2. 'American War,' by Omar El Akkad
In this new novel by debut novelist El Akkad, which takes place in the future, America is experiencing civil war again and young Sarat Chestnut is living in a camp for those who have been uprooted by the conflict. Soon Sarat herself becomes involved in the war. Schluep notes that the story is a dark one. "It's definitely a chilling book...," he says. "All our worst fears come to light." Yet the work is "also about [Sarat's] family...," Schluep says. "There's a personal side to this story, too."