Grade 10 Academic English: Suggested Books for Independent Reading

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1Grade 10 Academic English: Suggested Books for Independent Reading

- compiled from suggestions by students, librarians, bookstore managers, and teachers

*Canadian (where known)

DO NOT CHOOSE BOOKS WITH YELLOW DOTS ON THEIR SPINES (not literary; high interest/low vocab.) or books labeled YA (young adult), or Children’s Literature. Check the title page’s publishing information for references to “young readers,” “children,” or “young adults.”

FICTION (imaginary writing)

Fiction books have letters on their spines (the first three letters of the author’s last name) and are found toward the back of the library. Look at the ends of the bookshelves for the letters stored in that row.

(e.g. ABR-CAD)


Ammaniti, Niccolo. I’m Not Scared. Thriller; in rural Tuscany, nine-year-old boy discovers a horrifying secret in an

abandoned house.

Byatt, A. S. The Children’s Book. Historical fiction (Edwardian period) about parents and children.

Brooks, Martha. Bone Dance. A teenage girl from Toronto travels west and meets a boy haunted by nightmares.*

Burnard, Bonnie. A Good House. Three generations in the life of an ordinary small-town family from the 1950s to

the 1990s. 1999 Winner of the Giller Prize.*

de Rosnay, Tatiana. Sarah’s Key. The round-up of Jews in Paris in 1942 for transportation to a concentration camp,

and the contemporary story of journalist researching this event.

Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Classic sci-fi; bounty hunter of androids in post-apocalyptic

future stirs up question of what it means to be human.

Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother. Struggling teen stages techno-revolution in futuristic San Francisco.

Doyle, Roddy. The Woman Who Walked Into Doors. Wife abuse.

Paula Spencer. Sequel to above–rediscovery of self.

Snapper. Teen pregnancy, Irish black humour.

The Commitments. Teen music band.

A Star Called Henry. Poverty and crime in Ireland.

The Van. Humorous story of the working-class Rabbitte family and their fish-and-chips van in Dublin, Ireland.

Fforde, Jasper. The Eyre Affair. Literary fantasy/sci-fi/alternate history. 1985 Britain, time travel, cloning.

Fugard, Athol. Tsotsi. Redemption of a South African teen thug.

Garland, Alex. The Beach. A version of Lord of the Flies for Generation X. Richard and his friends find a beach in Thailand where life seems ideal until conflicts with nature, armed guards, and each other create a nightmare.

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. A group of boys stranded on an uninhabited island resort to primal behaviour.

Ihimaera, Witi. The Whale Rider. The only heir in line for tribal chief is female. Kahu struggles with tradition.

Lansens, Lori. The Girls. Story of twins joined at the head.

Laurence, Margaret. The Stone Angel. An old woman examines her relationships in life.*

Maugham, W. Somerset. The Moon and Sixpence. Based on the life of artist Paul Gauguin; the powerful forces behind creative genius and the sacrifices made.

Melling, O.R. Druid’s Tune. Fantasy. Teenagers travel to the time of the Celtic Druids.

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. African American girl in 1941 whose life changes in devastating ways.

Morrisey, Donna. Kit’s Law. Coming-of-age story in isolated outport in 1950s Newfoundland; teen and her mentally handicapped mother are victimized by the community.*

Prose, Francine. A Changed Man. Story of a reformed young former Neo-Nazi.

Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass. Fantasy; volume one of His Dark Materials trilogy; daemons are the animal-form of one’s soul

Pyper, Andrew. Wildfire Season. Mystery; rescue mission in the Yukon.

Quarrington, Paul. King Leary. Inspired by the career of hockey legend “King” Clancy.

Salinger, J.D. Catcher in the Rye. Teen boy, isolated from his peers, seeks meaning in the adult world.

Shaffer, Mary Ann. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. Collection of fictional letters about love, war,

friendship, survival, reading.

Shields, Carol. The Stone Diaries.* The story of a woman’s life: her childhood, marriage, widowhood, remarriage,

motherhood, and old age.

Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. Two friends seek their dream and find a nightmare.

