Abelove, Jo An                        Go and Come Back    

Late one day, just before dinnertime in the Peruvian jungle village of Poincushmana, two old white ladies from New York arrive in a boat.  Every-One hurries down to the riverbank to greet them—everyone but Alicia. She doesn’t understand why the rest of her tribe, the Isabo, are making such a fuss.  But as days pass, she too is drawn in—because the old ladies (who are really in their twenties and anthropologists) are stingy, stupid, and fun to watch.  They don’t understand the Isabo.  Someone needs to set them straight.  And that someone, surprisingly enough is Alicia. 


Alexie, Sherman                       The Lone Ranger, Tonto First Fight in Heaven                                   Collection of short stories that paints a grimly ironic portrait of life in and around the Spokane Indian Reservation.  These twenty-two interlinked tales are narrated by characters raised on government issued cheese, and yet are filled with passion and affection, myth and dream.   The author depicts the distance between Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, men and women and between modern Indians and the traditions of the past.


Alvarez, Julia                Before We Were Free

Story of Anita de la Torre, a twelve-year old girl living in the Dominican Republic in 1960.  Most of Anita’s relatives have emigrated to the U.S., her Tio Toni has disappeared, Papi has been getting mysterious phone calls about butterflies and someone named Mr. Smith, and secret police have

started terrorizing her family for their suspected opposition to the country’s dictator.


Alvarez, Julia                Finding Miracles

Milly Kaufman is an ordinary American teenager living in Vermont until a new student named Pablo arrives at her school.  His exotic accent, strange fashion sense and intense interest in Milly force her to confront her identity as an adopted child from Pablo’s native country.  She journeys back to her

homeland to discover the story of her birth. 


Alvarez, Julia                How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

When their father’s part in a plot against a cruel dictator forces them to flee the Dominican Republic, the Garcia sisters come to America.  In America, the Garcia girls try to assimilate into the mainstream by ironing their hair, forgetting their Spanish, and meeting boys un-chaperoned. Through it all, they remain caught between the old world and the new. 


Alvarez, Julia             How Tia Lola Came to Stay

When Miguel’s Tia Lola comes from the Dominican Republic to Vermont to help out his Mami, Miguel is worried that his unusual aunt will make it even more difficult to make new friends.  It has been hard enough moving from New York City and leaving Papi behind.  Sometimes he wishes Tia

Lola would go back to the island.


Alvarez, Julia                YO!

This is a novel about the collisions of art and reality, intellect and emotion, American culture and her own Dominican Republic roots.  Yo is a successful writer. In this novel her 3 sisters, mami and papi, grandparents, tias, tios, cousins and husbands tell their version of the truth about Yo.  Alvarez makes you believe in them all and in Yo, whose creativeness is rooted deep in her childhood

memories and in two contrasting cultures.


Na, An             A Step From Heaven

When four year old Young Ju Park first hears words Mi Gook—Korean for “America”—she is sure that they mean “Heaven”.  But when her family moves to Southern California the following year, she finds the transition from life in Korea far from easy.  The countless unexpected challenges facing the Parks--from learning English, to finding work, to attending school—start to splinter the family’s fragile construction.  Soon they are simply 4 people in one house who put on a front for outsiders.

Still, as Young Ju grows from child to adolescent in her new home she finds a surprising new voice—neither purely Korean nor American, but uniquely her own—which allows her to speak the truth that no one else in her family dares to say.  (Winner of the 2002 Michael L. Printz Award).


Anaya, Rudolfo            Bless Me, Ultima         

Antonio Maez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico.  She is a curandera, ne who cures with herbs and magic.  Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan pat—a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America.


Arana, Marie                American Chica:  Two worlds, One childhood.

In her father’s Peruvian family, Marie Arana was taught to be a proper lady, yet in her mother’s American family she learned to shoot a gun, break a horse,       and snap a chicken’s neck for dinner.  Arana shuttled easily between these deeply separate cultures for years.  But only when she immigrated with her family to the US did she come to understand that she was a hybrid American

whose cultural identity was split in half.


Bagdasauan, Adam     Forgotten Fire

In 1915 Vahan Kenderian is living a life of privilege as the youngest son of a wealthy Armenian family in Turkey.  This world of comfort and security is shattered when some family members are whisked away and others are murdered before his eyes.  In too short a time, Vahan loses his home and family and, to survive is forced to live a life he could never have dreamed of.


Baldacci, David            Wish You Well

Precocious 12 year old Louisa Mae Cardinal lives in the hectic New York City of 1940 with her family.  Then tragedy strikes—and Lou and her younger brother, Oz must go with their invalid mother to live on their great-grandmother’s farm in the Virginian Mountains.  Suddenly Lou finds herself coming of age in a new landscape, making her first true friend, and

experiencing adventures both tragic and comic. 


Baldwin, James             Go Tell It On The Mountain

A novel that brings Harlem and the black experience vividly to life, this is a work that touches the heart with emotion while it stimulates the mind with its narrative style, symbolism and vision of racism in America.  Moving through time from the rural South to the northern ghetto, starkly

contrasting the attitudes of two generations of an embattled family this novel portrays the story of human beings caught up in a dramatic struggle and of a society confronting inevitable change. 


Bambara, Toni Cadi                 The Salt Eaters

Set in Claybourne, a town somewhere in the South, this is the story of a community of black people searching for the healing properties of salt, who witness an event that will change their lives forever.  Some of them are centered, some are off-balance; some are frightened, and some are daring. 

From the men who live off welfare women to the mud mothers who carry their children in their hides, the novel explores the narcissistic aspect of despair and the tremendous responsibility that comes with physical, spiritual and mental well-being.


Banerjie, Aniali    Maya Running

The small golden statue of the Hindu Elephant God, Ganesh, hardly looks like an all-knowing Granter of Wishes.  But Ganish is more powerful than he looks, and he is about to send a young girl on a magical adventure of self-discovery. 

It is 1978, and Maya is the only browned-skinned girl in her tiny Manitoba town.  Born in India and raised in the land of moose and snow, she feels neither Indian enough for Indians nor Canadian enough for Canadians. 


Benitez, Sandra            Place Where the Sea Remembers    (HR)

This is a tale of love and anger, hope and tragedy.  Chayo the flower seller and her husband, Candeliario, the salad maker may finally be blessed with the child they thought they would never have.  But their cause for happiness triggers a chain of events that marks the lives of everyone in the Mexican village of Santiago


Bernardo, Anilu            Jumping off to Freedom

A dangerous journey into the unknown is the only hope for the future of the Leal family.  The stifling dictatorship in Cuba has left young David Leal and his family no other choice than to join the thousands of “balseros” plunging their rafts into the sea in hopes of reaching the Florida coast for relief and the beginnings of a new life.  David and his father must leave half of the family behind with promises to send for them after securing jobs and housing in Florida. 


Bode, Jane       New Kids in Town

They are teen immigrants.  Thousands of them enter America each year, some-times illegally.  They have escaped war, poverty, and repression to start all over a new life in America.  Eleven of these young immigrants tell their stories in their own words. 


Brown, Roselten           Civil Wars    (HR)

The Carlls are the only white family still living in an “integrated” neighborhood in Jackson, Miss.  They settled there in the mid-sixties, pioneers of the civil rights movement, filled with hope, idealism, and bravado.  Now as they struggle with differ-ing perceptions of where they belong at this point in their lives, their family suddenly expands to include an orphaned nephew and niece, products of a bigoted household.


Bruchac, Joseph    Code Talker:  A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War II

Bruchac assumes the persona of a Navajo grandfather telling his grandchildren about his World War II experiences.  Ned attends an Anglo boarding school, where the Navajo language is forbidden. Children are beaten if they even “think” in Navajo.  Then one day several are asked to join the Marines for a secret mission.


Buck, Pearl S.  The Good Earth    (HR)

This is the story of the cyclical nature of life.  It begins the story of an illiterate, poor, peasant farmer, Wang Lung, who ventures from the rural countryside and goes to town to the great house of Hwang to obtain a bride from those among the rank of slave.  There, he is given the slave O-lan as his bride.  She is selfless, hardworking and bears Wang Lung many sons.  She supports his

love of the land and his desire to acquire more land.  She stays and works with him through famine and very difficult times working right alongside of him on the land.  As a family, they survive the difficulties of the pre-revolutionary China in the 1920s, and they find themselves the recipients of riches beyond their dreams. They quickly buy land from the great house of Hwang.  Wang Lung buys more and more land until he owns all of Hwang land.  With O-lan at his side his family continues to prosper.  However, he commits a life-changing act that destroys O-lan’s heart—he takes a mistress and brings her home to live with his wife.


Carbone, Elisa    Last Dance on Holladay Street

Raised by black parents on a Colorado farm, Eva seeks out her birth mother after her parents die.  She finds her mother, who is white, working at a Denver bordello.  With her black birth father long gone, Eva must scheme and fight to avoid her mother’s fate and find another way to survive in 1878 in a West that is largely hostile to women. 


