These are biographies or autobiographies about children or young adults who have overcome difficult emotional and/or physical situations.
Luis J. Rodriguez, Poet Laureate of Los Angeles 2014 - 2016, bravely, boldly recounts his life as a young Chicano gang member in East Los Angeles, with all of the violence, sadness and hopelessness that were part of that life. He found a way out, through education and has made it his mission to help others.
A coming-of-age memoir by the surfing-obsessed William Finnegan, who fell in love with the sport as a young boy, and continued surfing well into his adult life as an international journalist. Surfers and non-surfers alike will enjoy this well-written recounting of a life spent surfing.
In 1971 Jack Gantos was caught in New York harbor on a boat filled with 2,000 pounds of hashish. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison. This is the story of how he "escaped" from prison by becoming a writer. Heartbreaking, challenging but ultimately triumphant. Told with a combination of acerbic wit and deadpan humor, he provides an attention to detail that elevate his experiences to engrossing entertainment, even (and especially) when he's poking fun at himself.
What price for assimilation and a university education? In this candid autobiography, Richard Rodriguez recounts his childhood, knowing hardly any Englsh, and eventually earning a Ph.D, and becoming a Fullbright scholar at the Warburg Institute in London. However, along the way he lost connections to his past, his family and his culture.
Esmeralda Santiago was one of eleven children who grew up in a tin-can of a house in Puerto Rico, surrounded by quarreling parents and poverty. While living in Brooklyn with her grandmother, Santiago's ambition and hard work resulted in a Harvard education, and a successful career as a writer and film producer.