Reading Recommendation
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. Loung Ung. Harper Collins, 2001.
Loung Ung recounts her childhood as a refugee fleeing Pol Pot’s regime. The daughter of a high-ranking government official, Loung, her parents and six siblings were forced to flee and became separated with Loung working as a child soldier while her siblings endured labor camps. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge, Loung reunited with her family and faced the challenges of starting a new life.

God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir. John Bul Dau and Michael Sweeney. National Geographic Society, 2008.
“Lost Boy” John Dau’s autobiography tells his gripping experience of surviving the Sudanese civil war. With an award-winning documentary of the same name, Dau traces his 1,000-mile flight into exile, walking barefoot with thousands of other “Lost Boys” from Sudan to Ethiopia, back to Sudan and to a refugee camp in Kenya. Enduring 14 years of hardship, Dau is finally resettled in America where he must adapt to a new home.

I am David. Anne Holm. Harcourt Trade Publishers, 2004.
Twelve-year old David escapes an oppressing Eastern European prison camp in the aftermath of World War II. Not knowing anything about his family or life outside of the prison walls, David escapes and travels alone across Europe to Denmark where he hopes to find safety and freedom.

Best-selling author Khaled Hosseini is Goodwill Envoy for UNHCR.

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini. Riverhead Trade, 2005.
Spanning decades, The Kite Runner is the story of two boyhood friends in Kabul. Amir is the son of a well-to-do man and Hassan is the son of Amir’s father’s servant and belongs to an underprivileged ethnic minority group. Living in the same house, the two boys live incredibly different lives. Following the Soviet invasion, Amir and his father flee to America while Hassan stays behind in Afghanistan.

A Thousand Splendid Suns. Khaled Hosseini. Riverhead, 2007.
From the Soviet invasion to the fall of the Taliban and the rebuilding of Afghanistan, this is the story of two generations of family and friends affected by the hardships of war.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. Ishmael Beah. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
A former child soldier, Ishmael Beah gives his first-person account of brutal attacks by rebels and being forced into a world of violence by government forces at age 13.

The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience. Mark Bixler. University of Georgia Press, 2006.
This is the tragic and inspiring story of four Sudanese refugees who make their way to the America to rebuild their lives.

Notes from My Travels, Angelina Jolie. Simon and Schuster, 2003.
Goodwill Ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and award-winning actress Angelina Jolie shares her memoirs from her visits to Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan, Cambodia, and Ecuador, where she worked on behalf of refugees.

Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard. Mawi Asgedom. Little, Brown and Company, 2002.
A true story of a young boy's incredible journey from a Sudanese refugee camp to a Chicago suburb where his family survives on welfare, Mawi Asgedom overcomes many obstacles and receives a scholarship to Harvard.

One Day the Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War. Charles London. New York: HarperCollins, 2007.
Charles London explores the lives of refugee children who have survived war, violence, family and poverty.


An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography. Paul Rusesabagina. Penguin Books, 2007.
An Ordinary Man is the story of the real-life hero who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda. Rusesabagina, a hotel manager, turned the Hotel Milles Collines into a sanctuary for more than 1,200 Tutsis and Hutus, while keeping the attackers at bay long enough to save their lives. This story recounts his childhood, his role in saving the hotel guests, as well as his own life as a refugee and activist in the years that followed.

Swimming Across: A Memoir. Andrew S. Grove. Warner Books, Inc., 2001.
Swimming Across is the personal account of Intel founder and CEO Andrew Grove’s childhood in Hungary, the Nazi invasion and subsequent Communist rule. Grove fled to America where he pursued the American dream.

What is the What. Dave Eggers. McSweeney’s, 2006.
Separated from his family, Valentino Achak Deng lives a dangerous life as a refugee in war-ravaged southern Sudan, dodging the perils of rebels, soldiers, wild animals, disease and hunger.

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda. Philip Gourevitch. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999.
This book dissects the 1994 Rwandan genocide when 800,000 people were killed in one hundred days, including the background of the genocide and the aftermath.