Books to Make You Cry

  • FUL2 13 years +
    13 years +
    (7)
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    John Green, the author of Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, is one of the most popular voices in contemporary young adult fiction and The Fault in Our Stars became an instant classic.

    You will probably have been in tears watching the big-screen adaptation that starred Shailene Woodley and Ansel Engort as the devoted teenage lovers Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters and the book is just as heart-wrenching and poignant, but keeps a fine line in self-depreciating humour - especially from the wise-beyond-her-years Hazel.

    After meeting at a cancer support group, the cynical sufferer Hazel unexpectedly finds herself falling for the charms of Augustus and the novel follows the two as their relationship develops - taking in a romantic trip to Amsterdam in the process.

    Full of wit, sensitivity and observations about life and illness, this profound book will make readers of any age (especially teens) laugh and cry in equal measure.
  • PYM2 11 years +
    11 years +
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    Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his own country, his own father. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

    Bruno's friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

    John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is poignant, heart-warming and illustrates how friendship knows no boundaries - a beautiful book!
  • KMK2 14 years +
    14 years +
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    Harper Lee's acclaimed To Kill a Mockingbird won a Pulitzer Prize after its publication in 1960 and is hugely influential in its exposure of racial prejudice.

    Set in the American Deep South, the story is seen through the eyes of six-year-old Scout, whose lawyer father Atticus Finch defends a young black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman.

    As Scout's family deals with the hostility and prejudice as a result of the case, there's a dawning realisation for Scout of all the inequality and injustice in her world.

    Powerful and moving, this 'Great American Novel' is a must-have addition to every reader's bookshelf and with the publication of follow-up Go Set a Watchman already one of the biggest sellers of the year, now is the perfect time to rediscover the hugely important book.
  • MCX2 11 years +
    11 years +
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    The winner of both the Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Medal in 2012, Chaos Walking author Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about the difficult subject of terminal illness and coming to terms with loss.

    Based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, this is an unforgettable read. 'The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do...' is how the book begins, but it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. This monster is something different - something ancient and something wild.

    Now an acclaimed film starring Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson, A Monster Calls is a heartbreakingly beautiful read.
  • MZA2 11 years +
    11 years +
    (1)
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    Adapted into a film starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, The Book Thief is a moving and breathtaking novel that young readers and adults will devour. This 10th anniversary edition contains exclusive material from the author, Markus Zusak.

    Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, the country holds its breath, waiting on the brink of war. Young Liesel's life is changed forever as she stands by her brother's grave and picks up The Gravedigger's Handbook from the snow, committing her first act of book thievery and changing her life forever...

    So follows her love affair with books in an increasingly dangerous time. When her foster family hide a Jewish boy in their basement her world is both opened up and shut down, but the power of words and the ability for books to feed the soul is explored and enjoyed by both youngsters.

    Superbly crafted and incredibly moving, children aged 11 and over simply must read this award-winning tale which has proved to be one of the most enduring and respected of recent times.
  • NOU2 12 years +
    12 years +
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    Praised by Benjamin Zephaniah and widely regarded as one of the most inspiring and influential teen series of recent years, former Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses is a book that tackles prejudice, racism, distrust and terrorism.

    Sephy and Callum have been friends since they were both very young and despite their feelings for each other indicating they want something more, that's as far as it can go...

