Google Books, Part 1

As Google, authors, publishers and copyright lawyers work through the legal intricacies of Google’s plan to digitize the world’s libraries, we can take advantage of the work done so far to bring literature to the masses. Of course, the Google Books project operates under copyright restrictions, so new books are not available in their entirety. Some books aren’t available at all.

Some publishers, however, allow a limited preview of their titles, which enables readers to take a look at a book before making a decision to buy it or borrow it from local library. Here is a sample of some of the books that have a limited preview available:

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson — After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway — While trying to score a date with her cute co-worker at the Scooper Dooper, sixteen-year-old Audrey gains unwanted fame and celebrity status when her ex-boyfriend, a rock musician, records a breakup song about her that soars to the top of the Billboard charts.

Shift by Jennifer Bradbury — When best friends Chris and Win go on a cross country bicycle trek the summer after graduating and only one returns, the FBI wants to know what happened.

The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti — Eighteen-year-old Indigo is looking forward to becoming a full-time waitress after high school graduation, but her life is turned upside down by a large check given to her by a customer who appreciates that she cares enough to scold him about smoking.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore — In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins — Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen accidentally becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grave competition hosted by the Capitol where young boys and girls are pitted against one another in a televised fight to the death.

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt De La Pena — Sixteen-year-old Danny searches for his identity amidst the confusion of being half-Mexican and half-white while spending a summer with his cousin and new friends on the baseball fields and back alleys of San Diego County, California.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow — After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, seventeen-year-old Marcus, released into what is now a police state, decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.

Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd — In 1981, the height of Ireland’s “Troubles,” eighteen-year-old Fergus is distracted from his upcoming A-level exams by his imprisoned brother’s hunger strike, the stress of being a courier for Sinn Fein, and dreams of a murdered girl whose body he discovered in a bog.

The Red Necklace: a Story of the French Revolution by Sally Gardner — In the late eighteenth-century, Sido, the twelve-year-old daughter of a self-indulgent marquis, and Yann, a fourteen-year-old Gypsy orphan raised to perform in a magic show, face a common enemy at the start of the French Revolution.

Looks by Madeleine George — Two high school girls, one an anorexic poet and the other an obese loner, form an unlikely friendship.

The Last Exit to Normal by Michael Harmon — Yanked out of his city life and plunked down into a small Montana town with his father and his father’s boyfriend, seventeen-year-old Ben, angry and resentful about the changed circumstances of his life, begins to notice that something is not quite right with the little boy next door and determines to do something about it.

Playing with Matches by Brian Katcher — While trying to find a girl who will date him, Missouri high school junior Leon Sanders befriends a lonely, disfigured female classmate.

Pretty Monsters: Stories by Kelly Link — A collection of short stories includes “The Wrong Grave,” in which a boy digs up his girlfriend’s corpse in order to retrieve the poems that he buried with her, and “Monster,” in which a monster uses a cell phone to lure its prey.

Bonechiller by Graham McNamee — Four high school students face off against a soul-stealing beast that has been making young people disappear their small Ontario, Canada, town for centuries.

Madapple by Christina Meldrum — A girl who has been brought up in near isolation is thrown into a twisted web of family secrets and religious fundamentalism when her mother dies and she goes to live with relatives she never knew she had.

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