Books for Mature Teens and Adults

Theme: People Just Like You?

A View from the Bench: The Story of an Ordinary Player on a Big-Time Football Team - (ISBN: 978-0252071720)

by George Mills

Although Nebraska recruited George Mills because of his potential to become a great player, Mills worked hard but never achieved stardom. Instead, the book details the life of a bench-sitter, an average man, who survives the rigors of football training and erratic coaches. What personal characteristics allowed Mills to view his life as an average Joe without bitterness or rancor? What can you learn from his attitudes in case you experience failure and mediocrity?

Africa in My Blood: An Autobiography in Letters: The Early Years - (ISBN: 978-0618127351)

by Jane Goodall

In this collection of correspondence, readers learn how Jane came to be a scientist and study chimpanzees for a lifetime of research in Kenya. Despite her unconventional training and original approach to observations, Goodall is revered and respected as an authority in the field of animal behavior. Try to imagine your wildest dream; what would be the first step you could take for it to come true?

Angela’s Ashes - (ISBN: 978-0684842677)

by Frank McCourt

Irish immigrant and teacher Frank McCourt won the Pulitzer Prize for this evocative memoir of his family’s life in poverty-stricken Ireland and their move to a new life in New York City, teeming with difficulties. What personal qualities helped him overcome his daunting background? What role did his parents play in the development of his love for great literature and writing?

Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance - (ISBN: 978-1400082773)

by Barack Obama

Learn firsthand the unusual history of our 44th President, a child of a mixed marriage and frequent moves to different countries. Observe the masterful rhetorical style Obama uses to convince you of his point of view as he swiftly takes the opposite. What events from your life have shaped your method of solving problems today?

Oprah Winfrey: A Biography - (ISBN: 978-0313323393)

by Helen Garson

This carefully written and well-researched life of the famous Oprah reveals her humble beginnings and the challenges that she experienced before she became a success. It also pays homage to the many people who influenced and helped her along the way. If you are interested in trying to find keys that would predict her later good fortune, take a look at this interesting write.

Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey - (ISBN: 978-0446676137)

by Jane Goodall

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace, One School at a Time - (ISBN: 978-0143038252)

by Greg Mortensen

‘Tis: A Memoir - (ISBN: 0684865742)

by Frank McCourt

Activities for this Theme

Look and listen to stories of many every-day Americans as part of National Public Radio’s Story Corps Collection. Try to think of an interesting person you know whom NPR might like to feature in their collection.

To start keeping records for your own biography start your own online diary or blog.