Tartt, Donna. The Little Friend. Gripping murder story of childhood, discrimination, innocence, and evil.

Tepper, Sherry. Grass. 1980s sci-fi; humankind--now living on many planets--threatened by a plague.

Winters, Ben. Android Karenina. Parody of 19thC Russian novel Anna Karenina; sci-fi, robot culture.

Zusak, Markus. The Messenger/I am the Messenger. Thriller, fable; teen finds meaning in life after stopping bank

robbery. Adult content, but winner of 2003 Australian Children’s Book Award for Older Readers.

Getting the Girl. Teenage boy—a talented writer--coming of age; family dynamics

The Book Thief. Set in Nazi Germany; how words can set one free

Fighting Ruben Wolfe. Two working class brothers drawn into the boxing world to make some money.

2 – VOICES (controversial issues)

Bock, Dennis. The Ash Garden. Hiroshima survivor’s story of her physical, emotional, and psychological scars.

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. A science fiction world in which firefighters burn books.

Cullin, Mitch. Whompyjawed. Coming of age, football, high school.

Tideland. Alice in Wonderland updated.

Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun. Story of a family in Post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.

Holubitsky, Katherine. Alone at Ninety Foot. Suicide; teen girl grieves for her mother.

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. A science fiction depiction of a pleasure-loving world.

Ibuse, Masuji. Black Rain. A Japanese writer portrays the aftermath of a nuclear bomb.

Kogawa, Joy. Itsuka. Naomi moves to Toronto and becomes involved in the Japanese-Canadian fight for


Obasan. Naomi’s childhood is torn apart by Canada’s treatment of Japanese-Canadian citizens during the 1940s.*

LeGuin, Ursula. The Left Hand of Darkness. In the alien world of Winter, people are either genderless or both


Maguire, Gregory. I Feel Like the Morning Star. Science fiction. Teenagers in a post-holocaust world.*

Matas, Carol. Lisa’s War. Teenagers struggle with Nazi oppression in Denmark.

Morpugo, Michael. Private and Peaceful. WWI, innocence and love, courage and cowardice.

O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. The lives of soldiers in the Viet Nam war. Truth, fear, loyalty, guilt.

Quinn, Daniel. My Ishmael. A 15-year-old girl meets a teacher who helps her examine her own culture.

Pahlahniuk, Chuck. Diary. A wife writes entries to her comatose husband.

Pfeffer, Susan. Twice Taken. A teenager girl deals with the problem of abduction.*

Pratt, Norman. Noble Conflict: A Vietnam War Novel.

Rostkowski, Margaret. The Best Friends. Teenagers in the time of the Vietnam War.

Stoehr, Shelley. Crosses. Go Ask Alice of the 90s, cutting.

Van Diepen, Allison. Street Pharm. Adolescents, drug dealing.

Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-Five. Science fiction anti-war novel.

Wiggins, Marianne. John Dollar. A female version of Lord of the Flies;

Wulffson, Don. Soldier X. WWII 16-year-old drafted into German army.

Yolen, Jane. Briar Rose. A blend of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty with the holocaust.

3 – DIVERSITY (from another culture)

Adiga, Aravind. The White Tiger. A young man growing up in modern Indian with no family or financial support.

Agiri, Laura. The God in Flight. Gender issues.

Anderson, M. T. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party and

Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves. An escaped slave in Boston seeking freedom.

Badami, Anita Rau. Tamarind Mem. A portrait of two generations of women in an East Indian family.*

Benchley, Nathaniel. Bright Candles. Historical fiction; young Danish man belongs to the resistance during WWII.

Black, Francesca. Girl Goddess #9.

Boyden, Joseph. Three Day Road. Young Cree hunters sign up to become WWI soldiers.

Brown, Rosellen. Civil Wars. Multicultural.

Buck, Pearl. A Pavilion of Women. Life in China from women’s perspective.

Busfield, Andrea. Born Under a Million Shadows. An 11-year-old Afghan boy, his mother, and his friends,

experience life in a war-torn country and make new relationships.

