The Books That Shaped Our Graduating Class of 2024

As they prepare to embark on their high school adventures, our amazing graduating grade 8 class is sharing the books that sparked their imaginations, ignited their passions, and maybe even kept them up reading way past bedtime! Get ready for a diverse list filled with tales that made them laugh, cry, and think.  You will probably want to add a few to your own personal reading list!

Emet’s pick: Here’s Looking at Euclid by Alex Bellos

This book explores mathematical concepts using real life analogies in an interesting way. Some concepts explained in this book are cardinality and modality, euclidean and non-euclidean geometry and group theory among others. What I especially enjoy about this book is how it explains such complicated concepts in such a simple way. Even as an eight year old I was able to grasp the simple illustration that this book presents. I greatly enjoyed the concepts explained in this book, and I greatly recommend this book.


Eli’s pick: Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

I believe the most influential book I have read is Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. The book tells the story of the Author David, and talks about his rough childhood, his father abused him and David left with his mother, had no money, couldn’t read or write, and struggled to survive. David said he spent up until his late 20s sulking and wasting his life. Eventually, he had enough of his old life and decided to make a change, he enlisted to become a Navy Seal, studied for months, trained, and worked extremely hard. It seemed impossible for him to become a Navy Seal, especially because of his physical condition and race, but despite the odds, David enlisted and became a Navy Seal. Now, David is a famous motivational speaker, has the pull-up world record, and is an ultramarathon runner, completing some of the world’s hardest and largest marathons. His story has influenced my life in many ways and the book teaches you discipline and perseverance.


Charlotte’s pick: Bob Books Series

These books have been important to me because they taught me how to read. These books were very easy to read for beginners because most of the words rhyme. I started reading Bob Books around Kindergarten and they helped me to excel my reading skills and expand my vocabulary as a little 5 year old.



Sarah’s pick: Awful Auntie by David Walliams

Awful Auntie by David Walliams was one of the books that I loved the most reading. This funny and suspenseful book influenced me to read more of the author’s books and taught me that you can never be too creative and imaginative. Despite being a long book, it kept me entertained. You could never predict what happened next; every page would surprise me. This book was a lot of fun to read, but also at times sad. It shows loss and loneliness, but also adventure, strength, and independence. Before this book, I did not enjoy reading very much. Awful Aunty showed me that reading could be thrilling and exciting. Overall, this was an amazing book that left me reading many more of David Walliams books.

Georgia’s pick: Mr. Men/Little Miss Series by Roger Hargreaves

The books that are most important to me are the Mr. Men and Little Miss Series by Roger Hargreaves. The Mister children’s books are a series of different Misters like, Mr. Lazy, Mr. Funny and many more. This book influenced me in a positive by teaching me that there are many different types of people in the world.


Eliya’s Pick: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My favorite book of all time was the series The Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins. This phenomenal book is incredible for so many reasons. It’s written so well you never want to put it down it’s suspenseful, interesting, and very intriguing. You fall in love with each character for way different reasons. You go through so many emotions and can’t feel very strongly for each character. All three books are amazing but the first is by far the best. There are movies for all of them but the books are so much better. I am in love with this series and I have to say it’s as good as Harry Potter, as crazy as it sounds. I recommend this book to any avid reader considering there are intense themes and mature content. So go to the library today to discover your new favorite book!

Adam’s Pick: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

There are many books I’ve read while at OJCS and in New York however the book that I have always been looking forward to reading as a class since hearing it from my siblings is To Kill A Mockingbird. One of the most influential pieces of literature out today To Kill A Mockingbird is all over today’s taught literature. It may not be a fantasy boom that appeals to younger kids but it still can interest a reader in the same way while teaching a lesson. Since it’s been hyped up by my sister who also watched a Broadway play about it with her class I had always been waiting to read it in school which at OJCS I’ve had the opportunity to do. It paints a picture of Maycomb County a small town in Alabama in 1935 and accurately shows children the truth of the racism built into the world at that time. It creates a story following a young girl named Scout who with her father’s defense of a black man Tom Robinson quickly ages into an adult. There are hardly any books in literature that combine an interesting story with a story that teaches a lesson like To Kill A Mockingbird does which is why it holds a special place for me.

Ariel’s Pick: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

I read this book last year in English class. This book was influential to me because the story is very interesting. I remember that with each chapter that I read, I got more and more interested in it. This is because the story is very good. I also like how the characters are developed throughout the story. Also how realistic the story is is another factor for why It’s interesting.


