Reading fiction develops our empathy and social understanding, which helps us stand up to prejudice and discrimination. This is why literature is a valuable tool for developing values that uphold our human rights. Are you passionate about books and human rights?
These books explore ideas of tolerance and justice, encouraging you to step into another’s shoes. Click on the title for more information or to place a hold.
Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali
Born in Nazi Germany in 1936, Max is raised as the perfect Aryan but questions his teachings upon learning that his friend Lukas, a Polish boy snatched from his home to be “Germanized,” is secretly Jewish.
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
David Piper, always an outsider, forms an unlikely friendship with Leo Denton who, from the first day at his new school wants only to be invisible, but when David’s deepest secret gets out, that he wants to be a girl, things get very messy for both of them.
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
In 1959 Virginia, Sarah, a black student who is one of the first to attend a newly integrated school, forces Linda, a white integration opponent’s daughter, to confront harsh truths when they work together on a school project.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war’s final dangers, only to find themselves aboard a ship with a target on its hull.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil.
Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
Arturo scrapes by living in Anapra living odd jobs and staying out of sight. His friend Faustino joined one of the drug gangs. He stole money form the gang to send his girlfriend and her baby into the U.S.– and he wants Arturo’s help replacing the money before the gang kills him. Looming over Arturo’s story, and Juarez itself, is Santa Muerte– Saint Death, watching impassively as people in the border town struggle in the face of a vicious drug trade, dangerous trafficking, corruption, and income inequality.