Reading Lists

International (RD 80 and 90)

The alchemist

Coelho, Paulo, Clarke, Alan

HarperSanFrancisco 2002

An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasures found within.

The boy who harnessed the wind : creating currents of electricity and hope

Kamkwamba, William Mealer, Bryan

Harper Perennial 2010

An enterprising teenager in Malawi builds a windmill from scraps he finds around his village and brings electricity, and a future, to his family.

Children of the river

Crew, Linda

Dell Pub. 1991

Having fled Cambodia four years earlier to escape the Khmer Rouge army, seventeen-year-old Sundara is torn between remaining faithful to her own people and enjoying life in her Oregon high school as a "regular" American.

Eleven minutes

Coelho, Paulo, Costa, Margaret Jull

Perennial 2005

Embittered by her first experiences of love, a young Brazilian girl travels to Geneva in search of fame and fortune and finds her beliefs about sex and romance challenged by her relationship with a young painter.

I am Nujood, age 10 and divorced

Ali, Nujood, Minoui, Delphine

Three Rivers Press 2010

The true story of the remarkable 10-year-old Yemeni girl who dared to defy her country's most archaic traditions by fighting for a divorce.

A long way gone : memoirs of a boy soldier

Beah, Ishmael

Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2008

This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived. Ishmael Beah, now 25 years old, tells how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.--From publisher description.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

McCall Smith, Alexander

Anchor Books 2002

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith's widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to help people with problems in their lives. Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

The road of lost innocence

Mam, Somaly, Marshall, Ruth

Spiegel & Grau 2009

Born in a Cambodian village, Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery by her grandfather at age twelve. For the next decade she was shuttled through the brothels that make up the sprawling sex trade of Southeast Asia. She suffered the brutality and horrors of human trafficking--rape, torture, deprivation--until she managed to escape with the help of a French aid worker. Emboldened by her newfound freedom, education, and security, Somaly blossomed but remained haunted by the girls in the brothels she left behind. This book tells the story of her awakening as an activist and her harrowing and brave fight against the powerful and corrupt forces that steal the lives of these girls. She has built shelters, started schools, and founded an organization that has so far saved more than four thousand women and children in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.--From publisher description.

The village bride of Beverly Hills

Daswani, Kavita

Plume 2005

War child : a child soldier's story

Jal, Emmanuel, Davies, Megan Lloyd

St. Martin's Press 2009

In the mid-1980s, Emmanuel Jal was a seven-year-old Sudanese boy, living in a small village. But as Sudan's civil war moved closer, his family moved again and again, seeking peace. Then, one terrible day, Jal was separated from his mother, and later learned she had been killed; his father Simon rose to become a powerful commander in the Christian Sudanese Liberation Army, fighting for the freedom of Sudan. Soon, Jal was conscripted into that army, one of 10,000 child soldiers, and fought through two separate civil wars over nearly a decade. Remarkably, he survived, and was adopted by a British aid worker, beginning the journey that would lead him to music: he recorded and released his own album, including the number one hip-hop single in Kenya, and has gone on to perform with international music stars, and to use his fame to help children like him.--From publisher description.

When broken glass floats : growing up under the Khmer Rouge

Him, Chanrithy

W.W. Norton 2001

A survivor of the Cambodian genocide recounts a childhood in Cambodia, where rudimentary labor camps filled with death and illness were the norm and modern technology, such as cars and electricity, no longer existed.

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