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Other Places, Other Cultures
The Red Pencil by
After her tribal village is attacked by militants, Amira, a young Sudanese girl, must flee to safety at a refugee camp, where she finds hope and the chance to pursue an education in the form of a single red pencil and the friendship and encouragement of a wise elder.
Lost Girl Found by
When war comes to southern Sudan, young Poni is one of thousands of refugees starting the long and dangerous trek to a camp in Kenya, and along the way many die from starvation, land mines, wild animals and despair.
Other Side of Truth by
Smuggled out of Nigeria after their mother's murder, Sade and her younger brother are abandoned in London when their uncle fails to meet them at the airport.
Year of No Rain by
In 1999, when rebel soldiers come to their village in southern Sudan, Stephen and his friends escape but hope to be able to return again.
A Long Walk to Water by
When the civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven.
A Long Way Gone by
Ishmael Beah describes his experiences after he was driven from his home by war in Sierra Leone and turned into a child soldier at the age of 13.
Taking Flight by
The autobiography of Michaela DePrince, who lived the first few years of her life in war-torn Sierra Leone until being adopted by an American family. Now seventeen, she is one of the premiere ballerinas in the United States.
Yellow Line by
In a small Canadian community, the line separating natives and whites begins to blur for Vince as he finds himself falling for a First Nations girl.
The Heart of a Chief by
An eleven-year-old Penacook Indian boy living on a reservation faces his father's alcoholism, a controversy surrounding plans for a casino on a tribal island, and insensitivity toward Native Americans in his school and nearby town.
Night Wings by
After being taken captive by a band of treasure seekers, thirteen-year-old Paul and his Abenaki grandfather must face a legendary Native American monster at the top of Mount Washington.
Touching Spirit Bear by
After his anger erupts into violence, fifteen year-old Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative that sends him to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life.
The Warriors by
An Iroquois boy known on the reservation for his talent at the sacred game of lacrosse moves to Washington, D.C., with his mother and grows frustrated with the misleading statements about Native Americans that his new lacrosse coach makes.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by
(North Bound) Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Native American is the school mascot.
Revolutions of the Heart by
Cory's seventeenth year is marked by her mother's sudden death, the return of her hotheaded older brother, her romance with a Native American boy, and the eruption of bigotry in her small Wisconsin town.
If I Ever Get Out of Here by
Seventh-grader Lewis "Shoe" Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whites.
The Kite Rider by
In 13th-century China, after trying to save his mother from a bad second marriage, twelve-year-old Haoyou has life-changing adventures when he takes to the sky as a circus kite rider.
A Single Shard by
Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge near a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.
Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party by
Starting in 1972 when she is nine years old, Ling struggles to make sense of the communists' Cultural Revolution, which empties stores of food, homes of appliances deemed "bourgeois," and people of laughter.
Bamboo People by
Two Burmese boys, one a Karenni refugee and the other the son of an imprisoned Burmese doctor, meet in the jungle and in order to survive they must learn to trust each other.
Saraswati's Way by
Leaving his village in India to find a better education, mathematically gifted Akash ends up at the New Delhi train station, where he relies on Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, to guide him as he negotiates life on the street and learns whom he can trust.
Secret Keeper by
In 1974 when her father leaves India to seek a job in New York, Ashi feels thwarted in the home of her extended family in Calcutta where she, her mother, and sister must stay until he sends for them.
Homeless Bird by
Thirteen-year-old Koly enters into an ill-fated arranged marriage and must either suffer a destiny dictated by India's customs or find the courage to oppose tradition.
Chu Ju's House by
In order to save her newborn sister, Chu Ju leaves her rural home in modern China and survives by working on a sampan, tending silk worms, and planting rice, while wondering if she will ever see her family again.
A Time to Dance by
In India, a girl who excels at Bharatanatyam dance refuses to give up after losing a leg in an accident.
When My Name Was Keoko by
With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely.
