Story Stack

Jasper Alexander, Writer

Throughout history, literature has been an incredibly important part of human culture and entertainment. Even though it was a challenge, I’ve selected the 5 favorite stories I’ve read in my lifetime. These entries are in no particular order. 

Call of the Wild by Jack London 

This book sparked the now blazing fire that is my love of reading. Jack London’s, Call of the Wild is about a young St. Bernard dog named Buck who was born and raised in a manor as a loyal friend and guardian to his owner. This book takes place in the 1890s during the Klondike Gold Rush, when a good sled dog was valuable. Buck is taken from his home and trafficked to sled dog trainers who beat the wild puppy out of him and make him an obedient servant. The book follows Buck on his journey from his warm and loving home to the cold, icy lands of Canada and Alaska. Along the way, Buck becomes increasingly in touch with his canine ancestors. “Not only did he learn by experience, but instincts long dead became alive again,” London writes. The book is an amazing story by an amazing author. It is heartwarming, tear jerking, and thrilling. Will you pick up this book and answer the call? 

My Precious Pony by Stephen King 

Back to Stephen King land! This is one of the best short stories I have ever read. My Precious Pony came to me at a dark time in my life. I read it shortly after my grandfather had passed; the story was perfect for the situation because it is about a dying grandfather who is telling his grandson how sacred time is. The story is far from King’s comfort zone of horror and shows his virtuosic talent. 

Freak the Mighty by AUTHOR 

If you like a depressing to read, then this is the book for you. The book is about a high school boy that is treated like a monster because of his freaky likeness to his father, a convicted killer. Max struggles to keep his grades up and his low self-esteem does not help the problem. Eventually, Max gets a 12-year-old tutor named Kevin. The kids call him Freak. Kevin has Morquio Syndrome, this is an uncommon disease that causes the organs to grow, but not the body. Most people with it rarely live past their thirties. Throughout the book these two unlikely best friends go on their own adventures together and, more importantly, we watch Max get the one thing he most wanted: a friend. This book is a great coming-of-age story that is filled with strong friendships and sadness. If you have not read this, please give it a try.  

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin 

 You have probably only heard about this one from the HBO series of the same name. It is the first book in the epic fantasy series by Ser George R. R. Martin.  that takes place in the far-off lands of Westeros and Braavos. The series is notorious for keeping readers on the edge of their seats. It is chock full of heroic knights, battles, and political intrigue. But that is not all. Up north, while all the lords and ladies’ bicker and battle over who should hold the throne, a threat grows stronger and stronger. This threat goes by one name: winter. And with winter marches an army of the undead. This book series continues to captivate its audience, but be aware, it is over 800 pages long. The series can be found in our school’s library, so stop by and seek it out.  

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar 

 When legendary author Stephen King experienced writer’s block, King’s friend and guardian angel, Richard Chizmar, stepped in as a co-author. Out of this partnership came the first book in a soon-to-be three-part series. Gwendy’s Button Box takes place in Castle Rock, Maine, a town with which all Stephen King fans are familiar. In this version of the town there is a staircase that leads to the top of a mountain that Castle Rock is nestled next to. The only problem with this staircase is that it has no railings and, as a result, is a hot spot for suicides. Young Gwendy Peterson is the main character of this story, and it starts with her running up the stairs in a desperate attempt to lose weight. She does this every day for an entire summer, but the last day of summer is different. At the top of the staircase is a park where she likes to sit, but a strange man in a suit and black hat is in her spot (this is the main antagonist in the Dark Tower series, the Man in Black). The man invites her to sit and “palaver,” a word from the Dark Tower series meaning to have a conversation. After talking, the strange man gives her a box covered in buttons and levers to keep safe with only one strict rule: do not touch the black button! The Man in Black then leaves her, and Gwendy continues to live her life. Readers watch her ups and downs in middle school and then high school. This book is a great introduction to Stephen King; it’s fast paced and is only around 150 pages. If the world of Stephen King and the Dark Tower interests you, then you would like this book. 

The stories and novels listed here hold a very dear place in my heart and it is my hope that they will do the same for you. Go pick up some good ol’ fashion paper and read!