Ernest Shackleton - The Heart of the Antarctic / South
Ernest Shackleton led two Antarctic expeditions, and died shortly after the beginning of a third. His first expedition was not a total success (they did not reach the South Pole), and the second was, in some senses, a total failure (they never reached the Antarctic mainland at all). Yet it is the second for which he is remembered.
Lesléa Newman - Hachiko Waits
“What a good dog you are. What a fine dog you are. Hachi, you are the best dog in all of Japan.” Professor Ueno speaks these words to his faithful dog before boarding the train to work every morning. And every afternoon, just before three o’clock, Hachi is at the train station to greet his beloved master. One day, the train arrives at the station without the professor. Hachi waits. For ten years, Hachi waits for his master to return. Not even Yasuo, the young boy who takes care of Hachi, can persuade him to leave his post. Hachiko Waits, a novel inspired by a true story, brings to life the legendary Akita who became a national symbol for loyalty and devotion. This is a must-read for dog lovers of all ages.
Dave Pelzer - A Child Called "It"
This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it." Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive--dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.
Rachel Lloyd - Girls Like Us
A deeply moving story by a survivor of the commercial sex industry who has devoted her career to activism and helping other young girls escape "the life" At thirteen, Rachel Lloyd found herself caught up in a world of pain and abuse, struggling to survive as a child with no responsible adults to support her. Vulnerable yet tough, she eventually ended up a victim of commercial sexual exploitation. It took time and incredible resilience, but finally, with the help of a local church community, she broke free of her pimp and her past. Three years later, Lloyd arrived in the United States to work with adult women in the sex industry and soon founded her own nonprofit—GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services—to meet the needs of other girls with her history. She also earned her GED and won full scholarships to college and a graduate program. Today Lloyd is executive director of GEMS in New York City and has turned it into one of the nation's most groundbreaking nonprofit organizations. In Girls Like Us, Lloyd reveals the dark, secretive world of her past in stunning cinematic detail. And, with great humanity, she lovingly shares the stories of the girls whose lives she has helped—small victories that have healed her wounds and made her whole. Revelatory, authentic, and brave, Girls Like Us is an unforgettable memoir.
Dian Fossey - Gorillas in the Mist
One of the most important books ever written about our connection to the natural world, GORILLAS IN THE MIST is the riveting account of Dian Fossey's thirteen years in a remote African rain forest with the greatest of the great apes. Fossey's extraordinary efforts to ensure the future of the rain forest and its remaining mountain gorillas are captured in her own words and in candid photographs of this fascinating endangered species. As only she could, Fossey combined her personal adventure story with groundbreaking scientific reporting in an unforgettable portrait of one of our closest primate relatives. Although Fossey's work ended tragically in her murder, GORILLAS IN THE MIST remains an invaluable testament to one of the longest-running field studies of primates and reveals her undying passion for her subject.
Rick Porrello - To Kill the Irishman
For decades, Americans have had a fascination with the Mafia. We have paid the box offices generously to be entertained by films like The Godfather, Goodfellas, Casino and Donnie Brasco. Likewise, millions have been spent in bookstores on titles like Boss of Bosses, Doublecross, The Last Mafioso, Underboss and the numerous John Gotti stories. It started in the fifties, when mob soldier Joseph Valachi broke the blood oath of omerta which swears Mafia members to secrecy, violations being punishable by death. The term Mafia became a household word. Higher ranking mob turncoats like Jimmy "Weasel" Fratianno, Angelo "Big Ange" Lonardo and Sammy "the Bull" Gravano would follow. In years to come we would learn of the Mafia's influence in labor unions, gambling, political corruption, narcotics, major airports, big city docks, legitimate business and industry and even the entertainment mecca of Las Vegas. With hard-to-ignore evidence, there would be shocking allegations that the Mafia had collaborated with the Central Intelligence Agency in "Operation Mongoose," the plot to assassinate Cuban Communist leader Fidel Castro. It is even believed by many that the Mafia helped engineer the rise of John F. Kennedy to President of the United States, then was responsible for the assassination of he and his brother Senator Robert Kennedy, and actress Marilyn Monroe. In the seventies and eighties, the government began winning more of their battles with the Mafia. New anti-racketeering legislation and technology, coupled with tougher drug laws, undercover operations, unprecedented inter-agency cooperation and WITSEC, the federal witness protection program were effective weapons. Attrition of old-school Mafioso made the timing good. The young replacements were not the jail-stint-hardened men that their fathers, uncles and neighborhood heroes were. As a result of all this, whole Mafia hierarchies were dismantled in cities like Milwaukee, Cleveland, Kansas City and Los Angeles. Top New York mob dons, like Tony Salerno and John Gotti were, convicted and imprisoned for life.
