Poverty & Homelessness

The titles in this Collection examine poverty and homelessness to provide a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by individuals and communities affected by these issues. Through novels, plays, and autobiographies, authors examine fundamental human needs and the role of societies in protecting their most vulnerable members.

Publication year 2010Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Economics, Society: Globalization, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Politics / Government, Business / Economics, Education, Class, Finance / Money / Wealth, Food, History: World, Immigration / Refugee, Leadership/Organization/Management, Military / War, Poverty, Social Justice, Sociology, Technology

Publication year 1961Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Life/Time: Birth, Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Midlife, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: EconomicsTags Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Poverty, Finance / Money / Wealth, Depression / Suicide, Class, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Indian Literature

A House for Mr. Biswas is a 1961 novel by V. S. Naipaul. The story takes a postcolonial perspective of the life of a Hindu Indian man in British-owned and occupied Trinidad. Now regarded as one of Naipaul's most significant novels, A House for Mr. Biswas has won numerous awards and has been adapted as a musical, a radio drama, and a television show. This guide is written using an eBook version of the 2001... Read A House for Mr. Biswas Summary

Publication year 1997Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Sociology, Poverty

This book is a memoir written by a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Rick Bragg, who works for the New York Times. It describes the author’s childhood in rural Alabama,   the middle child of three brothers raised by an almost-always single mother in conditions of extreme poverty. His father was a veteran of the Korean War and an alcoholic, who abandoned his family for long periods of time.The book is dedicated “To my Momma and my brothers.” The author grows... Read All Over but the Shoutin' Summary

Publication year 1999Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Poverty, Race / Racism

All Souls: A Family Story From Southie is a 1999 memoir by Michael MacDonald. It examines his experiences growing up in the Old Colony neighborhood of South Boston, also known as Southie. The memoir examines themes of family, racism, xenophobia, police corruption, and justice, all set against the backdrop of one family’s tragedy.When the book begins, an adult Michael is returning to Southie in order to give a tour of the neighborhood to a reporter... Read All Souls Summary

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Relationships: SiblingsTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Poverty, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Relationships, Bullying, American Literature

All The Lovely Bad Ones is a 2008 middle-grade fiction book written by Mary Downing Hahn, a prolific children’s author who has authored several award-winning novels. The book’s title is taken from the poem “Little Orphant Annie” by James Whitcomb Riley, which the author inscribed to all children—including “all the lovely bad ones.” All The Lovely Bad Ones won an Oklahoma Sequoyah Award for Children and the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award.All The Lovely... Read All The Lovely Bad Ones Summary

Publication year 2013Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Poverty

A Long Way Home is a 2013 memoir by Saroo Brierley, an Indian-born author who was accidentally separated from his biological family at the age of five and adopted by an Australian couple. The memoir traces Saroo’s remarkable journey from India to Australia and back again 25 years later. The book inspired the 2016 film Lion and became a New York Times Best Seller after the film’s release. This guide refers to the 2015 edition published... Read A Long Way Home Summary

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Society: Economics, Society: Education, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & PrideTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, American Literature, Class, Poverty

Following in the literary footsteps of John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy, Philipp Meyer’s American Rust (2010) explores the catastrophic effects of economic devastation on the lives of six characters in Pennsylvania’s Mon Valley, once home to a thriving steel and coal industry (and a solid-middle class) but now populated by broken lives and shuttered businesses. The novel was a winner of the Los Angeles Times/Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, a Washington Post Top Ten... Read American Rust Summary

Publication year 1798Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: EconomicsTags Business / Economics, Philosophy, Sociology, Age of Enlightenment, Poverty, Food, Science / Nature, Class, History: European

An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Malthus was first published anonymously in 1798. Its core argument, that human population will inevitably outgrow its capacity to produce food, widely influenced the field of early 19th century economics and social science. Immediately after its first printing, Malthus’s essay garnered significant attention from his contemporaries, and he soon felt the need to reveal his identity. Although it was highly controversial, An Essay on the Principle... Read An Essay on the Principle of Population Summary

Publication year 1996Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FamilyTags Poverty, Irish Literature

