Partridge, ElizabethJohn Lennon: All I Want is the Truth 206 p.
Partridge chronicles the emotional highs and paralyzing lows Lennon transformed into brilliant, evocative songs. With striking black-andwhite photographs spanning his entire life, John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth is the unforgettable story of one of rock's biggest legends.
YA-RM B Li Li, Moying Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China
During the Cultural Revolution 192 p.
This inspiring memoir follows Moying Li from age twelve to twenty-two, illuminating a complex, dark time in China's history as it tells the compelling story of one girl's difficult but determined coming-of-age during the Cultural Revolution.
B LINLindbergh, ReeveUnder a Wing: A Memoir 223 p.
The world knew Charles Lindbergh as a daring aviator, Pulitzer Prize winning author, and controversial isolationist in World War II; his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was also famous, the author of the bestselling Gift from the Sea and other books. But Reeve Lindbergh knew them as mother and father. Their celebrity status and the tragedy of their first child shadowed the family in ways that were often mysterious to the five surviving children. In this moving, deeply affecting memoir, the youngest of the children describes what it was like to grow up as a Lindbergh.
B LLC L.L. Cool JI Make My Own Rules 214 p.
The bestselling rap artist of all time and a role model for millions of fans tells his story.
YA-RM B LOBLobel, AnitaNo Pretty Pictures: A Child of War 193 p.
This highly regarded children’s book illustrator recounts her childhood experiences as a Jew living in Nazi-occupied Poland, her imprisonment in a succession of concentration camps, and her life following the war as a displaced person in Sweden.
J & YA-RM B LOW Lowry, LoisLooking Back 181 p.
Using family photographs and quotes from her books, the author provides glimpses into her life.
During her teens, Rachel Lloyd ended up a victim of commercial sexual exploitation. With time, through incredible resilience, and with the help of a local church community, she finally broke free of her pimp and her past and devoted herself to helping other young girls escape "the life." In Girls Like Us, Lloyd reveals the dark world of commercial sex trafficking in cinematic detail and tells the story of her groundbreaking nonprofit organization: GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services. With great humanity, she shares the stories of the girls whose lives GEMS has helped—small victories that have healed her wounds and made her whole. Revelatory, authentic, and brave, Girls Like Us is an unforgettable memoir.
YA-RM B Ma Ma, YanThe Diary of Ma Yan 166 p.
In May of 2001, the diary of a fourteen-year-old Chinese girl named Ma Yan was thrust into the hands of a foreign journalist by her desperate, illiterate mother. The family lived in a drought-stricken corner of rural China where education is the only hope for escaping a life of crushing poverty. Ma Yan was struggling to stay in school, but her family could not afford the fees. Published in Europe, the diary produced an outpouring of support that led to the creation of an international fund for the education of Ma Yan and other poor children in her remote village...all due to one young girl's honest, accessible, heart-wrenching diary.
YA-RM B MahMah, Adeline Yen, Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an UnwantedDaughter 205 p.
After her mother dies giving birth to her, Adeline’s siblings, who consider her bad luck, scapegoat her, and her wealthy father and vain stepmother deprive her of friends and send her away to school. This riveting memoir of a turbulent childhood is enriched by Chinese-language lessons, a generous historical backdrop, and a half-dozen family photos.
B MCBMcBride, James & Ruth McBride-Jordan The Color Of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother 228 p.
YA-RM & B McCandlesKrakaur, JohnInto the Wild 207 p.
Christopher McCandles sets out on a road trip that soon becomes an adventure on foot. After several years on the road, he ends up in the wilderness of Alaska, alone and ill-prepared.
YA-RM B MYEMyers, Walter DeanBad Boy 214 p.
Into a memoir that is gripping, funny, heartbreaking and unforgettable, Walter Dean Myers richly weaves the details of his Harlem childhood in the 1940s and 1950s: a loving home life with his adoptive parents, Bible school, street games, and the vitality of his neighborhood. Although Walter spent much of his time either getting into trouble or on the basketball court, secretly he was a voracious reader and an aspiring writer. But as his prospects for a successful future diminished, the values he had been taught at home, in school and in his community seemed worthless, and he turned to the streets and his books for comfort. Walter Dean Myers has won many awards for his writings.
YA-RM B ORT Ortiz Cofer, JudithSilent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood 167 p.
A collection of writings by the poet, novelist, and essayist recalling her childhood spent shuttling between the land of her birth and the family home in New Jersey.
