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YALSA RECOMMENDATIONS: Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Social Sciences

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The Good braider : a novel

Farish, Terry.


The long, hard, and ultimately hopeful journey of a young Sudanese refugee from a country terrorized by war to Portland, Maine, where cultural differences present a continuing struggle.


The new kids : big dreams and brave journeys at a high school for immigrant teens

Hauser, Brooke.

373.18 HAUSER

Spend one year in a high school with immigrant English-language learning students from over 40 different countries who speak over 25 different languages. At times funny, heartbreaking, frustrating, and inspiring, these students discover what it means to be “the new kids” in school and out.


Half the sky : turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide

Kristof, Nicholas D., 1959-

362.8309 KRISTOF

From the brutality of human trafficking to heartbreaking maternal death rates, this work brings to light these atrocities through women’s personal stories and provides guidance on how we can all take part in the opportunity to change the conditions of women’s lives across the globe.


Girl in translation

Kwok, Jean.


Kim Chang grows up living a double life: a scholar at school during the day and Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Kim must translate not just her language, but her role within each of her worlds.


Moneyball : the art of winning an unfair game

Lewis, Michael (Michael M.)

796.357 LEWIS

A low-budget baseball team, the Oakland A’s, attempts to make it big by looking beyond the superficial pull of a nice swing, good looks, and so-called “hustle,” to see what really matters in putting together a winning team: the numbers.



McCormick, Patricia, 1956-


When Lakshmi’s stepfather sells her (a common practice in her poor village), the thirteen-year-old does not expect to end up in a Calcutta brothel, where her life becomes a nightmare she can’t escape.


War brothers : the graphic novel

McKay, Sharon E.


This moving graphic novel discusses the kidnapping and training of child soldiers in Uganda. These children not only face the harsh reality of war, but also the rehabilitation to normal life after seeing such horrors.


The other Wes Moore : one name, two fates

Moore, Wes, 1978-


Two kids with the same name grew up only blocks away from each other. One went on to become a scholar and businessman, while the other is serving a life sentence in prison.


Private : Bradley Manning, Wikileaks, and the biggest exposure of official secrets in American history

Nicks, Denver.

355.1334 NICKS

The story of Bradley Manning, the military intelligence analyst who leaked thousands of classified documents to the public through WikiLeaks. Nicks reveals the story of a young misfit, who leaked the documents because of dissatisfaction with serving in the military and the anticipated notoriety that would follow.


The smartest kids in the world : and how they got that way

Ripley, Amanda.

370.9 RIPLEY

A literary journalist followed three teenagers who spent a school year living in Finland, South Korea, and Poland. Each country’s different educational styles bring up the question of which teaching style gets the best results.


17 & gone

Suma, Nova Ren.


Lauren keeps meeting girls who went missing at age 17, but her experiences with them might not be ghostly encounters. They might be signs of a more troubling illness inside her.


Smarter than you think : how technology is changing our minds for the better

Thompson, Clive, 1968-

303.4833 THOMPSO

Technology doesn’t own us; we own technology. Thompson delves into how we use technology to better ourselves, our memories, and our society more broadly.


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