Angela’s Ashes is a 1996 memoir written by Frank McCourt. It recounts his challenging upbringing in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. At the heart of the memoir is McCourt’s account of the people and events of his childhood, and how he tried to make sense of the world around him. McCourt narrates in the present tense and follows a generally chronological order, with his time in America as a young child and then later as... Read Angela's Ashes Summary

Publication year 2010Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: FateTags Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Poverty, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Author Laura Schroff’s 2012 New York Times bestseller An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny recounts a fateful meeting between two vastly different individuals: Maurice, a young boy living in poverty and a broken home, and Schroff, a successful ad executive enjoying a fast-paced career. In the memoir, the author posits that an invisible thread joins their lives. It is beyond her... Read An Invisible Thread Summary

Publication year 1909Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Society: ClassTags Psychological Fiction, Modern Classic Fiction, Sports, Poverty, Psychology, Social Justice, American Literature

Jack London’s 1909 “A Piece of Steak” is a naturalist short story first published in The Saturday Evening Post. It took him between two and four weeks to write, and he was paid a very handsome (for the era) $500 for it. While London is best known for his novels about the Alaskan wilderness, including The Call of the Wild and White Fang, he was also interested in workers’ rights and advocated for socialism and... Read A Piece of Steak Summary

Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Historical Fiction, Children's Literature, Asian Literature, Realistic Fiction, Arts / Culture, History: Asian, Poverty, American Literature

A Single Shard (2001) is an award-winning, middle-grade historical novel by Korean American author Linda Sue Park. Park has written multiple children’s books, picture books, and volumes of poetry. Some of her better-known titles include A Long Walk to Water (2010), The Thirty-Nine Clues series in nine volumes (2010), and Prairie Lotus (2020). Much of her historical fiction is based on Korean history. A Single Shard is intended for readers in grades 5 to 7... Read A Single Shard Summary

Publication year 1931Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Identity: Masculinity, Life/Time: AgingTags Depression / Suicide, Great Depression, Harlem Renaissance, African American Literature, Poverty, Grief / Death

“A Summer Tragedy” is a short story written by poet and fiction author Arna Bontemps. It was originally published in 1933 in Opportunity and has since been included in multiple anthologies, including Bontemps’s 1973 short story collection The Old South: “A Summer Tragedy” and Other Stories of the Thirties. Focusing on an elderly Black couple who have endured a difficult life of share farming, “A Summer Tragedy” addresses the themes of Desperation and Hopelessness, The... Read A Summer Tragedy Summary

Publication year 2018Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Economics, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Class, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Equality, Identity: RaceTags Technology, Politics / Government, Sociology, Science / Nature, Social Justice, Race / Racism, Poverty, Class, History: U.S.

Publication year 1968Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Language, Society: ClassTags Magical Realism, Poverty, Latin American Literature

Revered Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez first published “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”—a work of magical realism—in 1968. Gregory Rabassa translated the short story into English in 1971, and all quotes in this guide refer to this edition.The story begins as a man named Pelayo kills crabs that heavy rains have washed into his house. In the muddy yard, Pelayo finds that something else has also washed up: an old man who cannot... Read A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings Summary

Publication year 2015Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Self Discovery, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: Class, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Sports, Travel Literature, Action / Adventure, Bullying, Arts / Culture, Class, Race / Racism, Relationships, Poverty, Politics / Government, Science / Nature, Social Justice

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life is a 2015 memoir by William Finnegan, a writer for The New Yorker and the author of several social journalism books such as A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique and Dateline Soweto: Travels with Black South African Reporters. In Barbarian Days, Finnegan reflects on his upbringing in California and Hawaii, as well as his coming of age in the late 1960s. He relays his experience of the surfing counterculture... Read Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life Summary

Publication year 2021Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: Immigration, Identity: Language, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Identity: Race, Natural World: Food, Society: Education, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Chinese Literature, Immigration / Refugee, Poverty, American Literature, Education

