguez
Wildcat staff writer Daisy Mora holds some of the Wildcat staff’s favorite books. With genres spanning from historical fiction to magical realism to military history, there’s something for everyone for the upcoming vacation days.

Fall and winter breaks are just round the corner, with potential for long plane rides, distant road trips, or quiet afternoons at home. To help Wildcats fill these welcome hours of downtime, the Wildcat staff has compiled a list of their most beloved books.

Pachinko by MinJin Lee

“This book took me on an emotional journey. Pachinko spans an 80-year, multigenerational lineage of a Korean family, from the Japanese colonization of Korea to the Korean-American diaspora of immigrants in the ’80s. I could relate many of the book’s themes to my own family, and it reminded me of many stories my grandparents have told me over time. The novel grapples with topics like social class differences, racial discrimination, and sexism. It’s a compelling story that I recommend to everyone — regardless of language or culture.”

Lauren Ahn, Feature Editor

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez 

“There’s nothing better than a well-written middle school book. There’s an element of escapism when reading about characters you can no longer relate to but still feel connected to through adolescence. Sal and Gabi Break the Universe shares Percy Jackson and the Olympian’s mold-breaking style of witty narration and first-person point-of-view writing, making for an entertaining read while still touching on mature topics. The comedy throughout the book seamlessly meshes with discussion about grief, emotional intelligence, and PTSD, allowing for an easily-digested story while provoking self-reflection through the experiences of two reality-bending seventh graders. It comforted me through a rough developmental time and remains a comfort read for whatever stage of life I find myself in.”

Sofia Rodriguez, Culture Editor

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

“This book introduced me to a perspective that I hadn’t really seen represented in literature. Centering around ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, the story is heartbreakingly eye-opening, exploring the resilience of humanity while still portraying a painfully realistic narrative. I have been accustomed to stories about the Middle East being told from a strictly American point of view, so besides serving as a historical retelling, the novel also reminded me that I sit in a position of extreme privilege.”

Ellie Segura, Opinion Editor

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude presents a familiar, yet peculiar, world. García Márquez’s prose enchants from the very first chapter with its descriptions of the fantastical elements permeating the history and culture of Colombia. Marquez’s use of magical realism to describe the peculiarities of Latin America is precise. Throughout the entire novel, I could easily compare the characters to my own family. In fact, the large (and sometimes confusing) cast of characters is incredibly memorable, just like the unusual events that they experience.” 

Enzo Barbosa Fonseca, Staff Writer

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder fosters a deep sense of compassion for anyone who delves into its pages. The narration is provided by, and revolves around, August ‘Auggie’ Pullman, a young boy with a facial deformity, who is put through the challenge of entering school for the first time. Auggie’s ability to drown out the negative perceptions he has of himself, despite the challenges he faces from his peers, is a beautiful and inspiring story of growth. The mantra relayed throughout the novel has resonated with me and it’s one that I cherish forever. Always remember to ‘choose kind.'”

Lauren Ko, News Editor

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“This book contains so many twists and turns, engaging from beginning to end. The book involves themes of trust and romance within the plot of a shocking murder mystery. Owens beautifully executes a dual-timeline story, making Where the Crawdads Sing a literary gem.”

Siena Codekas, Staff Writer

12 Before 13 by Lisa Greenwald

“This book is a good recommendation for teenagers searching to make a friendship stronger. The protagonists, Kaylan and Arianna, have a memorable friendship that extends across Greenwald’s series of books. The novel is appropriate for most ages, and resonates because of its themes of finding and growing a friendship in healthy (and unique) ways.” 

Audrey Im, Staff Writer

Ditch the Act by Leonard Kim and Ryan Foland

“I picked up Ditch the Act to complete assignments for an entrepreneurship class, wondering how to sell retail products to make a profit. However, by the time I read the final pages, I learned another skill: how to sell myself to others. Business — a kingdom where money rules — is a cutthroat environment where people compete for connections and visibility. Creating a stand-out brand, staying poised when presenting a pitch, and showing authenticity are skills I learned that I could not only apply to a business, but to myself as well. Ditch the Act helped me become more confident in how to present myself and prepared me to connect with others in a way I hadn’t been able to before.”

Ellen Kim, Editor-in-Chief

Countdown Bin Laden by Chris Wallace

“This book is unique because the chapters, instead of being in numerical order, are numbered by a countdown starting at 247 days. The story is based on real-life accounts of the people behind the Osama Bin Laden raid. As you read, the clock ticks down to the climax of the story. From trying to locate his compound to attacking it, the countdown slows, immersing readers in the action and tension with every little detail.” 

Jacob An, Photographer

More Favorites from the Wildcat Staff

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Recommended by Azilynn Fuerte, Staff Writer)

Animal Farm by George Orwell (Recommended by Amelia Garcia, Illustrator)

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut (Recommended by Jaden Gomez, Staff Writer)

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (Recommended by Abby Serna, Photographer)

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About the Contributor
Sofia Rodriguez
Sofia Rodriguez, Culture Editor
Sofia Rodriguez, sophomore, is enthusiastic about her first year on staff as Culture Editor of the Wildcat. In addition to her involvement in journalism, Sofia plans to become an active student leader on campus by joining HOSA, Book Club, and NHS. Off campus, Sofia has dedicated her time to other philanthropic causes, including joining and serving in the National Charity League. When Sofia is not busy writing, she delves into fiction and poetry writing. An avid music lover, Sofia also collects vinyl and attends live concerts. 
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