Chambers, Aidan. Dance on my Grave. Gender issues.

Choy, Wayson. The Jade Peony. Three characters reminisce about growing up in Chinatown, Vancouver, in the late 1930s and ‘40s. A Trillium Book Award winner.*

Crummy, Micheal. River Thieves. Last of the Beothuk Indians of Newfoundland; dysfunctional family.

Dai, Sijie. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Chinese teens suffer in the Cultural Revolution.

Desai, Anita. Fire on the Mountain. South-Asian woman visited by her ill great-granddaughter discovers things they

have in common.

Desai, Kiran. Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard. Story of oldest son in eccentric family in small Indian village.

Inheritance of Loss. Life of 17-yr.-old girl in mid ‘80s India

Diaz, Junot. Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Story of a first-generation Dominican-American and his sister, mother, and grandfather; Spanglish

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Idiot. After being in a Swiss sanatorium, 26-yr.-old Prince Myshkin returns to Russia to

collect inheritance which leads to tragedy; money, power, manipulation.

Doyle, Brian. Spud Sweetgrass.* Teen deals with death, grief, expulsion, relationships, and pollution.

Dunant, Sarah. Birth of Venus. Love, art, and betrayal in 15th-century Florence, Italy.

Ellis, Deborah. Parvana’s Journey. A young girl in Afghanistan sets out to find her family after the fall of Kabul.

Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate. In Mexico, a daughter struggles with her mother’s harsh expectations.

Fredriksson, Marianne. Simon and the Oaks. Holocaust survivor.

Garden, Nancy. Good Moon Rising and Lark in the Morning. Gender issues.

Golden, Arthur. Memoirs of a Geisha. Girl is sold into Geisha culture.

Hartling, Peter. Old John. Generational issues.

Haviaras, Stratis. Where the Tree Sings. Greek freedom fighters struggle to defend their land.

Hesse, Hermann. Siddhartha. A young man seeks and finds enlightenment in India.

Highway, Tomson. Kiss of the Fur Queen. Two Cree brothers are torn from their life in northern Manitoba and thrust into a residential school where they fight to survive and become artists.*

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. The story of two boys from Afghanistan.

Howe, James. The Watcher. Three troubled teens deal with divorce, death, abuse, and alcoholism.

Jin, Ha. Waiting. Two members of the Chinese army are waiting for the man’s pre-arranged marriage to become annulled in order to finalize their relationship.

Kadare, Ismail. General of the Dead Army. The consequences of war; post WWII Albania

Khadra, Yasmina. The Sirens of Baghdad. Story of an educated Arab terrorist made radical by witnessing deaths of innocent people.

Kim, Helen. The Long Season of Rain. Four sisters grow up in 1960s Korea.

Kincaid, Jamaica. Annie John. A young girl comes of age on her island home of Antigua.

King, Thomas. Truth and Bright Water. 15-year-old Blackfoot boy, Tecumseh, and his family mysteries.

Kinsella, W.P. Dance Me Outside. North American Indian life.

Magorian, Michelle. Goodnight Mister Tom. A WWII child evacuee from London is taken in by a kind old man, but eventually must return to his abusive mother.

Major, Kevin. Blood Red Ochre. Male/female issues, Multicultural*.

Manioka, Lensey. Ties that Bind, Ties that Break: a Novel. Multicultural.

Markandaya, Kamala. Nectar in a Sieve. Life of a 12-year-old Indian girl; arranged marriage, friendship, suffering,

hope, faith, strength.

Matar, Hisham. In the Country of Men. The impact of revolutions on children; Qaddafi’s Libya

Miller, Isabel. Side by Side. Gender issues.

Mitchell, David. Black Swan Green. A year in the life of a 13-yr.-old boy in small-town England from 1982-83.

Morrison, Toni. Sula. Relationship between two friends; mysteries of human emotions; good and evil

Murakami, Haruki. After Dark. Seven hours in the interconnected lives of isolated and lonely Japanese youth in


Okri, Ben. Famished Road. The story of a spirit-child, set in an African village. Love, suffering, survival.