Isabel George - Beyond the Call of Duty
Meet Smoky, the Yorkshire Terrier who saved 250 American soldiers from being bombed by the enemy in the Second World War. And British Army Arms and Explosives dog, Treo, who was awarded the animal's Victoria Cross for his life-saving actions in Afghanistan. And Antis, the German Shepherd that was rescued as a puppy from the rubble of a French farmhouse before becoming an invaluable war companion to his saviour. Plus more devoted dogs from around the world, who have displayed incredible traits of courage and love as they accompanied man into battle.
Vicki Myron - Bret Witter - Dewey's Nine Lives
Share your fabulous feline photos with us in the Dewey the Library Cat group in Penguin Community. The cat that captured America's hearts returns, to share more of his special brand of magic. _Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World_ was a blockbuster bestseller and a publishing phenomenon. It has sold nearly a million copies, spawned three children's books, and will be the basis for an upcoming movie. No doubt about it, Dewey has created a community. Dewey touched readers everywhere, who realized that no matter how difficult their lives might seem, or how ordinary their talents, they can-and should- make a positive difference to those around them. Now, Dewey is back, with even more heartwarming moments and life lessons to share. Dewey's Nine Lives offers nine funny, inspiring, and heartwarming stories about cats--all told from the perspective of "Dewey's Mom," librarian Vicki Myron. The amazing felines in this book include Dewey, of course, whose further never-before-told adventures are shared, and several others who Vicki found out about when their owners reached out to her. Vicki learned, through extensive interviews and story sharing, what made these cats special, and how they fit into Dewey's community of perseverance and love. From a divorced mother in Alaska who saved a drowning kitten on Christmas Eve to a troubled Vietnam veteran whose heart was opened by his long relationship with a rescued cat, these Dewey-style stories will inspire readers to laugh, cry, care, and, most importantly, believe in the magic of animals to touch individual lives.
Vicki Myron - Bret Witter - Dewey
How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can't even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa. Dewey's story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director, Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility, (for a cat) and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most. As his fame grew from town to town, then state to state, and finally, amazingly, worldwide, Dewey became more than just a friend; he became a source of pride for an extraordinary Heartland farming town pulling its way slowly back from the greatest crisis in its long history
Ann Rule - And Never Let Her Go
The shattering crime story that shocked the nation: the Thomas Capano murder case On a June evening in 1996, 30-year-old Anne Marie Fahey, secretary to the governor of Delaware, vanished without a trace following a restaurant rendezvous with her secret lover of more than two years: Thomas Capano. One of Wilmington's most prominent and respected figures, a millionaire attorney and former state prosecutor, "Tommy" was a charming, softspoken family man. But in the weeks and months that followed Fahey's disappearance, investigators would gradually uncover the shocking truth: Capano was a steely manipulator driven by power and greed -- and capable of brutal murder. In a riveting narrative expertly documented by probing interviews, diary entries, and e-mail correspondence, and with superb insight into the twisted motivations of a killer, Ann Rule chronicles a real-life drama of Shakespearian proportions: ambitions fall, love turns to obsession, family names are tainted, the façade of success crumbles -- and a beautiful but vulnerable young woman pays the ultimate price in a convoluted and deadly relationship.
Jack Ketchum - The Girl Next Door
Suburbia in the 1950s, a dark side emerging in the Chandler house for teenage Meg and her crippled little sister Susan - captive to an Aunt, who is rapidly descending into madness. "The Girl Next Door is alive.... in a way most works of poplular fiction never attain; it does not just promise terror but actually delievers it. But it's a page-turner, all right; no doubt about that." - Stephen King
Art Spiegelman - Maus: A Survivor's Tale - And Here My Troubles Began
Acclaimed as a "quiet triumph"* and a "brutally moving work of art,"** the first volume of Art Spiegelman's Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiarity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive. As the New York Times Book Review commented," [it is] a remarkable feat of documentary detail and novelistic vividness...an unfolding literary event." This long-awaited sequel, subtitled And Here My Troubles Began, moves us from the barracks of Auschwitz to the bungalows of the Catskills. Genuinely tragic and comic by turns, it attains a complexity of theme and a precision of thought new to comics and rare in any medium. Maus ties together two powerful stories: Vladek's harrowing tale of survival against all odds, delineating the paradox of daily life in the death camps, and the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Vladek's troubled remarriage, minor arguments between father and son, and life's everyday disappointments are all set against a backdrop of history too large to pacify. At every level this is the ultimate survivor's tale -- and that too of the children who somehow survive even the survivors. * Washington Post ** Boston Globe *** "Maus is a book that cannot be put down, truly, even to sleep. When two of the mice speak of love, you are moved, when they suffer, you weep. Slowly through this little tale comprised of suffering, humor and life's daily trials, you are captivated by the language of an old Eastern European family, and drawn into the gentle and mesmerizing rhythm, and when you finish Maus, you are unhappy to have left that magical world and long for the sequel that will return you to it." - Umberto Eco Art Spiegelman is co-founder/editor of _Raw_, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics and graphics. His work has been published in the _New York Times_, _Playboy_, the _Village Voice_ and many other periodicals, and his drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries here and abroad. Honors he has received for _Maus_ include a Guggenheim fellowship and nomination for the National Books Critics Circle Award. Mr. Spiegelman lives in New York City with his wife, Françoise Mouly and their daughter, Nadja.
