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Coleman – Honors English II Potential Choices for World Literature Independent Novel Project The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream (Paulo Coelho) The magical story of Santiago, an Andalasian shepherd boy who travels far in search of a worldly treasure. All But My Life: A Memoir (Gerda Weissman Klein) - Moving memoir of the author's three years as a slave laborer of the Nazis, a three-month forced winter march, and her liberation All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich M. Remarque) A World War I anti-war novel searches human rubble produced on the battlefield. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy) - A realistic novel of modern social criticism with two plots set in 19th-century Russia. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (Dai Sijie) At the height of Mao's Cultural Revolution, two boys are exiled to the countryside for "reeducation." But the boys have a violin to distract them--as well as, before long, a beautiful young tailor's daughter and a stash of Western classics. Bless Me, Ultima (Rudolfo Anaya) The story of Antonio Marez, a young Hispanic boy living in New Mexico. With the help of Ultima, a curandera (a healer), who comes to live with the Marez family, Tony discovers important truths about himself and his rich heritage. Blindness (Saramago -- Portugal) At the novel's opening, a driver sits in traffic, waiting for the light to change. By the time it does, his field of vision is white, a "milky sea." One by one, each person the man encounter--the not-so-good Samaritan who drives him home, the man's wife, the ophthalmologist, the patients waiting to see the ophthalmologist is struck blind. Like any inexplicable contagion, this plague of "white sickness" sets off panic. The Bone People (Hulme -- New Zealand) 1985 Booker Prize winner The novel centers on a strange trinity of characters, each isolated, each spiritually adrift. Simon, a mute child surrounded by mysteries, is found on a beach and is adopted by Joe, a Maori man embittered by the loss of his wife and son and thwarted in his desire for family, religious, and cultural ties. The two are bound together by "a bloody kind of love that has violence as its silent partner." The Bookseller of Kabul (Asne Seierstad) - Asne Seierstand recounts the experiences she had while staying with a bookseller named Sultan Khan and his family in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, describing what it was like for families in Afghanistan to adjust to a new way of life. The Character of Rain by Amelie Nothomb “Elegantly written, Nothomb demonstrates a shrewd understanding of the intricate ways Japanese relationships are made and spoiled.”--The New York Times Book Review Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) Russian classic. Cry, the Beloved Country (Alan Paton) The compassionate story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom. Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak The classic story of the life and loves of a poet/physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes) Spanish classic. The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing A smug, conservative couple's fifth child (after four model children) inspires fear and horror. First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (Loung Ung) - An eyewitness account of the bloody aftermath of the Khmer Rouge's merciless victory over the Cambodian government in 1975, seen through the eyes of a child, now the spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine Free World program. Nobel Peace Prize. The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy) A story of the tragedy that wrecks an already dysfunctional family in India in the 1960s. The story focuses on the lives of a brother and sister who are twins and whose childhood is further marred by the death of a cousin. A Hero of Our Time (Lermontov) The novel is set in the Russian Caucasus in the 1830s. Grigory Pechorin is a bored, self-centered, and cynical young army officer who believes in nothing. With impunity he toys with the love of women and the goodwill of men. Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami Less a novel than a set of finely detailed portraits, this book gives outsiders a glimpse of some of Moroccan society's strata and the desperation that underlies many ordinary lives. The House of the Spirits (Isabel Allende) - This absorbing saga of a Chilean family weaves the contemporary political situation in South America with a story of rebellion and love covering three generations of powerful familial ties. I am the Messenger ( Zusak, Markus) After capturing a bank robber, 19-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help, and he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness. M.L. Printz Honor Award 2006. The Icarus Girl (Helen Oyeyemi) Jess is an eight-year-old caught between two different worlds. The daughter of a British father and a Nigerian mother, she has always felt like a misfit. Believing that a change might be the perfect antidote, her parents whisk her off to visit Nigeria. In the Time of Butterflies (Julia Alvarez) - Fiction about the true story of the three martyred Miraposa sisters, their surviving sister, and events during the Dominican Revolution of 1938-1946. Kaffir Boy (Mark Mathabane) A unique first-person account of a black youth coming of age in Apartheid South Africa. Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrrow by Faiza Guene In the rough Paris housing projects, Doria, 15, a child of Muslim immigrant parents, sets her soap-opera dreams against the grim daily struggle, even as she does sometimes find the bold and the beautiful in herself and in her neighborhood Life of Pi (Yann Martel) Pi survives a shipwreck with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a tiger. With intelligence, daring, and inexpressible fear, Pi manages to keep his wits about him as the animals begin to assert their places in the food chain. Like Water for Chocolate (Laura Esquivel) - The creative and original fairytale bestseller about Tia, a young Mexican woman with magical talent for both cooking and romance. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (Ishmael Beah) - The survivor of a dirty war in starkest Africa recounts his transition from 12- year-old orphan to killing machine. Beah emerged from Sierra Leone's malignant civil conflict and eventually graduated from college in the United States. Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert) French classic. A discontented woman has an affair and it leads to more complications. Midaq Alley (Nahguib Mahfouz) Written in the 1940s, this novel by the Egyptian Nobel laureate Mahfouz deals with the plight of impoverished classes in an old quarter of Cairo. The lives and situations depicted create an atmosphere of sadness and tragic realism. Protagonist Hamida, an orphan raised by a foster mother, is drawn into prostitution. Kirsha, the owner of a cafe in the alley, is a drug addict and a lustful homosexual. Zaita makes a living by disfiguring people so that they can become successful beggars. My Forbidden Face: Growing up Under the Taliban (Latifa) - A moving, highly personal account of life under the Taliban regime. Painful honesty and clarity, as Latifa describes her ordered world falling apart, in the name of a fanaticism she could not comprehend, replaced by a world of terror and oppression. Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro) An unforgettable, gripping mystery both heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous. A beautiful love story, and scathing critique of human arrogance, and a moral examination of how we treat the vulnerable and different in our society. 100 Years of Solitude (Marquez -- Colombia) Tells the story of the Buendia family, set against the background of the evolution and eventual decadence of a small South American town. (Oprah Book Club pick) The Prince (Niccolo Machiavelli) For more than 400 years, The Prince has been the basic handbook of politics, statesmanship, and power. Witty, informative, and devilishly shrewd, it has long been required reading for anyone interested in politics and power. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel (Lisa See) In 19th century China, girls with bound feet were often paired in lifelong relationships. An unforgettable story of friendship as Lily and Snow Flower communicate their hopes, dreams, joys, and tragedies through a secret language known only to women. The Stranger by Albert Camus An ordinary little man living quietly in Algiers commits a pointless murder. Three Cups of Tea (Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin) - The inspiring account of one man's campaign to build schools in the most dangerous, remote reaches of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Unbowed (Wangari Maathai) - Hugely charismatic, humble, and possessed of preternatural luminosity of spirit, Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary life as a political activist, feminist, and environmentalist in Kenya. When I Was a Soldier (Valerie Zenatti) - Valerie begins her story as she finishes her exams, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves for service with the Israeli army. Nothing has prepared her for the strict routines, grueling marches, poor food, and lack of sleep and privacy.
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