7 Engaging Reads For Students In Life's Classroom

The beginning of a new school year always brings so much promise and possibility--cracking open the spines of new books to challenge you, engage you, take you to new worlds. In honor of back-to-school season, here are seven eye-opening, thought-provoking books for a master class of your own.


An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
The much-needed and long-awaited history of the United States from the perspective of its indigenous peoples challenges long-held myths and prejudices. Dunbar-Ortiz's careful research spans more than 400 years and articulates the colonialist attempts to completely remove the once 15 million Native people who called this country home.

Stiff by Mary Roach
Stiff is a hilarious and compelling tale of the afterlife that explores the active lives of human bodies postmortem. Throughout human history, cadavers have been appropriated for scientific experiments, medicinal research, and more. While not exactly for the faint of heart, Stiff is an oddly human tale that will change the way you look at our bodies.

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Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit
Fierce, funny, and feminist, Rebecca Solnit crafts several brilliant--often scathing--essays on gender politics, violence against women, and her own personal encounters with men who felt the need to explain things to her. Men Explain Things To Me breathes new life into the feminist movement for the twenty-first century.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
A coming-of-age tale unlike any other, Persepolis is the memoir of a young Iranian girl as she lives through the 1979 Islamic revolution. Personal, political, funny, and heartbreaking, Marjane Satrapi's unique graphic depiction of adolescence demonstrates the human cost of war.

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
This gripping, eye-opening text successfully argues that in order to combat climate change, a restructuring of the global economy is required. Naomi Klein demonstrates--in comprehensible language--that by reducing our greenhouse emissions, we can not only help the planet but also improve our political and economic systems.

Going Clear by Lawrence Wright
With years of research, dozens of interviews, and writing as rousing as the best thrillers, Going Clear is the astonishing tale of Scientology and its fraught relationship with Hollywood, the IRS, and its own members. Compelling and thought-provoking, Lawrence Wright asks us to evaluate just what constitutes a religion and how faith works in our modern times.

Salt by Mark Kurlansky
Never has something so commonplace been so fascinating. Mark Kurlansky crafts a captivating history of salt, which has irrevocably shaped mankind, been used as currency, founded trade routes, and helped direct wars and empires. Salt will make you reconsider how vital this household item is to our history.

See the full list at Off the Shelf, a daily blog that connects great readers with great books.

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