Malala Yousafzai - Christina Lamb - I Am Malala
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.
Kim Meeder - Laurie Sacher - Blind Hope
Laurie's dreams had been shattered before she came to work at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch—the ranch of rescued dreams—where broken horses and broken children encounter healing every day. In an attempt to soothe her aching soul, Laurie reached out to save a dog in need. And she soon began to realize that the dog was rescuing her. An inspiring true story told through the engaging voice of Kim Meeder, Blind Hope reveals poignant life lessons Laurie experienced from her ailing, yet courageous canine friend. Despite the blindness of her dog—and her own heart—Laurie uncovered what she really needed most: authentic love, unconditional trust, and true acceptance, faults and all. As Laurie and her dog, Mia, both learned to follow the lead of a master they couldn’t see, Laurie discovered the transforming power of God’s grace even for imperfect and selfish people—and she experienced a greater love than she had ever known. “Love is a bridge that stands firm through difficulties and connects one heart directly to another, not because of how it looks, but because of what it is.” --Kim Meeder, Blind Hope
Ben Macintyre - Agent Zigzag
One December night in 1942, a Nazi parachutist landed in a Cambridgeshire field. His mission: to sabotage the British war effort. His name was Eddie Chapman, but he would shortly become MI5's Agent Zigzag. Dashing and louche, courageous and unpredictable, the traitor was a patriot inside, and the villain a hero. The problem for Chapman, his many lovers and his spymasters was knowing who he was. Ben Macintyre weaves together diaries, letters, photographs, memories and top-secret MI5 files to create the exhilarating account of Britain's most sensational double agent.
Graham Pitchfork - Shot Down and on the Run
Many POW escape stories are well known, but what about those who miraculously evaded capture in the first place and returned to fight another day? This book tells some of the stories of the thousands of shot-down Commonwealth airmen who got out from behind enemy lines during World War II.
Gitta Sereny - Cries Unheard
Pieces together the damaged life of Mary Bell, who aged 11 was tried and convicted of manslaughter after the death of two young boys. Only as an adult has she been able to realize the moral enormity of her crimes. The story of her life forces the reader to consider society's responsibility for children's crime. Originally published in 1998.
Isobel Kerr - Alex Kerr - No One Listened
When Isobel and Alex came home from school to find their abusive father had brutally murdered their mother, their world was thrown into chaos. Plunged into a care system that neglected them, Isobel and Alex were expected to come to nothing, and had only each other to rely on. Isobel and Alex's mother used to do everything with them. A full-time teacher, she dedicated herself to her children, partly in order to give them every possible opportunity in life, and partly to keep them out of the way of their increasingly eccentric, erratic and unpleasant father. Their father, a violent and frightening man, spent most of his time locked in his bedroom, a room the rest of the family never ventured into. He became increasingly bitter and angry at the outside world in general, and at his wife and children in particular. The local community feared his outbursts as much as Isobel and Alex did, but the neighbours saw far less of him as he became increasingly housebound. No one came to the Kerr's house to visit. When Isobel was 15 and Alex 13, they came home from school to find police everywhere. Their father had stabbed their mother between fifty and sixty times with a sharpened chisel.As far as anyone could tell the attack was unprovoked and of incredible savagery, but the children were given the minimum amount of information. No one wanted to upset them unnecessarily. Their mother had been an only child and they had never been in contact with their father's family. There was no one else for them to turn to - except each other. This is an inspiring story of a brother and sister who only had each other, and a powerful testament to what can be achieved through courage and love.
Jeannette Walls - The Glass Castle
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home. What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.
Blaine Harden - Escape from Camp 14
A New York Times bestseller, the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survived. North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin's Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did. In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin's life unlocks the secrets of the world's most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden's harrowing narrative of Shin's life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world's darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.