O’Brien, Edna. Down by the River. Based on true story of 14-yr.-old Irish rape victim.

Naidoo, Beverley. Journey to Jo’burg: a South African Story. Multicultural.

Napoli, Donna Jo. Sirena. Male/female relationships.

Newbery, Yearling. The Watsons Go to Birmingham. Fictional African American family experiences

factual events of the violence in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama.

Paperny, Myra. The Greenies. Jewish orphans from the Holocaust immigrate to Canada; high school.

Patchett, Ann. The Magician’s Assistant. Gender issues, Male/Female relationships.

Pelevin, Victor. The Helmet of Horror. A modern take on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur—the labyrinth is

like an Internet chatroom.

Phillips, Marie. Gods Behaving Badly. Greek gods living in contemporary London, mingling with mortals.

Potok, Chaim. The Chosen. Generational.

Ricci, Nino. Lives of the Saints. A young boy in Italy comes to terms with his mother’s “crime”.*

Sanchez, Alex. Rainbow Boys. 3 gay teens in their senior year struggle with coming out, first love, HIV.

Scliar, Moacyr. The Centaur in the Garden. A variation of the half-human, half-beast story, as the narrator is born a


Selvadurai, Shyam. Funny Boy. Sri Lankan teen deals with family conflict, politics, and homosexuality.

Sijie, Dai. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Story of 2 teens sent into countryside for re-education during Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Solzhenitsyn, Alexander. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. The story of one man’s struggle to survive in a Russian prison.

Staples, Suzanne Fisher. Haveli. Male/female relationships.

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind. Multicultural.

Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. Set in modern times in California, a group of Chinese women share their stories.

Bonesetter’s Daughter. Mother-daughter relationships, family secrets.

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Uchida, Yoshiko. Journey to Topaz. Multicultural, generational.

Vassanji, M.G. No New Land. An Asian family from Africa immigrate to Don Mills and find themselves caught between two worlds.*

Ye, Ting-Xing. Throwaway Daughter. Grace returns to her roots to seek out her birth mother in China.

NON-FICTION (true writing: narrative or informational)

Non-fiction books have numbers and letters (Dewey Decimal Classification System plus the first three letters of the author’s last name) on their spine and are shelved numerically starting with the lowest numbers nearest the library doors. You need to look up non-fiction books in the computer to find their numbers. Look at the ends of the bookshelves for the numbers stored in that row (e.g. 451.2-794.5). Ms. Whidden has created a new Creative Non-Fiction section near the back of the library especially for this ISU. For a list of some of the latest and greatest in our narrative non-fiction collection, go to Banting’s homepage, Library, LS2 Library Search, and type in “narrative non-fiction”; scroll down through the box of book covers on the right-hand side of the screen.

1 – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST/HOLD FAST TO DREAMS (autobiography, biography)

Armstrong, Lance. It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.

Every Second Counts.

Ball, Heather. Astonishing Women Artists. Female artist role models.

Great Women Leaders.

Remarkable Women Writers.

Barlow, Maude. Global Showdown. How the new activists are fighting global corporate rule.*

Batten, Jack. The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone: The Story of Tom Longboat. The amazing distance runner.

Benjamin, Michelle and Mooney, Maggie. Nobel’s Women of Peace. Female winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Bidini, Dave. Tropic of Hockey : My search for the game in unlikely places

Bodanis, David. E=MC2. History of where the equation E=MC2 came from and how it changed the world.

Braun, Sandra. Incredible Women Inventors.

Brown, Christy. My Left Foot. Painter/author/poet’s inspiring story of growing up with cerebral palsy in an Irish

family of 13.

Bryant, Jill. Amazing Women Athletes.

Caron, Roger. Go-Boy! Memories of a Life Behind Bars. Prison memoir of a Canadian bank robber, born to wealthy


Campbell, Maria. Half-Breed.* Author’s life spirals downwards with drug abuse, alcoholism, prostitution.

Christopher, Matt. On the Course with Tiger Woods.

Conover, Ted. Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing.

