Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan is a powerful story about a rich and spoiled Mexican girl whose sudden impoverishment in the 1930s takes her in to the migrant worker camps of California. It teaches much about the Great Depression as well as discrimination during that period. 

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I Walked to Zion by Susan Arrington Madsen (Deseret Book, 1994) is a delightful collection of first person accounts of Mormon pioneers who traveled across the American Great Plains to Utah from the late 1840s to 1860s. Although the volume is probably intended for adults to read, the engaging and interesting stories of the pioneers have such

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Voltaire’s Candide (originally published 17581) is alternatively titled Optimism. A rosy outlook on life is the main target of Voltaire’s satire. Rather than embracing a truly pessimistic approach to the world, however, Voltaire seems to me to be arguing for a realistic and reasonable approach to life. The humorous look at both optimism and pessimism

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Yesterday began Black History Month in the USA! The Harlem Renaissance-themed Classics Circuit began yesterday as well, and I hope you follow along as bloggers unite in reading classic works by African-Americans. Although this post is not for the Circuit, in preparing for that Classics Circuit, I did a lot of preliminary reading about the

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Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at age 46, when his youngest daughter was just 3 months old. As a well-known computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, he was a world leader in virtual reality training. But the focus of his last lecture to the university is not about programming a computer: It’s

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