Publication year 2012Genre Book, NonfictionTags Sociology, Poverty

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (2012) is a nonfiction book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Katherine Boo. The book follows residents of a Mumbai slum called Annawadi. Boo, an American investigative journalist, was inspired to write the book by frequent visits to Mumbai with her husband, who is from the area. She spent several years among Annawadi’s residents, from 2007 to 2011, and the book recounts their struggles and... Read Behind the Beautiful Forevers Summary

Publication year 1877Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: AnimalsTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Animals, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Class, History: European, Poverty, Religion / Spirituality, Social Justice, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Urban Development, Victorian Period, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Black Beauty was written by English novelist Anna Sewell, and published in 1877. It quickly became extremely popular, and led to increased activism and public concern for the humane treatment of horses and other animals. It went on to become one of best-selling novels of all time, and has been adapted numerous times into films and theatre productions. Sewell used her novel to explore themes such as kindness and responsibility, and to critique social problems... Read Black Beauty Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Values/Ideas: Fate, Society: ClassTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Southern Literature, Race / Racism, Poverty

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Nation, Society: Class, Society: Politics & Government, Society: Community, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Realistic Fiction, Social Justice, Poverty, Indian Literature, Class, Politics / Government, Incarceration

Publication year 1977Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Identity: Masculinity, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Classic Fiction, Grief / Death, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Children's Literature, Poverty

Since its 1977 publication, Bridge to Terabithia has become a classic children’s novel. The author, Katherine Paterson, wrote the novel after her son’s best friend was killed by lightning. The novel won a Newbery Medal and is beloved by readers all over the world. Bridge to Terabithia explores the transformative power of friendship, the power of childhood imagination, and the process of grief. Because Bridge to Terabithia deals with grief and death, it is best... Read Bridge To Terabithia Summary

Publication year 1984Genre Play, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: SiblingsTags Play: Drama, Play: Comedy / Satire, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Love / Sexuality, Great Depression, WWII / World War II, Poverty, Relationships, Religion / Spirituality

Brighton Beach Memoirs is a semi-autobiographical play by American playwright Neil Simon. It is the first play in Simon’s Eugene Trilogy and follows its young protagonist as he grapples with adolescence and identity in the midst of the Great Depression. Its initial 1983 Broadway run enjoyed critical acclaim and won several awards. Most notably, actor Matthew Broderick won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor for originating the role of Eugene. Despite its initial success... Read Brighton Beach Memoirs Summary

Publication year 1999Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: ColonialismTags Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature, Race / Racism, Poverty, African American Literature

Bud, Not Buddy is a 1999 children’s realistic historical novel by American author Christopher Paul Curtis. Ten-year-old protagonist Bud Caldwell is an orphan living in Flint, Michigan in 1936. Four years after the death of his mother and after a series of abusive and neglectful foster homes, Bud sets out to find his father, whom he believes is the locally famous jazz musician Herman E. Calloway of Grand Rapids. Bud encounters a host of characters... Read Bud, Not Buddy Summary

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Relationships: Mothers, Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction, Southern Literature, Great Depression, Race / Racism, Poverty, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Natural World: Environment, Relationships: FriendshipTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, Arts / Culture, Anthropology, Animals, Class, Education, Philosophy, Poverty, Relationships, Science / Nature

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck was originally published in 1945. A Nobel Prize-winning writer, Steinbeck grew up in Salinas, California, which is near Monterey—the location of Cannery Row. Aside from a few years in Palo Alto, New York, and Los Angeles, Steinbeck spent most of his adult life living in Monterey County, and he drew on his personal experiences to write Cannery Row.Considered literary fiction or classic literature, Cannery Row is realistic and was written... Read Cannery Row Summary

Publication year 2021Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Music, Society: CommunityTags Arts / Culture, Race / Racism, History: U.S., Social Justice, Poverty, Music

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop (Young Adult Edition) is an abridged version of the original 2005 non-fiction historical account of the origin and evolution of hip-hop culture written by Jeff Chang and David “Davey D” Cook. Jeff Chang is an American journalist, music critic, and historian who, in 1993, co-founded the hip-hop label Solesides, which aided in the launching of artists like DJ Shadow and Blackalicious. Jeff Chang earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the... Read Can't Stop Won't Stop (Young Adult Edition) Summary

