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2010-2019 English Non-fiction Novel

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

Summary:

Trevor Noah’s incredible journey from apartheid-era South Africa to hosting The Daily Show began with his very birth, which was a criminal offense due to his mixed-race heritage. Growing up, Trevor and his mother faced extreme measures to avoid being caught by the government and separated from each other. Born a Crime is the memoir of Trevor’s mischievous youth and his struggles to find his place in a society that didn’t accept him. It’s also a tribute to his fiercely religious and fearless mother, who was determined to save him from a life of violence and abuse.

Year of Release: 2016

Author(s): Trevor Noah

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ISBN: 9781473635302

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2010-2019 English Non-fiction Poetry

Brown Girl Dreaming

Summary:

In her poignant poems, Jacqueline Woodson shares her experience of growing up as an African American during the 1960s and 1970s in both South Carolina and New York. Despite feeling like she was only halfway at home in each place, Woodson’s emotionally charged writing vividly portrays the impact of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement on her life. Despite struggling with reading as a child, Woodson found solace in writing stories and discovered her passion for storytelling, which ultimately led her to become a gifted writer.

Year of Release: 2014

Author(s): Jacqueline Woodson

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ISBN: 9780399252518

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2010-2019 English Non-fiction

Between the World and Me

Summary:

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” offers a powerful new framework for understanding America’s history and current crisis by exploring what it means to inhabit a black body in a nation built on the falsehood of “race”. Written as a letter to his son, Coates shares his personal awakening to this truth through experiences from his life, weaving together personal narrative, reimagined history, and emotionally charged reportage to offer a clear and transcendent vision for moving forward.

Year of Release: 2015

Author(s): Ta-Nehisi Coates

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ISBN: 9781925240702

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2010-2019 English Non-fiction

All You Can Ever Know: A memoir of adoption

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Nicole Chung was born prematurely to Korean parents and put up for adoption. She was raised by a white family in Oregon and was told a comforting story about her adoption as a child. She believed her biological parents had made a sacrifice to give her a better life and that feeling out of place was her destiny as a transracial adoptee. However, as she grew older and faced discrimination her adoptive family didn’t see, and explored her identity as an Asian American and writer, she began to question if the story she had been told was entirely true.

Year of Release: 2018

Author(s): Nicole Chung

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ISBN: 9781911590309

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2010-2019 English LGBTQI* Non-fiction

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

Summary:

“How to Write an Autobiographical Novel” is a collection of essays where the author explores the intersection of life, literature, and politics, and how reading and writing fiction have impacted him. Through the essays, he reflects on his journey from being a student to a teacher, a reader to a writer, and grapples with his multiple identities as a gay man, a Korean American, an artist, an activist, a son, a lover, and a friend. The essays cover significant events in his life, including his father’s death, the AIDS crisis, 9/11, and the election of Donald Trump, as well as his work experiences that supported his writing.

Year of Release: 2018

Author(s): Alexander Chee

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ISBN: 9781328764522

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2020-today English Non-fiction

You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation

Summary:

In “You Sound Like a White Girl,” Julissa explores the idea of assimilation and how it doesn’t lead to belonging. She argues that assimilation is a constantly moving target designed to keep Black and brown Americans and immigrants chasing racist American ideals. Julissa explains how the demands of assimilation leave people in a state of purgatory, unable to secure power and belonging within whiteness or find it in their own cultures. Instead, she promotes celebrating uniqueness and reclaiming identity as the key to true belonging and a beautiful America.

Year of Release: 2022

Author(s): Julissa Arce

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ISBN: 9781250787019

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2020-today English LGBTQI* Non-fiction

High-Risk Homosexual: A Memoir

Summary:

The first-ever memoir by Edgar Gomez explores his journey as a gay, Latinx man growing up. The book, called High-Risk Homosexual, begins in a highly anti-gay environment: his uncle’s cockfighting ring in Nicaragua, where he was sent at the young age of thirteen to learn how to be a man. The memoir chronicles Gomez’s experiences in the queer communities that helped him embrace his gay and Latinx identities, including the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a drag queen convention in Los Angeles, and the medical facility where he was diagnosed as a “high-risk homosexual.”

With candor, wit, and shrewd observations about issues of racial, sexual, familial, and professional power dynamics, Gomez takes readers on a hard-won journey towards accepting and celebrating the parts of himself that he was taught to keep hidden. This memoir is an uplifting and inspiring reminder of the importance of carving out space for joy.

Year of Release: 2022

Author(s): Edgar Gomez

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ISBN: 9781593767051

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2010-2019 All CEFR B2 High school (grades 9+) Medium Length (up to 8 hrs) Other Text Formats Print

I Was Their American Dream

Malaka Gharib grew up in the United States as a Filipino Egyptian American. Her parents divorced, and she stayed with her mother, visiting her dad in Egypt every summer. Throughout high school and college, she was seeking an answer to the question: Who am I? She had difficulty finding people with similar backgrounds, so she always felt she was the odd one out. Her graphic memoir tracks this journey.

Year of Release: 2019

Author(s): Malaka Gharib

Preview: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/575400/i-was-their-american-dream-by-malaka-gharib/

Further information (link): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40909448-i-was-their-american-dream?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=ziTd6P5Egh&rank=1

ISBN: 9780525575122

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Chapter 4 deals with Malaka’s self-perception as a high school student torn between two parental cultures and the mainstream American culture.



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2010-2019 All Audiobook CEFR B1 eBook Extracts - Well Suited for Teaching With Extracts High school (grades 9+) Medium Length (up to 8 hrs) Novel Print

In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom

Yeonmi Park tells her story of living as a young girl in North Korea and how she eventually managed to flee. The book gives insights into North Korean life, her escape from there and the ordeals and pains Park had to endure “in order to live”.

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Author(s): Yeonmi Park, Maryanne Vollers

Preview: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/318940/in-order-to-live-by-yeonmi-park-with-maryanne-vollers/

Further information (link): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24611623-in-order-to-live

ISBN: 978-0-241-97303-5

ebook URL: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/318940/in-order-to-live-by-yeonmi-park-with-maryanne-vollers/

Audiobook URL: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/318940/in-order-to-live-by-yeonmi-park-with-maryanne-vollers/

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Pages 1-6: Prologue

Pages 9-121: Part One takes take place in North Korea.

Pages 125-198: Part Two focuses on the journey through China

Pages 201-267: Part Three covers life in South Korea



Further comments for teachers:

While reading the book from beginning to end, students can try to record and reconstruct an approximate timeline and locations and plot them on a map (such as the one in the book). It will not always be possible to pin down exact places, which is a fact which can also be used for discussions.

Large digital version for the map in the book: http://ebookassets.penguinrandomhouse.com/ebookassets/features/inordertolive/IOTL_Map.pdf