All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Other Holocausts

From Rwanda, to Cambodia, to Sarajevo, to Armenia, to North Korea, the books on this list explore historical and contemporary genocide. This list is excerpted from Dr. Joan Kaywell's latest volume in her series Adolescent Literacy as a Complement to the Classics.

Teenage Refugees from Rwanda Speak Out

Age Level: 9-12

Eight teenagers who fled from Ethiopia and Rwanda tell how they got to America and Canada only to receive more prejudicial treatment.

Under the Persimmon Tree

Under the Persimmon Tree

Age Level: 12-14

"When her father and brother are taken by the Taliban and her mother and baby brother are killed in a bombing raid during the Afghan war in October 2001, Najmah begins an arduous journey across the border to Peshawar, Pakistan. There, she meets up with an American woman, Nusrat, who has been conducting a school for refugee children while she waits for her husband, Faiz, who has returned to his native country to open medical clinics. For most of the story, the narration alternates between Najmah and Nusrat, allowing readers to see the war's effect on both of their lives." — School Library Journal

Dawn and Dusk

Dawn and Dusk

Age Level: 12-14

Thirteen-year-old Azad knows nothing but war while growing up in a predominantly Kurdish town in Sardasht, Iran. Iran's new religious leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini wants to eliminate the Kurds while Iraq's Saddam Hussein's would like to occupy that part of Iran. Readers get a glimpse into the heart of this young Kurdish refugee and will experience the loss and hope of emigration.

The Road from Home: A True Story of Courage, Survival and Hope

The Road from Home: A True Story of Courage, Survival and Hope

Age Level: 12-14

Many people are ignorant of the Turks' Armenian Genocide that occurred in 1915, killing over a million innocent people. David captures the voice of his mother, Vernon Dumehjian Kherdian, who was born into a fine family just prior to the systematic killings.

The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

Age Level: 16-18

Kang recounts his life as a boy growing up in Pyongyang during the Sixties after his Korean family returns to North Korea from their affluent lives in Japan. After Kang's grandfather is accused of high treason, Kang spends ten years of his life surviving in a remote labor camp or gulag. Kang was only nine years old when he was first imprisoned at the Yodok camp in 1977.

The Stone Goddess

The Stone Goddess

Age Level: 12-14

Set during the Sixties during the Vietnam War, this story is about 12-year-old Nakri when the Khmer Rouge takes over Cambodia. She and her siblings are forced to work in a labor camp until the Vietnamese army liberates the camp, and two surviving family members go to a refugee camp on Thailand's border. Eventually they immigrate to the U.S. and it is Nakri's prowess in dancing that helps her survive the trauma.

The Other Victims:  First Person Stories of Non-Jews Persecuted by the Nazis

The Other Victims: First Person Stories of Non-Jews Persecuted by the Nazis

Age Level: 12-14

The Jews were not the only people persecuted under Hitler's orders. This nonfiction book is organized into these categories: "Those Unworthy of Life," "The War Against the Church," "Racial Purification: Breeding the Master Race," "Mind Control," and "Slaves for the Nazi Empire."

Zlata's Diary:  A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo

Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo

Age Level: 14-16

First published as Zlata's Diary in 1994, this revised version includes additional photos. When Zlata Filipovic, "the Anne Frank of Sarajevo," began her diary entries on September 2, 1991, her life was typical of most 11 year olds. By the time she ended her diary entries on October, 13, 1991, the Serbian, Croatian, and Muslim warlords had changed her life forever. Her diary may prompt readers to find additional information on Sarajevo, Bosnia, the Geneva Agreement, Anne Frank, and Icarus.

When the Rainbow Goddess Wept

When the Rainbow Goddess Wept

Age Level: 14-16

Nine-year-old Yvonne Macaraig's family flees their pleasant home in Ubec City to join a guerrilla movement in the jungle during the 1941 Japanese invasion of the Philippines. She grows to realize that even if her family survives and retires to their home that nothing will ever be the same.

Forgotten Fire

Forgotten Fire

Age Level: 12-14

"Who will remember the Armenians?" Hitler asked, referencing the Armenian genocide as his inspiration for the final solution. This brutal hidden chapter of history is seen through the eyes of 12-year-old survivor Vahan Kendarian, whose world was shattered within a matter of days.