Carbone, Elisa    Stealing Freedom

The moment Ann Maria Weems was born; her freedom was stolen from her.  Like her family and the other slaves on the farm, Ann works from sun up to sundown and obeys the orders of her master.  Then one day, Ann’s family—the only joy she knows—is gone.  Just twelve years old, Ann is overcome by grief, struggling to get through each day.  And her only hope of stealing back her freedom and finding her family lies in a difficult journey on the Underground Railroad. 


Chang, Pang-Mei Natasha         Bound Feet and Western Dress

“In China a woman is nothing”.   Growing up in the perilous years between the fall of the last emperor and the Communist Revolution, Chang Yu-i’s life is marked by a series of rebellions:  her refusal as a child to allow her mother to bind her feet in the traditional way:  her scandalous divorce and her rise to Vice President of China’s first women’s bank in her later years.  This memoir brings together a portrait of a woman’s life in china with the very American story of Yu-I’s brilliant and assimilated grandniece struggling for her own identity. 


Cisneros, Sandra          Carmelo     (HR)

Every year, Celaya “Lala” Reye’s family—aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, and Lala’s six older brothers—packs up three cars and drives from Chicago to the Little Grandfather and awful grand mother’s house in Mexico City for the summer.  Struggling to find a voice above the boom of her brothers and to understand her place on this side of the border, Lala is a shrewd observer of family life.  She starts telling the Awful Grandmother’s life story.  Soon a multi generational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies and life.


Clarke, Judith               Kalpana’s Dream

Neema and her best friend, Kate, are freshmen at Wentworth High.  In English Class they have to write an essay “Who Am I?”.  At home, Neema’s great-grandmother, Kalpana, has come for an extended visit all the way to Australia from India.  It should have been great having her there, but Neema doesn’t speak Hindi, Kalpana, doesn’t speak English, and Neema’s mother can’t always be there to translate.


Cofer, Judith Ortiz   AN Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio 

Rita is exiled to Puerto Rico for a summer with her grandparents after her parents catch her with a boy.  Luis sits atop a six-foot mountain of hubcaps in his father’s junkyard, working off a sentence for breaking and entering.  Sandra tries to reconcile her looks to the conventional Latino notion of beauty.  And Arturo, different from his macho classmates, fantasizes about escaping his community.


Cofer, Judith      The Line of the Sun

Set in the 1950s and 60s the novel moves from a rural Puerto Rican village to a tough immigrant housing project in New Jersey, telling the story of a Hispanic family’s struggle to become part of  a new culture without giving up the old.  At the center of the story is Guzman, who is an almost mythic figure whose adventures and exile, salvation and return leave him a broken man but preserve his place in the heart and imagination of his niece, who is his secret biographer.


Cofer, Judith                 The Meaning of Consuelo 

Coming of age in the 1950’s when American influence threatens to dilute the island’s traditional Spanish customs, as well as to harm, perhaps irreparably, its fragile ecology, Consuelo watches her family being torn asunder—much like the island (Puerto Rico) itself.  Her father believes the future lies in American technology, including the new autopista that will soon cut the island in two.  But Consuelo has heard her abuelo say that once foreign noise drowns out the song of the coqui, the island’s emblematic tree frog, the voices of puertoriguenos themselves will be silenced.


Crew, Linda      Children of the River

Sundara fled Cambodia with her aunt’s family to escape the Khmer Rouge Army when she was thirteen:  leaving behind her parents, her brother and sister, and the boy she loved since she was a child.  Now four years later, she struggles to fit in at her Oregon High School, and to be “a good Cambodian girl” at home.  A good Cambodian girl never dates: she waits for her family to arrange her marriage to a Cambodian boy.  Yet Sundara and Jonathan, an extraordinary American boy, are powerfully drawn to each other.  Haunted by grief for her lost family, and for the life she left behind, Sundara longs to be with him.  At the same time, she wonders are her hopes for happiness and a new life in America disloyal to her past, and her people?


Crowe, Chris   Mississippi Trial, 1955.

At first Hiram is excited to be visiting his favorite grandfather in Greenwood, Mississippi.  But before long Hiram begins to feel that the small town is not the place he remembers from his childhood.  Then he crosses paths with Emmett Till, a black teenager from Chicago who is also visiting for the summer and Hiram sees firsthand how the local whites mistreat blacks who refuse to “Know their place.”


Dai, Sije      Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

In this tale about the magic of reading and the romantic awakening, two hapless city boys are exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education during china’s infamous Cultural Revolution.  There they meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation.  As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, they find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined.


Danticat, Edwidge     Breath, Eyes, Memory   (HR)

At the age of 12, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers.  There she discovers secrets that no child should know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti. 


Deford, Frank   Love and Infamy (HR)

An American novel, that tells the Pearl Harbor story from the Japanese point of view of World War II.  Tokyo. Honolulu.  Two men—one American, one Japanese—raised as blood brothers, are faced with the crisis of their lives on the eve of World War II.  Cotton Drake has left the states to follow in the footsteps of his missionary parents back in Japan.  Kujoshi Serikawa, Japanese, who at times seems more American than the Americans, stays behind in Hawaii, and is recruited by his nation to help plan the attack on Pearl Harbor. 


Doerr, Harriet    Consider This, Senora  (HR)

The characters in this novel find themselves waiting, hoping, and living in rural Mexico—a land with the power to enchant, repel, and change all who pass through it.  Each of the North Americans who settle in Annapolas interacts with the landscape and the Mexican residents in a different way. 


Doerr, Harriet    Stones for Ibarra

Richard and Sara Everton, just over and just under forty, have come to the small Mexican village of Ibarra to reopen a copper mine abandoned by Richard’s grandfather fifty years before.  They have mortgaged, sold, and borrowed, left friends and country, to settle in this remote spot; their plan is to live out their lives here, connected to the place and to each other. 

The two Americans, the only foreigners in Ibarra, live among people who both respect and misunderstand them.  And gradually the villagers—at first enigmas to the Evertons—come to teach them much about life and the relentless tide of fate.  (Winner of the National Book Award)


Dorris, Micael       A Yellow Raft in Blue Water  (HR)

This is a fierce story of three generations of Indian women, beset by hardships and torn by angry secrets, yet somehow joined by the bonds of kinship.  Starting in the present day and moving back in time, the novel is told in the voices of three women:  fifteen-year old part black Rayona, searching for a way to find herself; her American Indian mother, Christine, consumed by tenderness and resentment toward those she loves; and the fierce and mysterious Ida, mother and grandmother, whose haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreams echo through the years, braiding together the strands of the shared past—and their future. 


Durham, David Anthony   Walk Through Darkness     (HR)

Tale of two very different men each on a quest, both tied together by a history of remorse, jealousy, and a love that crosses the barriers of race during the time of slavery.  William, a fugitive slave from Maryland, is driven by two powerful needs—to find his wife, Dover, who is pregnant with his child, and to live as a free man.  He undertakes the treacherous journey north to restore meaning to his life, putting him at odds with the law and the feeling of the country.  Morrison, who fled a painful youth in Scotland, had once hoped to establish a new life in America with his brother, but the unforeseen realities of immigrant life drove them apart. 


Endrich, Louise   Four Souls     (HR)

Four Souls walks from her Ojibwe reservation to the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.  She is seeking restitution from and revenge on the lumber baron who has stripped her reservation.  But revenge is never simple, and she quickly finds her intentions complicated by her own compassion for the man who wronged her.


Endrich, Louise   Love Machine (HR)

Tells the story of two families—the Kashpaws and the Lamartines.  It is the story of multigenerational strong men and women who are caught in a drama of anger and desire.  This novel accurately portrays what Native American life was really like. 


Endrich, Louise   Tracks: A Novel 

Winter 1912 “We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.  It was surprising there were so many of us left to die.  For those who survived the spotted sickness from the south, our long fight west to Nadouissioux land where we signed the treaty, and then a wind from the east, bringing exile in a storm of government papers, what descended from the north in 1912 seemed impossible. 

By then, we thought disaster must surely have spent its force that disease must have claimed all of the Anishinabe that the earth could hold and bury.   But the earth is limitless and so is luck and so were our people once.”





English, Karen      Francie

Set sometime during the Truman administration, this is a portrait of a 12 year old black girl in Alabama.  When a sixteen-year old boy whom Francie tutors in reading is accused of attempting to murder a white man, she gets herself into serious trouble for her efforts at friendship. 


Farmer, Nancy   A Girl Named Disaster

Nhamo’s mother is dead and her father is gone.  When she learns that she must marry a cruel man with three wives—before her twelfth birthday—she runs away.  Alone on the river, in a stolen boat, Nhamo is swept into the uncharted heart of a great lake.  There, she battles drowning, starvation, and wild animals, and comes to know Africa’s mystical, luminous spirits. 

  “Nhamo was alone on this island.  Now and forever, she would slowly grow old, without family or children, until she was too feeble to climb the tree.  Her eyes would grow too dim to find water and her fingers too weak to dig for yams.  She would starve like the baboon on the little island, unless a predator found her first. 

  ‘No! I will build a boat and sail away!’ Nhamo cried stoutly.  ‘I am Nhamo Jongwe, whose totem is the lion and whose people are descended from kings.  I am a woman, not a little girl.  I have Mother and Crocodile Guts for company, and—and—the njuzu.’


