My high school has an international studies theme which defines one of two course strands that our students choose as a "major". Students in our international studies strand take an international studies course each year; in their senior year course, the students also complete their senior project which is an exploration of an international issue. The issues the senior project course focuses on are human rights and environmental issues. Major thems are human exploitation (human trafficking, child soldiers, child labor), HIV-AIDS, poverty, the status of women and sustainability. Students concentrate on one global issue within one country that they select. They are required to study not only the problem but also to research solutions and to advocate for change. I have built up a collection of books to support this project and am looking to expand on that collection.
I'm finding it challenging to find lists of recommended books that the students can read as a means of stimulating their interest in their topics. These books need to be readable narraatives that highlight and personalize the issue. Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah is one title that works well. Others include Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and The Road to Lost Innocense by Somaly Mam. They can be well-researched fiction titles too, like Sold by Patricia McCormack. Most of the non-fiction titles are adult titles with appeal for young adults. This makes it harder for me to find recommended lists.
Can anyone recommend websites or other sources for me to go and search for titles? If you have your own lists, I'd love to have a look at them too.
Here are some titles that come to mind:
War Brothers- Sharon E. McKay (child soldiers)
Basically anything by Deborah Ellis:
I am Taxi (children working in illegal cocaine trade in Columbia)
No Ordinary Place (street children and leprosy)
Lunch with Lenin (collection of short stories)
Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees
Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk about Aids
Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-ending War
Hope this might help. I'll add more as I think of them.
Thank you. This list did help as I was not familiar with some of the titles. I'm hoping to find some Internet sources that have recommended lists. Do you know of any for global issues?
Chandra's Secret is a great read about the impact of HIV/Aids in Africa. Deborah Ellis's non-fiction like Children of War, Kids of Kabul, Our Stories, Our Songs, Three Wishes and Off to War are all good titles, many first-person accounts of childrens' experiences with HIV/Aids and war. I did a search. I haven't read these titles but there are two listed for human trafficking - Trafficked by Kim Purcell (School Library Journal said it was riveting.) and They Called Me Red by Christina Kilborne (Booklist says "not an easy read but an important read".) Iqbal by Francesco d'Adamo is about child labour in Pakistan. Carpet Boy's Gift by Peggy Deltz Shea is a picture book based on the same boy.
Thanks, Ann. I had most of these on my list, but a couple were new to me and look really good.
Do you have Ana's Story by Jenna Bush on your list? It about with a young Latin American mother dealing with family abuse and aids.
Thank you for your suggestion. I do have several copies of Ana's Story. I even had a copy written in Spanish which was very helpful for my student population. Unfortunately, a student lost the Spanish copy, and it's no longer available from the publisher.