• A Little History of The World

    by E.H. Gombrich Year Published: 2008

    “In forty concise chapters, Gombrich tells the story of man from the Stone Age to the atomic bomb.  In between emerges a colorful picture of wars and conquests, grand works of art, and the spread and limitations of science.  This is a text dominated not by dates and facts, but by the sweep of mankind’s experience across the centuries, a guide to humanity’s achievements, and an acute witness to its frailties.” 

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  • A Long Walk to Water

    by Linda Sue Park Year Published: 2010

    The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

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  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

    by Ishmael Beah Year Published: 2008

    “At the age of twelve, Ishmael Beah fled attacking rebels in Sierra Leone 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.  At sixteen, he was removed from fighting by UNICEF, and through the help of the staff at his rehabilitation center, he learned how to forgive himself, to regain his humanity, and, finally, to heal.”

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  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

    by Katherine Boo Year Published: 2012

    “From Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities. . .  In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.  . . With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.”

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  • Civilization: The West and the Rest

    by Niall Ferguson Year Published: 2012

    “Western civilization’s rise to global dominance is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five centuries

    How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? Acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson argues that beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts, or “killer applications”—competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic—that the Rest lacked, allowing it to surge past all other competitors.

    Yet now, Ferguson shows how the Rest have downloaded the killer apps the West once monopolized, while the West has literally lost faith in itself. Chronicling the rise and fall of empires alongside clashes (and fusions) of civilizations, Civilization: The West and the Rest recasts world history with force and wit. Boldly argued and teeming with memorable characters, this is Ferguson at his very best.”

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  • Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey To Reunite With His Mother

    by Sonia Nazario Year Published: 2007

    In this astonishing true story, award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario recounts the unforgettable odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves unimaginable hardship and peril to reach his mother in the United States.
    When Enrique is five years old, his mother, Lourdes, too poor to feed her children, leaves Honduras to work in the United States. The move allows her to send money back home to Enrique so he can eat better and go to school past the third grade.
    Lourdes promises Enrique she will return quickly. But she struggles in America. Years pass. He begs for his mother to come back. Without her, he becomes lonely and troubled. When she calls, Lourdes tells him to be patient. Enrique despairs of ever seeing her again. After eleven years apart, he decides he will go find her.
    Enrique sets off alone from Tegucigalpa, with little more than a slip of paper bearing his mother’s North Carolina telephone number. Without money, he will make the dangerous and illegal trek up the length of Mexico the only way he can–clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains.
    With gritty determination and a deep longing to be by his mother’s side, Enrique travels through hostile, unknown worlds. Each step of the way through Mexico, he and other migrants, many of them children, are hunted like animals. Gangsters control the tops of the trains. Bandits rob and kill migrants up and down the tracks. Corrupt cops all along the route are out to fleece and deport them. To evade Mexican police and immigration authorities, they must jump onto and off the moving boxcars they call El Tren de la Muerte–The Train of Death. Enrique pushes forward using his wit, courage, and hope–and the kindness of strangers. It is an epic journey, one thousands of immigrant children make each year to find their mothers in the United States.
    Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for feature writing and another for feature photography, Enrique’s Journey is the timeless story of families torn apart, the yearning to be together again, and a boy who will risk his life to find the mother he loves.

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  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

    by Jared Diamond Year Published: 1999

    “In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.”Page of

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  • Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide

    by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wu Dunn Year Published: 2009

    “From the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism, here is a passionate call to arms against the oppression of women around the globe – ‘the central moral challenge’ of our time.  Through inspiring stories of extraordinary women, Kristof and WuDunn show that the most effective way to fight global poverty is to unleash the potential of women.  They also offer an uplifting do-it-yourself tool kit for those who want to help.”