Dallaire, Romeo. They Fight Like Soldiers; They Die Like Children. Author’s quest to put an end to child soldiers.

DeSoto, Lewis. Emily Carr. The life of the famous Canadian artist.

Di Domenico, Kelly. Super Women in Science. Great female role models in science.

Dunkelman, Ben. Dual Allegiance: An Autobiography. Gripping true-life heroic adventures of a rebellious young

man from Toronto, kicked out of schools, who enlisted in WWII and then fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Dryden, Ken. The Game. A hockey classic, and a Canada Reads pick. About being great at anything, not just hockey.

Epstein, Edward. Michelle Kwan - Born to Skate.

Freedland, Michael. The Secret Life of Danny Kaye. How the famous comedian made his dream come true.

Gilmour, David. The Film Club. A father lets his 15-year-old son drop out of school on the condition that they watch 3 films a week together and discuss them.

Gladwell, Malcolm. The Outliers. Why do some people succeed while others never reach their potential?

Gueldenpfennig, Sonia. Spectacular Women in Space. Female role models in aeronautics.

Hahn Beer, Edith. The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust.

Kennedy, Pagan. Black Livingstone: a true tale of adventure in the nineteenth-century Congo

Kielburger, Craig and Marc Kielburger. Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World. Imagine waking up every morning, believing that your actions can make a significant change in the world. As teens, the Kielburgers did.

Kingwell, Mark. Better Living: In the Pursuit of Happiness From Plato to Prozac. A modern philosopher’s exploration of what happiness is and how we can achieve it.

Dreams of Millennium: Report from a Culture on the Brink. An analysis of our culture’s preoccupation with the new millennium, with comparisons between past and present.*

Kirsh, Sharon and Kirsh, Florence. Fabulous Female Physicians.

Klein, Naomi. No Logo. An analysis of our world of brand names where beauty for some, causes nightmarish

conditions for others.*

Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. A young man’s wilderness adventures in Alaska.

MacGregor, Jeff. Sunday money : speed! lust! madness! death! A hot lap around America with NASCAR

McFarlane, Brian. Stanley Cup Fever.*

Malarek, Victor. Hey Malarek! Canada’s top investigative journalist details his youthful trials of abuse and street

life, leading ultimately to his inspirational success.

Merritt, Susan. Her Story: Women from Canada’s Past.* (also books II, and III)

Mezrich, Ben. The Accidental Billionaires--The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal

Michaelides, Marina. Renegade Women of Canada: The Wild, Outrageous, Daring and Bold.

Novogratz, Jacqueline. The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World.

Imagine giving clothing away to Goodwill and then seeing it years later on an African boy.

Owens, Mark James and Cordelia Dykes Owens. Secrets of the Savanna. The authors’ travels in Zambia,

Africa, and their discovery of an elephant version of Lord of the Flies.

Pipher, Mary. Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls. A clinical psychologist sheds light on the world of teenage girls from her therapy sessions with adolescents.

Rooney, Frances. Extraordinary Women Explorers.

Exceptional Women Environmentalists.

Sheridan, Sam. A Fighter’s Heart: One Man’s Journey Through the World of Fighting.

The Fighter’s Mind: Inside the Mental Game.

Stout, Glen, ed. Chasing Tiger: the Tiger Woods Reader.

Van Emden, Richard. Boy Soldiers of the Great War.

Walls, Jeanette. The Glass Castle. Inspirational story of young girl overcoming upbringing in dysfunctional family.

Wojna, Lisa. Great Canadian Women: 19 Portraits of Extraordinary Women.

Wolf, Naomi. The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women. A critique of the ways

the media prey upon women’s insecurities and a celebration of feminine uniqueness.

Wolfe, Tom. The Right Stuff. The pilots who became the first American astronauts.

2 – VOICES (controversial issues, autobiography, biography)

Burnett, John. Where Soldiers Fear to Tread. A relief worker’s account of his dangerous and eye-opening

experiences providing humanitarian aid in a war zone: Somalia.

Conlon, Gerry. Proved Innocent. An account of the British government conspiracy against a group of

thieves after the IRA bombing of a London pub in 1974. Inspired the movie In the Name of the Father.