    However, romance cannot be stopped even in a world full of anger, division and separation. Their love story ends up leading them both into terrible danger...
  • AABSW
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    A heart-warming and inspirational tale in which Enzo, a loyal family dog, tells the story of his human family, how they nearly fell apart, and what he did to bring them back together. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: he thinks and feels in nearly human ways. He has educated himself by watching extensive television, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo realizes that racing is a metaphor: that by applying the techniques a driver would apply on the race track, one can successfully navigate the ordeals and travails one encounters in life. Enzo relates the story of his human family, sharing their tragedies and triumphs. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations as a dog, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a testament to a man's life, given by his dog. But it is also a testament to the dog, himself. Though Enzo cannot speak, he understands everything that happens around him as he bears witness to his master's problems. His enforced muteness only refines his listening ability, and allows him to understand many of life's nuances that are lost on most humans. With humour, sharp observation, and a courageous heart, Enzo guides the reader to the bittersweet yet ultimately satisfying conclusion: there are no limitations to what we can achieve, if we truly know where we want to be.
  • AAFDS
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    From the author of No Country For Old Men, Cormac McCarthy, The Road has been described by Andrew O'Hagan as "The first great masterpiece of the globally-warmed generation". The novel describes the journey of a father and his young son as they walk alone through a burned and desolate post-acopalyptic America, in search of warmth and a better life. With nothing but a pistol to protect them from fellow human survivors of cannibalistic tribes, this harrowing novel was winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and named the best book of the last 25 years, fiction or non-fiction, by Entertainment Weekly in 2008. It was also adapted into a successful film starring Viggo Mortensen.

  • AAHDL
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    Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old Jewish girl, is arrested by the French police in the middle of the night, along with her mother and father. Desperate to protect her younger brother, she locks him in a cupboard and promises to come back for him as soon as she can. Paris, May 2002: Julia Jarmond, an American journalist, is asked to write about the 60th anniversary of the Vel' d'Hiv'--the infamous day in 1942 when French police rounded up thousands of Jewish men, women and children, in order to send them to concentration camps. Sarah's Key is the poignant story of two families, forever linked and haunted by one of the darkest days in France's past. In this emotionally intense, page-turning novel, Tatiana de Rosnay reveals the guilt brought on by long-buried secrets and the damage that the truth can inflict when they finally come unravelled.
  • AAXEH
    Emma Donoghue
    (8)
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    From Emma Donoghue, the Irish author of Slammerkin and Hood, Room describes the heartbreaking story of Jack and his Ma - who live in a single, locked room with no key. Jack loves watching his cartoon character 'friends' on TV, but knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real - only him, Ma and the things in the room. Told from Jack's viewpoint as he prepares to celebrate his fifth birthday, Donoghue lets you feel his anguish as Ma admits there is a world outside those four walls. Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize and compared to The Lovely Bones, Room takes a profoundly affecting look at motherly love.

  • ABMIK
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    First came the days of the plague. Then came the dreams.Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of Evil.His time is at hand. His empire grows in the west and the Apocalypse looms.
  • ACACM
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    As a girl, Clara del Valle can read fortunes, make objects move as if they had lives of their own, and predict the future. Following the mysterious death of her sister, Rosa the Beautiful, Clara is mute for nine years. When she breaks her silence, it is to announce that she will be married soon to the stern and volatile landowner Esteban Trueba. Set in an unnamed Latin American country over three generations, "The House of the Spirits" is a magnificent epic of a proud and passionate family, secret loves and violent revolution.
  • AEQBW
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    September 1919: Twenty-years-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver a clutch of letters to Marian Bancroft. Tristan fought alongside Marian's brother Will during the Great War. They trained together. They fought together. But in 1917, Will laid down his guns on the battlefield and declared himself a conscientious objector, an act which has brought shame and dishonour on the Bancroft family. The letters, however, are not the real reason for Tristan's visit. He holds a secret deep within him. One that he is desperate to unburden himself of to Marian, if he can only find the courage. Whatever happens, this meeting will change his life - forever.
  • AFYER 16 years +
    16 years +
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    There's only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that's her uncle, the renowned painter, Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her once inseparable older sister, June can only be herself in Finn's company; he is her godfather, confident, and best friend. So when he dies far too young of a mysterious illness that June's mother can barely bring herself to discuss, June's world is turned upside down. At the funeral, she notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd, and a few days later, June receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn's apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. A the two begin to spend time together, June realises she's not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he might just be the one she needs the most. Tell the Wolves I'm Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.
  • AGDFM
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    Three brothers tear their way through childhood-smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from rubbish, hiding when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn-he's Puerto Rican, she's white-barely out of childhood themselves, and their love is a serious, dangerous thing. Life in this family is fierce and absorbing, full of chaos and heartbreak and the euphoria of belonging completely to one another. From the intense familial unity felt by a child to the profound alienation he endures as he begins to forge his own way in the world, this beautiful novel reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that is sly and incredibly powerful.
  • AGDYP
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    Within the pages of this book lies the diary of a girl called Nao. Riding the waves of a tsunami, it is making its way across the ocean. It will change the life of the person who finds it. It might just change yours, too.
  • AHMND
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    Junot Diaz's new collection, This Is How You Lose Her, is a collection of linked narratives about love - passionate love, illicit love, dying love, maternal love - told through the lives of New Jersey Dominicans, as they struggle to find a point where their two worlds meet.

