This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Play here.
This week is a list of the top ten books that deal with difficult issues. I already read a few lists and am amazed with the diversity of responses I already see. Here's my list:
1. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak - one of my favorite books that truly deals with man's inhumanity to man through the Holocaust.
2. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - one of the best introductions for kids to death. Every kid should have the chance to meet Charlotte and Wilbur and cry at her death.
3. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - two tough issues in this one. Reading about sick and dying children is never easy, but I can't imagine living with it. Also, this is a great novel for discussion of medical advances and the legal issues they create.
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - racism, sexual assault, and drug addiction. Many books have covered these issues but this is a classic.
5. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - I actually just finished this one, and it's an excellent examination of school bullying.
6. The Wall by Eve Bunting - this is a children's picture book by one of my favorite authors. It very simply tells the story of a young boy who visits the Vietnam Memorial with his father to find and trace his grandfather's name. I cry every time I read it to my class, but it truly makes the sacrifices of war a multi-generational issue.
7. Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting - another children's picture book. It's the story of a homeless family who "lives" in an airport. It's a great story for starting a discussion with kids about what it means to be homeless and how we can all help.
8. Paula by Isabel Allende - Allende's haunting memoir of the sudden illness and death of her adult daughter. The last twenty pages will bring you to tears and leave you wondering how any parent survives the death of a child.
9. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss - Seuss's environmental warning from 1971 which is still valid and relevant today.
10. Elijah's Angel by Michael J. Rosen - another children's picture book. This is one of the best books I've read about tolerance. It's the story of a little Jewish boy who befriends an older African American Christian barber. The most touching part is when the Jewish family walks through the snow to see the menorah lit in the window of Elijah's barber shop each night of Hanukkah.
Most of my list is children's books. It's interesting because I've found that many children's authors do an excellent job presenting tough issues. I'm looking forward to reading your list and hearing what you think of mine.