Vocabulary Lists

Non-Fiction

CollectionGet a Life!Inspiring Biographies of Extraordinary People
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CollectionCompelling Coming-of-Age-Memoirs
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CollectionMartin Luther King Jr. DayA Collection in Honor of the Civil Rights Activist
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  • 80 WordsMartin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech (1963)
  • 45 Words"Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)
  • 25 WordsDr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I've Been to the Mountaintop" (1968)
  • 40 WordsPresident Obama's Speech on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
  • 25 Words50th Anniversary of the March on Washington: "Trying to Inspire a New Generation" by Trip Gabriel
  • 45 WordsDr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Beyond Vietnam" (1967)
  • 30 WordsFigurative Language in King's "I Have a Dream" Speech (1963)
  1. All ThirteenThe Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer TeamChristina Soontornvat
    This award-winning nonfiction book details the rescue of twelve soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave in...
  2. Terrible Typhoid MaryA True Story of the Deadliest Cook in AmericaSusan Campbell Bartoletti
    This biography details the life of Mary Mallon, a cook and "healthy carrier" of typhoid who inadvertently spread the...
  3. The Grand EscapeThe Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th CenturyNeal Bascomb
    This riveting book tells the true story of a group of prisoners of war who escaped from Germany during World War I.
  4. The Blind SideMichael Lewis
    This biography follows Michael Oher from his troubled childhood to his successful career as a professional football...
  5. You Call This Democracy?How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the PeopleElizabeth Rusch
    This nonfiction book examines voting in the United States and identifies ways to make government more democratic and to...
  6. Reading Lolita in TehranA Memoir in BooksAzar Nafisi
    In this memoir, Azar Nafisi details her experiences running a secret reading group for women in Iran.
  7. Because They MarchedThe People's Campaign for Voting Rights that Changed AmericaRussell Freedman
    This nonfiction account of the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery is richly illustrated with archival...
  8. The Boy Who Invented TVThe Story of Philo FarnsworthKathleen Krull
    This biography recounts the work of Philo Farnsworth, the first person to transmit a television image.
  9. Founding BrothersThe Revolutionary GenerationJoseph J. Ellis
    This nonfiction account explores the lives and ideas of six "Founding Fathers" of the United States: George Washington,...
  10. Promises to KeepHow Jackie Robinson Changed AmericaSharon Robinson
    Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, shares memories of and insights about her father.
  11. Out of DarknessThe Story of Louis BrailleRussell Freedman
    In this biography, Russell Freedman explores the life of Louis Braille, who developed a system of writing for blind...
  12. The Most Beautiful Roof in the WorldExploring the Rainforest CanopyKathryn Lasky
    This nonfiction account follows Dr. Meg Lowman as she explores the rainforest.

Non-Fiction Vocabulary Lists:

"The Origin of Species by Natural Selection" by Charles Darwin: Essential Words

Charles Darwin expounded his theories on evolution in "The Origin of Species by Natural Selection." Learn the essential terms from his enduring work, originally published in 1859.
13 Words

"Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell

George Orwell reflects on imperialism as he recounts an incident that occurred when he was a police officer in Burma. Here are links to our lists for other works by George Orwell: 1984, Animal Farm, Politics and the English Language
30 Words

"Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan

In this essay, novelist Amy traces her development as a writer by reflecting on the ways she and her mother use English differently. Here are links to our lists for The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
20 Words

"Nature" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

This 19th-century transcendentalist essay argues that spending time in nature helps people resist conformity and become their truest selves. Read the full text here. Here are links to our lists for other works by Ralph Waldo Emerson: Self-Reliance, The Young American
30 Words

"Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans" by Don Brown

This acclaimed nonfiction book tells the story of Hurricane Katrina in graphic form. Here is a link to our list for Unwanted by Don Brown.
40 Words

"Politics and the English Language" by George Orwell

In this essay, George Orwell explores the ways language can be used to conceal truth and encourage conformity of thought. Here are links to our lists for other works by George Orwell: Animal Farm, 1984, "Shooting an Elephant"
40 Words

"We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball" by Kadir Nelson

This engaging history of Negro League Baseball details the obstacles and prejudices African-American baseball players faced in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
35 Words

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