Joel’s Pick: The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

A book that has been the most influential in my entire OJCS student career is “The Spellman Files” by Lisa Lutz. There are a couple of points that I would like to bring up in this paragraph. Firstly, one of the reasons why this book is important is because it discusses the concepts of justice throughout the modern world, and it explicitly states views of life in bringing justice to people. Secondly, this book shows major concepts of family, even when working in the world and doing something risky. The final point on why this book is influential to me is because what I felt while reading this are feelings of strength, willpower, sympathy and choice.

Eliezer’s Pick: Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

The most meaningful book I have ever read is Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, this was the book that made me enjoy reading. I started reading it when I was 8 and I think I have read each book over 5 times. One time I even read every Harry Potter book in 1 week. I think Harry Potter is a great book and can make anyone fall in love with reading.


Zoe’s Pick: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney

During my time here, I have read a lot of books that stuck out to me. However, Diary of a Wimpy Kid was the most important to me. Diary of a Wimpy kid was one of the first “chapter” books I read. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a rather large series so every time a new book came out I would read it, even as I got older. Diary of a Wimpy is very nostalgic to me and reminds me of when I was in grade 2 waiting for a new book to come out. I continue to read each book that comes out and hope to do so until the series is finished.

Maya’s Pick:מעשה בחמשה בלונין

My name is Maya and the book that I’m picking is a Hebrew book called מעשה בחמשה בלונין. It’s a kid’s book about 5 kids and their balloons. This was the very first book I’ve ever read so it’s very important to me and my family, even after I got too old for the book, my siblings passed on the love of this book.


Sacha’s Pick: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

My favorite book in my OJCS career was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton which I read in Grade 7. This book was the most exciting book I have read because of the many high suspense moments. This book was important because I was able to witness the many struggles which other people have like violence and prejudice. It also had many captivating themes of friendship and loyalty. It also influenced me by showing the consequences of actions.

Sam’s Pick: Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. 

I am currently reading a book called “Can’t Hurt Me”. Can’t Hurt Me is Written by David Goggins. David Goggins is an ex. Navy Seal, Ultra Marathon runner and a Motivational speaker. This book shares the story of his sad childhood and teaches the importance of your mindset. This book has been very influential to me because it taught me the importance of having a strong mind and not letting other people pull you down. It taught me the importance of wisdom and the power of your mindset. This book is important to me because it has taught me so many important lessons and most of them are lessons that you will keep with you for your whole life. One lesson that really stood out to me was when he shares, motivates, and challenges the reader to try to get things done, meaning that you finish the things you need and not procrastinate.

Adam’s Pick: The Bad Guys Series by Aaron Blabey

During the years I’ve been at OJCS I’ve always been reading the book: the Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey. Although the Bad Guys is a children’s comic book I am always invested in the storyline and am staring at the date for when the next book will be released. I can always open up a Bad Guys book and expect a laugh. Even if you’re 5 or if you’re 100 you can always read the Bad Guys.


Adam’s Pick: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

The book Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss is important to me because it was the first English book I read. Since I moved to Canada from Israel at age 5 I didn’t know nearly any English. Considering I went to a preschool where everybody was speaking a language I didn’t know it was pretty difficult to do anything. Green Eggs and Ham was the first English book I read and taught me more words than just knowing Cow and Dog and was a huge step to generally communicating with classmates and teachers.

Ayala’s Pick: The Violinist of  Auschwitz by Ellie Midwood

My favourite book is The Violinist of Auschwitz because it is about the Holocaust and that is very interesting to me and it’s inspiring because of how hard the characters in the book fought.



Emmett’s Pick: Solo Leveling by Chugong

“Solo Leveling” is a South Korean web novel written by Chugong, which was later adapted into a digital comic and a webtoon. The story takes place in a world where portals to dungeons filled with monsters have appeared, and people with special powers, known as “hunters,” fight to protect humanity.

The main character, Sung Jinwoo, is a weak hunter who gains extraordinary powers through a mysterious program, allowing him to become one of the strongest hunters and conquer even the most powerful monsters. The novel and webtoon follow Jinwoo’s journey as he rises to the top of the hunting world, facing various challenges and enemies along the way”(brave).

Noah’s Pick: See You In The Cosmos

My favorite book is See You In The Cosmos because of its unique way of storytelling and a very touching plot line.

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