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Previous books

About CEHD reads | Previous Books

2015-2016

Photo of Rez Life

Rez Life
by David Treuer

With authoritative research and reportage, Rez Life examines Native American reservation life past and present. Treuer's work weaves history and the present, institutional policy and individual stories in an exploration of family, tribal governance, casinos, wealth and poverty, education, and the preservation of native languages and cultures. This non-fiction selection illuminates misunderstood contemporary issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation.

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2014-2015

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

Skloot's book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks who in 1951 doctor's removed cancerous cells from her body without her knowledge. Those cells became a critical tool in multiple medical advancements, including the polio vaccine, cloning, and gene mapping. Skloot’s book raises critical questions about race, ethics, and scientific discovering.

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2013-2014

The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir
by Kao Kalia Yang

Yang’s memoir tells the story of her family’s journey from Laos to St. Paul, a story that is familiar to thousands of Hmong families who fled massacre in Laos after collaborating with the United States during the Vietnam War. Yang brings her family’s journey to life with detail that illuminates the challenges they faced and the sources of their strength, inspiration, and comfort

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2012-2013

The Other Wes Moore
by Wes Moore

Moore's combined autobiography and biography, with an alternating narrative, tells the story of two boys—both named Wes Moore—growing up in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and the very different paths their lives take. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison for felony murder.

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2011-2012

Outcast United
by Warren St. James

Warren St. James expands a story that began as a  2007 New York Times article about the Fugees, a soccer program for boys from families of refugees from war-torn nations who were resettled in Clarkston, Georgia.

Luma Mufleh, the Fugee's coach came to the U.S. from Jordan to attend Smith College and stayed in the U.S. despite her family's expectations. The book follows the challenges the coach and these young people face (which include confronting prejudice, finding funding and a field on which to practice, and living with memories of tragedy in their home countries) as well as the triumphs they achieve on and off the field.

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2010-2011

Prisoner of Tehran
by Marina Nemat

In 1982, sixteen-year-old Marina Nemat was arrested on false charges by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and tortured in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. Her memoir describes political upheaval, repression, and resettlement and explores the circumstances that may force people to leave their home country.

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2009-2010

A Lesson Before Dying
by Ernest J. Gaines

In his National Book award-winning book, Ernest Gaines addressed topics that include race, the value of education, inequity in the criminal justice system, and human dignity—areas that are central to the work and values of the College of Education and Human Development.

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2008-2009

An Ordinary Man
by Paul Rusesabagina

As Rwanda was thrown into chaos during the 1994 genocide, Rusesabagina, a hotel manager, turned the luxurious Hotel Milles Collines into a refuge for more than 1,200 Tutsi and moderate Hutu refugees, while fending off their would-be killers with a combination of diplomacy and deception.

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