Journey for Peace: The Story of Rigoberta Menchu

The winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, Rigoberta Menchu is a poor, uneducated Mayan woman who has helped her native people fight oppression in Guatemala and who has told the world about their suffering. Part of the Rainbow Biography series, the account is quiet, but it tells of violence and poverty and amazing courage. Beginning with Menchu’s childhood as a field laborer, her personal story is woven together with that of her Indian people and their harsh dislocation at the hands of the landowners and the brutal army. Her father was imprisoned, tortured, and finally murdered for his leadership role in the resistance; so were her mother and her brothers and sisters. Yet, like her father, she has led her people in nonviolent resistance and has given them a voice.

Runner

Charlie’s father is dead, and although his mother insists he stay in school, Charlie has no patience for the classroom. All he wants is to make money, to give his mother and baby brother a better life. So when he catches the eye of Squizzy Taylor, a notorious mobster, and is offered a job as Squizzy’s courier, it doesn’t take Charlie long to accept—even if he has to go against his own mother’s wishes. At first, the job’s a thrill—running with messages, illegal liquor, whatever Squizzy orders. It fills Charlie with power. But then come the not-so-savory parts of the job. Collecting Squizzy’s debts. Dodging Squizzy’s enemies. The very real dangers of the streets. And at some point Charlie has to ask himself—how long before running for a better life means cutting his life short?

Looking for X

Smart and independent, 11-year-old Khyber lives with her mom, Tammy, a former stripper, and her autistic twin brothers in a poor Toronto neighborhood. Though she doesn’t have a lot in common with her classmates, Khyber does have wonderfully eccentric friends: Valerie, Toronto’s meanest waitress, and X, a homeless woman in hiding from “the secret police.” Despite having to deal with pompous social workers who make her mother cry and ignorant kids who make remarks about her brothers, Khyber manages to enjoy herself, poring over atlases, planning exotic journeys, and taking peanut butter sandwiches to X. But when Tammy decides to move her sons to a group home for proper care, Khyber’s world starts to crumble. She fights with her mom and then gets expelled from school. To make matters worse, X suddenly disappears. Khyber sets out to find her in a wild all-night odyssey of self-discovery.

Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk about AIDS

In Malawi and Zambia, children who have lost family to the AIDS pandemic tell their stories. This book is about the power of the human spirit to endure and hope for a better tomorrow.