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  • I Am Malala

    by Malala Yousafzai Year Published: 2013
    "When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

    On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

    Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

    I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world."
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  • I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

    by Nujood Ali Year Published: 2010

    “Nujood Ali’s childhood came to an abrupt end in 2008 when her father arranged for her to be married to a man three times her age.  With harrowing directness, Nujood tells of abuse at her husband’s hands and of her daring escape.  With the help of local advocates and the press, Nujood obtained her freedom – an extraordinary achievement in Yemen, where almost half of the girls are married under the legal age.  Nujood’s courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family has inspired other young girls in the Middle East to challenge their marriages.  Hers is an unforgettable story of tragedy, triumph, and courage.”

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  • Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

    by James W. Loewen Year Published: 1996

    “Americans have lost touch with their history, and in this thought-provoking book, Professor James Loewen shows why.  After surveying twelve leading high school American history texts, he has concluded that not one does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable.  Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies, these books omit almost all the ambiguity, passion, conflict, and drama from our past.”

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  • Outliers

    by Malcolm Gladwell Year Published: 2008

    “In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?



    His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

    Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illumi
    nate.”

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  • Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia

    by Jean Sasson Year Published: 2001

    “Recently named as one of the best 500 books written by women since the year 1300, Princess has been called ‘riveting’ and ‘heart-wrenching.’  Most importantly, this New York Times bestseller galvanized human rights activity all over the world.  The book sold over four million copies worldwide and struck a chord with women of every age and nationality.  Many educators are listing Princess as required reading for their literature classes. 

    Jean Sasson spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia observing first-hand the hardships faced by women in that country.  In Princess, Jean Sasson vividly depicts the harsh realities endured by Saudi women.  Telling the true story of ‘Sultana,’ a pseudonym that protects the identity of a modern-day princess in the royal family of Saudi Arabia, the author describes a disproportionate society where men have all the power.    

    ‘Sultana’ whose real name cannot be used for fear of death for revealing these secrets to the world, asked the author to tell her story.  Together, Jean Sasson and Princess Sultana have lifted the black veil of secrecy that hides women in the fabulously wealthy land where thirteen-year-old girls are married against their will to men five times their age; where young women are stoned to death for a mere indiscretion, where men rule as gods.

    In Princess, the author relates a history of appalling oppressions against women in Saudi Arabia, including forced marriages, child mothers, and summary executions . .  .   Princess is a testimony to a woman of indomitable spirit and great courage.  You have never read a story like the story of Sultana, and you will never forget her and her Muslim sisters.”

    If you like Princess, check out Sasson’s two other books in this trilogy:  Princess Sultana’s Daughters and Princess Sultana’s Circle. 

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  • Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History

    by Patrick Hunt Year Published: 2007

    “Renowned archaeologist Patrick Hunt brings his top-ten list of ancient archaeological discoveries to life in this concise and captivating book.  The Rosetta Stone, Troy, Nineveh’s Assyrian Library, King Tut’s Tomb, Machu Picchu, Pompeii, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Thera, Olduvai Gorge, and the Tomb of the 10,000 Warriors – Hunt reveals the fascinating stories of these amazing discoveries and explains the ways in which they add to our knowledge of human history and permanently altered our worldwide view.  Part travel guide to the wonders of the world and part primer on ancient world history, Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History captures the awe and excitement of finding a lost window into ancient civilization.”

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  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

    by Sean Covey Year Published: 2014

    "With more than five million copies in print all around the world, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens is the ultimate teenage success guide—now updated for the digital age.

    Imagine you had a roadmap—a step-by-step guide to help you get from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future. Your goals, your dreams, your plans…they are all within reach. You just need the tools to help you get there.

    That’s what Sean Covey’s landmark book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, has been to millions of teens: a handbook to self-esteem and success. Now updated for the digital age, this classic book applies the timeless principles of the 7 Habits to the tough issues and life-changing decisions teens face. . .

    Based on his father's bestselling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Sean Covey applies the same principles to teens, using a vivacious, entertaining style. To keep it fun, Covey writes, he "stuffed it full of cartoons, clever ideas, great quotes, and incredible stories about real teens from all over the world... along with a few other surprises." Did he ever! Flip open to any page and become instantly absorbed in real-life stories of teens who have overcome obstacles to succeed, and step-by-step guides to shifting paradigms, building equity in "relationship bank accounts," creating action plans, and much more.