Fleischman, Paul     Seedfolks

A small, vacant, rat infested lot looks like no place for a garden, especially to a neighborhood of strangers where no one seems to care.  Until one day a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard parched soil to plant her precious bean seeds.  Suddenly the soil holds promise.  Thirteen very different voices—old, young, Haitian, Hispanic all tell one amazing story about a garden that transforms a neighborhood.


Gaines, Ernest J.    A Lesson Before Dying    (HR)

Set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s.  Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shootout in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death.  Grant Wiggins who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach.  There while he struggles with the decision to stay or not he visits Jefferson in his cell. 


Galarza, Ernesto    Barrio Boy  HR

The story begins in Galarza’s mountain village in Mexico.  When the turmoil and tensions of the Mexican Revolution begin to rumble, the family leaves their tiny village in search of safety and work in a nearby city.  Subsequent moves introduce the boy to the growing turbulence of the Mexican Revolution and the uncertainties of city life.  He experiences firsthand the difficulties in finding work in a strife-torn nation, in securing an education, and in keeping a close-knit family together.  By the time his family finally settles in Sacramento, young Ernesto encounters new experiences and influences that will forever shape his outlook and broaden his horizons.


Garcia, Christina    Aguro Sisters  (HR)

Reina and Constancia Aguero are Cuban sisters who have been estranged for 30 years.  Reina—tall, darkly beautiful still lives in her homeland.  Once a devoted daughter of “la revolucion.” she now basks in the glow of her many suitors.  The pale and very petite Constancia lives in the United States.  After she and her husband retire to Miami, she becomes haunted by the memory of her parents and the unexplained death of their mother. 


Garcia, Chrstina   Dreaming in Cuban

Celia del Pino, equipped with binoculars and wearing her best housedress and drop pearl earrings, sits in her wicker swing guarding the north coast of Cuba.  Square by square, she searches the night skies for adversaries then scrutinizes the ocean which is roiling with nine straight days of unseasonable April rains.  No sign of gusano traitors.  Celia is honored.  The neighborhood committee has voted her little brick-and-cement house by the sea as the primary lookout for Santa Teresa del Mar.  From her porch, Celia could spot another Bay of Pigs invasion before it happened.  She would be feted at the palace, serenaded by a brass orchestra. 


Gilman, Charlotte P.  The Yellow Wallpaper  (HR)

First published in 1892 this is written as the secret journal of a woman who, failing to relish the joys of marriage and motherhood, is sentenced to a country rest cure to remedy her “nervous condition”—which is actually post partum depression.   She longs to write but her husband and doctor forbid it prescribing instead complete rest.  The story depicts her descent into insanity which gives testimony to the importance of freedom and self-empowerment for women. 


Grove, Vicki   The Starplace

In the early 1960’s Frannie has never given much thought to the color of her skin—until an African-American girl named Celeste moves to town.  Celeste’s father breaks all of the town’s “unofficial rules.”  He buys a house in the white part of town and sends Celeste to Frannie’s all-white school.  At first Frannie ignores Celeste just like everyone else does. 

But then the two girls are chosen to be in a special vocal-ensemble and they find themselves becoming friends. 


Guterson, David    Snow Falling on Cedars   (HR)

In 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabvo Miyamoto is charged with his murder.  In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than one man’s guilt.  There are memories of a love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to be Kabvo’s wife.  Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched.


Hale, Janet   Jailing of Cecelia Capture

Jailed for drunk driving on the night of her 30th birthday, Cecelia Capture Wellis reflects on the chain of circumstances and decisions that added up to her life.  Once a high school dropout and an unwed teenage mother, Cecelia has since put herself through college and is close to graduating from law school.  She is now being held on an old welfare charge.  She reflects on her life from her childhood on the reservation in Idaho with her white mother and Indian father to her years in San Francisco scraping by as a single mom to her current marriage which is in trouble.


Hamill, Pete    Snow in August     (HR)

In the year 1947, Michael Devlin, eleven years old and 100 percent American-Irish, is about to forge an extraordinary bond with a refugee of war named Rabbi Judah Hirsch.  Michael finds himself in trouble when he witnesses the 17 year old leader of the dreaded Falcons gang beating an elderly shopkeeper.  For Michael, 1940s Brooklyn is a world still shaped by life in the Old Country, a world where informing on a fellow Irishman is the worst crime imaginable—worse even than the violent crimes committed by some of those fellows.  So Michael keeps silent, finding solace in the company of Rabbi Hirsch, a Czech refuge whom he meets by chance.  From this serendipitous beginning blossoms a unique friendship—one that proves perilous to both when the Falcons catch up with them.


Hamilton, Virginia   The House of Dies Drear

A hundred years ago, Dies Drear and 2 slaves he was hiding in his house, an Underground Railroad Station in Ohio, had been murdered. 

Thomas thought the house, huge and isolated, was fascinating.  But he wasn’t sure he was glad that his father had purchased the house—funny things, frightening things keep happening.  The secret of the house is revealed in an exciting final sequence that maintains beautifully the mysterious and dramatic story of a black family caught in an atmosphere of fear and danger. 


Hassler, Jon     Jemmy

The older she gets, the less seventeen-year –old Jemmy Stott feels she has to look forward to:  with her Chippewa mother dead, her alcoholic father becomes even more self-pitying than usual.  The final blow is that he has ordered Jemmy to quit school so that she can stay home and take care of her younger brother and sister.  But on her way home on her last day of school, Jemmy is caught in a fierce snowstorm.  She is rescued by Otis and Ann Chapman, a couple who have moved to rural Minnesota from the city.  Otis is a well-known painter, and he sees in Jemmy the model he needs to complete a mural of the Maiden of Eagle Rock. 

Jemmy soon finds that the Chapmans have rescued her in more than one way…and that there’s a whole world outside of her family’s dreary existence, a world she can conquer if only she has the courage to fight.


Hernandez, Irene Beltran     Across the Great River

An adventure story.  This is the story of the Campos family’s effort to cross the river from Mexico and to find what father Carlos hopes will be a better life.  A young Mexican girl takes on a leadership role after her family becomes separated while illegally crossing the border into the United States.  The family’s encounters with labor smugglers, crimes, a folk hero, and the authorities are told from Kata Campos point of view—she is learning to cope with the harshness of life at an early age. 


Hersey, John   A Single Pebble           

I became an engineer.  I found my way into hydraulics, and not many years along, while still a youthful dam surveyor, I was chosen by the big contracting firm for which I worked to go to China and study the river called by the Chinese “the Great,” the Yangtze, to see whether it would make sense for my company to try to sell the Chinese government a vast power project in the river’s famous gorges.  I spent a year preparing myself for the trip…I took passage on a steamer to Shanghai, and after an impatient month I was able to talk my way onto a British gunboat, which was going upriver as far as Ichang.  The thousand miles from Shanghai to Ichang were long.  (Upon arriving in Ichang) I went immediately to our consul and because bandits and revolutionaries were said to be harassing the few flat-bottomed steamboats, he urged me to go upriver not be steamer but by junk.  And so with his help I arranged a passage with a thin, gaunt junk owner whose Chinese I could understand quite well…


Hidier, Taneya Desai       Born Confused

Dimple Lala’s parents are busy making arrangements for her to meet a ‘suitable boy.”

This is a story about finding yourself, finding your friends, finding love, and finding your culture. 


Hilton, James    Lost Horizon   (HR)

While attempting to escape a civil war, four people are kidnapped and transported to the Tibetan mountains.  After their plane crashes, they are found by a mysterious Chinese man.  He leads them to a monastery hidden in “the valley of the blue Moon”—a land of mystery and matchless beauty where life is lived in tranquil wonder, beyond the grasp of a doomed world. It is here, in Shangri-La, where destinies will be discovered and the meaning of paradise will be unveiled. 


Ho, Mingfong      The Stone Goddess

When the Khmer Rouge take over the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh the lives of the Sokha family are suddenly disrupted.  Forced to evacuate the city, Nakri and her siblings are soon torn from their parents and made to work in a labor camp in the countryside.   After the Khmer Rouge is overthrown, the Sokhas are reunited.  Along with thousands of their countrymen, they leave their beloved homeland for the sprawling refugee camps on the border of Thailand.  In the camps, Nakri and her family gather the fragments of their former life in Cambodia.  Eventually they make their way to the United States where they live with the memories of all that they left behind.


Hobbs, Will    Crossing the Wire

Ever since his family moved to the tiny village of Los Arboles, Victor has been best friends with Rico.  Victor Flores has been scratching out a living for his family by farming ever since his father died.  When Rico tells him that he has enough money to pay for “a coyote” to help him cross into El Norte, Victor is unable to decide if he, too, should go along and look for work to feed his family with the pitiful annual corn harvest.  He makes a painful decision to leave his mother and younger siblings and attempt to make the dangerous border crossing, jumping trains, fleeing thieves and border officials, and suffering from thirst and hunger.


Hogan, Linda    Mean Spirit   (HR)

Early in this century rivers of oil were found on Oklahoma land belonging to Indian people and beautiful Grace Blanket became the richest person in the Territory.  But she was murdered by the greed of white men, and the Graycloud family, who cared for her daughter, began mysteriously dying. 


