10 young adult books worthy of adult readers

Grownups will also find that these nonfiction books aimed at young adults are worth a serious look.

9. ‘Hidden Gold: A True Story of the Holocaust,’ by Ella Burakowski

For the Jewish Gold family of Pinczow, Poland, living with growing anti-semitism in the late 1930s went from tolerable to horrifying when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Suddenly, Leib and Hanna Gold and their three children found themselves in survival mode as the homes and businesses of Jews were burned and rumors of death camps mounted. Leib disappeared while searching for a hiding place for his family. Meanwhile, Hanna and the children fled the city through sewer tunnels and managed to spend the next 26 months in hiding in a farmer’s barn. “Hidden Gold” is based on the true story of the author’s mother.

Here’s an excerpt from Hidden Gold:

"On his way to the kitchen he got sidetracked and found himself in front of the forbidden cabinet. He knew very well that cabinet was off-limits, but its magnetism was overwhelming.

David put Yoel down and surveyed his surroundings. The music was still coming from the salon, Ania was busy in the kitchen; the coast was clear. He very carefully opened the cabinet, which was where the family kept their medicines and other forbidden items. The first thing to catch David’s eye was a bottle of deep red iodine. He was just about to open when Ania screeched, “David, what are you doing!""

(Second Story Press, 325 pp.)

9 of 10

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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