Publication year 1989Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Identity: RaceTags Civil Rights / Jim Crow, Race / Racism, Poverty

Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Immigration, Society: CommunityTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Poverty, Class, Mystery / Crime Fiction

City of Orphans is a 2011 middle-grade novel by Newbery Medal-winning author Avi. Set on the Lower East Side of New York City in 1893, it centers on 13-year-old Maks Geless, who works as a newsie to provide for the needs of his immigrant family. When Maks’s sister is jailed for theft, he is tasked with gathering clues to help save her. Plot SummaryMaks spends his days selling papers with his newsie friends and traveling... Read City of Orphans Summary

Publication year 2023Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Society: EducationTags Poverty, Social Justice, Education

Publication year 1999Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Society: ClassTags Sociology, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Poverty

Publication year 1936Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Poverty, Class, Indian Literature, Realism

Since its publication in 1936, Mulk Raj Anand’s novel Coolie has become a landmark in modern Indian literature. The novel condemned the social, economic, and cultural impact of more than two centuries of British occupation and indicted India’s own rigid caste system, which had long separated its citizens into groups based on their work status and their ethnicity. The novel appeared at the height of a turbulent decade in which India itself, under the moral... Read Coolie Summary

Publication year 2016Genre Play, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Identity: DisabilityTags Play: Drama, Relationships, Disability, Drama / Tragedy, Poverty

Cost of Living, a play by Martyna Majok, premiered in 2016 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. It transferred to an off-Broadway theatre in 2017, produced by Manhattan Theatre Club, and is slated to debut on Broadway in fall, 2022. The play was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and also won a 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. The title of the play refers not only to the monetary costs of... Read Cost of Living Summary

Publication year 1866Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Classic Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Philosophy, Poverty, Class

Crime and Punishment is a novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, first published in 1866. The story charts the alienation of a student named Raskolnikov, who decides to commit the perfect crime as a way of philosophically proving his superiority over others. The novel traces the depths of his mental disintegration as he comes to grips with the psychological consequences of being a murderer.Dostoevsky is widely considered one of the world’s greatest psychological fiction writers... Read Crime and Punishment Summary

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Medieval Literature / Middle Ages, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Class, Depression / Suicide, History: European, Politics / Government, Poverty

Crispin: The Cross of Lead is a 2002 children’s historical fiction novel by Avi. Set in medieval England, the novel follows the adventures of a boy who goes on the run after he is falsely accused of theft and murder and explores themes related to poverty, education, choice, and freedom. Crispin won the Newbery Medal in 2003. A sequel, Crispin at the Edge of the World, was released in 2006, while a third novel, Crispin:... Read Crispin: The Cross of Lead Summary

Publication year 1867Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Economics, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Society: ColonialismTags Philosophy, Business / Economics, Politics / Government, German literature, Poverty

Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (also popularly known in the English-speaking world by its original German title, Das Kapital) by Karl Marx is an influential critique of capitalism that sought to define the economic system’s functions. The first volume—which is the only volume fully written by Karl Marx himself—was published in 1867. Two further volumes were written by Marx’s long-time collaborator, Friedrich Engels, based on Marx’s notes, and were published in 1885 and 1894... Read Das Kapital Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Relationships: Fathers, Identity: Race, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Race / Racism, Poverty, African American Literature

Deacon King Kong was published in 2020 and written by American author James McBride. It is an example of near-historical fiction written about American cities and social issues. McBride’s 1995 memoir about growing up in a mixed-race family in Brooklyn, The Color of Water, was both a commercial and critical success, and his own life experience aligns with some of the narratives and issues in Deacon King Kong. McBride’s novel The Good Lord Bird won... Read Deacon King Kong Summary

Publication year 2012Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Inspirational, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Race / Racism, Class, Poverty, Incarceration, Social Justice, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Self DiscoveryTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Poverty, Animals, Gender / Feminism, Relationships, Science / Nature, Great Depression, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2018Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: FathersTags Education, Poverty