Holland, Isabelle     Behind the Lines

“This has nothing to do with us, Katie.”

That is what Katie O’Farrell’s father believes.  It’s 1863, and he says Irish men and boys shouldn’t have to fight in the Civil War.  Slavery is not their problem.  Why should he fight for the freedom of the slaves when their own countrymen are suffering from poverty and disease?   But then Katie meets Jimmy and she realizes that friendships can transcend race and class.  That blaming a group of people isn’t always the best solution. 


Hosseini, Khaled       Kite Runner   (HR)

This is the unforgettable, heartbreaking story of an unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant.  It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption and it is also about the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.  This is the first Afghan novel to be written in English.  It covers the devastating history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years.  Amir has developed a close friendship with Hassan, the son of the servant. The relationship is a very fragile one and is severely tested as they watch their old way of life disappear.


Houston, Julian   New Boy

Fifteen year old Rob Garrett wants nothing more than to escape the segregated South and prove himself.  But in the late 1950’s Virginia, opportunity doesn’t come easily to an African American.  So Rob’s parents send him to a boarding school in Connecticut where he will receive the best education possible.  But times are changing.  Back home men and women are organizing, demanding an end to segregation, and in Rob’s hometown, his friends are on the verge of taking action. 


Islsa, Artevo    The Rain God   (HR)

This novel is set in a small town on the Texas-Mexican border  tells the funny, sad and quietly outrageous saga of the children and grandchildren of Mama Chona—the matriarch of the Angel Clan who fled the bullets and blood of the 1911 revolution for a “gringo” land of promise. 


Jen, Gish    The Love Wife

The Wongs describe themselves as a “half half” family, but the actual fractions are more complicated, given Carnegie’s Chinese heritage, his wife Blondie’s WASP background, and the various ethnic permutations of their adopted and biological children.  Into this family comes Lanlan.  She is Carnegie’s Mainland Chinese relative; a tough, surprisingly lovely survivor of the Cultural Revolution who comes courtesy of Carnegie’s mother will—she is a gift. 


Jen, Gish    Typical American   (HR)

Yifeng has come to America to study to be an engineer and then return to China.  But soon his name is Ralph Chang, and he has been joined by his ambitious sister Theresa.  She in turn finds him a perfect wife in beautiful and docile Helen.    Together they set out to make the American dream come true in every way:  Making money, buying a house in the suburbs and even having “affairs.”


Jiminez, Francisco     Breaking Through

Sequel to “The Circuit” (But can read without having read the first book). 

At the age of fourteen, Francisco Jimenez, together with his older brother, Roberto and his mother, is caught by “la migra.”  Forced to leave their California home, the entire family travels for twenty hours by bus, arriving at the U.S.—Mexican border in Nogales, Arizona. 

In the months and years that follow, Francisco, his mother and father, and his sister and 4 brothers struggle to keep their family together at a time when they face crushing poverty, long hours of labor and outright blatant poverty. 


Jiminez, Francisco     The Circuit

The story follows a migrant family through their circuit from picking cotton and strawberries to topping carrots—and back again—over a number of years.  As the family moves from one labor camp to the next it grows from four to ten.  Poverty and no place to call home define their lives.  But with faith, hope and back breaking work this “illegal” family survive. 


Kadohata, Cynthia   Kira-Kira

When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it is Katie’s sister Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare.  And it is Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow.  But then Lynn becomes desperately ill. 


Lahiri, Jhumpa    Interpreter of Maladies   HR

Winner of 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

The story captures the lives of immigrants, expatriates and first-generation Americans.


Lahiri, Jhumpa    The Namesake  HR

The Ganguli family is a new arrival from Calcutta.  They are trying their best to become Americans even as they long for their former homeland.  The name they bestow on their firstborn, Gogl, betrays all the conflicts of honoring tradition in a new world.


Lee, Gus    China Boy

Kai Ting is the only American-born son of an aristocratic Mandarin family that fled China in the wake of Mao’s revolution.  Growing up in San Francisco’s ghetto, Kai is caught between two worlds—embracing neither the Chinese nor the American way of life.  After his mother’s death, Kai is suddenly plunged into American culture by his new stepmother, a Philadelphia society woman who tries to erase every bit of China from the household.


Lee Wong, Joyce      Seeing Emily

16 year old Emily Wu is a good daughter, good student, good artist, good cook and good friend. She works hard at school and in the Chinese restaurant she helps her parents run.  But her life which once seemed sweet as the bao zi dumplings she and her mother make together, now feels stifling.  Just as her paintings transform a canvas, Emily wants to create a new self.  Then Nick a sexy transfer student asks her out.  His kisses and the other girl’s envious glances give Emily a thrilling new vision of herself.   


Lee, Mildred        The People Therein 

Lanthy Farr, lame since birth, never thought a man would look at her twice—at least not a man who interested her.  So she was doubly surprised when Drew Thorndike, a Bostonian, strange to the ways and beliefs of her people, appeared on her Pa’s porch one night and let his gaze linger on her as she huddled in the shadows by the door.    Set in the Great Smoky Mountains at the turn of the century, this epic novel explores the customs and traditions of Southern Appalachian society.


Lester, Julius    Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue


Levitin, Sonia      Journey to America

Papa was going away.  It was the only wise thing to do people said:  the Jews were not safe in Hitler’s Germany.  So he was going to go to America.  And later he would send for them.  But things got worse and they had to journey to Switzerland and wait for Papa.  This meant leaving behind all of the people they loved, all the familiar things they knew, all their favorite possessions and begin again in strange surroundings. 



Levitin, Sonia       The Return

“I” am an Ethiopian Jew and though we are proud Africans, the others in my country think we are outcasts. But still we cling to our cherished beliefs—and to a Jerusalem, in Israel, where some day I hope to be free.” 

   We are escaping our peaceful village, unaware of the prejudice and cruelty around us.  Somehow we must make the long trek to the Sudan and eventually to Jerusalem and Israel. 


MacGregor, Rob      Hawkman

Will Lansa  spent the summer with his father on the Hopi reservation in Arizona, and now that he is back in Aspen Colorado, Will feels like an outsider.  He breaks up with his girlfriend, Myra who is found murdered.  Will is suspected of having killed her.  His only allies are a computer hacker and a Hopi spirit who visits Will in his dreams. 


Marshall, Paule    The Chosen Place, The Timeless People.  (HR)

The chosen place is Bourneville, a remote, devastated part of a Caribbean island, the inhabitants are black, poor and linked to their past enslavement.  When the advance team for an ambitious American research project arrives, the tense, ambivalent relationships that evolve—between natives and foreigners, blacks and whites, haves and have-nots come to life.


Martin, Victor      Parrot in the Oven: mi vida

Fourteen year old Manny Hernandez wants to be more than just a penny.  He wants to be a “vato firme,” the kind of guy people respect.  But that does not prove to be very easy when your father is abusive, your brother can’t hold a job, and your mother scrubs the house as if she can scrub the problems away.  In Manny’s neighborhood, the way to get respect is to be in a gang.  But M

anny’s not sure that joining a gang is the solution. 


Mazer, Harry     A Boy No More

After witnessing the U.S.S. Arizona sink in Pearl Harbor—with his father aboard—fifteen-year-old Adam Pelko, along with his mother and young sister, moves from Hawaii to California.  Without his dad, facing a new school and new surroundings is difficult enough, but then Adams best friend Davi Mori, writes from Hawaii asking for help in finding his father.  Davi and his family are Japanese Americans, and his father has been arrested and is imprisoned somewhere in the U.S.  Can he risk traveling to Manzanar, a Japanese internment camp.


McCunn, Ruthanne     Thousand Pieces of Gold:  Biographical Novel

Lalu’s father calls his thirteen-year old daughter his treasure, his “thousand pieces of gold,” yet when famine strikes northern China in 1871 he is forced to sell her.  Polly Bemis, a Lalu is later called, is sold to a brothel and then to a slave merchant bound for America, auctioned to a saloon-keeper, and offered as a prize in a poker game.  This biographical novel is the extraordinary story of a remarkable woman and her achievement of respect and dignity among the pioneer women of the early American West. 


Mikaelsen, Ben    Touching Spirit Bear

Cole Matthews is a violent teen offender convicted of viciously beating a classmate and causing neurological and psychological problems.  Cole elects to participate in Circle Justice, an alternative sentencing program based on traditional Native American practices that results in his being banished to a remote Alaskan island where he is left to survive for a year.  Cynical and street smart, he expects to fake his way through the preliminaries, escape by swimming off the island, and beat the system, again.  But his encounter with the Spirit Bear leaves him desperately wounded and gives him six months of hospitalization to reconsider his life. 


Milkowitz, Gloria    The War Between the Classes

What are Amy and Adam going to do about their love life?  Neither Amy’s traditionalist Japanese parents nor Adam’s snobby; upper class mother will accept their relationship.  to make things worse, Amy and Adam are involved in the “color game” at school, an experiment that is designed to make students aware of class and racial prejudices.  The experiment threatens to alienate Amy from her friends and destroy her relationship with Adam.