    As a self-acknowledged guinea pig for many of his dad's theories, Sean Covey is a living example of someone who has taken each of the seven habits to heart: be proactive; begin with the end in mind; put first things first; think win-win; seek first to understand, then to be understood; synergize; and sharpen the saw. He includes a comical section titled "The 7 Habits of Highly Defective Teens," which includes some, shall we say, counterproductive practices: put first things last; don't cooperate; seek first to talk, then pretend to listen; wear yourself out... Covey's humorous and up-front style is just light enough to be acceptable to wary teenagers, and down-and-dirty enough to really make a difference."

     

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  • The Road of Lost Innocence

    by Somaly Mam Year Published: 2008

    “Born in a village deep in the Cambodian forest, Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery by her grandfather when she was twelve years old. For the next decade she was shuttled through the brothels that make up the sprawling sex trade of Southeast Asia. She suffered unspeakable acts of brutality and witnessed horrors that would haunt her for the rest of her life–until, in her early twenties, she managed to escape. Unable to forget the girls she left behind, Mam became a tenacious and brave leader in the fight against human trafficking, rescuing sex workers–some as young as five and six–offering them shelter, rehabilitation, healing, and love and leading them into new life.”

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  • They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan

    by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak with Judy A. Bernstein Year Published: 2005

    Benjamin, Alepho, and Benson were raised among the Dinka tribe of Sudan. Their world was an insulated, close-knit community of grass-roofed cottages, cattle herders, and tribal councils. The lions and pythons that prowled beyond the village fences were the greatest threat they knew.

    All that changed the night the government-armed Murahiliin began attacking their villages. Amid the chaos, screams, conflagration, and gunfire, five-year-old Benson and seven-year-old Benjamin fled into the dark night. Two years later, Alepho, age seven, was forced to do the same. Across the Southern Sudan, over the next five years, thousands of other boys did likewise, joining this stream of child refugees that became known as the Lost Boys. Their journey would take them over one thousand miles across a war-ravaged country, through landmine-sown paths, crocodile-infested waters, and grotesque extremes of hunger, thirst, and disease. The refugee camps they eventually filtered through offered little respite from the brutality they were fleeing.

    In They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky, Alepho, Benson, and Benjamin, by turn, recount their experiences along this unthinkable journey. They vividly recall the family, friends, and tribal world they left far behind them and their desperate efforts to keep track of one another. This is a captivating memoir of Sudan and a powerful portrait of war as seen through the eyes of children. And it is, in the end, an inspiring and unforgettable tribute to the tenacity of even the youngest human spirits.

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  • What the World Eats

    by Faith D'Aluisio Year Published: 2008
    "A photographic collection explores what the world eats through portraits of families from different countries surrounded by a week's worth of food, along with recipes and grocery lists with prices."
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  • Where Children Sleep

    by James Mollison Year Published: 2010
    "Where Children Sleep presents English-born photographer James Mollison's large-format photographs of children's bedrooms around the world--from the U.S.A., Mexico, Brazil, England, Italy, Israel and the West Bank, Kenya, Senegal, Lesotho, Nepal, China and India--alongside portraits of the children themselves. Each pair of photographs is accompanied by an extended caption that tells the story of each child: Kaya in Tokyo, whose proud mother spends $1,000 a month on her dresses; Bilal the Bedouin shepherd boy, who sleeps outdoors with his father's herd of goats; the Nepali girl Indira, who has worked in a granite quarry since she was three; and Ankhohxet, the Kraho boy who sleeps on the floor of a hut deep in the Amazon jungle. Photographed over two years with the support of Save the Children (Italy), Where Children Sleep is both a serious photo-essay for an adult audience, and also an educational book that engages children themselves in the lives of other children around the world."
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