I'm searching again for the perfect books to read for my next literature circle for middle schoolers. The theme this time around is roughly "overcoming adversity." I know, that's a ridiculously gigantic theme. Initially we were looking at specifically at books which tell the story of a character overcoming a battle with illness. However, we are having a hard time finding books like this suitable for middle schoolers, so we've broadened our search to various kinds of struggles—racial, cultural, disasters, etc.
We'll use a total of three books. We are definitely going to do Peg Kehret's Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio. This is an awesome book that my kids have read over and over again.
We have some others up for consideration:
Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Dragonwings by Laurence Yep
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Parks
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
My co-teacher and I will be reading through this list, hoping to find just the perfect books for our 6th-8th grade class. But I'm always searching for more ideas. Do you have a book that comes to mind that might fit this rather broad category? I'd love your suggestions!