Mochizuki, Ken   Beacon Hill Boys

Like other Japanese American families in the Beacon Hill area of Seattle during the early 1910’s, 16 year old Dan Inagaki’s parents expect him to be an example of the ‘model minority.”  But unlike Brad, Dan’s older brother, who has a 4.0 GPA, a college scholarship, and a white girlfriend.   Dan is tired of being called “Oriental” by his teachers and frustrated that no one in his family understands how invisible he feels.  The Beacon Hill boys struggle to come of age in an America that would continue to see young Asian Americans assimilate rather than stir up the proverbial melting pot. 


Momaday, N. Scott     House Made of Dawn

About the struggle of a man who cannot understand or be understood, a man who is integrated with neither the traditions of his Indian heritage nor the ways of the white world.  When Abel, a mixed-blood Indian who does not even know the tribe of his own father, returns to the Walatowa Pueblo Reservation after serving in World War II, he feels removed from the traditions of the reservation.  He drinks, kills an albino Indian who has humiliated him, and is promptly sent to prison by a court that has no understanding of his motives or his cultural identity.  After his release from prison, Abel begins a difficult emotional journey that takes him from an assembly line in Los Angeles back to the reservation—and to a reunification with the customs of his ancestors.


Mori, Kyoko     Stone Field, True Arrow  (HR)

Maya Ishida is no stranger to sorrow.  Torn from her artist father and native Japan as a child, she is raised by her cold, ambitious mother in Minneapolis.  Now she has finally put together a life with few disruptions:  a marriage to a man who never asks questions, a quiet job weaving clothes.  But when her father dies, Maya is pulled back into the memory of their parting.  She must question her placid marriage, her decision not to become an artist, and even the precarious peace she made with her mother before she can be released—to feel passion, risk change, and fall in love.


Namioka, Lensey       April and the Dragon Lady

Every time she looked in the mirror—she could see how different she looked from most of the girls in her class.  She has even heard that some Chinese girls had their eyes altered surgically to make them appear more Caucasian looking.  Did Steve like me just because I was Asian and he was attracted to the Far East?  Did Steve think I was “submissive.”?  Would he stay faithful once my “novelty” wore off?  The real problem was that April Chen belonged neither to Steve’s world nor to her Chinese Grandma’s world.  April was a minority of one. 


Namioka, Linsey        Mismatch

15 year old Sue Hua has just moved from racially diverse Seattle to a white-bread suburb where she feels as if she must be the only Asian American for miles.  Then she meets Andy, a handsome and passionate, violinist who happens to be Asian American.  Sue feels an instant attraction to Andy, and her white friends think they are made for each other—after all, they both use chopsticks and eat a lot of rice, right?  There is just one problem—she is Chinese and he is Japanese. 




Namioka, Linsey     An Ocean Apart, A World Away

Xueyan, known as Yanyan, has seen quite a few “Foreign Big Noses.”  After all, the teachers at her school are missionaries from America, while she likes her teachers; she never forgets that they are outsiders.  Still she excels at the missionary school and is determined to become a doctor.  At sixteen she meets Baosher who loves adventure and challenges.  However, life with him would mean sacrificing her dreams. She makes a choice to go to America—where she is an outsider.  


Namioka, Linsey     Ties That Bind, Ties That Break

Third sister in the Tao family, Ailin has watched her two older sisters having their feet bound.  In China in 1911, all girls of good families follow this ancient practice, which is also an extremely painful one.  Ailin loves to run away from her governess and play games with her male cousins.  Knowing she will never run again once her feet are bound, she refuses to follow this torturous tradition.    As a result, the family of her intended husband breaks their marriage agreement.  As she enters adolescence, Ailin finds that her family, shamed by her decision, will no longer support her.  Chinese society leaves few options for a single woman of good family, but with bold conviction and an indomitable spirit, Ailin is determined to forge her own destiny.


Nazario, Sonia    Enrique’s Journey

This is an account of a 17 year old boys attempt to find his mother in America.  It explains the experience of illegal immigration from Central America.


Nye, Naomi Shihab     Habibi

The day after Lujana got her first real kiss, her life changed forever.  Not because of “the kiss,” but because her father told the family that they were moving from St. Louis all the way to Palestine.  Even though her father grew up there, she knows very little about her family’s Arab heritage.  Her grandmother and the rest of her relatives who live in the West Bank are strangers, and they speak a language she can’t understand.  Then she meets Omer and she is no longer as homesick.  But unfortunately Omer is Jewish and their friendship is silently forbidden in this land.


O’Brien, Tim         The Things They Carried    (HR)

They carried malaria tablets, love letters, 28 pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated Bibles, and each other.  And, if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war.  This novel has become an unparallel Vietnam testament—a study of men at war that illuminates the capacity, and the limits, of the human heart and soul. 


O’Dell, Scott     Thunder Rolling in the Mountains

It is the spring of 1877 when fourteen year old Sound of Running Feet, daughter of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, sees white people panning gold in the little creek that feeds the Wallowa River, and brings word of them to her father.  “They are the first, but more are on the way,” he says.  “We are few and they are many, they will devour us.”



Osa, Nancy    Cuba 15

Violet Paz has just turned 15, an important birthday in the eyes of her Cuban grandmother.  Fifteen is the age when a girl enters womanhood, traditionally celebrating the occasion with a quinceanero.  But while Violet maybe half Cuban she is also half Polish, but more importantly she feels 100% American.  Except for some of her family’s “odd” doings, such as playing dominoes, smoking cigars, dancing to Latin music.  Violet really knows little about Cuban culture.  So when Violet finally accepts her “Abuela’s” plan for this “quinceanero”—cultures and feelings collide.


Otsuka, Julie    When the Emperor Was Divine

On a sunny day in Berkeley, Calif., in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her house, and matter-of-factly begins to pack her family’s possessions.  Like thousands of other Japanese Americans they have been reclassified, virtually overnight, as enemy aliens and are about to be uprooted from their home and sent to a dusty internment camp in the Utah desert where she will experience   “…the thin-walled barracks and the barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear and loneliness, and the unheralded feats of heroism.”


Park, Linda Sue   Project Mulberry

Julia Song and her friend Patrick would love to win a blue ribbon, maybe even two, at the state fair.  They have always done projects together, and they work well as a team.  This time, though, they are having trouble coming up with just the right place.  Julia’s mother suggests raising silkworms like she did as a girl in Korea.  Patrick thinks it is a great idea.  But Julia doesn’t.  She doesn’t want anything to do with her Korean heritage.



Parker, Linda Busby   Seven Laurels 

Story of a black man, Brewster McAtee, who’s shifting personal fortunes, as a gifted Alabama carpenter, parallel the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s that began the dismantling of legal segregation in America. 


Patchet, Ann        Bel Canto:  A Novel   (HR)

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa.  Roranne Coss, opera’s most --until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage.  But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots.


Peet, Mal   Keeper

Star goalkeeper “El Gato” has just won soccer’s converted World Cup.  In an interview with a sports journalist, he talks about growing up in Brazil in a poor logging town and exploring the Amazon rain forest near his home.  It was in the heart of the jungle that a young Gato discovered a small soccer field—and meets his mysterious mentor, The Keeper.  


Placide, Jaira     Fresh Girl

Mardi Desravines was born in New York but raised in her grandmother’s house in Haiti, while her parents worked in America.  When a coup d’etat forces Mardi and her sister to flee to Brooklyn to live with parents they hardly know, Mardi becomes a city girl who longs for her old life in Haiti.   She finds it very difficult to fit in at school and in her new neighborhood.  No matter what she does to adapt to her new life, she is haunted by memories of the coup especially when her beloved Uncle Peirin suddenly reappears.  This novel gives a glimpse of what “coming to America” asks of immigrants, and shows how family love can build a bridge from one part of the world to another.


Platt, Randall B     The Likes of Me

Cordelia Lu Hankins is half Caucasian, half Chinese—and all albino.  She has grown up in a remote lumber town with her distant father and a giant stepmother nicknamed Babe, convinced she is ugly.  Then in the summer of 1918, when she is fourteen she falls in love with the dashing Squirl.  Cody is determined to go with Squirl when he is fired from his job.  So she runs away.  She winds up in the sideshows of Seattle’s Luna Park where her unusual looks bring her fame. 


Querry, Ron   Death of Bernadette Lefthand (HR)

Still today some people believe that witchcraft played a part in the brutal murder of Bernadette Lefthand.  She was a beautiful young woman who lived on the Jicarella Apache reservation.  Other people suspect Bernadette’s hard drinking husband, Anderson George, who has inexplicably disappeared.  A vivid picture of what contemporary life is like for a Native American is painted by Ron Querry.


Rici, David     Crazy Loco

Meet Loco, a dog with a passion for firecrackers and Pedro, an alter boy forced to learn a hard lesson from two of the toughest, oldest men ever to serve the Lord.  Jordan and Todd are two boys from California who don’t know what they are in for when they push their Texas cousins a little too far.  Based on the author’s own childhood as a Mexican-American boy in South Texas.


Robinson, Margaret    A Woman of Her Tribe

“You’re going to miss that bus.  Hurry up! Run!”

Hurry up. It was not a Nootka idea, not a Nootka expression, not Nootka in any way at all.

