Summer Reading Suggestions from the Champaign Public Library

Clara Lane
217 / 403-2070
200 West Green Street
FAX 217 / 403-2073
Champaign, IL 61820-5193
Summer Reading Suggestions
from the Champaign Public Library
Theme: World Literature: Stories Set in Non-American Cultures.
1. *The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Fiction). An Andalusian shepherd boy travels from his
homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids.
2. *All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (Fiction). A young man finds
his life destroyed after his experiences fighting in World War I.
3. *Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (Fiction). During China’s
Cultural Revolution, two boys are sent to the countryside for re-education.
4. Barefoot Heart by Elva Trevino Hart (Biography). Hart shares the story of her early life as
the daughter of Mexican migrant workers.
5. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba (Nonfiction). A teen in
Malawi builds a windmill from scraps found in his village and brings electricity to his family.
6. *The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Fiction). Oscar is a sweet but
disastrously overweight nerd who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien.
7. *Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Fiction). Twin brothers born of an Indian nun
and a British surgeon come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.
8. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (Nonfiction). A fearless
young woman becomes a dress-making entrepreneur in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
9. *Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris (Mystery). When Saudi sixteen-year-old Nouf goes missing,
along with a truck and her favorite camel, her family calls on a desert guide to lead a search.
10. A Gift from Childhood by Baba Wague Diakite (Biography). The artist vividly describes the
impact of growing up in a small village in Mali with his grandparents.
11. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez (Fiction). Four lively Latinas
are plunged from a pampered life of privilege into the big city chaos of New York.
12. I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Ali Nujood (Nonfiction). Forced by her father to
marry a much older man, Nujood becomes a wife in an isolated village in rural Yemen. 13. Journey of Dreams by Marge Pellegrino (Teen fiction). With their village destroyed in the
Guatemalan Civil War, Tomasa and her family trek north in search of safety.
14. *The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Fiction). The lives of a boy and his servant are
intertwined in this dramatic tale of life in Afghanistan.
15. *Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Fiction). The inquisitive son of an Indian zookeeper emigrates
with his family on an unforgettable voyage.
16. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (Teen Fiction). When the Sudanese civil war
reaches his village in 1985, 11-year-old Salva must walk in search of a safe haven.
17. *A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (Biography). At the age of twelve, the author fled
attacking rebels in Sierra Leone only to be picked up and made to fight in the government army.
18. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (Fiction). Gogol Ganguli straddles two worlds: born to
Indian immigrants newly arrived in Massachusetts but raised in the American culture.
19. Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo (Teen Fiction). After their mother's murder, Sade
and her brother are smuggled out of Nigeria and sent to London foster homes.
20. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson (Fiction). In the easternmost region of Norway, a 67year-old thinks back to the events of a fateful summer when he was a teenager.
21. *Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (Graphic Novel). A heartbreaking memoir of growing up in
Iran during the Islamic Revolution shows the devastating effects of war with Iraq.
22. The Price of Stones by Twesigye Jackson Kaguri (Nonfiction). A founder of a school for
AIDS orphans in Uganda shares his story.
23. *Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Fiction). A wealthy Nigerian teen finds
relief away from her repressive father when she is sent to live with rural relatives.
24. Revolution is Not a Dinner Party by Ying Chang Compestine (Teen Fiction). Nine-yearold Ling, the daughter of two doctors, struggles to make sense of the Cultural Revolution.
25. *The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Fiction). In 1950s Barcelona, Daniel
stumbles into intrigue when his father introduces him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.
26. *Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg (Fiction). A woman uses her knowledge of snow to
investigate the death of a boy who fell from a Copenhagen rooftop.
27. *Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi (Fiction). Trudi Montag, a dwarf born in Germany
during World War I, tells her life story from her earliest memories through post-World War II.
28. Tasting the Sky by Ibtisam Barakat (Nonfiction). Barakat relates the harshness of life as a
Palestinian refuge, living a childhood of fear and confusion separated from her family.
29. Ties That Bind, Ties that Break by Lensey Namioka (Teen fiction). Ailin's life takes a
turn when she defies traditions of upper-class Chinese society by refusing to have her feet bound.
30. Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Teen Fiction). Lupita, a budding actor in
a close-knit Mexican-American immigrant family, comes of age in this novel in verse.
31. *When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago (Biography). A young girl leaves rural
Puerto Rico for New York's tenements and a chance for success in this autobiography.
books may contain more mature content or provide additional challenges for readers.
Betsy Su | Teen Librarian | 403-2070 | [email protected] | May 2013