Conover, Ted. Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails with America's Hobos

Cullen, Dave. Columbine. The mass murders of April 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado.

DeLeo, Peter. Survive! My Fight for Life in the High Sierras.

Demczyna, Antonina. From East to West. An inspiring true story of a young girl’s struggle in a German prisoner-of-war factory, her marriage, and her journey to Canada.*

Edwards, Peter. One Dead Indian: the Premier, the Police, and the Ipperwash Crisis.*

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickle and Dimed: On (not) Getting By in America.

Fleury, Theo. Playing with Fire. The struggles and pain of dealing with poverty, abuse, dysfunctional parents, drugs,

and alcohol, as well as the challenges of being a star hockey player

Ford, Emily. What you must think of me: a firsthand account of one teenager's experience with social anxiety


Glass, Cathy. Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child. A young abused girl in foster care.

Godfrey, Rebecca. Under the Bridge: The True Story of the Murder of Rena Virk. Fourteen-year-old girl killed in BC by people she knew.

Harr, Jonathan. A Civil Action. The gripping story of how a lawyer discovered the crime behind a leukemia outbreak in an area of the United States.

Junger, Sebastian. War. On-the-ground account of a single platoon during its fifteen-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.

Karp, Carl. When Justice Fails: The David Milgaard Story. Wrongfully accused; murder trial.*

Kaysen, Susanna. Girl, Interrupted. The author’s account of her two-year experience in a psychiatric hospital.

Key, Joshua. The Deserter’s Tale. US soldier Joshua Key tells of his experiences in Iraq of seeing American soldiers

behaving like terrorists.

Louwen, James. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.

McCourt, Frank. Angela’s Ashes. A boy growing up in poverty in Ireland.

Ralston, Aron. A Rock and a Hard Place. Story of Aron Ralston, a young climber who became trapped during a

hazardous climb in Utah, and was forced to amputate his own hand to survive.

Rodriguez, Deborah. Kabul Beauty School. Perfect companion reading for A Thousand Splendid Suns. Inspirational

story of an American beautician’s efforts to help Afghani women become more independent.

Scholl, Inge. The White Rose. Munich 1942-43; anti-Nazi movement; University of Munich riot.

Sher, Julian. Until You Are Dead: Steven Truscott’s Long Ride Into History.

Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Tammet, Daniel. Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Mind of an Autistic Sauvant. The story of a math genius with

synesthesia who can recite over 22,500 digits of pi by memory.

Turnipseed, Joel. Baghdad Express. Persian Gulf war memoir.

Wertheim, L. Jon. Blood in the cage: Mixed martial arts, Pat Miletich, and the furious rise of the UFC

Winik, Marion. Telling. A journalist’s account of her wild youth.

Wurtzel, Elizabeth. Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America: A Memoir.

3 – DIVERSITY (from another culture, autobiography, biography)

Ali, Nujood. I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced. Story of child bride from Yemen, forced by her father to

marry a man three times her age.

Allerberger, Sepp. Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger Knights Cross

Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Coming of age story; overcoming racism.

Ashby, Ruth. Rosa Parks: Courageous Citizen. Civil rights activist extraordinaire!

Azadi, Sousan. Out of Iran: One Woman’s Escape from the Ayatollahs. A privileged woman’s escape from the

oppressive regime of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran.

Bashir, Halima. Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur. Sudanese doctor’s account of the terror she

witnessed in Darfur.

Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone. Story of a child soldier in Sierra Leone.

Bernstein, Sara Tuvel. The Seamstress: a Memoir of Survival. Inspirational Holocaust memoir by a Romanian Jew.

Birnbaum, Alfred and Philip Gabriel. Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche

Bitton-Jackson, Livia. I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust.

Borovik, Artyom. Hidden War: A Russian Journalist’s Account of the Soviet War in Afghanistan.

Bul Dau, John. God Grew Tired of Us. The “Lost Boys of Sudan” who walked 1,000 miles to escape war.

