Payback Time by Carl Deuker

Mitch True has wanted to be a reporter ever since his dad took him to see All the President’s Men when he was little [in a theater that shows old movies, of course].  He has been on the school paper, The Lincoln Light, since freshman year.  He assumed he would become the editor during senior year because his only competition, Alyssa Hanson, was not a very talented writer.  Alyssa got the editor position based on a popular vote and then moved Mitch from lead reporter to sports.  Although he was initially unhappy, Mitch quickly realized that Alyssa made a great editor and that the sports writer position was likely to give him a lot more exposure before graduation.  But this story is not just about how some kid learned to adapt when his life plan didn’t pan out.  It’s a whole lot juicier than that!

When Mitch and the sports photographer, Kimi Yon, went to interview the quarterback, they noticed something fishy about a new player.  He was throwing amazing passes before practice started but pretended to be only mediocre when people started paying attention to him.  He also looked older than the rest of the guys on the team.  Everyone knew Coach McNulty was unhappy coaching high school football and wantedto get hired on at a college . . . so, could he be cheating by bringing in a guy who was ineligible to play?  Mitch and Kimi decided to dig up the truth and to get this story out.  But there’s just one problem — they’re not even close to guessing this guy’s secret and have no idea how much danger they could be in if they dig too deep.

The Great Divorce : A nineteeth-century mother’s extraordinary fight against her husband, the Shakers, and her times by Ilyon Woo

In the early 1800s a woman had few rights.  If she married, she didn’t own property.  If she separated from her husband, she usually didn’t have custody of her children.  Eunice Chapman, a small woman, enlisted the support of New York State legislators to get custody of her children after her husband joined the Shakers at the Watervliet site.  This true story reads like fiction.  It is balanced and enlightening.

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman’s newest book, The Dovekeepers, is a mesmerizing story based on the 1st century battle at Masada between Jewish zealots and the Romans who were determined to eliminate them.  According to 1st century historian Josephus, over 900 Jews, expelled from Jerusalem, sacrificed everything to reach what they hoped would be a safe haven in a Judean desert fortress. The  story unfolds in the voices of four incredible women, each with different backgrounds and talents but dedicated to the survival of their faith and families. The tragic and iconic final battle of the small outpost against the vast might of the Roman military, and the survival of two women and five children, is both horrifying and uplifting.  This is a book that you won’t want to put down!