    In prose that is endlessly energetic and inventive, tender and funny, it lays bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of the human heart.

    Most of all, these stories remind us that the habit of passion always triumphs over experience and that 'love, when it hits us for real, has a half-life of forever'.

    This book has been hand-picked for the Book People's FaberShop, in partnership with Faber & Faber.
  • AKSVI 13 years +
    13 years +
    (4)
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    "E. Lockhart is one of our most important novelists, and she has given us her best book yet. Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We were Liars is utterly unforgettable". (John Green, number 1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault In Our Stars). "Irresistible." (The New York Times Book Review). "Haunting, sophisticated." (The Wall Street Journal). "Bowl-you-over." (Cosmopolitan). "So freaking good." (Sarah Dessen). "Such beautiful writing." (Libba Bray). "Beautiful and disturbing." (Justine Larbalestier). "Better than the hype." (Lauren Oliver). We are the Liars. We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury. We are cracked and broken. It is a story of love and romance. It is a tale of tragedy. Which are lies? Which is truth?
  • BCYMI
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    The MILLION-COPY BESTSELLER and major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz.Anna Fitzgerald doesn't want her sister to die. But she's sick of helping her to live.Anna was born to be a perfect genetic match for Kate, who at just two years old was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia. For thirteen years, she has acted as donor to her sister. Now, Kate needs a kidney, and nobody is asking Anna how she feels about it, they're just assuming she will donate.Until the Sheriff serves the papers that will rock their family's world: Anna is suing her parents for the rights to her own body ...
  • BOJHL
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    'And then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped' Harriet Tubman Jesmyn Ward's acclaimed memoir shines a light on the community she comes from in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, a place of quiet beauty and fierce attachment. Here, in the space of four years, she lost five young black men dear to her, including her beloved brother - to accidents, murder and suicide. Their deaths were seemingly unconnected, yet their lives had been connected by identity and place. As Jesmyn dealt with these losses, she came to a staggering truth: the fates of these young men were predetermined by who they were and where they were from, because racism and economic struggle breed a certain kind of bad luck. The agonising reality brought Jesmyn to write, at last, their true stories and her own.
  • AGPGO
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    A boat washes up on the shore of a remote lighthouse keeper's island. It holds a dead man and a crying baby. The only two islanders, Tom and his wife Izzy, are about to make a devastating decision. They break the rules and follow their hearts. What happens next will break yours.
  • AACLR
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    On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.
  • AABCB
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    The Asian literary phenomenon of the 90s. More magical than Mistry, more of a rollicking good read than Rushdie, more nerve-tinglingly imagined than Naipaul, here, perhaps, is the greatest Indian novel by a woman. Arundhati Roy has written an astonishingly rich, fertile novel, teeming with life, colour, heart-stopping language, wry comedy and a hint of magical realism. Set against a background of political turbulence in Kerala, Southern India, The God of Small Things tells the story of twins Esthappen and Rahel. Amongst the vats of banana jam and heaps of peppercorns in their grandmother's factory, they try to craft a childhood for themselves amidst what constitutes their family -- their lonely, lovely mother, their beloved Uncle Chacko (pickle baron, radical Marxist and bottom-pincher) and their avowed enemy Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grand-aunt).
  • AACUN
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    Hailed as a masterpiece from the moment of its first publication, "Revolutionary Road" is the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright, beautiful, and talented couple whose empty suburban life is held together by the dream that greatness is only just round the corner. With heartbreaking compassion and clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April mortgage their hopes and ideals, betraying in the end not only each other, but their own best selves.