Recommended Reading: True Stories

The power of a true story will speak for itself in these books:

Gogo Mama_Sally Sara_book_African WomenGogo Mama: A Journey into the Lives of Twelve African Women

By Sally Sara

Journalist Sally Sara documents her extraordinary journey across Africa to meet twelve inspiring women with unique stories, including a former child soldier, an escaped slave, a survivor of a rebel attack, and a famous belly dancer. The women have survived hardships to become educators and inspirations in areas such as female genital mutilation, AIDS, and slavery. Sara paints a vivid picture of the landscapes she covers and the settings within which these women live. The individual tales of the women interviewed represent courage and resilience, and their honesty will open your eyes to fascinating and chilling lives.


Half the Sky_Oppression_Women_book_Nicholas Kristof_Sheryl WuDunnHalf the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

By Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn

This non-fiction book is an insightful, yet disturbing look into the issues facing women in developing countries: maternal mortality, human trafficking, sexual violence, genital cutting, honour killings, acid attacks, and daily discrimination that leads to more girls dying than boys. Facts and statistics are balanced with personal stories of women, making them easy to digest and relatable. Many of the tales are inspirational, and their underlying moral is education, education, education. We, in the western world, can take education for granted, but we can still improve our own education by reading about the lives of women less fortunate, and learning how we can help.


Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields_memoirs of survivors_Dith Pran_Kim DePaulChildren of Cambodia’s Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors

By Dith Pran, Kim DePaul

I have read several books written by survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia over the past few years, and although they carry the same general message, I continue to read more, as each story is unique. So too are the accounts in this book, whose authors were children during Pol Pot’s regime. They were all eyewitnesses to the horrors of war, to killings, tortures, starvation, brainwashing, and overwork, but each person’s experience was different. Because these stories were seen through the eyes of children, the suffering and lost innocence of Cambodia’s genocidal past is even more poignant.




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