15. The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynne Reid Banks. No, I've never read this before. My best friend recommended it. This is a very charming story, mixing real life with magic in a very believable and credible way. Omri is given two birthday gifts that at first are less than thrilling: an old medicine cabinet from his brother and a plastic Indian figurine. But when he puts the plastic figurine in the cabinet, Omri discovers the Indian comes to life. Omri is thrilled but soon discovers that there are unexpected complications and responsibilities that come with such a discovery. This story is rather even and "PC" for its time, and I really liked the emphasis that Little Bear is human, a living thing with his own life.
16. The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton. I saw a staged version of this a while back (very well done, too) and my best friend found me a copy of the book. Finally got around to reading it. Excellent story! Ponyboy, a "greaser" takes the reader through his world, which in his eyes basically is made up of people like him and "socs," the rich kids. In Ponyboy's eyes, the "socs" have everything and get away with anything. However, Ponyboy discovers that isn't necessarily true. The feud between the two rival groups comes to a head after a "soc" is killed by Ponyboy's friend Johnny and the two go on the run.
17. Who Killed...? Cleveland, Ohio, by Jack Swint. A short, succinct collection of 15 unsolved murder cases in the Cleveland area. Each case fills a chapter, with numbers and contact information at the end (a nice touch) for those who might have information. The cases include the infamous Torso murders in the 1930s, the death of a young woman which launched not only a murder investigation but an investigation of all levels of the Medina county government at the time, and the murders of four women withing a short period of time in the 1980s. The stories are concise; it's almost like reading a version of America's Most Wanted.
18. Oceanology, various authors. I love the "Ology" books! This is one of the newest in the series, a birthday gift (THANK YOU, KIT!). Oceanology takes its readers to the depths of the oceans aboard the Nautilus. There's a neat diagram of the fabled sub, maps of the journey, notes, asides, information on ocean life and more. Love the nods to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.