But Annette ran, her knees pumping up the city street and sweat breaking out under her bangs…Her feet felt annoyed in their stiff new shoes.  The knapsack of books banged her back as if they wanted her to open up and let them in.  Up ahead, at the intersection, she saw the bus arrive.


Half English, half Nootka Indian, Annette has been raised in her father’s Nootka village, but now her mother believes it is time for an English-type education in Victoria, British Columbia.  Determined to try to do well in this new environment Annette nevertheless carries within her a suspicion of the white world instilled by Granmaw, her Nootka godmother.


Saldana, Rene    Finding Our Way

Whether set in a Georgia town or in Texas on the Mexican border, these stories take the reader to meet mochos; cholos; Mr. and Mrs. Special; Manny and his mysterious phone calls, Milly, who dreams of being the first girl to take the Dive; Andy and Ruthie, who find that being “boyfriend-girlfriend” takes on new meaning the night of the prom.


Saldana, Rene   The Jumping Tree    

Rene Saldana, Jr. celebrates barrio and family life with irresistible humor and honesty in lively stories that follow Rey Castaneda from 6th through 8th grade in Nuevo Penitas, Texas.  One half of Rey’s family lives nearby in Mexico, the other half in Texas, and he manages to fit in on both sides of the border.   In Nuevo Penitas, he enjoys fooling around with his pals in the barrio, at school, he’s one of the A-list kids.  As Rey begins to cross the border between childhood and manhood, he senses the meaning of what it is to be a proud Chicano.


Salisbury, Graham    Eyes of the Emperor

When Eddy Okubo lies about his age and joins the United States Army in Honolulu in 1941, he isn’t expecting war to break out.  But soon after he enlists, the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, and suddenly his fellow Americans see him as the enemy.  Even the army doubts his loyalty—and the loyalty of all American soldiers of Japanese ancestry. 


Salisbury, Graham     Under the Blood-Red Sun 

Tomi was born in Hawaii.  His grandfather and parents were born in Japan and came to America to escape poverty.  World War II seems far away for Tomi and his friends. But then Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese and his grandfather is arrested.  It is a terrible time to be Japanese in America.


Santiago, Danny      Famous All Over Town

Portrays what life is like in a Los Angeles Chicano barrio, where everything in life is stacked against Chato Medina, his beleaguered family and his defiant and doomed friends.


Sheth, Kashmira        Koyal dark, mango sweet 

Jeeta’s family is caught up in the whirlwind of arranging marriages for her two older sisters, but the drama and excitement leave Jeeta cold.  She dreads her turn on the matrimonial circuit, especially since Mummy is always complaining about how difficult it will be to find Jeeta a good husband, with her dark skin and sharp tongue.  And when she falls in love with Sarina’s cousin Neel, Jeeta realizes that she must strike a balance between independence and duty, and follow her own path.


Sherman, Eileen Bluestone     The Violin Player

Melissa’s life takes what seems to be a tragic turn when her father accepts a teaching assignment in a small Midwestern town, taking her far away from her home and friends in New York City.   She won’t stay in NY with her strict Orthodox Jewish grandparents.  But she finds several surprises when she moves including Daniel Goodman the remarkable violinist.  But she also finds something she has never before experienced—anti-Semitism.  No one in the school suspects that she is Jewish, but when Daniel is constantly harassed by a school bigot Melissa makes a difficult decision.


Silko, Leslie Marmon    Ceremony

Tayo, a young Native American, has been a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, and the horrors he suffered during his captivity have almost destroyed him.  His return to the Laguna Pueblo reservation only increases his feelings of estrangement and alienation.  While other returning soldiers find refuge in alcohol and senseless violence, Tayo searches for something different.  His search takes him back to the Indian past its traditions.   


Son, Jon    Finding My Hat

Jin-Han Park’s first memory is losing his hat to the wind on a blustery Chicago Street.  Though he never gets the hat back, Jin-Han, like his family searches for their place in America, never stops looking for other “hats” to try on.  The Park family travels from city to city searching for a better life and more money.


Soto, Gary             After Life 

You would think a knife in the ribs would be the end of things, but for Chuy, that is when his life finally gets interesting. 

At last he sees that people love him, faces the consequences of his actions, finds in himself compassion and bravery…and even stumbles on what may be true love.


Soto, Gary            Buried Onions

In this novel Soto paints an unforgettable portrait of barrio life as seen through the eyes of a young man desperately seeking a way out.   At 19, all Eddie wants is to get by, hold down a job, and walk a straight line into the future.  But trapped in a city sweltering in the grip of poverty, crime, and unfulfilled dreams, menaced by figures from the past Eddie finds his life spiraling slowly out of control.

This is a no-holds-barred tale of real life in the inner city. 


Soto, Gary     Jesse

Field work was something that Jesse and his brother Abel could do in order to get through college.  With: an education they won’t ever have to rely on the fields again.  But it is not easy for two young Mexican Americans to get ahead.  Even though their dreams are reachable, there is always more to deal with than what they can actually see.  There is always someone who doesn’t think they have what it takes to get out of the desolation and poverty.  After all they are Mexican American. 


Soto, Gary   Pacific Crossing

When Lincoln Mendoza spends a summer with a host family in Japan for the summer he imagines he will spend all his time doing martial arts.  But once he crosses the pacific, he finds baseball and jokes, families and farming, history and tradition.  He discovers that it is hard to explain what it means to be both Mexican and American and that Mitsuo, his Japanese brother is the best kind of buddy a guy can have. 


Soto, Gary   Taking Sides

Lincoln Mendoza is brown, not white.  Moving from the barrio to the tree lined streets of the suburbs will not change that.  Tony Contreras is still his main man, and he is still loyal to his team at Franklin Junior High, even though he is playing basketball for Columbus now.  But when Franklin and Columbus are scheduled to face each other in a league game, Lincoln worries how he can play his best with his white friends at his new school.  He shows up all decked out in his Air Jordans to play against his old buddies.


Southgate, Martha    The Fall of Rome

Latin instructor Jerome Washington is a man out of place.  The lone African-American teacher at the Chelsea School, an elite all-boys boarding school in Connecticut, he has spent nearly two decades trying not to appear too ‘racial.”  So he is unnerved when Rashid Bryson, a promising black Inner-city student who is new to the school, seeks Washington as a potential ally against Chelsea’s citadel of white privilege.  Preferring not to align himself with Bryson, Washington rejects the boy’s friendship.  Surprised and dismayed by Washington’s response, Bryson turns instead to Jana Hansen, a middle-aged white divorce who is also new to the school.


Staples, Suzanne Fisher      Haveli

Shaban, daughter of the windswept Cholistan Desert, the youngest of Rahim’s four wives.  Rahim adores her, but neither Shabanu nor her young daughter, Mumtaz, is safe from the cruelty of his jealous older wives.  Shabanu flees to the Haveli, Rahim’s old family home in the city.  But there she faces danger of another sort.  She falls totally and unexpectedly in love with a man whose life is ruled by the very traditions that make their union impossible.  Now she must thread her way between conflicting loyalties—to her husband, her family, and her own passion—to choose a new path for herself and her daughter. 


Staples, Suzanne F.     Shabanu:  Daughter of the Wind

Shabanu, you are as wild as the wind.  You must learn to obey.  Otherwise…I am afraid for you,”  Mama says, her face serious. 

  “In less than a year you will be betrothed.  You aren’t a child anymore.  You must learn to obey, even when you disagree:  I am angry to think of Dadi or anyone else telling me what to do.  I want to tell her I spend more time with the camels than Dadi, and sometimes when he asks me to do a thing, I know something else is better.  But Mama’s dark eyes hold my face so intently that I know she really is afraid for me, and I say nothing.


Life is both sweet and cruel to strong-willed young Shabanu, whose home is the windswept Cholistan Desert of Pakistan.  The second daughter in a family with no sons, she’s been allowed freedom forbidden to most Muslim girls.  But when a tragic encounter with a wealthy and powerful landowner ruins the marriage plans of her older sister, Shabanu is called upon to sacrifice everything she has dreamed of.  Should she do what is necessary to uphold her family’s honor—or listen to the stirrings of her own heart.


Straight, Susan    Highwire Moon

Serafina is an illegal migrant worker living in California when the police catch her and send her back to Mexico—without her three-year old daughter.  Twelve years later, with a pair of silver barrettes her only tangible memory of Elvia, Serafina begins a difficult and dangerous journey back across the border in an attempt to find her daughter.   At the same time Elvia, now fifteen and pregnant resolves to track her mother down. 


Stratton, Allan    Chandra’s Secrets

Chanda, 16, remembers the good times when she lived with both parents on a cattle post in

Sub Saharan Africa.  Her troubles started after her father was killed in the diamond mines.  Her first stepfather abused her, the second died of a stroke and the third is a drunken philanderer.  Although Chandra lives in a world in which illness and death have become common place—it is not one in which AIDS can be mentioned. 

Then one night her latest stepfather’s sister dumps the dying man in front of their shantytown house.  Before Chanda can get help from the hospital caseworker, he disappears and the wagon that brought him is burned. 


