• COMING OF AGE TITLES

    Coming of age or "bildungsroman" is a novel, which shows a young person's transition from childhood into adulthood. These titles all show a character’s maturation over time, through troubles and desperation, many times through conflict to find growth and hopefully happiness.


    You just read To Kill A Mockingbird.  We would like you to select another novel that interests you that also shows this maturation process.  We want books that depict well developed characters that go through some type of change or conflict that helps them grow and discover themselves.  

    Some titles available to choose for this project are:


    Achebe, Chinua.  Things Fall Apart.

    Fiction / Nigeria / Race Relations:  Set in an Ibo village in Nigeria, the novel recreates pre-Christian tribal life and shows how the coming the white man led to the breaking up of the old ways.

    Anonymous. Go Ask Alice

    Realistic Fiction / Drug Abuse:  Based on the diary of a fifteen-year-old drug user chronicling her struggle to escape the pull of the drug world.


    Hill, Katie Rain. Rethinking Normal: A Memoir in Transition

    Non-fiction / Juvenile Non-Fiction / Transgender People / Transsexuals / Identity:  Nineteen-year-old Katie Hill, a transgender girl shares her personal journey of growing up as a boy and then undergoing gender reassignment during her teens.


    Hosseini, Khaled.  The Kite Runner

    Fiction /Afghanistan / Boy Friendship & Betrayal:  Amir, haunted by his betrayal of Hassan, the son of his father's servant and a childhood friend, returns to Kabul as an adult after he learns Hassan has been killed, in an attempt to redeem himself by rescuing Hassan's son from a life of slavery to a Taliban official.


    Kline, Christina Baker. Orphan Train: A Novel

    Historical Fiction / Female Friendship:  Orphan Train is a young adult / historical fiction novel about the relationship between seventeen year-old Molly Ayer and ninety-one year-old Vivian Daly who, as the result of spending time together and sharing their experiences, form a bond, learn from each other, and change in significant ways. Molly is a troubled foster child in Maine who is about to “age out” of the system (that is, she's becoming too old for the system to continue accommodating). She was put into the system after her father died in a car accident and her mother turned to drugs.


    Kwok, Jean.  Girl in Translation

    Fiction / Mother-Daughter Relationships / Chinese Americans:  Ah-Kim Chang and her mother immigrated to Brooklyn, where they work for Kim's Aunt Paula in a Chinatown clothing factory earning barely enough to keep them alive; however, Kim's perseverance and hard work earns her a place at an elite private school where she is befriended by Annette, who helps her adjust to American culture.


    McBride, James.  The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother

    Non-Fiction / Racially mixed People: An African-American male tells of his mother, a white woman, who refused to admit her true identity.


    Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus

    Classic Fiction / Science Fiction / Horror Fiction / Gothic: Victor Frankenstein discovers the secret of creating life and fashions an eight-foot monster, only to bring danger and destruction to the lives of those he loves.


    Vizzini, Ned. It’s Kind of a Funny Story

    Fiction / New York / Mental Illness / Depression: New York City teenager Craig Gilner succumbs to academic and social pressures at an elite high school and enters a psychiatric hospital after attempting suicide.