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Uplifting and Overcoming Adversity (RD 115)

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The beautiful struggle : a father, two sons and an unlikely road to manhood

Coates, Ta-Nehisi

Spiegel & Grau 2009

A memoir of growing up in the tough world of Baltimore in the 1980s chronicles the relationship between the author and his father, a Vietnam vet and Black Panther affiliate, and his campaign to keep his sons from falling victim to the temptations of the streets.

Brother, I'm dying

Danticat, Edwidge

Vintage Books 2008

In a personal memoir, the author describes her relationships with the two men closest to her--her father and his brother, Joseph, a charismatic pastor with whom she lived after her parents emigrated from Haiti to the United States.

The girl who fell from the sky : a novel

Durrow, Heidi W.

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2011

After a family tragedy orphans her, Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., moves into her grandmother's mostly black community in the 1980s, where she must swallow her grief and confront her identity as a biracial woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.

Half the sky : turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide

Kristof, Nicholas D. WuDunn, Sheryl

Vintage Books 2010

"With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope. They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS. Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women's potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it's also the best strategy for fighting poverty."--pub. desc.

The kite runner

Hosseini, Khaled

Riverhead Books 2003

An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present day. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy Afghan youth and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption. It is also about the power of fathers over sons: their love, their sacrifices, and their lies.

Strength in what remains

Kidder, Tracy

Random House 2009

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder returns with the extraordinary true story of Deo, a young man who arrives in America from Burundi in search of a new life. After surviving a civil war and genocide, he ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores until he begins to meet the strangers who will change his life, pointing him eventually in the direction of Columbia University, medical school, and a life devoted to healing.