Tara Westover’s 2018 memoir, Educated, tells the story of her journey to obtain an education. Westover is the youngest of seven children who grew up in the mountains of southwest Idaho in a radical Mormon family in the late 1980s and 1990s. From an early age, Westover knew that her family was not like other families because hers did not send the children to school, did not visit doctors’ offices or hospitals, and was not... Read Educated Summary

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Community, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Realistic Fiction, Poverty, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Emako Blue is a novel for young adults written by Brenda Woods. Set in Los Angeles, California, Emako's friends and schoolmates relay the events leading up to Emako Blue’s gang-related murder in alternating first-person narration, primarily through flashbacks. The text explores the effects of poverty, gang violence, guns, and how these issues have far-reaching impacts on each member of a community. As the events of the story unfold, each narrator must consider what they want... Read Emako Blue Summary

Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Immigration, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Historical Fiction, Poverty, Class

Pam Muñoz Ryan is the award-winning author of over 40 books for new readers, middle-grade students, and young adults. Esperanza Rising (2000) is one of her most popular works and was honored with the 2001 Southern California Judy Lopez Award and the 2001 Arizona Young Adult Book Award. It also became a 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist. Other titles by the same author include Riding Freedom (1998), Becoming Naomi Léon (2004), Paint the... Read Esperanza Rising Summary

Publication year 2016Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Sociology, Social Justice, Poverty

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City was published in 2016 and won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. It was written by Matthew Desmond, a tenured sociology professor at Princeton University. After the prologue “Cold City,” the book has three sections with eight chapters each: “Rent,” “Out,” and “After.” These are followed by the Epilogue, “Home and Hope,” and the final section, “About This Project.”As an undergraduate at Arizona State University, Desmond... Read Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Summary

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Society: Politics & Government, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Historical Fiction, Military / War, WWI / World War I, History: World, Relationships, Politics / Government, Poverty, Grief / Death

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, published in 2010, is a historical novel and the first installment of the Century Trilogy. The trilogy takes place during the 20th century and is told through the points of view of five interconnected families from Wales, Germany, America, and Russia. Fall of Giants spans World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the women’s suffrage movement. Winter of the World, the second book in the trilogy, takes place against... Read Fall Of Giants Summary

Publication year 2022Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Siblings, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Inspirational, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Bullying, Love / Sexuality, Poverty, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2019Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Realistic Fiction, Poverty, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2016Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Identity: Race, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Politics & Government, Society: Community, Society: Economics, Society: Education, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Black Lives Matter, Race / Racism, Social Justice, Civil Rights / Jim Crow, History: U.S., Business / Economics, Diversity, Class, Education, Finance / Money / Wealth, Poverty, Politics / Government, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Class, Relationships: FamilyTags Realistic Fiction, Race / Racism, Poverty, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Genesis Begins Again is a contemporary middle grade novel published in 2019 by Alicia Williams, a teacher and an author of children’s fiction and young adult books. Genesis Begins Again, Williams’s debut novel, was met with critical praise for exploring and adapting complex emotional themes such as colorism, addiction, and bullying for a younger audience. Genesis Begins Again was a finalist for the 2019 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature and the recipient of the... Read Genesis Begins Again Summary

Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The PastTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Arts / Culture, Poverty

Susan Vreeland, author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue, (Penguin Books, 2000) was an internationally known author of art-related historical fiction who, after a long and notable literary career, died in 2017. A New York Times bestseller, the novel was originally published in 1999 by McMurray and Beck, but subsequent editions were published by Penguin Books. The novel’s popularity gave rise to a 2003 Hallmark Hall of Fame production based on the novel. The painting in... Read Girl In Hyacinth Blue Summary

Publication year 2002Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Economics, Society: Globalization, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Business / Economics, Politics / Government, History: World, Poverty

Globalization and Its Discontents (2002) is American economist John E. Stiglitz’s second major work, published shortly after he became a Nobel laureate. It explores and critiques the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) policies between the 1970s and the early 2000s. Since Stiglitz was a senior vice president of the World Bank between 1993 and 1997, he uses insider knowledge to explain certain structural and functional aspects of the IMF that remain opaque to the public. His... Read Globalization and Its Discontents Summary