Are you bored and have no idea what to do? Try diving into a new world and going on an adventure. In other words: try reading a book. To me, there’s nothing like reading a good book, especially now that I’m staying home much more than normal.

Besides being fun, there are many physical and mental health benefits to reading. According to Healthline, reading broadens vocabulary, increases the ability to empathize, helps prevent cognitive decline due to age, reduces stress, helps to get good sleep, and helps alleviate depression symptoms.

There are two main types of ways to read: using an e-reader (such as a Nook or Kindle) and a physical book. I use both, but I prefer being able to turn the pages and see the progress I’ve made through a story. 

If you’re not sure what story to read, there are recommendations from multiple people at Atholton to choose from. Here are ten books you might be interested in reading, plus a bonus pick.


Student pick: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Photo source: Amazon

An anonymous Atholton student described this book as a superhero novel with a twist; it’s told from the villain’s perspective. They said the book “pulls you in from the first chapter,” and “keeps you wondering.” They recommended this novel for anyone who is a fan of Marvel or DC Comics.

Teacher pick: All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

Photo Source: Amazon

This is a classic western novel about a teenager leaving to become a cowboy, however he is unaware of the dangers coming. Atholton English teacher Mr. Stuppy said the writing is fantastic and that “the twists and turns of the plot will leave you rattled.”

Personal pick: Timebound by Rysa Walker

Photo Source: Amazon

Kate Pierce-Keller has a special gene she received from her grandmother: the ability to time travel. When Kate first hears this she thinks her grandmother is delusional, however when a past murder completely changes her present life, she embarks on a century wide game of cat and mouse. This book takes a different approach to time travel and is great for those looking for an adventure.


Student pick: They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

Photo Source: Amazon

This story takes place in a world where you receive a phone call the day you die; Mateo and Rufus, total strangers, both receive the call. They come in contact through an app called Last Friend and embark on their final adventure. An Atholton student described this book as “unlike any book I have ever read. It pulls you in and makes you fall in love with the characters, so you can really feel how they’re feeling.”

Teacher pick: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

Photo Source: Amazon

This book begins with a depressing truth, then reveals the truths of teen life and expectations from parents. According to Mr. Stuppy, “It is a stellar book, discussing contemporary issues in a way that opened my eyes to the struggles people face. I was a kid in the suburbs, and this spoke to me on that level, bringing more than one tear to my eyes.” 

Personal pick: A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Photo Source: Amazon

This book tells the story of a dog experiencing multiple lives in search of his purpose. It gives us an insight into how dogs might view the world and tells of the unbreakable bond of dog and human. With hints of humor and the potential to bring tears to the eye, this is a must read for animal lovers.

Quick Read (less than 300 pages)

Student pick: Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord

Photo Source: Amazon

This is a story about a girl named Lucy, who turns to photography due to her dad going on multiple business trips on top of moving to a new house. It tells the story of Lucy connecting with her father through a photography contest, as well as trying to help a friend and his family. An Atholton student said that “this book is sure to make you smile.”

Teacher pick: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Photo Source: Amazon

Now this might not be the first book many people think of when they think of John Green, but Ms. Bonomo-Thomas says this is much lighter and different than his other novels. She said that this is “what makes it my favorite of his, and a perfect quick-read escape.” 

Second Teacher Pick: Rash by Pete Hautman

Photo Source: Amazon

This book is set in late 21st century America where the laws are obsessed with safety. Bo Marsten is cool with the rules until he is sentenced to three years of manual labor for his temper. Stuck working in a factory in the tundra, Bo has to decide what’s better: the strict laws or the chance to become polar bear food. Ms. Bonomo-Thomas said that “despite what its name might suggest, this book is FUNNY!” Word of warning to readers though, some of the humor and language is crass.

Personal pick: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Photo Source: Amazon

Right before the Earth is demolished in order to build a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by his friend Ford Prefect. Together they embark on a journey throughout outer space in this short novel. At just under 150 pages, I recommend this book to sci-fi fans who want a unique story.

Bonus Recommendation

Principal’s pick: The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past by John Lewis Gladis

Photo Source: Amazon

Atholton High School’s Mr. Robert Motley recommends this book to students who are curious about history. “Gaddis discusses what history is, why we should study it, and what is historical truth. Moreover, Gaddis delves into the power of a historian and how they control and manipulate time. Reading this book will have you questioning everything you have learned in history class!” Mr. Motley explained. 

With the pandemic it may be harder to get access to physical books, but there is a free digital option Howard County students have access to: Mackinvia. It’s a digital library where students can request ebooks and audiobooks for free. 

There may be travel restrictions on where you can physically go, but the restrictions have said nothing about venturing into a world in your mind. As Neil Gaiman said, “a book is a dream you hold in your hands.”

Posted by Morgan Ryan


  1. All of these books sounds super interesting and cool! Awesome recommendations.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. These books do sound worth reading! I think I’ll look more into some of them!

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s