When eleven-year old Shabanu, the daughter of a nomad in Pakistan, is pledged in marriage to an older man, she must either accept the decision or risk the consequences of defying her father's wishes.
Half a World Away by
Twelve-year-old Jaden, an emotionally damaged adopted boy fascinated by electricity, feels a connection to a small, weak toddler with special needs in Kazakhstan, where Jaden's family is trying to adopt a "normal" baby.
Shiva's Fire by
In India, a talented dancer sacrifices friends and family for her art.
Snow Falling in Spring by
The author reveals the events of her life from age twelve to adulthood when the cultural revolution of Mao Zedong destroyed family customs and life as they knew it.
China's Son by
Da Chen recounts the experiences he had while growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution.
Red Scarf Girl by
The author tells about the happy life she led in China up until she was twelve-years-old when her family became a target of the Cultural Revolution, when she had to make a choice between denouncing her father and losing her future in the Communist Party.
Middle Eastern Fiction
A Stone in My Hand by
Eleven-year-old Malaak and her family are touched by the violence in Gaza when first her father disappears and then her older brother is drawn to the Islamic Jihad.
Under the Persimmon Tree by
A young Afghan girl, Najmah, befriends an American woman in Pakistan, after Najmah flees her native Afghanistan during the 2001 war; together they begin a long journey to locate their missing loved ones after the war ends.
Words in the Dust by
Zulaikha, a thirteen-year-old girl in Afghanistan, faces a series of frightening but exhilarating changes in her life as she secretly meets with a woman who teaches her to read, her older sister gets married, and American troops offer her surgery to fix her cleft lip.
A Bottle in the Gaza Sea by
Tal Levine of Jerusalem, despondent over the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, puts her hopes for peace in a bottle and asks her brother to toss it into the Gaza Sea, leading ultimately to friendship and understanding between her and an "enemy."
The Breadwinner by
Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, impose strict limitations on women's freedom and behavior, eleven-year-old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father's arrest.
When fourteen-year-old Liyanne Abboud, her younger brother, and her parents move from St. Louis to a new home between Jerusalem and the Palestinian village where her father was born, they face many changes and must deal with the tensions between Jews and Palestinians.
Middle Eastern Memoirs
The Other Side of the Sky by
Farah Ahmedi, the victim of a land mine when she was twelve years old, tells about growing up in Afghanistan, the challenge of losing her leg, and the difficulty in adapting to life in the United States.
Tasting the Sky by
The author describes her childhood as a Palestinian refugee, discussing her family's experiences during and after the Six-Day War, and the freedom she felt at learning to read and write.
I Am Malala by
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education, and she nearly paid the ultimate price.
When I Was a Soldier by
At eighteen, Valerie Zenatti enlisted in the Israeli army, endured harsh conditions and surroundings, and participated in top secret missions for the Israeli Secret Service.
Latin American Fiction
Before We Were Free by
In the early 1960s in the Dominican Republic, twelve-year-old Anita learns that her family is involved in the underground movement to end the bloody rule of the dictator, General Trujillo.
In 1981 with the arrival of soldiers in his Guatemalan village, Carlos must flee and join a band of guerillas who head to the mountains where his grandmother lives to warn her about the soldiers.
Kidnapped when she was very young by an unscrupulous man who has forced her to lie and beg to get money, a twelve-year-old Mayan girl endures an abusive life, always wishing she could return to the parents she can hardly remember.
The Red Umbrella by
In 1961 after Castro has come to power in Cuba, fourteen-year-old Lucia and her brother are sent to the U.S. when her parents, who oppose the new regime, fear that the children will be taken away from them.
The Dreamer by
A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world.
City of the Beasts by
When fifteen-year-old Alexander accompanies his grandmother on an expedition to find a humanoid Beast in the Amazon, he experiences ancient wonders and a supernatural world as he tries to avert disaster for the Indians.