Calkhoven, Laurie. Harriet Tubman: Leading the Way to Freedom. An important freedom fighter who escaped

slavery and then helped others achieve their freedom.

Connelly, Karen. Touch the Dragon: A Thai Journal. A Canadian teenager keeps a diary during her time in Thailand.*

Ebadi, Shirin. Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope. Winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, and a

human-rights lawyer, the author writes of her struggles against oppression in Iran.

Erenberger, Timothy. Grandfather’s Tale: The Tale of a German Sniper.

Frank, Anne. The Diary of Anne Frank. A Jewish girl, in hiding during World War 11, deals with the problems of confinement, war, and growing up.

Friedrich, Otto. The Kingdom of Auschwitz. The holocaust; personal narrative.

Fung, Melissa. Under an Afghan Sky. Story of a kidnapped journalist.

Gates Jr., Henry Louis. Coloured People. A memoir of race relations in 1950s West Virginia.

Gray, Charlotte. Nellie McClung. Important figure in the movement for women’s rights.

Flint and Feather: The Life and Times of E. Pauline Johnson, Tekahionwake. The life of the

famous Native poet.

Gut Opdyke, Irene. In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Survivor.

Hensel, Jana. After the Wall: Confessions from an East German Childhood and the Life That Came Next.

Hirsi Ali, Ayaan. Infidel. After a traditional Muslim upbringing, Somalia-born Hirsi Ali fled from a forced marriage,

was disowned by her family, pursued her education, and now fights for Muslim women’s rights

The Caged Virgin. About the author’s struggles with Islam: the role of women, individual rights, abuse

Howard Griffin, John. Black Like Me. American classic. White man disguises himself as a black man in 1959 and

travels the deep south to experience first-hand the treatment of blacks, and document it.

Humber, William. A Sporting Chance: Achievements of African-Canadian Athletes.

Jal, Emmanuel. War Child. Story of a war child in southern Sudan.

Joya, Malalai. A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Woman Who Dared to Raise Her


Koschorrek, Gunther. Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front.

Lubbeck, Werhmacht Captain William. At Leningrad’s Gates: The Story of a Soldier with Army Group North.

Mahmoody, Betty. Not Without My Daughter. An American woman married to an Iranian doctor on a family

vacation in Iran finds herself fighting for the return of her daughter, abducted by her husband, and struggling to

escape the country

McCourt, Frank. Teacher Man. The famous author’s teaching experiences in New York City.

McGregor, Ewan and Charley Boorman. Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World. The actors’

motorcycle adventures through London, New York, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russian, Alaska, etc.

McLaurin, Melton A. Celia. 1855; an abused slave is accused of murdering her master.

Mealer, Bryan. All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo.

Miller, Orlo. The Donnellys Must Die. The clash between a family and a community in early Ontario.*

Mortenson, Greg. Three Cups of Tea. An American nurse’s failed attempt to climb K2, world’s 2nd-tallest mtn.,

results in a life dedicated to reducing poverty and increasing literacy.

Murakami, Haruki. The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche.

Nemat, Marina. Prisoner of Tehran. Memoir of an Iranian activist who, at 16, was tortured and sentenced to death,

and who married her prison guard in order to protect her family from harm.

Njuguna, Paul Kihiu. Milele Africa. Influence of the author’s grandmother, a traditional African wise woman of

great skill and reputation.

Olsson, Eva. Unlocking the Doors: a Woman’s Struggle Against Intolerance.

Omar, Manal. Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity—My Own and What It Means to be a Woman in Chaos.

Ruffin, Frances E. Frederick Douglass: Rising Up From Slavery. Born a slave, Douglass became an important figure

in the anti-slavery movement.

Sajer, Guy. The Forgotten Soldier.

Sando, Tom. Wild Daisies in the Sand. Life in a Japanese-Canadian internment camp in WWII.

Sebarenzi, Joseph. God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation.

Seierstad, Åsne. The Bookseller of Kabul. A Norwegian journalist offers a glimpse into life after the fall of the Taliban from her vantage point of moving in with the family of a bookseller.

Shapiro, James. A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, 1599.

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