J & YA-RM B PAU Paulsen, GaryHow Angel Peterson Got His Name 111 p.
Stories from Gary Paulsen’s childhood
YA-RM B PAU Paulsen, GaryGuts 148 p.
From Hatchet and The River to Brian's Winter and Brian's Return, readers and reviewers everywhere adore Gary Paulsen's exciting stories about brave Brian Robeson. Now, real-life adventurer Paulsen reveals the actual events that inspired him to write these survival stories. From his first hunting trips to his memories of moose attacks, to his near-plane crashes to his own tried-and-true tips on cooking in the wilderness, Paulsen shares the experiences that inspired Brian's adventures in the woods just as they happened to him.
YA-RM B PAU Paulsen, GaryEastern Sun, Winter Moon 244 p.
As one savage war ends, another begins, just as savage - and this time endless. Fifty years after World War II, Gary Paulsen paints a self-portrait of a young boy drawn helplessly into the vortex of that war. His testimony to its horrors, to an early and traumatic exposure to sex, and to the wreckage of his family life spares neither himself nor his audience. Told with the startling frankness and candor of a young boy, Eastern Sun, Winter Moon will shock, outrage, and, ultimately, give readers a larger understanding of war, family, and desire.
YA-RM & B PEL Pelzer, DaveThe Privilege of Youth: A Teenager’s Story of Longing for Acceptance and Friendship 209 p.
More than six million readers can attest to the heartbreak and courage of Dave Pelzer’s story of growing up in an abusive home. His inspirational books have helped countless others triumph over hardship and misfortune.
Now this former lost boy who defeated insurmountable odds to emerge whole and happy at last takes us on his incredible odyssey toward healing and forgiveness. In The Privilege of Youth, Pelzer supplies the missing chapter of his life: as a boy on the threshold of adulthood. With his usual sensitivity and insight, he recounts the relentless taunting he endured from bullies; but he also describes the joys of learning and the thrill of making his first real friends - some of whom he still shares close relationships with today. He writes about the simple pleasures of exploring a neighborhood he was just beginning to get to know while trying to forget the hell he had endured as a child. From high school to a world beyond the four walls that were his prison for so many years, The Privilege of Youth charts this crucial turning point in Dave Pelzer’s life. This brave and compassionate memoir from the man who has journeyed far will inspire a whole new generation of readers.
YA-RM B PEL Pelzer, DaveA Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness 290 p.
"All those years you tried your best to break me, and I'm still here. One day you'll see, I'm going to make something of myself." These words were Dave Pelzer's declaration of independence to his mother, and they represented the ultimate act of self-reliance. Dave's father never intervened as his mother abused him with shocking brutality. But even after he was rescued, his life remained haunted by memories of his years as the bruised, cowering "It" locked in his mother's basement. Desperately trying to make something of his life, Dave was determined to weather every setback and gain strength from adversity. With stunning generosity of spirit, Dave Pelzer invites readers on his journey to discover how a lost, nameless boy finally found himself in the heart and soul of a man who is free at last.
The author describes how he spent his teenage years climbing mountains in the United States, South America, Africa, and Asia, with an emphasis on his two expeditions up Mount Everest.
YA-RM B Rodriguez Rodriguez, Sonia & Reymundo SanchezLady Q: The Rise and Fall of a Latin Queen 269 p.
This is a raw and powerful memoir not only of one woman’s struggle to survive the streets but also of her ascent to the top ranks of the new mafia, where the only people more dangerous than rival gangs were members of her own. At age five Sonia Rodriguez’s stepfather began to abuse her; at 10 she was molested by her uncle and beaten by her mother when she told on him; and by 13 her home had become a hangout for the Latin Kings and Queens who were friends with her older sister. Threatened by rival gang members at school, Sonia turned away from her education and extracurricular activities in favor of a world of drugs and violence. The Latin Kings, one of the largest and most notorious street gangs in America, became her refuge, but its violence cost her friends, freedom, self-respect, and nearly her life. As a Latin Queen, she experienced the exhilarating highs and unbelievable lows of gang life. From being shot at by her own gang and kicked out at age 18 with an infant daughter to rejoining the gang and distinguishing herself as a leader, her legacy as Lady Q was cemented both for her willingness to commit violence and for her role as a drug mule. For the first time, a woman’s perspective on gang life is presented.
