SUGGESTED OUTSIDE READING BOOKS: BIOGRAPHIES
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. 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.
Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals. In 1957, Melba Pattillo was sixteen. That was also the year she became a warrior on the front lines of a civil rights movement. After the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, Melba was one of nine teenagers selected to integrate Little Rock's Central High School.
Going Solo by Roald Dahl. Going Solo is the action-packed tale of Roald Dahl's exploits as a World War II pilot. Learn all about his encounters with the enemy, his worldwide travels, the life-threatening injuries he sustained in a plane accident, and the rest of his sometimes bizarre, often unnerving, and always colorful adventures.
Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton. They say Bethany Hamilton has saltwater in her veins. How else could one explain the tremendous passion that drives her to surf? How else could one explain that nothing - not even the loss of her arm in a horrific shark attack - could come between her and the waves? That Halloween morning in Kauai, Hawaii Bethany responded to the shark's stealth with a calmness beyond belief. Pushing pain and panic aside, she immediately thought: 'Get to the beach...' Rushed to the hospital, where her father, Ted Hamilton, was about to undergo knee surgery, Bethany found herself taking his spot in the operating theatre. When the first thing Bethany wanted to know after surgery was 'When can I surf again?' it became clear that her unfaltering spirit and determination were part of a greater story - a tale of courage and faith that this modest and soft-spoken girl would come to share with the world.
Rocket Boys by Homer Hickman. So begins Homer "Sonny" Hickam Jr.'s extraordinary memoir of life in Coalwood, West Virginia-a hard-scrabble little company town where the only things that mattered were coal mining and high school football. But in 1957, after the Soviet satellite Sputnik shot across the Appalachian sky, Sonny and his teenaged friends decided to do their bit for the U.S. space race by building their own rockets
Radioactive Boy Scout by Ken Silverstein. Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, David Hahn was obsessed with science. While he was completing his Atomic Energy badge for the Boy Scouts, David’s attention focused on nuclear energy. Throwing caution to the wind, he plunged into a new project: creating a model nuclear reactor in his backyard garden shed.
I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia E. Bitton-Jackson. Through a series of tiny but miraculous twists of fate, Elli managed to come out of a Nazi conentration camp alive, together with her mother and her brother. Although her story is heartbreaking, Elli's enduring hope, perseverance, strength, and love throughout her ordeal make it an inspiring one as well.
In My Hands by Irene Gut Opdyke. Irene Gut was just 17 in 1939, when the Germans and Russians devoured her native Poland. Just a girl, really. But a girl who saw evil and chose to defy it.
Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang. It's 1966, and twelve-year-old Ji-li Jiang has everything a girl could want: brains, friends, and a bright future in Communist China. But it's also the year that China's leader, Mao Ze-dong, launches the Cultural Revolution--and Ji-li's world begins to fall apart. Over the next few years, people who were once her friends and neighbors turn on her and her family, forcing them to live in constant terror of arrest. When Ji-li's father is finally imprisoned, she faces the most difficult dilemma of her life.
Ryan White by Ryan White. Although Ryan White was born with hemophilia, the boy and his family were determined that he live as normal a life as possible. But, given contaminated blood in a transfusion, Ryan contracted AIDS. Most Americans are familiar with the ensuing headline-making facts: his school barred his attendance, neighbors and former friends shunned him and his family. Moving from Kokomo, Ind., to friendlier Cicero, Ryan struggled for the right to be educated and treated like any other kid even as he fought a daily battle against AIDS and hemophilia.