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Themed Booklists

Arts and Humanities

A YALSA committee of librarians selected these books to open doors on new worlds, exciting ideas, eccentric personalities, unfamiliar cultures, and distant time periods. Use it to broaden students’ horizons as they prepare for college entrance exams and courses.

Girls Like Us

Girls Like Us

Sheila Weller
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Biography, Nonfiction
Published:
2009
The Annotated Mona Lisa

The Annotated Mona Lisa

Carol Strickland
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Nonfiction
Published:
1992
Photographer with view camera capturing dramatic canyon landscape

Photography: An Illustrated History

Martin W. Sandler
Age Level:
Adult
Genre:
Nonfiction
Published:
2002
American Shaolin

American Shaolin

Matthew Polly
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Autobiography and Memoir, Nonfiction
Published:
2007
Portrait of John Lennon in shadow

John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth

Elizabeth Partridge
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Biography
Published:
2005
Archival image of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire

Our Movie Heritage

Tom McGreevey, Joanne Yeck
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Nonfiction
Published:
1997
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life

Steve Martin
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Autobiography and Memoir, Nonfiction
Published:
2007
Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design

Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design

Deborah Landis
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Nonfiction
Published:
2007

The Year of Living Biblically

A.J. Jacobs
Age Level:
YA
Shooting Under Fire: The World of the War Photographer

Shooting Under Fire: The World of the War Photographer

Peter Howe
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Nonfiction
Published:
2002

Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath

Stephanie Hemphill
Age Level:
Middle Grade

Water for Elephants

Sara Gruen
Age Level:
YA

The Voice That Challenged a Nation

Russell Freedman
Age Level:
Middle Grade
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Pillars of the Earth

Ken Follett
Age Level:
Adult
Genre:
Historical Fiction
Published:
1989

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano

Margarita Engle
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Biography, Nonfiction, Poetry
Published:
2006
Eagle Blue

Eagle Blue

Michael D'Orso
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Biography, Nonfiction
Published:
2007

The Red Tent: A Novel

Anita Diamant
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Historical Fiction
Published:
1997

The Power of Myth

Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Classics, Fairy Tales, Folktales and Myths
Published:
1988
Shakespeare: The World as Stage

Shakespeare: The World as Stage

Bill Bryson
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Biography, Nonfiction
Published:
2016
Let Me Play

Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America

Karen Blumenthal
Age Level:
Middle Grade
Genre:
Nonfiction
Published:
2005

Frida: Viva la Vida! Long Live Life!

Carmen Bernier-Grand
Age Level:
Middle Grade
Genre:
Biography
Published:
2007