Tan, Amy      Bonesetter’s Daughter

Ruth who is a San Francisco career woman who makes her living by ghost writing self-help books has little real knowledge of her mother’s past.  They really do not get along.  The novel covers the difficult relationships of Chinese mothers and their American born daughters.  Now suffering from Alzheimer’s Lu Ling’s references to the past are confusing and contradictory, particularly her desperate attempts to communicate with her deceased nursemaid.  Ruth learns

that her mother was once a strong-willed, courageous girl who overcame a background of family secrets and lies, romantic heartbreak and suffering in war-torn China.


Tan, Amy    Hundred Secret Senses

Olivia, the story’s narrator has a Chinese father and an American mother.  After the death of her father Olivia meets her half sister, Kwan.  Kwan adores “Libby-ah” and tries to introduce her to her Chinese heritage through stories and memories.   Olivia, however, is embarrassed by Kwan, but she discovers that as she matures she has absorbed much about Chinese superstitions, spirits and reincarnation. 


Tan, Amy      Joy Luck Club

This is the story of four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the wind—depending who is telling the story.  In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat, play mahjong and talk.  They call themselves the Joy Luck Club.  Forty years later the stories are still continuing.


Tan, Amy         Kitchen God’s Wife

Details of Chinese life and tradition are included.  This is a story about the lives of a Chinese mother and her American-born daughter.  “Winnie” reveals what her childhood was like in war-torn china in the 1940’s—especially her nightmarish arranged marriage.  She survives her many problems largely due to the friendships of her female friends and the love of her second husband.


Triana, Gaby     Cubanita

All Isa wants is to be a regular American teenager, something her Cuban immigrant mother most definitely does not understand.  After almost eighteen years of constant debate over everything from birthday’s to boys, Isa has had enough.  She is counting the days until she leaves for college—and can get as far away from Miami (also known as North Cuba) as possible.  But the more she tries to cut her self off from her Cuban heritage the more tangled she becomes.  Will she ever find the normal American life she dreams of?


Trigiani, Adriana      Lucia, Lucia

It is 1950 in the New York City.  Lucia Sartore is the beautiful 25 year old daughter of a prosperous Italian grocer in Greenwich Village.  Lucia becomes an apprentice to an up-and –coming designer at the famous B. Altman department store on Fifth Avenue. 

She is engaged to Dante DeMartino, her life-long sweetheart when she meets a handsome man who promises her a life of uptown luxury.  Forced to choose between duty to her family and her dreams, Lucia finds herself in the midst of a scandal in which secrets are revealed, her career jeopardized, and the Sartoris’ honor is tested. 


Uchida, Yoshiko      Journey Home

World War II is raging.  Yuki and her Japanese-American family are forced from their home in California and imprisoned in a U.S. concentration camp called Topaz. 

After months of unbearable life in Topza, Yuki and her family are finally released.  But they cannot go back to Berkeley.  Yuki asks her father,  Papa, when can we go back?”

   “I hope when the war is over, Yuki.  When the United States and Japan stop fighting each

    other.  When the hate is gone.  Then maybe…”

     “Only maybe?”

Papa rubbed his eyes and sighed.  Well, the Japanese are still excluded from the West Coast by

law, and there are some people in California who don’t want us ever to go back.”  They would have us kept out of the state forever.”

They are free, but are left with nothing


With nowhere to go, and no money to get there, the road to rebuilding their lives seems endless.  But in the end, it is their unyielding faith and courage that guide them home, reunited and hopeful.


Uchida, Yashiko        Picture Bride

Carrying a photograph of the man she is to marry but has yet to meet, young Hana Omiya arrives in San Francisco California, in 1917, one of several hundred Japanese ‘picture brides” whose arranged marriages brought them to America in the early 1900s.

Her story is intertwined with others:  her husband, Taro Takeda, an Oakland shopkeeper; Kiku and her husband Henny who rejected demeaning city work to become farmers; Dr. Kaneda, a respected community leader who is destroyed by the adopted land he loves.

All are caught up in the cruel turmoil of WWII, when West coast Japanese Americans are uprooted from their homes and sent to desert detention camps. 


Volponi, Paul   Black and White

Marcus and Eddie are the stars of Long Island, City High School’s Basketball Team.  Marcus is black and Eddie is white but they got past all the racial stuff and have been best friends for years.  Both boys are looking forward to great futures in college basketball and are waiting to see where they will receive scholarships to.   Then one night, something goes wrong and they make a big mistake.  They can’t go back and one must pay in an unfair urban criminal justice system. 



Watkins, Yoko Kawaskima      So Far From the Bamboo Grove

Stationed in North Korea during World War II, Yoko and her family lead a peaceful life—until the North Korean communist army begins to advance.  Suddenly they must flee for their lives, running on foot at night, jamming into railroad cars, always in fear, always lacking food and shelter.  And if they can make it to Japan, what can they hope to find in their war- ravaged homeland?


Wartski, Maureen Crane          Along Way From Home

Was it truly the Promised Land?  When word reached them in the crowded Vietnamese refugee camp that their friend Steve Olson would act as their sponsor so they could come to America, Kien and his adopted sister and brother, Mai and Loc, could scarcely believe their good fortune. 

Mai and Loc immediately loved living with the Olson’s.  But, for Kien, this new land seemed to hold nothing but trouble.  He runs away to a new town where other Vietnamese had settled only to find himself caught in the middle of a battle between the local people and the new immigrants. 


Wartski, Maureen Crane     Boat to Nowhere

In their isolated village Mai and her family thought themselves safe from war.  Then Kien a fourteen year old orphan stumbled into their lives, bringing tales of terrible conquerors taking over the forest villages.  Soon the conquerors themselves arrived, bringing an end to peace and happiness.  Then Kein had a desperate idea.  He, Mai, her grandfather and little brother could still escape.  They would take a village fishing boat and sail to another country!  They would become boat people, risking the perils of pirates, storms, sickness, and starvation to find a land where they could be free…


Welch, James      Fools Crow (HR)

The year is 1870.  Located in the Two Medicine Territory of Northwestern Montana is a small band of Blackfeet Indians.  Their life consists of a timeless round of activity deeply rooted in the land and the seasons and in a reverence for the customs handed down from the Long Ago People.  butthe ever-increasing presence of the Napikwans—white men—threatens this existence.  


Welch, James       The Indian Lawyer    (HR)

His shiny Saab and his finely tailored suits make Sylvester Yellow Calf’s childhood unimaginable.  He was abandoned by his parents, raised in poverty on the Blackfoot reservation in Montana.  Now a prominent lawyer, Sylvester moves between two worlds, feeling slightly out of place in each. 


 Welch, James   Winter in the Blood    (HR)

The narrator of this story is a sensitive,  self-destructive young man living on the Blackfoot Reservation in Montana.  He is haunted by memories—of an older brother, dead at the age of fourteen; of his father (who made white men laugh at the local bar) found frozen in a snowdrift; and of his once proud heritage. 


He sleepwalks through his chores, consoles himself with women.  The visions he sees and the echoes he hears are swallowed up in Montana’s vast emptiness.  Yet he struggles against that emptiness, searching for something that will bind him to the lands of his ancestors. 


Wong, Jade Snow    Fifth Chinese Daughter

Jade Snow Wong grew up in a traditional Chinese family in San Francisco’s pre-World War II Chinatown.  Wives were introduced by their husbands as “my inferior woman,” and rules were taught with corporal punishment, and home life was literally connected to the family business.

A highly intelligent child who consistently skips grades throughout public school (while attending Chinese school at night and taking over much of the family housework, Jade becomes determined to go to college and gain more independence than she has been taught to expect.  Her decision sets off a balancing process between cultures that Jade explores.


Yep, Laurence       Child of the Owl

Barney tells twelve year old Casey that he is going to hit it big and when that horse comes in, he tells her they will be in the pent house suite.  Instead, Barney ends up in the hospital, and Casey goes to Chinatown to live with her grandmother, Paw-Paw.  Casey feels lost in China town.  She is not prepared for the Chinese school, the noisy crowds, missing her father.  Her grandmother tells her about her mother that she never knew, her family’s owl charm, and her true Chinese name.  At last, Chinatown—Paw-Paw’s home, her parents’ home—begins to be her home, too. 


Yep, Laurence        Dragon’s Gate

In 1867, Otter travels from Three Willows Village in California—the Land of the Golden Mountain.  There he will join his father and uncle.  Despite being with family, Otter is a stranger among the other Chinese in this new land.  Otter’s dream is to learn all he can, take the technology back home and rid China of the Manchu invaders.


Yep, Laurence   Mountain Light

Their families fought one another for generations, maintaining an age-old blood feud.  But that changes when both Squeaky Lau and Cassia struggle against the tyrannical Manchu dynasty.  Now he must prove his worth as a man to Cassia, his village and himself.  He decides to travel to America where he must start all over. 

Yep, Laurence      The Traitor

Tells the story of two young tens who live in Rock springs, WY, in 1885 when animosity between American and Chinese miners reaches its peak.  Born in the U.S. of Chinese parents, Joseph Young considers himself an American, but both communities see him as only Chinese. Michael Purdy is an “outsider” because of his illegitimate birth.  The boys meet when Michael escapees hounding by bullies and hides in a cave outside of town where Joseph is fossil hunting.  The book describes their growing friendship despite the escalating trouble between the Chinese and the “Westerners” who blame the newcomers for their economic hardships and march on Chinatown in a rampage. 


