Tuesday, September 11, 2018

My Favorite Underappreciated "Hidden Gem" Books - Top Ten Tuesday

Today I am sharing with you my favorite hidden gem books! Those books I love, and CAN NOT believe more people haven't read. While there were many books I felt could qualify, I narrowed it down to only include books that had 5,000 review or less on Goodreads to make sure that they were truly hidden gems. This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Check out the video above to watch me talk about the books or keep reading to see my list of picks!

Setting Free The Kites
by Alex George

For Robert Carter, life in his coastal Maine hometown is comfortably predictable. But in 1976, on his first day of eighth grade, he meets Nathan Tilly, who changes everything. Nathan is confident, fearless, impetuous—and fascinated by kites and flying. Robert and Nathan’s budding friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and as the boys struggle to come to terms with loss, they take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park. It’s there that Nathan’s boundless capacity for optimism threatens to overwhelm them both, and where they learn some harsh truths about family, desire, and revenge. ( amazon.com)

The 57 Bus
by Dashka Slater

One teenager in a skirt.
One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.
If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. 

Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight. (amazon.com)

We Are All The Same
by Jim Wooten

The extraordinary story of the little South African boy whose bravery and fierce determination to make a difference despite being born with AIDS has made him the human symbol of the world's fight against the disease, told by the veteran American journalist whose life he changed. Five million more people contracted HIV last year alone. We've all seen the statistics, and they numb us; on some level our minds shut down to a catastrophe of this scope. As with other such immense human tragedies in the past, it can take the story of one special child's life to make us open our minds and our hearts. (tantor.com)

One of the Boys
by Daniel Magriel

The three of them—a twelve-year-old boy, his older brother, their father—have won the war: the father’s term for his bitter divorce and custody battle. They leave their Kansas home and drive through the night to Albuquerque, eager to begin again, united by the thrilling possibility of carving out a new life together. The boys go to school, join basketball teams, make friends. Meanwhile their father works from home, smoking cheap cigars to hide another smell. But soon the little missteps—the dead-eyed absentmindedness, the late night noises, the comings and goings of increasingly odd characters—become worrisome, and the boys find themselves watching their father change, grow erratic, then dangerous.

Irena's Children
by Tilar J. Mazzeo

In 1942, one young social worker, Irena Sendler, was granted access to the Warsaw ghetto as a public health specialist. While she was there, she began to understand the fate that awaited the Jewish families who were unable to leave. Soon she reached out to the trapped families, going from door to door and asking them to trust her with their young children. Driven to extreme measures and with the help of a network of local tradesmen, ghetto residents, and her star-crossed lover in the Jewish resistance, Irena ultimately smuggled thousands of children past the Nazis. She made dangerous trips through the city’s sewers, hid children in coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through secret passages in abandoned buildings. ( amazon.com)


  1. I love finding those hidden gems! That's why topics like this are one of my favorite things about TTT. These all sound like really powerful reads!

    1. Same! The topics for TTT really pull me in and get me excited about sharing my reads! They are definitely all powerful, lol no fluff here ; )

  2. I remember thinking The 57 Bus looked interesting when I saw it on NG. Sounds pretty intense.

    1. It was definitely intense! It's a shorter read too, so lots of emotions loaded into those pages.

  3. I'm not familiar with any of these, but love being introduced. The 57 Bus sounds like something I might pick up. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for reading! Happy to introduce some of my favs!

  4. That last book sounds awesome. I love intense historical books. The bus one sounds pretty good, too.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  5. I really like the sound of Setting Free the Kites!


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