Reading List

"Remembering Garrett: One Family’s Battle with a Child’s Depression" by Gordon H. Smith

United States Senator, Gordon H. Smith, tells the heartbreaking, but inspiring story of his son's embattled life and death by suicide at age 22. Smith shares how his family coped with the loss of his son through fighting the growing problem of youth suicide with the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act.

"Connection Generation: How Connection Determines Our Place in Society and Business" by Iggy Pintado

Iggy Pintado is an accomplished and experienced business leader, executive, coach, speaker, and author. He is an internationally-recognized connection technology expert, and a dedicated observer of societal and business patterns. In his first book titled “Connection Generation,” Pintado explains how connectedness affects individuals’ place in society and business. He also highlights the opportunities and challenges associated with current connection technology.

"Love, Ellen" by Betty DeGeneres

Insightful, universally touching, and uncommonly wise, "Love, Ellen" is a story of friendship between mother and daughter and a lesson in understanding for all parents and their children.

"Voice for the Working Poor" by Dolores Huerta

Born in New Mexico in the 1930s, Delores was mentored by her strong mother who ran her own rooming house and taught her children to treat everyone with empathy. Her father was a union leader who influenced Delores to fight for the rights of the working poor. She became an outspoken organizer and activist for migrant farm workers. Fighting the prevalent discrimination during the 30s, 40s and beyond, Delores was instrumental in not only spearheading the improvement of the working conditions of migrants in America, but she was also a vocal activist for women's rights. She founded the Community Service Organization (CSO) in her home town of Stockton, and together with Cesar Chavez, she created the National Farm Workers Association. 

"In Relentless Pursuit of Justice" by Hector Garcia

In 1948, Three Rivers Funeral Home refused burial of the remains of Felix Longoria, a World War II veteran. For Dr. Hector P. García this incident was an example of the bigotry and injustice that many Mexican Americans suffered in South Texas and throughout the U.S. He and his fledging organization, the American G.I. Forum, stepped into the national consciousness to fight for Longoria and his family and to inspire Mexican-American participation in party politics and against segregation in the post-World War II years.

"In Their Own Voices" by Simon & Roorda

In this collection of interviews conducted with black and biracial young adults who were adopted by white parents, the authors present the personal stories of two dozen individuals who hail from a wide range of religious, economic, political, and professional backgrounds. How does the experience affect their racial and social identities, their choice of friends and marital partners, and their lifestyles? In addition to interviews, the book includes overviews of both the history and current legal status of transracial adoption.

"The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr." Edited by Clayborne Carson

Clayborne Carson has created a book that remarkably approximates a self-portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. Delving into all aspects of this mans life, the work covers his boyhood, his education, and his emergence as a leader. From his relationships with his wife and children, to his dealings with the important political figures of the era, this book defines the history of a genuine hero.

"Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope" by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly

As individuals, congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, showed Americans how optimism, an adventurous spirit, and a call to service can help change the world. As a couple, they became a national example of the healing power to be found in deeply shared love and courage. Their arrival in the world spotlight came under the worst of circumstances. On January 8, 2011, while meeting with her constituents in Tucson, Arizona, Gabby was the victim of an assassination attempt that left six people dead and thirteen wounded.

"My Left Foot" by Christy Brown

"My Left Foot" is about a young man, born in 1932 to a Dublin bricklayer, with cerebral palsy who cannot even control his limbs let alone write his own autobiography. He starts off with his childhood: his relatives and doctors are telling his mother that he will amount to nothing; he was a moron. But his mother never gives up on him, for she knew that inside his useless body was a very capable mind. She teaches him to write with his left foot. By the time he's five years old, he knows his whole alphabet! He goes on and tells about his life growing up with twelve other siblings. He speaks of how the startling realization, that he was not like everyone else, changed his life. And he finishes with how he finds inside himself what he had all along.

"Dog Tracks" by Ruby Slipperjack

Abby is having trouble fitting in at Bear Creek Reserve. After having lived most of her life with her grandparents in town, it's definitely a transition moving back to the reserve. When Choom, her grandfather, falls ill, Abby must leave her best friends at school, her supportive grandparents, and her perfect pink bedroom, and adjust to living with her mom. But it's not only being back with Mom that is hard - there's a new father, John, a pesky half-brother, Blink, a schoolroom full of kids who don't know her (and don't seem to want to, either), not to mention a completely different way of life that seems so traditional, so puzzling and complicated. But, with the help of the reserve's chief, Paulie, a puppy named Ki-Moot, and her parents' vision of a sled-dog tourist venture, Abby slowly begins to find her rhythm at Bear Creek. All she has to do is follow the dog tracks.

"The Way" by Joseph Bruchac

Fatherless Cody LeBeau is an American Indian boy who is starting high school with the usual trepidation. He fits into none of the cliques at the new school, but somehow keeps being noticed anyway--and is often teased because of his tendency to stutter. Then his Uncle Pat, an accomplished martial arts sensei, moves into the town and becomes the one who shows Cody "the way" through the maze of adolescent doubt and into manhood.

(Descriptions from