If you enjoyed Bless Me, Ultima,
you might enjoy some of the titles on this list. Tales of childhood friendship, ancient whales, neighbors and
unlikely family, these titles will keep you turning pages to the very end.
My Ántonia by Willa Cather
The story of Ántonia is told by her childhood friend, Jim, an orphaned boy from Virginia. Though he
leaves the prairie, Jim never forgets the Bohemian girl who so profoundly influenced his life.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
In this novel, told in a series of vignettes, readers experience the life of a young girl growing up
in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
When they are marooned on a deserted island, a group of English schoolboys soon lose their civilized
ways. Alone in a world devoid of adult supervision or rules, the boys attempt to forge their own
Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
As her beloved grandfather, chief of a Maori tribe in New Zealand, struggles to lead in difficult
times, young Kahu develops a mysterious relationship with whales, particularly the ancient bull
whale whose legendary rider is the ancestor of her people.
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Taylor grew up poor in rural Kentucky. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely
functional car, her life takes an unexpected turn. By the time she reaches Arizona, Taylor has
acquired a three-year-old Native American girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms
with her new life.
Where the Heart Is
by Billy Letts
Novalee Nation has always been unlucky with sevens. She's seventeen, seven months pregnant,
thirty-seven pounds overweight - and now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah,
Oklahoma, holding just $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hidden treasures in
this small prairie town.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Possessing an encyclopedia-like intelligence, the unusual son of a zookeeper named Pi Patel sets
sail for America. But when the ship sinks, Pi escapes on a life boat and is lost at sea with a
dwindling number of animals until only he and a hungry Bengal tiger remain.
Rain of Gold
by Victor Villaseñor
Rain of Gold is the non-fiction saga of the author’s own family. It focuses on three generations of
Villaseñor’s kin, their spiritual and cultural roots in Mexico, their move to California and their
overcoming poverty, prejudice and economic exploitation. It is the warm-hearted, humorous and tragic
true story of a wily, wary, persevering family.
This event is part of The Big Read,
an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts
in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.