History has so many examples of cultures that have faced death because of who they were or what they believed in. The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti is an example of this. This is the story of a young person living in Germany at the time of WWII. Hitler presented a future full of hope and plenty when he first came into power. The people soon found out that Hitler's promises would not be met. As Hitler's regime became more and more repressive, young people were making the choice to resist. But, resistance comes with a price. This book is based on a true story and will leave a lasting impression.
Sold by Patricia McCormick is another story of oppression. This is the story of young girls who are sold into prostitution and the hopelessness that comes from what seems to be an impossible situation. Told from the perspective of a thirteen year old girl who left home thinking she was going to be doing household work for a rich family only to find out her stepfather had sold her to a life of prostitution. Her only way out is to pay off her families debt. But, they own her, and her debt will never be paid.
My next book is one of cultural truth and hope. Hope for a young girl who received a future because of the intervention and concern of strangers. The girl is from Afghanistan and she was born with a cleft lip. The culture of Afghanistan does not view everyone as equal. The value of a young girl to her family is based on her ability to marry well. For a girl to be born with a deformity, her future is limited. Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy is based on his story of being able to help a young girl who didn't have a reason to hope.
My final book presents the plight of four teenagers that have lost their entire family to a massacre by the drug cartel in Mexico. The Border by Steve Schafer is the story of teenagers running for their lives. They thought they had everything. Family was at the center of their lives. They had no reason to want to leave what they had. Until, their lives changed. Now their only hope of staying alive is to find their way north; but the journey is not easy and you can't trust anyone.