Yezierska, Amzia         Bread Gevei    (HR)

 Sara Smolinsky, the youngest daughter of an Orthodox rabbi, watches as her father marries off her sisters to men they do not love.  “It says in the torah, only through a man has a woman an existence,” he proclaims.  But Sara rejects this conception of Jewish womanhood.  She wants to live for herself and to marry for love. 

   “My will is as strong as yours, “she replies.”  Nobody can stop me.  I’m not from the old country. I’m American!.”



                             NON-FICTION TITLES


Ahmedi, Farah      Story of My Life:  An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky  BIO AHM

Farah Ahmedi is born into the world just as the war between the Miyahideen and the Soviets reaches its peak in Afghanistan.  Bombs are falling all over her country, and her native Kabul is swelling with hundreds of thousands of people looking for homes and jobs.  When Farah steps on a land mine on her way to school, her world becomes much smaller than the dreams and hopes in her heart. 


Delman, Carmet     Burnt Bread and Chutney   (HR)      BIO DEL

In the politics of skin color, Carmet Delman is an ambassador from a world of which few are aware.  Her mother is a direct descendant of the Bene Israel, a tiny, ancient community of Jews thriving amid the rich cultural tableau of Western India.  Her father is American, a Jewish man of Eastern European descent.  Bound by love for each other and for that new born country, they hardly took notice of the interracial aspect of their union.  But their daughter, Carmet, growing up in America, was well aware of her uncommon heritage. 


Eire, Carlos        Waiting for Snow in Havana:  Confessions of a Cuban boy   (HR) 


“Have mercy on me, Lord, I am Cuban.”  In 1962 Carlos Eire was one of 14,000 children airlifted out of Cuba—exiled from his family, his country, and his own childhood by the revolution.  the Cuba of Carlos’s youth becomes an island of condemnation once a cigar-smoking guerrilla named Fidel Castro ousts President Batista on January 1, 1959. Suddenly the music in the streets turns to gunfire, Christmas is made illegal, political dissent leads to imprisonment, and too many of Carlos’s friends are leaving Cuba for a place as far away and unthinkable as the U.S.  Carlos ends up there too, and fulfills his mother’s dreams by becoming a modern American man—even if his soul remains back in Cuba.





Wartsuki-Houston, Maureen      Farwell to Manzanar  (BIO HOU)

Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp—with ten thousand other Japanese Americans.  Along with search light towers and armed guards, Manzanar ludicrously featured cheerleaders,

Boy Scouts, sock hops, baton twirling lessons, etc. 

This is the true story of one Japanese American family’s attempt to survive the indignities of a forced detention.


Kingston, Maxine Hong     Woman Warrior       (BIO KIN)

An account of growing up female and Chinese-American in California, in a Chinese laundry. 


Mah, Adeline Yen       Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter.                   (BIO MAH)  

Born in 1937 in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval.  But wealth and position can not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling emotional abuse at the hands of cruel and manipulative Eurasian stepmother.  Adeline struggles for independence as she moves from Hong Kong to England and eventually to the United States. 


Mah, Adeline Yen     Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society  (BIO MAH) 

Born into a family of wealth and privilege in 1940’s Shanghai, Chinese Cinderella (CC) is sheltered from the harsh brutalities of the Japanese invasion in China.  But after enduring abuse at the hands of her cruel stepmother CC seeks refuge at a martial-arts school and joins a secret dragon society.  She is introduced to the exciting world of espionage as part of Chinese Resistance movement.  CC and her new comrades take on a daring mission to rescue a crew of American airmen. 


Mar, M. Elaine        Paper Daughter     (BIO MAR)

Story goes into the back rooms of a Chinese restaurant and the upper floors of an immigrant’s social club, places whose addresses say ‘Denver” but whose interiors speak of another country. 

Her portrait of childhood inside a struggling enclave challenges the stereotype of Asian Americans as a “model Minority,” highlighting instead the barriers to success that exist in every American ghetto, from Chinatown to Harlem to Appalachia.  In her journey from enduring racial harassment on the playground to graduating from Harvard, Mar tackles the larger issue of class and ethnicity.


Mathabane, Mark    Kaffir Boy:  The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in

Apartheid South Africa.   (BIO MAT)

Mark Mathabane was weaned on devastating poverty and schooled in the cruel streets of South Africa’s most desperate ghetto, where bloody gang wars and midnight police raids were everyday occurrences.   Yet armed only with the courage of his family and a hard won education he raised himself up from the squalor and humiliation of apartheid to win a scholarship to an American university.  


Mori, Kyoko   The Dream of Water: A Memoir      (BIO MOI)

“In an extraordinary memoir that is both a search for belonging and a search for understanding, Japanese-American author Kyoko Mori travels back to Kobe, Japan, the city of her birth, in an unspoken desire to come to terms with the memory of her mother’s suicide and the family she left behind thirteen years before. 


Throughout her seven week trip, Kyoko struggles with her ever-present past and the lasting guilt over her mother’s death.  Although she meets with beloved cousins and other relatives, she agonizes over the frustrating relationship she barely maintains wither fierce father and selfish stepmother.  Searching for answers, Kyoko attempts to find a new understanding of what her father is really like, and how it has affected her own place in two distinct worlds.  As her time to leave draws near, Kyoko begins to understand that her family connections may be a powerful cry of the heart, but it is the new world that has given her escape from a lonely past and the power to believe in herself     (BIO MOR)


Mori, Kyoko       Polite Lies    (305  MOR)

Kyoko Mori delves into her dual heritage with a rare honesty.  From her unhappy childhood in Japan, weighted down by a troubled family and a constricting culture, to the American Midwest, where she found herself free to speak as a strong-minded independent woman, though still an outsider, Mori explores the different codes of silence, deference, and expression that govern Japanese and American women’s lives. 


Sone, Monica    Nisei Daughter      (BIO SON)

With humor and a true understanding, a Japanese-American woman tells how it was to grow up on Seattle’s waterfront in the 1930’s and be subjected to “relocation” during World War II.  Along with some 120,000 other persons of Japanese ancestry—77,000 of whom were in actuality citizens of the U.S.—she and her family were forced out of their homes and imprisoned in a camp. 


Wright, Richard      Black Boy    (BIO WRI)

This is a classic narrative of Richard Wright’s journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow south.  It is the story of one young man’s coming of age during a particular time and place.  It is the “classic” text of what it means to be a man, black, and Southern in America


Nazario, Sonia     Enrique’s Journey (305.23)

This is an account of a 17-year old boys attempt to find his mother in America.  It  explains the experience of illegal immigration from Central America. 


Cofer, Judith  Ortiz    The Latin Deli    (810.8 COF)

Winner of the Anisfield-WolfBook Award.  A collection of fiction, poetry and essays written by Judith Ortez.  Cofer tells of the women’s lives which were intertwined with hers in EL Building in Paterson, NJ.  They are a community transplanted from what they view as an island paradise.  These Puerto Rican families yearn for the colors and tastes of their former home.


Maua, Mai Neng     Bamboo Among the Oaks   (HR)  (810.9 BAM)

In stories, poems, essays and drama, these writers address the common challenges of immigrants adapting to a new homeland: preserving ethnic identity and traditions, assimilating to and battling with the dominant culture, negotiating generational conflicts exacerbated by the clash of cultures, and developing new identities in multiracial America. 


Danticat, Edwidge   The Butterfly’s Way  (HR)    (810.9 DAN)

In five sections—Childhood, Migration, Half/First Generation, Return and Future—the thirty-three contributors Write movingly, often hauntingly, or their lives in Haiti ad the United States.



Uchida, Yashiko    Desert Exile:  The Uprooting of a Japanese—American Family

    (940.54 UCH)

The happy life of a Japanese-American family before they are sent to a concentration camp makes their nightmare experience after Dec 7, 1941, all the more inexplicable and horrifying.  Her story is a very personal one.  The story of her family is not necessarily typical of all Japanese immigrant families. 


Hayslip, LeLy    When Heaven and Earth Changed Places.  (959.704 HAY)

The memoir of a girl on the verge of womanhood in a world turned upside down.  The youngest of 6 children in a close-knit Buddhist family, LeLy Hayslip was 12 years old when U.S. helicopters landed in KyLa, her tiny village in central Vietnam.  As the government and Viet- Cong troops fought in and around KyLa, both sides recruited children as spies and saboteurs.  LeLy was one of those children.  Before the age of 16, LeLy had suffered near-starvation, imprisonment, torture, rape and the deaths of many family members. 


Deng, Benson  They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky    (962.404 DEN)

Five-year old Benjamin stood in the field, tending the goats, when the raiders arrived.  Moments later, as gunshots, flames, and screams engulfed his village, Benjamin found himself running into the cover of the forest.  In a nearby village, his cousins, seven-year old Alephonsion and Benson were driven from their homes as well.  Every step led the boys away from their peaceful world into the horrific violence of Sudan’s civil war.