YA-RM B ROW Shapiro, MarcJ.K.Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter
A biography of J.K. Rowling.
YA-RM B SAL Salzman, MarkLost in Place: Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia 273 p.
The oldest child in a middle-class household in Ridgefield, Connecticut, the son of a piano teacher and a social worker, the author was, from the age of six, an eccentric with enormous aspirations - none of them ever fulfilled, of course - who stood out not only from his more conventional parents and brother and sister but from everyone else in the neighborhood. In the tradition of Russell Baker's Growing Up and Spalding Gray's Sex and Death to the Age 14, Mark Salzman recalls his tortured years so fondly, so self-deprecatingly and so humorously that readers will devour this delightful look backward with smiles on their faces.
COMICS B Satrapi Satrapi, MarjanePersepolis 153 p.
Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit. Marjane's child's-eye-view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a stunning reminder of the human cost of war and political repression.
COMICS B Satrapi Satrapi, MarjanePersepolis II 187 p.
Finding that she misses her home more than she can stand, Marjane returns to Iran after graduation. Her difficult homecoming forces her to confront the changes both she and her country have undergone in her absence and her shame at what she perceives as her failure in Austria. Marjane allows her past to weigh heavily on her until she finds some like-minded friends, falls in love, and begins studying art at a university. However, the repression and state-sanctioned chauvinism eventually lead her to question whether she can have a future in Iran.
YA-RM B SCHScholinsky, Daphne The Last Time I Wore A Dress 211 p.
In 1981, at the age of 15, Daphne Scholinsky was put in a mental hospital for what her psychiatrist called “failure to identify as a sexual female.” Though the facts are truly frightening, The Last Time I Wore a Dress is an expose of a shameful medical sham that destroyed countless childhoods.
YA-RM B Sheff Sheff, NicWe All Fall Down: Living With Addiction
In his bestselling memoir Tweak, Nic Sheff took readers on an emotionally gripping roller-coaster ride through his days as a crystal meth and heroin addict. Now in this powerful follow-up about his continued efforts to stay clean, Nic writes candidly about eye-opening stays at rehab centers, devastating relapses, and hard-won realizations about what it means to be a young person living with addiction.
COMICS B Small Small, DavidStitches: A Memoir 324 p.
Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award (young adult category): the prize-winning children's author depicts a childhood from hell in this searing yet redemptive graphic memoir.
YA-RM B Smithson Smithson, RyanGhosts of War: The True Story of a
19-year-old GI 310 p.
Ryan Smithson joined the Army Reserve when he was seventeen. Two years later, he was deployed to Iraq as an Army engineer. In this extraordinary and harrowing memoir, readers march along one GI's tour of duty. It will change the way you feel about what it means to be an American.
YA-RM B SPI Spinelli, JerryKnots in My Yo-Yo String 148 p.
This Italian-American Newbery Medalist presents a humorous account of his childhood and youth in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
YA-RM B STA Standing Bear, LutherMy Indian Boyhood 189 p.
Although the traditional Sioux nation was in its last days when Luther Standing Bear was born in the 1860s, he was raised in the ancestral manner to be a successful hunter and warrior and a respectful and productive member of Sioux society. Known as Plenty Kill, young Standing Bear belonged to the Western Sioux tribe that inhabited present-day North and South Dakota. In My Indian Boyhood he describes, with clarity and feeling lent by experience, the home life and education of Indian children. Like other boys, he played with toy bows and arrows in the tipi before learning to make and use them and became schooled in the ways of animals and in the properties of plants and herbs. His life would be very different from that of his ancestors, but he was not denied the excitement of killing his first buffalo before leaving to attend the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania.
YA-RM B STOScott, John AnthonyWoman Against Slavery: The Story of
Harriet Beecher Stowe 168 p.
When Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in 1852, it was as if a torch had been put to a smoldering national issue—for the first time, millions of Americans were made conscious of the human anguish of slavery. This is her story and how she came to be the author of one of the most impactful works of fiction in American history.
YA-RM B Taylor Taylor, BlakeADHD & Me: What I Learned From Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table 176 p.
Blake Taylor's memoir, written when he was 17, offers, for the first time, a young person's account of what it's like to live and grow up with this common condition. Join Blake as he foils bullies, confronts unfair teachers, struggles with distraction and disorganization on exams, and goes sailing out-of-bounds and ends up with a boatload of spiders. It will be an inspiration and companion to the millions of others like him who must find a way to thrive with a different perspective than many of us.
YA-RM & B THO Bruchac, JosephJim Thorpe: Original All-American 275 p.
Jim Thorpe was one of the greatest athletes who ever lived. He played professional football, Major League Baseball, and won Olympic gold medals in track & field. But his life wasn’t an easy one. Born on the Sac and Fox Reservation in 1887, he encountered much family tragedy, and was sent as a young boy to various Indian boarding schools—strict, cold institutions that didn’t allow their students to hold on to their Native American languages and traditions. Jim ran away from school many times, until he found his calling at Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian School. There, the now-legendary coach Pop Warner recognized Jim’s athletic excellence and welcomed him onto the football and track teams. Focusing on Jim Thorpe’s years at Carlisle, this book brings his early athletic career—and especially his college football days—to life, while also dispelling some myths about him and movingly depicting the Native American experience at the turn of the twentieth century. This is a book for history buffs as well as sports fans—an illuminating and lively read about a truly great American.
B TUB Clinton, CatherineHarriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom 272 p.
Illiterate but deeply religious, Harriet Tubman was raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the 1820s, not far from where Frederick Douglass was born. As an adolescent, she incurred a severe head injury when she stepped between a lead weight thrown by an irate master and the slave it was meant for. She recovered but suffered from visions and debilitating episodes for the rest of her life. While still in her early twenties she left her family and her husband, a free black, to make the journey north alone. Yet within a year of her arrival in Philadelphia, she found herself drawn back south, first to save family members slated for the auction block, then others. Soon she became one of the most infamous enemies of slaveholders. She established herself as the first and only woman, the only black, and one of the few fugitive slaves to work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. In the decade leading up to the Civil War, Tubman made over a dozen trips south in raids that were so brazen and so successful that a steep price was offered as a bounty on her head. When the Civil War broke out, she became the only woman to officially lead men into battle, acting as a scout and a spy while serving with the Union Army in South Carolina.
YA-RM B UCH Uchida, YoshikoThe Invisible Thread 136 p.
Children's author, Yoshiko Uchida, describes growing up in Berkeley, California, as a Nisei, second generation Japanese American, and her family's internment in a Nevada concentration camp during World War II.
B UMRIGAR Umrigar, ThrityFirst Darling of the Morning: Selected Memories of an Indian Childhood 294 p.
First Darling of the Morning is the powerful and poignant memoir of bestselling author Thrity Umrigar, tracing the arc of her Bombay childhood and adolescence from her earliest memories to her eventual departure for the United States at age twenty-one. It is an evocative, emotionally charged story of a young life steeped in paradox; of a middle-class Parsi girl attending Catholic school in a predominantly Hindu city; of a guilt-ridden stranger in her own land, an affluent child in a country mired in abysmal poverty. She reveals intimate secrets and offers an unflinching look at family issues once considered unspeakable as she interweaves two fascinating coming-of-age stories—one of a small child, and one of a nation.
B WAL Walls, JeannetteThe Glass Castle: A Memoir 288 p.
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
YA-RM B Wasdin Wasdin, Howard & Stephen TemplinI Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior: Memoirs of an American Soldier
When the Navy sends their elite, they send the SEALs. When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six—a secret unit made up of the finest soldiers in the country, if not the world. I Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior is the dramatic tale of how Howard Wasdin overcame a tough childhood to live his dream and enter the exciting and dangerous world of U.S. Navy SEALS and Special Forces snipers. His training began with his selection for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S)—the toughest and longest military training in the world. After graduating, Wasdin saw combat in Operation Desert Storm as a member of SEAL Team Two. But he was driven to be the best of the best—he wanted to join the legendary SEAL Team Six, and at long last he reached his goal and became one of the best snipers on the planet. Soon he was fighting for his life in The Battle of Mogadishu. This is Howard Wasdin's story of overcoming abuse and beating the odds to become an elite American warrior.
YA-RM B WHI White, RyanRyan White: My Own Story 296 p.
Ryan White describes how he got AIDS, engaged in a legal battle to return to school, and became a celebrity and spokesman for issues concerning the deadly disease.
YA-RM B ZahariasFreedman, RussellBabe Didrikson Zaharias: The Making of aChampion 192 p.
A biography of Babe Didrikson, who broke records in golf, track and field, and other sports, at a time when there were few opportunities for female athletes, and an enormous amount of pressure on the few that made it.